Been decidedly slacking with the updates, which makes sense given I had applied for another stopgap job. So why painstakingly chronicle this one.
That one was security detail for the State Department. It was actually an armed position, so I would have likely been ambling about with a gun, bound to the first killed if anything serious actually did occur. But they were willing to pay $30 an hour, so what the hey.
I went into the contractor office for a preliminary interview. Being a government contractor, they can’t be slouches with the background check. Just for that initial application, I had to bring my birth certificate, my Social Security card, my driver’s license and my college degree. Not even an official transcript, but the actual diploma. I’m not sure why Maryland (or Maryland’s J-school) decided to give out monster-sized degrees, but mine is pretty huge. One guy in the office started chuckling at me for having this giant frame in tow along with my other documentation.
Obviously, the contractor needs to know your criminal history. That’s fine; I’ve never been arrested or charged with anything. Save a few parking tickets and one speeding ticket, I don’t have any glaring traffic violations. And the tickets have all been paid off.
Then there’s drug history. All right. I made that sound more ominous than it needed to be. I’ve never done anything more serious than weed. Never had significant amounts. And while I smoke it when I can, it’s never with great regularity. I live D.C., where it’s difficult to find in ways that always amuse friends in New York and L.A. Plus: DECRIMINALIZATION! Remember that?
Of course, this is still the federal government we’re talking about, so any partaking is excessive partaking. On the application, you’re asked if you’ve tried, sold, abused drugs, lumping weed in with a raft of far more serious narcotics, so you look like a problem when you check yes to that catch-all question. You’re issued an explanation sheet where you list out all the circumstances of said drug use. I did that, fudging that it had been three years since I smoked. So, I was being honest, as some had advised, but made it distant enough to make it seem like I wasn’t getting high on the reg.
Whoopity. Turns out I was later told that the contractor’s requirement is five years without any drug use. This surprised Abby, the yinzer girl in my boxing class who works for them and recommended that I apply. She claimed someone owned up to popping pills and still got accepted. Pills, not chills is the security slogan, I guess.
So, that didn’t work out. Not that it was a huge deal. In a lot of ways, I wasn’t really all that excited about the possibility of standing around for 40 hours a week, bored senseless, even if the pay was fairly decent. What’s more, the moving jobs have picked up some in recent weeks. Not enough that I’m comfortable as of yet, but enough so that splitting my times between that and applying for full-time office jobs doesn’t feel overly lop-sided.
The one noteworthy job of late was this past Saturday morning. The fact that I’m even working weekends has worn on my girlfriend. The bulk of the time we spend together is on the weekend. Sometimes we get together on weeknights, but it’s the exception. She’s even argued that I took a job that would get me away on weekends on purpose, though you’d be hard-pressed to find a halfway good part-time job that wouldn’t make you work Saturday or Sunday. Shit, the security job would have been even worse on that end.
Anyway, this latest job - located just up the street from my place, which was welcome when I’m already waking up at the asscrack of dawn on a Saturday - was a pretty standard two-man operation with not all that much stuff. Kind of sucked that the apartment was a third floor walk-up and there was no elevator, but we could park the truck right at the bottom of the stairs, so no huge deal. The only tricky object was a sleeper sofa. Everything else was a breeze.
What stood out was that the couple - a youngish white guy and a Hispanic girl - weren’t moving anywhere. We were just hauling all their furniture to storage, about 20 minutes anyway. I don’t really chat up the customers much. Robert is notorious for doing that, which most of the other movers attribute to him trying to slack off. But I did at least ask where they were moving. The girl hesitated and said, “we’re hoping for a place around here” while shooting a playful or mock-playful glare at the guy. Not really sure what to make of that. Were they getting kicked out of their apartment? They were moving out all the furniture, but leaving a TV, a few lamps and bunch of other loose items that could easily be crammed into a car. No mattress though. It seemed like they might be sticking around for a few days, but with nothing but the floor to sleep on. Just a weird situation all around, but I wasn’t about to pry too deeply into their affairs.
Then again, they also didn’t tip us, so fuck them.
Duration: Four hours.