It’s been a while, but I’m sitting in the library, tongue burnt from a Starbucks mocha, skipping class because I missed today’s assignment, and life is good.

I’m on the hunt for a job right now – almost any job will do, really – and it’s actually going surprisingly well. Apparently previous experience makes a difference, because I’ve only filled out about five applications and have gotten two interview calls already. Last year, before my stint at the bookstore, I must have turned in about thirty applications and only Nordstrom ever wanted an interview – and those bastards sure as hell didn’t hire me (although they were super nice about it, sent me a real, honest to god mailed paper letter to reject me by). But I have a good feeling this time – soon I will join the ranks of the partly employed!

In Bad Economy Stories I Can Relate To news, our house is being totally foreclosed on. Bummer! To add to the general dismalness of that situation, my dad finally left/got kicked out (??) of the house, so it’s just us womenfolk now. Hence the new-found need for another money source, since my father’s taken his (significantly larger than my mother’s) income and disappeared. Well, not exactly disappeared – he’s moved into, I assume, an apartment somewhere, won’t tell any of us where, and appears sporadically to help out around the house, “visit”, or give us fucking useless bits of money – fifteen dollars for me last time he was here, which I took even though it’s kind of insulting because I need it anyway. So it’s a weird situation.

But actually all of this might be a step in the right direction. My parent’s marriage had been dissolving for a while, and neither were willing to budge to fix it, so this has been coming for a long time. Sometimes separation is the best option – although I sort of wish, that if it had to happen anyway, it had happened a lot sooner – my dad will be alright, he had money, a mistress, plenty of friends from happy hour at the bars, so, whatevs.

My mother’s situation is much more troubling — she makes twenty-five thousand a year, had very few friends, is frankly not getting any younger, and now she has to navigate a new, single life. She doesn’t have as many friends – her work isn’t that conducive to close-friendship-making – and I seriously worry about her being alone for the rest of her life. She could eventually date again, I suppose, but it’s just complicated – where do you meet a good guy, over fifty, when you don’t go out much, are shy, and there’s somewhat of a language barrier (Spanish is her primary language)? Match.com? It’s depressing.

So all of that – worrying about what Mom’s going to be doing with her days now that she’s alone, worrying about her financial situation – is why I’m seriously feeling the pressure to never leave home, even though we don’t really get along and I am miserable here. I will, though, leave home, because at some point I have to start my own life, right? I mean, I’ve put that off already until I’m nearly twenty-two (next summer, when I graduate college) – my mom wants me to then get a full time job and we would live together in a nice place indefinitely. I want to leave. I want to go very far, far away, where I can relax and go out and drink and have sex and have fun without the stress that seems inherent to being here.

To add to the confusion, I’ve recently become very, very interested in Americorps – honestly it sounds like a program that was made for me (with a few tweaks here and there). I would love to go and commit for a year of service – the only problem is mom, again. We don’t get along but she’s my mother and alone now, so I feel a pretty strong sense of commitment and duty to her, too – which is why, although I had planned on leaving after graduating, I had also planned on continuing to pay my part of the rent after moving – Americorps does not pay enough for me to be able to send anything back regularly, though. Not even close. I’m keeping it as an option but I have to really think about how to work this financial problem.

This has been a very long update. Possibly I got a little nervous there as the coffee (a tall white chocolate mocha with whipped cream & chocolate syrup – order it, it’s delicious) began to kick in. So, until next time,

regards,

Tuesday

Advertisements

Actually, the interview went pretty well. There were awkward moments, but awkwardness has followed me around since I was a babe, and we’ve become quite comfortable with each other, so I was able to breeze right by them with a smile and a barely-there shrug.

They say you’re supposed to stay comfortable and confident during job interviews. This is of utmost importance. The only thing is I’ve been told – several times – by various people – that “comfortable” on me looks suspiciously like “indifferent” or “frigid, sarcastic bitch”. So I made an extra to appear comfy without being cold, and interested without being vapid. I won’t be bothered if I don’t get this particular job, though, because I can always shrug it off as only my first real job interview and move on breezily to the next (and the next, and next, and next).

Here’s how the thing went down: I get to the mall. I realize I have no idea how to find the specific doors I’ve been instructed to wait at and run into the bathroom and flail privately for a few moments. Then I decided I looked better with the shirt tucked in after all, adjusted pantsuit accordingly and calmly wandered over to the only other soul in the building (that I could see, anyway), glad to have come twenty minutes early, after all. I ask him where the south doors of Generic Department Store are, and he replies intelligently with, “Uh…” Now, immediately his New York (I want to say Brooklyn, but I don’t know why so will just leave well enough alone) is obvious, and I fall a little in love. He explained that he doesn’t actually work here, and I fall a little more in love even while stepping subtly away and taking note of any exits and potential weapons. Turns out he works at a different mall and was sent here for the morning by his company, and has no idea where he is or what he’s doing. I want to pat him on the head. He points me in the direction of a woman working in a nearby store and says that’s where he’s been sending everyone with questions. I feel a little sorry for the woman.

But she was pretty knowledgeable and sent me quickly on my way, yay. It turns out I have to wander outside to find the Mystery Doors. As I get closer, I see two young guys Dressed for Success loitering, and figure I’ve made it, and that I’m not so special after all. One guy looks me up and down, raises an eyebrow and says “South doors are on the other side.” And then promptly bursts out laughing because apparently my face did all kinds of wonderous things. I remember to try and have some kind of control over my expressions.

Now, I was expecting to be led seriously into a quiet and overdone office where an obnoxious middle aged man would ask me ridiculous questions (actually, I didn’t even get “what’s your greatest weakness”, for which I offer thanks and a nickle to the interview gods). Instead the group of hopeful interviewees outside the Department store swelled to about eleven youngsters and an older woman before an obnoxious-looking twenty-something opened the doors and let us inside.

We were given a speech, check-listed off, handed applications which were mostly filled out already, and sat in the restaurant to be given another speech. Then a line of managers and such came wandering in – one for the each of us – and it was just like having lunch in a real, open restaurant with a friend. Who was interviewing you. Without food. While surrounded by other people being interviewed. Still, the chatter made things feel casual and I rather liked the format.

Mistakes I may have made include:

– Because I had already filled out an online application and send them my resume, I figured it would be redundant to bring another one. So I didn’t. I didn’t even have a pen (which was more of an accident and a sign I should have woken up the first time the alarm went off). So I got to watch with rising apprehension as people wandered into the waiting area clutching their giant purses and their fancy, transparent folders, cursing myself. When the twenty-something left us alone for some time before the sit-down I got to awkwardly say, “Um, sorry? Does anyone happen to have a pen..?” The answer is no, no one did (which I’m not sure I would believe, but there was a general shuffling around murmuring of apologies, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt). Once we got to the tables, though, there were pens laid out waiting, and they never did ask for my resume or anything else so – ha, suckers. I win. Then I spoiled my win by accidentally stealing the pen they had provided when the interview was over, thinking we were only moving somewhere else and that I might need it. I know this was a mistake because my interviewer (who was a girl, score) looked at me a bit oddly when I took it.

– A few of my answers to situational questions stretched reality. Nothing unbelievable, and I rather left it all a bit vague (which I know was a mistake in and of itself, because they want you to be specific, even if you’ve only worked for a couple of months near three years ago and don’t have any goddamn examples of that particular situation). I prefaced all my lies slight exaggerations with “Um. Let me think…”

– My application says I’m applying to be a table busser. *headdesk* This happened a few weeks ago. I did apply to be a busser, yes, but I had planned to also apply to cashier and sales positions, and then Baltimore came up (much more about that later!) and I never got around to it. Fortunately, they did ask what other departments I was interested in, and I was quick to list children’s wear, women’s wear and yayjewlery.

All in all, it went OK, I believe. I even remembered to smile and make eye contact and be at ease in general. The main thing I kept in mind though, as it occurred to me late last night, is that I’m simply a girl, a rather nice girl who will work for whomever she works for, and that all of my would-be interviewers, supervisors and co-workers are themselves only boys or girls or men and women of perhaps a little more experience but probably not too much more intelligence or goodness or whatever else it is that makes me rather intimidated by people sometimes. I had spent the night before looking at interview questions, answers and tips, and then decided that I would completely ignore all of that in favor of acting natural. The one piece of advice I liked was this: you are also interviewing them. Which I took to mean, “hey! department store! it’s not all about you!” I figure into this somehow too, not just as a tool used to stock merchandise, but as a (rather wonderful and witty) human being who wants to make some money and get along in life. Who’s looking also for the job that’s right for her. If they truly believe I’m too soft-spoken or not quite fashionable enough, then why in the world would I want to work there anyway – to have to pretend to be rather louder or more fashionable than I really am every day? Best to just let it go, then.

 

I had a strange and dreamlike morning, wherein I mindlessly scrambled my way through the rest of the lab assignments, studied for the Stats final, took said final, and ran into my Honors prof and didn’t quite explain why my paper had not been emailed yet. I also think there was breakfast, somewhere. This was all before 10:30, people; I’m 85% confident that I was asleep the whole time (by which I mean, ,if you tested this repeatedly, you would have found me REMing 85% of the time. Or something. This isn’t an interval so it doesn’t even work (goddamn silly statistics!)).

And then I stumble (literally) outside and glance down at the time to see it’s 10:23. The next bus leaves at 10:24 (as a sidenote, when you have the metro schedule in your area memorized? It may be time to reevaluate your life). So I ran and ran and flailed and made it! Yay? Anyway, as I toss my stuff on the nearest chair and start rooting around for my wallet the driver is all, “D’you have a pass?”

To which I airily replied, “No, I’m getting cash.”

“..ok.”

Then when I go to pay he tells me, “You really should’ve just said you had a pass.”

See, I didn’t realize that was an option. Damn my intrinsically honest nature! I glance around at the other passengers and can see that, yes, I am the only person who paid to be here. Ah well. God knows the the public transport around here could use the money. Although, with my luck it all actually ends up going into bombs and bullets for Iraq, all the better to blow a hole in someone. And kill them.

…Damn, that turned gloomy fast.

 

Wow, what a lovely little post that last one was. Seriously, skip it.

Anyway, I’m in the library again, because I’ve realized there’s nowhere else I ever really get around to posting here. My stomach just growled, even though I had two bowls of Fruit Loops all of an hour and a half ago. Shut up, stomach. That dove bar is for tomorrow. Although, in related Fruit Loops news, they must have changed something in their Reduced Sugar edition because it’s suddenly delicious, whereas before it was pure cardboard. (!) I thought I had picked up the regular by mistake. I’ve since moved the cereal and thrown away the box without looking at it, because I really don’t want to know how the fuck they managed it. I suspect it has something to do with adding whatever it is that lets you eat half the box and still feel hungry. Still, delicious.

Today I get the test back in my Legitimate Psychology class (unlike some other courses that won’t be named…right now), which should cheer me up a little before I take the memory test, which will probably be fairly depressing. Oh, and my initial instinct that a class about memory would be unbelievably dull? So right. And then there’s my wonderful lab with my wonderful TA, and hopefully another not-quite-safe ride home from Patricia. Oh, Patricia.

My mother has decided to help me find a job. Except, while the idea of more monies in my bank account for her to raid sounds attractive to her, she doesn’t really want me to. Not really. Still, she’s spoken with “someone” who “knows” the “owner” of a cafe – or bakery – or grocerystore-someplace, anyway, who “may” be looking for someone. No, she doesn’t know where this mystery place is, or what it’s called, or what they sell. And no, this isn’t going to go anywhere. Still, I got my hair did and my eyebrows too (which means that once again the surrounding skin is all red and my eyebrows are thin and sort of shapeless and totally chongalicious). Which is nice.

Shut up, stomach! Oh, alright, have a little square. *shiver* Seriously, this chocolate is good.

Got our midterms back from bio lab, and I began giggling uncontrollably when I saw I had passed – with a high B that may become an A, no less. I was so resigned to a D – if I was lucky – that I must have gone into some sort of nervous shock. Don’t worry though, I’m pretty sure I didn’t come off as insane. Just obnoxiously smug.

S’all good, tho’.

And now, I love the T.A. even more than I did before. I just want to bundle him up in blankets and feed him cookies and chocolate milk forever. And no, that isn’t supposed to be dirty at all. This was seriously the most leniently graded anything I’ve ever seen. Which is good for me, but damn, I hope his supervisor doesn’t check up on what he’s doing. Questions that should have been marked wrong were given half and quarter points instead. Hell, questions that were marked wrong were then amended to half points, as though he felt sorry for students suffering through an exam they obviously did not study for.

Then I wandered outside and saw it was raining thought “Oh, time for my car crash” because I get a ride with Patricia on tuesdays and Patricia is eighteen and, apparently, a real fan of speed regardless – I had the pleasure of discovering last week – the weather or driving conditions.

Patricia and I had a lovely conversation in the car.

“Damn,” she said as we passed the elementary school, “I hate school zones. I hate them, man.”

Of course she does. “Oh,” is what I said outloud.

“Last week I got a ticket here. I wasn’t even going that fast. These school zones are so stupid, you know? They make you go too slow!”

“Oh.” I said. And then added, “The police don’t have much to do around here. They give a lot of speeding tickets.” Which was true enough, and I gave her some slack because the speed limit was fifteen miles and pretty frustrating.

“I got a big-ass ticket.” She said.

“How fast were you going?”

“Like twenty miles.”

Hmm.”

“Yeah, I wasn’t even going that fast. I was going like twenty-eight miles.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah, it sucks. I’m always getting tickets. I’ve gotten like, three tickets before, you know? Always for speeding.” I was shocked, obviously. After all, we had only nearly-died five times in the three times I’ve driven with her.

“The thing is,” she continued as we turned onto the main street, a twelve lane monstrosity, “I hate driving. You know?” I don’t have a driver’s licence, so I really don’t, but let her go on, “I hate it, man. Like, it makes me angry. Seriously, I get, like, serious road rage.”

“People don’t go fast enough?” I guessed.

“Yeah! Like, I just want to get where I’m going, you know?”

And then she began texting someone. So I just watched the rain beat on the windshield for a while.

In other news, I got a call back today from that store I’d been debating applying to – I sent the resume yesterday. I was in class and missed the call though. There was no message. And no email. I’m not sure I like how quickly they got back to me; I need time, people! There’s supposed to be at least a day or two of silence so I can wonder whether I had the wrong address, whether they had thrown my resume in the (virtual) trash and would never call ever, ect.. Whatevs. I’ll make a note to dress decently tomorrow in case I have to drop by or something. And I’m reminded again why I hate working. If only I didn’t love money so much.

Went to the mall after school today to scope out the store I may apply to. It’s a baby clothing store. It looks…soft. And blue. How sexist is that?

On the plus, it’s near the coffee stand, which is cool. I didn’t have the time to go in or anything, so I just did the creepy stalker thing in that corner of the balcony where there were a couple of other creepy stalker types gazing creepily at the coffee crowd below.

Somethings I noticed about the mall –

It is bigger.

It is richer.

It is perpetually full of high school kids, no matter what time of day or night is.

My favorite non-chinese restaurant has disappeared from the cafeteria. I know the bastards only took cash (what the FUCK is up with that? Fix your goddam credit card machine or buy a new one, bitches!) but damn that chicken was good.

Things I realized today: thinking about food I can’t have makes me kinda violent.