I had a job interview yesterday. The morning began with me ransacking my closet for that perfect “hire me on the spot” outfit and ended with my mother telling me that leggings and a sweater that barely covered my ass was probably not appropriate. To this I told her that I wouldn’t want to work for a company that didn’t allow me to wear said outfit and that I would hold out for another job if they were going to be so strict about my fashion sense. Although I did change the outfit (that damn perfectionist in me isn’t so good with making a statement), I silently vowed to myself that I would not let the promise of a steady paycheck compromise my idea of what is or is not good for me.
In leaving the company’s fantastically hip office yesterday after a speedy interview (not sure if this is a good thing or bad thing…) I began to think about all of the jobs that I had pushed for in the past and all of the interviews that I would undoubtedly sweat through in the future.
After high school and a dramatic decision to not join the ranks of alcohol induced hipsters at the University of Colorado Boulder, I found a job as a para-educator for special needs kids at an elementary school. Sitting at the principal’s desk as he perused my resume that seemed to just shout “INEXPERIENCED!!” felt odd considering that a few months earlier I was merely a student myself. I was as shocked as perhaps some of my future colleagues were when he called me a few days later to tell me that I had been hired. Ecstatic and horrifically nervous at the same time, I attempted to help some of the best kids I had ever met navigate their way through a world that just wasn’t conducive to their abilities. I loved it- and broke down when I left.
When I finally bucked up and went along with society’s plan of getting a college education BEFORE entering the “serious” workforce I thought that I might try my hand at being a restaurant hostess on the side. I guess I had forgotten that the one other time I had attempted this seemingly easy feat I had walked out sobbing the first day. This time I was hired at Chili’s- where I thought I might make some bosom buddies and have a little fun (think Waiting without all the perversion). I promptly realized that I just don’t like waiting on people. Period. One day a woman came in in a wheel chair. In my attempt to be logistically intelligent I attempted to seat her at a table where a regular chair could just be replaced with her wheelchair. She then proceeded to yell at me (in front of other customers mind you) that I should have sat her at one of the raised booths. I smiled broadly and tried with all of my might to bite my tongue. I quit against the chiding of an acquaintance that got me the job in the first place. “Don’t burn any bridges,” she said to me. This, I had thought, was a bridge I would set on fire myself.
The next four years I spent as a nanny, caring for a wide variety of ages and figuring out all of the reasons why I wouldn’t want kids anytime soon. This venture, however, created a hodge podge of stories too fantastically awkward and rewarding to put into one blurb. It deserves a blog all its own. So I’ll just call this part one of my venture into being a working girl–and an exploration of the things I will and will not do for a buck or two.