At least once every day, something happens that makes me feel like an idiot, like a poem written by monkeys; a crab in a lobster trap; cents in a pocket of pence; a Canadian in England.
I'm usually at fault, so I haven't seen any need to tell you about these incidents. But they're now undeniably, invariably part of my day, so I might as well come clean about my experience with the Immigrant Learning Curve Ball.
First, you must know this: English is widely spoken in England.
On that singular fact, I mistakenly reasoned that adjusting to the local culture would be easier than in other places I've travelled, like say, remote villages in the Philippines or tiny Mayan settlements in the Guatemalan highlands.
I'd failed to consider the advantages of travelling in places where I look very different. There, people expect me to be clueless – a veritable danger to myself – and coddle me appropriately.
In London, I arrived with pasty skin and a big, pointy nose, so the only obvious differences between me and many of the locals are:
- I am a sidewalk speedbump
- I don't wear all black, beige and grey
- I frequently make eye contact with strangers
Still, I'd rather reserve that feeling for my casual weekend life, and not have it leak into the desperate, terrified and anxiety-ridden job-hunting sphere where my brain and blood pressure spend most of their time.
But on Friday, I got an email response from a prospective employer reading:
Sorry, that position has already been filled. Thank you for your interest.By then, I was really tired of wasting time researching companies and producing well-informed cover letters and tailored CVs, only to receive messages that the position was already filled and 'someone' had simply forgotten to remove the ad posting. So, I forwarded the email to a friend I knew could commiserate, adding the unfortunate message:
Then remove the effing ad, AMY!About 30 minutes passed before I checked for a response from my friend, and that's when I noticed that instead of clicking FORWARD, I'd...
My father's voice boomed across the Atlantic Ocean and into my ear, "Never write down what you wouldn't want the whole world to read!" it said.
"Even in the age of DELETE," I amended for future reference.
Amy never wrote me back, but she did take down the ad.