Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How Drums Led to Job

Jackson has decided he wants to start a garage band. I don't have enough noise or chaos in my world, so I'm fine with the idea. The only problem is that he doesn't have a drum set. So Friday afternoon I figured I'd search on Freecycle to see if there were any drum sets out there. The only problem was that I accidentally searched Craigslist instead of Freecycle. It took a minute before I realized I'd typed in Craigslist by mistake. Before I left the page, however, the job listings caught my eye. I clicked on the writer/editor category and saw a listing for a "Geek with a Clever Sense of Humor."  A job for a writer with a sense of humor? I've got to see this!

You should have a positive personality, be laid back and positive, enjoy wearing jeans, shorts and casual clothes for work and generally being involved in all sorts of things geekish, enjoy being creative, have a good sense of humor and pick up on things quickly. We will school you on content and hand feed you that but you must be able to spin it with humor and personality as we're known as having a "real" voice on the internet. 

Getting paid to do what I already love to do? I have got to check this out! I emailed my resume right away. I knew I wouldn't get a response until Tuesday at the earliest since it was Friday evening on a holiday weekend. I was wrong. I got the following email a couple hours later.

Hi Dawn-

Your resume is lacking a digit so I'm emailing.

Assuming you are still in school so I could do an interview this Sat at 11 am or Monday at 12.

Let me know if either works-

I left part of my phone number off my resume??? Who does that?! What kind of fool doesn't put a full phone number on her resume? "Meticulous attention to detail." Oh yeah, that's me, all right.

Yesterday I got ready for my interview and Mapquested directions to the office. Since it was half an hour away, I planned on leaving an hour before my appointment in order to allow enough time for me to get lost. Yes, getting lost is a foregone conclusion. 

I got my kids situated and left for the interview. As I started driving, I remembered that my gas gauge is broken. It indicated a full tank, but I knew that wasn't so. I tried to recall the last time I'd filled up. Better stop and get gas. It would suck to run out on the way to an interview. After filling up, I hopped in my van and pop! The AC went out. Nooooooooo! I just paid a couple hundred dollars to get that fixed! At a red light, I fished around in the glove compartment for my box of fuses. I quickly popped out the blown fuse and replaced it. The icy air hit me, providing a respite from the near-hundred degree temperatures. Twenty seconds after the air started, it went out again. Noooooooo! Why? Why do these things happen to me?

I drove to the interview, got lost, drove around in a circle, following the directions of my temperamental GPS which apparently couldn't make up its mind as to the whereabouts of the office. I wiped the sweat out of my eyes and glanced at the clock. Oh crap! It's 11:00 now and I'm not there. I didn't allow enough time to get lost! My GPS said, "Turn right. I mean left. No, better make that a right. Drive around the block a couple times. Rerouting." I ripped the thing off my dash and threw it into the back seat.

Giving up, I called the office and asked for directions. The receptionist named some roads and asked me if I was familiar with them. I lied and said, "Yes. Yep, no problem. I got this." She mentioned that there was a big billboard across the street. Aha! A billboard! That, I can understand. I looked up, spotted the billboard and realized I was directly across the street from the office. Yay!

I ran into the office, sweating from my hour-long drive in 97 degree heat. The receptionist welcomed me and a woman walked up, introduced herself as the one who emailed me for the interview, and held out her hand in greeting. I hesitated a moment before offering her a handshake. My body temperature was about 120 and my hand (along with every other part of me) was dripping sweat. There's nothing classier than a hot, clammy handshake. Oh wait, yes there is something classier! My voice.

"Hi, I'm Dawn. I don't always sound like an 80-year-old chain smoker. I've been sick all week."

"Oh, I'm not worried about that at all," said the woman who was going to interview me. Translation: I'm not as concerned about your voice as I am the fact that it looks like you just went swimming. In your clothes. Gross.

This was my first interview since before I had kids. I mean, I had an interview when I started my job here at the school, but that was more of a formality as my boss already knew me and knew what my strengths were. During this interview she stumped me with questions like, "What's one thing about you that people would find surprising?" My first instinct was to answer, "I'm actually a man. That usually surprises people," but I was afraid she wouldn't get my sense of humor and think I was a total freak. Or a man. Or a freaky man. Instead, I stared off into space, trying to come up with some little tidbit that was surprising. I came to the conclusion that I'm an open book. No surprises here. What you see is what you get. I'm plain and ordinary and boring. The white bread of humanity.

Despite my leaving a digit off my phone on the resume, my stammering at her questions, my inability to think on my toes, my clammy, sweaty hands, my mere 70 wpm on the typing test, the less-than-impressive blog post I had to compose on the spot, and my Bea Arthur voice, she offered me a job contingent upon passing the drug test. It pays way less than the school and I'll be spending way more on gas, but as long as I can pick up some more writing gigs for the summer, I think I can make it work. It seems like a really fun, laid-back place to work and the employees come across like a family who likes to joke around. I have no doubt that I'll enjoy working there and I'm excited to start!

And all this came about because Jackson wants to start a garage band. Thanks, Jackson! And if anyone knows of someone getting rid of a drum set . . .

image: courtesy morguefile


noexcuses said...

This is sooo you, Dawn! Congrats on the job! You are going to be great! Who knows where it will take you! So I guess a visit to Chicago this summer is out of the question... I'm really glad you found the job!

Kelly Hockaday said...

That's AWESOME!!!! Hopefully this will lead to more writing gigs...that pay better...but ya gotta start somewhere. And no...I don't have a set of drums. :-)

New Life and Attitude said...

I think that within the week you are going to be offered a promotion! Hopefully they have now read your blog and how you can find humor in anything. Plus you have a HUGE fan club that will give them new exposure.

Anonymous said...

I know it's not free, but around here we have a couple of music stores and they all do lay-away on drum sets. I got a used Pearl set for about $400 bucks and paid it out over a couple of months. I hope he's able to find a set! Music opens up the soul!!

Sarah said...

You will be great!! Exactly the thing for you! So does this mean you will no longer work at the school? Seems like you couldn't do both, but then you are superwoman, so I don't want to underestimate you...remember all this started with that Pokemon eBay post...! :)

Julia Uppviglerskan said...

I can't think of anyone better suited for that job. You'll rock it and they will beg you to stay on and will throw their money after you! Good luck and congratulations to them for getting you!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the new job!!

You're not the only one with an "oops" on a resume. I didn't realize that when I changed my address on the header, it didn't carry over to the second page. On the first page, it was correct. On the second page, it said "My house, On that Street." - Even still, I got my dream job out of it!


Fingertip Offerings said...

I am just so proud of you. :-)

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