What Good Luck! What Bad Luck!

September 10, 2010

Last week was full of ups and downs.  It rather reminded me of that Remy Charlip children’s book: What Good Luck! What Bad Luck! Do you remember this one?  It starts like this:

What good luck!
Ned got a letter that said, “Please come to a surprise party.”
What bad luck!
The party was in Florida and he was in New York.
What good luck!
A friend lent him an airplane.
What bad luck!
The motor exploded.

It goes on for some time like this.  And I found myself thinking of it last week as I fielded some job-hunting ups and downs.  It started like this: What Good Luck! I decided to search for more job opportunities on August 30th… and I found two that I really wanted… DUE THAT DAY!  So, I spent a good chunk of time prepping my resume, writing my cover letters, getting them checked by reliable friends, etc.  The next day: What Bad Luck! I got an email from one of them (an acquaintance of mine, actually), saying that they loved seeing my resume, but they really did need someone fluent in Spanish.  Somehow I had convinced myself that I could become fluent on the job (I’m intermediate right now), but no… not so much, they said.

So, I finally decided to check in on the two other jobs I had applied to a few weeks before.  One is for the EPA, and I’ve got an inside source who’s been monitoring the progress for me.  She got back to me and said they should be setting up interviews very soon.  The other was for the Healthy Kids Collaborative, a job that would pay lucratively, and have me working in Providence.  I really thought I nailed my interview, and this was a job for which I had been practically begged to interview…  Yet, when I emailed them to say, “I really enjoyed our conversation, and I’m still very interested in the job, etc”  I got an email back saying “What Bad Luck! We already hired someone for this job!”  (well… something to that effect).

This was a bummer.  Although I don’t think I would have been very happy in this job, I had been considering it my fall-back, since I had been, as I said, strongly encouraged to apply for this job.  But after just a couple hours of feeling sad about my lack of any job prospects, What Good Luck! I got a call from the EPA asking for an interview!  I was thrilled.  When I got out my calendar and asked when they’d like me to come in, though… What Bad Luck! They didn’t want me to interview for two weeks.  Translation: even if you get this job, you won’t be seeing money for at least a month or so.  (What should I have expected? It’s the government).   But THEN, and stick with me here, What Good Luck! I found out that the person who will be interviewing me is someone that I interviewed for my thesis!  This makes me feel much more comfortable, and like I have a demonstrated history of being involved in the topic of the job.  Then, What Good Luck!, I found out that there is a Region-wide EPA conference call two days before my interview about the future of Environmental Justice in the EPA, which means I will be super prepped to talk about EJ at the interview, AND, What Good Luck!, the person we were to RSVP to was the person who will be interviewing me, which means I got another chance to connect with her and demonstrate my interest in the field.

Gosh, this is looking less and less like the book all the time.  Oh, how about What Good Luck! I’ve been thinking I might need part time work while I figure out all this full-time job mess, when I was asked if I could stick around as Garden Coordinator for the Community Garden I work in, for at least another month or more, at 20 hrs a week.  Do I feel weird sticking around Brown after graduating because I can’t find employment? Yes.  Do I want the money and like the work, and thus will be willing to swallow my pride? Abso-freakin-lutely.

So some things are good right now.  Here’s hoping I can keep this narrative going…


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