I'd like to share a little story with you today, Alliterati. A strange little story about a girl named-- uh, me. No, not Me, just, you know, me.
8 years ago I was looking for a job. Any job.
8 years ago, I applied for a job, educating people about animals.
8 years ago, I got the job. I loved the job. I did the job well. But I had my eye set higher, wanting to take care of animals, not just talk about them.
7 years ago, I applied for a job taking care of animals. Really cool animals.
7 years ago, I got the job.
7 years ago, I was still pretty immature. Yeah, it was a job I wanted, but I was pretty young, and was having trouble with my serious boyfriend at the time. I didn't take it seriously. I didn't understand what it meant.
6 years ago, I lost the job. Not by choice.
4 years ago, I got fed up with animals and went into real estate instead. Just as the economy tanked.
4 years ago, I found a pretty solid and amazing job at a great company with great co-workers. But slowly, I started to realize that real estate wasn't what I wanted to do forever.
1 year ago, I went to the zoo with my family and then-future-husband and realized just how much I missed being in that environment. Professional. Zoological. Working with animals. Making a difference. Having a cause.
1 year ago, I applied for a job I was perfect for, working with animals and educating people about them.
1 year ago, I got a generic rejection email (oh how familiar those are to writers!) without even being called for an interview.
1 year ago, I rallied around that rejection and maybe even went a little crazy. I applied for three different volunteer positions, two working with animals/ the public and one working with kids.
9 months ago, I started volunteering. A lot. At all three places. In between planning my wedding and still working full-time and taking two college classes. I also applied to every single job that came up that I remotely qualified for at the place that I was dying to work.
1.5 months ago, I got a call back for the first time. An interview. A position that wasn't ideal (no hands-on with animals) but that I could do. A foot-in-the-door position.
38 days ago, I interviewed for that job.
33 days ago, I got a generic rejection email telling me I didn't get it. I already knew. I blew the interview.
2 weeks ago, I applied for yet another position. And another. And four more. One of which was working with animals, and educating, but I wrote it off. Fat chance they'd call someone like me, bearing the red "F" on my employment record, for a hands-on job.
5 days ago they called. For the position that's both educational and working with animals. Can you come in for an interview on Saturday? Sure can. Had to cut a book launch party short, but it was closer to the interview location than I was already, so it worked out.
42 hours ago, I walked into the interview room to see that three of the four interviewers were the same people who had interviewed me the last time. At least they seemed happy to see me.
41 hours ago, I must have done something right. After asking me if I had any questions at the end, and answering the few that I had, the main interviewer turned to me and said, "Well, we're going to go ahead and offer you a position now."
41 hours ago I nearly started crying in front of my new co-workers and supervisors. They walked me out of the interview, pointing me toward HR, where I was to start filling out my new-hire paperwork. The lady who had offered me the job told me, "We didn't mean to surprise you, but we have a code we use when we want to hang on to someone."
26 hours from now, I go back and do some more paperwork.
33 hours after that, I have my orientation. Next week, I'll start my new job. Working with animals. And educating people about them.
I'm shocked. Still. After thinking I messed up beyond all repair so many years ago, I managed to make a pretty big move in the right direction. And I am beyond excited to do this job!
There are some negatives: it's a REALLY long drive. And it's seasonal, and part-time. But all of that is okay with me, because even if I don't get to keep this job, it makes it so much easier for me to get my foot into other doors later.
Something else came up this weekend, too, that would help ease the pain of working part time if it pans out. But I won't discuss that one now, because it's not a sure thing yet. And I'm still pretty focused on the new job thing. I keep thinking they're just messing with me, that they'll call at any moment and say, "Haha! Just kidding!" and I will hang up the phone and know that I knew it all along.
But I have decided that if they think I am worthy, then I must be worthy. I will be worthy. I am worthy.
I am worthy.
I am scared.
I am excited.
I can do this.