Thursday, July 26, 2012


So I made it to my interview.  I flew to Seattle the day after my daughter's 3rd birthday and spent entirely too much money on the journey .  I bought a nice jacket for it, I took friends' up on offers to help drive me places and stay with them, and I got a hotel room that I stayed in for all of 5 hours so that I didn't have to wake up any of my friends to take me to the airport at 5am.  
I got to the library a full 4 hours early so I could look around and get my bearings.  Which only really took about 45 minutes before I started feeling like people might grow suspicious of the chick who was carrying a suitcase around and just staring at the stacks and floor maps, so I used their wifi to re-watch Doctor Who until it was interview time.  

I was taken up to do the Excel portion of the test by a gentleman who gave me a list of about 18 tasks to complete on a pre-made Excel sheet.  I had 30 minutes to complete the tasks and he told me he would knock on the door 5 minutes before my time was up just so I could be sure to pay attention to the time. 

So the first 11 tasks go by easily despite the fact that the mouse they gave me had a button that kept sticking (and I STUPIDLY did not ask them for a different one... or use the built-in one that was on the laptop I was using because THAT would be too obvious a solution), and then I got to step 12.  And I could not remember how to write a formula that linked the values on one sheet to a cell on another sheet.  I remembered how to hyperlink them, which I did, but I didn't feel like that was the same as writing a "formula," which is what the step specifically instructed and I spent a while clicking through the relatively-new-to-me 2011 Excel interface trying to see if I could figure it out. 

Then the interviewer knocked my 5-minute-warning on the door, and this is about what happened to me:

This happened to me during my GREs too.
I am not someone who does well on tests. 
Unless they're essays on a topic I know about.
Which this was not.
 I just could not focus on completing the last few tasks on the sheet because I was convinced I had messed up  the prior step.  And when I finally talked my brain into just letting it go and moving on, suddenly the test was over and I had to go interview with two people while the words "DID NOT FINISH!" flashed in front of my eyes like a talisman of doom. 

Luckily I have an awesome friend who posted the Karate Kid "You're the Best" theme song on my Facebook page earlier that day, so I took a few deep breaths, focused on hearing that song instead of looking at the sign scrolling through my head: 

I bet the Karate Kid didn't have one of these on the insides of his eyelids...

I am pretty sure the actual interview went well - I made a point to state that I had panicked on the Excel test and I knew if I'd ever used the newer interface for the function I got stuck on I wouldn't have had the problems I did, but I'm not sure if it helped or not.  The female interviewer seemed to like me, but the male interviewer, who was the one who administered the Excel test, seemed less enthusiastic and made a comment about how he needed someone with the "right skills to help [him] out"... so who knows.  I'm up against 7 other people (out of 60 that applied) and they knew that I flew up there just for the interview so I'm hoping that they'll see my potential and enthusiasm and not just the fact that I didn't finish my test.

And I'd be lying if I said that the first thing I did once I got out of that building wasn't  crying.  Or that I didn't go seek out a bar right after that to go get a shot of tequilla to help shake off the feeling of being a total failure.

It's been a long, emotionally-charged week for me.

But even if I don't get the job, the trip was not a total loss.  I fell in love with Seattle - it's like San Francisco with a lot fewer hipsters!  And I got to have a great night out with two of my best friends that I hadn't seen in forever.  (And I'm secretly hoping that they eventually fall in love and have like 6 babies together because that would be the greatest thing ever.)

I should find out by August 8th or so whether or not I get the job.  So we'll probably stagnate here in Santa Barbara a little longer than planned so that we can find out before we move. 

Now I just have to breathe and try not to drive myself crazy thinking about it.  

PS:  I know, I know.  A song at the end of the blog?  Makes zero sense.  But it doesn't make sense anywhere else in here either.  So shush.  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

FINALLY something sprouts!

I finally heard back today, and I have an interview in Seattle's main library on the 24th of this month.

Mix all of these actions together and you get a rough mental image of what I looked like when I got the email.

So get ready, Seattle Public Library.  I've got everything riding on this interview and job and, not to toot my own horn too much, but I kind of rock at interviews.  Plus I'm flying up there just to get this job - THAT is dedication. You'd be crazy NOT to hire me.


PS:  Yes, I discovered the reactiongif subreddit a few months ago.  SUE ME.

PSS: Unless you're Charles Carreon.  Because really, you kind of have had your share of ludicrous lawsuits for the year already.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Out of the Soil of my Mental Breakdown

Last weekend it finally happened: I had a mental breakdown from the stress of our living situation.  

The kiddo and I both got an upper respiratory infection on Friday and after trying to spend two days holed up in my bedroom with the world's crankiest almost-three-year-old I just finally lost it.  I spent at least 2 hours a day crying in the bathroom while so I wouldn't freak the kiddo out.  (Luckily she didn't seem to mind watching a lot of movies in my bed... she just wouldn't nap or eat or stop jumping on my head when I asked her to.)  Since we were sick that limited the places we could potentially have gone to escape the house and I basically just steeped in the misery of feeling like an interloper in my own home for a few hours too long and couldn't see my way out of the misery.  It's insanely hard to keep thinking to yourself, "God, it's just so disrespectful and rude that she won't stop smoking when she knows we're sick!  But is it also disrespectful and rude of me to begrudge her for it so much when this is her house and she is being more than generous in letting us stay here still?  Probably.  But it's my CHILD that I'm worried about... shouldn't she care too?" and not really have any resolution to that thought cycle.

I don't know what broke inside of me exactly there that I couldn't pull it together, but when I finally saw Andrew after he got off work on Sunday I told him that I felt like I had no control over our lives anymore and that I was just insanely miserable staying here and was considering trying to move into my parents' house for a while.  Sure, they might want to teach Sadie songs about Jesus and guilt trip me for not giving her a spiritual education, but I don't think that's too bad.  (We are all more comfortable with the "devil" we know, right?)  Plus at least my child's health wouldn't be permanently scarred by them.  Which is a HUGE bonus.  Anyway, he finally got the point that I wasn't just trying to complain about his mom's smoking - I was trying to talk to him about what else we could do since he's been applying for transfer positions for over a month and hasn't even had a call-back for an interview.  I even applied for a position in the Seattle Public Library for a full-time job that I feel I'm more than qualified for, even though I had hoped to not work for the next 3 semesters so that I could just finish my degree and get into a career position... but my desire to be out of the house vastly outweighs my desire to finish my degree by next year, so if I'm lucky enough to get an interview I fully intend to knock their socks off.

So, the actual update here is this: we are moving on to Seattle by the end of July.  We both found in our job hunts that the Seattle area have many, many more job opportunities than Oregon does, so our chances are infinitely better there.  (And I'm selfishly giddy here since I have several good friends and some family up there.)  Andrew has some paid time off saved up at his work so we're both going to keep hunting until that time and if we don't have anything by then we're just going to move anyway.  Andrew may end up coming back down here after his paid time off runs out and living here a bit more just so we can be sure to have insurance and an income, but that's going to be a last resort because I'm pretty sure Sadie would be beyond upset to have to live without Daddy with us for very long.  We figure that the Costco stores will have no choice but to take him seriously if he shows up in person regularly to ask about jobs, though, so at this point it's all or nothing.

We can do this.
We can do this.
WE can do this.