end of summer...

I’ve been home now for 7 weeks….about 5 weeks too long.  I’m always so sad to see summer end, mostly because it seems an end to my long road trips & travels.  Each year it gets harder to say good bye to Colorado & I never look forward to the job hunt.

This year I thought I was on to something that might work out job wise & it happened in the most unconventional way…this is how my best jobs have always happened.  I was sitting at the Burger Stand, my fav burger bar in Lawrence, the day after I got home.  I was drinking some good beer & looking through the Craigslist ads & visiting with the bartender.  A guy sitting next me asked me what kind of job I was looking for…I told him it needed to be flexible, then listed all my wonderful skills, one of which is cleaning.

At this point, I should remind all of you who say to me “I wished I had your life”…this is one of the parts of my life you DON’T want.  I’ve always thought if you really traveled with me, you wouldn’t say this anyway…I camp in my 4Runner, I pee in the woods, I don’t shower very often, I eat spoonfuls of peanut butter & one meal out a day.  I LOVE my way of travel; I HATE always looking for a job in the fall.  It has been pointed out to me, by more than one person, how picky I am with choosing work.  I agree, but enough said about that…on with the story.

The business-dressed guy handed me his company card & asked what I’d charge him.  We agreed on an hourly rate (I really dislike the hourly wage system) & to meet, later that night, at the building he was renovating.  I took the time in between to Google him & the company just to make sure I hadn’t been drinking beer next to a maniac psychopath. This would be long, gross, story if I was to relate the whole thing.  But to make it brief, it involved an old dilapidated fraternity house, 4 floors, filled with trash, painters, electricians, various other contractors & filth.  He had told me at the bar, it had been post-construction cleaned, it just needed the finishing touches on it.  When I got there later that evening & met with him & his building manager, it was nothing like that!  He’d told me the top two floors were done —they didn’t even have lights up, the painting wasn’t done, 90% of the window frames were broken…blah, blah, blah.  They were on a crazy deadline to be finished in two weeks before 65 fraternity boys would move in.  And then he asked me if I would want the job after they moved in…20 flexible hours a week, cleaning common spaces…which meant the living rooms & bathrooms.  I had not had enough to drink!  just teasing…. but this was NOT going to be the job of my dreams, no matter how flexible it was.  Nothing he’d told me so far was true.  But I was going to give it a shot.

I cleaned two floors of windows that week working around all the contractors & still no lights.  Then the call came to clean all the bathrooms, which he told me had already had professional tile cleaners clean them.  I’ll just say this….THIS WAS THE MOST DISGUSTING JOB I’VE EVER DONE.  I didn’t puke, but came close.  And, no, the tile cleaners cleaned a couple of showers, but not the tile walls or floors.  I finished out the Sunday, with all the working toilets in 100% better shape than the horrible mess they were in as well as the rest of the bathroom areas.  He called the next day, we discussed the job, & I quit.  Another job bites the dust.  (Now I dare you say, “I want your life!”) I could get depressed how lacking in job skills I am, but I’d rather believe I just have not found the right job for me & this period in my life.  

I’ve looked through about 600 job postings to date & I’ve applied for one…sort of.  I was on Facebook the other day, when Boulevard (our local big brewery) popped up with a new posting of their 'road trip teams’ latest trip to Wisconsin & a cute picture of a sweet little camper. I quickly commented that "when they got tired of driving around the country pouring their beer & talking beer, I was applying for the job!”  I listed all my wonderful skills at road tripping & all things beer.  I immediately got a response from them saying if & when that happened, they would consider my comment my formal application!  

This week, I have Phyllis' six month check up appointments then Jill is flying up & we’re taking a quick road trip (see “Our Other Hobby”) & of course I’m stoked to be seeing her & leaving town for a few days.

Also, pulling me out of my post-travel depths, is the wonderful news that Peter & Leia are coming for a visit in October…BIG BIG OVER THE TOP YAY!!!  I am so excited to see them!  I’ve tried to convince Sara & her family & Luke to come home too…it’s been two years since we’ve all been together (oh no!  eye leakage!!) but I don’t think that will happen.  One of the big lessons I’ve learned to be so very grateful for those things you do have & not to dwell on what you don’t.  I am so thrilled that the two of them are coming!

Around the 1st of November, I’ll be back looking for a job.  I am really going to focus on finding one that will work with my life so I won’t keep having to hunt all the time.  Either that or maybe I’ll just try to get a job at the Toy store in Lawrence (best toy store ever!) over the holidays… people that shop for toys & books are usually happy AND the employees all get wear fun hats while they work!  My career life is one sad puppy!  

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