Saturday, September 18, 2004

Opportunity Knocks

I have had a lot happen to me this past week. I don't think that I can fit it all into one blog entry, partly because I don't have the time to type it all, and partly because I don't know how the story is going to end just yet. But I can start with what's happend so far, anyway. It all started last weekend when opportunity knocked.

Last weekend I was cleaning the office and thinking to myself that I really, really hate cleaning the office on the weekends. I want my weekends to myself. The only reason I even agreed to clean the office was because I desperately needed more hours. Even though I have a good job and I work in a really nice office, I would like to work at my job and not have to do additional things (like janitorial work) to make ends meet. Sure, I can do it, and I am doing it, but I'd rather just do one job at a time. So I am cleaning and thinking along these lines when the vacuum cleaner starts acting funny. Then it starts acting really funny and making a strange noise. As I turn the &!@% thing off, I notice a thin wisp of smoke trailing out from the engine vents.


Why me?.....

At first I thought that it was my fault. I had been suspecting that the bag was getting full, but I had been avoiding changing it for two reasons: A) I didn't have a new bag to put into it, and B) I didn't know how to install a new bag even if I had one, and C) I didn't really care that much, mainly because of that certain weekend laziness that tends to kick in on weekends. Yes, I know that that's technically three reasons, but I don't really feel like going back and fixing what I already wrote, and who cares, it's my blog and no one reads it anyway. So I'm kicking myself thinking that I ruined the office vacuum cleaner and it's gonna come out of my paycheck. Combined with the I-hate-cleaning-the-office feelings I had been experiencing earlier, I wasn't feeling exactly warm and fuzzy about my work that day. So I went and bought a newspaper. I went straight to the employment listings, and what did I find? A want ad for an Optometry office in Morro Bay looking for an optician. "experience preferred, will train right person" Ding ding ding ding ding!!! We have a winner!! Well, it didn't quite happen like that, but it certainly caught my attention. I munched on it for a day, then decided I would send in my resume. I updated my list of accomplishments and printed it out with a nice cover letter, got up first thing on Monday morning and dressed myself real nice to make a good first impression, and dropped it off with the office manager. I wasn't very sure they would respond at all, so I was very surprised that by lunchtime that same day I had a message on my phone from the office manager asking me for an interview. Wow. I went in for the interview on Thursday morning and I think it went really well. The gal who interviewed me was nice, and the office looked very nice and well run. I was briefly introduced to the other staff members, who seemed friendly, too. That day I left and went back to work at 1, and when I checked my phone at 5, I had a message asking me to come back in for a second interview with the doctor herself. Wow again! I called back at about 5:10, and they asked me if I could come in at 5:30. I already had plans that I couldn't ignore, so I had to say no. The receptionist put me on hold, then the doctor came to the phone to talk to me herself. She asked again if I could come at 5:30, and I said no, I'm sorry I can't. So she says, "well if you can't come in tonight, do you think you can make it tomorrow?" I said yes, and arranged with her that we would meet at 5:30 the next day, Friday. She said she was looking forward to meeting me, we exchanged some pleasantries, and we hung up.


Now maybe its just me, but things seemed to be moving a little bit fast at that point. I was still trying to figure out how on earth I had suddenly found myself back in the world of resumes and interviews, when I'm getting called in for the formal "second interview". Translation: "we're seriously considering hiring you". And this isn't just some side job like I've always held in the past. I wouldn't be working part time doing busywork for someone else, or a receptionist answering phones all day and filing paperwork, I'd be an optician. That's like, a real career! We're talking full time, salary, benefits, retirement package, paid time off, the works. C-A-R-E-E-R. I know I'm making a big deal out of that, but I'm still getting used to the possibility that maybe I'm finally going to be getting a career. I've always wanted one, but I've never been able to, being a college student and all. And now, all of a sudden, before my very eyes, the possibility is presenting itself. I am so excited!

But I'm losing my train of thought. At that point, I was starting to get really nervous. I was only just recovered from the nervousness of the interview I'd had that same morning, and already I had to start preparing myself to meet with the doctor who would be hiring me. She had sounded very professional on the phone, very "let's get to the point". Shrewd, I think would be a good word to describe my initial impression of her. So I started preparing myself mentally for my second interview. I felt like a deer in headlights when I thought about how the next day was going to go. I was going to be working from 9-5, then I had to get back to my apartment and change clothes, then drive through that typical end-of-the-day traffic to get to Morro Bay by 5:30. That's cutting it pretty close. I knew timing would be everything, and I was worried. I just wanted it to be over.

That night I couldn't stop thinking about my upcoming interview, and I did some pretty stupid stuff to try and get my mind off of it that didn't help much. I thought I had been in enough interviews to know pretty much everything I should expect, but I didn't have any idea what was in store for me. But this entry is already getting pretty long, so I'm going to stop for now. When I blog again, I'll describe the details of my second interview. Or, as I've started thinking of it, The Interrogation.

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