It is a week of we’ll see. A month of maybes. A summer of sometime. Every moment of hope keeps being swatted down. But still I rise. The Fifth Season lingers, disappearing for a day or two and then re-emerging in smells and pools of vomit. I swear there was a day where I saw vomit everywhere.
Remember the job I applied to in July? I went in and tested, and the man told me I hadn’t done well on the hands-on, but perfectly on the written so he thought I could be trained and he was going to recommend I go forward in the interview process. And then nothing. That job was also unique because I had applied directly with the company through LinkedIn. Not a staffing agency. Well, that job got posted again on Tuesday. I had written the Human Resources woman about three weeks after that testing and asked if I was still under consideration, with no reply. This time I wrote her through LinkedIn and told her that Richard had told me he’d advance me for an interview, and while I knew I hadn’t done well, I had been practicing and was sure I could do better. Hey, if I don’t advocate for myself….. Also, most job advice is “let them know you really want the job.”
She wrote right back and told me she had no problem with letting me test again, and to ask Taria to schedule me. Great! Who the hell is Taria? But, I want to show that I am a woman of the 21st century, so I did not write back and ask for more info. I did a LinkedIn search for Taria and the company name, and sure enough I found her and wrote her a message conveying the HR woman’s wish that I be retested. Good for me! And then – nothing. I waited 30 hours, and wrote to the HR woman asking if perhaps Taria is out of the office? I waited another 24 hours and wrote to both of them through my outlook email. I am really hoping I hear this week, and I’ve been working all weekend, teaching myself the stuff I didn’t know. Vincent says he feels it in his little finger, that this will be the one that works out. His little finger has been known to be wrong.
Meanwhile, I went to Brooklyn on Wednesday to see old friend Wayne and his beautiful gorgeous house. Yes, an entire old Victorian house. Tons of polished inlaid wood panels, original plaster decorations, original gas lines. So absolutely gorgeous. He has benefited from the real estate boom, that allowed home values to increase. Wayne is a friend from Chapter 2, and my job at Deutsche Bank. He is one of the very special people in the world, and I have learned a lot from him. We had 18 years of catching up to do and it was wonderful. He had just gotten married when I left, so I also got to meet his wife. We are all going through life changes. It is also so fascinating to meet my friends from 18 years ago. They have all changed careers, moved on, some more successfully than others. Wayne is a public school teacher, and not only loves it, but excels at it. I’m not surprised, because he’s just the right kind of person. Deeply moral and ethical, and deeply connected to other people. When I told them about all of my “almosts” they both agreed I was due. I hold on to that. I know agreements and pinky fingers don’t really have any say in what goes on in the world, but they are somehow related to the balance of the universe.
It was Yom Kippur on Wednesday. When I got off the train in Brooklyn that evening I was surrounded by hundreds of young men in black suits and yarmulkes. There was a huge tent erected in the street, and the police were guiding traffic at one end. I think it was in front of a synagogue. For a moment I thought it was for a wedding, but then realized it was Yom Kippur. They close the schools now for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Amazing. So nice to be here.
In the meantime, the job has gotten more interesting. I think I am actually doing paralegal work. I also got bumped up to QA, (Quality Assurance), which means I get to check other people’s work. This gives me a slight sense of superiority. Not only because my project manager has been thanking me for my hard work and seems to be implying that I’m going above and beyond. Maybe this will lead to a real job. Who knows?
I did finally reconnect with my performance artist friend, and we are still going to try to do the workshop of her play at New Dramatists. So, promising. Haven’t heard from the documentary film guy, although I’ve sent two “I’m still here” messages.
I keep applying, but the jobs are recycling at this point. CareerBuilder and Indeed send me the same jobs over and over again. Some I get excited about. I keep hoping I stumble into a new engaging and lucrative career.
I found a new way to work that cuts my commute by 10 minutes (making it just under an hour). I found the express train goes to Wall Street which is a short walk from the other direction to my office. Before I was taking the local from the end to the express, and then changing back to the local for the last two stops. Now I can take the local, then the express and that’s it. When I exit on Wall Street it’s like walking into the bottom of a canyon. I don’t recall ever spending time down by the New York Stock Exchange, but once, and I don’t think it used to be closed off to traffic. Now it’s set up for pedestrians and full of tourists. The first time I went to work that way and exited the station I wasn’t sure which way to go, but just looking around there’s the tower of Trinity Church between the skyscrapers. It’s really beautiful. I walk past the giant statue of George Washington commemorating the building where he was sworn in as President. Everything is gated and bricked off. Another casualty of 9/11. But it’s really a benefit, because it is wonderous to walk through.
On Friday I got my drivers license, finally! I am officially a New Yorker for the third time. I had made an appointment and shown up three weeks ago, not realizing it was so far out. Once there, the whole process took me 45 minutes. I don’t plan to drive so much as I wanted to register to vote before the deadline, so now I am at ease on that account.
Things I still love. Getting to know the local businesses. I lived in Kalamazoo for 18 years and frequented many establishments, and never got to know anyone’s name. Sometimes I knew someone who owned a store, but that’s different. I mean the places you go daily, see the same face daily, say hi to daily, but never go beyond that. I’m trying to get to know the little stores on my block. At least from my front door to the first light. So, there’s the Acapella pizza place (where Pax had his meltdown), I don’t know names, but I do wave to them as I go by each way. There’s Ismael’s. He’s working so hard to make a go of his store, just had new menus printed and he’s specializing in Spanish food. He’s from the DR. I went in there the other day to buy milk and it had expired by several days. I pointed that out to him and he became incensed because they’d just had a milk delivery. Next time in he thanked me for helping to catch the mistake. So, that’s where I buy milk. Next to his place is a tailor dry cleaning place. I think it is an entire family who runs it, the older ladies who don’t speak English do the sewing and the younger ladies who do handle the cash register. I went in early once with dry cleaning and the older lady there and I couldn’t communicate, so we just put post-its on it.
I also had two dresses I bought in Idaho over 20 years ago that I really like, and are pretty formal, but they are size 22. On my last trip to Kalamazoo I brought them back with me and had them refitted by these Latinas. Then there’s a little shop I haven’t explored yet, it was closed when I moved in. It’s a little sandwich shop. Down the hill there’s another deli I can get toilet paper and quick stuff at. I think it’s a bookie, because I frequently see people waiting in line with nothing in their hands. When they get to the front they mumble something and the guy behind the counter jots it down. Then he rings up my toilet paper. This place is run by some Arabic people advertising halal food.
I also have learned to cook squid. I love squid, and used to eat it in NYC all the time because it was on most menus, whether Italian or Chinese. I find it mostly frozen in every store and it’s really cheap. Just to make sure I looked it up and apparently it’s sustainable and not polluted, and an excellent low fat source of protein, so good choice. I’ve been throwing it into soups and pasta dishes.
Last week I started trying to budget more by not buying lunches and breakfasts at work. I’m cooking on Sunday and brining my food again, and it works out okay. I’m getting more and more tight, financially, so really hoping something good happens soon. I hope Monica (of the “you’re a Gem!” firm) suddenly puts a word in for me, or Richard (of the “I’ll give you a chance”) is glad to see me again, or Joe (of the “how’d you like to freelance, I’ll send you some stuff”) or one of the hundreds of other applications I’ve made at Columbia, CUNY, SUNY etc. will finally work out.
They say it’s just being the right person for the right job. There’s so much I could do. Matchmaker, Matchmaker, make me a match! Or maybe I should sing to the pinky finger.