Friday, April 8, 2011

It’s Fate . . . Or Maybe Not

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?


Heather said...

Sorry about the job, but I think it usually means there's something better out there for you.

Fate and I don't really get along...

Trisha said...

Sorry you didn't get the job - but it sounds like you did really well. You've got the right attitude - hang in there!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

You must have gone through every emotion, Diana, and I'm so sorry you didn't get the job in the end. Hopefully it boosted your confidence to get that far. I do hope things work out for you both.

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

I hope things will start lining up perfectly soon ;)

Anonymous said...

Keep on trying. be the little train that could. Youll get this!

Susan Kane said...

Do not let yourself give up. These interviews will network to something else. Follow those arrows!
That was the "MOM" in me. I have been there, and as R. Frost wrote "...two roads diverged in a yellow wood..." You'll take the road meant for you.

Amie Kaufman said...

Oh, so close! It definitely shows you're doing better in those interviews than you think, though--fingers crossed something is just around the corner! For now, you have a fanastic attitude, and that's going to make a big difference.

Kari Marie said...

Sorry about the job. Job hunting can be such a roller coaster. When this happens in my life, it usually means something better is coming, the problem is you never know when. Keep the faith!

Sandra said...

You were so close though. Don't let that deter you, that means you're one step closer. I know it's cliché but I'm a big believer in the adage that we make our own fate.
And you've won writing many people can say that! I can't! Totally envious of you!

Maria Papadopoulou said...

I am well aware of how cruel it is to get so close to achieving something, only to have the rug pulled out from under you at the last minute. I tried to give a logical explanation to it myself-but I couldn't. It still seems totally irrational to me.
What I found out over the years though, was that no matter how difficult it is, you need to be persistent and patient. Not just persistent and not just patient. Persistent and patient at the same time. And then one day...jut when you are ready to throw in the will be rewarded. Maybe not in the way you would like, maybe not as much as you would like...but you will be rewarded.