I think I have a problem. Every time I have a job interview down here I become nauseous an hour before, which has never happened back in the States. It’s probably because I’m afraid my Spanish might not be up to par when it comes to professionalism. I can hold a conversation, but I’m afraid my vocabulary is limited to cussing. Here is the castellano de Argentina word of the day:
Concha de tu madre: Holy mackerel, let’s begin with the mother of all cursin’ vocabulary. This is the one where if you’re a yelpin’ to some random person on the street, I hope your fightin’ repetoire is as expansive as your fightin’ words. Nobody likes to hear you talk about their mamas, and also don’t like to hear “yo mama” jokes, either. Directly translated it means your mother’s seashell. Varations include: La concha de tu abuela, la concha tu hermana, la cajeta de tu madre en pelotas. Also used throughout South America, equivalent to Mexico’s chinga tu madre.
My last interview, was with a marketing company who was looking for copywriters who are English native speakers. Two hours before the interview I felt like yackin’, but nothing came out, but I put on my poker face with my invisible Mexican mustache, my black knee length Kenneth Cole ($15 at Crossroads in San Francisco), a cardigan and my black leather heels. According to my friend Stefania’s advice, the idea is to go as hoochie as possible. When I arrived I rocked that interview. I was interviewed by the Creative Director and the head of the Cordoba Office (this company has offices across Latin America and the United States), who both seemed casual and friendly. They were both wearing jeans and sipping mate, as was the rest of the staff. People from Córdoba are more friendly and talkative, rather than formal so while answering their questions I made small talk, trying hard to sell myself as a team player. They were looking for someone who could get the job done, but also willing to go out for some brewskis and fernet after office hours. I was qualified, but I wasn’t offered the position. Thinking back I should have had a few sips of mate when I was offered.