So remember when I mentioned a sort of interview the other day? When I was suffering from the flu (I'm mostly recovered now, thanks)?
Turns out that it was to be a kind of oral exam in front of a six-member commission. There were two candidates, another girl and me.
And I didn't get the job. But neither did the other girl. Actually neither of us ended up even getting interviewed.
Have I mentioned that I love Italy?
Let's start back at the beginning, about nine months ago.
My local health clinic called me with news that someone in the larger, regional agency needed some English translations. They were applying for European Union funding for a pilot project to help improve immigrant access to health care--and the application materials had to be in English. I had never done any translating, but the people at the clinic figured I was American, I knew some Italian, and they were desperate. I stepped in.
So I did the translation, and quite a few emails and letters thereafter, all gratis, as we say, with the understanding that if they did indeed receive the funding, I'd probably end up working with them--not so gratis.
Fast forward to October of 2006, and they got the funding. It was time to hire a translator/interpreter for the project. Well, since it's a government-related job, they had to advertise the opening and do the whole interview process.
The people in charge happened to tell me about this the day before the materials were due. So I put everything together in an evening and was ready to go hand deliver the application packet to the Director of the health agency, a 45 minute drive away.
I stopped in the local clinic first, though, just to make sure I had everything, and Teresa, the woman I had been working with, told me that I could just send the packet the Italian equivalent of certified mail--that the postmark stamp would be enough. So I did.
You see where this is going right?
About a week after I sent the packet, I got a letter in the mail telling me to come for the oral exam/interview on January 3. So, last Wednesday, after making the 45 minute drive and waiting another hour and a half for the Director to show up, I was called inside the conference room. As I'm taking my coat off, they tell me not to bother, and explain that they can't consider my application because it arrived after the deadline.
I explained why that happened, but they didn't much care. After all, why should I be able to rely on another person in their agency for correct information? That'd be a lot like the right hand knowing what the left is doing, and well, we all know that doesn't happen much around here.
I was a little annoyed at this point, as you might imagine. It wasn't so much the loss of the potential job part as the I felt like hell and then waited most of the morning only to find out they weren't even going to speak to me part.
Um, why, then did you send me a letter telling me to come here? If you weren't going to look at any application materials before we actually showed up, why not just tell us to just come and bring our things?
On my way home, I got a call from Teresa, and she told me that the other girl didn't have the qualifications they wanted, so they didn't end up interviewing her either. So on her behalf, I again ask why on earth we both had to go there to find these things out?
Talk about a huge waste of time!
But all is not lost. Teresa tells me that now we'll do the whole thing again. They'll advertise the post, I'll send the stuff on time, and hopefully I'll actually be interviewed this time. I'll let you know.
And on the really bright side, on the way to the interview, I saw snow for the first time this year--on top of the Sila Mountains overlooking Catanzaro. Didn't have the camera though. No room in my bag between all the nasty used tissues and cough drops.