Careful What You Wish For…

How many times have we heard that? I think I’m about to find out whether I have been careful enough. I have spent the last six years working an independent contractor way of life. Translation: Minimal hours, long commute time, and an annoying temporary job status. Plus, the IRS is not my friend. If I sock a sum of money away for tax time I may come out okay. Independent contractors are not hired on a traditional W-2, so the burden of how much withholding falls squarely on my shoulders. I hate that.

My job hunt has been ongoing for some time now. I want stability. I want good, steady hours and I want $$$. Tall order? Maybe. Well, I went on three interviews in one month’s time. All for a position as Spanish teacher. One prospect was in San Francisco. I arrived Fifteen minutes late for the interview. Kiss of death. Ultimately glad I did not get that job. The commute was one and one-half hours. The second prospect was a one hour, ten minute commute. I’m sorry. The school was weird. No boom boxes allowed. Where would I play my let’s-get-up-and-move CD for the students? The dancer in me mandates such a thing. Nix that job. Just a week ago I interviewed for Spanish teacher to K-5th grade at a private school in Dublin, CA. I met for the interview at 2:00, by the time I arrived home (commute=one hour) an email contained the
message, “We would like to offer you the position of…” Okay. Now what do I do? Well, I gathered six years worth of material stored in Mimi’s boxes (love their french onion soup & honey oat bran muffins) sorted lesson possibilities strewn across my living-room floor, and began the task of serious treatment of my new title. Careful what you wish. I will have 36 students in nearly every class. I will begin my day with children 4 1/2 years old. What?!?! I will end my day with 5th graders at 2:50 in the afternoon. At 2:55 I will collapse. This job is what I wished for. The school is a pristine, almost brand new facility. It is in the suburb of Dublin in Northern California, Bay Area. I am told the area is ripe with moneyed families. Hmm.

Careful what you wish for. You just might get it. Make it work, Cyndi. I tell myself. My husband and sons are right there cheering me on. A toast was offered in my honor when we sat down to enjoy dinner. “Here’s to you and your new adventure”, my husband said. There was a resounding chorus of tinkling glasses holding champagne good wishes.

I’ll make it work. It’s what I wished for.

Commute. It proved just how naive I can be. After spending part of the first week navigating the freeway system, I gave up. I believe I could have reached Hawaii (by car!) faster than the morning commute to Dublin on the 580. Okay, so I’m open-minded, I tried the back roads. Vasco road, to be specific. Hello! Did you know that the greatest crews in the world design the two lanes-merge-into-one concept?!? What the f***! And trust me, I don’t swear…ever…except for maybe while I’m on the road.
So, I awake at 5:00a.m., and I’m out of town by 6:00a.m. If I’m lucky I arrive at the campus by 7:40a.m. Yep. I am just now beginning to recognize certain cars on Vasco. Pretty soon we’ll be waving a friendly “hello” to our hillside, one-lane compatriots. And wondering why we didn’t move to Montana.

Vasco update. March 7, 2014. Just today I reached my Zenith. I pulled into the school parking lot at 7:12a.m. My home driveway departure of 6:10a.m. made this a major coup! I love my Vasco road. It’s winding road leaves me with just over an hour to develop choreography to my song-of-the moment. With my new record time I effortlessly glide through the familiar hillsides on my way to work. One hour, two minutes. Sweet.