Friday, July 24, 2009

The Interview that Almost-Was

Yesterday I got my first call for an interview for a journalism job. She asked when I was available, and without hesitation I said “well, I’m free tomorrow.” I was so excited that I was light-headed and giddy for hours.

Today I ironed, manicured, showered, did hair, and borrowed my boyfriend’s car since my air conditioning doesn’t work. And off I went. An hour and ten minutes later I was in the parking lot of the newspaper building.

Ten minutes before the interview, I decided to turn down the volume on my phone, only to find a message (that did not exist earlier in the day) that the interview was off: rescheduled to Monday if that works for me. Taking Monday off would royally tee-off my boss, and my next furlough day isn’t for 2 weeks. I'm still trying to figure out a solution to this problem.

I decided to sniff out the newspaper building and introduce myself to whoever was there—since I was in the parking lot anyway. I nabbed the latest edition and spent the next few hours driving and walking around.

The town itself is as cute as a bug. I’ve been exploring the city webpage, Wikipedia and google.maps for the past week, and it has a fascinating history. The town boomed in 1900 and became the IT destination for Victorian families in the winter months. A community of immaculate streets, grand Victorian and craftsman homes, brick churches and a few actual mansions, all surrounded by acres of orange trees. The town hosted three Presidents. Then a drought and the Depression combined to halt expansion of the town. Industry never moved in, and urbanity never sprawled far enough to threaten the turn-of-the-century structures. The town is a time capsule.

I went into a coffee shop and the girls at the counter (1 working, 2 visiting with her) greeted almost everyone who came in the door by name. I asked them if they could fill me in on the town, and it turned out that the barista had lived there all her life and just finished taking 4th graders on a tour of the historic sites. She gave me a list of places to see with directions. I spent the rest of the day driving around, taking pictures of some of the gorgeous homes, and walking up and down State St. – the main drag.

When I got home, I found that my former Travel Writing teacher responded to my email asking for advice on the job search. He gave me some excellent tips on improving my resume and cover letter, and also gave me some frightening news:

The Grunion Gazette job - a weekly newspaper in Long Beach - received 163 applicants in the first three days after posting an ad for an entry level reporting job.

So – even though I drove for over an hour in 101 degree heat only to get postponed, I still consider myself to be one lucky duck.

Maybe I can take a couple hours off without ticking off my boss too much.

[Yes, I am still going to post the rest of the Kauai trip. I’ve just been spending all my time on cover letters for the past three weeks.]


Lauren :) said...

Cool! Congrats :) Is the Grunion paper the one you're interviewing for? I thought the interview was for a daily?

Lauren :) said...

(Congrats on beating the statistics anyway...)

LV said...

No, not the Grunion. That was just an example of how competitive it is right now.