Thursday, September 29, 2016

A New Job, A New Experience, and More Movie References

This week I received a job offer.  It is interesting the way of the world and how things are done now as opposed to how things were done before.  It is also interesting that I am old enough and make it sound as though I have so much experience in how things were done when in all actuality I have very little experience.  I have interviewed and received jobs before but I have never gotten an offer for a job via email.  Is this what it is like when girls get asked out on dates via text?  Do people really not do things in person anymore?

Anyway....I received my job offer via email and had to accept it or deny it (circle yes if you like me and no if you don't) and then receive further instructions via email as to my next steps.  As I type this it makes it sound like it involves much more intrigue than it actually does.  It sounds like a mystery or perhaps that is only how my mind works?  My next step was to approve a background check then go get a drug test.

I have been a mother for close to twenty one years.  While I have had just a few part time jobs in that time frame I mostly worked for and with people I knew and while I did have to have a background check to work at the schools I do not recall having a drug test.  Point being...I was a newby to the drug test and had no idea how it worked.  I did know I was going to have to pee in a cup but I didn't really understand the gravity of the situation.  I have never been exposed to drugs, I hate the taste of alcohol and even my coffee is decaf.  I showed up with my work out clothes on so I could go to the gym right after.  I had an arm band with my ID and gym membership card and a belt that can only hold my phone around my waist plus my shorts didn't have pockets.

I checked in and when I was called she asked me if I had to go.  I said, "Well... I have to go in the way that I'm old and I usually have to go but I don't have to go like gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now."  (I do believe it is possible at this point she tried to restrain herself from rolling her eyes) She says, "Well you have to be able to give me this much." and indicates how much with her fingers.  I say, "How big is the container?"  and again she indicates with her fingers and says, "If you can't give a full sample you have to wait around for forty five minutes then try again."  OK now this is when I started to panic.  How does one know for sure how much they are going to produce at any one time?  I remember giving samples when pregnant.  I remember giving samples when I had bladder infections.  I do not remember ever having a quota to fill regarding giving samples.  I am then asked if I want to try or if I want to drink some more water.  Lets be real here for a minute, ok?  I am forty four years old and I have birthed three children via c-section.  Everything I have has fallen or shifted or been moved around and put back in some way from where it once was.  In addition to that I drink a full gallon of water a day so I usually have to go to the bathroom.  I have to go to the bathroom regularly.  Like to the point I think of The Santa Claus movie with Tim Allen and he says, "I shave in the morning and in the afternoon I look like this!"  I go before I leave the house and by the time I drop my son off at school and get to the gym I have to go again.  My ability to go is not in question here.  My ability to produce a sufficient amount that my husband who is waiting to go to the gym with me and would really rather this not take all day is now in question.  The pressure was real.  I chose to drink a bit more water just to be sure.

I chugged water for maybe ten minutes and people started filing into the facility so I figured I had better get a move on and get this over with.  I told her I was ready and was told to go wait in a room and she would be there in a minute.  Had I known the room would be the temperature of a meat locker I could have saved us the trouble of me downing as much water as I could for ten minutes.  I waited....and waited.  Finally she comes in and walks me into a room, tells me to empty my pockets and lock up all of my belongings and bring her the key.  OK???  Is she afraid I will spend time playing 7 Little Words on my phone while I potty?  I cannot very well do that and hold the cup can I?  But whatever... I did as told and I said, "I'm sorry, I'm new and I don't know how all this works."  She says, "You've never had a drug test?"  I said, "Uh no, I've been a bit busy being a mom."  She says, "Well I guess there are people who have never had one."  She gets my information, I sign my life away and am then released to give my sample.  I am proud to say I was able to give my full sample.  I also wasn't allowed to flush or turn on the water to wash my hands until I gave her the sample.  So gross!

I am naive of the ways of the world I suppose.  When I told my husband about it and asked him where on earth on my person would I have been able to bring the pee of another he said, "You'd be surprised.  People do crazy things."  I imagine he has heard his share of stories. Although now that I think of it.  People do do crazy things.  My daughter while working at a fast food restaurant had a guy take a cup for ketchup and pee in it and bring it to the counter and hand it to her and tell her it was his sample for a drug test.  She was so grossed out I think she is only now getting over it.  She washed her hands and sterilized them nonstop for weeks.

I have been very lucky in this life to have worked when I was able and wanted to with some great people and I have been very lucky and blessed to have been able to stay home and raise my family.  I recognize that not everyone is able to do so when they want to.  This hiring process has been different from anything I have ever experienced.  It has made for some good stories though.  I'm excited and nervous and a little bit scared of this new adventure.  I'm hoping to meet some great new people and make some new friends.  My last job was the best job in the world. I'm hoping this next one will at least be in the ball park.  If not the job itself but in the relationships I will have the ability to build while working with new people.  I'm a person who enjoys being around people.  I also enjoy being of help to people.  I am an acquired taste though.  Not everyone speaks fluent sarcasm and not everyone speaks in movie quotes.  We'll see how it goes.  For now I am waiting for my next email for further instruction...I think.  I does sound mysterious to say it that way...very True Lies.  I wonder what adventure I will have next?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Interview

For the last week or so I have been having an interview....every night.  Perhaps that sounds odd and to be honest it started out that way.  It seems odd to go to bed and every night when you lay down and close your eyes the interview begins.  I suppose I should say that I did have an actual job interview this week so the thought of that coming and then the disappointment of being so stunned at my surroundings during the interview and not being able to think clearly enough to say all I wanted to say has added to my subconscious's way of dealing with that disappointment.  As the nightly interviews began before that I think it has more to do with my perception of my worth.

To say that I have issues would be an understatement.  I teeter between complete disdain and Meghan Trainer's Me Too when thinking of myself.  Mostly I hover closer to the prior than the latter.  My perception of success has been askew.  It has not always been this way...or maybe it has.  Most recently I have been looking for a job.  I've been looking on job finding websites and when I find something that sounds like fun I click to get the details.  As it turns out I do not meet the qualifications for most of the jobs that I find interesting.  Computers will always be my downfall.

When I went for an actual interview this week I didn't get to say all the things I had thought I'd say.  Mostly because I was uncomfortable with my surroundings.  I am not accustomed to being alone in a room with men I do not know.  Honestly, to be fair, I'm not used to being alone in a room with any man aside from my husband.  In general, I'm uncomfortable with men, a trait I'm trying to overcome.  The manner in which I grew up has a lot to do with that.  The programming I received during my formative years has made me leery and distrustful of the male species.  My husband and other male family members such as my son, my father in law, and my late grandfather being the exception.  What I learned from my father is that men leave and I am disposable.  What I learned from my mother's ex-husband was that I was ugly, worthless, and I would never amount to anything.  All things that I know are not true but also things that like to creep in when I'm not paying attention.

So every night I have been interviewing when my eyes close.  I cannot see the interviewer.  I can only hear a voice.  The interview that I imagine starts out the same way every time.  They ask me about my experience.  Much like my actual interview when I explained that I had worked with children in a school and prior to that I had spent eleven years as a stay at home mom raising my children, I get the look.  Perhaps you have seen the look before yourself.  The look that says "Oh so you have not been working.  As if raising three children and taking care of a household is not work.  As if it is just...nothing."  What I am learning during these interviews however, is that it is not nothing.  I may have spent a great majority of my adulthood raising my family and not working outside the home but it has been one of the hardest job that I can imagine one having.

My life experiences have been plenty.  I know what it is to have a child and have no idea what I'm doing.  I know what it is to have two under two and in diapers.  I know what it is to have those same two go through puberty and get introduced to "Aunt Flo" way to early in their young lives and if that doesn't strike fear and make one learn to deal with adversity I don't know what does.  I know what it is to have the surprise baby when you thought you were done and going back to the diaper stage again.  I know what it is to watch a loved one's health decline and stand beside them during their diagnosis.  I know what it is to hold that person's hand and feel the life leave them.  I know what it is to suffer loss.  I know what it is to fall.  I know what it is to fight and claw your way back and then fall again because the promise of a fourth child falls away because that child was so special God needed to keep him for himself.  I know what it is fight my way back again and again.  I know what it is to fail.  I know what it is uproot and start over away from everything and everyone I ever knew and I know the loneliness that can bring to not only yourself but those around you.  I know how to keep a schedule for five people and be responsible for their well-being.  I know a wealth of things.  Things that aren't listed in job descriptions.  Things that make me feel weak to the point of crippling and things that make me strong too.  Things I would like to explain when I get "the look" especially from a man who looks at me like growing a human and giving birth to one is easy even though he cannot do it.

I've had a hard time seeing it.  I have felt like I was failing at the job I've had for nearly twenty one years and even if I'm not and even if I know many things I am still unqualified to work outside of my home because I don't meet the requirements they are looking for.  Many people will say that anyone can have a family.  Teenagers have babies.  Crack addicts have babies.  Having babies for some is easy.  I know many who would give anything for the privilege because they are unable.  They would make wonderful mothers and I pray one day that they will one day become mothers.  It is something that when growing up I never aspired to be.  It wasn't in my plan but it was in God's plan and I am blessed beyond measure to be given the opportunity to be their mother.  During my interview last night I was reminded of a few things.  All of my days were written before I ever came to be.  Nothing I have experienced or am experiencing is a surprise to God.  Also, of all the people that He could have chosen to be the mother to these three children He chose me.  A fact that I should not take lightly.  Why He would choose me for anything I have no idea but what that means is that He thought I was the best one for the job.  He CHOSE me.  I saw saying this week that said " I don't have ducks, I don't even have rows, I have squirrels and they are at a rave."  I'm not sure where it came from originally another author I follow shared it, then I shared it because it was basically describing me.

Every night I interview and every night I learn a little more about who I am and my worth.  But I also am learning that when I interview I already know what I can bring to the table.  What I need to find out is what my potential employer brings.  I want to know what they stand for.  I want to know how they value their employees.  I want to know if they value teamwork.  I want to know if they are open to new ideas.  I want to know if they know who they work for because I already know who I'm working for and it isn't a stuffy CEO in a suit somewhere that has no idea what it is to do the jobs that he oversees.  I work for the CEO of the entire world.  Ultimately He is who I answer to and who I work for so when I come into a job situation I am going to work as though I am working to please Him.  I am going to treat people how I would want to be treated. I am going to treat people as though they are valuable because they are whether they are co-workers or customers or patients or whoever.  God made them and they have value and I want to work for a company that knows that.  I want to work for a company that is more interested in doing the right thing than the bottom line.  I want to work for someone who respects family because my family will always come before any other job I may acquire.

I am learning that I may be interviewing for a job but they are interviewing with me as well because I do have value no matter what my resume might say.  What I lack in experience I make up for in spunk and spunky people get things done.  I'm starting to like these nightly interviews.  I'm learning quite a bit.  I do hope they start getting shorter though as I'd like to get a good nights sleep before my next actual interview which happens to be tomorrow.  We'll see if we pass each other's tests.  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Typical Mornings, Gecko Gate, and How Not to Interview

My morning was a typical one.  Get up throw on gym clothes take kid three to school, come back to the house and get kids one and two, drop kid two off at college and take kid one with me to the gym.  These are not unusual things for us.  We even stopped off at the grocery on the way home from the gym which I like to think makes us look like we put in effort to be healthy but also may be mildly gross.  That too is not unusual.  Today however, I had to get ready for a job interview and while I do not go on job interviews with any sort of regularity I have gotten ready for other occasions.  Even getting ready for the day is a normal sort of thing as contrary to popular belief I do not, nor have I ever, sat at home eating bon bons all day and watched soap operas.  That is not, nor has it ever been, the way I spend my time.

No, today was a first as today was the first time in all 40+ years of my life that I ever went to the restroom to take a shower used the restroom before said shower, stood to flush, looked in the bowl and found a gecko trying to escape.  A GECKO was in the toilet where I just sat!  A LIVING CREATURE near the nether regions.  People, I just cannot even!  I don't even like doctors to be down there.  I avoid going to see the OB/GYN until I get guilted into going.  My heart started racing faster than it did while at the gym.  My vision got a little fuzzy and I could only think two things, First, "If I pass out here I am naked and will my daughter know enough to dress me before she calls for paramedics?  This floor is tile...the floor of death.  EMT's will be involved."  and Second, "Gross!  I don't blame you I'd want out too."  So I did have a bit of restraint to not scream loudly enough to be heard.  I slammed the lid down and I flushed.  Then I flushed again.  Then I peaked to see if it was gone.  It was.  So I may have sent a gecko to the great eternal pool in the sky.  I may have killed one of God's creatures.  In my defense, one of us was going to go down and I had a job interview to get to so....

After what will now be referred to as "Gecko Gate" I prepared for my interview.  I went with a black dress and simple black sandals.  My options were limited and black looks professional, right?  I live in a southern state now.  It may be the first day of fall but it is still in the 90's here.  Not my best plan.  I went to my interview with the company my husband has worked for for 20+ years.  I arrived before the people who were to interview me.  Three men take me through a door in the back that they had to enter a code to enter and up some stairs to a private room.  All I could think about during this journey was, "Ok this isn't creepy at all.  I'm just going into a private locked cave with three men I've never met and there are stairs involved.  Glad I didn't wear heels.  It's fine, I work out now.  That one is small I can probably take him, the other one looks like I will have to fight a little harder but I'm probably faster and the only one I'm really worried about is the kid that looks like a football player that went to school with my daughters.   Nope not worried at all."  We arrived and sat around a table and  well...I talked more about how great my husband is than myself.  This would probably be listed in the "How Not to Interview" handbook that I do not possess.  To be fair it has been a good amount of time since I interviewed but I have never even heard of interviewing in a secret layer surrounded by three men.  Where I am from the doctor doesn't even go into a room without his nurse.  It was a disconcerting and I dealt with the discomfort by doing what I do best...talking to fill the silence as they didn't seem particularly prepared and I also felt safer talking about my husband.  Also I sweat through my black dress.

Today has been an interesting day to say the least.  When I arrived home I had a message from that same company and I have another interview Monday.  Who knows, maybe I will talk my way into a job yet.  I got my very first job because I was persistent and wouldn't leave the manager alone until she was basically forced to hire me to shut me up.  There will be training involved of course, but I did manage to get licensed to sell real estate in two weeks once upon a time.  I also have raised teenagers, and lived through Gecko Gate, I have no fear.  I am strong and I really need a job so I can afford things like fresh fish and Netflix.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Not Living a Lie

Today is the day.  Today I weighed in at what my Midwest Driver's License said I weighed.  Fun fact #1:  When I went to get said driver's license I gave myself a few pounds "just in case" I put on a few pounds.  At the time I actually weighed a bit less.  Fun fact #2  A driver's license is good for what...six years now?  Fun fact #3:  I had renewed said license on line since that time and when you renew online you don't have a nice lady staring you down when you said "yes everything is correct" you can just click a button thereby allowing you to continue 'living the lie'.  Which really isn't trying to 'live a lie' at all but in fact trying to allow more time to achieve what the license says.  Fun fact #4: In this great southern state that I now reside in they do not ask for your weight and it is not listed anywhere on the license which means...I will never ever 'live a lie' again.  Unless of course, someone asks for my age which is standing firmly at 39 for another six years.

It gets uncomfortable explaining to people that you are still trying to lose the baby weight all the time, really.  They always want to know how old the baby is and then the baby walks up and he's 13 and you are wishing you had a picture of him when he was small so you could pass this giant off as an older brother.  That's about the time the older sisters show up and they are college age and it gets really uncomfortable after that.  

The way I figure it I had three children.  I gained 60 pounds with the first, lets say 40 with the second and 30 with the third.  What?  I'm a slow learner O.K.?  Also I was an only child and Ben and Jerry's were my best friends.  Let's move on shall we?  That is a total of 130 pound that I gained having children alone.  Granted you have the babies and you lose the weight between but...then you are the mom of three children.  You eat when you get a chance.  You shovel down food in between raising kids like it is an Olympic event.  There is no time to sit and enjoy a meal.  Plus if you were raised the way I was back when your parents actually were poor growing up and walked to school uphill in the snow both ways you were taught to clean your plate.  When my mother took ill I cleaned my plate and her plate...sometimes the kids' plates too.  But I digress...I had lost all that weight by the time I got said license the first time around.  I was so pleased with myself and I was never going back.  I felt great!

Days turned to weeks, turned to months, turned to years and I forgot about how great I felt before and remembered how great ice cream tastes...and donuts...and get the picture.  So I found myself in April almost back to where I started.  I was on three different medicines for my stomach and I had finally gotten over a bought with anemia.  I was tired and I was done.  I was not going to go up another size.  So I took action.

Dave Ramsey once said that you don't ask poor people about money.  I figure that goes for other things as well so I should look for people who are losing weight or have lost weight and are keeping it off.  The thing about being overweight is you don't want advice from skinny people.  Especially skinny people who have always been skinny and eat worse than you do.  So I found someone who was killing it in the losing weight department and asked them how they were doing it.  Once I found out the program (Take Shape For Life) they were doing I got on board.  Essentially I have had to reprogram and look at food in a totally different way.  I have always tended to look at food as comfort or as a reward.  I can get comfort from Jesus.  I can get comfort from my husband.  I can get comfort from a soft blanket.  I can get rewarded in new clothes and shoes that fit and books.  Food is fuel.  Food keeps the body going like gas keeps a car going.  If I want to feel better and look better I need to fuel my body with the right stuff.  You don't put diesel in an unleaded tank.  You get down to the basics and eat like a caveman or a baby really because I eat every 2-3 hours.  I eat more now on this program than I did before.  I'm full.  Sometimes so full I don't want to eat again.  

My family and I also joined the YMCA so we have been exercising as well.  I don't hate it.  I don't love it....but I don't hate it either.  It just is. I weigh what my driver's license once said I weighed and I don't have to take my stomach medicine anymore.  I'm exhausted but mostly because I'm a mom and I'm kinda old.  My body is not accustomed to this kind of exercise that I have been subjecting it to.  Everything hurts.  I took anatomy and physiology in college and I did not remember that I had so many muscle groups.  I think I blocked that out or assumed that it didn't apply to me.  I cannot keep up with grandmothers and grandfathers at the YMCA.  Seriously, I can't do it.  These people can outrun, out walk, out peddle, out lift, out crunch, out do about everything they have to offer there better than me.  I get tired watching them.  I get everyone is running their own race in life but golly.  God Bless them because I just want to go home and find some Ben Gay and ice something and they are probably going to go play tennis or ride bikes after they are done at the Y.

So here is to not 'living a lie' anymore.  I'm pretty excited/exhausted/sore but maybe just maybe I'll live a little longer to annoy my children.  I have high hopes of one day seeing them have children of their own JUST LIKE THEM.  Until's time for my next feeding.