For years I made it a point to NOT work a “real” job. I needed to be available during the day for “I forgot my lunch” or “I forgot my report” or field trips or school graduation ceremonies, what have you. I have worked as many as 3 part time jobs at a time but I never looked for a “real” job (aka: M-F 8-5). Brother bear had tried, for years, to get me to apply for a job where he worked. I remember once, early, early on, entertaining the idea and realizing that I couldn’t do that and talking to the manager about part time and that just wasn’t an option. Funny, while I was a full time waitress I had so many job offers from customers. Never an option, I can’t even imagine what day care costs for 3 would have been. As the years went by the job offers lessened…hmmm…makes one wonder if the offers came because of looks or service. My goal was always to get the last child thru elementary school before taking on a full time/real job. Part time jobs are so much more flexible. No benefits excepting you get to work when it’s convenient.
When the last of the litter was ending her elementary school years a position became available where Brother bear works and he again pushed me to apply, that time I did. It was the end of spring in 2001. So, I applied and nothing came of it. Someone else was hired. No biggie, I still had time to play with, Samantha was just ending her 2nd to last year of elementary school. I had another year at least.
Fall was just starting when again, a position became available. Again I applied, doesn’t hurt, right? I was invited to come in and sit and watch to see if this would be something I’d be interested in and be able to do. Okay, fine. It was a Tuesday, I’d gotten my kids off to school and drove to the office and was sitting at the desk of my future manager when my future co-worker walked in the door and said “Hey, did you hear? A plane just flew into the World Trade Center.” It was just before 8am CST. Me, I live in denial, I wrote it off to an accident. Brother bear, he called it immediately…terrorist attack. It must have been the radio that alerted us to the 2nd plane hitting the 2nd building. At that point…there is no denial.
I stayed a few more hours. Brother bear had taken a 1/2 day off and when he left I felt my oxygen line leave with him. As soon as I could think of a reason to leave, I was outta there. I was on my way home when the radio reported the plane going down in PA. The radio station immediately made the “maybe” connection to the Trade Center, I shook my head and hoped they were wrong. I got home and watched, repeatedly, the 2nd plane crashing into the other building.
The kids came home from school later, they’d been informed what was going on during the course of the day and Alex, this is too cute, Alex told me all about what he’d heard and said “think about it mom, look at history, who was it that was willing to kill themselves for their country? Remember the Kamizes? I think the Japanese did this!” Again, how cute is that? Alex was in Junior High and was going on historic events. As the mom, I wasn’t any more informed on world news than my son was because I didn’t want to be. I gave up CNN when Alex was a baby and as I was rocking him in my rocking chair, I thought about all the moms throughout history who rocked their baby boys and later learned they were killed in war. I shut myself out on purpose. However, if America was under attack I couldn’t shut myself out anymore. It was time for me to pay attention because I have a son. Do the math, it was 2001…we’re going to go to war, no doubt there. Alex would be up for the draft in 3 years and a month. That’s the kind of math that my head works out automatically. I’m a mom. I was terrified.
I worked that night, at the restaurant, and it was entirely empty. The few tables I did have were people who had come to the Mpls. area to catch a flight out but were unable to leave . Two things happened that night, one: it was the 1st time I’d heard the name Osama Bin Laden and two: I realized that anyone who worked in the service industry was not going to be able to support their families anymore. Think about it, if there’s a war…..you don’t take your family out for dinner. I also worked at B&N at the time, it’s also a service industry and I was going to sink. Apparently I had to make sure I got the job that I’d spent the morning at.
Nothing happened. No call from the manager, nothing. I asked the managers at B&N and the restaurant if they’d gotten any calls inquiring about me…nope, nothing. Um….not good. I had to support my family and my income was going down the drain before my eyes. I had to support my family, war or no war. It seemed like a long time but it probably wasn’t since I’m not a patient person, before I called Bob’s manager. He’d always told me that if I had any questions, feel free to call. I was feeling a tad desperate knowing that my industry was going for a dive and suddenly it irritated me that he never even gave me a chance, never called to references about me and that sort. I was mad when I made the call, most likely not a good thing to do when applying for a job but there it is. I was mad and I called and in a nutshell said “you said to call if I ever had any questions and I have questions. Why have you never checked out my references, why don’t y0u want to hire me?” There was more in between but that was the gist. Never used to be but the older I get, the more confrontational I can be. Push my back against the wall, I’ll get in your face. Ef w/my children, I’ll get in your face. This was an “I need a job and you’re effin’ w/my kids” deal. After all, they’re the ones who needed to be provided for. Wouldn’t have done it at 20 but I was 41 and had kids to support. Nothing like children to give a person backbone, right?
I can only guess that I took future boss by surprise. He agreed that he hadn’t checked references and whatnot and told me that he didn’t think I’d be right for the job since I ran around for a living and I’d be stuck at a desk. He also offered me a job. That irritated the shit out of me. As angry as I was I had to accept it. I had to. I had children. Honestly can’t tell you if he offered the job during that same phone call or if he called me back. I do know that I was angry that I HAD to accept it. Also don’t know if I accepted right away or got back to him. I do know that there were a few rough years in the beginning where I hated my job. Part because I pressured the boss into giving it to me and part because no one…NO ONE (including my cousin, Skip) wanted me there except for Bob. That’s a horrible feeling, knowing no one wants you there. That’s also another story.
Anyway, look…it’s now 10 years later. Osama Bin Laden is dead…and that took WAY too much time, there are children who were born after their fathers died and there have been no more terrorist attacks on our homeland. Okay, that last one is a good point because we seem to be more than able to ef ourselves from the inside so incredibly well. God help us all. Right, I need not discuss politics.