Autumn is a season of prose, I’ve decided. Leave Spring to the poets, and good riddance! I adore Autumn. The golden leaves, the yellow leaves, the wine-colored leaves… all are so beautiful, as if the world was going out in a flame of splendor –its “last hurrah.”
I realized the other day that I was cheering for those beautiful leaves when their color changes actually signified death—but my roommate stopped my would-be mourning very kindly and very practically with the reminder that leaves don’t have souls. I stopped feeling sad. “Die away!” I cried. (Not really.)
Enjoying Autumn as I am—including the brisk breezes and piping apple cider—I’ve loved walking to and from campus to the library to downtown. I should be quite familiar with downtown by this time, having made many trips there in the recent past.
I’ve been job-hunting—bravely marching into shops, cafés, and restaurants, asking if they were hiring. I’ve filled out applications, printed résumés, and waited.
Four days ago I marched into different shops, different cafés, and different restaurants with the same end in mind. I was more fortunate. The following day I returned to drop off a résumé, pick up an application, and show up for an interview.
I was feeling hopeful and also dispirited. Having no employment experience certainly didn’t help. But the sun was out and the walk lovely, taking me through a small green park dotted with gazebos, dedicated benches, and delightful silver-haired ladies sipping tea and reading intently.
The interview went well. I wasn’t sure how I’d like being a server in a grill, but as I was desperate for a job, it didn’t matter. I left with an assurance that I would call the manager on Monday to see if it would work out.
The last stop of the day was the frozen yogurt place—or “YoYo Land,” as it is called. It didn’t look promising. The manager had forgotten I was coming for the application. But he gave me a piece of paper and a sample off of which to look. As he took it from me and I prepared to leave, he seemed to gesture that I should stay instead.
So I did. After reading my “application,” the manager conducted an impromptu interview. He looked stressed and unhopeful. I didn’t have employment experience—that worried him immensely. (It must have, because he repeated it several times.) He asked me questions about my life. He grimaced. I shifted, wanting to say, “I can leave… I don’t need to work here…. There are other options…”
Then, a surprising question: “How badly do you need a job?” He asked.
“Well…” I hesitated. “Pretty badly.”
We discussed England—how much it would cost and why it was important.
“I have a hundred applications here,” he said, pointing to a stack.
I laughed. Most of them probably had employment experience.
“There’s a two-week training session. You’re paid, of course, but that’s when I see how quick you learn. It’s probationary,” he explained finally.
I thought a nod would be helpful, so I nodded.
“Well…” he paused, “why don’t we just try?”
Try? Try? I nodded more helpfully.
“Come in Saturday at ten, then,” said he.
I left YoYoland a few minutes later, extremely dazed. Throughout the entire interview, I had been so certain that he saw me as a future incompetent bungler—simply because I had no employment experience and therefore wouldn’t be able to do anything! And now he’d just given me a job!
Suddenly a huge grin spread across my face. I wanted to dance and sing and shout and run up to random people and give them hugs and tell them the good news. “I have a job, I have a job!” I contented myself with repeating quietly, every few seconds, in various tones and various accents.
I had prayed in September that I would find a new job by the next month, or I would have to give up my dreams about England—there was simply no way otherwise.
That day was October 2nd. 🙂