Last Friday, after the interview, I hopped in my jeep and turned the music up loud. I'm listening to Adele these days (I must have found my genre because even Pandora radio plays one good song after another when Adele radio is selected) ... and my old standbys, AC/DC. I rolled out of the airport on cloud nine ... it was supported by big smiles and warm handshakes all around. I felt sure I had the job ... that should probably be all caps ... there has only been one job for me all these years. The crosshairs on my scope sight haven't even wavered. The assistant chief tells me to call him if I haven't heard from them by Monday or Tuesday, then he tells me the meetings schedule for the August rush ... orientation for the new employees and student meetings. My buddy who works there calls to tell me the buzz around me is all good ... I start noticing that cloud nine is quite luminescent. Then Monday ... nada. On Tuesday morning I wake up knowing that this is the day ... I've worked a lot harder for this then it is actually worth, but the day has finally come. Not so fast ... still no word. I notice the clouds are ... dropping ... closing in a bit ... cloud nine is no longer in sight ... it seems to have merged with the bravo sierra layer. I think about checking in with my buddy to see if he has a current forecast ... decide not to ... this is a big deal to me, but nothing like all the big deals he has going on. He and the assistant chief are up for the very same jet job ... my buddy not only wants that job, he thinks he needs it ... this guy is a USNA grad sitting on a stale type rating, with a family to support ... He doesn't need to babysit me right now, although I know he would. On Wednesday, around mid-morning I place a call through the main number ... Uh, sorry, everyone is in a day long closed door with the FAA. I leave a message. On Thursday after lunch I call again ... the assistant chief takes the call. I do not know him having met him only during the interview, but my super power radar (womanly intuition) is not pinging any of the warm returns that I sorta expected. He apologizes for not getting back with me and says those are the Chief's decisions and he has given all those call back numbers to him (who sat down beside me at a luncheon recently and asked me to submit an application). I hear an echo from the wall this guy as erected around himself. Hmmm ... is this about bad news for me or bad news for someone else? I do not have a clue ... I didn't find one in the hot Epsom salt plus stress relieving bubble bath either. Now it is Friday morning ... a full week later. Last night I told my husband that if this doesn't work out this time ... I'm done. I am almost 53 years old, and I am chasing a kid's dream ... the very beginning of that dream, because I do not have time for the whole show. Flying does not own me. Flying has become a beautiful bitch ... if she can't behave ... I'm certain I can find more manageable trouble elsewhere.
So ... I sat down to write about this before I know how it will play out. I feel ... well, I feel a lot of conflicting thoughts and emotions. You can't half-ass keep up with flying at this level ... it will bite you full on if you try to ... it's very demanding time wise and financially ... two brush up flights equal one very nice dishwasher ... or textbooks for a kid to start an engineering degree with. I am not going to keep on brushing this up. The sunk costs weigh heavy on me ... I thought to set myself up for a little retirement job as my full-time mother/homemaker gig winds down ... there are other things for me to do ... things that matter less to me but maybe shouldn't.
My husband said they shouldn't have invited you in just to mess with you if they are not going to offer you the job. Ummm ... I see what he means, but I disagree. I told him this opportunity to interview provides closure for me. I like to go all in on my stuff. I know the interview went well ... I can be proud of that. If they say no ... then I know I did what I could do to make this happen ... I didn't choke at the plate ... I got a respectable hit and took off running as fast as possible. No regrets there. I did seriously consider not applying ... that guy who doesn't like me is still there ... I sure didn't want to be flying four students a day and getting dinged by him ... $20/hr just doesn't quite cover that. I talked about that with the Chief in a pre-interview chat ... I thought it only right to let him know what I understand of the history there and that hiring me may carry a little grief for him in that quarter ... he was unconcerned about that.
I have a good life. Instructing was supposed to be small enough to fit inside the space my life has available for it. It looked like a perfect fit 15 years ago when I started this. It still looks like it could be a perfect fit ... but it hasn't been. It actually jiggles my swearswitch almost continuously ... not sure this is bringing out the best in me!
Or ... I may get the call to hurry up and come get the t-shirts ... I may have the job by the end of the day.