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Monday, July 14, 2008

Venturing back out into the civilian workforce: Sort Of.

This morning, wiping sleep out of my eyes after a very restless night, I reluctantly got up. I clumsily made my way into the shower in hopes of waking up. While the water was refreshing, it didn’t make me any less sleepy. How on earth did I ever get up for 0430 PT runs? Oh, that’s right, I was but a young(er) lass then.

I made sure to be up no later than 0630 giving myself at least an hour to shower, dress and eat (and again wake up) before getting on the road. My journey was but a mere 29 miles from my home, still in a region I’ve not yet navigated. Darn, luxury vehicle of a minivan. Why didn’t you come equipped with a GPS?

So, as I’d rather be on time (you know, at least 15 minutes early) then running in disheveled—trying to present the opposite image—I left an hour an a half early. One tenet of Marine Corps doctrine is that, “Being on time is being late. You should be at least 15 minutes early to everything”, (Brent D. “The Ominous Comma”, Nov. 9, 2007).

At home, I pull on this (what I think looks like) silk, blue suit. Yes, I’ve come such a long way with blasts of color in my wardrobe (at least it’s not wool or gabardine). It does seem a bit formal and corporate; but hey, if it lands me the job, right? It’s been my power suit for about 5 years now. Funny, how for the most of those years I’ve been wiping faces and butts at my house. I guess the suit has lost its pizazz, but I digress.

My husband, be still my heart, barely let me out the door. He alleges that a woman in a suit (aka me) makes him gaga. I truly think he just didn’t want to be left alone with the little ruffians for the morning. Still, he can stroke my ego with flattery and well…I won’t tell you anymore. ;)

Getting to the good stuff: Yes, today, I had an interview. Yes, folks a real big girl type job in the civilian world. I’ve had some of those. Details about them decorate this piece of paper called my resume. Sometimes I get saucy and call it my curriculum vitae. Still, that’s usually only commonplace in academic or scholarly settings, so I missed the mark with that one when some cross-eyed interviewees asked “A what?” in the past. Note to self: Don’t try to sound smart. Just look smart. Wear the blue suit.

I drive down the highway….lah de dah….no screaming kids. A gal can get used to this. I arrive at my destination 45 minutes early. It was a piece of cake to get to and there was parking on site—for free! Bonus! So, I check my lipstick. Reapply. Read my resume. Scoff at the guy who parks next to me and bumps the van with his car door. Reread the job description. Wished I had brought a snack. Do I need more lipstick? No, that would be overkill. (I have a lipstick addiction).

Alright, it’s now about 20 minutes ‘til. That’s sufficient. I grab my briefcase and adjust my suit, walking across the pavement in my blue suit. I feel so….so….Woman Hear Me Roar.

The interview process kicks off a tad slow. The interviewer is a lovely woman, petite, polished and kindly. She is a social worker and speaks much more cautiously than my punctuated excitedness. I decide if I am to work here, I need to tone down a bit. I am so accustomed to deadlines and stress that the calm atmosphere is going to have to grow on me. After a score of questions, I dazzle her with some psychology knowledge even reference the DSM-IV. Not surprisingly, I would require some additional training because the position calls for experience in an area vastly different than what I’ve been working in for the past 12 years. It could work though. I learn real well—people tell me that. They do. I don’t just play smart on t.v. Oh, and in case you are wondering, a Masters degree (in anything) doesn’t impress people someone with a MSW or a PhD. (that was a joke, you can laugh)

Here’s the kicker: The position is a union contract. Hmph. It’s a lower pay bracket than what I’ve earned in the most recent past so that could be a deal breaker too. Still, social services don’t yield high wages, and I wasn’t shocked. It would be glorious if she said, You’ll be making $200K a year, but I live in the real world. At least most of the time.

You may be wondering if I’ve made a decision. I haven’t. I have to crunch some numbers and I’m still interviewing and applying elsewhere. I don't know if I will actually go back to work right now. I enjoy searching for the perfect job (if there is such a thing). I love the prep that goes into the interview process (weird, I know). And, part of me feels I need to justify the pretty diplomas that I owe a lot of money for.

Of course, part of me wants to continue doing the stay-at-home mommy thing where I get to eat Bon Bons and watch soaps all day. Still, the power suit beckons me. It urges me to get up at zero-dark-thirty to wash my hair and slather on makeup so that I can trudge off to a Monday morning meeting.

What’s that saying? The office/house is always greener on the other side?


Brent Diggs said...

These days as I hobble down the stairs every morning, I wonder how I ever did anything at 0430, much less exercise.

Good luck on your interview, I'm sure you'll do fine. I know had to have gone better than this one:

Keep up the good work.

Just a Girl in a Port said...

Thanks for the comment. Funny article. I have to say, I've done a bit better than sporting a broom, but I get your point. It's all how you market yourself, right? LOL

I really enjoy your blog!