I got a job! Let's see, I've been looking for a job since August, as I've written here and here and here. Finally, I had a good interview, which I worried about, and then my heart was broken. I had a couple of interviews after that, but nothing really promising, and I slowed down my search.
I studied for my comprehensive exam, which I passed (yay!), spent November writing a novel (well, sort-of-a-novel), and got my internship set for spring semester. I kind of resigned myself to working for nothing but school credit, going to the gym, and puttering around the house (is that what I do/did? putter?). Out of almost nowhere, a friend with whom I worked at the last internship told me she got a job and could probably get me one, too. I said, sure, whatever, I'll talk to the boss, pretty sure no one was going to be as flexible as I needed. (I decided I couldn't work full-time, finish my internship, and still occasionally see my children and stay sane.)
So I drove down there, to the border of the next county, last Monday, got offered the job on Tuesday, and started working on Wednesday. I worked full days on Thursday and Friday, Monday and today. And I'm working close to a full day tomorrow. This turned out to be damn good timing because we suddenly don't have enough money to pay the bills in January. I'm sure we would have figured something out, but it's good that we don't have to.
Not that I'll be making piles of money, but I am going to work around 30 hours, get a decent wage, and have the option to work more hours if I can. And it's almost in my field, not counseling, but case management, a nebulous title, but experience in which seems to be a prerequisite for many of the jobs I've seen. The drive is 30-35 minutes, but more from distance than traffic, which I prefer. They seem to be generous in the little things like nobody clocking out for lunch, the hours are flexible, and goddamn it, I'm helping desperate people. Desperate homeless people. It does my little heart good.
On the other hand, I don't really know what the fuck I'm doing. I've never actually been a case manager before. I don't know anyone at any agencies in that county (okay, as of two days ago, I know two people, although I've only talked to one of them). Also, the homeless shelter itself is brand new, so all the procedures are just being written as we go. I don't have an office yet. I have no place to put charts. Until today, I didn't have charts at all. And then there's just the little, weird, annoying things about working with other people. Why does no one in the office have access to stamps? The phone system is awkward to use. Too many people are into too many people's business. Everyone smokes!
I think it will work out, though. It will really help my job prospects for post-Master's (July 2009) to have experience like this. I may even be able to move into a different position at the agency by then. I will probably be exhausted trying to squeeze everything into the week, but maybe it will be a good exhaustion.
When I had to go work last Friday, the last day of school before the holiday break, I had to tell my kindergartner that I couldn't go to her class Christmas party. I told her at the dinner table on Thursday night. Her face crumbled and she burst into tears. Assurances that her aunt (my sister) would be there, that Grandma (who teaches first grade next door) would be stop by, even that Daddy could come, got only sobs and "It's just not the same!" Really, I've not been the kind of mom who comes to every event because I have always seemed to have somewhere to go--interview, internship, nail appointment (just kidding about the last one)--around the time of the classroom events. I've skipped some entirely, or just dropped by for half an hour. (I don't know about you, but 20+ kindergartners and their hovering parents is overwhelming and exhausting for me.) I wasn't paralyzed with guilt at her tears, although it did remind me that she's still really little (even if she is the Big Sister). Sure enough, she got over it in a few minutes, my dad ended up showing for the party because he'd started his vacation days, and everything was fine.
A new chapter begins . . . maybe there will be more to write about, but I probably won't have time. When am I going to exercise? Is there a Saturday yoga class?