Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chapter 8 - My Life: A Job Interview

As many of you can imagine (or know because you've been there), raising children as a single parent can be difficult.  You have to be there physically and emotionally for your kids.  Although I will be the first to admit my shortcomings in raising my two children, I also give myself a lot of credit.  There were ups and there were downs and it was not easy, but the three of us made it.  I like to think that it was our love for each other as well as our closeness that helped to create the respect we have now for each others individuality, wants and needs.  For me prayer, my faith, my children and what I now refer to as my inner strength were my driving know like the "Little Engine That Could".  

I had been working as a waitress nights during and after the divorce and the kids stayed with a baby sitter.  Then I switched to days when my son was old enough to attend daycare and my daughter was in grammar school.  But they came home to an empty house.  They were called "latch-key kids" back then.  You know kids that come home to no parent.  I hated that term and always felt that dagger of guilt each time I heard the phrase.  Although I began looking for a job that would give us a sense of security, my children would always have that label...there was no other way.  I needed to find a job where I had medical coverage for the kids and myself and one where I would be able to make a decent salary.  I wanted to be able to give them the things they needed and wanted.  I wanted them to be as proud of me as I was of them. 

  My friend, at that time, saw an ad in the local paper for a bank that was hiring part-time and she suggested that I give it a try.  First of all, let me explain, that I didn't have a lot of extra money for things that we didn't need.  For instance, because I waitressed, I didn't have a need to buy pantyhose, skirts, blouses, let alone anything to wear on a job interview!  So reluctantly but with my friend's coaxing, I called and made an appointment  for an interview with the Human Resource Department. 

My interview was scheduled...that was the easy part.  Now came the hard part.  What do I wear?  All I owned were waitress uniforms, white shoes and casual clothes.  My friend, Mary...thank God for Mary...and, of course, Mary's closet!  She pulled from her closet a dungaree skirt, a white blouse and a blazer.  I supplied the sandals.  I shake my head and shudder in disbelief when I think about how I dressed for that interview back on June 21, 1981.

  Believe me when I say that I KNOW I had a guardian angel watching over me throughout my entire life and that angel didn't let me down then either!  I went for the interview and got the job!  YEAH!!  I was so happy and I know the kids were proud of me too!!  Although I don't remember, we probably went to McDonald's to celebrate, because back then a hamburger only cost about .20!   The woman from HR told me that I'd gotten the job now all I had to do was to select a branch that I preferred and interview with that specific manager.

However, she then  informed me that it was against bank policy to wear dungaree clothing of any kind to work, that bare legs were not permitted and that employees could not wear sandals to work.  So, even though I had three strikes against me, I now had a job at a bank and although it was only part-time, it was a foot in the door!

  As I write about this, it seems both silly and yet redundant to me...because I have told this story to so many people over the so many new hires that came on board who really wanted to make something of so many single parents who needed a job.  The story, silly as is sounds, always had the same message...don't ever give up!   Little did I know that it was giving others a sense of inspiration by encouraging them to be "The Little Engine That Could."


varunner said...

Have you ever seen the movie The Pursuit of Happiness? (If not, I can loan it to you). Your story reminds me of that movie :-)

Felix said...

You are a success story!


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