Today I am presenting my second speech at the Toastmaster meeting. (Actually, I am a back up speaker if someone scheduled to speak is a no show, so I have to be ready to speak.) I'm a wreck again, only not so bad as last time. The second speech is all about "Organizing your speech". I decided to write about my entering the workforce outside my home....here's my speech:
Second in the “My not so ordinary life” Series,
June Cleaver goes corporate
Mr. Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and guests,
Fashion can be a powerful thing.
After staying home and raising babies for more than 2 decades it was time for me to get a job outside of my home. But, what kind of job?
Oh, I had dabbled in a few stints as a retail clerk, one Christmas at Macy's in the holiday department, and at JCPenney’s for a year part time.
Although I loved the socializing part of these jobs, and the store discounts, these jobs were really not what I was looking for…No. After soul searching and a long, deep talk with myself, I knew what I wanted.
I wanted a job, no, I wanted a career, where I could work up the corporate step ladder. In short, a career I could dress in those sassy suits and separates I’d see each week in the Sunday paper. That’s right people; I wanted a job where I could wear cute shoes.
I began combing the classifieds for “office jobs” although all I had going for me was that I had taught myself a few computer skills. (OK, I knew how to type a basic correspondence letter in word)
I confided my plan to work in an office where I could wear cute shoes to my best friend. She said she was not sure, but she thought her husband’s organization was looking for a part-time receptionist.
Oh. My. Gosh.
Perfect! I was looking for a position where I could continue the nurturing and caregiving, like I had done for my children and husband for so many years, with that added perk of cute shoes, and this sounded like this was it.
I put on my dressiest mom clothes and headed over to this organization. This place was called "EDAWN". For the life of me I had no idea what an EDAWN was, but no matter, that was a small detail I could figure out after they hired me.
I burst into the office, and whisking my windblown hair out of my face, asked the receptionist for an application.
“An application?” Asked the perky receptionist in the cute black suit. “Do you have a resume?”
A resume. Brilliant. (Why didn’t I think of that?) Well, no I didn’t have one, I told her. She rummaged around and thank you, sweet Jesus, she found some actual old school applications in a drawer. She came around the counter in her oh, so terribly cute shoes (of course) and handed me the form. I sat down right there and filled it in. I handed it back to her with a smile. “Here you go”, I said fluffing my hair again.
“ Thanks so much, we’ll be in touch,” she replied.
Huh? In touch?
Oh, ya. Sure. Gotcha. Obviously they needed a few hours to look at my app and call me back. Days went by. Ok, actually a week and a half. They finally called me to come in for an interview.
OK. So, this would be the day they would hire me, I thought.
At this interview, the CEO’s assistant explained to me what this part time receptionist job entailed. I tell you, it was a dream job. Welcome guests, set up for meetings, be warm and fuzzy. In general- be me! A June Cleaver of the corporate world, if you will. I wanted that job so bad I could taste it.
At the end of the 30 minute interview the exec assistant said, “We have several more candidates to interview. We’ll be in touch.” There was that damned “We’ll be in touch” thing again. Couldn’t she see I was the one for the job? Apparently not.
Another week and half went by before I got a follow up call. Could I come for another interview? Why, yes, of course.
“I get it”, I thought. They want to offer me the job in person. I googled EDAWN and discovered it meant Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada. Ok, whatever. That’s a mouthful. Sheesh, no wonder they went by EDAWN…still slightly confused on what EDAWN did, I read on, and discovered that they worked with companies moving to the area and they had members…so it was like this kind of hip club of business people and they did good things for the community. Cool. I was jiggy with that.
I put on the last daytime dressy-ish outfit I owned (For the record- Stay at home moms types do not usually have more than 3 dressy outfits, as they are usually cleaning, dining at Qdoba with other stay at home types or entertaining the dog.)
This second interview was with the CEO and the exec assistant and it seemed to go well, at least from my perspective. Again, they said they’d be in touch.
A week went by, and no word. I had to accept the cold reality. I was not what they wanted. Dejected, I decided I must be meant to sell appliances, or foundation garments for women or some such thing, without the benefits of a sassy suit or cute shoes and so... I began to look else ware.
I got out of the shower to find I had a voice mail waiting for me from EDAWN.
“Please give us a call,” said the woman’s monotone voice on my machine. I played it back 72 times trying to decipher the tone in her voice. Clearly they didn’t want me. Clearly they wanted to let me down easy, which explained the phone call. I was convinced that God was having a huge laugh at my expense, watching me struggle and now he was going to laugh again as I was denied by this organization filled with friendly people that dressed with such style. Obviously this was some sick character building episode in my life.
It was 9 a.m. I called the office. To my surprise (shock really) I was told they wanted me. THEY wanted ME. Could I start that very morning at 11? Yes!
Oh, and they were having a board retreat. Yes! (Whatever a board retreat was…count me in, baby!) I hurried on in and was baptized into the EDAWN culture that day, at the Peppermill Hotel, at a “board retreat”. They gave me an EDAWN issued men’s size extra large blue wrinkled chambray shirt, emblazoned with the EDAWN logo, that fit me like a paint smock to wear at the board retreat. I didn’t care. I was high on life. (So high in fact that I never even asked my pay rate until a full two weeks later.)
*sigh* I had a job. No, I had a career. And I was going to wear cute shoes. Every. day.
Thank you Mr. Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and guests.