In January I job-shadowed a co-worker in another department. It was mostly an informational journey, finding out more about what they do in that corner of the organization. I hadn’t meant to fall in love. As those who stray are often overheard saying, it just happened.
When the job opening posted, I submitted my résumé, with a carefully crafted cover letter, to the HR department. Then I waited.
The first two interviews were lined up over three weeks later. A Friday. They would be held early, before the workday surrendered to the weekend. At the time the appointment was set, no one expected a snow storm.
Thursday the flakes fell all day. By lunch the back roads were risky. The HR department called. No one who didn’t have to was coming in the next day, much less early. My first appointment was rescheduled for the afternoon. Soon I was messaged by the hiring manager. Could I reschedule? Yes, of course . . . doesn’t my résumé say that one of my strengths is flexibility? Given the choice, I chose Friday afternoon over Monday. Weekends are meant to relax, not fibrillate.
It was all worked out. I would dress for the interview in the morning, wearing snow boots and carrying my dress shoes in a bag. Returning home on my break as usual, I’d eat a light and healthy lunch, freshen up, and arrive back at work looking crisp and eager.
That evening, I gunned it up the drive to keep from lodging halfway. Bubba met me at the back door. He had gunned his car too, but his power steering pump whined. Something gave and he lost the ease of his wheel. He made it in, but the car was crippled. He would have to take mine in the morning.
Okay! So just another change of plans, right? Deep breath and forge ahead.
Friday morning I dressed in my professional best. My makeup and hair in place, nails groomed, brows plucked, Bubba warmed the car. A trip home to freshen up midday would be impossible. It was important I felt confident and unruffled before I left in the morning.
The last thing I did before I went out the back door was to grab my purse in the front room. Looking out the window, I saw the young woman across the street spinning her wheels. The plows that cleared the streets overnight left a dense berm of snow at the bottom of each driveway. My young neighbor made the poor choice to try and run her vehicle over the drift.
Now, it occurred to me that if we backed out just right, we could keep our car in reverse and back down the hill until we found a clear area to turn around. However, it would require us to drive, albeit backwards, right by her while she was stuck in the snow.
“Shoot!” I exclaimed. Okay, I didn’t say shoot, but you get the idea. I was starting to lose my cool.
I watched her tires spin a few more times without any encouragement from the car. There was nothing to do except the right thing. I marched past Bubba in my boots, well-coiffed hair, and lipstick. I trod through the snow to the garage. Plucking the lightest shovel off the wall, I strutted past the woman now on her phone in the street. I began to excavate the incapacitated car at a feverish rate.
Before long, Bubba and a passing motorist had joined my endeavor. The car was soon dislodged, many thanks were exchanged and we headed back to our own warm automobile.
Sweaty, wet, rumpled, my meltdown arrived violently. Deep breaths turned into hyperventilation as I tried to keep tears from rinsing away my mascara.
By the time Bubba dropped me off at work, I had regained some small amount of composure. The place was a ghost town. The desks of my two office mates sat empty for the next hour. The only callers were canceling orders. The call from HR shouldn’t have surprised me.
Neither interview would take place that day. A small voice in my head mocked my meltdown from earlier. Next week would be a better time for interviews. Surely everything that could go wrong already had.
Peace . . .