Wednesday, January 06, 2010

2010 and Not Counting


Shortly before Christmas, I was sitting on a cheap, uncomfortable chair at a folding table in the Bureau office, wondering how I was going to survive the next seven hours and fifty-nine minutes of sitting and doing nothing. I had no actual work to do, no computer access ,very few co-workers to talk to and the rather daunting task of sitting and 'looking busy' until mid-Feburary.

Within a few hours,  the walls started closing in and I felt short of breath. Nothing brings on a panic attack quite like enforced inactivity, and this was mandated tedium at it's dullest. I could tell that I'd be freaking out if I twiddled pencils much longer, so I mumbled something about not feeling well to my boss- who agreed that I looked pretty shaky- and  I went home.

The next day, I just couldn't cope. The office atmosphere, the holidays, the cumulative disappointments of the  past couple years combined with the terrifying prospect of a no-future 2010...it was too much. I called in sick. I could scarcely afford to miss the hours, but I was afraid that I'd have a complete public meltdown if I went to work...it was not an easy decision, but I chose sanity over salary.

At 10:30 I received a call from an unknown number-probably a bill collector, I thought, letting the machine answer.

A woman's voice began leaving a message...I heard the words "I am looking at your resume" and made a mad, breathless dash to the telephone.

Am I still looking for a full-time job? As a matter of fact...

Do I have time for a telephone interview? Why, yes. I do.

And I did.

I must have given pretty good phone, because I got a callback later that day, scheduling me for an in-person interview the following week. This was the first non-Bureau job interview that I'd had in well over a year- I spent the days preceding it in a heightened state of nervous anticipation, playing and replaying myriad scenarios in my head:

Interviewer: So, Mr. C.- it seems that you have a history with the North Carolina State Police...you sold some bootleg Japanese cartoons to a Trooper back in 1996 and he was indicted as part of a RICO sting and your fingerprints were found on a VHS copy of Dragonball Z...

Me: Wait...I can explain. It started with a Traci Lords tape...no, wait, I mean Jackie Chan...

But that never happened. Instead, we talked about the job and whether or not I could do it.

I can do it, I concluded.

I went back to the Bureau office feeling a little better about the future. Just a little.

The next day, I was in mid-nothing at work when my cell-phone rang. Officially, we are not even allowed to answer our private phones on the office floor (security!) but I recognized the number as my potential employer- throwing caution to the wind, I answered.

It was my new boss, calling to offer me a full-time, permanent job with good pay and great benefits. Was I interested?

WOOOHOOO!

*ahem*

Yes. I accept.

Would I mind doing a drug-test?

Why? I'm pretty sure that I have tested all of them at some point in my life and I don't feel like repeating most of the experiences...oh, you mean a piss-test. Oh. Sure. (I didn't say it like that)


Can I take it now?

Yes.

So I did. I passed, was officially hired and I start next week. The new job is in a nice downtown building that is directly on the City bus route, door-to-door from my apartment to the office! Amazing.

Some folks hate the bus, but I prefer it to driving when it come to commuting. I enjoy the 30-minute "book-time" each way...plus, my car needs work. The less I drive, the better.

I turned in my Federal badge Monday and said goodbye to my friends at the Bureau. I won't miss the office, but there were some decent people there and I feel better for having known them...but that is the past.

This is now. Now is looking good.

Other News:

- I won our 'Fantasy Football' pool this year. I'm using my unexpected windfall to buy a vintage Morley pedal to use for...

- The Monday Machines CD, which should be completed and released on April 1, 2010- no fooling! But that is the subject of a whole other- and as yet unwritten- post. It may well be the happiest post of my life, so be warned.

-Goodbye to all this:








Hello 2010!

8 comments:

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I am stealing the drug testing line for sure..and telling it to my granddaughters so they can use it..ha.
it was terrific talking to you and getting this wonderful news ....I'm so happy I can't tell you. Who says praying to a pagan Goddess doesn't work..and Jesus's mama said howdy and glad she could be of help. I pray to everyone for my friends...wonderful wonderful news...hugs and kisses..

secret agent woman said...

Yay! Yay! Yay! I'm thrilled beyond words. A great 2010 to you, friend!

billy pilgrim said...

congrats on the new job.

i'd probably shred those file folders.

Citymouse said...

wooohhoooo!!!!

Sling said...

Add my woots and hoos to the chorus!
Congrats my friend.

schlep said...

I read that post the same way you probably experienced it - waiting for some inevitable disaster - but everything turned out nicely nice. Congratulations!!

schlep said...

Timley, I should add!

angel said...

I am do happy-pleased-smiling-stoked for you!!!