Working 9 to 5...and then 5 to 9

Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I am a full-time mom. With a part-time job.

I won't even try to quantify the hours I work as a mom. I take my job very seriously. I work at my job as a mom the same way I would any other job. I'm not going to get into it now, but trust me.

Right now, I get the hours between 7:30pm and 4:30am off to do with as I please. And by as I please, I mean sometimes work, sometimes clean up, sometimes blog and sometimes watch tv, not to mention pay bills, plan our week's meals, and read books. Oh, and I sleep, too.

Anyway, I also work Saturdays and Wednesday evenings, but not all of them. Saturdays are supposed to be 8-5 but I still haven't managed to get out of there by 5:00 because I take my job very seriously and am still new. Wednesdays are 3:15 to...actually, I don't know what time we're supposed to be out of there on Wednesdays, because I've only worked one Wednesday but I know that I was the last to leave and probably will be again tomorrow night.

I work for a program that places highly-qualified applicants in high-needs teaching positions in Denver Public Schools. What's their definition of 'highly-qualified'? I'm glad you asked. I can't tell you. I'm not kidding. But I can say that they look for certain characteristics that are indicators of success - things that, while not specific to being able to teach necessarily, are traits that are common in people who tend to be successful no matter what they pursue. You know the kind of person I'm talking about. The kind of person that takes on a challenge head on, figures out what they need to do to make it work, and then takes it on and shows it who's boss.

That's what we're looking for. And thank goodness we get over a thousand applicants for 30 or so positions because it's not always what we get. (It's usually what we get, but those don't make for good stories.)

For example, this past Saturday, my team-mate and I were doing introductions before beginning our day. We call our days "Events" because we each get assigned 3-5 interviewees and then we spend the day with them, having them teach a lesson, doing a writing sample, participate in a group discussion and then ending the day with personal interviews. So we're doing introductions and I notice one of her candidates nodding off. I'm worried for him because people fly in from all over the states to interview with us and often don't fully comprehend or prepare for the change in altitude. In my years here, I've seen many a pass-outs and decided to keep a close eye on this guy, who we will call Badger Ben. Badger Ben manages to get through the morning without any cause for alarm. He's got a water bottle and seems upright ok. Then we split up into our groups and my partner takes him away. I'd warned her about what I had seen and so she was aware. Ten minutes later, she comes running back. "Oh my goodness, you will never believe what happened," she whispers all excited. Apparently, Badger Ben was standing a'swaying while she was giving instructions for how the rest of the day was going to play out. Then, like a scene out of a Vince Vaughn movie, he put up one finger, turned green, and ran into the bathroom.

"Are you serious?" I asked her. "Did he pass out? Did he puke?"
"I don't know. He hasn't come out."
"Oh, god. I hope he's ok. Do you think he's ok?"
"I don't know!"

Badger Ben comes into the room and my teammate asks him if he's alright.

"Yes. I'm just feeling a little...under the weather."

He looked up at me and I knew right then and there that he was hungover. You don't look sheepish when you've got the flu. Not to mention that he was like 20something years old. I asked him if there was anything we could do or if there was anything he needed. He had signed up for one of the later interview slots and I suggested he go out and get himself a bloody mary something and he admitted that he'd been dropped off by his cousin and had no car.

We were surprised when he showed up to the interview. But I guess without a car he couldn't have really gotten that far, although I suspect that if I'd been in his shoes, I would have mumbled an apology for wasting everyone's time and started walking in one direction with my drunk-ass tail between my legs and called my cousin to pick me up wherever I ended up. But Badger Ben stuck it out. He did, however, address his writing sample to Principal Skinner, indicating that while he was aware that he had squandered an opportunity to be part of an amazing program by underestimating his ability to do car bombs at altitude, he still had a sense of humor. And for that, we say thank you.*

* I love Daniel Tosh.

4 comments to Working 9 to 5...and then 5 to 9:

mom2boy said...

I've never watched a whole episode of The Simpsons. I had to google Principal Skinner. But I have heard of the program you work for, or at least a similar federal program. Very cool.
FWIW, I often wish I had structured my life more like yours or that I had the balls to rearrange our current structure to give parenting all that you do. I'm going for "nej light" which is still a pretty high standard in my head. :)

nej said...

@mom2boy - I should have totally linked Principal Skinner. If I go back and do that, will it mess up everyone's Reader?

And we are really, really lucky. It's taken over three years for us to get where we are, but fortunately, I have a husband who takes pride in being a good father and provider (that sounds sooo 1950's but really, it's not) and we've been lucky that whenever I get to the point after having a baby that I'm ready/desperate to get out into the real world, an opportunity presents itself.

hush said...

Good for you, @Nej for finding a healthy outside work/mothering balance that is working for you & yours! What a story about Badger Ben - how humiliating for him.

caramama said...

What a neat job! It sounds interesting and like you really help make a difference in people's lives!

Funny story about Badger Ben. And Daniel Tosh rocks!

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