I may have found a job at last. From next week, wearing a new pair of heavy steel-toed construction boots, I'm theoretically supposed to join an assembly line making tractors. The new placement agency I contacted yesterday said I did well on the tools and warehouse-safety assessment tests (yes, I do know what a router and a lock nut look like, though I confused sheet metal and wood screws), and I go in for training sometime next week. It's a worthwhile job, though it doesn't pay that much--a bit more if your team makes its weekly quota. And I can wear jeans on the job.
After the interview with the placement people this afternoon and the mandatory drug test (hair follicle--though contrary to my expectation they didn't grab a handful and yank it out by the roots, just snipped an unobtrusive bit from underneath), I drove out to Thomson, GA, to the county detention center to get my fingerprints done. Not a requirement for working at the factory, but instead an essential primary step in finding an English teaching job overseas. I have to mail the prints to the FBI for a national background check (according to their website they are running more than a month in-house processing these), and then when I get those back I must mail them to the US Secretary of State to be apostilled (certified as genuine). It's a byzantine process that cannot be circumvented electronically, and of course each step requires payment. Thank God, I didn't have to pay for the fingerprinting because I went to the office of the sheriff of the county where I reside.
I posted my resume on an international TESOL jobs board yesterday and have thus far been contacted by about eight schools asking me to apply with them. All but one are in China (PRC). But of course, all want the background check completed, and many are looking to hire, last minute, for the 2014 fall term. Unless a miracle happens, I don't see how I'd get the check done and certified in time, much less manage a visa and a plane ticket. Maybe I can substitute teach this fall while working second shift at the tractor factory and be ready to go abroad to China or South Korea come January?