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Posts Tagged ‘jobs’

After School

“After school”

used to mean

running up the hill

to melodic chimes—

sharing a slushy,

matching blue tongues.

 

My mom always gave me

five more minutes

in the “ducky playground.”

There was a broken duck seat

attached to the ground

with a spring.

I sat on it,

rocking it back and

forth, side to side,

trying to break it

more.

 

My best friend told me secrets

before we slid down

the biggest slide,

and we always liked

the same boys. I hated that

but loved her,

and we wrote bad songs

and stayed up late watching

sad movies.

 

Now “after school” means

401k plans, an unpaid lunch hour,

and early dentist appointments.

Resumes catered to jobs catered

to people catered to me, but

never catered to you.

If you aren’t full time,

you are wasting time,

and there is no time

for you and me

to talk about what we want.

Never say

what a company can do for you.

What can you do for them?

What can you do for me?

 

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The bank lady—I think her name was Betsy,

asked for my number,

as we sat in expensive blue chairs,

sinking in.

“What is the number

to reach you at work?”

 

Paperwork stuck together,

Dry hands,

Repeat the question,

Please.

“What is your work number?”

The rearranged words

felt heavier.

 

“Oh, I— I don’t have one.”

 

I wished it was

all laid out for her,

facts on her computer screen

in a doctor’s office.

“I was laid off.

The company downsized.”

The explanation was

necessary

to set up a bank account,

even though

it really wasn’t.

 

She gave me a sad smile,

as if she knew about

the empty space

I felt in my identity.

 

“If this was an interview,”

she said as I signed where

the x’s were,

“I would hire you.”

 

 

 

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Photo credit: www.komu.com

Photo credit: http://www.komu.com

Knees on carpet,

face to face

with people

searching

searching

for that

card they need.

A lady tells me

her friend is

adopting two

teenagers.

“Wow,”

I said,

“That is so

great.”

She smiled

and nodded,

“Yes, I know,

isn’t it?”

We were both

crouching down

on the ground,

holding a card

we found

at the bottom

that was almost

perfect,

but it only

mentioned

one kid,

instead of two.

“You could add

an ‘s’ in right

there,”

I pointed.

“Yes, you’re

right.  I just

might do that.”

We stayed

on the floor

for a minute.

I am going

to miss this.

The cards that

people look

for and the

reasons why

that are looking

for them.

I love being

a part of that.

Being a part

of them.

Even if it is

small, brief,

and kind of

sentimental.

Like a

Hallmark card.

 

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I want to be

Photo credit: authorlaurielarsen.com

Photo credit: authorlaurielarsen.com

Today the secretary

at my dentist office

asked me what I want

to do after college.

I told her I want to be

a writer.

But it’s weird because

technically I already sort of am.

And technically she is

an administrative assistant

but I like the job title

“secretary” so much better

because it’s less of a mouth

full and personally I’d rather

be a secretary than an

administrative assistant.

And I’d rather be a writer

than want to be a writer.

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