Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Bathroom Breaks

Today was my big interview with Judy. I anxiously called her to confirm first thing in the morning (well, I dialed into her voicemail and left a pre-rehearsed message -- of course I didn't just call her). I had told her that I would stop by her floor around 12:00 but that I might be a few minutes late because the relief schedule sometimes runs a bit behind. Joan is actually usually on time to relieve me for lunch, but I wanted to have a few minutes to use the ladies' room before I met Judy. Of course, today was the one day that Joan actually was late. And at 12:04, while I was still waiting for Joan, Judy appeared at my desk. I made awkward chit-chat with her, not wanting to talk about anything substantial until we got out of the office and I could turn on my tape-recorder.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity (but was actually three minutes, according to the clock on my phone that I had been nervously glancing at) Joan arrived. Making Judy wait further while I went to the ladies' room was out of the question at this point, so I just sucked it up and we went downstairs to La Madeleine.

All morning I had debated in my mind whether I should offer to buy her lunch -- she was doing me a favor by agreeing to the interview, after all. But it was also against the natural order of things for a receptionist to be buying lunch for an attorney -- I actually feared that she would try to buy my lunch.

Luckily we ended up reaching the cashier at different times so we just paid for our own meals. Judy suggested sitting at a table in the back, where it was relatively quiet. I never actually eat inside La Madeleine because of all the flies (big buzzing ones and little fruit-fly ones) that linger around the not-wiped-often-enough tables. Under other circumstances I would have suggested sitting elsewhere, but I didn't -- as in most instances where I'm asking someone for a favor, I was overly concerned that Judy would suddenly decide I was being too difficult and call off the whole interview.

Of course she never would have done such a thing -- she was nothing but friendly and enthusiastic throughout lunch and the interview went great. Judy was passionate about all of the issues we touched upon: immigration policies, racism, education for young immigrants...I got some great quotes from her.

On our way back to the office, Judy graciously offered to answer any additional questions I might have by phone or email. I thanked her for about the third or tenth time.

I arrived back on my floor a few minutes late -- again, no time for the ladies' room. I hardly cared though. I started scribbling away on a legal pad, weaving together background information about Judy and her family with paraphrases of quotes in my head that I'd later extract from the tape-recorder. I worked on the write-up throughout the afternoon, even ducking into an empty conference room during my break to continue writing. It wasn't until I was outside waiting for the bus at 5:00 that I realized I still hadn't used the bathroom.