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I Got a Job

June 29, 2017

So, I got a job.

It’s not a design job. I’m an office assistant at a small trailer dealership in a small town south of Portland.

I’m not exactly sure how I got it actually. At some point, I gave up on design jobs and started applying for admin stuff. After applying for a job on one of the sites a message popped up, “We found 20 other jobs just like this one. Would you like to apply for all of them? Click here.”

Sure, why not? I clicked.

Then one day a recruiter called me about this office admin job. “Why do you think you’d be a good fit for this position,” he asked me as I walked The Kid home from school.

“I’ve been applying for a lot of jobs,” I confessed. “You’re going to have to be more specific.”

I gave him some spiel about just wanting to get a job and how my work life didn’t need to be a creative outlet etc… I even threw in my theories about dating and job hunting. I told him I was willing to meet this woman who owned a trailer dealership if she was willing to give me a chance.

I had two interviews that day. The second one was an office job at a BMW car dealership. The trailer lady one went well. But I left thinking that I didn’t want the job. I just felt like it wasn’t my kind of place. What do I know about trailers? (Not the live-in kind; the kind people use for hauling stuff like cars or equipment.)

Then I drove into Portland for the second interview. I was early so I walked around the waterfront park and sat at a coffee shop watching people go by. I thought about what it would be like to live in a real city, something I’ve never experienced. I started to hope the interview would go well.

It did not. The job was making appointments for car owners who needed work done. But it was somehow incentivized so that you got bonuses for turning phone calls into appointments. I found this concept quite confusing. The woman interviewing me was the manager of the department. She couldn’t have been over 24 and she had been working there 5 months. She was terrible at interviewing. I asked most of the questions and she asked very little. Then she mentioned the work schedule. Monday to Saturday with Thursday’s off. As soon as she said that, I was out.

The trailer dealership was looking better.

I got the offer, accepted it and went in for a short meeting to talk about when I would start. I was smart enough to tell her that I had previously solidified plans for the 28-30 and would not be able to work those days. I was going to Vancouver for my birthday and I wasn’t going to give that up.

At that second meeting, the owner was kind of weird. She asked me more than once if I was sure I wanted the job. I asked her if she was sure she wanted me to have it. She showed me around and introduced me to people, which she had already done at the interview. I left feeling uneasy and wondering if it was going to work out.

I started training with the woman who was moving away. Ironically, the job was basically all the things I complained about doing at my last job, but without all the other responsibilities. It was light bookkeeping, answering the phones and other minor administrative work. They used a combination of up-to-date software on new computers and old-school paper packets written up in sharpies. I liked that. After the first couple of days, I felt a lot better about it. My predecessor went on vacation and I worked one full week alone and I actually liked it. It was oddly satisfying, like putting together a puzzle every day. And I could see that it was going to be easy. I started to get to know the people and their personalities and they seem like a good bunch, easy going and friendly. Plus the pay wasn’t half bad for the kind of work. It would allow me to get an apartment in a few months.

The next week I worked a couple more days with my predecessor and she tried to get me as prepared as possible to fly solo. By the end of the second day I was anxious to be alone in the job again. Her personality is different from mine. She was loud and kind of scattered in her tasks. There were too many piles going on at once. She had a habit of not finishing her sentences and I had to cajole her into getting the full thought out. By the end of the last day with her, I felt confident enough that if there was anything else I needed to know, I could learn it from the owner.

Speaking of her, as I get to know her better, I can see that we’re going to get along just fine. She has a sense of humor and a laid back outlook. I can see how she might be a little whiney sometimes when she’s a bit stressed, but she seems to be honest and to the point. Not the kind of boss who is going to be insecure and who needs constant validation or engages in ridiculous power-plays. Like someone I used to know. We’re going to fine.

So, it’s not the ideal job and I don’t think I’ll want to work there for years. But I could see staying there a year, maybe 18 months before moving on.

Next goal: A place of my own.


From → Rantings

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