January 4, 2021 – When Opportunity Knocks

It’s amazing how a little sunshine and a little hope can turn things around. It was a beautiful day today, not terribly warm, but warm enough to melt the snow in the backyard so I could finally locate and pick up the dog poop. And it was a perfect day for a walk, something that not only helps lift my spirits but my dog’s as well. It was definitely much needed. I had to find a way to ‘clear the cobwebs from my brain’ after staying up until nearly 5 o’clock this morning. Insomnia is becoming a regular thing but it was much worse than usual. I’ve been riding a ‘high’ ever since I pulled up a job on ‘Indeed’ and applied. Whether I’m even going to be considered is hard to say, but this job ‘ticked all of my boxes’. It was as if someone literally put a job description together that was exclusively designed for me. Everything it asked for, I have had experience in. And everything I’ve been sending out ‘into the Universe’, as far as my needs and wants, it matched up with.

Has that ever happened to you? I don’t know, but it feels really ‘right’. And I don’t know if I’m even going to get the job, but at least I have hope. I did have to take an ‘online assessment’ today which I have no idea as to whether or not I passed. I actually thought I could ‘outsmart’ it. Before I took it, it indicated that I would be tested on my customer service skills as well as my knowledge of Microsoft Word. I use Microsoft Word a lot; however, I do know that those tests can be tricky. It’s not my first rodeo with taking a skills test. But just in case there was something I was unfamiliar with, I set up my laptop next to my desktop computer so I could reference Google if I had to. Great idea, right? Well, not so much! The test was timed and for most of the questions, I only had 90 seconds to answer and then it would go to the next one. I can type pretty fast, but I cannot type that fast.

I’m sure the folks that put the test together designed it with strict time limits to ‘outsmart’ people like me. People like me, who (if you give us enough time) can eventually come up with the correct answer. What is driving me bananas now is that it didn’t even give me my score when I was done. Whether I passed or failed? I haven’t got a clue. I guess the only way I’m going to know is if someone from the company contacts me for an interview. If I hear back, I’ll assume I passed. Although, that isn’t always the case. When I was working at a community college several years ago, I was required to take a very complicated Microsoft Office skills test in order to qualify for a job I was interested in. It was a position that came with more responsibility but the salary reflected that. Tests always make me nervous. I imagine most people feel that way. But ‘timed’ tests are the worst!

The skills test that I took at the college was proxied and timed. It took place in the ‘testing’ center. I cannot remember the total time the test took but I believe I was given 2 1/2 minutes to answer each question. I thought I had Microsoft Word pretty well figured out but as soon as the first question popped up on the screen, I thought to myself, “Uh-oh!” It was hard! I went into a panic and just started pushing random buttons on the keyboard and attempting to go ‘back’ when I thought I answered something wrong. The test was not designed for someone like me, apparently, because I literally ‘broke’ it. The whole thing seized up and I finally had to call in one of the staff members to see if they could fix it. “This has never happened before,” they said with astonishment when they came to assist. They ended up having to hard reboot the computer and start all over again. Unknowingly, they gave me an edge. Because I got to take the test again from the beginning, I’d already had a chance to see several of the questions.

Do you think it helped? No! Sad to say, it didn’t! Even with my ‘advantage’, I still failed the test. And I didn’t have to wait around for hours or days, I was informed right away. Was I disappointed? Yes! I blew it! I had a chance at a transfer and a salary increase and I blew it! Hang on, there’s a ‘twist’. Oddly enough, I did end up getting an interview. Huh? How was that even possible after I failed a required test? Apparently, every single person that took the test failed it, too! You’ve got to admit, that’s pretty funny! And fortunately, after the interview, I was hired! And what a relief it was to move into my new position. I had previously worked in ‘Purchasing’ and was responsible for everything that had to do with ‘P-cards’. Do you know what a ‘P-card’ is? It’s a credit card issued by the employer for use by the staff (and other personnel) to make company-related purchases. The ‘P’ stands for ‘procurement’ but I think it should have stood for ‘pain’ as in ‘pain in the butt’.

P-cards are all about money and numbers. Those are two things that I struggle with. If you need help balancing your checkbook, don’t ask me for help. I will just make things worse. I pay all of the bills in our household and my husband ‘used to’ balance the checkbook. But after enough times, growing frustrated with my inability to keep things ‘balanced’, he gave up. I still screw stuff up from time to time, but isn’t that what ‘overdraft protection’ is for? No! I don’t do it THAT often, but when I do my husband lets me know. Oops! Knowing this about me, can you see me doing a job that’s all about everything coming out even, down to the last cent? I hated it! I had to go through every single bank statement from every person that had a ‘P-card’, make sure all transactions were ‘authorized’, that tax wasn’t charged and then reconcile everything against a separate form. I cannot tell you how many times the balances would be off by less than ten cents!

Each time it happened, my blood pressure would shoot up, my face would turn red, and I felt like screaming. When I was able to move out of that department and into a different one that rarely dealt with ‘math’ and allowed me to express my creativity, it was a tremendous relief. I’m just not designed that way. Need help with spelling or grammar or proofreading or formatting, I’m your girl! Want me to use an Excel spreadsheet to put a budget together? You might want to check with ‘Bob’, because I really don’t think that’s a good idea! ‘Bob’ is great at math; whereas, if you have me put your budget together, you can just about guarantee an ‘audit’. Nobody likes audits. Nobody. Oh, hey! Guess what I just did? I just went back on ‘Indeed’ and the job is gone. Oh, crap! What does that mean? Did they already hire somebody? Or did they just close the job because they have sufficient applicants? Or did they just ‘pull the post’ altogether because no one that has applied has had adequate experience and/or has failed the assessment test?

Ack! Ok…time to breathe. Breathe in, 1-2-3-4. Breathe out, 1-2-3-4. There is nothing more that I can do but wait. I cannot control this. It’s out of my hands. I did the best I could. But, hey Universe, if you’re listening, I sure would like a shot at it! I think it’s right up my alley. You wouldn’t dangle that little ‘carrot’ in front of my face like that and then snatch it away just as quickly, would you? If that was your intent, that was really cruel! Anyway, like my mom always says, “Everything happens for a reason.” If I’m meant to get it, I will. If I’m not meant to, I won’t. I’ll let you dear readers know, either way. Thank you so much for stopping by. For the folks that are ‘following’ me, I am grateful for you and the continued interest you have in reading about the variety of things I talk about each day. I’m no poet laureate or anyone with significant credentials to speak of but I do enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. I love to write and I try to infuse humor into everything I do, especially when I write. And I hope I was able to make you smile, especially if you had a really crappy day. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.

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