I had a job interview yesterday. This was excellent news, because it was disheartening not to be called for any interviews. However, do not be thinking that there is a happy ending, because there isn’t. They intend to offer me the job, pending the results of a background check. I am not interesting enough to worry about a background check. But I cannot afford to take this job. It is a pay cut of about $8,000 from my previous job, and I wasn’t rolling in lucre before.

The key, then, is to make sure not to allow them to offer me the job, so that I will not have to admit to the unemployment office that I refused work.

I can hardly stand to admit to myself that I refused work. However, I had a pleasant chat with one of the guys from the unemployment office today in which he explained how I can do freelance work (at least some) without giving up my unemployment benefits (at least entirely), so I think they are realistic people, and would understand that I can’t take a job that pays only slightly more than the unemployment benefits.

Or I could fail to take the employer’s call.

This is an assistant manager position at a local bookstore. It is good to know what such positions pay. I had actually applied for the manager’s position, but they promoted from within (and good for them) and then called me as second choice to interview for the assistant.

The interview was quite interesting. The manager was a spunky little woman with a high, tense voice. She seemed very sweet and very driven. She never stopped talking for the entire hour of the interview. I had prepared answers to all kinds of possible questions, but I don’t think she ever asked me one.

She had been at Victoria’s Secret before she took up selling books and music, and she told me it wasn’t very different. Bras and panties, books and music.

It was very different from my previous bookselling experience. Big-box corporate retail is just a whole nother thing. My kids worked at Abercrombie, so I had a taste of it through them, but really it was fascinating to hear about the whole system. The corporate office decides the work schedules (including twelve-hour shifts and late night merchandising marathons), the stock that will be sent to the store, where everything should be put, how much is to be sold each day, and what music is to be played loudly all day long.

“It’s really easy,” the manager assured me, and I believe her. You just follow the directions. The other worker who was there that day had worked for the corporation for twenty years, so I guess it must be reasonably pleasant.

I am disappointed that it didn’t turn out to offer a living wage. I would have liked to have been safely employed again. If it had been even a little more, I could have done it as the safety net for my freelance work. But the safety net really has to cover basic living expenses, it seems to me.

Still, it was cheering to have an interview.

I have some excellent plans for Client #3. I am excited about my assignment with Client #2, as well, though I didn’t get a chance to get to it yesterday. Fortunately, his assignment involves distilling the keyword development process down to a step-by-step process, and I have been doing that for my other clients, so I am still making progress on the research phase of his project.

I am going to take the weekend off. Housework, gardening, errands, music, lolling around. That’s the plan.