reminder here), there was silence. Then rejections. Maybelle got a bit desperate and started applying for any kind of work.
This week, the applications to work at restaurants and waitress started. One manager said maybe. The rest said no. Apparently a PhD does not give you the appropriate skills to wait tables and learn the shorthand for a BLT no T. I guess.
The feeling of being outside the tenure track caste system is like being a starving person looking into a bakery window. I don't want the scraps and leftovers. I want a place at the table.
At this point, I would settle for any job. Any job at all.
You aren't supposed to teach for ten years and then have to move back in with your parents. It isn't okay to not have a job because your partner can "take care of you," and you "don't really need to work, now do you?"
The writing of resumes. The cover letters. The calls. The failure. The constant, constant feeling of failure.
And yet ...
There are glimmers. Small ones. Two emails this week from former students. They were some of my favorites, and they emailed just to say hello and how much they loved me teaching Swamps and Bogs. I keep it polite; work is fine, don't you worry darlings, congratulations on your new jobs. I'm so happy your knowledge of Swamps and Bogs is useful there. Why yes, I'm great. Thanks for asking.
The lie hurts, but it isn't fair to take away their joy because I am miserable.