Knowing that I was likely to get both a job offer from Vizcacha and an interview from Vole in the same week, I gave careful instructions to all who might answer my telephone.
"I'm not answering the phone. I'm just going to let it go to the answering machine, or let you get it. If someone calls for me, and it might be a job offer, don't say I'm here. Just take a message. Don't say when I'm expected back. Just take a message."
I knew the Vizcacha call would be first, and I don't like the dance of trading one employer off against the other. I'd rather have both offers and accept the best, or have the best offer first, or just get the best. Last year I whined because there were no job offers. This year I'm whining because I have the wrong job offer first. There's no pleasing me.
Thus my original message from Vizcacha was in the form of a scrap of paper on which someone else had written some notes from a telephone call. It asked me to respond to someone whose name I didn't recognize via a hotmail address. Hmm. While that would be an amusing trick to play on someone expecting a job offer, I believed it to be real. I now had a strategy, though. My first e-mail response would simply be a query along the lines of "I have a message to contact you at this e-mail address. How can I help you?" And then I can wait for the response, and wait to answer again, because I'm flying, right? I can't check my e-mail ten times a day. And meanwhile I would be doing the very opposite of stalling in order to make the Vole offer happen. Cunning strategy? Watch Aviatrix sabotage herself.
I was carefully composing the e-mail to Vole to tell them why I needed a response soonest, when my cellphone rang. The area code told me it was Vizcacha. So I knew it was Vizcacha. So I knew I shouldn't answer it. So I let it ring. Three rings. Then I answered it. Yeah, I answered it. What is wrong with me? This time it is the gentleman who interviewed me. So the job offer is real. I tell him I have had another interview, this one for a permanent job, and I am waiting to hear, "When do you need my answer?" Oddly, he reminds me that if I accept I am expected to stay for the full term of the contract. "Yes, and I fully intend to. I take committments seriously and won't accept unless I am willing to stay." He says he has promised the people he just interviewed that he will let them know within a week. So inexplicably, I tell him I can give him an answer within three days. What is wrong with me?