Working hard at hardly working

Some of you may know I am currently on a job hunt. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for an eternity now. My daughter is five and will be in school full time this fall, so it’s time.

Plus the other day I called up the automated teller at our bank and she snidely said, “Your current balance is: diddly dollars and squat cents.” Sure, we’re broke. But did she have to be so mean about it?

Some of you may also know I have been babysitting an 11 month old at my home since she was three months old. While it is sad to say goodbye to her after practically considering her a member of our family for almost a year, I have to admit I am giddy with excitement to be forever done with formula, bottles, diapers… baby food being flung at my face (on some days, diapers being flung at my face) etc. It’s bittersweet to know my baby-caring days are finally over, but it’s also a door I am ready to walk (okay, run) through and never look back.

As fate would have it, there is a full time job opening at my daughter’s elementary school for an Educational Technician. Something I’ve done in the past, so thankfully, I will not have to submit to the superintendent of schools my poignant but 100% fake resume, Mom for Hire. Which is a smart move because I would hate for the school to give me a poignant but fake ed tech contract and/or poignant but fake paychecks.

So it seems the Maineiac is embarking into the working world again. Scary.

I have to tell you that I did consider other jobs before I applied for this ed tech position.

Steven Tyler (left) on American Idol with fell...
Image via Wikipedia

Judge on American Idol
I can slurp out of a Coke cup while crushing a singer’s dreams with the best of them. Also, I can pull off the raggedy-anne, gypsy, never-know-what-crazy-s***-will-come-out-of-his-mouth Steven Tyler look no problem.

Andy Rooney’s Replacement on 60 Minutes As you can see with my old post here, I am very curmudgeonly, I’m getting older, and I’m generally plain ticked off at all the stupid little things in this world. Like mixed nuts. What is the deal with those? Really poaches my eggs. Frosts my cookies. Bunches my shorts. Fries my taters.

Paula Deen’s Assistant My experience with two young kids (and a husband) have enabled me to hone skills such as: slapping your hand when you reach for the cookie jar, hoarding all the M&Ms in a secret place or wrestling the Reddi Wip out of your death grip before you overdose.

Kim Kardashian’s Butt I don’t think more needs to be said here.

Newt Gingrich’s Ex-wife I think I may already be one, who knows really.

Extreme Blogger Much like the couponers, but with less money saved and less stacks of useless boxes of toothpaste in my garage.  Ideally, I would like to start writing two or three posts a day, every day for a solid year. And get paid for it. After I start my real job, I am afraid my posts will be about once every month. You’re welcome.

Which reminds me to tell you all that I will continue to read your blogs. I will be laughing or crying over your posts. Probably laughing through tears. Or maybe even scoffing and rolling my eyes. Who knows? But rest assured, I will be clicking that damn ‘Like’ button we all love so much. (Still waiting for the D’oh! button k8edid)

So wish me luck and a fat paycheck that is real.

102 thoughts on “Working hard at hardly working

  1. I’d love to see you judge American Idol! Best of luck with your job. Hopefully it will just be for a year or two until you move on to your dream job. We can all work on Paula Dean if you want- start a letter writing and video campaign.

    1. But my dream job is to sit here in my jammies and get paid to blog. You think that’s possible, Sue?

      Yes, Paula needs lots of help. But considering I am a self-confessed chocoholic, I might not be the best woman for the job.

    1. Kim, the first thing that popped into my mind was “Holy crap! I have nothing to wear!” then I realized ed techs can wear jeans so I dodged that bullet. (I won’t tell my husband that though…looks like a little clothes shopping spree is in my future)

  2. Darla! Congratulations and best of luck to you! I am so happy for you. You have been such a pivotal presence in your kids’ lives — I know you will succeed at the school. You just have a way with people, and that school is lucky to get you.

    Even though you’re going all corporate on us (teasing) I do hope you continue to blog. Your blog is a bright light in the blogosphere, and as another mom who may be returning to work in a couple of years, I’d love to see how things for you. You know, like a guinea pig. 🙂

    What a great way to start the year. Best wishes!

    1. Oh, thank you so much! Your comments really made me smile. Yes, I am getting all corporate and will be workin’ for a livin’ finally. Sigh! But I will be sure to never ever forget to spend my idle time blogging and commenting and liking posts, reading your blog. It’s the highlight of my day, really.

      And I will be sure to post about my working/parenting chaos to prepare you!

  3. Good luck! I am sure this new phase of your life will be amazing.

    I have a few more years till my little one is in school full time, but I will be in the same boat as you.

    Please keep on writing. You are truly talented.


    1. Thank you, Joe!

      By the way, are there any job openings where you work? And do you get a bonus with every GG caption you write? Damn, we could be rich. You are living the life, my friend, tattoos in Thailand…reading blogs at work…

      1. Someone would have to die before anything at my place came up. Only 9 of us and I’m the newest starter and I’ve been here almost 14 years. They are good at recruiting I’ll give them that, can’t be easy to find 9 (I was gonna say committed/loyal but it can easily be replaced by sad/unambitious) people

  4. Deborah the Closet Monster

    I am wishing you both these things and more, and not a one of them is ill! It’s a small price for all the laughter you inspire. (If only you could get paid for that!) ♥

    1. Thanks, Deb–if only. Writing is the highlight of my day. I suppose just knowing my blog may crack someone up (usually myself) is enough pay for me. (it wouldn’t hurt to get paid a little though….)

  5. Hi,
    Big changes for the New Year, a new journey coming up in your life, that is just fantastic. I wish you all the best in your new endeavors, and of course a good pay check to go with it is a must. 😀
    Loved the post.

  6. This is great news for you and your family. Perfect timing to be around for your daughter at her school. I know you will still be around. Good luck in the new position. They are lucky to have you. Check in to TGG’s caption contest before you leave for school…think about it during the day and I know those TGG awards will be coming your way.

    1. You are always so sweet, Georgette, thank you! Working at the same school is going to be so convenient for me.
      I will be sure to keep reading everyone’s blogs and entering into GG’s contest. It’s too much fun to pass up!

  7. Congratulations on the new gig and good luck with the real paycheck part. 😉 I’m still waiting for Chris Harrison (of Bachelor-host fame) to retire so I can be the new person to say “Brad, this is the final rose for the evening. When you’re ready…” I practice saying it in the mirror every night so that when opportunity knocks, I will NAIL that interview! 🙂

    Congratulations also for being a stay at home mother. I truly believe that it makes a GIGANTIC difference in the lives of kids– hooray for you!

    1. Teehee, I thought of getting a job on some reality show and The Bachelor would be a hoot, (as the host of course, otherwise, my husband might be a little ticked off) I think you would be perfect for that job!

      And being a stay at home mom, I have been so very lucky to even have had that opportunity. I know it’s time for something different though and to help my family in other ways financially will be good, too.

  8. Good luck, Darla! How exciting. You will kick the working world’s bum (again). Although I will certainly miss regular posts from you! (Then again, if you’re anything like me, the full-time job will make you crave the creative outlet all that much more!)

    1. Thanks, Jules. I have a feeling working probably will make me wanna write even more. Hopefully I’ll be writing less posts, but they’ll be better quality?…ha! I am running out of things to write about lately, it’s pretty unnerving not knowing what to write.

  9. Did you actually land the job? If so, many congrats! When do you start? What Jules said – you can still blog (hint, hint, threat). I’m sure you could do the judges’ job better than Steven Tyler, but do you have purple lips like him? So distracting – I wish he and J Lo would coordinate colors.

    1. Well the interview was going well until I mentioned in my contract I want to be addressed as simply D-Woww (J Lo had a huge problem with that one, such a diva) And Randy Jackson said I was ‘top dawg’ but a little “too pitchy”.

      The one job I am holding out for is Kim K’s butt. I think I can pull it off *fingers crossed* Think of the millions I will rake in! *looking into the distance dreamily*

      (the real job is looking good, no official word yet, but I know the teachers there very well and I have a good feeling about it, will know for sure next week, either way I am applying for every job out there)

      1. That’s great, Darla! A school job is perfect when you’re raising kids. If I had it to do over again, I’d be a teacher. Except for my total aversion to rigid schedules, enforced routine, being trapped indoors and children, it would be perfect for me.

  10. singleworkingmomswm

    Congratulations, Darla! Big news, big day! When do you start? I loved working in the school system, way back when I was working three part-time jobs instead of just one full-timer, ha, ha (one full-timer is much more manageable for this working mommy). You’ll do great, and yes, you can continue to blog regularly, you can, you can! If you need any time-saving pointers for doing everything at once (it’s a juggling act, girl) let me know! I have nothing but super supportive cyber hugs heading your way!

    1. They told me the position is open until filled, so probably will start in one week once I have my fingerprinting and paperwork all in.

      I will aim to blog at least once every few weeks (which was my normal pace last year) Thanks for your encouragement. It is a little daunting. I have had part time jobs over the years, but not a full time one. It will be stressful I’m sure to get in the swing of that and the kids and the household stuff. I don’t know how working moms do it but they should be commended!

  11. You know, if the “real job” doesn’t work out, let’s throw up one of those “Donate through Paypal” buttons on your blog and go to full-time writing. I’ll be your “+1” blogger on your site, and we’ll become multi-millionaires from the donations because everyone will feel sorry for us!

  12. Hooray for taking the plunge, Darla! Welcome back! I feel sort of like the Welcome Back, Kotter theme song would be appropriate here. And I’m sure you’ll find the same darling sweathogs you remember and love from your past life. I love, love, love your idea job ideas. Almost as much as I like your comparison of Steve Tyler to a Raggedy Ann gypsy.

    Seriously! This is big! Yay!

      1. Teehehe. Dontcha just hate that? When you hit the reply button and then realize you left a typo and in slow motion you yell out “Nooooooo!” but it’s too late? My greatest fear is that one of my comments on GG’s blog will be full of all kinds of mistakes and typos.

        And I loved your Welcome Back, Kotter reference. Reminds me of Vinny Barbarino saying “what? where? why?” and “up your nose with a rubber hose”….

      2. Tragic news for my fellow Welcome Back Kotter fans.

        “Robert Hegyes, who played Juan Epstein on ’70s sitcom “Welcome Back, Kotter,” died Thursday from an apparent heart attack. He was 60.

      3. I know, Elyse — how nuts! Not even an hour after I wrote that comment, I saw news on his death reported on someone’s Facebook page (of course). It’s not like I walk around talking about Welcome Back, Kotter every day. Oh wait. I do.

      4. That is sad! Rest in peace Epstein.

        *cue creepy music* And also very strange Angie would happen to mention the show right before he died…hmm…Don’t mention Saved by the Bell, Angie, Screech might die. (okay, if that actually happens now, don’t blame me)

  13. “I can slurp out of a Coke cup while crushing a singer’s dreams with the best of them.”
    Hahahahahahaha! That cracked me up.

    Congrats on landing a new job, Darla. Bonus that you’ll be at your daughter’s school (or not, maybe). And, MAJOR bonus that you can wear jeans! Sa’weet!

    So. Um. Yeah. What does an Ed Tech do?

  14. Congratulations to you! This is a new chapter and not without it’s delights and distractions. The best part? You get to be at your wee one’s school – neat. I will be happy to read what you write whenever you write it … Cheers! MJ

  15. You go girl! When I went back I had my very first panic attack. I was sure I would hate it. Sure that my new boss would be an ass (well, he helped me think that one up — he actually asked me in the interview: “What do you do when you get yelled at?” and I nearly didn’t take the job as a result — he never ever ever yelled and is one of the nicest men and a good good friend.)

    You’ll be great. You’ll be swell. You’ve got nothing to hit but the heights …

    Don’t be a stranger, though!

    1. Wow Elyse, how did you answer the “What do you do when you get yelled at?” question? I think I would have looked like a deer in the headlights! LOL Glad that it ended up working out for you, I can’t say the same for my psycho boss!

      1. I told him that it had been many years since I had been yelled at, and that I prided myself on finding my mistakes and correcting them before they were apparent. Later, when I told him that I nearly hadn’t taken the job because of that question he told me that the personnel office had given them training on interviewing and that was one of the questions they thought should always be asked. My friend/boss Paul, ummmm, doesn’t. Personnel types are often totally clueless!

    2. Elyse, I have never been asked that question before and I’ve been on countless interviews over the years. I’m curious what you answered. I would have said, “Burst into tears?” or “Yell back!” 😉

      It is very exciting and scary have a steady paycheck again and responsibilities outside the home but I am more than ready (I hope!)

      1. You ARE ready. It is a good feeling, As a SAH-Mom, which I loved, I felt that nothing ever got finished. House was never clean, kid was always a work in progress, etc. etc. At work you can start and finish something and it is DONE. Adios! You can see when you’ve done a good job within minutes or days, instead of years. It’s good for your self esteem.
        I told Fraha above what I answered, but AFTERWARDS I had a serious panic attack over the whole issue. I only agreed to take the job because I knew could quit if he was a jerk. In fact, he is one of the nicest people I’ve ever known.

      2. Elyse, I certainly hope so. Your comments have given me hope. As much as I have been very lucky to stay home, it is time to do something completely different with my life and I know it is the right time. I’m at the age where if I wait much longer, it will be very hard to get back into the working world.

  16. I would like to say good luck with your future, but I know it would be nice to blog and write and not have to get out of the jammies everyday instead. I was not able to be a stay at home mommy, actually daddy became daddy daycare for our boys, our work schedules just so happened to work out that way. Getting to my point…It is very hard to find time to write when you work full time outside the home and have your family to love too. But I think you are such a wonderful writer with such a great talent, and I hope to continue to see your posts, even if few and far away. Believe me, I get it. Once the kids are in bed, writing is on my mind, but somehow the TV catches the last so many brain cells that I have left from the day. But just reach for that computer as much as you can!

    1. Fraha, you summed it up perfectly. I think I will be so exhausted once I get home, pick up the kids, do the household chores, etc. that watching TV will be the only thing on my burnt out mind. I love to write and it is such a huge outlet for me so I plan on writing on the weekends to keep up with my blog. I love the blogging experience and seeing readers relate to things and all the comments have always been so kind–I won’t be able to give it up, that I know. I really do have a huge respect for all the bloggers out there that work full time, take care of their kids/family and still find time to write. Just wish there were a few extra hours in the day! Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate them, makes me want to keep on writing. 🙂

  17. Congratulations Darla. A job at your kids school is perfect. Not only can you wear jeans to work – [yes I’m jealous!!] – but you won’t have to drive across town in traffic jams, or leave your kids in daycare at the crack of dawn.

    1. Rosie, that is a huge concern for me. Working in the school system has a huge perk in that I’ll have the same time off as the kids, vacations and summertime. Daycare is super expensive (which is why I had to stay home all these years)

  18. AAAAAAAAACCCCKKKK. NOOooooo. How will I get my fix of your witty humor? Because you know…it’s all about me and my needs.

    Actually, I’m happy for you. Everything seemed to fall into place beautifully and you’ll be a hit with teachers and students. We’ll look forward hearing your stories at spring break. Best wishes.

    1. It IS all about you, Barb! 😀 Teehee. See, I’ve always thought I was just complaining in a humorous way…or just brutally honest maybe? 😉 Life is funny in so many ways, just telling it like it is seems to be enough.
      Thanks for the well-wishes. I will need them to get through the next month of adjustments!

  19. Brilliant! I could understand your enthusiams for wanting to work. For a brief 2 1/2 months I was unemployed as I transitioned out of the military and it was brutal! I COULDN’T WAIT to get back to work and to get away from my kids for a while as I was Mr. Mom (j/k).

    Best of luck with the job searching and I hope you can still find the time to blog!

    1. Ha ha! Yes, being Mr. Mom is a tough job, no doubt about it. My husband has told me many times he could never have the patience to be home with the kids every day. He can barely survive a few hours by himself. This is why he appreciates that I’ve been a stay at home mom for all these years (and still have some of my sanity intact…)
      Thanks for the well-wishes, Joe, and I certainly will find time to read and write–it’s my fave thing to do, after all.

  20. Best of luck Darla. You will be working at your daughter’s school. I hope you can’t ask for more. I studied at a school for seven years, where my mom was a teacher. That experience was something different. I remember all those days, still after so many years. I hope the same thing will happen with you.

  21. Honestly, I’m already a little terrified to return to work and I haven’t been home that long! I think the Andy Rooney job is a shoo-in. That or you can just write funny lines like these and sell them to bloggers with writer’s block (like, hmm, me) at a premium rate. I’d pay a dollar or two for this: “Like mixed nuts. What is the deal with those? Really poaches my eggs. Frosts my cookies. Bunches my shorts. Fries my taters.”….. Who says “fries my taters”? You do. And the blogosphere’s a funnier place for it 🙂

    1. Haha! Thanks, Tori. God, wouldn’t that be a racket, we could charge per line? You’d be rich. The older I get, the more stuff fries my taters, it’s just inevitable. I can’t take much credit. I get more blunt and crotchety every day. I really feel for the nurses at my future nursing home.

  22. Good luck! Just find some time to blog during working hours and you’ll be all set! Don’t tell anyone I said that. I think you’d be good at the Andy Rooney thing. In fact, I know of several bloggers that would be good at that so you may have some competition. Perhaps you should start reading all your posts into the video camera and Vlogging them here.

    1. Steve, that would be a dream, to find a computer at the school and sit down to blog on my break. Or I can just buy a new iPad to carry around with me. I should do more vlogs. It’s great for a lazy blogger like me. I do have an upcoming vlog of me singing a WordPress song. Your singing has inspired me to give it a shot. (I don’t sing as well as you do but I try….)

  23. Best of luck! I am a new follower of yours, but I have loved poking around your blog. 🙂 I have been a work-at-home mom since my oldest son, now 20, was 3. A long time. I don’t think I would be as brave as you to step back into the “working world,” so good on you! I love your Andy Rooney application — poaches my eggs!! Ha! I will have to remember that one. Good luck!

    1. Oh, thank you so much, Jeannette. I would think working at home would be quite the challenge as well. You should feel very proud. It is so scary for me to get back out there, but it’s necessary too. And I do think I’d be a great Andy Rooney. I could sit at my desk and ramble and rant and rave and get paid for it. A dream job!

  24. AAAACK! No LIKE button? But I wanted to say that I was giggling all the way through! And that your screen name is one of the best ones I’ve ever come across! And how much I’m sending good luck karma your way! Isn’t that what the LIKE button is for?

    followed the bread crumb trail from your comment on fifty-four-and-a-half’s Dish Towel story. When I saw the word Maineiac, it was impossible not to know more. Congrats on your change in paycheck-generating status!

    1. Please excuse my earlier comment, in that I just stumbled over the LIKE button, whereas I proceeded to press it repeatedly. LIKE, like, LIKE, like. Once a month is preferable to not at all. I await your next monthly installment with great curiosity, and eager anticipation.

      1. Welcome ntexas99! Good to see you here. Now we can tell Elyse that her dish towel fiasco had a few benefits after all, like you coming over to the Maineiac blog. Glad you found the like button, I use it often myself. Sure do wish we had other options (like k8edid’s wonderful post I linked to above)

        Thanks for dropping by, hope you stick around. I am going to aim for two posts a month, I think I can do it, no problem. It’s either post here or talk my husband’s ear off…so I think he’ll appreciate my continued blogging.

  25. Good luck Darla. I know how tough it is to work full time, write part-time, then come home to another full time job with lots of overtime. Those pesky meals won’t cook themselves and the laundry doesn’t march itself through the cycles. But you are so smart and organized that I am sure it will all work out. Can’t wait to hear about it.

    1. Thanks! I sure hope so…this is my last week of watching the baby, then hopefully next week I will start full time. I have this sinking feeling the house will be in ruins when I get home at the end of the week. If only the dishes, laundry and meals were taken care of…where’s that maid? or magical elf??

  26. Your GG caption contest (finalist) entry was the funniest one on earth. If you don’t promote the hell out of it on your blog, I’m not even going to respect you any more. Last night as I was trying to give it one last go (and failing again miserably) I was reading them to my husband. Later we both agreed yours was the best. My husband said, “That’s the first time I’ve ever laughed out loud at any of the past contest entries you’ve read me.”

    For others who wish to vote for Darla:

    The End.

    1. Your husband laughed at it? Well then, I am sold! Maybe I will promote it on my blog…I’ve lost so many of his contests over the past year that I’m not sure I can bear another miserable fail. *sighing heavily* 😉 But thanks for the vote of confidence, Angie. I am feeling very out of sorts with this blogging thing lately. I can’t seem to come up with anything for a post .

      Perhaps I should pull out the big guns this time around: more pictures of sad monkeys. Mr. Skittles can make a comeback?

  27. I have been horribly remiss in my reading and am just catching up – did you start your tech ed job? It’s perfect that it’s in the schools – summers off!! My daughter just mumbled into her macaroni that she wishes my job would let me have the summer off. I put on a brave face and told her that we’d still have our two week family vacation but at 8, she’s onto me and is already thinking about the other 7 weeks of summer. Best of luck to you and please keep writing – you are amazing! Loved your Valentine’s Day fantasy (or perhaps it was reality?) I may need to leave the computer open to your blog so that my husband will read it and take the hint!

  28. I can understand the scary feeling.
    I realise this is an old post, Darla. Have you started already?

    I went back to full-time work when my son was 3+, and ready to start formal school. They start that around (+/-) age 4 in India. I told my boss I would not go beyond the official 9-6 hours, Mon-Fri. Fulfilling the crazy deadlines we came up with in my architecture office & not wasting a second of my work-day, I would run to pick up my son from the daycare, after 11-guilt ridden hours (including travelling). After a year of chasing the clock, I realised the work I was doing then was just not worth all the time away from my child. I quit.

    Thus began my search for more fulfilling work that pays too. I am still searching.

    1. After posting, I realised how bad my comment will sound to you at this point. Not intentional, sorry!

      I hope and kind of have a feeling that your’s will be a much more productive experience. You will be working at your daughter’s school. How could it not?

      1. oh, no, no apologies necessary at all! I totally understand what you mean.

        Back when my son was only 2, I went back to work full time in an office. To sum up a long story, I hated it. I dreaded dropping him off at daycare plus I was barely making enough money to cover the daycare, gas, etc. so I said to myself, what is the point?! and I quit after only a few months. Best thing I ever did.

        As for right now, I didn’t get the full time job I wanted (they hired an ed tech that had already been working in the school for three years in another class) but I did get hired as a sub for autistic kids (which is what I was trained for back in my 20s)
        It’ll all work out though as my daughter is currently only in school half days. Once she’s in school FULL days this fall, I hope to get a permanent full time job that’s fulfilling and pays well. Like you I am still waiting for the miracle! (too bad my blogging wasn’t a lucrative business…)

  29. You know, I had JUST started blogging around the time you posted this. I don’t even believe I’d yet met your acquaintance yet. So glad I did! I’m so sorry that your job search didn’t pan out. Don’t worry. I got offered a part time job back with my old company (the one I quit to go back to engineering school before I had kids) this time last year – for an unGODly sum of money. It still wasn’t enough to cover childcare costs for 4 children in the summer.

    *sigh* Never mind. We are doing well with one income, so I will continue to dabble in whatever it is that interests me (bugs, dirt, blogging) that I get paid squat for (my husband will argue that last point). But I am so glad you are going back to school. That is most probably what I will do with my extra “time” one day. If I land in a job, fine. If not, fine too. I’m pretty lazy.

    Alrighty, Darla-girl. I’m on a roll with the search for the 100th comments. Fun, fun, fun, doing some lookback on your life, now that I feel like I know you better. 🙂

    PS – you are so damned funny, girl. Do you do stand up?

  30. Good luck Darla! It will all work out (and if it doesn’t, I promise to compete with you to be Kim K’s replacement butt). I’ll miss following your Maineiac thoughts but will appreciate them once a month or however often they come (or however often I have time to read them!). 🙂

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