Judge me all you want, just keep the verdict to yourself.
~From a Winston advertisement
I never tell my husband about this. I attended one of the interviews several months ago at one of the prestigious universities in Malaysia for a post of lecturer. So, while waiting for the interview, there was a lady in confinement also attended the interview with her 1-month baby and husband. We had to wait the at the interview venue for 8 to 9 hours including the mock teaching session. Apparently the confined lady was still excited with her newborn and talked about her little angle and how behave her baby is all day long, including when we waited privately for mock teaching season. Anyway, tak kesah la. I don't mind listening all her excitement as long as she not undermine me.
In the first session of the interview, there were three interviewers, a man, an Indian lady and a hijabi Muslim lady. So, when the man interviewer asked me what my plan in 5 years, I replied that I gonna do PhD to qualify me as a real lecturer. I don't know any diction that can substitute the word real but that it was. I said that lecturer should equipped with research skills to answer the calling from government of Malaysia to make our universities to become a research universities, that having Master is not enough, and this plan is like my plan for a betterment to the nation, university and myself. Unless if I'm a lecturer of colleges teaching diplomas students, maybe the research skills not necessarily needed, but even lecturers from polytechs starts engaging in researches. That is different story.
The Indian lady interviewer asked me to describe little bit about my research. So i narrated the DVs and IVs, problems and the unit analysis, plus how much progress I made so far.
The Muslim hijabis interviewer then asked me if I can conduct classes on weekend for part-timers. I said I can. She then asked me if have no parental commitment. I replied that I have no such commitment because I have no kids. She then asked me with smirk,"So you are not a real woman lah?"
I blatantly replied, "No" with wide smile.
The man interviewer and the other interviewer looked petrified for seconds and quickly asked me on other things to cover up the awkwardness.
How did I felt? I felt nothing. Cuma for days later when I'm feeling down, I feel embarassed and patronized for being childless. Embarassed and guilt, I never told this to anyone until I write this here. Embarassed, because being childless is mocked in the job interview. Guilt, if I could replace the word 'real' with another suitable word.