As of March 1st I joined the unemployed masses. I knew it was coming all year, despite my dad’s and wee mum’s valiant efforts–and they were valiant–to keep me employed until I finally found a job elsewhere. Working for them was never intended to be permanent, but at least now I have more incentive to job hunt harder.
I admit I got complacent. Not proud of it. I have my excuses surround how much of a pain in the ass and how stressful the whole job hunting process is, but really, it’s “Oh, well. Too bad.” This headache-inducing misery is part of the perks of job hunting. Yeah, I cried the night before my last day at work, but the next day I was fine. Sure, my chest hurt (not ached) from stress and fear, but I was able to put on a genuine smile, hum to my music, and get some writing done. I also prepared for a job interview at Fenway Park for Friday. Yes, all you lovely Boston fans, Fenway.
The job is called Fan Photographer, something I think would be an absolute blast. You walk around with a camera for up all 80 home games. You also work on tours and special events, and there are two other jobs besides roaming photographer. It’s $8-9/hr plus 4% commission, and bonuses employees compete for. A modest living in an amazing environment you won’t find anywhere else.
I made that paper pin you see. The lady who interviewed me liked it so much that I offered it to her and she took it. The exchange surprised me. I’d been so afraid it’d come off cheesy, despite the strong encouragement from a family member who retired from a career of marketing. Yeah, them voices in yer head can be quite meddlesome.
I drove 1 hour 45 minutes to Boston and had a good laugh when the GPS pronounced Brighton as “brig-teh.” It gave me pause when I first heard it, but when it repeated the exit, the lady’s voice confirmed I’d heard her correctly. I showed up 75 minutes early and discovered that there’s never free parking around Fenway. At least it was $15, instead of 30-40, but I wasn’t in a hurry to fiddle with parking meters, much less find a place to parallel park and traipse around in dress shoes not meant for long walks.
Half an hour before the interview (still an ungodly long time) I entered Fenway via Gate D with an equally scared and excited interviewee named Irene. Both of us got blasted by a space heater that no amount of hairspray could pull your hair back into place, but at least it was cool to be standing inside the park while it was almost empty. You could feel all the excitement and energy. You just had a skeletal crew to share it with. I had to resist the urge to explore and potentially get kicked out and miss the interview. So I behaved and chatted it up with my new acquaintance, who, after some discussion, downloaded the Kindle app along with a copy of my book onto her phone right in front of me. That floored me, but at least I retained the mental faculties to thank her a few times in about the space of a minute.
When it was almost time for the group interview, I inadvertently walked up to who I thought was a fellow interviewee but turned out to be the manager of fanfoto. I smoothly introduced myself and shook hands with her, who looked to be no older than me, then stood in line right outside the gate.
There were about 20 interviewees. We started off with 45-second introductions of ourselves. We weren’t allowed to talk about Red Sox, baseball, or photography. Easy enough for me. I just talked about launching my author career and was candid about how humble my beginning is without downplaying such a feat. Then the two ladies conducting the interview talked about the company, the jobs they’re hiring for, and answered all our questions. After that, we broke off into groups and took turns using a Nikon camera. Yes, I got my hands on that camera first, haha.
After that, they interviewed us individually for 2-5 minutes apiece. No clue how long mine lasted. The lady I shook hands with before everything started interviewed me herself. She took the version of the résumé with the watermarked pictures on it, along with the five photos I printed out and the button I made. I was prepared to answer more questions than she asked, but all we did was discuss what was on my résumé–mostly my ability to take photos and what customer service experience I had, and if I’d move to/near Boston if I got the job.
I know I did very well during the interview but now I have mixed feelings about the job after learning how modest the pay is. Still, it’s Fenway. It would be a blast. Now I just have to figure some things out and weigh whether the job is smart or not.
What are my living options? Rent a room? Rent an apartment? Suck up having roommates? What about my cats? Can I move within half hour of the park and take a bus? We don’t even get parking passes to work there, which is rather insulting from my perspective. Yes, they mentioned one place I can show my employee badge and they’ll give me free parking, but I was expecting something more organized/professional. But… it’s Fenway. The Red Sox. All those lovely people excited to be at my workplace. The pay feels geared more towards college-age kids looking for part-time work. There were two high schoolers and I don’t think there was anyone above age thirty in that room. Do I get a second job–technically a third? I really want to push my writing, but I still need a reliable income. How fast would I wear out with two jobs and a closet writing career? Am I underestimating commission? Can I negotiate a slightly better starting wage, considering I have a car payment to make? To me, this feels like a once-in-a-lifetime type of job. Even with the crap pay, who knows what kind of doors and paths it would open up?
So, if they offer me the job, I’ll have some questions. And on top of that, who knows how my novel will fare?
On a more writerly note, here is one of the three short stories I’ve written so far. I’m very open to feedback before my ePublisher presents it to the masses on amazon.com. Happy reading and critiquing!