Friday, June 4, 2010

What, Me Worry? NEVER!

I recently interviewed for a job at a financial services company in Calabasas. They preached that they were a "forward thinking" thinking company and while it seemed that most what they said supported this idea, the salary they were offering most definitely did not! $8.65 per hour plus commission - yes, that's a paltry $18,000 a year! When they made mention of this two hours into the three hour interview process, I knew this wasn't the right job for me. As I told a good friend and sister in Christ a few days later, "I'm not worried, I won't be out of work for long. I know in HIS timing, HE WILL provide me with the job HE wants me to be in." A wide and affirmative smile from her followed because she knew I was speaking from my heart and that I TRULY believed in what I was saying. God ALWAYS takes care of His children!

What I didn't know at that time was that God was going to answer this prayer so quickly. Those of you who are close to me already know what happened, but still it's a good story, so I will tell it here - I mean I haven't blogged in over two weeks, so this also will help fill the gap. Around 9:30 am the morning of May 20th, I got a phone call from a temp agency asking if I was interested in a job at Bank of America. Of all mornings to sleep in until 9 am, I picked this one! The night before, I have to admit I was a little on the down side. I had applied for approximately 20 jobs since my last day at the previous one on March 1st and after lots of early success in getting calls and feedback, I suddenly wasn't hearing from anyone. Getting back to things though, the recruiter needed an answer for me within an hour. I quickly got some caffeine in me and called him back 30 minutes later. And within three hours of his first call, I had a job! The pay was good, the hours (7:30-4:15 Monday through Friday) fit my school, gym and pilates schedule well, and the location was perfect - barely a mile from my home! As I've told several friends the past two weeks, it all just happened SO FAST! After spending almost three months detoxing from that last job, God knew that I was now ready to re-enter the workforce. His timing, as ALWAYS was perfect!

The next Sunday I went to my church, Cornerstone in Simi for the 9am service, then made my usual Trader Joe's run after that. And then at the urging of another friend, I went to Calvary Community for the 11:00 am service. Although the message given by the Pastor at Calvary about "Giving Up Control" out of James 4:11-17 was good (and a great improvement over what I'd previously heard there), the whole experience overall just didn't connect with me. When the Pastor used Erma Bombeck and Ray Charles to illustrate a point late in the service, my thought was "ok, these people were famous, but anyone under the age of 35-40 is probably going to have a very hard time relating to them or remembering who they were." Given that the membership of the church overall still seemed pretty young, using more contemporary and LIVING celebrities probably would have made for a better connection. Also, the worship honestly didn't click with me either.

What saved the day at Calvary though was what happened AFTER the service. I ran into a friend there from the Hub group who I gleefully informed of my newfound employment... and when she asked me where I worked and I told her "Bank of America right up the street," she said "you're going to love it there, my sister is a supervisor in that office. I'll put in a good word for you!" Needless to say, it was comforting to know I had a connection awaiting me at my new job.

So the next day, Monday, May 24, 2010, I officially returned to the workforce. As me and the 75 or so other new hires entered, the managers were all there to greet us, clapping, giving us high fives and cheering us on. It was an AMAZING welcome, not like anything I've seen before! Not soon thereafter, I noticed my friend's sister - the facial resemblance was a dead giveaway. On our morning break, I introduced myself to her. Little did I know that three days later, she'd become my supervisor! Over the course of that first week, God just kept on comforting me. The first day, one of my ex-coworkers from my previous job was there in the lobby along with me and the other new hires. The next day, I discovered my neighbor three doors down from me was also in the class. The day after that, on my afternoon break, I ran into a friend of mine who used to work for Countrywide insurance - she had recently been relocated to that building. This week, they relocated some of the Simi Valley employees into our office, including another ex-coworker friend of mine. What a blessing to have so many people who I know surrounding me!

So, I'm now two weeks into my new employment and LOVING it. The 1.1 mile commute through three signals typically takes me about 3 1/2 minutes. If all of the signals happen to be green, I can actually get to work in UNDER 2 minutes! In the worst-case scenario (beginning of the red cycle at all 3 signals), it's taken as long as 6 1/2 minutes to get there. My old 22 mile commute was usually 25-30 minutes going and 35-40 minutes coming back home, sometimes MUCH longer if there was an accident. Effectively, I'm spending 5 hours LESS a week on the road! Can you say free time???!!! The novelty of having a job so close to home has not worn off yet, and frankly, I don't EVER expect it to! I come home for lunch every day (I've even snuck home a couple of times on breaks), I check my email, I make phone calls to family and friends, and yes, I even sometimes make my famous Italian style Boboli pizzas!!!

The only downside to this whole thing is that I haven't been able to take any more private sessions at the pilates studio with Romina. I learned soooo much from her in the first eight sessions. After practically "living at the studio" the final weeks of my unemployment, she's probably wondering where I disappeared off to. Thankfully, my 8-5 training schedule is ending next Thursday, which means that I'll be working my "normal" 7:30-4:15 schedule and also be free to trade shifts if need be and hopefully get some privates in!

So yes, life is still very good. School is going well two weeks into the the new term at Cal Lutheran. My Lakers are in the finals again, and are three games away from making me happily eat some crow! Last Sunday was a very emotional day as we said farewell to our pastor, Francis Chan, at Cornerstone. I'll write a full blog about this over the weekend. The only word I can use to describe that last Sunday is EPIC! Because that's what it was... I love that man, his wife and their family. They're truly GREAT people, and more importantly, friends! I'm very excited to see where God leads this GREAT man and brother in Christ.

In closing, I also want to give thanks to the late, great coach John Wooden. He passed away at 99 tonight. He was even better human being in coach, and a fellow brother in Christ. His wish when he passed on to meet his maker was the same one most of us believers aspire to hear from our maker "Well Done!" Around 6:45 Pacific time tonight, I know he heard those words. He was the single biggest reason why I chose to get my undergraduate degree at UCLA as from the time I was a young kid, I was a fan of UCLA basketball. Rest in Peace, Coach Wooden, and thanks for EVERYTHING you gave down here!


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