Friday, December 18, 2015

At Last!

I have a job. I HAVE A JOB! Gosh, I have been waiting two years to be able to type that. I'm more than a little unsure of the reality, not just because I am still dizzy from a continuing head cold, but also because being called in to interview came right out of the blue, last Thursday. This morning, during the interview itself, I felt befuddled, and the casual, "we like you, you're hired" at the end seemed so inconsequential a conclusion to the blood, toil, tears, and sweat of the preceding 24 months that I still feel like I'm flapping featherless arms on the edge of a precipice. I really am happy, I am just off-kilter.

The work starts January 4, whereupon I will be in training and on probation for about a month before being considered a regular part of the team. Of the many who have wished me well and sent me congratulations via social media, most have asked what I will be doing. I will be working as an editor for an academic publisher in Columbia, SC. I plan to commute from Augusta for the time being, as there may be some opportunities for telework once I am indoctrinated to the routine, and it doesn't make sense to pull up stakes and move unless and until I am assured that the company and I are mutually suited. Even when I did live in Columbia as a grad student, I still would come back here on the weekends, and while I don't relish two hours' daily drive, there are worse treks for employment.

My sweet estate sale boss was one of the first I called to share the bad good news that I wouldn't be returning to DC for the foreseeable future. And Jenny, who found herself a purposeful part of the providential plan that led me to the job opportunity, I messaged immediately--if she hadn't invited me, crutches and all, to the USC campaign banquet, or encouraged me to follow up so quickly on the contacts I made there, this would never have happened. I'm grateful to God, and I certainly pray that I will do a good job.

Social networks are peculiar things, both in how coincidentally close we find ourselves to those who inspire or help us, and how frustratingly far from those individuals we are removed by that tenuous connection. For example, this last weekend, I discovered that my boss's husband had known Martin Luther King, Jr! They both worked on their doctorates at Boston University in the early 1950s under the same professorial advisor. And this same sweet man who has regularly fed me shepherds pies from Wagshal's also spent time in India working with Mother Teresa in her famous hospice, and told me how that short fierce nun impressed him. Sheesh. I had no idea. Though these twentieth century luminaries "be dead and yet speak", they aren't exactly networkable (even the latter's rapid advancement toward Roman sainthood doesn't mean as a miracle worker she can be a reference on a resume), and while one doesn't want to think of--nor ever treat--one's friends as business assets, it does make me wonder how many extant connections with living mortal movers and shakers of the temporal world I have unwittingly overlooked?

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