(Or. . . maybe not.)
At last I am at liberty to share details about the job I got — because I did get it.
Yes, now I’m one step closer to being the typical college student: having two jobs.
For the last few semesters it’s looked as if money from one source or another is about to run out, so “this time you do need to get a job” becomes the refrain — and then I unexpectedly get a schol. or grant I didn’t ask for, or something. This semester the Writing Center had to cut my two and a half hours per week to one and a half, so once again the ready conclusion was that I needed a job. Well, the school was having a part-time job fair, and some on-campus jobs would be there, so I was supposed to go. Only it was strongly recommended that applicants bring résumés, and I didn’t have one. So I went just because.
And then someone there (as I discovered I was going the wrong way through the maze of tables — blame it on being left-handed, I guess) spoke up from the Fine Arts Department’s table, and was so desperate for an Orchestra Manager and Librarian (which kind of means maid-of-all-work) that she was willing to hire me even when I said I can’t read music. Upon hearing that my sister’s in the orchestra she said I’d be a great fit. I’m pretty sure logic doesn’t work that way, since we’re two separate things, but oh well. I already know about the orchestra from hearing people talk about it.
I’m sure this is how everybody’s first job interview goes.
Yesterday, then, was my first day actually working. Now, I’m on campus all day Tuesday, and my sister comes down in the afternoon for her violin lesson, then there’s rehearsal at seven. The Catholic and Communist Lutheran friends of ours have similar schedules, and as the evening goes on other people with instruments will turn up. I’m not usually around by then, but that’s changed.
My first job, at six, was to take some copies of music and give them to the conductor — presumably in his office. He wasn’t there. The light was on, but the door was locked, so I couldn’t have put them on his desk.
So I found my sister in a practice room (she’s in a wedding next week and there’s a lot of communication not happening, which means last-minute practicing) and asked her if the conductor was usually somewhere on campus around this time, and if so, where, so I could find him. She knows more about the inner workings of the orchestra than someone who can’t even read music, after all. But in this case she didn’t know.
So I went upstairs and asked the woman who’d hired me, who was still working and had given me the job, and she said to put them in the rehearsal room. (The rehearsal room is one of a pair of mirror-image rooms, the left-hand one. The other is the choir room.) Well, I went there, and the choir room’s door was open, and the lights were on. But the room on the left was locked and dark. So I put the papers on the piano in the choir room and then began to have misgivings about misplaced music. So I went to the practice room again. (As I waited outside the door for a good time to interrupt, I heard the guy accompanying her say, “I know, I’ve just been so busy,” and crash his hands on the piano.) Eventually I thought I’d better not keep running to my sister for help while supposedly doing my own job, and went away again. But then I remembered stories about lost keys and the Music department, and so, after circumambulating the Fine Arts building again, I returned to their practice room.
My sister demanded to see the situation this time, so we went over, and she concluded that I should ask upstairs (where the woman who hired me was still working) whether there was a key. So I went back and said it was a case of another locked door. She said she’d give me the key to unlock it.
And then she couldn’t find the key.
But at last she did, and I was able to deliver the papers, and then stand around knitting for half an hour until people showed up. And the other girl who’s got half the job, hers being more the librarian side of things, was there, and evidently a bit more capable.
And the conductor actually showed up.
And other than that, I only needed to lend the conductor my pencil (my sister warned me to remind him to give it back — I forgot, by the end of the evening, but he actually remembered), and at another time he asked me to write something down and then said never mind after I had my notebook out. And he called me by my sister’s name, but we’re used to that.
Bonus SCAdian moment: Before rehearsal started I went running down two hallways, with my knitting streaming out behind me, yelling, “Jean, Jean!” after someone who ordinarily would be called something else. SCAdian moments, you know — you need to get somebody’s attention quickly, so of course his mundane name goes clean out of your head.