Did you ever have one of those dreams in which you struggle toward a goal — maybe a mountain in the distance — and every time you take a step forward, the mountain gets a little farther away? And then you’re at church and suddenly realize that you forgot to put any clothes on? No, wait. That’s a different dream.
Well that dream is what it feels like sometimes in the job acquisition process. The receding mountain dream I mean, not the naked at church dream.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my frustrations with the North Carolina DMV. They demanded a pile of medical information and clearance from my cardiologist, or not only could I not get a license to drive a school bus, but they’d also revoke my plain old driver’s license. Well, that seems to be on its way to resolution. I supplied the information they needed, and now I’m just waiting for the folks in Raleigh to give me the green light. Of course, at this point I’m not going to take anything for granted. For all I know they might send me out on a scavenger hunt or require that I complete a series of tasks, each of which will result in a clue that, when assembled, will give me the instructions on how to not get my license revoked.
But I may not need the CDL after all. Last week I was was offered a job that, frankly, I’m hesitant to reveal until it becomes official, what with prospective employers sniffing around social media posts and all. Suffice it to say it’s a good job, with great benefits. It’s with a large, well-known company. I’m excited and enthusiastic about it, so you know it’s not radio. And it involves four weeks of training classes. And I also have been offered a part-time job, demonstrating consumer electronics at a large retail store. Good times!
Both jobs require a background check, and a drug screening. No problem on either count. But the background checkers for the full time job called on Friday to tell me that they called my high school, and were told that getting a transcript of my graduation would take ten days. They wanted to know if I had my diploma and could send a copy. With all the moving around I’ve done, I don’t have any idea where my diploma is, so I called the school and pleaded with them to please hurry things along. I’m unemployed, and want to get in the next training class.
The background checker was very nice, but adamant. And of course, I was just as nice and cooperative as I could be. What I wanted to do, though, was shout, “Since high school, I’ve lived in Florida, Hawaii, New York State, Illinois, Pennsylvania and North Carolina! I’ve covered presidents and hostage situations! I’ve worked for a major university! I was present when Ronald Reagan gave his famous ‘evil empire’ speech! I was there when Challenger exploded! I’ve had lunch at the White House! I’ve interviewed politicians and celebrities! I’ve been a disc jockey, news anchor and talk show host! I’ve written and produced thousands of commercials, some of which have won advertising awards! I’ve owned my own business! I’ve been a contestant on Jeopardy! AND YOU WANT PROOF THAT I GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL FORTY YEARS AGO?????”
But of course, I meekly and politely said, “I’ll see if I can get that expedited for you.”
So now, I’ve provided proof, for both jobs, that I’m a citizen of the U.S., eligible to work in this country, lists of all my previous employers, my addresses for the past seven years, the names of everyone I’ve ever met including the guy next to me in line at the WalMart pharmacy last week, my world famous meat loaf recipe, my favorite Seinfeld episode, the names of my goldfish when I was six (Goldy and Blackie) and a genealogy chart going back to when my ancestors emerged from the primordial ooze. I’ve given up cups of my precious bodily fluids to be screened and analyzed. And I’m prepared to do whatever else they ask me to do.
I just hope it doesn’t involve spending the night in a haunted house.