October 09, 2007

Pray for Me

Received a letter from the TN Department of Corrections. I was being considered for a secretarial position at the Luttrell Correctional Center. Interviews to be held on October 8th. Excuse me? Tennessee does not believe in giving you much notice to respond to things. Tax bills arrived on Saturday--due on Monday. The center was closed by the time I received the notice on Thursday, the 4th. If I didn't know better, I'd think I wasn't supposed to receive it in time to respond. On the horn first thing Friday morning. Appointment made for 2:40 p.m. Now, I have no idea of what Wally World's schedule is for Monday but they will have to wait. I'm going to Memphis, come hell or high water.

Go in that afternoon to find that I'm due at Wally World at 5 p.m., on the 8th. Hmmm. Not going to work. Memphis is a little over an hour's drive from The Big Rip. Don't know how they are about rearranging schedules but I'll find out. Approach Miss T, first. Protocol. "You're supposed to let them know in advance." What do you call this? "You have to let people know as soon as possible about a change in schedule." I am. "Only the store manager can make the change and both of you have to sign it." That's all I needed to know. Locate the store manager and ask if it is possible to come in later--that I had an appointment in Memphis and knew I would not be back by 5 p.m. So sorry to cause problems, yada yada. No problem. Switched to 7 p.m. Cuts my hours by two but it can't be helped.

Assemble all the requested materials. Recharge Maggie (as usual, I don't have a clue as to where I'm going). Oops, printer out of ink. Off to Wally World for cartridges. They have color but no black. Need black. Is it worth the ride to Covington? See the disadvantages of a small town? Not worth it. Back to the career center for a blank state application. I can fill it in by hand. Off I go, leaving plenty of time to get there ON time. But first I have to pay my city taxes.

Into the courthouse. Wrong place. Pay your city taxes at town hall, just across the square. No problem. Met a very personable lady, now her name escapes me, who immediately wanted to know: Who's your family? And all the other questions that usually come with that question. Gave me a very warm welcome to Ripley and offered to pick me up to visit her church. Folks who know me know that I prefer to drive. Then I can leave when I get ready. But I'll make arrangements to meet her as well as the other young lady who asked me to attend her church, St. Luke's. Hmmm. Wonder if that is Miss T's church, which she hasn't invited me to attend.

Let it be known that I was job hunting, just in case. I have nothing against Wally World but it is hard on the foots and the body. Maybe I'm working too hard. She, in turn, introduced me to the HR person for the city. Great. I'll be back with a resume after I get a black cartridge in Covington.

Down the road, I go. Tufts of cotton still litter the roadside. Some fields haven't been picked. Understand that the drought has affected the crop. Into Memphis city limit. Ignore Maggie. I saw on the map to take exit 12 off of Route 40; she wants me to take exit 18. NOT. She recalculates. We get there with time to spare. For once.

I'm dressed but not as I would be in DC. Left the suit at home. Did do the heels, though. We have to maintain some standards, after all. Left off the signature bracelets, too. And the shoes with any metal decorations. I do learn. If I have to go through any metal devices, I am not stripping to the buff. Well, looky here. I'm still overdressed if the appearance of my fellow interviewees is any indication. Just what is the dress code down here?

Turns out Luttrell is a federal institution for women, with another prison across the street; both border the community college campus. Is there a correlation? Interviewed by a panel of three--two men and a female--about 3 p.m. You do know Excel? Why is the prison using Excel to track expenses? It's primarily a financial position; budgeting, tracking expenses, generating reports, yada yada. Why, Lord? I hate math. But I can overcome it.

My previous salary caused them some concern. The proposed salary poses no problem to me. It's more than I am currently making and has benefits. Now the fact that I'd have to leave the house around 6 a.m., is something else but it can be done. Neither of us had questions for the other that amounted to anything which may not have been a good thing. In and out. Back on the road. Picked up my light while I was in the area. Finally.

Take me. PLEASE take me.

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