The event took place in a hotel but the line was outside. A very long line. It moved pretty quickly though. Every so often, you'd see a person turn back and leave, shaking his or her head. (Interestingly, the job fair was hosted by Women For Hire, but there were a number of men in the line too.)
Soon I saw that the line went all the way down the avenue block. It was quite cold, but I had on my standard issue coat, gloves, hat and scarf. Sadly, my feet were pretty chilly in regular shoes. Fortunately, I was tearing through an adorable YA book, so I did my best to forget where I was and how cold it was.
After standing on the line for thirty or forty minutes, I saw that it kept right on going down the next street block. And then doubled all the way back.
By that time I had lost all feeling in my toes, as well as most of my confidence that it would even be worthwhile. Another letdown; I should've known, what with the record numbers of unemployment in this town.
So I turned and left. It was physically painful to walk on my numbed feet--ouch! And I decided there's a great metaphor in here somewhere--a long, twisting, neverending line, stranded out in the cold among so many strange, surely more qualified faces, alone, not sure what to do, not sure what decision is best, feeling small and unimportant and so damn cold.
And I walked away.