All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don't. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.

Robert Kennedy

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Interview

It didn't take more than a few days before I was contacted by the recruiter. The first thing he did was send me a big old packet, the first of many, of paperwork. I had to get fingerprinted, I had to fill out legal forms, I had to fill out a credit check form and of course, attaining the dreaded transcripts. I went to two colleges in my day; Cazenovia College in upstate New York and Kutztown University in Southeast Pennsylvania. Lucky for me, there was a hold on both schools. First, Cazenovia. Turns out I had an unpaid loan that I had taken out many years ago. Amazing the papers you sign when you are 18 not thinking that they will haunt you when you are 36. I contacted the school and made payment arrangements and she was rather quick in releasing the transcript. It was an unusually pleasant experience with Financial Aid. It actually may have been my first ever pleasant experience with financial aid. With Kutztown, it wasn't so lucky...turns out i had a Perkins Loan taken out and they wouldn't release transcripts until the loan was paid in full. It was only $750.00 but it may well have been $20,000.00. I had no idea what to do. The irony was that the Peace Corps usually pays the Perkins Loan off upon completion of service...cruel twist of fate. With some creative 401K fanagaling (is that how you spell that word?), I was able to get enough money to pay the loan off. I went to the City of Irvine Police Department one day during my lunch break to get fingerprinted which turned out to be no big deal. Oh the things you don't know. Having all of this completed, after a month of phone calls to the East Coast and finishing paperwork, I finally had my packet completed and sent it in to my recruiter. By the next day, I had an email to set up an interview. The ball was really rolling now! I set it up for the following week and was nervous but excited. I pulled up all the information I could online from former volunteers to study the questions as best I could. I didn't want to look rehearsed, but I also didn't want to be blindsided. I left work early one day and headed up to Los Angeles. Going in to a government building is always interesting with the metal detectors and such. I was early, as I always am and headed in. The recruiter, Kevin, as incredibly nice. And for some reason, I was extremely comfortable. He wasn't asking the usual interview questions that always made me nervous, I knew the questions he was asking, I knew my answers were honest and I knew that he knew that I was a smart girl. Never once during the 2.5 hours that it took did I feel like I answered something badly. When I revealed that my father had just passed away he informed me that their policy was to wait a full calendar year before shipping someone out. And that was okay with me. I could certainly use the time to not only deal with Dad's death, but also to fully prepare my life for this. 3 days later a packet arrived on my doorstep formally nominating me for the job. Yay! Time to tell the fam...

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