Monday, January 5, 2015

If it's good enough for the Queen of England...

I am hellaciously late in getting a blog written. I reread the previous year’s Christmas blogs and thought, “Oh, so much has changed, I ought to write about…” Obviously I did not, as the last blog posted was in November. It isn’t that I don’t love to blog, it is that the other writing and authorly stuff that I do is occupying a lot of my brain space, and I don’t want my blog to be about writing. It is supposed to be about me reinventing myself. One could easily argue that the writing stuff is about my reinvention, but let’s face it, you only want to hear so much about that!

So, let me tell you an amusing story about a young woman who loves to write, sometimes feels a little isolated, and thought it would be fun to get a job that pays actual money. This girl was in the grocery store with her family and saw a sign with employment opportunities on it. “Hmm,” she thinks, “This could be fun, easy work, get me out of the house, and pay for a few things.” She returned home and filled out the on-line application. Since it was a Saturday afternoon, she went about her life, forgetting all about working at a grocery store, until she received an email first thing Monday morning with a request for a job interview. She was excited. Nervous, but excited. “Do I go, don’t I go?” She spent the morning talking herself in and out of the job interview.

Two hours before the interview, she showered, donned some professional looking clothes and made her way to the nearby grocery store. Up a long flights of stairs to the Employee Lounge she went, to enter the holding pen of many a nervous beefy young man! The nervous young woman found a seat and surveyed the motley group, struggling to remember the other positions available. One by one, the young men disappeared into the manager’s office, and one by one, they reappeared looking confident. At last it was the young woman’s turn.

The manager politely shook her hand, gave her “the good chair,” and sat down on a metal folding chair. Scanning her resume, he asked his first question, “Do you know which job you applied for?”

Caught by surprise, she held her breath for a brief moment before replying, “Courtesy Clerk.”

Smiling at her, the middle-aged balding man nodded his head. The young woman felt relieved. She hadn’t marked the wrong box! “Do you know what a Courtesy Clerk is?” The manager asked her, looking doubtful.

“Isn’t that the person who helps out at the Customer Service desk? Helps customers find things, sell cigarettes and lottery tickets?” She ventured the guess, based upon her observations at her local grocery store.

“No! You’d be good at that. A Courtesy Clerk bags groceries, collects carts, and cleans the bathrooms!”

The young woman smiled broadly and decided to be candid, “Er’, not what I am looking for.” All those beefy young men were starting to make more sense. “If I wanted to clean bathrooms, I’d be at home.”

The manager, who had introduced himself, but whose name she’d long forgotten, laughed heartily with her. After they settled down, he scanned her resume for a moment before admitting aloud that he had wondered why a young woman with more than enough academic qualifications would be looking for a job at a grocery store bagging groceries and cleaning bathrooms. She answered cheekily. “Do you have anything else?”

At this point the manager tapped away at his keyboard and flipped through a couple different windows on his computer screen. Turning the monitor towards the young woman, he showed her the list of job opportunities. “Fish Clerk?” he asked in a hopeful, perky voice.

“What do they do?” She asked, wanting precise information. Wrinkling her nose after he explained the knife wielding, pungent details, she said, “No thank you.” To which he quickly countered, “Cake decorating?” While it sounded like fun, she admitted she’d never done any. “Deli?” Was his response to her admission. Apparently experience was necessary. “What are the hours?” She asked, starting to feel hopeful. “Noon to 9:00pm.” The manager at this point appeared genuinely eager. Ruminating for a split second, the young woman said, “I thought the job was for the day shift. 8-5 or some such.” Shaking his head, looking at her somewhat bewildered again, he replied patiently, “No, grocery stores don’t have that kind of scheduling.” She looked at him, at the computer screen to see if any other jobs were listed, but was unable to make out the small font. “Alright then, no. I have to be home by 5:00.”

Still utterly patient, the manager dashed a glance at the computer monitor. “What kind of position do you see yourself holding?”

“Customer Service Clerk or cashier! 8:00-5:00. Are those ever available?”

After the manager and I shared a long laughter filled moment, I shook his hand, apologized for taking his time, and then boldly asked, “How long do you keep resumes on file?”

Hence I sit here quite happily and type this blog. All in all, everything worked out for the best.

Happy New Years! May 2015 be full of dreams, successes and laughter.