I am, in fact, employable.

I got a job. Finally.

After months of looking and trying different things, I found a job. A good one. It’s only part-time, but it’s a start.

I’m driving for a medical courier company. Locally owned company and super friendly people to work with, even at the medical facilities.

I rode for the first time yesterday and everyone seems nice. You basically pick up bodily fluids (blood, urine, what have you!) from the doctor’s office and deliver them to a main lab, downtown, at a hospital. I won’t mention names since it’s confidential. And everything is sealed, bagged and kept in a cooler, so totally safe.

I’m not thrilled about being in a job that uses so much plastic, non-reusable bags and gas-powered vehicles, but this is the job. It’s super easy, flexible and pays well. I wish I had an electric car, then it would be even more lucrative and better for the environment. Maybe in the future I can afford a gasless car. That would be great.

But in spite of the impact on the environment, I am providing an essential service for patients. I can’t believe there isn’t a better way to transport lab work, but I don’t know enough about the industry yet to say. It’s 2017 though. Where’s the jetpack lab service we’ve all been dreaming about? Or on-the-spot blood and urine analysis with micro-biobots? Is that a dream everyone’s been having?? LOL

It’s something to pay the bills, get us by, and not have my soul slowly sucked out of my body in a mindless corporate atmosphere.

Plus, I start tax school in just a few weeks and that I’m looking forward to. I don’t support the current tax structure, but it’s what we have and I can’t wait to understand it better. I can still attend the school for free and it fits with my new schedule. Awesome!

And, of course, I’m going to still try and get Crafty B Designs off the ground again, start my party planning adventures, write my socks off. 🙂

It feels good to be productive again. To have my brain and body back. To find my determination and exuberance as well. I had them in my 20s. I missed you, Life.

I do have some really bad ear and jaw pain right now, but not enough to slow me down. I have a doctor’s appointment September 28th to rule out thyroid cancer residual nodules in my lymphnodes or such. Fingers crossed. Hopefully it’s just some weird sinus/ear tube thingie that’s easily treatable yet annoying as heck. And hopefully they won’t require a lab sample! LOL They would make me take it to the lab myself, I’m guessing.

So I’m no longer Taxi Beaver for people, just their fluids. ;D

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Great Jorb!

If you ever watch Homestar Runner. Then you will know who Coach Z is. He has a thick Great White North accent. That’s what it sounds like to me. Anyway, he says, “Great jorb!” a lot, which is “great job” in Minnesotan. I assume that Coach Z likes a good hot dish. Tater Tot Casserole, anyone?

So, I’m looking for a great jorb. One that satisfies my passions, interests and mostly, outstanding bills. I would take just about anything at this point. I technically have a job, but it doesn’t start until October. There’s several weeks of unpaid training and I wouldn’t start making money until January. Sigh. It’s through a local tax service, so we’ll see. If I can find something before then, obviously I will take it. But jobs are scarce around here during the off-season. Off-season being June through late November. Not many tourists around.

During the on-season, you have to make as much money as you can to supplement those lean months. That’s what we’re learning from locals anyway. There’s stupid amounts of money to be made when the tourists are here. If we need extra jobs during the holidays, I’m okay with that if we can breathe easy during the summer. Whatever it takes.

So I’m currently up for 3 different jobs. One is through the school district. It’s a minimum wage job, but fairly easy with limited responsibilities. I would mainly take the job to get my foot in the door and benefits. Although, I don’t know if I qualify for benefits if I’m part-time. But to be in the district as an employee has advantages. I can at least start applying for better jobs and receive free testing for those better jobs. If you’re not an employee, you have to pay for testing.

The second job is at a local Escape Room. You pay someone to lock you in a room and you have to sleuth your way out. It’s a modern-day Agatha Christie novel and you solve puzzles to open the door. Locked-room mystery! Ever play that computer game, MYST from the 90s? Don’t, if you haven’t! But it’s kinda like that. Is there anyone who doesn’t know what Escape Room is? Let me Google that for you. LOL

I think that this job would actually be perfect for me, but the pay isn’t great. I would definitely take it. But if a job that pays more came along, I wouldn’t be able to turn it down. Maybe they’ll take me part-time? Don’t know.

The third job is freaking awesome, but it seems too good to be true. Photography assistant. Boy. I would love this. And the pay is awesome. They want someone with marketing, photography and Photoshop skills. That’s obviously me. I hope they like me, like my skills, actually want to pay me what they are advertising. I go for an interview Monday.

The job market down here is sketchy. People advertise positions, but sometimes never call you. People claim benefits and great pay, but don’t always deliver. Make appointments and then cancel. Say things in front of you like, “Oh yeah, there’s no state income tax so I could actually pay you less than what I just quoted you.” And then never call you back because they figured out mid-interview they could hire someone else for less money because they never published the pay rate in their shitty Craigslist ad. Some employers here are just downright crazyflakes! I’m hoping this guy is legit and not just another Florida nut.

It’s for a high-end automotive car dealership. The guy is nice, but down-to-business. He says what he’s thinking. That can be a blessing and a curse. I think it’s a good fit, but how can you ever know?? Wish me luck! I just need a job. 🙂

Horsey

Technically, this is a goat. But I’m wearing flannel!


Oh boy! I feel like a 5-y-o again. Next Wednesday, I meet with a woman to discuss her part-time position for a stable hand. It would be taking care of 6 horses one day a week.

I get to meet a horsey!! Yay. Even if they don’t need or want me (I watched a Youtube on mucking a stall! Our horses just went outside wherever they wanted!) I get to wear overalls and touch a horse! Whee!

We had about 10 horses when I was a kid. I loved to brush and feed them. We rode as often as Dad or Mom would allow us. We had saddles, bridles, brushes. I loved the smell of leather and their sweaty, shiny hair.

Some were ponies, so even at the age of 6, I could stand shoulder to shoulder with my horse and hug her around the neck. That’s a great feeling.

Muscular legs, round bellies, tender brains, soulful eyes. We loved to feed them apples, carrots and just pet them. They were a friendly bunch. We even had a foal on St. Patrick’s Day and called her Patty. lol One slobbered on my red felt cowboy hat and turned it green just in that spot. lol

People never assume I know my way around horses, but I do. I’m not frightened, I know how to lead them and the principles of riding. I even worked on a small ranch at 18 during the summer.

This farm girl doesn’t mind getting dirty and dusty. And now, I have the energy to do something like this. At least one day a week. Yee-haw!!


In honor of meeting a horse, here’s my Bradbury-esque 451-word essay, The Ravine. It was inspired by an event from when I was very young and a dog ran one of our horses down. 😦

I am a complete and utter failure.

No. I’m not. But I play one in the job market. I didn’t get a job that I really wanted.

I’ve been looking for a job for over a month now. I’ve lost track of how many jobs I’ve applied for. I was driving the taxi, but I didn’t feel safe (drunk, belligerent, physically violent riders and creeps in the middle of nowhere) and the pay was terrible. 12-hour shifts and I would only bring home about $50-ish. Granted, I was on-call, so I wasn’t running the whole time. But when they call, you have to go. So it’s not like I was doing much else when I was on.

Sometimes, I would sit down to relax and do something else for a few minutes and boop-boop-boop, I’d get a call. No biggie. Most of the customers were super nice and good tippers. But I was making less than $5/hour.

I started thinking, “I could work a 4-hour shift at McDonald’s, 5 days a week and bring home more than I’m making now. Customers got weird after a certain time of the day and I cut my finger on the jenky driver door handle. The hours were killing me, health-wise, and it was causing conflict in our family. Gassing up in a downpour and standing ankle-deep in a water puddle solidified the sucky-ness of the job and I called to tell the guy, “I’m done. It doesn’t make any sense.”

He understood. But now? I’m jobless.

I have to make this work. For my family. I need a job.

I applied for this awesome graphic designer job at a local college and they called today to say I didn’t get it. Oh well. But dang! I gave a great interview. One of the best I’ve ever given. It just wasn’t meant to be, I guess.

If something doesn’t happen soon? Mickey D’s it is. Until I can get something real. I don’t want to do that, but I have to make rent. I even applied to the local movie theater. They haven’t called. There’s no other option. We can’t go home. We’ve sold everything of value. We have to have a car and shelter.

Thank God, Guy has his security job. Without it, we’d be headed back home to live in someone’s basement.

I love writing, but it doesn’t pay the bills. I’ve even tried to find freelance jobs at online writing hubs. No luck. I’ve tried freelance graphic design in the same context.

Not sure why, but I’m just not finding anything. They said I had an impressive portfolio (the woman in the interview raved about my tagline, yes, I came up with it, on my Opengarden Restaurant billboard “If the ingredients on your plate were any fresher, they’d still be growing!”–she said, twice, “I LOVE that.”) , but they went with someone else. Huh?

I have two options next week. I hope something works.

I haven’t lost heart yet, but it doesn’t seem great. I’ve been here before and the good news? I’m still here. Chin up, Maggio. Someone wants you.

I just don’t know who that is yet! 🙂

Losers

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I feel so bad! Sorry, Losers!

I was driving two weekends ago and one of my rides was from a bar. I don’t judge.

When the call came in, the lady said, “Can you come pick me up? I’m at Losers.”

Now. This bar was loud. She was drunk (thank you by the way for calling a cab!) and I *thought* she said Losers. I still don’t know this area very well. 🙂

“NO! Hoosiers!”

Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!

“Oh! Okay. I’ll be right there!”

I felt so bad. You’re not a loser, Ma’am. You just like to party.

Would you go to a bar named Losers?? A place you know you belong. LOL 😉

88

Slow down, you move too fast.

I met a gentleman this morning with the most lovely accent. From Virginia. He was 88. I could listen to him talk all day.

I knew moving into this driving job, I would meet interesting people. Aromatic people, talkative people, desperately lonely people. But I had no idea I would meet magical people.

“I just need to stay alive and keep a house going.”

That was his mantra all morning long.

Two things to keep in mind when you’re 88:

  1. Stay alive! (very important)
  2. Keep a place going (also very important)

Survival and shelter. Can’t argue with that.

I carried him to Winn-Dixie to get some groceries. From here on known as grosh. As I helped him out of the car and into the store, he kept reciting things he would be doing. He was full of helpful tips and practical suggestions. To everything he stated, to affirm I was listening, I replied, “Smart.” and “Good idea.”

He would reply, in the most charming Southern drawl, “Smart?! Only way to go as I see it.”

I love you, sir. Let me help you with your grosh.

Two things to keep in mind when you’re 44 (exactly half his age, that would be my age):

  1. Stay alive
  2. Keep a place going

Got it. Smart. Only way to go as I see it.

314.4

W-T-What???!

I am 314.4 today. YEAH! Whoosh! I can’t believe this. I feel so friggin’ happy right now.

I just had a graphic design interview and it went really well. Came home, weighed myself and I had dropped like 5 lbs. since this morning. Crazy! When it drops, it drops.

I hope you all are doing well today. 🙂 It seems like the sun is just a little brighter. Hopefully for you too!

I took this driving job I currently have to just get by and pay the bills. I don’t really like it. There’s a lot of strange clientele at 3 am on the weekend, even in Venice. So I really hope I can snag this graphic design job. It’s at a college and I think I would be a perfect fit for them.

I was knowledgeable and outgoing. I could answer all of their questions with confidence and experience. So prayers please. If this interview was a board, then I was the hammer that nailed it. LOL

I had a little sign that it was going to be okay right before I walked in. I am bigly into signs. LOL

On the way to Florida (just moved here from KC about a month ago), roadtripping with my daughter down the highway, we kept hearing Ed Sheeran’s Castle On the Hill. It’s an exuberant song with much meaning for me. Floating down the road toward Florida, I just felt so many emotions. Loss, hope, regret, happiness, relief, anxiety, restored health and well-being. A mix of tears and joy. And this song just seemed to sum up everything I was feeling. We heard it over and over, driving for days. But I loved it each time.

Well. This morning, trying to make it to my interview, I was unsure of where I was going and I thought I was running a bit behind. Plus, I had to go to the bathroom and didn’t know if I would have time to pop into a bathroom before my interview. So. I prayed.

Please, God. Let me make it there. Let it be easy to find. Let me have time to break for the bathroom.

And as I was praying, this song came on. I just felt so hopeful at that moment. The song just makes me want to pump my fist out of the car window and let the wind whip my short hair around. With a brave whoop and whistle, I just want to jump around and conquer anything in front of me.

So I found the school just 1-2 minutes after turning. Turned in, found the building, found the room, found the loo 🙂 and nailed my interview. Best interview I’ve ever given possibly.

Thank you, God. Thank you, Ed. Thank you, Universe.

Let your will be done, God. But thank you for a good day. Praise be to your name.

Taxi Beaver!

Thanks, Guy (my husband) for my new nickname. 😀

So, I went in for training today for my new job. It’s easy! I think I will be able to do this. I work Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the evening and overnight. It’s a local car service with friendly customers.

It was hot today, but I’ll be driving an air-conditioned car and working mostly after the sun goes down.

TIP: Get a night job in Florida. It helps with the heat!

Speaking of tips, I hope I make some bank. I’m outgoing when I need to be and an expert at small talk. Just ask people what they do and like and you never have to say a word. Be kind, be open and let people talk about their favorite subject–themselves!

If you pay me? You can say whatever you want. lol Just be careful, you might end up as a character in my first novel. And you will die a slow, painful, embarrassing death. lol 😉

I feel obligated to watch old reruns of Taxi now. I just watched Taxi Driver the other day. So I’ll check that one off my list. If I just do a better job than Travis Bickle, I’ll be okay.

I also want to wear my plaid cabbie hat. It’s required.hat

Take Heart

Psalm 61:2 (NIV)
From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

OR this version which is much cooler and grammatically correct (LOL):

GOD’S WORD Translation
From the ends of the earth, I call to you when I begin to lose heart. Lead me to the rock that is high above me.


So, like, bring me to a higher place, a higher ground. Right? High above me. Like, way up there! Pull me up!

But about losing heart. Losing nerve. Losing courage.

It’s hard to be brave when you’re playing chicken with job satisfaction and basic human needs. Right?

Justification upon justification says, “Pay the rent. Enjoy air-conditioning. Eat food.”

And Jesus said to the rich man, “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.Mark 10:21

Gulp. He didn’t say anything about A/C and paying the rent.

But this was the rich man’s stumbling block. The thing that kept him from God. The one thing he wasn’t willing to do. Walk away from his most precious accomplishment. His most closely-held ideal.

Jesus knew that. He knew the man’s heart, the core of what drove this man every day–get money, things, wealth and power. And Jesus challenged that. Like he does!

The man was rich. You don’t wake up rich, I’ve tried. You have to really bust your hump to get it. You may even have to screw someone else to get ahead. In fact, most definitely.

The passage ends with sadness. The man is deeply sad because his eager heart is confronted by his unmotivated flesh. The account reads, “…the man’s face fell.”

So, his face was all “Yes! I love you Jesus! *SMILES* I’ll do anything for you, just tell me, ’cause I don’t know what to do with all this intention and I’m so excited by you!”

Jesus: Give it all up! Walk away from everything you hold dear. Be like me. Live on faith.

And then, his face was all “That’s the worst news I’ve ever gotten.”

I’ve been there.

This is hearing from Jesus:
To a porn addict: Just come on over to church when you get that whole porn-sex thing figured out.
To an overeater: Stop eating so much and I’ll see you over here!
To a gun collector: Yeah, sell all those things that make you feel safe and powerful and then follow me into a really bad neighborhood.

Uh. What?

Yeah.

I don’t think Jesus was telling the man do this or you can’t hang out. He was saying, “Oh, you want the answer? You won’t like it. It’s not easy!”

He was explaining. “The road I choose for you and the path you’re on don’t merge. Getting to my road isn’t going to be easy. It’s complicated. And you’re going to have to let go of everything that is materialistic. Can you do that? Are you still happy and eager?”

It’s like hearing about this job that you can have where all the best versions of life come true and you have everything you’ve ever wanted emotionally, financially and physically. But you have an hour commute. Or the job is on the other side of the world. The neighborhood is rough. Or there’s no neighborhood…on the other side of the world!

Have everything you ever wanted, but here’s the price: giving up everything that ever made you feel comfortable.

It’s like losing your heart. Losing the very thing that you thought made you tick, motivated you, drove you, inspired you. And you find out, all along, you were ticking to another machine. A greedy, oily machine that disgusts you. But you can’t live without it.


It’s much harder when you’re making decisions for 3 people and not just yourself. I’m married with one child. That’s a decision I made a long time ago and didn’t even have to think about. Yes! A thousand times, yes. Give me those choices, over and over, and I’d give the same answer–yes! Yes, to my husband. Yes, to my baby. Yes, to a lifetime of laughter, love and fulfillment.

But I have wandered this lonely planet for years in search of the right “job” for me. Because wife and mother doesn’t pay very well. 😉 I would love to be a writer who gets paid to spit wisdom on paper. I would love to work from home doing graphic design, photography, acting, writing, creative stuff. But nobody pays you for that. Or if they do, it’s not enough to pay the bills.

I would actually love to serve a mission before I die and help others. Live in a hut. Roll around in the mud. Haul water. Build things. Take showers outdoors. Not take showers at all. Meet people. Love on people. Stinky people.

I know that comes with many challenges. Sickness, loss, difficult physical conditions. No luxury! And how can I choose that for 2 other people?

But if I know anything, those moments are the ones we live and die for, the ones where we feel most connected to other humans. We don’t clean and count our possessions. We see and touch and talk to other humans. What are we living for if not God’s people, each other, our neighbor?

Things are nice. Things are really nice. Comfortable. Secure. Reassuring. Downright luxurious. But I don’t think God created us to be comfortable. Right? Idk. Most of the time, following Christ has moved me out of my comfort zone. Which I hate. But what does a person accomplish in their comfort zone? Even internally?

I’ve never truly loved another person inside of my comfort zone. My husband regularly pushes me into Uncomfort Zone. Being a mom isn’t always comfortable. High rewards in both relationships, but I am often challenged to love without limits. But I don’t want to!

Loving cute little babies and sexy husbands is easy. It’s when they aren’t so attractive that makes it a challenge. “Hey, Babe, do this thing I know you hate just because I like it.” or “Hey, Mom, drop what you’re doing and come help me.” Sigh.

OR

My husband said to me the other day, “Triggered!” Which is our shorthand for, “Leave me alone, I can’t deal with your issue, get off my back! Back up off me, Bro!!” And I hollered back, “Me triggered!” And he just softened so much. His eyes changed to deep compassion and empathy for me. At the drop of two words. He was way outside his comfort zone and loved on me. That’s marriage. That’s being outside of your comfort zone and loving.

Dropping your life, your issue, your house, your car, your bills, your ego at the door and following Jesus. Loving without limits. Driving to the bad neighborhood and helping. ‘Cause where else do they need help except the bad neighborhood? Doing the crummiest jobs because who else is doing them?


I have a chance for a job and it’s everything I always wanted. High emotional satisfaction, working for a nonprofit that espouses Christian beliefs, helping poor people find housing, using my graphic design skills, photography and other creative talents. 100% health and dental benefits. But it’s in a different part of town. It’s a drive for sure. But exactly what I want. Probably very rewarding. But I haven’t been offered the job. I’m in the initial stages of interviewing.

BUT! I have a job offer on the table. Office work. Part-time. Nothing glamorous. Not really in my field. A little, but it’s mainly answering the phone, scheduling rides and data entry. Some social media perhaps.

What do I do? Hold out for the perfect job? Or take the first thing I can get? I feel confident that I will have a job before the end of this month or next. (Unless I become famous for blogging, retire early and eat coconuts. LOL) Do I wait? Do I take the okay job and then quit when offered the full-time dream career? The okay job made it clear, “People come in and then leave me in a lurch, and I just need someone who’s gonna stay.” In light of that very explicit detail, I don’t want to start and then bail when I get something better.

I have been out of the traditional job market for so long, I don’t know what to do. Ethically and idealistically, my gut says don’t take okay and wait. There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer. But we need the dough. The perfect job isn’t so perfect either. There are drawbacks. But it’s my field of graphic design. I’ve waited so long to do what I went back to school for. Ugh.

What do I really want? What do I need to do for my family?


I’ll figure it out. But this is hard. Deep breath. Don’t spiral.

Take heart, be brave, find courage. Follow Jesus. Get dirty. Love without limits today. It’s just that easy!

LOL No. It’s hard.

But try it! It’s like climbing a rock. 🙂

You can be lead to that rock.
But you have to decide to climb it.
But you don’t have to climb it alone.

Lead me to the rock that is higher than me!