During my Week Without a Phone, I received a phone call from one of the Starbucks I had applied to. I obviously missed the call, but when I got my new phone —
–I was able to get all the voicemails. I missed at least 5 calls.
So I called the Starbucks this morning. I introduced myself to the manager.
“What’s your availability?” she asked.
“I have open availability,” I said.
“Do you have any plans?”
Assuming she wanted me to come in for an interview, I said, “I’m available today, Thursday, and Friday.”
“That’s your only availability every week?”
“Well no,” I said, feeling confused, since I had just said I had open availability. “I have open availability.”
“Right, and you don’t have anything else to take up your time?”
“I’m thinking about going back to school, but I don’t know what the class schedules around here are yet.”
“Well then, why don’t you call me back when you do know when you’re going to be available.”
I thought quickly, wanting to recover the conversation. “When would you like for me to get back to you with that information?”
“I don’t know, sometime next week. Or maybe April. Do you have anything else?”
“No,” I said.
“Okay then, have a good day.”
I puzzled over my Colosseum puzzle. I reran the conversation in my head. I thought that maybe if the manager acted like that, I maybe wouldn’t want the job anyway.
Twenty minutes later, my phone rang. It was the same manager. She gave a full introduction of herself this time. She asked what I thought made me qualified for the barista position (I have literally been a barista before). She asked what I do for Harris Teeter and if I have other customer service experience. This was a question I was prepared to answer; I gave a basic rundown of my last four years of work, emphasizing the customer service experience. She asked about my availability.
Hadn’t we been through this before?
“I have open availability,” I said.
She went into an explanation of shift times for Starbucks; was I able to come in at 5:00 AM? Would I be able to work evening shifts? She asked more and more questions about this, pressing more and more on the 5:00 question. She eventually explained that she was trying to hire full-time worked for the morning shifts. I said that as long as the hours were consistent (always working morning or always working evening) that I could do it.
So I have an interview at noon on Thursday.
After the phone call ended, I wasn’t really sure what to think. I had just had two very different phone calls with the same person.
On one hand, Starbucks would probably pay me better than what I make at Harris Teeter; I would work with a team of people instead of doing it by myself; it would be work I had done before and felt comfortable with; Starbucks has a tuition-paying program so I could go back to school in January (with no limit on what courses it covers, unlike most retail tuition-assistance programs). If I worked only morning shifts, I would have time in the evenings to pursue outside activities, like theatre, gaming, school, volunteering, or a movie-watching club (there are some of those on meetup). Also: free Chai Tea Lattes.
On the other hand, this would be just another “settling” job, rather than a job I was truly interested in; the manager was potentially insane; I’m not interested in being a job-hopper. I want one job and I want to stick with it for a good long while.
With this on my mind, I drove around Raleigh for a bit, trying to find someone to donate my garbage bag of teddy bears to. My immediate thought was police and fire station, so I visited the Morrisville town hall, but neither service would take them. They only accept toys in their original wrapping. Teddy bears don’t come in wrapping, but whatever. I just ended up driving it to the Raleigh Rescue Mission on the east side of town. I thought about writing. Mostly I thought about Ghost Hunters, even though I only have 18 days left in my self-created deadline for The Adventures of Pizza Boy and Maggie.
When I got home, James was clearly dressed to go on a walk, so he and I went on a walk. I told him about the two phone calls with my potential new manager. I told him about my concerns. He didn’t have much to say beyond that I was correct to be hesitant.
I found a new path into the woods behind our apartment complex. James refused to follow me in. I managed to pick my way across the creek and turned around to shout in triumph, but he had walked away. I crossed back over the creek and found him sitting by the pond.
“I looked for you but you weren’t there,” I said. “Are you mad at me?” This is always my go-to assumption for some reason.
“No, I just didn’t feel like slipping and falling into the creek,” he said. He pointed at nearby geese and said, “I wonder how close you can get to them?”
I stayed far back because I’m scared of geese. James walked slowly, crossing closer and closer to the geese until he was maybe four feet from one of them. It honked gently at him. He honked gently back. He squatted down and stared at it. I watched the two of them eye each other. Behind them was the creek, brightly colored in the late afternoon light. I told myself I would remember this moment forever.