Field Notes In/On Transition.
So, I got a job. Let me tell you the story.
I had been really stressing out coming up to the time of getting my end of January welfare cheque, as I had to show the workers my employment search record, which I wasn’t sure was adequate, turned out to be just fine, but I have to call on Feb 4th or something, maybe go in to the office with a finished work search, ie; I did 125 job search things over 5 weeks. I was on track for doing that, and had sent out a few resumes.
Then the next day, Thursday afternoon, I was doing some depressing looking at job ads online when I got a facebook message from a choir friend, Jess. The cafe she was studying in was looking to hire a new person, and they were specifically looking for underemployed diversity, aka maybe the old trans lady who can’t get an interview anymore. I happened to be going right past the cafe, a few hours later, on my way to a board meeting for the community health clinic (REACH) that I am on the board of directors of, a committee meeting of the engagement committee.
So I dropped my resume off with one of the staff at the cafe on my trudge through the winter 5pm darkness and pounding rain, puddles. The gal on duty was really sweet, with such a twinkle in her eye, and it made me think, hmm maybe I could work in a cafe, if these are my co-workers. Food service work is not something I had applied for in over 20 years at least. While I was trudging to the meeting, a message was left on my phone. In the 10 minutes it took me to get to the meeting from the cafe, the owners of the cafe had come back, and heard about me and my resume. They wanted me to come in right then for an interview, if I hadn’t got too far away yet.
I called them back, and talked with Eric, one of the owners, and while I was in a board meeting, I could come in the next day at the same time (5:30 pm) for an interview. I accepted and was buoyed all evening and the next day by the idea that I actually got an interview for any job. I posted and got a lot of likes on FB over just getting an interview.
The next day wasn’t as rainy, and I wandered over to the Hastings Sunrise (or East Village as the local BIA has tried rebranding the area, for reasons that make no sense to me) area, and bought a bit of makeup at the London Drugs there, which is my favourite place to buy makeup for some vague reasons. I just feel comfortable shopping there. I showed up half an hour early for the interview and had a coffee, and chatted a bit with the other owner, Tomo, who works there quite a bit as well. He was adorable. Eric showed up, and they chatted about my resume for a bit, before inviting me to the cozy area at the back for a very casual interview.
Basically I talked about myself, who I am, what I am doing, artistically, and otherwise these days, and we chatted about the cafe, and how things go. Even if they hadn’t offered me the job, I would have gotten a lot out of just having had such a relaxed and easygoing interview. But they did offer me the job. At first, Eric said they would discuss it, and get back to me asap. But Tomo came over from doing some clean up and said, “Let’s just hire her now!” So they did.
The espresso machine and making fancy coffees was something that I was a bit intimidated by, but the one they have there has a lot of automation, and I think I will get the swing of it quickly.
The oddest thing about the job is that it doesn’t start until February 16th, which is still a couple of weeks away. I don’t mind this delayed start at all though, as with doing so much work search, and a lot of ‘volunteer/friend helping’ stuff lately, I haven’t had time to keep up on my final touch editing of my book to send to the publisher. Now I will have some time, and head space to do so before starting the job, which at just three days a week is perfect to continue with my plans to keep selling Strawgirl crafts and so on, to get my various writing projects into gear, and start making a name for myself.
Another way I am trying to spread my wings a bit, is by going to a near monthly event called Femme Fridays, that happens at the wonderful Heartwood community cafe. Often the organizers will ask me to Femme-cee the event, which is simply to make a few announcements about what activities are underway that evening. There was a Femme Fridays, last night, and I really enjoyed being a host briefly, acknowledging the hard work of the organizers, and cafe staff, making the land acknowledgement, as well as some upcoming Femme positive events in and around East Vancouver. The way the place was set up last night, I stood in the middle of the room and felt like a game show hostess or presenter, which to me is an awesome thing. Handing off the mic to the folks doing a zine/craft workshop, or the makeup (scent reduced) table, and then making some chatter. I felt comfortable and in ‘my zone’ doing so. Which I think bodes well for my video blog ideas, which include some interview/talk show/game show kind of razz a ma tazz.
Hopefully I can live up to my small reasonable dream of part time work, helping to keep me making ever more income from crafts and writing. I made a hundred or two a month from October to December with my poetry books, yarn dolls, calendars, coffee mugs and so on. I want, and feel like I will have the time outside my rent paying but not much more job. It’s in a hip neighbourhood adjacent to my own hip neighbourhood, and the clientele seems to be dotted with folks I already know and love. I don’t know how I can fail to succeed in this small dream at least for the next several months, until I figure out the fund raising for my cross Canada trip, and video blog series. Which now looks like a great fit for July and August, maybe into September I hope, coming back to Vancouver, maybe in time for my 50th birthday, or just afterwards. Either way, I want to have a big 50th celebration with my mostly in Ontario family, as well as once I land back in East Vancouver, some sort of triumphant return party.
My depression and anxiety lately have abated, due to these efforts to volunteer, and participate as much as is comfortable in my various intersecting communities. I feel good about my future, despite the fact that I have so much debt from the last couple of years. I feel like things are finally lining up in ways that I can manage, that I can take advantage of in order to improve my life and finally after decades of feeling like I am on the fringe, the edge of everything in my world, to feel part of, integral to small circles in my world. Maybe I was integral before, but I wan’t my true self, so none of that ever stuck to me, that sense of being part of the world, rather than apart from the world. Baby steps, have become wobbly toddler dashes for legs and chairs. Soon I will be walking and running on my own.
I really once again have to say that I cannot measure the love and generosity that I have been shown in recent months, that has helped to drag me out of my personal darkness and into some light, that peeks out of the hearts and smiles that surround me. Which is lucky, because there isn’t much sunlight coming from Vancouver skies recently.