Monday, September 01, 2008

Coincidence? Maybe...

We knew from the start that a move to California would mean that I would have to go back to work. Even with the local economy in the toilet, it is still incredibly expensive to live her. I hit the job listings hard from day one. Unfortunately, there were no jobs available at the school where I wanted to work. I know, I know. One should not be picky when one is desparate to find a job.

Over June and July, I began the process of securing a teaching certificate in California - which is no easy task. Even though there is supposed to be a shortage of teachers here, there are a number of convoluted hoops one must jump through in order to earn a certificate.

As August neared - with no prospects of a job yet - I was beginning to lose hope. What kind of job is a degree in education good for - actually, two degrees in education - other than a teaching job?

And then one day, the high school job I wanted magically appeared online. The next day, I chatted with a friend I knew who worked at the school. Within an hour, he arranged an informal interview with the Vice Principal.

The preliminary interview went well. I had a sense that they would have hired me on the spot if the district would allow it. But the job posting was still active for a few more days, and the powers that be wanted them to interview more than one applicant - which is reasonable.

The only problem was that I was about to drive to Oregon and visit my family for a few days. Lucky for me, I got a call while I was in Oregon that they wanted me to have a formal interview on Monday of that next week. School started only one week later.

So I went to the interview on Monday morning (after spending 11 hours on the road the day before; yes, it took us
that long to get home), and I arrived at 9:00 am. My interview was supposed to be at 9:00 am. I was almost late!

And there was a nicely dressed woman waiting in the office too.

So I found the closest secretary to tell her that I was there, and the nicely dressed lady - Miss America Barbie dressed in a navy blue business blazer and skirt and matching pumps - said, "Oh, I need to tell her that I am here for the interview too!" I thought, "Crap. This much younger and more professionally dressed model is my competition? I am toast!" Needless to say, the gal told me that she had an interview at 9:30 and that there were five interviewees for this job. I thought, "bummer."

The interview went okay, but I went away knowing that I didn't wow
anyone. In fact, some of my interview answers were kind of dumb. For one, when asked what they might observe in my classroom on any given day, I responded much too quickly with, "Organized chaos." Yeah. That's exactly what a principal wants to see in a high school English classroom. Not.

So they didn't call me on Monday, and when they didn't call me on
Tuesday, I knew that I blew it. As the day wore on - 1 pm, 2, 3... by
5 pm I knew I didn't get the job.

I tried to be strong and "accept" it, but I was really feeling like a
total loser. That job was mine, and I blew it!

By 7 pm, I was totally sobbing. And then I realized that there was
nothing I could do about it, so I was trying to accept the reality
that I would have to find another job. The girls were telling me,
"It's okay, Mom. You can be a waitress! You've done that before!"

Their assurances that I could get a job at McDonald's or Applebees
wasn't really consoling me.

Then at 8:30 pm, the principal called my house and offered me the job. I couldn't believe it! She said that it took a while to get hold of my references as everyone is on summer break.

So, yes, I did get the job! Aaaaah!

Later, I apologized to Poetroad for getting all weepy about the job. He said, "It's okay honey. For a whole day, you were a loser. It's good to walk in someone else's shoes once in a while."

Indeed it is. Especially if those shoes are navy blue pumps that exactly match the skirt and blazer worn for a job interview.


Anonymous said...

Yay for you! Congrats! We lived in SoCal for 5 years and I toyed with the idea of getting a teaching certificate there. (Better that I didn't, since then we had the kidlings and moved away.) I'm so glad the principal was smart and hired you!!

bluesugarpoet said...

Thank you, Aerin! :)

JenX67 said...

I was reading profiles of people who like Rich Mullins and came upon your blog. "A prettyhow town" that is from e.e. cummings, right? We have some shared literary interests.

pjd said...

Yay for smart principals! Congrats on the job. Good luck with the first day (or did you already have it?). Let us know how it goes.

Walking in someone else's shoes. How bourgeois.

(Now it's your turn to wish me luck with my job prospect...)

bluesugarpoet said...

Peter - do tell, do tell!!! If I were a gambling woman, I would put all my money on "a novel" or "a story" + "publishing prospect."

Don't leave me hanging, man!

Getting published. How bourgeois.

pjd said...

Sorry, nothing so cool as that. It's an actual job. I think you may know my boss passed away after 14 months with cancer last March. They finally posted the positioning opening after two reorgs, and I have applied for it. After all, I've been mostly doing the job for nearly a year, so I know I'm qualified. I don't know who else has applied, though.

Beth said...

Congrats my fine friend!

bluesugarpoet said...

Thanks, Beth! ;)

Ah, yes - silly me, Peter! You are a shoe in.

And if you see a good looking gal in a matching navy blue outfit waiting to be interviewed, don't be intimidated. You'll know the job is yours for sure.