Friday, June 27, 2008

Employed, At Last!

With all the promises that have been fulfilled in sobriety moments before calamity, you’d think Wax had grown accustomed to it…and he has. But one week before leaving his transitional house, The House? Still he’s grown to expect the unexpected.
          For four months he’s been searching for a job, first in his chosen profession, then later, any sober job. What he landed is a compromise: Call Center Representative for a major local bank, FastBank.
          He was a little hesitant to apply, seeing that he still owns them some money, and even more surprised when they made an offer. They’ll end up with an amends.
          Two interviews was all that it took; first with Human Resources, then an hour long one with his boss. The HR interview reminded his of the standard corporate questions he’d been asked at The Department Store, with the typical disgruntled customer situations. The last interview went extremely well.
          Meeting in her cubical, Emily C. started the interview apologizing for everything from the meeting room being occupied, to her first time interviewing candidates; yes that’s right. It turns out that FastBank is trying out a new method of interviewing: having the actual boss conduct the interview. They’re just switching from a system where HR would handle all contact with new employees all the way through to the middle of training. Then boss meets employee, and if you weren’t a fit? Can you say, ‘square peg in round hole’?
          Well, that wasn’t a problem at all for Wax and Emily; they got along like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The communication was excellent, understanding similar situation they’ve experienced, and completing each other’s sentences. The only problem was that of sexual tension. Emily’s full-figured body, pouting lips, and succulent brown eyes may be an issue for Wax; something he’ll have to keep in check. After all, it’s not politically correct today to have an affair with your boss, even if she is female.
          An hour commute is an issue. Mannish House, the sober house he’s planning on moving into this weekend is in the other city. He’ll be working downtown, so bussing isn’t an issue. In fact, his new employer discounts bus fare to $35 per month. However, because of the state’s sober recovery rules, he must move from the transitional housing to a sober house. His chosen sober house isn’t on their list. If he has to choose a different one, why not move much closer to work. The only problem is he’s got ‘til this weekend to be accepted by one. The sober house he wants to move into is ideal, except for location. That is to say it’s distant from work, but he knows the area well. The advantage of living closer to work is that it’s a much more effluent neighborhood. He could find more side work as a computer repairman.
          Compensation is a little on the shy side: $10.90 per hour. His last job at The Discount Store was merely $10.76 an hour, and that’s after being promoted to manager. At his new job, he’s starting at the bottom as CCR with slightly more pay and a clear path for advancement. The job also has financial incentives for superior performance. There’s also an IT department he could slide sideway into. His new boss even questioned why he didn’t choose that and would help with the transition; she’s clearly a boss that thinks of her subordinate’s career path. His answer was intended not to prolong the employment start date: “One should walk in the shoes of the user before implementing software that solves their problems.” For the most part that is true, but he really needed this job now, and didn’t want to suffer the delay and complication of being hired by a department with much more rigorous standards. His technical history needs much more explaining and training before he’s comfortable with that transition. But dreams of making that transition at FastBank are much closer (one floor up) than with The Discount Store (one metropolis away).
          Money will be tight. With an approved sober house, the county will pay for first month’s rent and deposit. The second month’s rent will be due just as his first paycheck arrives. Until then, he’ll have to feed himself with plasma money; kind of a regenerative cycle. Most sober houses pay for utilities, cable, even Internet, as with Mannish House. So, if he hits the food shelves and uses blood money for the fresh vegetables, milk, and toiletries, he should survive until things get caught up financially. Of course, that’s not going to dissuade him from playing poker at the casino this weekend.
          Today’s photograph is of a young man waiting on a bus bench with a homemade guitar constructed of plywood. When asked if he’d built it, he replied, “No, I didn’t. I don’t know who did.”

Without Wax (speaking in the third person),

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