the real world

October 20, 2004

so i survived my kaplan audition. it was sort of an odd experience. just before leaving, i practiced my key lime pie speech several times in front of my ‘audience’, the microwave with countdown timer running. i had selected the chapel hill location (rather than the more nearby durham branch) because they had an earlier interview date, and i wanted to get it over with. i set off for chapel hill at 6:13 for a 7 pm time slot.

as is my custom, i was over-paranoid about traffic and parking woes and arrived 20 minutes early for the session. i parked in the attached deck and was surprised to see a gate come down just seconds after i entered. i figured that there was probably another way to exit and left my car in the spot.

i was ushered into a classroom along with 2 other early arrivals. we sat filling out applications. the kaplan people fed us cookies and panera coffee, which was nice. once the room was full and people were finished filling out paperwork, we were given a brief introduction and then the auditions began. i felt like i was trying out for a middle school play.

i went second, again wanting to get things over and done with. i think my speech was somewhat entertaining, and i was one of the few people who didn’t get ‘buzzed’ because time was up. i was speaking rather quickly, but not about anything complicated, so i think i was fairly understandable. i sounded a bit like rachael ray after a grande mocha latte.

whatever. at least i didn’t bore the audience to tears (topics like stock options, how internet telephony is wired, and how to play dominos? why??) or run several minutes over the time limit. i mean, the purpose of the audition was for the kaplan people to watch us teach, not to educate the audience, right? if you are doing such an audition, and you hear a time-limit buzzer, there is no need to finish covering material, because those of us in the audience don’t actually care. i couldn’t recall signing up for a (completely worthless and incomprehensible) stock options seminar. anyway, the auditions seemed to go on and on, but we finally finished at around 9 pm. the instructor basically told us all ‘thanks’ and that we would hear from her (or her durham counterpart) sometime in the next week.

so i went to get my car. i was the only one that had made it into the gated lot, since i had arrived so early, so i headed down alone. i backed out and headed downwards, thinking that there had to be some sort of alternative underground exit, since the main one was gated. i drive down several floors and am faced with — the wall. what? my heart starts beating. i drive back up, thinking maybe i missed something. i see the closed gate. i start fumbling for my phone, thinking that maybe i could call the kaplan people and tell them that i was trapped inside their parking lot. i started thinking about how scary it would be to sleep in my car and how badly i already had to pee (damn coffee). i started thinking about how a pack of wild dogs might make the garage home for the night and how unpleasant that would be. and then i saw another student getting into his car on the other side of the gate.

“HEY!!!” i yelled. “i’m trapped in here! how am i supposed to get out?!” i think i also used some other expletives as well. he had also been auditioning for the mcat, and i wondered if he was thinking, ‘ha, now she’ll be eaten by wild dogs in there and i’ll get the job!’. he then sighed, and said “see the giant bulls-eye next to the gate? just put your car on that, and it’ll open.”

i looked at him stupidly. “it’s weight-sensitive,” he continued.

oh my god, i felt like an idiot. i said thanks, got into my car and drove away. it was over. i was not going to have to sleep in a rat-infested chapel hill parking garage. i had my freedom back.

perhaps i’ll even get a job out of the ordeal. if nothing else, i learned about weight-sensitive gates in parking garages, which may come in handy some day, when i enter the real world.

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