Good news!

I have a job! Hooray! Let me tell you the story:

When I first got here, Eli told me that he was certain that I could get a job at Safeway, a grocery store, as a deli clerk. My friends Felicia and Jonathan both work there, so it sounded great to me, especially since I wouldn't even really have to look for a job. So I applied just a few days after I arrived here and was really confident that I would hear back any day now.

Three weeks later...

I still hadn't heard back. Jonathan, Felicia, and Eli had all told me that Safeway people had my application and would call me really soon, but it hadn't happened still. However, over the previous couple of weeks, I heard a few stories about Safeway that weren't so appealing: they don't let people request off for holidays, they've been cutting hours but demanding the same amount of work, and they have ridiculous policies on how to handle people not completing all of their tasks. These are the woes of working for a major corporation, I hear. Plus, the deli has a negative atmosphere, and a couple of people recently quit just after a day of working.

Needless to say, I wasn't so excited to work there anymore. But as I was applying to more and more places and sending out more and more resumes, nothing else was coming up. I started to wonder if Safeway ever got around to calling me, would it be stupid to say no? Should I just be content with whatever I can get? I was praying about it, but still wasn't sure.

Yesterday morning I got a call. It went a little something like this:

"Yeah, hello, who is this?"
"This is ___ from Safeway!" [very upbeat and encouraging voice]
"Oh, hi!"
"Well, I've got your application in front of me, I was seeing if we could set up an interview. Are you still interested in the position?"
"Oh, yeah, definitely. I've just been waiting to hear back from a couple of places, but I would love to have an interview with you guys."
[Safeway lady has a complete change of tone; no more enthusiasm for me. In fact, she sounds really put off.]
"Oh, well, I don't really want to do an interview and wait around, so why don't you just figure things out, and I'll call some other people, and if there's still a position and you're still interested, we'll talk later."
"...ok. That sounds good. Thanks for calling."

I was like, um, excuse me for mentioning that I have in fact been looking for a job other places too, but I was still interested! I thought, well, maybe this is God's answer and I shouldn't work there. But I couldn't help feeling a little worried that I'd blown my chance with the only employer that had actually expressed interest in me so far.

However, my good friend Tara has worked at a café for years now and had told me the night before that they may be hiring soon, so maybe I could swing by just to meet Theresa, the manager. She still wasn't expecting them to hire for another 2-3 weeks, but at least I could put myself at the top of the list.

So that's what I did that afternoon. I met Theresa, but then she started asking me just a few questions about my experience and availability. She also asked me if I was okay with having to clean. I talked about my experience at Panera, said I was extremely flexible since I'm still not a student and don't have another job, and of course, I've cleaned a lot of places before, no problem. Then she started explaining how things run there, and I'm thinking, do I already have this job? She said she would look at a couple more applications and get back to me soon after she and Tara talk it over. Feeling pretty confident, I went back to the dining room and sat with Tyler for literally 5 minutes when Tara came up to me and said, "Hey, you're hired, yay! Let's come look at the schedule."

I was so excited! What started off as a lame day ended up with me having the best job I could imagine myself having right now - at a café where I can meet a lot of people (coworkers and regulars), with a positive environment and already lots of friends (Jo and Tyler also work there), where I can have really good, healthy food and coffee drinks for free, and where the schedule is so flexible they say they can only remember a couple of times when they couldn't give someone their request off.

I started today. Training was a little bit overwhelming since I'm being trained to do everything - drinks, food, register, etc. - but everyone is so patient and kind that it's not so intimidating, especially since Tara herself was training me. I'll probably still need to get another job soon, hopefully something like Spanish tutoring or maybe baby-sitting, but for now, this is perfect. Thank you for praying for me, and thank you God for providing in unexpected ways. :)

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