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Playing dress-up

September 18, 2010

So, today was a big day in my little world.  The EPA interview I was so excited to get?  Definitely the most nervous I’ve been for an interview yet.  You’d think with all the practice I have, I’d be LESS nervous.  But, unlike the other jobs so far, when I wasn’t even sure if I wanted them, this time I want the job, big time.  As in, “Certainly you designed this job for me, right?”  I mean, it’s not a National Geographic photographer  job, but it is an EJ-focused, well-paid, easy commute, great resume-builder, working with community groups job.   Of course, wanting the job so much more makes the process of applying that much scarier.

So, after a mantra-filled elevator ride (“I am fearless.  I have infinite worth”—  thanks Deepak Chopra!), a few deep breaths as I waited for my interviewers to arrive, and a swig of water (out of my dented “Easter at Sheepdog Hill” water bottle… a little out of place next to my Limited suit coat, but hey- that’s me), the interview started.

Two of my three interviewers were rather chill and fun, while the head honcho was a little more serious.   I had done my prep, and feel pretty confident on EJ in general, so most of the questions I answered easily.  “How do I define EJ?” Piece of cake. “Why am I right for this job?”  Tell me how long you want me to talk!  There were a couple of stumpers, however… like, give me dry-mouth and send my mind racing stumpers… Damn.  One of them I guess I should have seen coming, but I didn’t: what’s a conflict you’ve encountered and how have you dealt with it?  And I’m sitting there, literally UNABLE to think of a conflict I’ve had.  Is it so wrong that my immediate environment is COMPLETELY DEVOID OF CONFLICT? Heh. Heh. Umm…

Anyway, who knows how it went.  Some of the other ones I’ve been sure I nailed, only to get rejections.  This time, I could not get a read off of them, so hey- maybe that’s a good sign.

All in all, it was definitely a strange feeling to put on a tailored suit coat, walk with the hurried crowd of professionals, and go through security before taking the elevator up to the 19th floor.  I’m more of a chaco-wearing, work-in-a-former-house kinda gal.  But as far removed as it might feel from the on-the-ground community work, I do know there are ways of making great change in the community by working in a powerful position.  So I’d be willing to give it a shot.

Now I just wait (up to a few weeks, she said).   It’s funny… I can see the scene where I find out whether I got the job or not… but I can see both versions: the crushing sense of disappointment and sadness, and the absurd elatedness and excited telling of the wife.  What a feeling to have so little control over the course of my life!  Just how it goes, I suppose…

I wouldn't even THINK about working for the EPA if it weren't for these two fine folk, Lisa P. Jackson and B. Obama! Lisa has really turned the EJ game around.

Photo credit: www.commoncurrent.com

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