Jobless and Searching


It’s officially my second day after my resignation went into effect… well, I still get paid through July, so it’s not exactly the stressful part of unemployment just yet.

The last day at work was nice and infuriating and sentimental and false. People I hardly knew made it seem like they were oh-so-very sad I was leaving. Additionally, my last day was also the last day of something like a fourth or fifth of our staff, because our site is bleeding teachers. Additionally, the teachers who are leaving are almost all also leaving education. Also, none of us have any idea what we intend to do. Basically, everyone cried at our staff meeting except for me and a few others. There were hugs and gifts.

After the meeting, there was a lunch, with further sentimentality.

After the lunch, there was happy hour that featured everyone bearing their deepest, darkest secrets, including who has slept with whom, and who has wanted to sleep together, but hadn’t the courage to do it… I almost fled, via trip to the bathroom with no return. Then I decided it wouldn’t mean all that much to me to endure an hour or so more and make a proper exit, but it would mean a lot to other people. So I went back and tolerated juvenile truth games with invasive and leading questions that lacked class. However, there were a few bright spots, specifically one with one of my fellow English teachers who I’ve hardly spoken with in the seven years I’ve known her. But I did teach her stepson, and she said nice things about me.

I spent a lot of time that day and last week thinking about the last time I was jobless… that was when the district had a Reduction in Force, then made me interview for my own position just to get it back. I got it back, but it was a similar experience for me in that I felt some Divine leading, sending me to Mongolia w/o any money in my account or any guarantee of a job when I needed it… and yet, I went. This feels a lot like that. God took care of me before, so I’m gonna bet He’s got this one as well.

One of the thoughts I clung to desperately then was that $ is not an obstacle for the Almighty. He isn’t worried about paying ____________ bill.

After the last day festivities, I went home, did Bible study, then got up the next morning for testing with GEICO.

I’m not gonna lie – my snobbery was in full-gear when it came to the thought of working such a menial, corporate, etc… sort of job. I’m a teacher. Come on, I’m all about the relationships, right?

Well, when I arrived at the site, which is on the opposite end of Tucson from me, I fully intended for them to see how awesome I am, offer me the job, and then I was going to turn them down to work at Starbucks. I have an interview at Sbucks tomorrow, and it seems more like I want to be doing with my life.

Except that the staff at GEICO actually seem to like their jobs.

And there’s a fitness center.

And, the kicker: they seemed really into providing their employees with everything they need to do their jobs well. Do you have any idea what it’s like trying to get what you need in the classroom? In fact, do you have any idea what it’s like to get the things the district is required to give your classroom? It’s shockingly difficult to be a teacher. They (no, I don’t know who “they” are exactly… faceless people who make decisions that affect nearly every person in the nation…) “They” actually spend more time taking things away from the classroom nowadays than in giving us things. And when they do give us things, they take other things away… new text books? Well, of course every child doesn’t need one… we’ll put them online. And we’ll expect parents to provide computers and the internet so kids can read at home. Also, we’ll take away the old text books, so that you can’t use those. Also, we’ll do this 3 days before the school year begins and expect teachers to plan an entire curriculum from a book they haven’t even seen, while setting up their classrooms, meeting students, attending mandatory meetings, etc…

But GEICO? I think they believe their staff does better work when they have what they need. I think they even believe it’s the company’s responsibility to provide what the staff needs.

Blew my mind how easy things felt.

Then, after I’d filled out paperwork and was waiting for the test to begin, I noticed there was this little book with the history of GEICO in it, so I started reading. And it was this great story (poorly-written, mind you) about the founder and how he went from making a decision that everyone thought was terrible to a successful company… Also, it’s called the Government Employee Insurance Company. Did you know that? The founder has his foundation in USAA.

And I took the test, and I owned it.

It was typing, which I’m spectacularly good at, and it was multi-tasking… and who better to multi-task than a teacher?

So I passed, and I actually started thinking I should work at GEICO. It’d be a pay increase and it would be stable. And I might like it.

I have an interview with them on Tuesday, now, so the timing is coming together well. I’ll get to interview with Sbucks and find out what they have to offer, then I can make an informed decision about GEICO… then it’s off on a 3-week road trip on a budget… camping, hostels, etc… Who knew quitting your job could be so relaxing?

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5 thoughts on “Jobless and Searching

  1. Beginning at about paragraph 8 (“I’m not gonna lie….”) this would make an excellent letter to the editor of your local/regional newspaper. You wouldn’t have to name GEICO specifically. I love the power of this line, especially: “I think they believe their staff does better work when they have what they need. I think they even believe it’s the company’s responsibility to provide what the staff needs.” Good stuff.

  2. Good luck on your interview! As a former classroom teacher, I can totally relate to your comments about education, the gossiping, the lack of support and resources as well as I recently felt led to leave. It was a very unsupportive and difficult environment, but I will always pray for and love the kids. Praying for you 🙂

    • Thank you! And way to be brave enough to step away from the classroom. It’s obviously a difficult decision to make – I can’t tell you how many colleagues felt as miserable as I felt, but decided change was too frightening for them to seek greener pastures.

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