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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne


I'm still in shock, but I GOT A JOB, I GOT A JOB, I GOT A JOB!!!!!

A full-time job, even!  A full-time job at a place that will be there pretty much forEVER, so there is all the job stability I could ask for!!!

I interviewed at 10:00 yesterday morning, and walked out with the information packet and the agreement that I'll start work on Tuesday!

Here's how it all played out . . . (which, again, confirms that 'it's not what you know, it's who you know'!!)  I was laying in bed the other night, not being able to fall asleep due to the financial stress, and brain-storming.  I was going through the businesses in town, block by block, in my mind.  I thought of the coffee shop and my friend who owns it.  So, even though it's the quiet time of the year (especially since there's little snow in town), I sent her a message Tuesday morning:
Is there any chance you're in the market for a terrific, reliable, work-like-the-devil employee? Namely, ME?! I N-E-E-D to supplement my income with a steady paycheck! And, if you're not in need of someone with my brilliant talents (!), have you heard of any positions open in the county? You're at the heart of the community, so I know you have a good idea of what's "going on". ANYTHING you could pass my way would be MUCH APPRECIATED!   
I didn't hear anything back, but that was no surprise:  she's a busy woman!  Then, late on Wednesday, I got an e-mail from my ex (who is dating the coffee shop owner's sister) saying that she (Mrs. Coffee Shop) had spoken to a business owner that day about me . . . and that the (other) business owner wanted to talk to me, ASAP!  How could she get ahold of me?  So, I immediately did a quick web search for contact info and sent a late night e-mail out to my new Boss Lady.

I heard back from her right away on Thursday, and we set up a time to meet (her, her husband / co-owner, and myself) yesterday at 10:00.  We three (all aged within 5 years of one another) all went to high school together and, while not having had more than a passing "hello" relationship these past 20-25 years, we knew each other.  And, Papa Pea had both of their kids in school.

One of their nearly life-long employees just retired this fall, and they've been (very) short a staff person ever since, trying to divide the slack between themselves (in addition to all their regular duties, of course).  I'd actually thought of contacting them when I read in the newspaper about the retiree, but I figured I'd hear the word on the street or read an advertisement if they were looking to replace him.  But, turns out no, despite the NEED for a replacement and for various small-town reasons, they'd not advertised locally.  So, when Mrs. Coffee Shop told my Boss Lady that I was looking for a full-time gig to supplement my home businesses, the Boss Lady (told me yesterday that she) replied with an excited, "Really?  Reeeally?!  She might want to work for us?!"

Matter of fact, the double bonus is that I think both they and I went into yesterday's meeting knowing that, unless something bizarre surfaced (or, for me, the salary was but a pittance), we'd both be a 'GO!' with the situation!  So, at the end of the meeting when I had the paperwork in hand, the Boss Lady told me to go home to go through it and think the situation over to see if I'd be interested.  I conveyed that I didn't need to do that:  I WAS interested, and when could I start?  But then, so as not to put them on the spot, I back-tracked and said, "Well, you two should take some time, too, to decide."  Her husband jumped in with, "Nope.  No.  Nuh-uh, we don't need to do that!  We're good to go - we want you!"  Soooo, WHOO-HOOO!  I think we ALL left the meeting feeling that way!!!

I met all but one of the other employees yesterday, and it's a small staff right now, being in the middle of winter, which is nice.  Also, January is their inventory month, so I'll have a quick, easy way to familiarize myself with my department . . . which is stationery, housewares, camping goods, and sports.  This place is an old-fashioned department / dime store.  Matter of fact, it's the Wall Drug of northern Minnesota (figuratively speaking).  It's SUPER busy in the summertime:  no tourist goes through town w/o going inside and dropping a few bucks.  Literally.

First Generation Owners
Second Generation Owners
The five-and-dime was started from an existing general store in 1941, and, in 1954, the current store was built.  Now, the granddaughter of the original owners (along with her husband) owns and manages the business.  I'm sure it's the oldest business in town - VERY cool!
Third & Current Generation Owners
I think there will be lots of opportunity for me to get off the "floor" and into the office, too.  I was telling the owners about my web & graphic design businesses and computer skills yesterday and how I (actually) enjoy data-entry, etc.  The Boss Lady was THRILLED to hear this as she says she hates these aspects of her job and would rather BE on the floor!  So, lots of possibilities, I think, as we all get to know each other and learn our different strengths, etc.

The only bummer about the job is that . . . I can't wear skirts shorter than 3" above the knee or heels higher than 2".  Damn and double damn!  ;)

The days are 9-hour days with a "mandatory", time-assigned one-hour lunch.  I'd prefer to work an 8-hour day straight through, but that is one of the rules they've developed over the past 71 years that works for them.  So, no problem, I shall adjust!  Besides, it will give me a chance to get out of the store and run town errands.

Mama & Papa Pea have GENEROUSLY stepped (back!) up to the plate and will allow me to leave Maisy & Tucker with them again each day.  That is H-U-G-E:  having a safe, nice, comfortable place for them to be each day.  I know it's not always easy for Mom and Dad - particularly in the non-winter months when they have to put up fencing to keep the dogs out of this or that area of the garden(s).  But, I SURE DO appreciate it!!!!  It takes ALL of the weight off my shoulders when I know the dogs are there and happy when I'm at work!

I'll still need to augment this full-time job with my web & graphic design and photography business(es).  The salary is not enough to pay all the monthly bills.  But, that's good:  being "forced" to continue to work on, in particular, the photography & its online store . . . as that's still what I REALLY want to be "doing".  I'll have to be extremely conservative and conscientious about my time management . . . which has always been a struggle for me . . . but a lesson I need to learn.  And, I'm actually excited about that!  The hours are good, and, in the summertime, I'll even have a couple of hours of daylight remaining when I get home at night . . . provided I leave town as soon as work is done and not go visiting friends!  :)

So, there ya have it, the EXCITING NEWS!  I splurged on a tiny (and really yummy!) bottle of champagne last night so a toast could be shared at Bundle of Joy's house, where I'd been invited for dinner.  They'd already heard the news (word travels fast in a small town!) and the daddy had picked up a LOVELY bottle of Irish whiskey!  I don't know that I'll become a complete convert, but there are times when the "bite" of Irish whiskey does beat the smooth mellowness of Canadian whiskey!  Two totally different animals.  I'm gonna have to add this label to my liquor cabinet! 

Bundle of Joy got to celebrate with a leftover NYE party-favor.  :)  After I'd divided the itty-bitty bottle amongst we three adults, I gave her the bottle to tip up (she got no more than a drop).  She pulled one heck of a funny face after, and her mom asked, "Do you like it?"  Face still screwed up, she emphatically declared, "NO!"  Hahahaha - good girl!


  1. WhooHoo! I am soo happy for you! It is like that here in a way of knowing somebody and it seems this whole county is related in some way.
    I wish you lots of success and happiness!

  2. Yippee Skippee!! Congratulations!! While not the weight entirely off your shoulders this should lessen it quite a bit! Good for you!!

  3. When I saw the title, I clicked on it and the server took SOOOO long to boot up. I'm sitting at the laptop saying, Come on, come on, COME ON!!!

    And there it was! Congrats & how cool is it to work for the old time store in town.

  4. Congratulations! I just knew something good was coming your way. You deserve it!

  5. glad things are finally starting to turn around for you.


  6. YAHOO!!! I am so happy for you!! It looks like 2012 is starting off great for you!-"M"

  7. Oh, that's just wonderful! You know that all of us followers out here were rooting for you to find something that will work for you. With your amazing talents, and all those good wishes coming your way, something had to happen good for you. Happy 2012, it'll be a prosperous and joyous year for you.

  8. I'm so happy for you!!!!! I know exactly where you will be working, love that place! As a former H/R person, you definitely don't want to rock the boat trying to skip lunch, there are laws about that LOL. I think the steady hours will do so much for you as far as getting a steady time set for you to work on your home/online business as well. Scattering stuff around never works for me, it always seems to get away from me. I can't wait to hear how next week goes, what a perfect time of the year to start, you will know the whole store by the busy season!

  9. Great news, hope the New Years blessings continue.

  10. Congratulations! I knew something would be coming your way. From the description, I think I know the store you've described. Does this mean we'll get a family discount when we come to visit??? I end up there at least 1 time on each visit.

  11. Hey, great news! Congrats on the new gig... and I suspect we know just where to find you when we come into town to find the stuff one can only find at the Wall Drug of the North Shore (like that Canadian tea...)
    Kathy and Val

  12. Such fantastic news! Congratulations and wishes for an amazing new year filled with more blessings than you can imagine! I'm so excited for you!

  13. OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!! I am so ridiculously over the moon for you. Phew! And, woo-hoo! GREAT JOB!

  14. Congratulations. I couldn't think of a better place to work in town. I hope you have a blast! And now we will know where to find you.

  15. That is good news! I was worried for you, in a bloggy kind of way.

  16. Congratulations on your new job! I believe I've been to the store you're speaking of. It was fascinating and I got a really fabulous pair of fur snowmobile mittens there. Have fun!

  17. Great news! Congrats and best of luck. I just found your blog two weeks ago and have enjoyed reading. Keep up the great (and enjoyable) work!


If you are familiar with me and where I live, please respect my right to retain some anonymity by not referring to me by anything other than Chicken Mama nor mentioning city/town/villages by place names. Thanks!