Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How Drums Led to Job

Jackson has decided he wants to start a garage band. I don't have enough noise or chaos in my world, so I'm fine with the idea. The only problem is that he doesn't have a drum set. So Friday afternoon I figured I'd search on Freecycle to see if there were any drum sets out there. The only problem was that I accidentally searched Craigslist instead of Freecycle. It took a minute before I realized I'd typed in Craigslist by mistake. Before I left the page, however, the job listings caught my eye. I clicked on the writer/editor category and saw a listing for a "Geek with a Clever Sense of Humor."  A job for a writer with a sense of humor? I've got to see this!

You should have a positive personality, be laid back and positive, enjoy wearing jeans, shorts and casual clothes for work and generally being involved in all sorts of things geekish, enjoy being creative, have a good sense of humor and pick up on things quickly. We will school you on content and hand feed you that but you must be able to spin it with humor and personality as we're known as having a "real" voice on the internet. 

Getting paid to do what I already love to do? I have got to check this out! I emailed my resume right away. I knew I wouldn't get a response until Tuesday at the earliest since it was Friday evening on a holiday weekend. I was wrong. I got the following email a couple hours later.

Hi Dawn-

Your resume is lacking a digit so I'm emailing.

Assuming you are still in school so I could do an interview this Sat at 11 am or Monday at 12.

Let me know if either works-

I left part of my phone number off my resume??? Who does that?! What kind of fool doesn't put a full phone number on her resume? "Meticulous attention to detail." Oh yeah, that's me, all right.

Yesterday I got ready for my interview and Mapquested directions to the office. Since it was half an hour away, I planned on leaving an hour before my appointment in order to allow enough time for me to get lost. Yes, getting lost is a foregone conclusion. 

I got my kids situated and left for the interview. As I started driving, I remembered that my gas gauge is broken. It indicated a full tank, but I knew that wasn't so. I tried to recall the last time I'd filled up. Better stop and get gas. It would suck to run out on the way to an interview. After filling up, I hopped in my van and pop! The AC went out. Nooooooooo! I just paid a couple hundred dollars to get that fixed! At a red light, I fished around in the glove compartment for my box of fuses. I quickly popped out the blown fuse and replaced it. The icy air hit me, providing a respite from the near-hundred degree temperatures. Twenty seconds after the air started, it went out again. Noooooooo! Why? Why do these things happen to me?

I drove to the interview, got lost, drove around in a circle, following the directions of my temperamental GPS which apparently couldn't make up its mind as to the whereabouts of the office. I wiped the sweat out of my eyes and glanced at the clock. Oh crap! It's 11:00 now and I'm not there. I didn't allow enough time to get lost! My GPS said, "Turn right. I mean left. No, better make that a right. Drive around the block a couple times. Rerouting." I ripped the thing off my dash and threw it into the back seat.

Giving up, I called the office and asked for directions. The receptionist named some roads and asked me if I was familiar with them. I lied and said, "Yes. Yep, no problem. I got this." She mentioned that there was a big billboard across the street. Aha! A billboard! That, I can understand. I looked up, spotted the billboard and realized I was directly across the street from the office. Yay!

I ran into the office, sweating from my hour-long drive in 97 degree heat. The receptionist welcomed me and a woman walked up, introduced herself as the one who emailed me for the interview, and held out her hand in greeting. I hesitated a moment before offering her a handshake. My body temperature was about 120 and my hand (along with every other part of me) was dripping sweat. There's nothing classier than a hot, clammy handshake. Oh wait, yes there is something classier! My voice.

"Hi, I'm Dawn. I don't always sound like an 80-year-old chain smoker. I've been sick all week."

"Oh, I'm not worried about that at all," said the woman who was going to interview me. Translation: I'm not as concerned about your voice as I am the fact that it looks like you just went swimming. In your clothes. Gross.

This was my first interview since before I had kids. I mean, I had an interview when I started my job here at the school, but that was more of a formality as my boss already knew me and knew what my strengths were. During this interview she stumped me with questions like, "What's one thing about you that people would find surprising?" My first instinct was to answer, "I'm actually a man. That usually surprises people," but I was afraid she wouldn't get my sense of humor and think I was a total freak. Or a man. Or a freaky man. Instead, I stared off into space, trying to come up with some little tidbit that was surprising. I came to the conclusion that I'm an open book. No surprises here. What you see is what you get. I'm plain and ordinary and boring. The white bread of humanity.

Despite my leaving a digit off my phone on the resume, my stammering at her questions, my inability to think on my toes, my clammy, sweaty hands, my mere 70 wpm on the typing test, the less-than-impressive blog post I had to compose on the spot, and my Bea Arthur voice, she offered me a job contingent upon passing the drug test. It pays way less than the school and I'll be spending way more on gas, but as long as I can pick up some more writing gigs for the summer, I think I can make it work. It seems like a really fun, laid-back place to work and the employees come across like a family who likes to joke around. I have no doubt that I'll enjoy working there and I'm excited to start!

And all this came about because Jackson wants to start a garage band. Thanks, Jackson! And if anyone knows of someone getting rid of a drum set . . .

image: courtesy morguefile

Friday, May 16, 2014

I Might Need Some Help with my Resume

Like a broken record, I repeatedly tell my kids to . . .
A. get good grades
B. go to college
C. get a good job
D. marry rich
. . . and do it in that order.

 I’ve been looking for a seasonal job since I don’t work at or get paid from the school during the summer break when kids aren’t in attendance. I didn’t go to college so my options are limited to summer jobs that pay minimum wage. Perfect for a teenager. Not so perfect for a single mom trying to support a family of 7. Still, you gotta do what you gotta do, so I started filling out applications. Almost all of them required me to upload a resume. I don’t have a resume. I don’t think I’ve ever made a resume. How do you write a resume???

I searched online for templates and chose a simple-looking one. Okay, now to fill it out.

CONTACT INFORMATION:  Piece of cake! 
Dawn Meehan, address, phone number, dawn@dawnmeehan.com

JOB OBJECTIVE:  To make enough money to pay my bills while doing pretty much anything (as long as my responsibilities don't include cleaning up puke.) Perhaps I could be paid for surfing Pinterest? 
To make a 6 figure income doing something I don’t hate.

EDUCATION:  Well, I didn’t go to college. Should I list high school? That was a million years ago. It looks pretty empty with just high school there. How about junior high and grade school? That’s probably not really relevant to my current job search, huh? How closely do you think they check these things? 
Harvard University, class of 1992

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY:  Hmmmm, how to describe my current job?
OCPS Middle School. Duties include nagging lazy kids to do their freaking work, listening to excuses as to why students are tardy, trying to decipher writing that looks like it was done by trained monkeys, listening to students complain "Why I gotta do this? My teacher be trippin'. I been done this", and endlessly explaining why it’s important to get a good education to kids who think it's pointless to go to school.

SKILLS AND ABILITIES: I can type 75 wpm. That's not very much to write, is it? I'm sure I can think of a few more skills. Hmmm, let's see . . .
I can communicate without sounding like a moron, I can juggle lots of stuff, I can use (and have a sizeable following in) social media including Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, I can read music, I can put medicine on a squirming Guinea Pig, I can hit my snooze a dozen times, wake up late, and still get to work on time, I can name all the states in alphabetical order, I can quote any episode from The Office, Seinfeld, or Friends, and I can balance a spoon on my nose.

ACTIVITIES AND HONORS:  I don't have time for activities and I haven't done anything worth honoring. What can I come up with so this section isn't completely blank?
I'm the team mom for my daughter's cheer squad, I got a first place medal for a duet I sang in 8th grade, I won a Young Authors Contest in 5th grade, and I’m on level 244 of Candy Crush.


REFERENCES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST. Boy, I sure hope they don’t request.


I can see my prospective employers right now.

“I know she doesn’t have a degree in business, nor does she have any experience, but I want to hire her for the manager position simply because she is capable of putting medicine on a squirming Guinea Pig!”


“Well, she may not have gone to medical school, but I think we should hire her for the Chief of Surgery position based solely on her Candy Crush accomplishments!”

I may need to do a little more editing.

Friday, May 9, 2014

It's Kinda Like Don't Spill the Beans

My family likes to play games. We play card games, board games, video games, made-up games. You name it, we probably like to play it. There's a game we play every day and I'm really not sure how it even started. I don't remember coming up with this game and I don't recall condoning it. I don't think the game has a name or official rules. But we play it nonetheless. All seven of us. Every day. As far as I can tell, this is how it is played . . .


NUMBER OF PLAYERS: infinite

MATERIALS NEEDED: nothing out of the ordinary; just household items you already have on hand

OBJECT:  to never, ever, EVER be the one to take out the trash

PLAY:  throw your trash away in the garbage can. When the receptacle is full, precariously stack disposable cups, tuck bits of paper among the refuse, and throw wadded-up food wrappers on top of the stack until the lid pops off. Then plop pizza boxes and other things on top of the lid. It's a little like Jenga with all the careful stacking of trash.

LOSING:  a player loses when the piece of garbage he adds to the pile makes everything tumble over and spill onto the floor at which point he becomes responsible for cleaning the floor and taking the garbage out to the garage. It's kind of like the children's game, Don't Spill the Beans, only "the beans" are actually scraps of filth and muck composed into a haphazard pyramid of nastiness.

LENGTH OF PLAY:  this game can be played for an undetermined amount of time. As long as the trash continues to pile up without falling, play continues.

BONUS:  if the garbage actually touches the ceiling without falling, you win the distinction of being the laziest family in America.

PENALTY:  if insects and/or wild animals enter your house due to the overwhelming amount of filth, you automatically lose and must dump the garage immediately as well as spray for bugs.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

FTD Flowers for Mom Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest on the FTD site and left me a comment here. The random winner of the $250 gift card is . . .



Blogger Kathy said...
LOVE this, I LOVE flowers, and love my mom!!!! Why do we always end up being JUST like them after we have kids??? :)
May 4, 2014 at 7:56 AM
 Delete

It's not too late to enter the contest on the FTD page to win one of 100 - $50 gift cards for Mother's Day! You have until May 09, 2014 @ 12:00 am (US/Central) to enter! Good luck!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Why I Love my Mom (and a chance to win a $250 FTD gift card)



Did you know that Mother's Day has been around for 100 years? I had no idea. I guess Mother's Day has been celebrated for even longer than that, but in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a bill recognizing Mother's Day as a national holiday in the United States. On May 11, Mother’s Day will celebrate its 100-year anniversary. In honor of the centennial and moms everywhere, FTD is looking for 100 Stories of Mom and will honor 100 Moms with a special bouquet of flowers. What’s the best advice she’s given you? How has she raised you? Is she the funniest person you know? Every mom is a standout. Share a story with us about your mom!



Want to surprise Mom with some beautiful flowers? It's easy!

1.  Go to the FTD site.
2.  Submit your own video, or a photograph with a story (200 words or less)

The top 100 stories will receive a $50 FTD gift card.

Want a second chance to win flowers for Mom? After submitting your video or story on the FTD site, come back here and leave me a comment, letting me know that you submitted your story and you'll be entered to win a $250 FTD gift card!

I'll choose a random winner on Tuesday, May 6! 



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