Let me set the scene.
Well even before the scene, a little background. Things are a little tight at home. So I’ve been looking for some side work. Don’t worry, it’s legal. I mean literally — legal side work. A little per diem. It’s a thing. And, it is necessary, because submitting applications into the great black hole of the Internet hasn’t been working out for me.
Internet job search, if you aren’t familiar — that’s when, in response to an advertised position for which you are qualified, you put the digital best version of yourself out there — you enter information about your past, your hopes and dreams, your goals, your abilities, your salary requirements and references — you put it all out there. Raw.
You click “Submit.”
But if you listen carefully you can hear it, the whoosh as your qualifications are flushed down the Internet toilet . . . “because in space, no one can hear you scream . . .”
But I digress, and I turned to Craigslist and answered an ad.
Admittedly, I had reason to be skeptical. The ad was barebones. No details, at all, not even the crappy stock language about working in a fast paced professional environment blah blah blah. The ad was only clear about one thing: The pay was not high. (Huh, what does that mean?) But as I said, things are as tight as a Kardashian dress so I replied anyway and attached my resume. (Accidental rhyme)
Lo and behold — a response!
However, no information.The email said that “they” have “someone” in my area the next day and asked if I could be at a local diner at 1:30. You know how when anyone says “long story short” they have already gone on for far too long? Well, long story short, I said I would be there. After not getting a confirmation of the meeting, or any details at all — like the name of the business, who I’m meeting with, his or her contact information or even their gender, I finally received a weak apology via email, “Sorry, I was in a meeting” and “Someone will be there a little after 2:00pm.” I replied, confirming I would be there at 2:05pm.
I went to the diner, dressed nicely and actually with some makeup on. It wasn’t a busy part of the day so as soon as I walked in the manager offered to seat me. I replied, “Well I’m meeting someone,” and looked around like I was looking for him —or her. The manager asked, “Do you see them?”
“No.” (But how would I know?)
So I sat at a booth facing the door. The waitstaff must have been just really bored because the server pounced on me,
“Can I get you something?”
“Not yet, I’m waiting for someone.” So . . . she brought me two menus.
The second time she asked me if I wanted something I ordered coffee.
The waitress brought the coffee and two glasses of water, because, well, I had said, repeatedly,
“I was meeting someone.” (Who? Who was I meeting? I didn’t know.)
Now, if you’ve read some of my other blog posts you know I often go out alone. Always have. Not a big deal. But the two water glasses — they threw me. Those glasses were evidence that I was not really eating alone. I was expecting someone. And that someone was not there.
Then — hope! A professional looking man with a briefcase came in alone and sat in the booth next to me and opened his laptop.
I asked him, “Are you here to meet someone for an interview?”
“No, I’m not.” He looked at me and shook his head. I can’t be sure, but the threesome in the booth next to him looked fleetingly in my direction.
I crawled under the table and assumed the fetal position. Well, I wanted to.
I had no computer. No reading material. Just my phone. But that was useless.You see I was never given a phone number of the person I was to meet or of the business, for that matter. I had no one to call or text to say, “Um — are you still coming?”
I finished my coffee. I told myself I would wait a half hour, which was way too long. No one emailed me.
The attentive waitress asked, again, “Are you ready to order?” To which I replied, as I was fishing for cash to pay for my coffee,“No . . . I think I’m just going to go.” The waitress said, “Okay,” but didn’t look particularly surprised. I left the money on the table, got up, and quickly walked out. I must have looked upset, because I was. I was murmuring inaudibly . . . Shady ass Craiglist lawyers wasting my time . . . I don’t have to stand for this shit, I’m out . . .
And then I realized– to the restaurant staff and patrons it would appear that I was some unfortunate woman on a date who just got stood up! Like I was rejected in my quest for love instead of just rejected in my search for some extra money.
I wanted to go back in and scream . . .
IT WAS NOT A DATE!!!!!!!
But, that would invite more pity.
And that would be a shame.
And there was already enough shame going around.
Just Me With . . . . one coffee, two menus, two water glasses, no food, no money.
Alone posts. Wait, why are there so many?
The New Walk of Shame for the Single Woman — Going Out Alone
You Don’t Have To Bring A Date, Come Alone! Come Alone! COME ALONE!
I Went to a Dinner Party Alone
Pissed: Parking and Dining Alone Fun fact. This was the same diner.
My High School Self, My Vampire Boyfriend
I Went For Coffee and Took A Turn Into “The Twilight Zone”
The Twilight Zone — Again? Seriously?
I’m so sorry but I have to admit I chuckled at your misfortune only because it could very well have been my misfortune (only not the lawyering bit cause I’m just not that smart). I too have that post-divorce cloak of shame that pops up at the darndest times. Hang in there and I’m sending some positive thoughts your way!
Aw, thanks. Glad I could give you a chuckle and nice to know I have company. We can laugh/cry together !
I think your side gig could be publishing your posts. They are very entertaining. I know all about the “alone” and having an actual date never show up/1
Thanks! I would love to be published!
Ok you just freaked me out. I was sure you were going to say when you got home you had been robbed. Your resume probably has your address. “He” knew you would be out of the house at that exact time. Scary. Or worse. Someone holed up in your place when you came home. I’m glad you’re ok.
Oh. I didn’t think of that. That is a creepy possibility that i am glad did not come to be for her.
I just came by to say i love this blog and look forward to your posts.
I came here to say that I love your blog and look forward to your posts, but now I am freaked out by Susan’s comment and what could have really been a possibility. yikes.
Thank you so much! Look at my comment to Susan. I’ll be more careful from now on.
Ah man you freaked ME OUT! I did kind of treat it like a date in that I texted my sister, told her where I was, what I was doing, when I got there and that the “someone” was a no show. But I completely forgot about my address which was on my resume. It’s not on my business cards but I need a version of my resume with no address. I did get a text with rhe guy’s name and number and ETA later. Much later. And he said we could meet over the weekend but um, no. So I have some info for tracking but what if it’s a burner phone? Yikes! Thanks for the heads up. Any responses to Internet ads will no longer reveal my address.
Sorry I freaked everyone out. I tend to be an “awful-izer” meaning I can imagine the worst case scenario in any situation. Thanks. It’s a gift ;). But I’m glad everything worked out, at least safety wise.
I’d also like to see you make money from your writing. A syndicated column would have me hooked. Think contemporary Erma Bombeck.