Getting Ahead


So I get up this morning and get ready for work. Over coffee, I see this horoscope by Eugenia Last in my morning paper:

Tidy up loose ends, and do your best to get ahead. An unexpected opportunity should be taken advantage of. He who hesitates is lost, so get moving and take what belongs to you. Celebrate with someone you love. Four Stars.

A funny thing happened the other day at Phipp’s as I was picking up a discarded coffee cup and a partially eaten danish some thoughtful customer left on a shelf. A job I’d applied to awhile back popped into my head, nothing I really wanted but something I might consider if desperate. The place called me back, but I managed to get a freelance position in the meantime, so I never responded.

Today in the online job site that everyone uses, that position was posted again. Having taken that for a sign, I thought maybe I should apply again. After all, my horoscope said it might be a good idea, sort of, right? I didn’t hesitate like the horoscope warned. I threw together a lovely cover letter and got that CV all perked up and sent off ASAP!

Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything to celebrate or be with someone I love, unless you consider the group of women I meet up with on occasion at the local book store. We meet and try something like coloring or embroidery or what-have-you, mainly to get out of the house and drink something other than tea. One of the group managed to get a decent temporary job because someone went on leave. I mentioned to her my bold step in the great wide abyss of job applications. She said she’d pass along the word I’m looking. It won’t get me anywhere, but I’m grateful for her offer to help.

I’ve been trying for two years to find something other than Phipp’s. As far as big box stores go, it’s all right. I can’t complain. But it’s not me.

As several of my friends know, being over 50 and trying to continue a career can be challenging. Oftentimes, there’s kids needing attention and mothers leave or work part-time (like me) to be there for them. More and more, parents require more attention than the kids. My father had Alzheimer’s, and my mother died of a heart attack or stroke (never found out exactly which one) due to a thyroid issue. But both of them were failing for several years. My sister and I went back and forth caring for them. And then once they both passed, we had to settle their very unsettled estates. All of this takes a great deal of time and resources, as well as patience. There’s going to be a myriad of problems, no matter how well the estate is planned.

So when everything was settled, I found a decent freelance position but it ended. Took the Phipp’s job as a bridge to more permanent work. And after loads of interviews (I lost count), I’m still not employed at a 9:00-5:00 with benefits. I can’t even tell you how many resumes I sent out. I tried not to have lofty goals, but I can’t lie about my experience. Just because I was an executive director at a tiny nonprofit once doesn’t mean I’d be bored at an administrative assistant position. Hell, I’d be glad to take it! For one thing, it’d pay better, that’s for sure.

Will I take that job I applied for a couple of years ago if offered? Right now, I can’t say. I’d like to have an interview first. See what the position entails. See if it’s what I can do or if I’m even interested. Because I refuse to accept that I’m not worth hiring. I’m really talented and smart. And I will leave Phipp’s one day, for a better job. I have to believe it, because if I don’t, who else will?

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