tornadoThis past week was a whirlwind of employment opportunities for me. I had gotten a tip from my husband’s boss that a dude that makes T-shirts in town was looking to train a new screen printer. I thought, creative? Laid back? Why not give the guy a call.

I did, and went in to meet him. The man himself was super nice, but marone a mi, his shop was a freakin’ mess! Open cans of ink, boxes, papers, t-shirts; there was stuff everywhere! He decided to give me a try, and I spent 6 hours on Thursday working for him.

I won’t be working another 6, I can tell you that. It was not for me. I spent the first hour cleaning spoons and squeegees with mineral spirits and I sincerely thought I was going to die a few times. The fumes were giving me a massive headache, and my hands were covered with ink. I spent the next 2 hours cleaning screens for him, and during this time he exited the shop with his dog and left me there all alone.

I thought that was odd. I mean, I know I’m honest, but how did he know I wouldn’t call my gang of thugs over and take out everything that wasn’t nailed down?

Then he had me print t-shirts. WTF? I had no clue what to do! He showed me twice and left me alone to do my best. Oh, and the order? He didn’t have any extra shirts, so I’d better not make a mistake.

I was moving along cautiously, beginning to think that I could do this, when suddenly I noticed a smudge of ink on my finger. Ruh roh Rorge. I looked at the shirt I had just put on the rack to run through the curer and saw a fingerprint on the sleeve.


I called the boss over and whimpered and apologized and right there and then realized that I hated this laid back job. I was on my feet all day, it was bad for my respiratory system, and it was too much pressure!

I’m messy by nature. I always get flour all over the counter when I make cookies, and when I paint I have to have a wet rag handy at all times to clean up drips and splats where paint is not supposed to go. I’m going to tell him thanks but no thanks when I go into town next week.

But I don’t mind because other opportunities have magically popped up. An application I’d handed in to Lowe’s for M-F work actually paid off. I had an interview with them yesterday, and I think it went well. While the thought of 4 years of college ending me up at Lowe’s is a bit of a downer, it’s fairly easy money, and I can work while my youngest is at school.

But the best is what happened this morning. The other day I had to attend a workshop at the unemployment office. I have used up my regular benefits and now that I am on the extended plan, they want to make sure I’m doing things right. I don’t blame them.

One of the things they talked about was networking…how putting the word out there that you are looking is a great way to find a job. I had mostly hid the fact that I was unemployed from the social media world, well, because it’s embarrassing. The thought of going on Facebook and letting the world know I need a job is humbling, but I started to do it on the advice of the dude at unemployment.

A guy I used to work with years ago had moved to VA Beach to open a bakery. It is wildly successful, and he is moving back to our area to open up another shop. I saw him post a boring logo this morning for his new shop, so I PMed him. “Hey, I’m sure you know tons of creative people, but if you need any design work for your new venture, let me know.”

The response was almost immediate; Hell yes. He didn’t know I was “taking on new clients.” Ha ha ha. Here I’ve got two nickles to my name and he thinks I’m bogged down with design work. Apparently he’s got tons of work to send my way. Plus, he wants to know if I’d be interested in working for the shop in general.

Although I’m no baker, (my yeast never rises) I can stand behind a counter and sell. I’m super psyched. Six months have passed with nary a bite and now I’ve got possible gigs left and right. That dude at unemployment was right; all I had to do was let someone know I was looking for work.

My cat slept with me last night; right against my belly with his head tucked under my arm. He never does that. I hope it’s a sign of better things to come.