Miracle of miracles, my prospective new boss from the train-wreck job interview I had last week (you can read that ridiculous claptrap in a previous post) called me to “chat” yesterday.

Let me just get this disclaimer out of the way: this doesn’t mean I got the job.

It is encouraging, however, if a little unorthodox; I’ve never been called by a prospective employer before to have a casual chat. I am super grateful that she took the time to call me and tell me more about the job, the place it’s in, and how the company is structured. These aren’t things you can really get at in a job interview situation, and so taking the extra time out of her day to talk to me could be construed as an act of kindness and a desire to be transparent about the job and its responsibilities.

It can also be thought of as a second interview.

I was acutely aware that this conversation was potentially a make-or-break kind of deal. I mean, maybe she has two or three good candidates in addition to me and this casual conversation is going to help her make her final decision. I had all day to come up with what I thought were meaningful questions for her, and I asked them. Of course, me being me, ever since I hung up the phone I wonder if I asked the right questions and told her the right things. Nevertheless, what’s done is done. I feel like this is pretty much the end of that interview process. It’s up to the fates now.

So many of the questions I wanted to ask this woman seemed irrelevant because I don’t know if I got the job yet. It seems a little presumptuous to ask where in a new city would be a good place to live, whether I’d stay at the GS-12 step level I’m currently in or would have to start over from the bottom rung of the ladder, and whether I would be reimbursed at all for relocation expenses. Are these things I should have asked?

Instead, I asked what kinds of projects I might be asked to take on. I asked what the company’s relationship with tribes is like. I asked what the company’s involvement with wildfire is, and what my prospective boss’s supervisor is like. I’m more interested in the shape of the job than I am in whether my salary will change or where I should look for living arrangements, because the fact is that whether or not I’m reimbursed for my move will not change the fact that I will move, one way or another. The goal is to get out there, do some meaningful work, and get comfortable. The rest will fall into place.

I’d be lying through my teeth if I didn’t say I was terrified of all of it: moving, new job, new place, no friends. I’m even super worried about driving my car 1500 miles with my dog and cat, alone, something that would never have worried me 20 years ago. Beyond the money I have stashed away from the sale of our home a few months ago and a gimpy retirement plan, I have no safety net. I have nothing whatsoever to fall back on. I see homeless people on the street and think “there, but for the grace of fate, go I.”

So it probably is no surprise to you, dear imaginary reader, to hear that I have been sleeping badly this past week. Last night I put 15 drops of melatonin in some water (the prescribed amount on the label is 30 drops) in the hope that it would help me get a full 7 to 8 hours. I went to sleep at about 9:30 last night. At 2 am I woke up to let the dog out, then promptly went back to bed.

I finally awoke at 10:30 this morning. I slept for almost 13 solid hours.

This is great, but now I’m living with the guilt that I didn’t do my long run today. In fact, I have spent most of today sitting on my ass on the couch, writing and reading. It’s now 4:30 and I have nothing to show for the day beyond these few badly-written paragraphs and the edited version of a blog post that will never see the light of day because the subject matter is too embarrassing. Not that my bellyaching about job hunt pains isn’t embarrassing, but it is fit for general human consumption.

I can’t win for losing.

How do people do this? I guess they do it by putting one foot in front of the other. I’ll keep you, dear reader, posted on the outcome.

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