Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just a Tiny Bit Distracting...

While on the job hunt these days, you'd think getting an interview would be the hard part and believe me, with the whole two interviews I've gotten after a year of searching, it is hard. However, just when you think you're past the hard part and all you have to do is prepare a bit, the 36 hours before your interview are suddenly full of distractions such as parasites and dead bodies.
Monday began with back to back phone calls to my cell phone informing me that a dead body had been found in the town that I cover for the newspaper. Excuse me? A dead body in a town where people still "own land," where a new school is being built next to a working dairy farm and where there is only one fast food restaurant that is less than five years old? A town that you'll miss driving through if you blink? This was a big deal.
To top it off, I actually knew the people who owned the property where the body was found through past stories, so I pranced out to the woods to see and smell the scene...no, not the dead body itself, but the black spot he left in the grass after they hauled his horrendously decomposed body away. Eight arm mosquito bites later, I was back in the office fighting with the Web site to post my dead dude story. What a day for the Web site to be ghetto.
I tried to rationalize with my night owl self that night, which always sounds like a good idea in mid afternoon, but then later goes down the shitter when I look up and see the clock says 1 a.m. I didn't have a meeting to cover for work and the only thing I forced myself to do was make my apartment a little less shithole-ish. There was no excuse for me to stay up especially when I had an interview the next day other than the fact that I enjoyed wallowing in this mysterious thing called free time way too much. But, I figured 1 a.m. wasn't too bad considering some nights I casually look up from my writing or whatever project I'm working on, see a big glowing 4:30 on the clock and go, 'oh shit, perhaps I should sleep now since that's what humans are supposed to do.'
Here I am, ready for bed all "early" when I see Andy furiously attacking his ass - not exactly a normal thing - so I go over for a closer look and see a speck of dirt on his fur...Then the piece of dirt started moving. DAMMIT! I didn't even hesitate and practically flung the flailing fleabag into the bathtub, poured half a bottle of doggie shampoo on him and lathered him into a ball of suds. He must have picked up fleas from his stay at Kate and Sam's menagerie last weekend. So I spent the night with a wet dog huddled beside me and the irrational, yet possibly real fear that fleas were constantly crawling all over me. Yeah, no sleep, AT ALL.
The next morning was spent dousing Andy with Advantix, looking up ways to eliminate fleas from your home and striping my bed. I've had two people tell me they've had fleas in their house or apartment and apparently those little bastards are hard to get rid of. I didn't know if they had invaded my apartment yet, but I wasn't taking any chances. This was just what I wanted to be doing right then instead of working or prepping for my interview.
I left my sheets swirling in hot water and Tide while I went to work only to get another update from the police chief that the dead guy's cause of death was suicide by hanging...aaaaaaaand he might possibly be a murder suspect. WHAT?! I fucking sit through city council meetings and report on children raising cattle and the high school homecoming parade, not murderers who hang themselves in the woods. What the hell is going on? Why today of all days?
The chief tells me he'll call as soon as the fingerprints are confirmed, which I know will be right in the middle of my interview. After a few more hours of frantic news gathering, I head back home to continue my flea killing rampage and change for my interview.
With my mind occupied by dead dudes and jumping bugs for the past day and a half, I used my 15 minute drive to my interview as practice - posing the usual questions and working through how I would answer.
"Why would you be good for this position?"
"Why? Because I'm a fucking badass, that's why."
I literally talked out loud to myself, all the way there, blah, blah, blah, then I got into the interview, the guys were so laid back and they didn't ask me any of the usual questions. They basically just told me what I was going to do in the position and introduced me to everybody, which makes me think I got the job. Yes, I just may sell out and become more or less an office bitch for a few more dollars an hour and normal hours. The goal is to have time to get some freelance writing work and actually be able to write about what I want for once. Either I'll love it, or it will be a daily reminder of how much I loathe dragging my ass out of bed at the crack of dawn. I'll explain more once I know for sure whether I got it or not.
Sure enough when I got back to the car, there was a message on my phone from the police chief that said, "Lara, I've got your exclusive." Yeah, I choose to be a non-shitastic journalist by avoiding pissing off the important sources and it pays. After a lot of cussing through traffic, I get my story in which the dead guy actually does turn out to be a murder suspect, post it on the Web site, which finally decides to stop being an asshole and I'm Pulitzer Prize eligible.
Too bad I fully plan on selling out.

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