Way back at the end of June, while I was finishing up the two weeks notice I had given my employer, I saw a job posting. Not just any job posting either, but a posting for my dream job. Even though I felt I had zero chance of getting the job, and even though I was starting a new job in just a few days, I sent my resume in. Then I forgot about it, because you know, real life.
I spent my summer working in a refrigerated warehouse. Every morning – six days a week unless it was my week to have Saturday off – I bundled up in multiple layers of clothing. A long-sleeved t-shirt, followed by a long-sleeved wool t-shirt, followed by a sweater, followed by a hoodie and topped off with an insulated parka, can’t keep you warm for longer than an hour at 51 Fahrenheit, but it will keep you from being able to bend your arms. Seriously, it was so cold I was chasing the propane fork lifts around so I could warm my hands and ass up with the heat coming of the radiator.
This is where I would have a picture of a fork lift radiator, except the last time I updated my phone, it decided it was too good for my computer and they are rarely speaking to each other now. Apparently, they aren’t hooking up tonight.
Because of food safety rules, there was no such thing as having a coffee at my desk, and trying to eat a bagel, drink a coffee and smoke a cigarette in ten minutes is, well lets just say I should have stuck the bagel and coffee in a blender. Instead of bite, chew, swallow, sip, swallow and repeat, it was more bite, sip, chew, sip, swallow. Considering I don’t even like my food touching my other food on my plate, the experience was less than satisfying.
I resigned myself to being bored out of my mind, while freezing my ass off and sneaking bites of bagel out of my coat pocket, for at least another year. Hoping that I could scrape up the money to take night courses at a fast enough pace to get another job while the damn hair net wore a bald spot on my temple. I mourned pretty clothes, or hell even just seasonally appropriate clothes, and the freedom to wear my favorite necklace and bracelet.
Not the nose ring though. I figure after two years of not wearing it, that sucker probably closed right up and I try not to do things that hurt that much more than once.
Early August, out of the blue, we had a shortage of produce to pack. We went home at 4:30 and didn’t have to return until 10 am the next day. Celebrating my good fortune (while trying not to worry about how small that paycheck was gonna be) I went home and checked my email. Remember that dream job? I had a reply! He wanted to know if there was a time that would be good for a phone interview.
Still thinking I had a better chance of winning the lottery than getting this job there was no way I was going to book time off for a phone interview, so I let him know the times I would be available, including the next morning. He emailed back before the end of the evening to set up a time for the next morning.
I’ve never in my life made it past a phone interview, but somehow I made it through that one.
Thursday a week later, still on short hours, I tried not to think about the fact that I was using a weeks worth of gas to drive 3 1/2 hours each way for an interview that would probably come to nothing. I tried to not give too much weight to the fact that the interview went an 1 1/2 – he probably just felt bad that I had to drive so far. I tried not to get optimistic that he toured me through the place or that he discussed compensation in even general terms. And then I went home to wait and try not to count chickens that weren’t likely to hatch.
All day Monday, I tried not to check my phone for an email too often. Monday’s we always start at six am. Monday is also my day to work until the work is done, whatever time that might be, and the produce shortage was apparently over. When 5 o’clock came and went, I gave up on hearing the results of my interview that day. Then at 6:30 my phone vibrated to indicate a new email had come in.
I swiped my screen to read the alert, that little snippet of the email that always shows, and saw “thank you for your time”. My heart, the one I had tried so hard to keep realistic, plummeted. Needing to see the entire rejection I opened the email and just about dropped my phone.
I got the job!!!
This is where I would have put a picture of peanut butter toast, but instead I put this cool badge for you to click on, because a warm friendly place to hang out on the weekend is way better than a picture of peanut butter toast.