Adventures in Job Seeking

I have been a stay at home Mom for seven years. That seems like forever! Considering i’ve worked since the day after I turned 16 and legally could in California, I’ve not worked half as long as I did work.

It’s like a really bad word problem. If Becky started working at 16, and was a stay at home mom for 7 years, but had purple, red, and black hair every other month, how many groceries does she buy each week?

Answer: None. She takes the grocery money to the bar and isn’t seen for days.

I’ve been volunteering for seven months with parrots and have really enjoyed it. My job has morphed from feeding to feeding and taking pictures, to feeding, taking pics & posting on the Instagram site, to all of that and now starting a social media page for the volunteers. It’s been a lot of fun, actually. It hasn’t felt like a job at all.

This has led to lots of discussions with my husband about going back to work (and getting paid for it) and what I would do, etc etc etc. I found a local job at a dog kennel and decided to just apply and see what happens.

Let me tell you… this whole thing has been like a Twilight Zone episode. First off, it’s making me feel old. Like really old. I’m only 39, but the person interviewing me was maybe 26… maybe.

I had a phone interview first and it was all I could do not to laugh my way through it.
Q: “What would you say is your greatest asset?”
Answer in my head: The fact that I don’t NEED this job.
Actual grown up verbal answer: Something very suave and acceptable.

Q: “If I were to ask your friends about you, what would they tell me?”
Answer in my head: That I joke about drinking too much, and I force them to look at pics of my kids and birds.
Actual answer: “That i’m responsible and boring… but hopefully that I can be fun”

The in-person interview I had today wasn’t much different of an experience. It kicked off by meeting the phone interviewer in person… she’s maybe 5ft tall. I’m 5’10. It was the embodiment of feeling like someone’s mom taking a job from a teenager. Totally bizarre.

After the tour, the sit down interview was just her reading questions off a paper. Standard questions like “What would you say is an important quality when working with dogs?” (Don’t be an asshole, carry treats in your pocket, & don’t wear nice clothes.) I went with something more professional and appropriate, but it hurt. It hurt my tongue to force the BS out instead of the funny interesting answer. I’m taking the fact she only read three of the questions before scrapping the whole sheet to mean I passed.

I was shown around, I got to see the Doggie Daycare area which, to my utter delight, was filled with lots and lots of dogs. And a bunch of big ones – my fave!

I met with the owner, he asked me about some bullet points on my resume, and then he asked about my dog experience.  I’m 39. My dog experience began around 8 and never ended. I’ve never had my childhood experiences be relevant during a job interview. I was not prepared. They wanted to be sure whomever they hire has lots of experience and would be comfortable ‘reading behaviors’. I had to find the words to make it sound like my extensive experience as an 8, 9, and 10 year old being dragged around dog shows, showing my own dog once, and too many lure courses to count was valid behavioral experience. Short of saying, “As my father puts it, I was in every dog’s face and no one knows how I never got bit, scraped, or mauled.”

And that behavior of mine has never changed. If you are walking a dog, holding a leash, tranquilizing a rabid animal anywhere in my vicinity I am going to ninja up to you and ask to pet, play, hug or make out with your animal. It’s just how it is. “reading” the animal is something I guess i’m good at..? I’m not 100% accurate yet, but i’m not below 90 either. My shrink says I get along better with animals than people and I just go with it. What’s that say about my husband? (nyuck nyuck nyuck!)

No one wanted to pull a trigger, but the standard is to have a “working interview” where I will be given a variety of sizes and temperaments and expected to walk them. I will be putting on my best Caesar Milan impression and rolling with it. The challenge will be not to punt the chihuahua or poodle into the nearby woods and see if a bear is nearby.

In the end, if I get it, great, if I don’t, i’ll be posting lots more bird pics!


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