So my husband’s out of work and that has both of us scrambling to get a job. I am a stay at home mom with a degree in social work (yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking with that one). As soon as he lost his job, I started training as a waitress at a popular steakhouse. I’ve waited tables on and off in my life to get by or pay my way through school, so I knew it was something I could do. It isn’t great money but it is better than minimum wage and until something better comes along, it’s all we have.
I applied to a job recently—a social work job—that I knew was a long shot. The wage was exactly what I had made when we packed up and moved to Utah ten years ago. Although my experience had thick layers of dust on it, I went for it anyway. I couldn’t believe it when they called to set up an interview.
Not only was my experience old, but my interviewing skills needed some work. I left the panel style interview knowing I blew it. Bummer. Then I got a letter. I nearly fell over when I read that I was number two out of the top five candidates. I smiled and felt all tingly believing they would just pick number one and call ‘er good.
Then, I got a call—call for a second interview. I tanked the first interview, or so I thought, and now I had a second chance. Scary and exciting thought. Fate was coming to my rescue.
When I walked into the building, my stomach rolled with excitement. I wanted this job. I sat down on a chair as a secretary handed me a clipboard with a test. I smiled, all the while grumbling at the prospect of a test. I looked over the papers and realized it was a test to see how observant I was. They wanted me to edit a letter for punctuation, typos, grammar—the whole works. Oh mama, could this be another sign? I had just sent an email to a writing buddy of mine whining about wasting the last two years on a dream when I should’ve finished my education or worked. I kicked myself for pursuing a pipe dream of being a published author. Then all of a sudden, I’m being tested on my love of words. Woot, woot.
It didn’t end there. The first question the panel of three asked was how comfortable I am writing. I smiled big and said, “I’ve won a couple awards for my writing, actually.”
After that, I proceeded to nail this interview. My excitement went crazy on the way home. I called my best friend who couldn’t get over the signs, over fates ever-present arm on my shoulder.
“You got this,” she said.
I wanted to believe her, but I still lacked two major components to the job: fundraising experience and grant writing. I tried to assure them I was a self-starter and proactive in learning what needed to be done, but would it be enough?
Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t. They struggled making their decision. She told me I interviewed really well but it came down to experience, down to grant writing. Crap! But at least I made it that far, right? *groans*
I’m trying to stay positive. At least I still have a job serving. That will add to my husband’s unemployment (when we get it) and I can keep looking. But fate had me right where she wanted me for a brief moment. I want to believe that things happen for a reason, that when we’re not paying attention fate steps in and pushes us in another direction—fate had other plans type of stuff. We see this a lot in fiction. So much so that even mentioning fate on a query letter could send you a big “R.”
I’m not sure what I believe. I’d like to believe that good things happen to those who deserve it, but my husband lost his job after being a good person. So fate and I don’t see eye to eye right now. But if she wants to throw us a bone and lead us in the right direction, I’ll listen.
Has fate ever stepped in and shown you the right way? Or are you writing a story where fate takes hold and sends your characters scrambling?