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Sunday, 12 February 2012

No license, no job.

So, a bit of a different entry!

As you all will be aware I got my work permit on Christmas Eve. I was excited to look for work, after all 4 months (as it had been at that time) without a job is very unusual for me.

First discovery was that many of the job adverts state "Must have driving license".

Oh. We have a problem. I do not have a driving license. For 13 years since failing a driving test I had avoided getting behind the wheel. I had built up a huge barrier against driving. So, this... well. Sheesh. I realised that I would need to overcome it in order to find something suitable for me.

First barrier was overcome, I got in hubby's car and drove for 20 minutes, only around the industrial estates and quiet roads but still a start.

I knew a driving instructor was required, so one was aquired, a 2 hour lesson was had and three hours of practice in hubby's car was had prior to the second lesson.

I have to admit I was quite surprised at how quickly I was learning new stuff with the driving instructor, he had me doing almost everything and told me at the end of lesson one that the next lesson would be include freeways and roundabouts.

Let me just say now that the whole of lesson 1 I had the "OMG I am driving, this is scary, please let me stop, please tell me the lesson is over and that I am never going to be capable to drive" going through my head. People who dont have a fear of driving probably wont even understand HOW I could be feeling that way.

The first time in hubby's car was the same- except possibly worse in the fact that I had COMPLETE control of the vehicle. Plus... it's not just any vehicle it's a Mustang and it's his pride and joy! EEEK. I managed to drive it without scaring him and without crashing or killing anyone (seriously, this was a concern).

Second time started off the same but after an hour I felt quite ok with it, though I wasnt too happy when I almost ended up on a freeway.

Third time, well that was about parking. I can't seem to do pendulum parking, need more practice.

Before I talk about the second lesson. Let me talk about the job hunting I have done.

I have had 4 interviews- 2 on the phone and 2 face to face, all for retail jobs. Of course for retail I can get there with public transportation or walk so no license needed. A stop gap job if you will.

The first retail place was a 35 minute walk from home, yep, that would be fine, I have done that before. In fact a number of my previous jobs have been about that distance. I was offered the job there and then. I had to think about it. Why? Well first the money was not great but secondly, 5am starts.

A 5am start would mean getting up at 3.30am, leaving by 4.20am and walking alongside a major road and a golf course in the dark. The fact I am not a morning person is part of the issue, but the main part is safety! I could get a bike, but again, where would I lock it up? Oh and I dont fancy going back along the cycle lanes at 1pm after a shift has finished.

Additionally, communication and organisation issues. Getting hold of them to try and get the correct password to do the online bits or to even decline the job- IMPOSSIBLE. I just get this feeling that I would find myself on my own at times and covering other shifts when people didnt turn up. Thanks but no thanks.

The second face to face interview. Well, it was a group interview and I really expected to have to do group activities and the like. Nope. Actually the manager was calling all us one by one into an office. I was first, I had been there super early so I went in, he discovered I was not willing to do weekend evenings and then was dismissed. DO your research, HECK, just read the application form. I had stated on the application form that I was not available those times. Perhaps instead I should see it as a compliment that they see me as worthy enough an applicant to try and be swayed to work weekend evenings.

I wasnt exactly depressed at the fact I didnt get the job, the grey shirts the employees were wearing were disgusting. Additionally it was a 20 minute walk to the nearest bus stop, which was outside hubby's work of all places. I had missed the bus and ended up walking for 40 minutes back towards home before I was able to catch a bus- I hate to think just HOW I would get back from work if I was to work until 1am (when the shop shuts, and yes thats every single day) if hubby was away.

Third and forth interviews were phone interviews which was a shame really as the location of both were only 20 minutes on the bus and I was quite up for a visit to that mall. Both it seems are also no goes due to the not wanting to work weekend evenings.

I hadnt done any applications this week due to these 4 interviews, I had another call Thursday, had to do  a personality test (and awaiting a callback about a potential interview) Perhaps the other 18 companies read the application forms correctly and my hours dont suit? Perhaps my personality doesnt fit? Who knows.

One company flat out declined me- its no wonder seeing as I wasnt able to enter any of my work or education issue due to it being outside USA and Canada!
I looked into working from home, but how to tell the real companies from the scams? I dont want to shell out $1000 dollars or any amount of money actually in order to earn money. It kind of defeats the point.

Next step which will start this week will be the most ineffective one going- sending my cv and a covering letter out to companies (read that as offices) which I can walk to or get a bus to selling my skills and asking them to consider me for any positions they may have going. I cant imagine this will be successful, but it's trying right?

If I want to continue to have a life and see my hubby then working in retail seems to be a no go. If I want an office job I need to apply via craigslist, recruitment agencies and other jobs sites but first I need a car.

San Diego city is enormous, the county is even bigger. Public transport is not good (more on that another time!). A car is required.

So, the second lesson- It was full on, I took on the freeways and drove around a lot. I need a lot of practice. I actually feel at this point that I will never be ready for a test... but it is early days.

We went for a meal last night and I drove there and I drove back, all good practice. Need to get in some practice whenever I can. I actually prefer driving in the dark.Driving is a skill to learn and it's likely to be a long process
Its all going to take time. The driving and finding a job. Patience is not always a virtue I possess. As I have a work permit I feel I should be working (and feel that others expect that I should be working) yet I don't have to work. But that may change after I visit the dentist tomorrow!!

Perhaps by June I will have both a license and a job, though I would love for it all to happen by next month. That would be the impatience talking.


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