Monday, August 13, 2007

Trying To Find Work

I had an interview this morning at a high school in lower Manhattan; Jade came with me and sat outside the school in which I was interviewed because we had decided to go to the New York City Department of Education in Brooklyn to inquire about any possible open positions - neither one of us were hearing anything and have been starting to feel desperate for work.

The day started badly; the principal with whom I had scheduled the interview had advised me that I should call his office (he provided the phone number) because the school is locked for the summer. After arriving at the school, I called a number of times only never to have my phone calls answered. After having spent about 10 or 15 minutes calling, someone finally answered the phone and transferred me to the principal who said he had just left being downstairs but would send someone down. I sat in his office until 11:30 (the interview had been scheduled for 11); he called me in, asked me a couple questions and asked me if I had any for him (which I did, albeit I focused on the curriculum); I asked how many positions were available (there was just one), and what the next step was (he was interviewing the rest of today and tomorrow, and would make his decision tomorrow; if I didn't hear from him I could assume that I was not being offered the job). The total interview time was about 12 minutes. I don't expect to hear from him.

Jade and I then went way uptown to meet Vhary for lunch, which was lovely; and then Jade and I went to Brooklyn to the Department of Education. We stood in line to ask about possible employment but instead were told that we should apply online, that we would be contacted if anything was available. It was at this point it dawned on me that the alleged severe teacher shortage that New York City is encountering might not be as dire as is made out to be. I inquired about the possibility of substituting, which I would actually prefer; obviously the salary is smaller but I can survive well on it temporarily, and at this point I still need a flexible schedule to offset my graduate classes and working at the LIU Writing Center.

However, the lady at the D.O.E. (who was very nice) advised me to go to room 403 (the subbing department, in essence) in inquire about the process; I went to room 403 only to be told to go to room 408, and then to room 503, at which point an employee who was marginally helpful told me to go back room 403. I realized I needed to be very blunt with what I wanted, at which point the woman with from whom I had initially requested information in room 403 told me I had asked her for information that I hadn't, which is why she sent me to another department.

In the midst of all this floor-hopping, in the elevator, Jade, who was not really listening in on the conversations I was having, asked where we were going; I told her in no uncertain terms that I was going back to the original room to which we had been sent to tell them quite professionally what I thought of them; standing back in the original line she and I had stood in when we had gotten to the D.O.E., a gentleman approached me and said he couldn't help but overhear what I had said in the elevator, and had I been helped to my satisfaction, and had I gotten the right forms? That almost made the whole trip worthwhile.

Tomorrow I have an interview at a tutoring place that theoretically allows its employees to tutor for up to 40 hours a week. And this evening I also got an e-mail from a principal in the Bronx who wants me to come in with a drawing of my ideal classroom and a list of resources and supports I would need to support such a practice. I'm excited by this prospect, and interested in such planning, and a bit afraid, too.

But I have to admit that after today, I'm just feeling a bit dejected.

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