Sunday, May 9, 2010

A New Beginning!

It's been a little over a week since my last post, though, if you've noticed, I have been popping up in the comments sections of other blogs--often multiple times--over the last two weeks, time probably better spent working on my novel, but I do have a few days coming up when I will be able to work on that exclusively, provided that my housemates (okay, I'm thinking of one in particular) doesn't invite a bunch of his friends over and make all sorts of noise.  To be fair, he's not that loud.  Unfortunately, he's still the loudest person in the house.

But I digress.  The main thing that has been keeping me from posting, besides my frequent visits to other bloggers' blogs, concerns what happened after I quit my bakery/barista job two weeks ago.  I should point out that I am not making up the contents of this post.  You'll see why I make a point of mentioning this once you've read what I've written below.

The Monday after I quit my job (as I noted in this post), I started U.S. Census training.  Yup, I am one of the "forty-million strong" who applied for and were hired to be enumerators (a fancy way of saying that we count people who didn't send back their census forms).  Knowing that this job was coming up softened the blow of quitting a permanent position, no matter how shitty the pay, but I knew that I needed to find another job within the four to six weeks in which I would be enumerating.

As it turned out, the job found me.

One of my housemates had told me about an ESL school a short bus ride away from where I live.  I had gone there in February to see if they needed anybody, but they didn't.  Still, I had met with the director and had emailed him my resume, after discussing what kind of qualifications I would bring to the job (three years teaching English in Japan).  I had later seen an ad for a combined ESL teacher/ administrative position, and while I wasn't crazy about the administrative part, I sent in my resume a second time, back on March 4th.

Now, the final week of April, as I head into my training session on Wednesday the 28th, I notice that I missed a phone call.  I check my voicemail.

It's the director of the school.  There's an opening.

I don't have training on Thursday, which is convenient for two reasons.  1.) I can schedule an interview for the opening, and 2.) the downtown census office needs to retake my fingerprints.  So, on the same day, I get fingerprinted and interviewed.

The interview goes pretty well, but it's not the greatest interview I've ever done.  The director of the school tells me he'll try and let me know by Friday.  I thank him and send out a thank you email, figuring there's not enough time to send out a card.  He emails me back and asks for contact information for a reference that I gave him in letter form, though I told him during the interview (but maybe he was focused on the paper I was giving him) that her contact information is no longer good (unless the director wants to call the company in Japan).  I give him several options in trying to contact her or the company.

Friday ends with no further word.

Saturday and Sunday end in similar fashion.  Since the school is closed on the weekend, I'm bracing myself for news on Monday, though I keep checking my phone, checking my email account.  When I hear nothing on Monday, I think that maybe I screwed up with the references.  But I know the director is checking on them, so that's a good thing, right?  Maybe I came in second.  But he did contact me, out of hundreds of applications that they get when there's an opening, so there's hope, right?

I get a call Tuesday morning.

I got the job.

As of right now, I am only teaching one class that lasts roughly two hours (two fifty-minute sessions, separated by a ten-minute break).  The term ends on May 21st.  On May 24th, I am scheduled to test some of the students.  Based on their scores, they will be placed into classes, and teachers will be called and told their schedules, which will not fluctuate for the entire four-week term (so if, say, an entire class quits, the teacher still gets paid for that class).

So, from May 25th on, things will start getting very busy, as I am required to work at least twenty-hours for the census each week, plus four to six classes for the ESL position.  And did I mention that SIFF starts on May 20th, for which I will be volunteering?

The census could last anywhere from four to six weeks.  Right now, it's looking like it'll take six weeks, which will bring me to the middle of June (SIFF ends on June 13th, which will be six weeks and a day from when I started enumerating--they don't count training as part of the six weeks, though I did get paid for it).  So, for the three weeks that SIFF is running, I will have very little free time, unless the census takes less than six weeks to complete.  Luckily, for my ESL job, one Monday a term, the students go on a field trip, so I will get a day off (even if I have to enumerate at night) this upcoming Monday, as well as the day after SIFF (and hopefully, my enumerating) ends.  Unless I want to go on the field trip, that is.  But I think I'll take my breaks when I can.

Little free time also means not much time to post blog entries, read blog posts, work on my novel, or read.  As I said, I will have free time up until May 25th, when the first day of classes for the new term starts, but then, for the next three weeks, I will be super busy.  I still should have some free time later at night for a quick post here and there, and I should have mornings free on weekends, so I won't completely disappear from view.  But if you don't hear from me for a while, you'll know why.

I do find it interesting, though, that all of these good things started happening after I quit my job.  Guess it was a good decision, after all. :-)


  1. Hey! That's great news! (Despite the inevitable busy-ness.) Congratulations. :)

  2. Congratulations! It's nice to have fair weather and fair jobs to look forward to in the upcoming summer :)

  3. Thanks! I've heard summers here are pretty awesome, weather-wise.


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