Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Small Break of Sunshine through the Clouds

Today was a good day. It was almost euphoric. It was a much better day than what I've been having lately.

I woke up at 7am, really tired because I couldn't sleep the night before. It could have been the before dinner nap I took to pass the time that messed up my sleep schedule. I went to bed around 12:30am, fell asleep around 1:30am and woke up at 7am. Not a lot of sleep. That fact didn't deter me because I was going flounder fishing today with my parents and our neighbors. Even though my parents are still extremely upset with me (grudge, grudge, grudge), they had to pretend like everything was wonderful. So, I literally had them kind of pretending that life was peachy for about 5 hours. It was really nice. We went fishing out of Folly's Creek, yes the creek that takes me to Cedar island. We caught about 40 fish between the four of us (me, my dad, my neighbor and his wife). My mom didn't want to fish she just enjoyed watching. They were all flounder except one...the skate...which I caught. However, in order to keep founder they must be 19 inches or more. It seems like an awful far fetched goal to me. My dad caught one that was a quarter inch short. Now, most people would bring it home but if we did that it would probably be the one time the game warden/marine police would check the loot. Quarter inch or not, it is a $110 fine for bringing home short fish. So we had to toss him back. I caught 3 flounder and a skate (sting ray). The sting ray was kind of exciting. I remember uttering a "HOLY SHIT" as I attempted to reel him in. Poor bugger was swimming by and got caught on my hook. He's fine though, we unhooked him and let him back to enjoy life in the creek.

After a full day of fishing I returned home, tired and sun burnt. Then I got the call that my car was ready to be picked up. YES! It was $140 and it was the PVC valve. So now it doesn't shake and freak out and cut off at stoplights. On my way to the Hampton Inn temporary office I was actually trying to stop at stoplights, hoping they'd turn red, so I could test out my car. Lucky did just fine.

I reached the office which is in a hidy hole of a building and submitted my resume/filled out an application. I think I'm a good candidate for hostess or front desk person. I'm also legally allowed to serve alcohol, therefore I could be a waitress/bartender kind of person. Everyone and their mother and cousin is applying to work at the Hampton Inn Suites. Why? Because the ad for vacant jobs is in both Eastern Shore newspapers. They are hiring hostesses, front desk receptionists, housekeepers, breakfast cooks, the works. I'll take any position. Just please hire me and pay me k thanks bai.

So today was nice. I'm now pleasantly sunburned. Its not too bad, just a lobster shade over my arms, shoulders and face. I am a little concerned about a mole on my left shoulder. It is really dark and I think it is getting bigger. It could be my imagination. Yet, after watching Grey's Anatomy season finale/season 5 I'm really wary about skin cancer. I mean Izzy DIES from it. Rare, yes...but a possibility...also yes. Its scary.

Here is some food for thought. There are two very significant things I've been pondering lately. The first is that the Eastern Shore does not have a Starbucks. Now, I'm not a Starbucks addict. Their menus confuse me and I don't like the Italian words and crap and also I think their coffee is overpriced. But the Eastern Shore of Virginia does not have a Starbucks. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT? I mean we don't have a Wal-Mart or a mall either. There are three movie theatres which all have the latest movies come out.....months after they come out. Star Trek is finally playing in the Onancock theatre and that is good timing.

The second thing is that there is one thing I've always been good at. Working. As in, holding a job for pay. Let's recap:

12 years old: I was working as a maid in a bed in breakfast and getting paid $4.25 under the table. This was a horrible job. I'd make beds, clean bathrooms, find used condoms and wish I had gloves to change sheets, and then I'd have to vacuum the hallways and go out and pull weeds in 90 degree heat. It sucked but I was decent at it.

11 years old but later 14 years old legally: (this phrase does not make sense, I know). When I was 11 years old I had just moved to Onancock from New Jersey. My parents were fixing up our 100 year old Victorian and needed me to get out of their way. So they told me to get on my bike and explore the town. Well, I had already turned left at the end of my road and found the bakery, movie theatre and wharf. So I decided to make a right. Now, for some odd reason I had always wanted to work in a nursing home. I have no idea why but I'm fascinated and have a soft spot for the elderly. Sure enough down the right of the road was Hermitage of the Eastern Shore Continuing Care Retirement Community. My 11 year old brain did a quick calculation that it meant it was a nursing home. So I rode my bike up to the lobby, parked it right outside, marched in to the front desk, introduced myself and asked if I could visit residents and help out. The receptionist was friendly but she looked over my head for my parents or a car waiting outside or something but all she saw was a bike. She scheduled me for a meeting with the activities director at 3pm. I rode my bike back to my house and told my parents I had an appointment with the activities director of the Hermitage. My parents were all "chicka whhaaat??" Ok, well they didn't say that but they were really surprised and confused. They couldn't believe their 11 year old daughter went to a nursing home and asked to volunteer. They were kind of proud but also confused. I mean what kind of 11 year old does that?

I started volunteering at a nursing home at age 11. By age 14, I was legally allowed to work for money. I applied for a job with dining services, got it, and worked there until I turned 19. I made a lot of friends. My favorite resident was Joe Custis. I loved her (Joe is short for Josephine). She was a spunky lady who frequently found herself in a bad mood. I loved her for that. I could turn her frown upside down. She passed away my freshman year of college. :-/

I worked in activities for a bit but got laid off because the Herm couldn't afford to pay me. I stuck with dining services for years though. I became a favorite among a lot of the residents and the source of entertainment for a lot of my coworkers.

Age 18: I was a freshman at William and Mary. By the end of my freshman year I really needed a job. I applied to be an Office Manager with William and Mary Recreational Sports. I got the job and started really working a lot my sophomore year. My first shift was 6am-8am on Weds mornings. The catch was I had to be at work at 5:45am. The morning shifts sucked but I worked with good people. After one semester I was promoted to Facility Supervisor. I remained working at the Rec until I graduated. I had won numerous awards and recognition for great customer service and by my senior year I won the 2008-2009 Facility Supervisor of the Year Award. Yes, its on the resume. I was known for getting a lot of positive patron feedback. I actually had a patron come up to me and thank me for being so pleasant because she had a horrible few weeks but I was always helpful and cheerful. She told me I really make her day. That meant a lot. After working there for three years, you really learn the ropes. Patrons would come in and I'd already know what tv channel they'd request before they got to their exercise machine. I had let patrons use my own cell phone to make phone calls. I tended to a lot of emergencies including a small bush fire and a handful of injuries. I loved working there, especially during the summer of 08. My friend Heather Ireland and I literally worked 8am-3pm every day. We played games on our laptops and gossiped the day away. The rec was an awesome place.

Age 20: Which is why in the middle of my sophomore year I auditioned to be a fitness instructor. I was hired as a cycling instructor and taught cycling for two years. By senior year I taught "Hard Core Cycling" which was 40 min of cycling and about 15 min of core. My final class consisted of glow sticks, a dance party (featuring just me) and a lot of laughs. Several patrons told me I was their favorite instructor. I got labeled a jock by some of my sorority sisters due to my involvement in the rec. If you knew me in high school, you'd know I'm not a jock. haha I loved the label anyway.

Age 20 sort of but spanning back to high school at some murky point: How did I get involved with the Eastern Shore News? Well, the same way I got involved with the Hermitage. I literally walked into the Eastern Shore News headquarters with a story I wrote (ironically about my job at the Hermitage) and asked to speak with the editor. He was there, he let me in his office, I showed him my story and told him I wanted to be a journalist. I begged him to let me write for the newspaper FOR FREE. So he threw a few stories my way, I was the first choice pick for the week long Newspapers in Education Internship. Still impressed with my work he came to my house and offered me a freelance stint for the summer. I really wish I was still working for the News. Being a journalist is a really fun job. You get to meet all sorts of different people. For example, I once covered a story about a local food seminar and learned all about the benefits of producing and purchasing locally grown food. One story had me out on a boat in the Chesapeake Bay writing about a high school student who created an oyster restoration project with his dad's friend's cement company. I helped deploy the 50lb reef balls into the water so the oyster population could flourish. This story made it into the Virginian Pilot (a writer from there told me they'd never hire me and I'd do better trying to work up the Gannet corporation all the way to USA today. lol) My first story I wrote was about a resident from the Hermitage who played piano at her old church every Sunday. She was well into her 90s but still made the journey to church and played the organ. As I wrote the article, I got sidetracked on other things. I didn't have a real deadline, but I needed to get cracking. The woman fell ill and was hospitalized. She died before the article was published. It was really sad because she kept asking me why anyone would want to read an article about her. The article became a tribute article. It helped people cope with her sudden death.

Age 21: I decided to do some crazy things in college. So right before my 21st birthday I got my nose pierced. I still have it pierced. Why is this relevant? Well I pictured myself as a crazy and spunky grandmother, telling my grandchildren that as a senior in college I partied a lot, had my nose pierced and was a nude model for the art department. I fell through with all of these things. The art department doesn't get a whole lot of...I'll be nice to myself...curvaceous models. So I became instantly popular in the drawing classes due to my...um...curves. Posing naked in front of a bunch of people (half the time I actually knew them) isn't as scary as it may sound. It is kind of liberating and a lot of fun. $10 an hour...can't beat that.

Age 21: I spent most of my senior year searching for jobs on the SIN (student info network). I picked up some odd jobs here and there such as helping people move in/out of their respective house/apartments for cash. I made a small org. treasury report completely electronic using Excel. I almost was a dog walker but that didn't work out. I did part time cat sitting for one of my professors. AND I scored an awesome job in April as a reporter for the alumni association. I was doing journalism again both video and print. I would cover campus stories of interest, make a video about them and it would be posted on their website. You can go to the W&M alumni website to see some of my work. There is a Shakespeare in the Dark video, a Nicaragua video, an article about a good friend Caitlin Tuffin and a few more I think. I loved that job but it came at way too short notice. The job wasn't even a real position until April...a month before I graduated. My boss told me he really wished I was a junior because I did such great work.

That my friends, sums up my work history. I've always been a hard, loyal, trustworthy worker. Almost all of my bosses have expressed disappointment and regret at me quitting. Also, most of the jobs I've had I've only quit due to graduating high school/college.

If the Holiday Inn Suites knew all of this....they might actually hire me to work their front desk.

Until next time...

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