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Can we just jump to January please? - 2014-11-14
A (don't kick the) Bucket List - 2014-10-28
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2:51 p.m. - 2014-06-16
Hire Him! Please?

No single reason for the radio silence, just many little personal things and a whole lot of stuff I don't want to discuss in this forum. Not necessarily bad stuff, so no worries, just complicated. The elephant in my room is tough to ignore and even tougher to talk around, but without this journal my life tends to slide by in a blurred stream of same old/same old until it has all the joy and flavor of a bowl of cream of wheat. Nobody needs to hear my yadda, that's for sure, but boy howdy do I need to write it.

To get up to speed:

Wolf has two more Regents exams and he's finished with the school year. He has the American History exam tomorrow and the Earth Science exam on Thursday. I think. He's vague as to exactly which tests he's taking though the when he takes them is marked in big bold letters on the kitchen calendar.

In other Wolf news- his 17th birthday is next-next Wednesday. The 25th. No earthshattering changes coming my kid's way for turning 17. A driver's permit is still on the far, far distant horizon and unless he gets his butt in gear so is a job. You'd think that the ease of applying online would help. The bad old days of schlepping from place to place in your nice shirt carrying a pen and a "Please hire me!" attitude are over. But online applications seem to go nowhere. It's a new world and one I cannot really help with. Every job I've had I walked into and got on the spot. A few landed in my lap when I wasn't even asking for one.

(Cue the flashback music and fade to black)

At the end of the bagel-schlepping summer of 1982 I happily chucked my army duffel into the back of my VW bus and headed for New Hampshire to pick up Mike and Rick. While I'd spent the past three months busting my ass at the Hometown diner and sleeping on the floor of an empty bedroom at my mother's house Mike and Rick had been doing a marine biology course at Shoals Marine Laboratory out in the Bay of Maine. Seeing my guys looking so tan and fit (I swear they smelled of salt air and kelp all the way back to Texas) was a bit of a shock, as was my whipcord thin bod with the bulgy biceps to them. We had some crazy adventures on the way home including scaring the shit out of a couple of hitchhiking hippies we'd given a lift to and me besting a mechanic in a poker game and winning his repair services when our bus broke down in Alexandria, Virginia, but finally we made it back to Texas.

We dropped Rick off in University Park outside of Dallas and left him to his future of applied climate science and meeting an aerospace heiress at SMU. Rick eventually got his PhD in meteorology, married his heiress, fathered three lovely girls, and with his weather expertise became head of R&D at his FIL's company. He also horrified his German Lutheran parents by becoming a born-again and us by joining the GOP and hewing to a hard right 'white = might, Jesus loves the wealthy and the NRA' mindset, but in 1982 he was still our best pal and we loved him.

Mike and I continued south to Fort Hood. Where after spending the night with his folks we collected our cat and the rest of our shit from Mike's mom who'd kept both for us while we were up north and drove east to College Station. Whereupon we discovered from the building manager that the chick we'd arranged to share an apartment with at the beginning of the summer had flaked out, made off with our deposit and left us with nowhere to live on the Thursday of Labor Day weekend when classes started on Tuesday. Panicked we holed up in the flea-baggiest motel this side of Newark and while Mike signed up for classes and bought his books I scrounged up somewhere to live. The original place was out, too expensive on our own, but eventually thanks to the campus bulletin boards I found a teeny tiny place in Bryan (sister city to College Station). Our new abode was the bottom half of a converted gardener's shed on the property of a sprawling Victorian owned by a humanities professor and his dippy hippy wife. A monster of a house with peeling paint, 25 rooms, but space enough for the prof and his wife and their eight children, 50,00 books, 6 grad student serfs, and the prof's wife's kiln. The converted garden shed was just another money spinner and a place to house potential babysitters. Our new home was a palatial 195 sq. ft., $75 a month, and all the cockroaches anyone could ever want. It was quirky, quaint, and within our miniscule budget. It would have to do. I signed the lease.

The next day while Mike attended orientation I went in search of Heidi the chick who'd gone walkabout with our money and our original apartment. I remembered from our first meeting that she worked at some salad and sandwich place in the Post Oak Mall. I found the place and stomped in. I asked the woman at the counter if I could speak with Heidi. Dodging the request she asked why. I told her my sad story of perfidy and theft. The woman nodded. She understood quite well. The woman, Irene, said Heidi had let her down too. Turned out Heidi was Irene's younger sister. Not only had Heidi taken our money, she'd taken Irene's too. The week before I got there Heidi had cleaned out the register, the store's safe, and took off with her nogoodnik boyfriend for parts unknown. I offered my sympathy. In return Irene offered me Heidi's job. I was shocked but Irene explained her thinking. Heidi had liked and trusted me enough to agree to share living space. I'd been decent and honest enough to leave a deposit. I'd come to the shop in search of answers not retribution, ergo I was a Good Person and one Irene could trust with her customers and her money.

I never did get my apartment deposit back and in the end Irene turned out to be far more evil than her jerky thieving sister, but at the moment I had a job. A fulltime job. Hadn't gone looking for it but I wasn't about to say no. Agreeing on the spot we shook hands. I quickly filled out the minimal paperwork and said I'd see her in the morning. In a happy daze I went back to campus and picked up Mike. We checked out of the flea-bag and brought our stuff and our cat to the new apartment. It was Labor Day weekend so CTE&G wouldn't be around to hook up our utilities until at least Tuesday but Henry the upstairs neighbor let us use a hefty extension cord and a plug bar. Delighted we plugged in the fridge and a couple lamps. The water heater had to wait for gas hook-up as did the stove but in the meantime we could keep the milk cold.

The job at the salad place is on the far end of my outré resume but it's not a one-off. I've always been knacky and lucky in my hires. Good looking, personable, and honest- owners and managers instinctively trust me. As they should. I've never stolen from where I work. I don't scam or cut deals for my friends. I do not grift, lift, or otherwise do for myself at the expense of my employers. Heck, I don't pad my resume or fluff my time card. Whether it's my dopey honest face or impeccable references the ONLY way I've ever gotten a job is to present myself in person. So my kid so far fruitlessly filling out those online job applications leaves me hamstrung and helpless.

HOW? How does one get an edge? How does one even snag the attention of the hiring manager? How the heck does any of this work if the only thing to offer is some lousy message in a cyber-bottle sent off on a digital sea? My kid has never had a W-2 job. He's done volunteer work and he's slaved for scant ducats for his cheap-ass father. He fills out the applications, but without that in-person leg up where the boss can see my kid with his fresh honest earnest face and his eagerness to succeed how the hell does he get a job?

Tips, answers, leads, help, all and any are very much appreciated.


Much love, ~LA the mother to the wanna-be employed.

8 Wanna talk about it!

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