So, I’m still a jobless goddess. I sort of wonder when someone will notice the innate creative human being that I am and offer me an amazing job that will allow me to live in my paradise here. It hasn’t happened yet.
But it will.
How do I know this? Because I know that great things come to those who wait. For a long time.
I have a really big belief in God. I don’t go to church on Sunday, although I used to. I’m not a preacher, but I know that when something ends (like Christians like to say, a door closes) another thing begins (or another door opens). All is never lost in my world. It’s one perpetual Kool-Aid smiley jug sort of. There’s always something good waiting just around my corner.
Oh, sure, I get discouraged. Sometimes I even get sad. But, I’m going on 54 and in all those years I’ve seen good people and I’ve seen bad. I like the good ones better of course, and I’ve managed to maneuver around the bad so that they don’t engulf me. You just do what you have to do to go around the bad. And when you do, you get to start fresh after you pass them.
I just went to the unemployment career center today. This cost me $75. I had to catch a ferry from Oak Bluffs to New Bedford. Then, once I got there I tried to walk to the career center office but got jumbled up because I have a bit of a disability when it comes to finding my way out of a wet paper bag. I asked a rather young police officer on the street to point me in the right direction. He was half right.
I ended up in front of a substantial New Bedford post office when I decided to hail a cab. “So you want to go to the unemployment office right down the street?”
“Yes. How much will that cost?” I said.
Whatever. So I hopped in and he drove me the eight blocks to where I needed to be. I was still pissed that I had to spend $75 to go to this thing.
So I got there and signed in at the front desk where the receptionist appeared to have a problem with the computer that would register my very participation that day, thereby assuring that I would continue to get $299 a week from the state of Massachusetts until I can procure some semblance of employment.
“Our computers are down today,” she says after typing my social security number in with blood red fake fingernails that had to have cost her $80.
Now I’m thinking I’ve spent $75 to get there and maybe it won’t count and maybe it means I won’t get my unemployment benefits anymore…because I’ve gotten them all of three weeks so far…and now my name isn’t registered so that whopping $299 is gone. For fuck’s sake.
“Oh, wait,” she says, “it’s back up.”
Now they summons the lady I’ve actually spoken to from Martha’s Vineyard. Over the phone she’s had little sympathy that I had to spend money and get there and do whatever crazy monkey hoop jumping stuff they require. She arrives at the front desk and seems kind of confused to meet me. My shirt is clean and I’m ready to go. I’ve got questions for her and I want maybe some real help in gathering pointers about my Massachusetts job search.
She immediately hands me over to fingernail lady who logs me into one of about 47 computers in the “research” area. Fingernail lady tells me to just keep hitting the “enter” button to move through my “seminar.”
They call this a seminar. It is literally a series of pages that say things like “load your resume here” and “what are your skills.” This takes about 10 minutes. I finish it and the woman with the fingernails looks at me like a protégé.
“Oh, you’re done early. Sit here and wait for Deb,” she says.
Then I listen while she gets “Deb” on the phone. “Yeah, that lady from the Vineyard is done already.” I’m thinking clearly I’m a fucking genius.
So Deb comes to the front desk and meets me. She tells me to follow her to her cubicle. I do it.
Her nails are painted seafoam green but I think they are real. She reminds me of a woman I knew in Syracuse. She has a really big silver ring on her right hand with a big stone I don’t recognize. We start to go through the questions.
Within moments she starts treating me like I am Einstein. Like I probably discovered world peace on Martha’s Vineyard but I don’t quite know how to share it with everyone else.
“Ummm, well I think you’ll find a job. Yes, I think you’ll have no problem finding a job. Do you find that people want to just come visit you on the Vineyard for no particular reason?” she asks.
“Yes,” I say.
“You know,” she says, “we have a place in Florida and they even follow us there.”
I spend the rest of my 30 minutes, which I had previously thought would be four hours, agreeing with her. She seems to still think I’m a genius and I’m not about to argue with her even though it has cost me almost a hundred dollars. She dismisses me after spending less than an hour there. Before she does, though, she says, “What do you think of New Bedford? Did you get a look around? There’s a lot of restaurants and new places springing up.”
“It’s lovely,” I tell her. And I mean it.
I grab my purse, my resume, my job applications log and my dignity and get out the door as soon as I can. I’ve spent $75 and maybe 45 minutes. And then I have to catch the ferry back home. I ride home with all sorts of folks…. Italian speakers who seem to be enjoying hot pork sandwiches, daddies who are with children they apparently only see in summer, college coeds who can’t wait to get off the boat, and grandparents from Kansas City waiting to visit grandbabies sprung from the loins of their newly rich children.
I put on my sunglasses over my eyeglasses, the ones that make me appear like I’ve just had eye surgery, find a seat and set off for home; there’s no place else I’d rather be.