Have you ever had one of those weeks where you’re just wanted? My simple interview turned into a four-person meeting. I spent so much time interviewing that I barely made it back home before my transfer expired. Arriving back at my apartment, I witness landlord Bertha W. arriving. Normally, I’d avoid her, but I’m on a mission.
I enter the apartment building right after her and surprisingly I don’t run into her. Tossing leftovers in the microwave, I jump on my computer and map out my next destination: drug screening. I’m not even there for more than a minute before she’s knocking on my door. “Hi. Come on in,” I respond.
“I’m not coming in there,” she insists.
Suit yourself, I think. Leaving the door open, I return to my computer, concentrating on choosing which of these drug-screening labs would be the quickest route. She predictably walks right in as if she owns the place...oh, that’s right, she does.
“I see you’ve made headway in packing up,” she says. Astonishingly civil today, I attribute it to the dress shirt and tie.
“You’ll have to excuse me. I just got a job offer from The Discount store and I now have to take a drug test,” I say.
“Well, I hope you’ll pass.”
“You know I will,” I persist.
“I don’t know. You still have to be out by the end of the month. I’ve given you enough chances.”
“I know,” I reply, not looking up from my screen. Thankfully, she leaves on that note, allowing me to concentrate on my trip planning. She seems much more courteous than in the recent past. It makes me think there may be a way to convince her to allow me to stay and pay back the back rent. But having to plan for all contingencies, I know better.
The Discount store offered me a full-time position, two days in the photo department, and three days on register. They want to give me more time in the photo department, but it’s not currently available. There’s also the matter that I have no actual photo department experience, but I convinced him that my experience building my own darkroom, high school and college darkroom experience, and my professional wedding photography experience convinced the interviewer that I was competent to do the job. I also expressed that I believe I could service the company well in the electronics department selling digital cameras. He was very receptive of these ideas. He asked me my rate of pay at The Deli and Pizza Joint, and he responded, “Oh, I think we can to better than that.” Far out, my smile expresses. He did show concern about my current employment at The Deli, but I assured him that this is the place I intended to work full-time and that The Deli hired me on the spot, meaning I worked the same day I was hired. I will gladly adjust my schedule to accommodate The Discount Store.
I have to wait a week for the background check before I can start working. The drug screening comes back in a few days. The interviewer asked me about the DWI I disclosed on the application. “What consequences became of your DWI? What have you learned from that mistake?” he asks.
“I learned that I’m through with drinking and I’ve been sober for nine months,” I fib. No need to discuss my latest relapse and its consequences. With corporate don’t-ask-don’t-tell attitude, he doesn’t dig deeper. Most people would ask if you’re in A.A., attending meetings, maybe even ask if you have a sponsor, but I’m glad he didn’t expand. I want to keep this interview positive.
After reviewing the possible schedule I’ve been asked to accommodate, I may have to drop most, if not all, of my hours at The Deli. No need to alert them until I’m officially hired. Working a normal first and second shift at The Discount instead of the third shift at The Deli solves another problem: where to sleep. By working only first and second shift, I can either sleep and eat at The Mission, or find shelter at a halfway house. Working third shift leaves me no bed.
My plan this morning was to sleep in, go to the interview, and visit The Pizza Joint to see if I can get my morning job back. Having spent most of the day dealing with this new job offer at The Discount, and running on only three hours sleep, I decide to buy something to treat myself, go home, and relax. I passed so many liquor stores, and with money in my pocket, I was tempted. However, I decide on Kung Pao Chicken. It wasn’t until arriving home that I discover my choice was poor. I don’t recommend the Tia restaurant at the corner of Selby and Dale. I ate this over-priced meal, the entire thing, and then fell fast asleep thinking of the one-liner; “Jeffrey Dahmer once ate an entire Chinese family and was hungry an hour later.”