I don’t find my job interviews exciting to write about. I don’t even remember exactly what went on in any of those times. However, there was this one incident about an hour before the interview which I will always remember. I was a victim of petty thieves preying on helpless commuters on jeeps and buses. I was on a jeep early that day, excited for a prospective job interview. I was skimming the traffic so I decided to cut trips. I took a short ride from our street to a busy junction where I have higher chances of catching a ride going to my preferred destination. It was a busy work day, everybody’s in a rush. I took the first jeep going to Marikina, I hitched on the back as all the seats are taken. With just a few meters from my destination, some of the passengers disembarked and I had a chance to get a seat. Jeepney passengers are backseat huggers – they push towards the rear where the entrance and exit is everytime a seat is vacated. So I was led to sit between two men just at the back of the driver. Not long since I took my seat, more passengers disembarked and the jeep is now half empty, however the man to my right didn’t budge. He is not a back seat hugger. I was kept in my place. I didn’t mind, in a few meters I would be getting off anyway. Soon the thugs orchestrated their well planned diversion so they can steal from me. One passenger from the back handed over his fare. It is customary for passengers in a jeep to pass along the fare coming from the back to the driver. I suspect that the passenger who has just given his fare is with the thieves. He handed me some loose change and as it passed into my hands, the coins slipped from my hands, scattered on the floor and maybe some rolled under the bench. The person next to me picked up the coins earnestly and counted how much to be sure the fare amounts to exactly as before. Apparently, there is a 0.25 centavo coin missing and he went looking for it. He shoved my foot, grabbed and lifted it up as if trying to shake the coin off my foot. I was annoyed by the rustling I got, joined the search for the quarter that wasn’t, oblivious of the other things happening around me. Somehow the coin was found and handed over to the driver and the men rustling me got off the jeep all of a sudden. I was suddenly alone on my side of the jeep and felt light. And my pocket too. MY CELLPHONE WAS GONE! It dawned on me, like a rush of a cold water to a burning coal. Thieves! That phone was the most important possession I had that time because I was hunting for jobs and it is of most importance that I get the return calls for interview. I immediately reported the incident to the police, went over some mug shots but I cannot identify the faces of those men. I was not paying attention. Feeling sorry and helpless, I still went on to the job interview, explained why I was late and took the exam they prepared. I was feeling really bad I didn’t perform well, I didn’t get the job.
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