Two Big Things were on my schedule yesterday:
1.) The long-anticipated inspection for licensing of our cobbled-together little storefront had finally been arranged. We were going to lift our collective feet for that giant step we needed to take in order to bring Café de la Rue (the concession business we have owned since 2001) not only back to life, but push it forth to a life it had not, up until now, been fortunate enough to enjoy—i.e.: a complete and human-being-sized production kitchen of its very own.
2.) I had an appointment for a job interview.
A job interview? you ask. Don't you hate job interviews? Wouldn't you rather spend a year on a desert island with Sarah Palin than go to a job interview? Oh hell yes. That is true. But money has been tight, scarce and running through our fingers like water since January. Between trying to get that building finished without breaking the bank, running up a $5000 tab at the vet for an “undesirable outcome,” forking over the final 1/3 of our property taxes, and various and sundry little $200 here, $400 there minor disasters, we have been scraping the bottom of the piggy bank.
On top of that, we discovered that the bonuses that husband had been receiving for the past year, in lieu of an actual raise in pay, had dried up and blown away, at least for the first quarter of 2014. Silly me for thinking we were finally going to get a chance to dig ourselves out from under 8 years of stagnant wages and soaring inflation.
So I was forced to conclude, since a raise in pay was not going to be in the cards for the husband this year, and our bills demanded an increase in our income, it was time for me to step up to the plate and acquire some gainful employment. About two weeks ago, I started sending out resumes in earnest, just to see what would happen.
And what happened is that, of course, I got a call back. Surprised me, really…I had convinced myself that no one would be interested in my experience, but I had to make an effort in some direction. Call back requested an interview on the morning of our big health inspection. Who was I to refuse? I penciled it in.
But ah…what an interview! I’m trying so hard to put it behind me that I can hardly go into detail about it. Let’s just say that when you ask what the rate of pay is and they say, “We don’t know. It depends…” and trail off into silence, you start to get the feeling that you have indeed entered the Twilight Zone. Actually, I had that feeling almost from the moment I shook hands with the two interviewers, sat in the indicated chair and was met with the most uncomfortable stony silence I had ever encountered in a job interview. After 45 ridiculously interminable minutes of the male interviewer wheezing out points on my resume, and then the female interviewer being given leave to open her mouth only after the male interviewer had apparently finished pontificating, the session came to an ignominious end. I hurried out the door chanting to myself, “Well, that’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back.”
And I still had the other half of my day’s challenges staring me in the face: our date with the health inspector. Not-so-inwardly stressing about how long of a list she would hand us of things that would need to be corrected before we could get our license, I rolled up my sleeves and began my resigned last sweep and scrub before she was scheduled to arrive.
Considering how the first part of my day had already gone, my stomach was in knots when she walked in the front door.
She walked in, opened her briefcase, and handed me my license. She went over a few questions on the pre-opening questionnaire, walked around for fifteen minutes and said everything looked great, had me sign on the dotted line, and that was it. Push-pull, click-click—we were licensed. It was decidedly…anti-climactic.
Anybody who reads this blog with any regularity knows that I chronically over-think things. And I habitually search for messages from the Universe in the smallest, most insignificant occurrences in my life.
But if yesterday wasn’t a clear message from the Almighty when it comes to choosing between becoming employed or remaining self-employed, I don’t know what it was.
Maybe I should listen this time.