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New Job

It was 12/12/12. The entire lunch room full of fifth and third graders were watching the minute hand sweep around from 12:11:30 to 12:12.  I pawed at the bank of light switches to turn the lights all off at the same time to get everybody's attention. We've trained the kids to shut their voices off when the lights go off, and this time, most of them quit talking. "It's 12:12 on 12/12/12, everybody make a really important wish!" I yelled over the din and clatter of 200 kids eating lunch in a big, poorly noise-damped cafeteria.  I had no idea that 200 kids could fall that silent.  It was a long twenty seconds of absolute stillness as they all made their most cherished wish.    I usually wish for my family and friends good health and happiness when birthday candles and stray eyelashes and shooting stars cross my path, but this time, a stray thought out of nowhere jumped to the forefront: I wish I had a better job.  It was like God whispered in my ear.

Last week a job posting appeared on the bulletin board by the teachers' lounge for a Media Technologist in a school across town, open to in-house staff only, only those with a basic background in tech troubleshooting need apply, applications being accepted for two weeks only.  I meditated three days before I got the courage up, with the goading from my beloved co-worker and close friend, The Other Gina (srsly how weird is that? I never hear my name attached to somebody else!), to apply.  I stopped in the principal's office and said that besides needing to get a full-time job because the triplets need braces and Anna needs a car, the job is perfect for me, in the center of a very specific venn diagram of kids and books and tech. She gave me her blessing and put a good word in for me with the principal of the other school.

I filled out the application online, wincing at that pesky 12 year gap in my resume where I apparently wasn't doing anything very important as raising my kids wasn't a valid occupation, and about 15 minutes after I hit send, the principal in question gave me a call to set up an interview.

So the interview was today.  I tried to just be myself and avoided those weirdo mind-games that I get tangled in when I feel like I'm being manipulated (except for that one time when I admitted that I didn't know apple products as well as I should because I had always regarded them as toys for people who just want the thing to work, however awkwardly, without having to know how or why).  I told a lot of funny little anecdotes about family and my relationships with the kids and staff at school.  At this point, I can't even remember much of what I said, so I have to trust that The Spirit was moving through me, firing my brain cells in a specific order and making my mouth say what needed to be heard.  I sort of just remember echoes, something about keeping the Good Ship afloat and giggling about how when I read aloud, I do all the voices, even.

When I got home, I was a hot mess of crazy. The girls got a big kick out of me running a mile a minute, doing silly magical thinking about my prospects and how I would be ok if things didn't work out. I was pacing the floor, talking in circles, and wondering if I might throw up so finally they sent me off to calm down so they could get their homework done in peace. I sat down at the piano and couldn't complete the first three songs I started. Just lost focus right in the middle. Took me 20 minutes of fooling around to be able to concentrate.

So then I'm right in the middle of the big fat blues finale of Piano Bar, like at 5:59 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBRM-yhuQJc) and I'm beating the hell out of my poor piano and my poor hands and the phone is ringing and the dog is barking and the kids are laughing about something on Gabby's google reader.  And then it all comes into focus that Claire has been saying "Mom, phone" for quite a while.  I assumed it was telemarketers.  Turns out it was the principal I'd just interviewed with offering me the job.

Holy shit.

So I didn't hardly hear a thing he said except for needing to start immediately and communicating with the head office and such. And I don't remember a thing I said except for "Wonderful" and "we are going to have all kinds of fun" and maybe "Gonna do a happy dance after I get off the phone".  Then we hung up.

I'm still having a hard time thinking through all this.  I'm going to have to make my apologies to the two teachers I've been working closely with.  There are three first graders who I've been working with closely to bring up to speed on reading at grade level. Two are just about fine but the third, who just moved here and just started to get the hang of working with me, is going to feel betrayed, I think.  My kindergartners, all 100 of them, are going to wonder where I went. It's going to be rough to say goodbye, and I think I'm going to have to say it tomorrow, or, later today, as it turns out--how did it get to be 1AM?

But this is the last thing, the last puzzle piece.  I have driven myself nuts thinking that the only thing missing from my fabulous life is a job that means something to me and a fun title that I can throw around when people ask me what I do for a living, shallow as that is.  This will be the first job I've had that is grown-up enough to offer benefits and a retirement plan.  So I guess I had a good run, made it to 38 before I got a real job.

Wish me luck. 


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2013 01:01 pm (UTC)
Feb. 15th, 2013 02:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I didn't think anyone was even reading this anymore. Had to write it out so I could calm down enough to get some sleep. Gosh I could just break into song and a nice little Busby Berkeley dance number, I'm so excited!
Feb. 15th, 2013 02:57 pm (UTC)
That's awesome! Congratulations!
Feb. 15th, 2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
Good for you! As it happens, I put in an application at the local school district Wednesday for a data analyst. Here's to hope, I've been unemployed since October.
Feb. 16th, 2013 07:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I get two afternoons of training with the guy who is leaving the position and then I'm not sure if I get more time there until I take the reins March 1st. Kind of scary. But am used to winging it in life!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )