Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

So tired

It's amazing how much tension you can hold in the body unbeknownst until you stop in your tracks and crash. Then it's like you're some sort of decrepit, ancient thing shuffling along.

I had a day off today, starting with waking up early (insomnia) and deciding to put it to good use by finishing up the presentation prep for the interview today. Then I did what I could with me, my skin, my hair, and my outfit, including putting enough product in my hair that it looked good but felt sticky. Ugh. I went over to a friend to pick him up for an appointment and get his opinion (every girl should have a gay brutally honest critic/friend (you know, someone who would bring Simon Cowell to tears) to consult during these times). The skirt didn't pass muster. Then in the midst of things I spilled coffee all the way down my sweater and skirt, although I think I got it before any lasting damage could occur. Needless to say I was one nervous, pissy ball of fun, and being on my period didn't help.

Still, when I went to his appointment I brought out the laptop and reviewed the presentation and the points I wanted to make in 10 minutes. Then I added the new phone number to my resume and saved that. I was working on a personal project when he was finished, and I'd calmed down pretty well (at least until I spilled the coffee). :)

Another concern was gas. I put $11 worth in the night before, but it was already on the gas light when I started out today. That usually gives me 43 miles period. I'm thinking, well, Frankfort's like, what 12-20 miles away from Lexington, it should all be good. Well, I got there at the 43 mile mark...I was just hoping I wouldn't run out of gas before the interview (I did that once before, it was absolutely the worst job interview I'd ever done). But I scooted in without running out of gas and was just praying that 1) the gas light was being a bit precocious and 2) my AAA coverage still included a trip to deliver gas on the roadside (I think I've blown through my allotted number of responses and then some).

I then got a little lost in the building, which is pretty common, I gather. You start on the second floor, which is ground level (I know, it's a little weird). I wound up going up to the third, which happened to be where I needed to get a passcode but also wound up with a lovely guide who delivered me to the meeting room where they were all gathered.

I'm usually intimidated by group interviews, although with practice I've found those go better for me. But it's the social anxiety, I know. There were several women from the Kentucky Virtual Library and related agencies up and around the hierarchy. One of the women was the very first history T.A. (teaching assistant) I'd had when I first came up to UK in 1984. That, coupled with their manner (they'd just finished lunch and were, how do I put it, they had an aura of a professional group akin to a library consortium or team where I instantly felt like a part of it rather than a bug under a microscope or anything like that.

The interview itself went well. The presentation was okay, although I didn't keep things in the logical order I'd planned and used keywords that were probably a little general and caused the search engine some consternation. I definitely would have changed how I did that, but that's a learning opportunity, not a failure. I think they were happy considering the lack of preparation time that I'd attempted and for the most part had thrown together something.

I think I addressed any concerns they had well. I did use this blog as an example of web experience I have, and apparently they have read it (or at least the director has). That's a little...well, you know, I talk about everything from library science to being nearly evicted to feeling a little crazy in today's world, so I don't know if that's a good thing or not. I mean, I put the stuff out there--I know it's public, but I write more as a catharsis than to actually put myself in the best light, and I always have that brutally honest friend to point out if I try to gloss over much. :)

The position itself sounds interesting, challenging, with plenty of opportunity for growth. I think I have what it takes to do an excellent job if offered it; I think I would work well with the teams involved. I mean, it's true, at this point, a full-time job is my goal no matter what else may be at issue, but unlike some of the other positions for which I've interviewed, this one I think would fit my personality well. I know, I'm always optimistic after these things, but on the other hand, I fit in a more academic--especially a non-traditional one--setting more so than I do in a public or even hospital setting. The last time I felt this good after an interview was for another government agency that melded history and archives, and I had none of the turnaround of being afraid the position might be above my head to thinking I could learn anything they throw at me and the rest of the details will take care of themselves as I plough through.

Then I went to talk to human resources to talk about benefits, and was back on my way.

I feel like I've experienced some sort of 'miracle of the oil' akin to Hannukkah...I got back in the car prepared to run out of gas and got all the way back to Lexington and to the gas station I work up to pick up my paycheque and the gas light had been on for 75 MILES! It's as if all this were meant to be. :)

So the good news is I think I fared well in the interview. The bad news is my cheque doesn't cover the amount I owe the electric company and they wouldn't take a partial payment, so I'll likely lose power on Friday and not get it back on until Wednesday or Thursday. Sigh. Please come through, job...a salary of $40-45,000 a year doing something you love and only one job so beats 3 jobs where you can barely stay in your apartment and keep the lights on.

Wish me luck!

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