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!