1:100 Applicants

I was offered a job! I real job to which I get to wear skirts and blazers and slacks (a word my grandmother uses)! I am so tired of wearing yoga pants and hoodies while I chase someone else’s children around their dirty house.

If you regularly read my posts, you probably saw my post Today. from January 10th (it was very angsty  I can’t say that I am altogether proud of that post since it reminded me of the pseudo beat poetry that I wrote in high school and have  since grown away from – but I was really pissed off); if you didn’t here is the gist: upon returning from Wisconsin and getting married, I was greeted with a text from the family I worked for stating that they wouldn’t need me for over a month and that I wouldn’t be receiving any compensation during this time. Jason and i were in panic since we rely on my paychecks from week to week since he is currently a grad student. Our first month of marriage has been spent spending the money we received from our lovely wedding guests and with me going insane from being cooped up in the house all day every day.

Anyway, now that you are caught up, I had been applying to every position I could imagine being somewhat qualified for – I even re-posted my resume on the nanny finder websites that found me my other two nanny positions even though I really do not want to nanny any longer. I applied to be sales managers, receptionists, data entry specialists, bookkeepers, and many other positions that are not teaching. I even put my name and resume in to several employment agencies, thanks to the suggestion of my friend and former employer, Kyla (please check out her blog).

I should clarify – my work permit states that I can work anywhere in Saskatchewan – except in education, brothels, or in the medical field – awesome, since I spent seven years at the university learning how to teach.

Last week I had three interviews. One with Saskjobs to help me scratch the surface of the Saskatoon job market, one with a marketing office for a receptionist/bookkeeper position (both things I have never done before, but feel I could figure out pretty easily), and an interview to nanny for two young children. I put on my big-girl clothes, heels, and the jewelry Jason gave me last Sweetest Day (for luck and fanciness), chiseled the ice and snow off of the Jetta, and made my way to downtown Saskatoon.

At the Saskjobs interview, I was greeted by a very sweet middle aged man named Curt, who took me into my office and fawned over my resume, cover letter, and reference letters that I had collected over the past few years. Our half hour session grew to over an hour as he explained to me that about 20% of the jobs available are advertised online, the other 80% are never advertised. He gave me tips on how to conduct informational interviews to get my foot in the door and directed me to the following links (which I strongly suggest you check out if you are looking for work):

My next interview was with a marketing company, or rather, the shared office that this company in which it is located. I was interviewed by a sharp looking woman with a great blazer. I twisted an explanation for over an hour how my education as an educator made me the right candidate for the receptionist/bookkeeper position I was applying for (even though I have absolutely no experience with bookkeeping, and have limited experience as a receptionist, but I technically had my own desk and occasionally did paperwork and answered phones at the Women’s Center where I worked as an undergrad). Surprisingly, she sounded interested and told me she would be in contact within the next week. I left feeling pretty confidant.

Finally, I had an interview with a family of two professors and their two children to be their nanny. I reluctantly crept up to their house and parked across the street. The house looked normal enough and there was no red flags, but I really didn’t want to go back to doing someone else’s laundry and picking up toys for a living. Then, upon entering the house, there were the red flags. There was loud bongo music in the background, playground equipment in the basement and living room, and mounds of toys scattered about the house. The older of the two children was running around like mad and was never redirected to a different activity while his mother tried to interview me. I learned that her and her husband tried the attachment based parenting approach (which I have read about, but did not realize meant never telling your child “no” or having one second of silence). I could barely think to answer her slightly vague questions while I was asked several times to refuel the boy’s airplane or while she was breast feeding her child of nearly two. The smoke alarm kept going off since she was cooking dinner while we talked and with all the interruptions I could barely think to answer the questions. I didn’t try too hard. I knew we needed the money, but I couldn’t see myself working here for over a dollar less than I was making at my other nanny positions and twice as much cleaning responsibilities.

I explained the day of interviews to Jason when I picked him up from work, and he agreed that if I got a call from the attachment parents, I should definitely not take the position.

As soon as I got home, I got a call from the marketing office. If I could make it in, they wanted me to come for a second interview the following morning. I couldn’t believe it.

I got dressed up again, took a deep breathe, and took the elevator to the 8th floor again. I met with a gruff, but business-like man, in a green tie. He was candid. There were over 100 applicants for this position, about 80 were qualified, 4 had gotten interviews. He explained to me that I was not qualified for this job and there was another candidate that they were considering, but that I would fit into their work environment well. He was going on holiday to Hawaii for two weeks. I would hear from the woman I met with next week either way.

The next day, Friday morning, I received an e-mail asking to verify a few things about my work permit. A few hours later, I got a call from the woman in the sharp blazer. 1:100, I got the position. I start in a week.

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