On the prowl

So yeah today I woke up extra early to take my boys to school, drop my lil sister off at work and then go pick up my uncle so he could come over and I could do his resume before taking him to this job fair that I saw advertised.

I got to his house around 8:30 and that man was still sleeping. I banged on the door, and then his room window and he jumped up with some excuse about having to stay around the house today. I shrugged and left him standing in the driveway.

I got home and did my daily job search routine. Which includes:

Taking the Sunday paper and making fax cover sheets for all the jobs that I thought I was qualified for. I circle the jobs on Sunday, but I don’t fax the resumes until Monday.

Scrutinizing my resume and cover letter. I’ve been told it’s impressive, but it can always be tweaked a bit.

Faxing the resumes out to the companies. This is the WORST part of the job hunt. The fax machine is the devil. Always jamming and crap. It takes forever, my back starts hurting from standing there hand feeding the doggone thing, but finally its all over.

Emailing my resume to the job listings that had email addresses on them. Most companies provide a fax number, which is always better because a faxed resume is given more attention than an emailed resume simply because it is already in the HR Manager’s hands and they at least have to glance at it, while emails can pile up in a person’s inbox. Ya feel me?

Then I head over to my favorite job sites, Careerbuilder, Hot Jobs, I need a job.com, America’s Job Bank, and Apple One top see what kind of positions are avaialable.

I’m looking for jobs as an Executive Assistant to whoever. That is where my experience lies and I love being an assistant. But now, I’m so desperate I have decided to try for receptionists positions too. Which I know I will ENJOY, cuz I LOVE answering phones and being the office hostess, but those jobs pay $10 or $11 an hour, and that ain’t enough to take care of my family, unless I want to live in public housing. Which may not be all that bad since I was raised in public housing and I think I turned out alright.

So after my first glance at the job sites, I decide not to take the time to apply because I had to get ready for the job fair and that meant, figuring out what I would wear, what I was gonna do with my hair (this afro is out of control and needs a trim), printing out at least 15 copies of my resume and getting on Mapquest to get directions to this hotel that seems to be in Coral Gables near the University of Miami campus. Oh no, sounds like I’ll have to take the expressway again. ~sigh.

I’m getting better at driving on the expressway but I still hate it. I’m still having a fit when I have to change lanes. Once I was taking my lil sis to a job interview and we ended up 50 avenues away from where we were supposed to be simply because I was too afraid to change lanes. She was so frustrated with me. But I got her there on time and she got me back by making me wait in the car for FOUR HOURS while she interviewed and went for a drug test.

Why did she call me from the drug testing lab- I had already been waiting for two hours, sitting in the car- and tell me that she dropped her pee cup on the floor so she had to drink some water and wait until she had to pee again?! I thought she was joking. She wasn’t. That’s how a simple, ride to a job interview turned into a four hour fiesta in my car. But hey… she got the job and now a sister’s getting PAID. So, I’m happy for her.

Dang, where was I? I always get off track like that.

Oh yeah. So, I’m trying to figure out what to wear and I realize that I don’t have many business suits because at the newspaper (where I was the Executive Assistant) we wore uniforms, so I never had to buy professional clothes and at the VA Hospital (where I was the Program Assistant), it was business casual and before that at the TV station (where I was the Assistant to the Director of Corporate Support) I was still a student so I could wear flip flops and daisy dukes if I wanted to.

But I do have a really nice suit, but it’s a pants suit. And since I have this crazy looking afro I decided that I needed to expose as much of my femininity as possible by wearing a conservative dress that shows my great legs, with this basic black jacket that Ruby picked out for me.

I printed out my resumes, got the directions, got dressed, noticed a hole in my left stocking near my big toe, grabbed some fingernail polish and dabbed a little on it to stop it from spreading, pulled on my dress, wet my hair, tried to style it, ended up simply combing my hair with my fingers in an attempt to get that I-know-my-hair-is-looking-crazy-but-I-did-it-on-purpose look and meticulously applied my makeup.

Now, if there’s one thing I know how to do it’s put on some makeup. And when I feel like my hair is looking crazy I make sure I have my eyeshadows blended, my eyeliner lined just right and my lip liner and gloss shining. You can’t tell me I don’t belong on the cover of some magazine! When I put on my makeup- watch out!

So, I sashay out to my car and get gas and I’m on my way.

Here we go again. Turning onto I95 South to face the big lion. At one point I call Anna to ask if I’m going the right way and she assures me that I am. I love Anna!

So, after driving for about 40 minutes, I’m passing by the intersection that the directions say I’ll find the hotel. No such place. I turn around and come back. Nothing. I call the hotel, they repeat the same directions, I turn around and drive by again- nothing. I call back about four times, asking myself WHY ME?!

I am finally about to give up when I see the hotel on my right, about five blocks away from the intersection that I was told to stop by. Oh well.

My eyes scanned the parking lot for a space. No spaces but plenty of Beemers and Lexus trucks parked out there. I took a deep breath as I surveyed the other people stepping out of their cars to go to the fair. This wasn’t a bootleg job fair like I went to two weeks ago where I was the only one there with a college degree, THEY were there.

You know who I’m talking bout- ~whispering~ white people.

Yeah and they were suited up, brief cased up, polished up, ready to get it! Now, you know this was serious!

I found a spot a block away and I parked and got out. I caught a glimpse of myself in the window of my car and frowned. My makeup was still banging but the drive down there had completely dried out my afro and it was looking a hot mess. A big orange hot mess! And then I noticed a-what is that?- deodorant stain on my lapel. Ughhh.

I shook off my frustration and walked over to the hotel, hyping myself up in my mind. I noticed the dissappointed looks on the faces of those who were leaving the job fair and I stopped one guy.

“Hey, how does it look in there?”

“Man, it sucks. There’s no companies there. Maybe like 2 and they suck.”

I rolled my eyes. “Man!”

“Yeah, I know. And I came all the way from Boca for this,” he said shaking his head.

“Well, since you’re in South Miami, you may as well have lunch down here, there are tons of great restaurants on this street. Enjoy yourself.”

I waved at him and walked into the building.

He was right. Why did the best booth set up in the joint belong to Mary Kay?

I looked around, slid my resume into the piles set up on the table and left.

Boo on that job fair.

I take off my jacket and call Anna to see if she’d like to have lunch. She tells me to come on over. I hear someone in the background and I know she wants me to meet her new boyfriend but I don’t want to really. She says he’s ugly. LOL. I don’t feel like laughing at him just yet.

But I go back to Liberty City-the hood- and park at Anna’s house. When she answers the door I’m already laughing silently cuz I know this monk-monk she’s dating is gonna be butt ugly. But for some reason Anna loves ugly men. That’s her flava.

But I walk in and there’s this moderately handsome man sitting at Anna’s computer. He’s not ugly by a long shot. He has dreads and a nice smile, but I see what Anna is saying, he looks so different from the men she usually dates. First off, he’s not jet black and he doesn’t weigh over 200 pounds. Anna likes’em big and black like bears.

He seems a little nervous cuz he sees me eyeing him, but I’m shooting daggers at Anna with my eyes cuz this dude is not ugly, just a little different looking. I wouldn’t say I’d date him, but when you consider someone for your man, you have to think of the children. If you had children with this man would they hate you forever? I don’t want my kids to be mad at me, so I’m gonna make babies with someone who is decent looking. And this dude is kid-worthy.

Anna treats me to my favorite fried chicken place: Church’s Chicken. Mmmmm! And I go home to strip and get a nap before picking up my boys.

My phone rings and I don’t recognize the number so I answer it.

Me: Sure, I have a minute to talk.

I then engage myself in one of the most involved telephone job interviews that I have ever been a part of. She’s basically telling me what I always hear- Your resume is great-blah-blah-blah-your experience is excellent-blah-blah- Tell me about your experience and how you think your experience is ideal for this job.

Lady done messed up now. Don’t ask me that. It’s like asking an old person to tell you a bedtime story, I love to talk. So, I sit up and spit my game in the most professional of manner. It turns out my experience perfectly matches what she needs to fill a position as the Executive Assistant to the CEO of some big foundation here in Miami.

She says she is very impressed, asks me how much I am looking to make- I tell her the WRONG NUMBER! Dag! I always do that. If a potential employer asks you how much you want to make, always go higher than what you actually want. I’m so used to telling the doggone truth that I automatically say the EXACT number that I want which will probably get me a few thousand lower after negotiations. But oh well.. My honesty is my downfall.

We set up an interview for the next day and I’m left to wonder what to do with this crazy orange afro. If I had money I would braid it, but I don’t. All I have is a few brothers who cut hair so I called one of them and he came over to inspect the damage and told me he’d shape me up in the morning.

So I’ll let you know how things go, and even if they don’t go well, you know I’ll always be here, writing and sharing my heart.

Con mucho gusto.

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