Tuesday, June 20, 2017

I Got a Job!

Last week I had a Skype interview with a search committee of several professors at a school in College Town, a few hours away from the small Midwestern town where I grew up. When the English Department chair called yesterday and offered me a job, my reaction was basically like this:


It's a better job, too. Although it's not a tenure-track position, it is a full-time one, and it's a higher-ranking position than the one I had before. The pay is better, and the courseload is lighter (which means fewer papers to grades, YES!). The school is also more prestigious and well-known than the one I was teaching at before.

Now I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off of me, especially because these last few weeks I've been feeling like this:


But now that I have a new job, I don't have to work as a part-time adjunct instructor, nor do I have to go back to working in retail. And that's definitely a good thing because I have a lot less patience for rude customers and might say something like, "I SPIT on your credit cards! GET OUT!"

The department chair said that my offer letter would be sent soon. I would never do this, but I kind of want to go to my old department with the letter, wave it in their faces, and be all:


But I still need to use them as references for the future, so nah. What's interesting is that if my contract had been renewed for another year, I would not have applied for this new job in College Town. The other school posted their ad a couple weeks after I found out I wasn't being rehired. So maybe it worked out the way it was supposed to.

It will be strange to go back to the area where I grew up. I haven't been there since I was a teenager. Many of my old high school classmates still live there. They're all married with children, whereas I don't even want to stay faithful to my cable company, and when offered the chance to hold an adorable baby, am more likely to say, "No thanks. I would like to pet your dog, though." Also, I don't really want to see any of them until I lose twenty pounds, become richer and more successful, and am married to a guy who looks like Chris Hemsworth and has Jerry Seinfeld's personality (so basically never).

It will also be sad to leave behind the friends I made in Small Town, especially because I'm not sure when (or if) I'll see them again. I did not have a lot of friends in Chicago; most of my friends from college had moved on to other places, and I was pretty much an outcast in grad school. My friends here welcomed me into their circle, invited me to their houses for parties, and included me in their outings to restaurants and bars. It felt good to have something in my life other than work. I hope it won't be too difficult making new friends in College Town, but I have a feeling it will be.

But I need this job, and more importantly, I want this job. When I took the job at my former employer two years ago, I took it a little reluctantly because I did not want to leave the big city and had been hoping to teach somewhere else. But although there were several other schools who were interested in hiring me, at the time, the job that my former employer was offering seemed like the best option. This time, though, it's different. I am actually looking forward to teaching at this school.

Now I have all kinds of preparations to make: packing, cleaning, etc. And of course, I need to download more music for the long drive to College Town; I still have the musical tastes of a thirteen-year-old school girl who eats too much sugar.

Thank you to all of you who wrote supportive, encouraging comments on my blog. I appreciate it, as always, and I'll blog about the new place once I get there in August.

What about you? Have you ever started a new job that you were excited (or not so excited about)?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Maybe When Hell Freezes Over

I haven't blogged in almost a month because ever since I found out that I was not rehired for the 2017-2018 school year at the school that's employed me for the last two years, I've been frantically applying to all the schools that are still posting job openings. I've applied to about twenty schools in the past few weeks (and I applied to many more schools before that).

And I've been doing fine, really. I mean the fact that other than my part-time website job, I have no job leads and will end up on the street if I don't find a full-time job has me as cool, calm, and collected as this:


My mother keeps calling to ask me if I've found a job yet. She keeps saying stuff like, "Well, you chose to work in that field." (When I was eighteen, I stood up to her for the first time in my life and chose to major in English, rather than choose the major and the career that she wanted. To this day, she still hasn't forgiven me.) She also said that if I can't pay my rent, she and my father can't give me any money (I didn't ask her for money, BTW, and I have no intention of doing so), but I can move back in with them. My reaction to that was basically this:

First of all, there is no way in HELL that I will ever move back in with my parents. I haven't lived with them in eighteen years, and I'd rather move in with Sean Spicer AND Sean Hannity than do that.

One thing's for sure: I have to leave Small Town. My lease ends in the middle of August, so I have to be out of here by then.

I still have hope, though. When I was hired for my most recent teaching job two years ago, they didn't even offer me a job until July. So there's still a little bit of time, but I find myself growing more anxious (and more likely to start climbing the walls) as the days go by.

What didn't help, though, was that two members of the committee that decided not to rehire me at my old job invited me out for lunch about a week after I was rejected. They acted like nothing had happened and mentioned wanting to try a new restaurant that opened in town.

I politely declined, and I resisted the urge to say, "I'm not available now, but maybe when hell freezes over? Or maybe when Trump starts Tweeting things that don't make him sound like a narcissistic freak show? So basically, NEVER."

Maybe they wanted to explain why they voted against me (and I know for a fact that they did). But I'm not interested in listening to their rationalizations. I wasn't really friends with those two members, though they taught in my department and I had lunch with them a couple times to be polite. But now that I am no longer working there, I have zero incentive to be friends with them, and I don't want to take the risk that if I were to have lunch with them, I might "accidentally" hurl something at them. But I digress.

Like I said before, it's complicated to be friends with people at work, especially when those people have authority over your job. And I was never friends with either of them to begin with. But they kept inviting me out to lunch, kind of like the girl who continues to believe that the guy who stopped returning her calls three months ago will eventually marry her. And the trouble is, since this is a small town, there's always the risk that I will run into them, in which case I will have no choice but to do this:


I also can't help feeling angry at them for voting against me. The person they chose instead of me is also someone that I know, and although that person is perfectly nice, they are not better at their job than I am (and I have evidence of this, too). Maybe they had other valid reasons, but still, I can't help feeling that they're either totally naive or arrogant to think that I would still be up for a lunch with them where things did not get thrown.

In the meantime, I'm continuing to apply for jobs, and keeping my fingers crossed. Hopefully I'll find a full-time teaching job soon. And if not, well...

What about you? Have you ever been in a state of uncertainty (and also, in my case, just a little bit of PANIC) over where you were going to end up when it came to your work?