It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything because I’m too busy WORKING! Yes, chile- I have a job, and a lucrative one at that. Well anything is lucrative when you came from a salary of zero dollars a month. The road has been long, but I have finally made contact with civilization.
It all started with one eventful week back in February. My mother-in-law had texted me after an episode of Shark Tank advising me to apply to a local company that was on the show. As did two other people. I went on the website for R. Riveter and submitted an application, which was kind of like filling out a dating profile. The next day received a call about coming in for an interview!
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, I missed a call during biblestudy. I listened to the voicemail to find that it was from a company- not just someone telling me “there’s something wrong with my credit card account” or trying to get me the money I deserve to go back to school, but an actual reputable company calling for a phone interview!
I returned the call and had the phone interview on the spot. I really didn’t think I did very well, but regardless, I had an offer for a face-to-face interview the following week.
And MEANWHILE, I received a message on Care.com for someone looking for full-time care for their toddler for 3 months, in my home, until Mom went on maternity leave for their second child. I called the angel, I mean woman immediately and she planned to come meet me that Friday.
I went a whole 12 months without a legitimate employment opportunity and within one week, I had three real options for a guaranteed income. Six weeks into the year I had applied at 15 places with about 10 of them saying they were hiring. I didn’t know how to take it! I knew better than to get my hopes up, but it was hard not to be excited.
First I went to the interview at R. Riveter. It was ONE hour away so the balance was not weighted too much in their favor to start. I had a casual interview with one of the founders of the company right on the manufacturing floor. Then and there she offered me an entry level position starting barely above minimum wage with a promised increase after training. And two hours of commute time each time. What was sad was that at that moment, I had to legitimately consider it.
Fortunately, the next day Mom and her little nearly two-year old came to meet me. I was very impressed by the little girl, and even more impressed that they trusted me enough to offer me the job! This was very much a blessing because I was finally able to stop considering R. Riveter. I would earn more money babysitting while being able to retain my will to live by not having to drive on the long, slow, North Carolina roads for 2 hours a day.
Taking care of the toddler was awesome. I had been excited about it because I like kids and I thought having a child around would help my husband envision himself as a parent. Not only did I get some lessons in parenting from her mother, I got a glimpse of what can be so special about children as did Spencer. We found ourselves discussing this little girl well after she was gone for the day and laughing over and over at the videos she made over. I still find myself “quoting” her- “I’m sked [scared].” What are you afraid of? “uhhh, cows.” She did have her moments of defiance and helped me to understand the ways in which having kids can be exhausting, one of which is how you have to make them do the right things all day long lest they grow up to be one of those people you don’t want to be in a group project with.
Five days into Toddler Watch, I had another interview. While I thought it went well, I was still surprised to find an invitation to a second interview the following week that afternoon.
Next thing I knew, I had an offer for a job—a real job with a guaranteed income! I was so pleased, but I wouldn’t be able to fully celebrate until I got my first paycheck. My first day was a month away and a lot could happen. Anything could happen. ANYTHING. I trusted no one. I wasn’t counting my coins until they clinked (in my pockets).
When the start was closer I was both excited, relieved, and a little sad. I knew working would be more stressful because I wasn’t used to being in public for more than a few hours at a time. I wasn’t going to get to spend as much time with Spencer or go to Crossfit. And above all, I was concerned about being disappointed.
The Toddler’s grandmother came in town right before I started my job to begin her extended visit until the new baby came. How perfect was that?
On the first day of training, the instructor asked who was here just for a paycheck. I lowkey raised my hand. Self-actualizing as a Customer Service Professional wasn’t on my 5-year plan. I knew what my strengths were and I didn’t see answering the phone as part of them. Three months in, I still wouldn’t consider being a CSP a strength, but I do value the skill of this job. I also see how it can be the stepping stone to where I want to be. Plenty of the senior leadership started on the phones. Surprisingly, this company has an impressive amount of opportunities available to people who start at this level. It’s not about what degree you have, but it’s about skills and performance. In some ways, this is the best job I have had. It definitely doesn’t pay the best, but having opportunities, incentives, hope can be worth so much more.
When I consider the fact that I’m employed, I think of how fragile control is. If not for my friend referring me to the job, I don’t think I would have gotten an interview, despite the hours I had put in applying and working on my resume and GETTING A FOUR YEAR DEGREE. I really believe that it’s about who you know. I also appreciate the fact that I’m working for a company that has a presence in basically every state, which means I could possibly transfer if we have to move. And if I don’t get to transfer, I can’t help but feel pleased that I will at least be able to put a new set of skills on my resume. Instead of working really hard to make my work experience fit a job, I’ll actually have the skills for this common job.
I’m very happy to feel like we are back in the black! I no longer have a panic attack each time I pay for groceries. And I no longer have that clock ticking counting the amount of time I am unsuccessful at finding a job. It’s actually funny to think about all the emotions I went through in unemployment. I felt so powerless and like I used poor judgement for my life decisions. Frankly, I forget about those times and really only think about how nice it was to spend the first year of my marriage focused on taking care of my husband. Today, I’m glad I had that experience. From this journey I have learned that the obstacles don’t define me. Those good emotions are the ones I can still relate to and the sad ones are the ones I only remember happened. I am smart, I am talented, I have potential and circumstances can’t change those facts. I can’t believe how much I cried over that temporary circumstance which was really the rising action in my storyline. Don’t get caught up in the drama of your “disappointing” life, just get ready for work, work, work, work…