You know, I feel like I’m hiding out, or on witness protection out here in Doreen. It’s not exactly remote, but it seems far removed from what I’m used to, and what I know. One of the things that strikes me is how quiet it is. I kind of like it – it’s refreshing if nothing else.
I’m not sleeping as well as I could, though. I’m back to dreaming irritating dreams all night. On top of that I’m sharing the bed with two dogs. That leaves little space for me, and is far from ideal, but I feel I can’t do much about it. It was made clear when I checked out the place last week that’s fine for Chilli to sleep on the bed. I can’t very well kick him off, but if he’s allowed on the bed then Rigby is too. They’re not exactly mates.
Chilli is a docile dog, but not timid. Rigby is all energy and good-natured attitude. He makes himself at home wherever he goes, which, given this is Chilli’s home, has created some friction. They’re fundamentally of different nature, and come bedtime jockey for the prime position of sleeping in the vacant place next to me, while the other has to settle for somewhere near the feet. Chilli reckons it’s his right since it’s his home; Rigby reckons it should be him because I’m his master (and he’s quite possessive).
I was up this morning earlier than I wanted to be because the dogs, collectively, were restless. It gave me the chance to be productive. I had things swimming around in my head and so sat down in front of the Mac and added another page to the novel well before 9am. That felt good. Then I had to do an online test for the job I’ve applied for.
I was out of the place by 10 intending to check out the cafe options up the road. I need somewhere I can escape to every now and then for a good latte and some human contact. I checked out one cafe, but the coffee was indifferent. I bought some cheap Heineken across the road, then returned.
I’ve been busy all day sitting in front of my Mac. I caught up on some emails I had to send, including one to an old friend I wanted to pitch a business proposition too. He responded straight-away, and it looks like we’re catching up tomorrow in Seymour, where he wants to check out some horse trials.
I’ve since been updating and organising my notes for the various potential ventures I’ve got on the go. They’re coming together, but that’s a long way from being done.
The idea I’ve pitched today was a mentoring concept quite different from anything else out there. There’s a gap it can fill, and while I would hope to make money out of it there’s a strong altruistic motivation as well, strengthened by my personal experiences.
I’m developing a couple of iOS apps to. They’re at the design stage. I just need to go out and get them built.
Then there’s this job I’ve alluded to. I got referred to it by someone in my network who’s a HR recruiter. It’s a customer service role, something I’ve never done directly previously, and not a natural fit you would suppose looking at my CV. Send it to me she said, I’ll take a look at it, and suggest some changes.
She sent my CV back the next day. It looked quite different, stripped of all it’s complexity and detail, a page and a half of stuff that emphasised whatever customer service, communication and stakeholder skills I possessed, and referring only fleetingly to the sexy stuff. At first glance I felt depressed, and not a little emasculated. What’s happened to my beautiful CV? I understood though, necessary evil and all that. The preamble pretty well explained why someone like me might think about a customer service role – because I wished to fulfil my ambition to write a novel, and wanted something less demanding.
I had an interview on Tuesday. The office is 72km from where I’m sitting now, so I packed a lunch first. I was unsure of how to go about this. I’m used to working in and applying for high-level corporate roles. I had to ask first what I should wear.
The interview was conducted by the two team leaders, one middle-aged, the other a bit older and reminding me of my mum. Right from the word go it was clear that they were impressed, if not a little awed, by my scaled back CV. They had a set of questions (which had been provided to me also surreptitiously) which they declared to be meaningless given my experience. So instead of discussion about my experience, and the usual behavioural type stuff, we instead had a conversation, give and take. The only pointed question was why on earth would someone like me want with a job like this? I answered that to their satisfaction.
It was pretty easy – I wish more interviews were like that. It’s funny, the questions they didn’t bother with I get at the high-end interviews I attend. There’s kind of some reverse snobbery. They won’t bother me with the questions I can clearly answer – so they reckon – because of my superior CV, whereas with a better CV I get asked those questions without the blink of an eye by those at the level I am. I’m not complaining, and perhaps there’s some legitimacy in that – presumably the demands are less as a customer service officer than they are as a project manager, and so on.
One of the women commented on what a fascinating life I’d led, and I left thinking about that. Has it really been? I guess it has. Because it’s yours you don’t think in those terms, but it was gratifying to hear it from another. A fascinating life should be the aim of everyone.
I figure I’m slightly better than 50% chance to get the job, despite my over-qualifications. The interview went well, they liked me, and I kicked goals in the online test. If it happens it means I’m earning money again. It’s not a lot – I haven’t earned so little for 22 years, but it’s a lot more than nothing. The money counts – and I can’t live long-term on the salary they propose – but it’s almost secondary in a way. I need to get back in the groove, to be working again and productive, to feel as if I belong to something once again. And it means I can safely find a place to live.
I seem to have taken it in my stride. It’s not definite, sure, but I expect it will be. I think I always knew something would could along some day, completely out of the blue. I believed that all the way through, it was only a matter of time. Maybe this is it, and so it feels like the completion of something, and not something new.
It’s funny. I’m the phlegmatic type, I don’t get too flustered and never too excited. This is so important though, because it sets me back on the road. Doesn’t matter what the job is, or how much I’m paid, I’ll thrive and do well, and won’t let go of the railing again. This is the chance for me to be me again, and away I go – hopefully.