It’s confession time. Bless me, Father, for I have never gotten the job I’ve actually applied for. That isn’t to say I’ve never had a job in my life. I’ve been a bookkeeper, a desk attendant, a dorm counselor, a naturalist, and an observatory assistant. The road towards getting those jobs, however, has been strange and surprising, which, I’m assuming, is why I am having so much trouble with the job search this time around.
Don’t get me wrong… when the wonderful people at the Oberlin Student Union hired me to work at the information desk based on my terrible, inadequate application to work at the bowling lanes, I was thrilled. After a very awkward game of word association and twenty questions, my amazing soon-to-be boss informed me that I knew absolutely nothing about bowling, and I was pretty sure I was going to go jobless for another year. Later, I got an e-mail that said he admired my gumption nonetheless and that he’d like to have me work at the info desk instead.
Whatever, right? A job’s a job, and I needed a job. One whirlwind of a semester after I began driving the proverbial bus of Oberlin College, I was approached by another supervisor at the Student Union and offered a promotion. Be a bookkeeper, he proposed! Join us in the upper echelons of the Wilder hierarchy, O lowly Desker! (Okay, so it didn’t go quite like that.) For some reason, he allowed me a couple of weeks to overthink his offer. When my answer should have been a simple “Yes,” my thought process went something like this: What’s a bookkeeper? I can’t do math! Why me? This is a joke, right? I didn’t apply for this! But I like my job at the desk! What does a bookkeeper even do? I’m not cool enough! Bookkeepers wear cool classes and cool earrings and sip cool-smelling tea. Cool seeps out of their pores on hot days instead of sweat. They are seniors who lived off-campus. Bookkeepers push a cart god dammit! How could I possibly be that cool?
I eventually said yes (obviously), and, as it turned out, the other bookkeepers were just human beings like me, not ultra cool cyborgs sent from Planet Cool to be cool and trendy on Earth. I still think that my presence somehow lowered the awesome-standard of bookkeeping, because I don’t wear earrings and I don’t sip tea, but all-in-all, I was accepted into the circle and eventually settled into my increased responsibilities at the Union. This strange progression of ostensibly random hirings and even more random promotions had happened earlier as well. When I applied to work at Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center, I applied originally to work as the dish washer. When I was contacted about my application, I was interviewed to be a dorm counselor. The next summer, I was promoted to naturalist quite out of the blue.
So, it’s not to say that I wasn’t prepared for the Real World. I’d applied for jobs before, and I’d worked hard before. It’s just that, for me, there always seemed to be a disconnect between the application and the job I was actually hired for. I started to just lay back and let things happen as they happened. It always seemed to Undergrad Me that luck and a glimmering personality, rather than my actual skill set, would determine my employment status. And maybe that’s why Postgrad Me can’t seem to accept the fact that, two days ago, I was offered a job I actually applied for.
To be fair, I’m not 100% sure what job I applied for within the company. I put “any” in the box where it asked me what job I was applying for. (Hey, desperation breeds indecision!) I won’t put you through the torture of my entire thought-process after hanging up the phone. Many of you have already experienced it on G-chat and Facebook. I’ve moved on, anyway, and now I’m at the stage of second-guessing when I start to second-guess my second-guessing. I’m thinking…I should have learned by now that things just work out without explanation. I’m thinking…so what if there wasn’t an interview. So what if my skills rather than my personality are what got me the job. I have 100% more (random) skills now than when I started college, and that makes me a worthy applicant for any job. So what if I didn’t have a chance to tell them that I’ll be leaving for a two-week adventure in Ireland in October. I’ll have over a month to let them know, and two weeks isn’t all that long. I’m thinking…God, why can’t you just let yourself be happy?
And, right now, I might be on the verge of a new stage, where I realize my second-guessing has a deeper level of second-guessing, that has nothing to do with jobs, so the whole first half of this post is just useless thoughts that–haha!–I just made you read. A lot of stuff has gone wrong in my life recently. And not just the stuff I expected to go wrong that went wrong in the way I expected it to. This was real stuff I’d gotten excited about and told people about excitedly and gotten other people excited about, so excited that they ask after it all the time, and all the time I have to tell them that I failed. There is nothing more painful in the universe than this unshakable desire to make people proud of you and to fail so consistently at every aspect of your life. So, maybe that’s why I can’t accept this job as a Real Thing. Maybe that’s why I’m afraid to tell anyone and myself that it’s real. I keep saying that I might be employed, that I might have a job. I’ve been doing a pretty poor job recently at discerning what’s real and what’s not, and I guess it’s just easier to be unsure about everything than to be sure and have it fall through… [to be continued, because this is about to become a novel]
And now, because I’ve wasted your time with a blog post that doesn’t have a positive, forward-looking resolution, A REWARD!!!
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of oil
3 tablespoons of water
and a scoop ice cream for the topping if you have it, which, obviously, I did not this morning
Mix all the dry ingredients in the mug before adding the wet ingredients. Continue mixing until you have a smooth mixture. Put it in the microwave for 1:40-1:55. Be careful taking it out, because it will be hot. Add the ice cream and then enjoy!