I Have A New Job

I have good news!

If you’re my mom, your thoughts immediately jump to “ooh has a boy decided to date you?” No. Don’t get your hopes up.

It’s official: I have a new job!

I’ve been looking for months and it has been a looong process. I hate the whole song and dance of job interviewing so much.
The finish line to this accepted job offer was mercifully short but in typical Caitlyn fashion, filled with silly. At one point my dad sighed, “I just can’t believe the life you lead. Why does this happen to you?”

I applied on a Saturday afternoon. I received an e-mail Monday afternoon asking me to complete a digital interview. Have you heard of those? It’s the way of the future, I expect. You log onto a website and film your answers to a few interview questions. You have 30 seconds to prepare and 3 minutes to answer. I sat down to film downstairs with my top half in a suit and my bottom half in sweatpants. The first question: “Why is your experience a good fit for the job?” I began to answer “My experience is a good fit for this job because….” Then nothing. A pop-up on the screen announces the connection has been lost.

The digital interview site reconnects me within minutes, and I am aghast to learn I can’t redo answers. Fine. Answer #1 submitted.  Question #2 was about how I deal with change in a professional setting. This time I said maybe four words before…same thing happens. Internet goes out. At this point I yell “WHAT THE F? OH MY GOD. F!” Then realize that my little expletive-filled tantrum was probably recorded, knowing my luck.

I stomp upstairs, still cursing, to my messy bedroom to see if internet is better up there. The last three questions are like “when can you start”, “what is salary requirement?” and naturally, my Internet works perfectly. I try to imagine the WTF expressions on the hiring team members faces as they watch my 10 second answers to the important questions. I submitted it, humbled and angered, convinced I’d never hear from them again. Off I went to the bar and regaled the bartenders with my tale of Internet connection woe. They found it hilarious, bought me too many shots, and I called sick out of work the next day. Class act.

While I was sleeping off my horrid hangover and nausea, I received a voicemail from the hiring team. They wanted me to call and schedule an interview! I was stunned. 45 minutes later, I had an e-mail sitting in my inbox because they wanted me to come in the next day! Holy hell.

I called out of work again the next day, feigning sickness again. My interview was at 11 am, the office building was 20-25 minutes away, and I left at 10 am just to be safe. If you ever invite me somewhere (please do) I will always be early. Know that. Anyhoo, I arrived at the office building at 11:45. Yeah you read that correctly. 11:45. 45 minutes after my interview was supposed to start.

Something serious (still dunno what) happened on the street where the interview was supposed to take place. There were state troopers, firetrucks, ambulances, sheriffs, police, all flying down the road. They blocked the street off, forbidding everyone to enter. I re-routed my GPS 900 times, trying different routes all with the same result. No dice. I called my interviewer at 10:40. She called me back 10 minutes later saying they had been evacuated but were now back in the building. She told me to keep trying because she thought it was safe now, not to worry, and she’ll see me when I get there.

I drove around some more. At one point I talked to a cop and said “I swear, my interview is on THIS STREET. THIS VERY STREET. I’ll show you my e-mail! Please!” no avail. Not that I thought it would work but I was desperate.

I really didn’t know what to do. They called back once more asking for an update, I kept apologizing, they kept refuting my apology, I kept driving around. I debated asking them if we could just meet at Starbucks or a Jiffy Lube because I was not going to use a personal day in vain. They eventually started letting people down the street and then my GPS got extremely confused about all the developments with office buildings and I, of course, drove around the wrong developments for about 15 minutes. I eventually made it there, practically ran into the building (in hindsight, the running was a tad dramatic). We all had a few breezy laughs about the incident. “It’s normally so boring and so quiet here,” they told me. Of course it is. Until HurriCaitlyn rolls into town.
The interview went fine. A few days later, they asked me to complete a project (they warned me about this possibility in interview) to “make sure I could do what I actually said I could do.” I spent a whole weekend working on it, reliving college where I drank copious amounts of diet pepsi wild cherry, and paced while trying to come up with ideas, convinced there was no way I could ever put anything together. “Why did I even apply? I most definitely cannot do what I said I can do. I’m a joke!” I thought. I was panicked. Welcome to Delusionville, population: Caitlyn.

Nonetheless, I soldiered on, propped up by desperation to get out of my current job and my own pride. I sent off my project, convinced it was the WORST EVER. They called three days later and offered me the job. I took the call in my office building basement. I accepted the next day, and made a palsy negotiation attempt. One of our editors walked by in the basement and I, like the ninja that I am, whipped my sunglasses out of my purse so she wouldn’t see it was me. Clark Kent. Makes total sense.

Speaking of negotiations, I read an article from an HR exec about how men always negotiate, and women rarely negotiate. I nearly had a cow about the thought of negotiating. I kept saying “I feel bad! I don’t want to look greedy! I don’t want to! I’m a happy-go-lucky kind of gal, I’ll take whatever! Team player 4ever.”  I tried it anyway. I was all proud, even though it wasn’t much. Then I heard about my brother, straight out of college with no relevant experience for his new job, negotiated with his company and he got a crazy amount out of them. I still think it’s a little crazy they gave a new college grad so much, but geos to show it’s worth a try. Stereotypes. Played right into it. So, go for it, ladies.

I start on Monday. I’m thrilled and excited, yet terrified. My earliest posts on this ol’ blog were me fretting about how I didn’t know how to fit in at my job. Now I get to redo that again. Yay. The new gig is also in a new town. So I lose my Trader Joes walks, my early morning Safeway trips with my favorite cashier, my comfortable gym (the one I go to now is 25 minutes away from my new job and it’s a traffic-heavy route), but I’ll be gaining so much more! I think this solely because I know there is a Wegmans near my new office and I hear that is life-changing.

Looking For: Passion

Hi, my name is Caitlyn and I’m looking for some passion in my life.

Sorry. Got my new Match.com profile mixed up with blog post.

I ran into a current student from my alma mater yesterday downtown, and as we were talking, of course the “what do you do?” question came up. I told her, oh I do marketing at a publishing company, I like it, it’s good, blah blah.

She replied “I hope I can be as lucky as you and find something I’m passionate about when I start looking for jobs next year.”

In reply, I think I stood there and blinked at her. Maybe I was on auto-pilot and managed enough to nod. I would be impressed if I managed an all-knowing ‘mmmhmm.’

Passionate? Where oh where did she get passionate from?

The whole walk home I was turning over that word in my head. Why does she think I am passionate? I told her I liked my job. Does liking my job automatically equal passion? Am I actually passionate about it? I didn’t think so. I still don’t think so. I like that we publish books that help people with disabilities and the teachers and professionals who work with them. I like that. Maybe I’m passionate about that aspect of it? I don’t know.  I LIKE marketing, but I wouldn’t ever say I’m passionate about it.

Clearly she doesn’t know what passionate means. But maybe I don’t, either.

Thank God for the trusty I-phone so I didn’t have to wait a single minute to pull up Merriam-Webster.

Definition of PASSIONATE

a : capable of, affected by, or expressing intense feeling

b : enthusiasticardent

I guess that makes sense.

 

So of course, naturally I thought well what would I say I am passionate about.

Crickets.

I love to read. Thank God, there’s one.

What else…?

Fine, enough about me, let’s look at other people.

I asked my roommates what they were passionate about.

Dana said service even though she hasn’t done a lot of it since graduation. Colleen said Netflix. They both agreed that they were not passionate about their jobs, which made me feel better.

I asked my mom what she thought I was passionate about. She said: reading, spending money when I should be saving and Bravo shows. I asked my 19 year old sister what she thought passion meant.

“It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning.”

That was another way to look at it. But really what gets me out of bed in the morning is the fact that I have to get up.  It’s not an option like it was in college (it shouldn’t have been an option in college, but…..it was, heh). As much as I’d love to, I can’t lie in bed all day and then putter around my room in my sweatpants and T-shirts.

Right now what gets me out of bed in the morning is that I am paying for a gym and I am – finally – motivated for the first time in my life to lose weight and get in shape.

It’s motivation, but is it passion? I don’t think so, but I don’t really know.

I am actually really looking forward to trying more workouts and exercises. Before, I was monogamous with the treadmill. I *hope* fitness and exercise becomes a passion, but it might not and that’s okay. I don’t think it needs to. I’ll keep doing it anyway. Which brings up yet another question, can you MAKE something be a passion? Prowling around Google land seems to say “no”.

So.many.questions. So.many.different.opinions.

But yet, I still don’t really know what I am passionate about. At 23-years-old-and-361-days, should I?

All I know is….

KIM LOVES TURTLES

  1. How do you define “passion” or “passionate”
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. Is it necessary to be passionate about your job? Or just an extra perk?

*kidding about match.com.

Part 5, How Did I Get Here? The Finale

Part 1:

https://cityandthecubicle.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/how-did-i-get-here/

Part 2:

https://cityandthecubicle.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/part-2-how-did-i-get-here/

Part 3:

https://cityandthecubicle.wordpress.com/2012/12/28/part-3-how-did-i-get-here/

Part 4:

https://cityandthecubicle.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/part-4-how-did-i-get-here/

My phone rang at my internship one day and it was somebody from the book publishing job asking me to interview. I went out into the hall to resume the conversation and my knees gave out from underneath me as I sank against the wall. Oh thank God.

A week later, I was sitting in a gorgeous boardroom, across from Sharon, the woman who would be my boss if I got hired. In two extraordinary coincidences, she used to work at a company in my small little hometown, the same company my dad used to work at although they hadn’t worked there at the same time. After leaving that company, she ventured to the even smaller town my college was located in. A town that was less than 2,000 people and in the middle of God-knows-where.

I recall sitting there thinking it seemed like fate. What were the odds she’d worked in those two towns?

It wasn’t my best interview. I was so rusty. I went off on a few tangents that were kind of irrelevant. Some of my answers were too long. I left out important skills and important details. But yet, at the end of it she invited me back for a second interview. Thank you God, I was starting to feel hopeful.

I was e-mailing back and forth with the president of my college who, in case you had forgotten, published books with this company. I was also e-mailing his secretary, who also became my friend after I met her at Admissions tour guide training when I was supposed to take her on a tour and pretend she was a prospective parent. At the beginning of my fake tour I told her I was so nervous I was going to throw up on her. Ah, I’m so charming. Something about that statement bonded us.

The president, who gushed about his experience with this company, and the secretary vowed to write me a stellar recommendation letter to be sent off after my interview.

The second interview took place four days later, on a Tuesday. I interviewed with Sharon again, Sharon’s boss who was the director of the department, and Jessica, the HR Director. Feeling way more confident, I sailed through the interview. Jessica told me they had one more second interview on Thursday. If I got the job, I’d get a call on Monday. If I didn’t get the job, I’d get an e-mail by next Friday.

As I got in the elevator after the interview, my eyes welled up. Not only did I need this job desperately, I wanted it so badly.

In the meantime, the president sent off his recommendation letter and I hand-wrote thank you notes.

On Thursday afternoon after returning from a meeting at my internship, I saw I had a missed call and voice-mail from Jessica, the HR Director. She said she wanted to talk to me about the position and to give her a call. Her voicemail was from almost an hour ago.

I immediately called back, got her voicemail, waited 10 minutes and called again.

“Oh I’m headed off to a quick meeting, I’ll call you after it ends in half an hour,” she said.

In agony, I went to fill in the other interns in the corner intern office.

“WHAT COULD THIS MEAN!” I shouted at them as I paced around the room, “She said at earliest I’d hear on MONDAY. Today is THURSDAY. They had another candidate in for a second interview today. Oh God, what if I need to do a third interview? I CAN’T HANDLE THIS. What if the other candidate today was SO good they offered it to them on the spot and they feel so bad for me, they decided to call instead of e-mail? Holy Jesus, what if the other candidate is still there and they want to conference me in on the phone, and have us answer the same questions right then and there in some warped sudden death type tournament? WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM? I don’t want to work for a company that pulls such a stunt. SCREW THEM. I am NOT doing that. OH MY GOD WHAT DOES THIS ALL MEAN? WHAT TIME IS IT? IS IT TIME FOR HER TO CALL BACK YET?

The other interns just laughed at me and told me they had a good feeling about this. I went back to my desk at the front of the office, where I was the intern/receptionist. I called my dad. I called my mom. I went on Pinterest. As it was almost the time she had estimated she’d call me back, I began to shake violently even though I wasn’t cold. Why was she calling earlier than she said she would? What did this mean?

When my phone began to ring, I answered on the first ring. So much for not looking desperate.

“Hi Caitlyn, this is Jessica with XX Company. How are you?”

“I’m great, how are you Jessica?” Translation: TELL ME WHY YOU’RE CALLING YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY JESSICA.

“Good, good, glad to hear it. Well I’m calling to offer you the position.”

HOORAY!!!!!!!!

We talk a few more minutes about salary and such. I tell her I’ll call her back tomorrow with my decision, even though I could have accepted right then and there.

The next day, I decided it would look too eager if I called in the morning. So I called at 1:30 to accept. And in typical Caitlyn fashion, making my acceptance call did not go easily.

The doorbell rings for the first time in days. Of course, that’s just how things work, right? I go to answer it. It’s the Staples guy with five large packages on a pulley-type thing. I fling open the door and gesture for him to come in. He overhears me negotiating my salary up $250. So, wherever he is now, that Staples guy is armed with the precious, all-important knowledge of my salary.

I’m scrawling my name in acceptance of the Staples packages and then turn away, thinking he’ll just drop them somewhere and see himself out.

“Excuse me, Miss?” The Staples guy says.

I ignore him, as now Jessica, the HR Director, is prattling on about benefits and I want to take notes. Seriously, Staples guy?

“Excuse me, Miss?! I need to talk to you.” The Staples guy pesters.

I put the phone on Mute, Jessica still chattering away, and now I’m super annoyed at this poor guy.

“What?” I hiss. Normally I’m super nice to delivery guys since I always assume people are rude and dismissive to them. But I just could not believe he had to come in the middle of this important phone call. And of all the times I have signed for and received packages, now is the time when they need to talk to me?! Sheesh.

“Where do you want me to put these?” The Staples guy says, gesturing to his pulley.  In hindsight, I realize that this was a very sweet question. Poor guy was just trying to be helpful. But in that moment, I was exasperated. The normal delivery guys just plopped them wherever the heck they wanted and booked it out.

“Oh my God, I don’t care, wherever,” I whisper, and turn back around, trying to catch what Jessica’s saying.

“How does that sound?” Jessica asks.

How does what sound? Oh shit, oh shit.

“Good!” I chirp, “That sounds great.” God I hope I didn’t just agree to some whacked out benefits plan or a start date of tomorrow.

“Excuse me, Miss?” And it’s the damn Staples guy again.

“Great,” Jessica says at the same time, “Now about your start date…”

Seriously? At this point if I weren’t so flustered, I’d start laughing at my luck.

“Can you hold on?” I say to the Staples guy.

“Caitlyn? Are you talking to me? Is this a bad time? Oh I’ve been talking so much, but you should have said something,” Jessica says, forgetting that I was the one to call her.

“NO!” I practically yell at her. “Now is fine.”

The Staples guy comes inching closer with a clipboard. I scan it quickly. We’re eligible for some exclusive new deal or something.  To this day I don’t know what it said. We could have been the beneficiaries of lifetime free Staples supplies and I didn’t take the time to read his clipboard. Oh well.

I wave him away with Jessica still chattering away in my ear about my introductory period.

He asks, “So you don’t want to place an order for this exclusive deal?”

I shake my head, wishing he’ d go away. I am usually a good multi-tasker, I just cannot have two conversations at once.

I give Jessica dates and the poor Staples guy – finally – turns to leave.

Relief & joy abounds.

I started my new job two weeks later. My last weeks at my internship were awesome. I didn’t let anything bother me. I was leaving soon and moving on to an amazing new venture. It was so nice to have the security of a job and to be able to focus on learning everything I could while still there & get the most out of it. Although the internship sucked for the most part, I learned an incredible amount, not just about the field I was in, but about being a full-time team member, a company’s culture and how to work with different personalities. I wouldn’t be in my current job without it, so I am immensely grateful.

I love everything about what I do. I’m having so much fun (I just need to make friends here) and I love that there’s room for promotion and growth. Definitely I foresee myself here for a few years. When I think about the crazy leap I took, moving to new city with no income and stability, and think about how beautifully it all worked out, I realize I am extraordinarily lucky. This venture could not have worked out any more perfectly.

THE END! I’m impressed I somehow drew this out into FIVE parts. I hope my long-winded rambling story helps in your own job search (if you are in the job search, I’m sorry. I know it sucks) or at least made you smile.

Part 4: How Did I Get Here?

Less than two months after applying to my very last job before accepting the internship, here I was about to go through every God-awful part of the process again. Writing, editing, re-writing, editing cover letters. Preparing the night before an interview. Sitting in the lobby panicking waiting to be called in by the interviewer. Actually going through the interview trying to be articulate and personable.

I hated every part of the process.

And this go-round, I was even more desperate then last time. Before accepting the internship, I was living at home with my parents, free of all expenses, waiting for the next chapter of my life to get started.

Now the next chapter of my life had actually begun. I had taken this huge risk, moving to a new city without an income. My bank account was draining fast. Unlike the first time, there was urgency. I needed an income as soon as freaking possible. I had a life in my new city, was making friends who all assumed I had income. I didn’t want to have to admit failure and pack up my things and move back home. That wasn’t an option I wanted to even think about.

The thought of applying to 100 jobs all over again made me want to run and hide. This time, my search was restricted to only one city and would be harder.

So with six weeks left of my internship, I began looking and in my first few days of the search, was already discouraged. Entry-level marketing jobs in my new city were not plentiful.

One week later, I was excited by one. Doing marketing at a book publishing company.

Um, PERFECT.

Writing my cover letter, I did some in-depth research. They published books for teachers. I thought of the president of my university, who had a storied background in special education and had even published a few books. Hmm, I wonder if he published his book through them. A quick Amazon hit and bingo. They were the publisher of his books. Thanking God he and I had always gotten along really well, I sent him an e-mail and name-dropped him in my cover letter.

The other job I found that week was doing marketing for an urologist. Perpetually fourteen years old, I was smirking envisioning marketing plans for that one.

Three weeks went by and during that period, I had found two other jobs. I was panicking. The scenario of my internship ending without securing a job suddenly was very real. What was I going to tell my roommates? Then, I thought that I just wouldn’t tell them anything. They could just assume I went into work every day and would never know. But usually they’d always beaten me home at the end of the work day. How would I explain that one? I was way too proud yet too embarrassed to tell them the truth. I hated that I had to start pre-planning what lies I was going to tell.

 

Part 5 is the finale!

Part 3: How Did I Get Here?

How I wish I could write that it got better. It didn’t.

I tried desperately to have a good perspective on it, but there was no way to get around it: I hated the work I was doing. Truly it blew my mind that here I was, doing what I presumed I would love, and I was miserable. I also could not believe that this was probably the biggest decision of my life, and I apparently had made the wrong one. And I had nobody else to blame.

Soon after starting, I also realized this company would never hire me. In interviews and on the website, they made it sound as if you had a really good chance at getting hired after the internship finished. After starting there, I realized that their funds were pretty dire and that they wouldn’t be making any new hires anytime soon.

My bank account and I were borderline depressed. I was steadily losing money thanks to rent every month, utilities, groceries, furnishing my apartment, gas, reading 3-4 books a week, and going on dinner, fro yo, and bar outings with my roommates (I realized if I wanted to make friends, I HAD to go but found after two outings of not buying dinner then skipping the fro-yo dessert and answering tons of questions with the implausible “I’m not hungry”, I looked like a sketchball).

Anyway. The internship/position taught me so much about being a full-time team member in a company and the types of situations and people you meet in the workforce. I loathed working with a VP who was so caught up in the glory of her new “senior VP” title she treated me like the bug on the bottom of her shoe. As intern, I always made the coffee in the morning (duh, right?) The graphic designer took it upon himself to teach me how, since he was an avid coffee drinker. He taught me 11 cups of water, 9 scoops of coffee grinds. Then one day, that VP came flying down the hall, screaming for me. She pointed to her coffee mug and said “For four weeks now, I’ve been waiting patiently for you to learn how to make coffee but I’m through with waiting. Follow me.” She told me I was supposed to put 11.5 scoops of coffee grinds and who the hell had taught me differently? I threw the graphic designer right under that bus and she smirked, “Well as VP here, I’m telling you he’s wrong and to start making coffee my way.” I mean, ugh! Just the thought of having that much ego, due to my title, makes me feel nauseated. Team members started bringing their own coffee because they hated the coffee made the VP’s way.

I learned about what it was like to really be an intern and do those “intern-y” things like make the coffee. The first time I was asked to fetch the papers a team member had just sent to the printer down the office hallway, I stomped down the hall, raging, thinking “I got a bachelors degree just so I could bring people the stuff they just printed from 100 yards away? Are you f**king kidding me?!?!”One of the interns-turned-fulltime-hires had me stamp her envelopes for the “thank you for my birthday present” cards she was sending out.

Despite being miserable and angry, I really did try very hard at this company. I churned out good results for them and my boss told me I was the best intern of the bunch.

I thought about the company I had turned down. Oh, the salary (even though I still didn’t know what it was) sounded so good. Oh, the stability sounded like heaven right about now. I cursed myself for not picking it because now I was looking at jobs again, with 6 weeks left to go in my internship and the knowledge that I’d never get a full-time offer.

I started applying…..

Part 2: How Did I Get Here?

I picked………Company B!!!!! The unpaid, fulltime internship, doing what I loved and in a whole new city!

To this day, I’m still surprised/impressed by my nerve. Choosing the insanely risky option is SO uncharacteristic of me.  I can’t believe I did it.

So, I needed somewhere to live. I knew a friend from college, Dana, was moving to the city, so I texted her. She was already living with another girl, Colleen, who she hadn’t met yet but would be starting with her at their firm. Dana called Colleen and they said yes, it was fine with them, let’s live together. I started at the internship in two and a half weeks, a whole month before Dana and Colleen started their jobs. Panic.

I immediately set up on Craigslist and we began messaging potential places back and forth. Long story short, we didn’t find one and I camped out in a hotel for two weeks, which cost me $400 a week. Yikes. We eventually found the most perfect place. I have my own bathroom. We have a 4 car parking pad so I don’t have to parallel park everyday. I can’t parallel park at all so this really is a miracle.

My dad had to co-sign my lease since I don’t have an income. I didn’t tell my roommates it was an unpaid internship, I told them it was a contracted position that paid $400 a week.

Then came my first day. I went into this internship with a steely resolve: “I am going to be THE best intern ever and they are going to have to hire me.” I NEEDED this to work. I had an awesome house in an awesome city, a block away from all the bars, with awesome roommates. What if the internship ends and they don’t hire me? What am I going to do? I’m paying $825 a month in rent. I had to put down another $825 as security deposit. I needed to buy household items, food, a TV.  I needed an income as soon as the internship was over, whether it was from a different company or my current company.

(Moral of that story: My savings, literally, saved me. I would not have been able to do any of this if I hadn’t saved so much money in college)

My first day was terrible. As my boss Erin sat with me and detailed all my responsibilities, I bit my lip to keep from crying. NONE of this sounded enjoyable. It sounded awful. I had made the wrong choice.

Yet, I made the resolve that I was going to love it. I moved to a new city, was watching my bank account dwindle steadily every day, all so this company would hire me in three months. I NEEDED to make this work.

It didn’t get better. I didn’t like any of what I was doing. I was so convinced I’d love what I was doing, it shook my world when I realized I hated it all. I lied to my mom on the phone every night, telling her how much I loved it, because I felt like such an idiot. A super important decision, and I had made the wrong one. 

How Did I Get Here?

I figured since I’ve mentioned in every other post how much I currently adore my job, coupled with the fact that I am fresh out of college, there should probably be a post on how I wound up in my dream job.

 

I applied to 100 jobs from February 1 to August 1st.

And it all came down to Friday, August 3rd.

So here’s the sitch down to every last juicy detail: Company A and I had been talking since June 4th.  Every week the recruiter promised to call. Never did. So I’d call her. Lather, rinse, repeat every week until finally at the end of July I drove the 3 hours to do an interview. Everyone was so very friendly, and I knew I aced the interview. Company A was so alluring with its salary and stability. The very next day, I had an interview with Company B in a different city. Company B and I found each other when someone from Company B saw an interview I did with C-SPAN (holla!) and recruited me to apply for a position. Within a week, I was interviewing. Company B had an outstanding reputation, but the position was a full-time, unpaid internship and it was the only way that they hired at the entry level.

Cue to Monday, July 30th, a week after my interviews. Company B calls to offer me the position. I defer deciding until Company B’s final deadline, Friday, August 3rd. I immediately call Company A who demurred that “Well we don’t make any offers without a second interview” so I pushed (politely) for an interview the next day. I drove up, interviewed for 45 minutes, felt I aced that interview as well, but was disheartened when they said I still had to talk to two more people. At this point I’m (again, politely) pushing them, reminding them about my Company B deadline looming in two days.

They arranged for a phone interview with one of the “need to talk to” people the next day (Thursday). She was extremely nice, but as she described the position in a different outlook than the others had, I began to doubt if this was the job for me. It didn’t sound like what I thought it was.

By Thursday afternoon, Company A told me they wanted to make me an offer, but wouldn’t know salary or benefits until next week. So we’d do a verbal commitment. Then they dropped the bombshell that I wouldn’t see the offer sheet until I drove up there to sign it. I had to sign it that day after the CEO presented it to me. I couldn’t take it home, study it some more and sleep on it. At this point, a knot started gnawing in my stomach. I began thinking “This does not feel right, this does not feel right.” I’m driving 3 hours to sign something I’ve never seen before?! I was not okay with that. This was not how it happened with all my friends, who were e-mailed or Fed-Ex’ed their offer sheets and given a week to think it over, ask questions and mail it back.

(Seriously, comment if this is normal procedure?)

There I am, Thursday night, combing through all the information about both positions. Company B wanted an answer by the next day (Friday).  The breakdown was that Company A offered a nice salary (or so I was assuming at this point), stability, and a job I wasn’t sure I’d like. Company B offered a job I was pretty sure I’d love, with zero income to live off and no stability. Both in completely different towns.

I made a long pros and cons list that offered no help. I felt as if I was in the age old “Do What You Love vs. Pick the Money Stupid, Do You Know What The Economy Is Like?” conundrum.

My dad wandered in to the living room where I was camped out, staring holes into my pros and con list, and asked me if I’d made a choice. In response, I burst into tears, which is the most uncharacteristic response for me as I have been dubbed the “cold fish” by most family members for my lack of emotion.

I felt so stuck.

My parents helped me talk out the pros and cons, played devil’s advocate, offered insight, but refused to give me their opinion as they knew this was a decision I had to make on my own.

Now you have to know these two things about me. I am not a decision maker. When it comes to making group decisions, I pretend to be doing something, like mindlessly opening apps or typing jibberish on my I-phone, so other people will just make the decision. At most, I’ll offer a listless response of “I don’t care, whatever, you guys decide.” I break out into a sweat at the thought of picking from menus, and so I always pick the same food item. Which leads to my next trait….

I am also not a risk taker. I have my nice little comfort zone and to ask me to step out of it is daunting and might involve me vomiting or breaking out into hives. Company B was a huge risk. I also knew the economy was a huge risk (especially in an election year), and Company A offered stability, which I loved.

What the heck was I going to do?! I had maybe 12 hours left to decide, would spend all day Friday in the car on the way to New Hampshire and every time I made a decision, I started talking myself out of it.