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international librarian of mystery

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Breakfast at Fidel's

Between selling off all my worldly possessions in order to get myself to Texas (for a web award where I might win $20), interviews with international media organisations, and watching my story being turned into a controversial school play, I've remained unemployed, and in search of a job.

And having a bad time of it. I think I may have been black-listed by the Library Association. I'm now been to seven interviews, and, despite having felt I was a shoe-in for at least three of the jobs, I've yet to get an offer of employment. Thankfully, vacancies keep popping up on the LIANZA website and NZ-Libs listserv, and I've been dutifully tailoring my CV for each likely looking position, sending off my letters of application, and have managed to get another four interviews lined up over the next week.

One of them is for a job at Te Papa (New Zealand's National Museum, on the waterfront in town for those who don't know), and, if it wasn't for the uniforms, would be high on my list of dream jobs. Mmm, Te Papa.

The interview was yesterday morning, and I pulled out all the stops, putting on my new, as yet uncreased World dress in order to give it a trial run before the Bloggies next month, and spent a good hour wrangling my shockingly-in-need-of-hairdresser-assistance locks into some semblance of a stylish corporate bun. I stowed my new heels into my bag, slipped on my sandals, and walked to town.

I stopped at Fidel's Cafe on the way for a rest and a mind-sharpening coffee. I ordered my flat white, sat down at a table, and looked up to see Hollywood actor Cliff Curtis sitting opposite me. He was wolfing down one of Fidel's monster breakfasts: hash browns, bacon, eggs, toast, sausages and hollandaise sauce. My stomach, which has seen nothing but an unsteady diet of two minute noodles, cheap white toast and marmite over the last few penny-pinching weeks, started to rumble furiously with envy. My coffee didn't help at all, so, when Cliff left a few minutes later, leaving half his feast uneaten behind, I sidled over to his table, and quickly started to help myself to his leftovers.

I'd forgotten how good fatty food tastes. I was in heaven as I squished some egg-yolk onto the last remaining hash brown and put the whole gooey mess into my mouth. Tingles of pleasure shot up from stomach to my brain as I nibbled on a portion of bacon that I found hiding beneath the token bit of salad garnish. So engrossed was I in eating every remaining crumb and drop of sauce on the plate, that I didn't see or hear the large figure that had loomed up in front of me until a loud 'ahem-hem' issued forth from it. I looked up.

It was Cliff.

"Oh, ah, ummm," I said, looking around for some sort of excuse as to why I had just eaten the rest of his breakfast. None sprung to mind.

He looked at me, a little baffled.

"Umm," he said, gesturing at the now empty plate.
"Uh, I thought you were, errrr, finished," I said, blushing as brightly as I think I've ever blushed. "I was just, um..."
"Oh, look at the time. I have to go."

I stood up muttering some vaguely apologetic noises. Perhaps not quite knowing how he should react to a breakfast-stealing girl wearing a $500 World dress, Cliff let me go without a word.

As I walked past the front window, I could still see him standing there, looking down at the remnants of his breakfast, a puzzled frown on his face. Next time I see him, I vowed, I'll buy him breakfast. Or, budget notwithstanding, a coffee.

Despite my embarrassment, I arrived at Te Papa with a full stomach, and my synapses firing on the fresh intake of fat, cholesterol, caffeine and sugar. I felt confident and eminently employable in my new dress and sexy heels. No surprise then, that the interview went very well. The issue of uniforms came up. In my potential role, I won't need to wear one. It is the dream job.

Fingers crossed: gainful employment may just be around the corner.