…which should be round about 9:00 a.m. on Friday.

Tomorrow is my own personal Hell Day. Every month for the last four months, I have been ordered to the small trailer office of the corporate VP, to a meeting in which I must account for my accounts. This delightful invitation is only extended to those Office Managers whose Accounts Receivable Aging is over the acceptable limit. In short, those of us who have billed improperly, collected unsuccessfully and/or pissed off every insurance provider from here to Santa Ana.

I like to think, each month, that this will be the last month that I am blessed with an invitation to A/R Review. My boss/trainer/CorporateConsultant assures me that this time is most probably, quite hopefully, awfully likely the very last time at least at this point in time, that I will make the early morning trek to the little trailer where her boss and mine, sits behind a behemoth of a desk, one hand furiously working her Blackberry and the other tapping a pointed pen on the pages before her.

She’s a tiny woman, this VP who terrifies me. Tiny but tough. Damn good at what she does, and in all honestly, mostly fair. She doesn’t like long explanations, hates excuses and despises being lied to. A small wooden plaque behind her desk reads “Put your big girl pants on and deal with it.” That plaque is quite possibly, the only thing, that kept me from curling up last month in a ball on the floor of her office, and weeping like a baby.

this time I am more and less prepared, which is to say that the accounts we dredged through over the last few months are in order and the accounts we didn’t tackle then, are now questionable. Truth is, I can deal with the devil at the door, and each month, that devil changes up on me.

But by tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., the fat lady will have sung and I’ll be fighting my way for highway space headed North…and one way or another, I’ll have survived the interrogation in that tiny little office in that motherfucker of a town and I will be (for at least another twenty-eight days) free.



Seriously. If you tell anyone and they come to me for confirmation, I will deny it until the end of my days. But this morning, at work, I stepped in shit. Sorry Aunt Rosalyn; I stepped in poo. And unlike my home life, where such things happen often enough that we had to coin the phrase “poo-toe” to describe the aftermath, it was NOT puppy poo.

Funny thing is, I was actually tiptoeing around the bulk of the poo, smack-dab in the center of the hall, when I mushed a pointy-toed boot into the people-poo which trailed off unexpectedly to the side. No less than four people gave little yelps and shrieks of horror as I sunk down into it. And I stood there while they wiped my smart black boot down with a anti-bacterial cloth, amazed at how it turned out that of all the people up and down that hall in the fifteen minutes since the pile and pebbles of poo appeared, I alone, fell into it.

Later in the day, sitting out on the covered smoking porch, a co-worker asked, “So how do you like it here?” and I answered honestly, without much thought. “I’ve had it worse.” I said. She laughed and choked out, “really?” And “Yes,” I told her, “My last gig was in an office the size of a warehouse, filled with 8X8 cubicles and supervisors who made treks up and down each aisle every fifteen minutes, looking over our shoulders to ensure that we were doing what we were paid to do.” “Wow,” she said, taking a drag off her Virginia Slim, “the most horrible image just popped into my mind.” And that, I suppose, was when it hit me, that I apparently find a Tuesday-morning-peoplepoo-toe preferable to being locked up in that Super Secret Government Office twelve miles south of Santa Cruz.

Who knew? Sure as hell, not me.



So the HCF where I am now employed is actually a Skilled Nursing Facility, known to those in the know as a SNF (pronounced “sniff”). I am not an acronym kind of person, and so I have yet to actually use the SNF designation aloud. There is a whole language, of course, as in any industry or business or sub-culture. We don’t have Patients. We have Residents. These residents don’t live in our workplace. We work in their home. We are not a place where people come to die, but a place where people come to linger until they are ready to die, at which point, nine times out of ten, we send them to the hospital where they expire. That’s part of the lingo too. Expiring, rather than dying. And we don’t call the hospital “the hospital” either. We call it “Acute”. As in; Mr. Black went to acute last night and expired early this morning. I will tell you, up front, that the first thing I learned in my first week of work is this; there are worse things than dying young.

BOA of the HCF



Today was my third official day in training at the HCF. Tomorrow is my predecessor's last day, which makes Monday my first official day as the Business Office Administrator of said HCF. Now I know that you know that I’ve been burning both ends of the candle, and continuing to persue the EC gig while training for the HCF gig, and I suppose I should tell you that yesterday afternoon, as I was on my way to my third interview for the EC job, I had one of those moments where you realize that you don’t actually need what you thought you needed (i.e. the uber-cool job with the EC company) because the thing you resigned yourself to (i.e. the HCF gig) has unexpected perks that the thing you thought you needed couldn’t match. In other words, I figured out, on my way to interview for the job I wanted, that the job i’d already accepted might actually be better, more suitable, more comfortable. More promising.

And I’ll tell you what it was, the precise moment in which things “looked up”. We were touring the facility on Day Two; the HR director, four new CNAs and me. And as we came around the outside of the building nearest the parking lot, our guide gestured to one of the three doors on the far end of the West wing and said, “There’s your office. It’s small, but it has a window.”

A window. An exterior entrance. A door that other people have to knock on or hope is unlocked if they want to come in. That’s how they get’cha, ya know. Or at least, how they got me. And so, even though I drove out to the EC site for my third interview yesterday and gave my very best face to the mid-western manager there, I already knew that I was ready and willing to take on the job I already had. Anyway, that’s where we’re at and how it goes.

Just so you know.

Jobby Things



I worked for six hours at the temp gig last Monday. The boss who hadn’t spoken to me beyond a clipped “hello” last week, was suddenly friendly and curious. Seems they had a position open up unexpectedly and she was hoping to slide me into it. Except that she didn’t want to tell the temp agency. And the position was not what I was looking for. Still, I agreed to consider being considered and she set up an interview for Tuesday. This wouldn’t have been a particularly unhandy move if I hadn’t already had two interviews scheduled for Tuesday. One with the County, for a position I knew virtually nothing about and the other, with a Health Care Facility, just a few blocks from our house.

The County interview was first, at 8:30 a.m. and it was a bust. Despite the fact that the position’s designation was the same as my job back in Santa Cruz, the first question poised to me was a dead giveaway that this was NOT the job I was looking for. Do you have experience in a high-energy sales position? Um, no. Did you even LOOK at my resume? I have never and have no interest in ever working in a high-energy (i.e. pushy) sales position. We were in there for ten minutes and at the end of the interview, when they asked if I had any questions, I responded with, “Yes, can you tell me what this position is and how it relates to the designation of my last job? Because honestly, they seem worlds apart.”

The Health Care Facility interview was longer. Forty-some-odd minutes in a small stuffy room with a long list of prying questions. There was a part of me, I think, that WANTED to flub the interview. Otherwise, why would I have answered that my greatest weakness was being overly compassionate, mere moments after they explained that one of my duties would be collections, a task that takes a certain bit of backbone. And why would I have off-handedly described myself in one word (is there a worse interview question ANYWHERE?) as “hopeful”. Still, they were very nice, and I thanked them as I left and drove out to the temp job where the day’s final interview was to take place.

Now I’d never before interviewed for a job that I knew up front I wouldn’t accept if it were offered, but it is an experience I now highly recommend if only for the look of utter confusion of the faces of the interviewers as I answered “I’m sure I would be.” to the question, “Do you think you might be bored in this position?”. I let them have their confusion for a full fifteen seconds before I burst out with, “Look, honestly, I’m only here because [my temp supervisor] begged me to at least meet with you, but as you’ve described the job and as you’ve looked over my resume, I think we all know it’s not the right fit.” They were very nice about it. They mentioned the possibility of a more suitable position opening up and I asked them to let me know if it did.

I arrived home Tuesday, exhausted and never ever wanting to wear my stupidly stiff interview clothes again. Two calls came in quick succession that night. The first, from the temp agency, with news of an interview with an Ethanol Company [hereafter EC] I’d been interested in, and the second, a job offer from the Health Care Facility [hereafter HCF] I’d interviewed with that same morning. I impulsively accepted both.

On Thursday, I grudgingly submitted to the background check and piss test for the HCF job. Of all the reasons I could give you for not wanting this job, I suspect, the fact that my maternal grandmother died in this same facility twenty-some-odd years ago is, in and of itself, enough. Still, four months without a real job is three-and-a-half months too long and I cannot turn down a decent gig in hopes of a perfect one.

Early Friday afternoon, I interviewed with a woman from the EC and was granted a second interview, tentatively scheduled for this coming week. This presents a possibly sticky situation, as I am due to start work at the HCF tomorrow morning. Is that everything? Yes, I suppose it is. On the jobby front anyway. I’ll be heading over to the HCF tomorrow morning to start training for the undesirable job, while still trying to figure out how I can squeeze the nail-it-or-not interview for the coveted job into a lunch hour before the end of the week.

There are other things I wanted to mention here. Important things even. But the night is aging and so I’ll leave them for another day. Cross your fingers. And pray I don’t get caught hoarding cards up my sleeve.