Sunday, February 27, 2005

Warning: It's a Personal and Pitiful Post

I’ve been looking for a part-time job. Unfortunately, my school schedule is such that my hours available to work are not very attractive to potential employees. That, and maybe the fact that I have only worked one place my entire adult life (which is now closed, or I’d be working there still) do not seem to be helping my search for gainful employment. It seems I can’t even hire on with the local dog-catcher.

But last Monday, I went on an interview for a full time position and the interview seemed to have gone really well. The job was with our local council on aging and involved going around to five different parishes (counties to everyone but the state of Louisiana) and working with senior citizens to help them obtain free or reduced cost prescription drugs.

The two women who interviewed me said I’d be good working with senior citizens and the woman who actually does the hiring told me the other woman would be calling me on Friday. All week, I could see myself doing this job, and doing it well. The parishes involved were less populated parishes and most of the senior citizens would have been rural people, my favorite kind of senior citizen. It would have been a job where I would have been doing something that made a difference in the world. I would have been so patient and kind and respectful with those people. I would have listened to their stories while getting the job done at the same time. I would have loved the job.

By 1:30 on Friday, no phone call had come, and I could not stand it any longer. I called them, telling the woman I was following up, and after a little pause, she says, “Oh, we hired someone else for that position”. That took the wind right out of my sails. I thanked her and hung up. I cried a minute. I called my husband. I took a deep breath and I stepped outside my comfort zone to call the woman back and ask if there had been a problem with me in the way I handled the interview because everything had sounded so positive when I left. I told her I was excited about the job and thought I would have done it well. She said there was no problem with me, I was a delight to meet, that I would have been good at the job, and that I would have fit in well at the office. She added that they were keeping my application on file in case something else came up, or if this person they hired did not work out.

All I want to know is, if I was such a damned delight to meet, and would have been so good at the job, and would have been a good fit in the office, why didn’t I get the job?

And here is the kicker: I have missed a lot of school due to dealing with my son’s issues, my mother was in the hospital, and I was sick with a coughing, hacking cold. I had gotten behind and did not think I’d be able to catch up. I had considered taking a break this semester because of all the extra problems and stresses, but I only had two semesters left and figured I could force my way through. And somewhere in there, my focus and my motivation and my confidence just disappeared on me. It was like I woke up, and saw that I was a big fat loser surrounded by young and talented kids, and I needed to get outta there fast. I also did not think I could handle school, a job, and the stresses of dealing with my son (and taking care of the rest of my family). There were too many things. Something had to give. I panicked. I choked. So, on Friday, I went and withdrew from all my classes. It was a small consolation that the teacher helping me with the paperwork commented on the heavy class load I was carrying. The teachers certainly would have been understanding and have been for the last year as the problems with my son have become more stressful. In retrospect, maybe I should have cut myself some slack.

As usual, when I make a bone-headed decision like this, I did not confer with anyone. I did not ask for help or advice, I just went out and took care of things myself. In my defense, I thought I had that job aced and in the hole. The pay would have been a little more than I could have expected to get around here in the commercial art field, had I graduated. The job would have been more in line with what I would want to do with my life. Now I have neither school, nor a job.

But tomorrow is another day, and I have a few leads on full time jobs. Just the same, I may be brassy and call those people at the council on aging in a few weeks and ask them how that new person is working out, just in case she is not being nice to those senior citizens. I can’t believe I did not get that job.

I can be kind of harsh with myself. I am trying to avoid that right now, trying to trust that there is a reason for all of this, trying not to bash myself on the head too much for being tired and stressed. It is hard. I would treat the man who called me an asshole for not letting him into the line of traffic (when I had already let two other cars do so, and there were several cars behind me, waiting their turn to go), I would treat that man better than I treat myself. That’s not right. I am going to be kind to my (stupid) self about this whole turn of events.

Anyway, it is no big deal, everyone has their problems. It's just life. See la vie. But I really wanted that job.

I was going through some of my poems and I found this one. The form is called Tanka, the syllable count is 5-7-5-7-7-5. The form encourages more emotion that the more common form of Haiku. Things do look a little dark at the moment, but I think I will hang on and still pray.

They told her to pray,
faith would release God’s blessings.
She could not conceive
her belief would move God’s hand
and so in her darkest night,
she stopped her praying.

And this one, which is rather harsh, but it is what I felt at the time. I no longer feel so melodramatically rotten. That too, is a blessing.

For My Tombstone
The better part of me
must have trickled like tears
down my father’s legs
onto white cotton sheets
to be washed away.

Only dross remains, rolling
into the refiner’s fire, railing
against the flame, wasted
and never purified while the I
I am burns away the I
I might have been.

Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust.
I never was.


  1. Annie. annie annie Annie. Didn't anyone ever give you a magic wand to wave and make it all better? Nah, me neither. we both got gypped. Annie, only in America do people try to be 4 people at 1 time. In other countries, students are students, and they do student things in their student lifestyles. And Moms are Moms, being Moms, doing Mom stuff. And the Full Time workers do F.T.W. because that is what F.T.W. is all about. Only in America do we blur the lines and try to run around at Mach II with our hair on fire and a great big "S" for SuperWoman emblazoned across the front of the fruity-loom t-shirt. Annie, it's okay. You did the right thing. take a little 'me' time and find some work. When you are all settled in pick up with 1 course at a time. Slow as ya go. S-L-O-W. It will all work out. I promise. And when you feel better and your hair stops falling out, I want you to go and rip up "For My Tombstone". Because that is just not rue and you know it. God don't make no junk. There are a lot of people who love you and are rooting for you. They just don't tell you as often as they should. Take care of yourself Annie. If you need a laugh drop over my blog anytime, I post silly stuff for people to read. Life is short, but I'm not. Dan

  2. oh annie, finding work is more work than work isn't it? i had that situation this last summer/early fall. i wanted the guidance counselor position at the tiny little christian high school here. it would have been a rinky dink job, but i would have given it my all.

    they didn't even call me in for an interview or bother to call one of my references... i wasn't even 'qualified' for rinky dink... ugh.

    and i'd say call 'em - show them how much you want that job - the squeaky wheel does get the grease.

    hoping today of the new morning brings you much hope!

  3. OW. Hate when that happens. I can relate some, finding work stinks. I hope that something really great takes the place of this, and I hope you can find it in you to ease up on you. :o)
    I like the pic, did you take it?


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