Friday is transparency day here where I share very short stories from my childhood and my past. Sometimes they will be funny, serious, sad, embarrassing or just plain weird. Why am I sharing this? It forces me to come out of my isolated corner (and my comfort zone), and share little pieces of me.
It took me longer than normal to graduate from college. I was on the 6 year plan. Changing my major twice and giving birth to my daughter right before my junior year meant a little extra time in lecture halls, dangerous accumulation in loans and much blood sweat and tears invested to make it to the monumental walk across the stage.
I needed money; I needed money bad and I was past ready to start making it. I was tired of owing everybody and their momma, getting calls from creditors and having no way to pay most of the bills I owed.
Even though actually using my degree after spending more than half a decade earning it was sort of scary I dived in head first. I landed a job interview with EDS; a multinational IT equipment and services company.
I was extra excited and completely ready for my interview. I was dressed the part, did my research and I KNEW I wasn’t leaving there without a job. You couldn’t tell me I didn’t have it in the bag.
When I arrived for my interview, I got a tour of the building, and they gave me a run-down of the position. I would be handling their military account. I wasn’t sure exactly what that meant but if it meant a steady paycheck I was ready. I interviewed with a panel of about 4 people. They asked me in-depth accounting questions and I answered each one with confidence and accuracy and waited for more.
After about 30 minutes of questions, they went on to talking about the details of the position, salary and benefits. Not even bothering to leave the room, they conversed in a group huddle for a few seconds. They explained to me all the candidates they interviewed so far had very little knowledge of the concepts they deemed important to know in order to do the job. I was, as they put it, “a breath of fresh air”.
They said; “Adeline, were not even done interviewing candidates yet but we don’t want to let you get away so we’re making you a job offer today. $40k to start with an excellent benefits package, paid time off and tuition reimbursement for continued education. I think I temporarily blanked out after they said $40k. Back then, 40k was the equivalent of a million dollars to me and after being used to temporary jobs here and there that paid barely enough to keep food on the table, I could barely contain myself.
I didn’t hide the fact that I was hurting for money because when they said, think about our offer and get back to us, I was like…I’ll take it; no thought necessary!
They made plans to fly me to Virginia for training and had me fill out the paperwork for a background check. I happily complied, they welcomed me to the company and I left feeling like I had just hit the lottery. You couldn’t tell me I wasn’t all that and some and I flew home to tell everyone the good news.
Everyone was so excited for me. My now mother-in-law is the mouth of the south, so the news spread faster than an uncontained forest fire. If you ever want to get information out fast and to a lot of people, tell her, she puts CNN and TMZ to shame. By the end of the night, my family, his family, my bible study group, all the neighbors on her block and everyone that called her house knew. It took about a week to complete the background check and everyday seemed like an eternity because I couldn’t wait to get a check started on my new job. Exactly one week later, as my boyfriend and I were pulling into the driveway of my house my cell phone rang.
It was EDS…