Ep01: When I got yelled at and exfoliation was a vacuum cleaner


  • Time 4 min
  • Date August 1, 2020

TBH no one had ever asked me about ‘exfoliation’ in an interview before.

“No! No! No!” I glared at Rebecca, who glared right back looking more murderous than ever. Thankfully, Shams walked in just then. That’s the good thing about being a trio — one of us always gets to play the referee when the other two bicker. Today, it was Sham’s turn and of course, she reveled in it. “Kya hua, girls?” asked Shams in her typical manner. She is the only one I know who speaks and texts Hinglish so well.

Anyway, Becca and I immediately jumped in, each wanting to play the larger victim. But Becca, of course, can outshout anyone in a discussion.  Being an RJ helps, I guess.

So, Rebecca told Shams about getting me an interview at DoYou and the favour she had called in from her snooty SIL… and how I had screwed it. I waited for my turn, I had no plans to blow it up. Once Becca was done, I gave Shams my side of the story — I had never asked for the interview and no one had ever asked me about ‘exfoliation’ in an interview before. That got her attention, just as I had expected.

I began to spill the tea. “You know how excited and grateful I was for the interview, right? “, ignoring Becca’s angry snort. “You can’t believe how LIT the office was! It was EPIC! Made my earlier office seem like a rabbit hole. ” Shams, of course, was more interested in the exfoliation bit.

So, I told her about boss lady — the Miranda Priestly of DoYou. “Believe me, Shams, she was just as scary and just as arrogant. She had the gall to interview two of us simultaneously, saying she was pressed for time!” Unaffected by my drama, Becca said, “Get to the point,” as if she was the boss lady. I had forgotten Becca was immune to glares.

I cringed as I remembered what had happened next. A few cliché ice-breaker questions later, boss lady casually asked, “So, what do you know about exfoliation?”

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“Vacuum cleaner… are you crazy, Megha?”

Even before she finished the question, the other candidate launched into a thesis on exfoliation. Boss lady looked impressed and then turned my way. I stuttered for a bit, then shrugged as I told her, “ I have  no clue about what it means to others, but for me, exfoliation is like a vacuum cleaner for dirt, oil, and dead skin cells.” While Ms. Perfect sniggered, boss lady kept a poker face on.

I was shaken out of my reverie by Becca’s violent, “Vacuum cleaner… are you crazy, Megha?”. I groaned, “I should have shut up. I would have, but boss lady was looking straight at me. I had to keep going. ” So, to restore my dignity, I told her that I consider exfoliation crucial for clear and healthy skin, which is the universal end goal. You can use a physical scrub or opt for chemical-based formulas that do the job equally well.”

I raised my eyebrows, mimicking boss woman. To win brownie points, Ms. Perfect mentioned how certain physical agents can be abrasive, causing micro-tears to the skin. Shams muttered, “Bloody noser!” Giving her a grateful look, I went on, “I couldn’t let her get away with making me look stupid. So, I innocently inquired, “You’re not talking about walnut shells, are you now? Yes, such physical exfoliating agents have been a matter of debate but at the end of the day, it all boils down to moderation and the right frequency. You’ll agree to that, won’t you?” You should have seen her face — it looked in need of urgent exfoliation!”, I said laughing.  Shams gave me a high-five and even Becca had a small smile on her face.

Encouraged by my squad’s laughter, I bragged about how I had packed another tasteful punch for Ms. Perfect. After pausing for effect, I continued, “I asked her to try my DIY scrub”. I heard two perfectly synchronized gasps… glaring Becca said, “DIY! Idiot, you just kissed the job goodbye.” I looked at Shams who nodded.

What just happened? How had I landed myself at the receiving end of name-calling?

Lessons from Megha:

  • Unclogging pores by sucking out dirt, sweat, dead skin cells, and excess oil.
  • Physical exfoliation — using a granular formula to scrub skin; chemical exfoliation — putting chemical agents to the task.
  • Maintain a balance — twice a week is ideal.
  • Acne time  ≠ exfoliation time
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