I’ve been living with the parents ever since being laid off from my job last year.
It hasn’t been nearly as bad living with them as I thought it might be. We don’t get on each others nerves, we have positive interactions, they don’t nag or pester me about my job prospects, for the most part they understand that looking for a job these days is damn difficult.
But I’m sure that after 6 months, they expected to have a job again, living out on my own, rather than still joining them for a nightly ritual of a healthy dinner followed by unhealthy reality TV shows. Maybe they even started to think I’m not trying hard enough in my job pursuits, after all, I haven’t been on an interview in two months.
So they started taking matters into their own hands.
I noticed the bolded number “3” next to my email inbox last Tuesday morning. They signaled the first emails I’ve had in awhile. Maybe they’re from employers responding to my applications, I thought. Maybe someone wants to set up an interview.
But when I clicked on the link I saw that they were from my mom. They were job postings she found for hall directors while looking online. Ah, that’s sweet, I thought, but also kind of annoying. This was my duty, my job, my responsibility. Not theirs. I felt the same way when I came home one day and my guest bedroom where I’m staying was all cleaned up, my laundry was done and folded, and my bed was made up. Ah, that’s sweet. But also kind of annoying. I’m already emasculated enough having to live with my parents and not being able to support myself. For them to continue to pick up my slack and treat me like a slovenly, slothful child is just depressing.
I had already seen the first two job posts my mother sent on other higher education job sites. But the last email was one that was not advertised. It was for a tiny community college in East Texas. The only way my mom had known about it was that my aunt was the Music and Vocal director there. Use your connections, they said.
My first reaction was that I wasn’t really interested in living in East Texas at a small community college that paid very little. But then again, it didn’t look like I had any other options.
“You should give your aunt a call,” my dad told me that evening over our chicken and squash casserole dinner, minutes before “Survivor” started. “She’ll hook you up, she’ll talk to the right people.”
“You know,” my mom started. “I read somewhere that 60 to 70% of all applicants get a job because they know someone who already works there. Connections is the key.”
“I’ll look into it,” I told them, picking at the chicken on my plate with a fork. That was the end of the conversation.
After dinner, I washed my dish and put it into the dishwasher, then I plopped down in the overstuffed recliner in the living room, turned on the TV and waited for “Survivor” to kick on. I don’t even like “Survivor,” which is indication to me that my life is in a rut when I have nothing better to do than watch bad TV about Machiavellian-schemers with toned, tanned, emaciated bodies run around in loin clothes for money.
But I digress.
I was waiting for said show when my dad walked into the room and tossed a phone in my lap.
“It’s your aunt on the phone,” he said. “Tell her that you’re applying for that job at her school.”
He walked away before giving any answer. I put the phone slowly to my ears and said hello meekly.
“Hey there, how are you?” my aunt said. “So, uh, what’s going on? What can I do for you?”
“We were just thinking about you,” I improvised. “I’ve been looking for hall director jobs and noticed an open position at your school…”
We talked about the job, she said she would see what she could do, I sent her my resume, filled out a lengthy application for the job and mailed it to the school’s human resources. Done.