Thursday, October 09, 2008

Government jobs

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning to go test for two government-type jobs in a fancy building next to the Capital building in Atlanta. I drove city streets, clutching the directions in one hand and the steering wheel and and cell phone (for a makeshift flashlight) in the other. The parking attendant let me park my 15-passenger van in a handicapped spot. (Shhhhh!!! Don't tell anyone!)

"Are you sure no one's going to tow my car while I'm gone?"

He assured me that it would be fine, and as I walked away, I thought that maybe I should have gotten his name, so that when I came back to a missing van, I wouldn't have to say, "Well, officer, yes I did park in a handicapped spot, but the parking attendant said it was no problem, and, yes, I know he's not there anymore, and no, I didn't get his name . . . " Yes, I thought all of that as I walked away, and then decided I'd take my chances rather than make the parking attendant grumpy at me for asking his name.

I took the test in a place called Twin Towers. Um, yes, I did. Who's in charge of these places? I got to the right floor of the right building by a sheer miracle (since I am most definitely directionally challenged), but wandered a full circuit of that floor before I found myself a nice guard who pointed me in the right direction. Even after that adventure, I got to where I was supposed to be a full 56 minutes before the test was scheduled to start. (Am I really needing a job? YESSSS! I AM!)

I settled in the waiting area and got out my notebook to enjoy a little time writing, when a lady arrived asking if she was in the right place for job testing. We then started talking, sharing financial concerns and getting just a little depressed about the economy and how it's affecting the job market, especially out of the city. I gave her Keith's name as a referral for possible work with Delta -- she's closer to the airport -- and after learning each other's life stories, we went in with about 25 other people to take the test.

While in line to get our tests, we all got into an interesting conversation about politics. One lady says she's probably not going to vote at all since all politicians are evil. My new friend said that she's definitely going to vote for the person who was so clear and had such good ideas . . . Obama . . . and she's a Democrat. (Oh well, friends can't be perfect, right?) And I put in my two cents, too, with a deep breath said, "I'm a Republican to the core, and there are several issues that are VERY important to me . . . " looking around for mob riots . . . "I'm pro-life . . . And the President appoints the Supreme Court judges. That's REALLY important . . . " Unfortunately, I didn't get to continue (having just warmed up!), because we got to the end of the line and needed to start the test.

Spelling, punctuation, grammar, filing, fact checking. It was actually an interesting test. I did pretty well, partly because I did a quick review of filing rules the day before. That saved a lot of angst.

Eventually, I settled into the test. It took about an hour and half. My new friend Marge and I sat together and finished at nearly the same time. We left with a promise that we would pray for each other for our jobs. It was nice to have a little moral support, even from a Democrat. : )

Tomorrow the kids are home from school, and I'll be continuing the job search. I'm started looking into teaching positions in private schools. I fully realize that private schools pay is very low, but it is still pay. I don't need a great-paying job. I just need a consistently-paying job.


Qtpies7 said...

I thought of you the other day when I saw the Sylvan Learning Center hires teachers to tutor online! You could work from home when you have a teaching lisense.

Don't you know that posting a picture of a spider is the fastest way to lose me as a reader?

Anonymous said...

Last year my husband nearly died in a motor vehicle accident (someone who wasn't paying attention crossed the center line and hit him head on). He came home three weeks later. He was in a wheel chair for two months, had to use a walker for two months after that. He then graduated from the walker to the cane. He still uses the cane, in addition to a brace he will have to wear on his knee for the rest of his life. Without the brace his knee is useless.

When the accident happened, our daughter was 17 months old and I was 5 months pregnant with our son (and about to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes). When my husband came home, he was still non-weight bearing. He could shift from the wheelchair to the bed and back, but that was the extent of what he could do. And once he was able to get where he was shifting to, it was up to me to lift his legs.

Most of his care was up to me. Including when the three of us would have to go places (doctor's offices and hospitals, mostly). He would sit in the truck and talk to our daughter while I (still pregnant) would lift the wheelchair out of the truck bed, set it up and get it (and the stepladder he needed to get in and out of the truck) and hold him as he tried to ease out of the truck and into the chair. Then he would either push our daughter in her stroller with his one good arm while I would push the wheelchair or I would hold our daughter while pushing the wheelchair or, at times, push both the stroller and the wheelchair by myself.

Now it's 17 months later. My husband hates to have to use handicap parking places, but without them the chances of him losing his left leg are still great. His is supposed to use it as little as possible. He has incredible pain everyday, but still struggles through it to provide for our family, to play with and care for our children and to be the man he was before some thoughtless person didn't pay attention to those around her.

I see him wince in pain on a regular basis. He refuses to admit to it most of the time. He feels that to admit to the pain weakens him and makes him lazy.

Next time you decide to park in the handicap designated parking space because it's easier for you, think about our story. My husband and others like him have their health put in peril by people like you everyday and it's a shame. It makes no difference if you have the placard legally. If you, yourself have no physical disability, you have no right nor place to use the placard or the spaces when you are alone. I was pregnant with a toddler along and then with two small children in tow and I still didn't use the placard or the spaces because it was easier or convenient. I was more woman than that. I was more mindful of others than that.

You never know when someone who is actually in need of the spot is going to show up. You can not predict who will be in the area while you are off leaving your van there because it was easy. How do you know how many people were made to suffer (and how much they were made to suffer) because you were lazy?

People like you make me sick.

Jackie said...


I'm so sorry to have hurt you with my thoughtless comment about the handicapped parking. I never park in handicapped otherwise, my van was too big for the parking garage -- there was literally no other option for me other than park a half mile down the road in downtown Atlanta. I did seek my own safety first. If there had been any other place to park, I would have done so. If the parking attendant had not offered me the place himself, I would not have taken it AND if there was not another handicapped spot next to it, I would not have taken it either. The parking attendant says that no one ever parks in those spaces. Soooooooo, while I was taking a chance on incurring a ticket, I think I was mindful enough of the situation.

At any rate, I'm sorry for the emotional pain you've undergone and the physical diffulties, and I truly hope that things get easier for you. I really do.