Looking for a job is one of my least favorite activities, but for some reason I find myself doing it every year or so. I’m usually not too bad at it. This time I seem to be welcoming a few additional challenges that have previously never been included in my job searches.
1. The economy is bad. There are a lot more people looking for jobs, and the hiring parties can afford to be a lot choosier and a lot lazier. Most applications are online, no phone number or address included. This is not great for me because I am much better in person – not so great in type.
2. My heart is just not into it. I usually leave a job under my own choice, and I am usually already working at the job that will replace it. It’s hard to have the “go out and get ’em” attitude that is necessary during a job search when all you want to do is find the rug that was just under you.
3. I keep finding jobs that have an unheard of amount of paperwork and preliminary requirements. This is what brings me to the title of this post. You see, I have a conditional agreement to work as a youth counselor for Norwegian Cruise Lines in Hawaii in the fall. It is conditional because I have to provide a lot of information and receive a lot of certifications before I can actually work. The last thing on my list of things to fax in to my future employers was a copy of my criminal record from my current county of residence. Today I looked up the location of the county buildings that I thought would be appropriate and set out to collect a copy of my blank criminal record.
At this point in the story, I need to let you know that I live in a tiny town, and I did not grow up here.
Of course the first building I tried was not the building that I needed to go to. I was at the county administration building, but I needed to be at the sheriff’s office. A kind, well-meaning woman tried to give me directions to the sheriff’s office. After we established all the things that I don’t know about (“Do you know where _____ is? No. Well, then do you know where ____ is? No.), she attempted to explain the route without using any road names at all. I kid you not, these were the two, the only two, landmarks I had to go on:
“Bay-er leyft at the cheeeli dawg playce in the meedle of the roahdah.”
“Turn raight at the laighthayouse chuurch.”
“Theeyn just falla the saigns that say ‘Shayriff’s Ahhffice.”
The sign on the wooden archway is the only sign that lets you know this is the sheriff’s office, and it was almost impossible to read. The paint was flaking off of everything. There were prisoners standing around outside. I was scared! I said a prayer as I walked into the building. Fortunately, I walked into the right door and was not escorted into a cell. I received my non-existent criminal record and high-tailed it out of there! (Not without snapping a quick picture from inside my car.)
The moral of the story: if you need to get any official stuff done in the country, bring a friend or let someone know where you’re going.