Sunday, September 25, 2011

And the Life Journey Continues

Yes indeed.  I've pretty much recovered from my surgery. Back to doing vacuuming and laundry but no Zumba.
DH is well - in fact, you'd never know he'd had a heart attack.
Ds #2 is still having epileptic seizures - going for another EEG this coming week - sleep deprived- to see if the increased med's and dual combo are doing what the neurologist suspects and that is - Controlling them! That'd be great!  -- not so great is the loss of sleep.  I've been having some issues with that lately.

It might have something to do with sinus pressure.  It might also have something to do with stress.

Let's see. One week before I was to start back to work, my boss called on a Monday and asked, When are you coming back?  I need you! - I said child care was all set and I was coming back that Monday.  Great!

Got a phone call on the Friday that same week.
"This is a hard phone call to make" -- it is?  Yep seems she went and talked to some financial folks who "officially" told her what me and my co-worker were trying to tell her for years.

The end result - she was downsizing , restructuring and she laid both me and my co-worker off.   Who, in fact had just left for vacation for a week and a half. 

Surprise!

So, I've been unemployed for almost two months.
I've sent out resumes.  I've gone to classes that talk about writing the perfect cover letter, doing the perfect resume, how to act in the perfect interview and am now looking to take classes at another career center to strengthen my Excel skills.

The only nibbles I've had are two scams, a note from the Red Cross apologizing that the job I applied for wasn't in the city listed but somewhere else...like an hour and a half away!  Was I still interested?  Ha!- um , no.  Three hours on the road for a part time job is stupid.

I've signed up at Monster.com, and LinkedIn, and Indeed, and I surf Craiglist and the state's job listings - all to no avail.

I've also noticed that more and more jobs require a Bachelors degree. Not too shabby if I was looking at executive or high end jobs. But no.  Data entry, folks.   They required a Bachelors degree just to do data entry and they usually don't specify a degree.  How insulting is that?   A person goes to school for four years just to do what anyone who can type and transcribe with accuracy, does?   Amazing.

So, what did I do?  A little over three weeks ago, there was this tiny advertisement in my town's local paper.  One of the offices in town hall had a little eight hour part time position open for a clerk.   I looked at it and thought, "Hmmmm, I can do all that."

So, the very next day, I drove into town, got the application, filled it out ...and waited.  After about nine days, I called to follow up.  Unfortunately, my allergies had turned into a cold and Minnie Mouse was back.  I called to check the status of the application in the morning when I had a voice.  No one called me back until way late in the afternoon, when Minnie Mouse was in full vocal splendor.  The man on the phone hung up laughing.

Well, that was that.   I thought.

Last week I got a call.  "Are you still interested in the position?"  oh, heck yeah! So it was arranged that I'd have my interview the following week - at night!  6PM. 

When I got there, I was interviewed by two ladies. Both high on the Commission hierarchy. 
Now, realize that I've been typing for years.  Here on the blog when it was really active, then reviewing.  I had to do a typing sample.  Should be easy, right?
Shot myself in the foot!

I never looked at hand placement on the keyboard and I blithely typed away - that is until I was almost done, looked up and gave out an audible horrified gasp.  It was all gobbldy gook!

They let me erase and have a do over.  I'm quick and it didn't take long, but by that point, nerves were jangling.  I never really proofed for typos. If they were there, oh well.

Then came the dreaded questions every interviewee quakes in fear of.  "Why do you want this job?"  And "How do you handle angry people?" 

I think I was unique in my answer to the first.  And I BS'd on the second.  Although I believe it was a good answer. My old co-worker certainly thought so when I later relayed it to her. 

In any event, they were meeting another applicant after me.   I didn't think I presented well at all.   I chalked it up to a learning experience.  I mean, I hadn't gone to an "official" interview in over a decade! 

You wouldn't believe how long I studied all those notes I got from the Career Center! I even went so far as to record myself answering questions to see how many "umms" and "Ahhs" and other stalling stutters that are common in vocal communication that are to be avoided in interviews.  I wrote notes, made a cue card - practically spent all day preparing for a twenty minute interview!  (( I didn't use any of it, lol))

Very nerve wracking.

The next morning I got a phone call. 

"Hello, I just got off the phone with your old boss. She gave you a glowing recommendation and if you want the job, it's yours."

WHAT? Well blow me down.  Not what I was expecting at all.  As a formality, she has to write a letter of recommendation to the town's selectmen and present it for voting.  She said I'm a shoe-in and to start next Thursday.  Cool!

And you might ask, why take such a small hour per week job?  First of all - the self-esteem.  I can't believe how much self-worth is attached to working and believing I'm doing something important and contributory to something greater than housework.

Second, experience.  I loved my last job, don't get me wrong.  I'd still be there if I could.  But this one will challenge me like no other, having me do things that are truly needed.  Updating their website , jumping into their backlog of filing, greeting people!  I missed that.  I was only a voice on a telephone for 99% of the people I interacted with every day at my old job.  I will strenthen the computer skills I have while learning how to use something new on the job.  The very skill that SO many jobs out there ask for, and for which I had no knowledge existed until I started looking for work, is the Access program.  I know it's database stuff and people have told me it's easy.  I can't wait to learn!

I still have to look for a "real job" but now I want to work around this current position. I'm expecting to enjoy it and there IS the possibility for an hours increase in the future.  That's what I was told.  In fact, that is what my going-to-be boss told my old boss.  Why would she even share that information if it weren't true? 

Most amazing for me is the commute.  I'll be going from a 45 minute drive one way, to ten minutes.   That will be a boon in the winter, let me tell you.  Yay!

So, financially, this isn't a huge help.  Mentally and emotionally, it's major.  I'm nervous but very excited too.

The thing is - all those dozens and dozens of resumes I've sent were for jobs, just jobs.  This new position is working for the preserving of our environment.  This is something that I believe in and really can get excited about. This is something that has meaning!  

This is a whole new journey I'm on and I'm not too sure where it's going to take me, but for now, it's not going to take me long to get there.
Ten minutes, imagine!

Wish me luck!