It was a journey to get here.
Here being today’s topic, the good news announced and unrevealed prior.
It begins with an interview about a week ago. The job: PT housekeeper at an assisted living facility. A really nice one. With kind and caring staff.
A place with heart.
The interview was very very positive, engaging, personable and flowy. We really hit it off. We talked of many things unrelated to the job. The more they talked with me, the more they liked me; they said as much.
The feeling was mutual.
Friday last was their deadline and mine. Theirs to make a decision. Mine to have employment secured. I was at the edge of the cliff. Without an income secured before month’s end, my path turned for the much worse.
Truth told, the wheels into a homeless shelter were already in motion.
The highly-anticipated call arrived Friday afternoon.
I knew immediately from her tone.
“It was really really close. Between you and one other. Unfortunately, we decided to go with the other candidate.”
It was her employment stability, jobs that she’d held for three or five years, that gave her the edge.
On paper, I look like a druggie ex-con loser on the run.
To conventional eyes, to eyes weak in imagination, to eyes inside the box (read: the majority), I look like a bad hire and poor risk — though the truth is anything but; I resemble last year’s leftovers best tossed into the trash.
On that one phone call Friday destroying the only iron left in the fire, my fate was sealed. It meant continuing arrangements for a shelter and securing storage space for my things (reminder: a carload from former state).
I’ll tell you this: It’s not sleeping in a shelter that frightens; it’s having no income and means to handle my adult responsibilities. Food, I can go without food. I cannot, however, go without meeting my obligations. The repercussions are severe. And THAT terrifies.
I wrote above that I really liked the staff I met, the place, the vibes. We’d hit it off so smashingly. I was impressed (a rare occurrence).
So I dared to be honest in the phone conversation with (HR’s) Candace, once I recovered from the shock of one more rejection.
But this wasn’t “any” rejection. This is the one that mattered the MOST. The one turned me into homeless and my life into utter and irreparable dark cold bleakness.
I spoke my heart with Candace. I shared what not having employment now meant. I revealed the truth about my situation and my feelings about the job, the place and the people.
I pleaded from the heart in desperation, in genuine desire to be a part of their family/team, in the fight to survive And protect my life from the worser horrors and fates of homelessness.
She listened, as I knew she would, and responded. “The only other openings I know of are in food service.”
“I have lots of food-service experience,” I exclaimed — a fact she couldn’t have known as my resume was crafted for housekeeping.
“Send me your food-service resume and I’ll forward it to the right man.”
I expedited that baby over to her!!
By that evening, I’d received a call from Alex in food. My early reputation — much positive had been said about me by those who had met or spoken with me — preceded me.
And it was mutual.
In short, after a lengthy conversation that only furthered the Wonderfulness of the people and place, I was invited into an interview on Saturday. Yesterday.
I met Alex the food supervisor. And Paul, his boss and head chef.
They left me alone in the conference room to talk. Five minutes later Alex returned and with hand outstretched across the table and warmly smiled: “Congratulations.”
I am hired!!!!!
Part time. Hours not set and to be determined by performance and other factors.
Pay is low. All in all, I’ll almost certainly have to secure a second PT job.
However — and it’s a halleluyah however! — I have a job that saves me from the streets, 72 hours before I was to go there.
I’ll be working in a really nice environment with seniors and where the staff are kind and caring.
They take great pride in quality of care and environment. It shows. I wanted to be a part of that. I rallied to be a part of it.
And though the original job for which I applied didn’t turn out, I’ve ended up there nonetheless through a strange twist in the tale.
Because they’re good people there and they heard me and saw me and listened to me (as I did them) and recognized in me the same qualities of kindness and caring and commitment to quality and enthusiasm that drew me to them initially.
That doesn’t happen often in this economy. That it did is a great cause for celebration!
Seventy-two hours before moving into a shelter. Now that’s a miracle!
And that’s the journey into my new job, beginning Wednesday. 6:30 in the friggin’ morning.
I’ll take it! — in unabashed gratitude and relief and joy for the encompassing ruination I was spared.
The journey into Denver, Colorado continues …
… the next order of business: moving.
Which begs one question: If I can’t keep up with all my addresses — this next move’ll make four addresses in 3-1/2 months in Denver — how the hell can the U.S. post office?!
Just askin’ …