I got my first job when I was eleven and I stuck with it for four years. I had a paper round in my housing estate, and in the next estate over. It was good going and I made pretty decent money out of it, for my age and the time (1994). It was my first experience of creating a customer base. The paper was relatively new, and local to our area. It was priced at 45p and published once a week. I walked door-to-door around approximately two hundred households every Tuesday night for a couple of weeks in a row and tried to convince people to buy the paper. I had a good few initial subscriptions and then when those fizzled out a little, I was left with my regular customers: 36 households who bought the paper every week for years. The paper was called “The Echo” and everyone called me “The Echo Girl”. Everyone gave me 50p, and allowed me to keep the 5p change. On top of the 11p I received for every newspaper sold, I was raking in the fine sum of £5.76 per week, sometimes more: occasionally someone would give me a pound and tell me to keep the change (jackpot!). That’s a lot of sweets and teen magazines in 1994. At Christmas time, most of the neighbours put £2 – £5 in an envelope for me and I was staggered and delighted to go home on a frosty December 20th in 1994 with my pockets bulging with cash and Christmas cards. It was my first experience of a Christmas bonus.
So now I am once again facing down the barrel of unemployment. I have been lucky enough to have full time work since April 30th of this year. It was a maternity cover contract, and she’s due back November 26th. I’m really sad at the prospect of having nothing to do again. I’m also sad at leaving some of the work friends I’ve made. It’s all made more complicated by the fact that my husband is no longer working either. I started making applications for jobs a few weeks ago.
On Tuesday of this week I snuck out of work at lunch hour and had an interview for a new job. I am normally quite confident, but I was absolutely sick with nerves. The reason I felt so ill was because, for the very first time in my reasonably long history of employment, it was a job that not only matches with my experience and skills, but also with my passions and hopes. It’s a job that involves working with ex-offenders (I have been training as a prison chaplain since September 2011). I am qualified for the work and could be very good at it, I think, and it would provide huge scope for me to grow and develop in a number of areas. Genuinely, it is the first job I have ever really wanted. Some of my current colleagues had a particular expertise in certain areas of this new job, and they spent hours coaching and advising me. And I nailed the interview.
The employer contacted me on Wednesday to invite me to round 2. I am among the final three candidates. My second interview for the post was yesterday and it was tough; very tough. And now, I play the waiting game. I am physically ill waiting for the call, which I presume will come some time on Monday. I am right out on a limb here, and it feels dreadful. I’m not excited, only fearful. My only sense of how my chances are is that I feel if I was their chosen candidate they probably would have called me on Friday evening, as I know that they’re in a hurry to hire. Usually the successful candidate is given a day or two to formally accept before the unsuccessful candidates are informed. So I reckon my chances are low.
Why am I putting this on my blog? I don’t know exactly. The more people who know about it, the worse it is for me if I haven’t made it. Oh how I hate sympathetic faces! But I can’t think about anything else right now and it helps to put the words down on paper (well, digital paper). It is hard to want something so much. I have never gotten the marks I wanted in college, I have never gotten the jobs I’ve wanted that I’ve applied for (or even interviews) and being “in the top three” is a recurring theme that doesn’t matter at all…it will never matter coming second if first prize is the goal. Don’t get me wrong – if there were medals to be had, I would gladly accept the bronze in any arena. The problem with being in the top three for a job is that there is only one medal going.
Anyway. Watch this space for updates on the Chip Monk’s faltering career. Maybe I’ll have good news or, failing that, a good attitude. Anything to stop this goddam diarrhoea!