Monday, April 13, 2009

The Window Pain

They say that when one door closes, a window opens. I suppose that I have always believed in this due to my uninterrupted employment since high school. That is, until it was interrupted in December 2008.

At fifteen-years-old, I got my first job as a hostess at a steakhouse. Wearing my best GAP khakis to the interview, I was on a mission to earn the Hoss’s uniform- down to the orthopedic black high tops and the bow tie covered in meat cleavers.

In college I began to work at a bead store, designing custom-made jewelry for hippie brides, and then moved on to making lattes at Starbucks for yuppie moms. During my summers at home, work was hard to come by. My choices were to either work the loading dock at Wal-Mart during the graveyard shift or to work from 4PM to 11PM at one of the many local factories.

One summer, to maintain employment, I went through Kelly Services and was placed at a bra factory. My job was to pile as many bras into one box as possible and then send it down a conveyor belt to the whole host of chain-smoking, flannel-loving women on the line.

Water bras were the worst. Not only were they a disaster when accidentally popped, but also they were collectively the heaviest bras to pick up. Practically lifting the equivalent of my own body weight above my head on to a moving belt, my efforts would be quickly destroyed as the silicon bandits would bounce right out of the box and fall on to the cement floor with a thud. Needless to say, I was the only employee to not sport a mullet that summer, nor have a romantic relationship with a woman.

It was in February when I was offered a part time gig to baby-sit a four-month-old girl in my apartment building. After having been through a multitude of terrible interviews in the past few months, I thought it just might be my best career move to date. So, I accepted.

I am extremely tempted to see my current state as stagnant, if not moving backwards. Nowadays, I feel like a teenage girl learning the honest value of a dollar, as I am knee deep in diapers and formula. No longer do I feel like the young and brazen Manhattan career gal. I can't tell you the last time that I wore a suit. I don't have an office, a telephone extension or even a business card to validate my existence.

What I do have is a baby girl that smiles when she sees me and laughs at my jokes. It's times like those that make me forget about the door that closed behind me and remind me of the window ahead.

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