Today I feel like a writer again. Like a legitimate, bona fide, no-quotation-marks-necessary weaver of letters whose words are so valuable that companies will pay for them.
The interview with the BOSS Group went well. I spent just under an hour with one of their three main recruiters, Susan. I won some bonus points with her -- not only is she fond of my friend who recommended the agency to me, but it turns out she graduated from the same college I did (Virginia Tech), had the same major (Communication Studies; I checked the little box next to "Print and Electronic Journalism" at some point when drilling down into a major concentration), and the same minor (Sociology), which is actually pretty rare. I mean, I picked sociology as my minor for what I'd then considered to be selfish reasons -- I just wanted to keep on taking classes in it, because those classes were fun. I figured the major could be the more practical, obviously applicable-to-the-real-world subject, and the minor could be something a little more frivolous, just for me.
Tangentpalooza: I wasn't required to pick a minor at all, although all the real-world journalists who visited my classes said, "Do not DO NOT major in journalism or English -- major in anything else. That way you become an expert on something; you have something to write about. You can pick up the writing part as you go." For that reason, I felt a little compelled to take a bunch of classes in something non-writing-related, just in case that was true. However, the listing for every job I've ever had did in fact ask for folks with journalism or English degrees. So I don't know what kind of cracked-out planet all those visiting journalists came from.
Susan seemed particularly excited about my experience writing and posting website copy. Apparently they have a bunch of writers on file, and a bunch of highly technical webby-geeky people, but not a lot of crossover folks who can write at a professional level and aren't afraid to log into a content-management system and muck about in there. So I'm thinking I might get some jobs doing that.
It was nice to hear that they don't even deal in admin or data-entry work, and it was very nice to hear that their rock-bottom hourly rate is a good few bucks more than I made at my highest-paying temp gig (the highest I've ever made temping was $17 an hour; BOSS's rate for writers is at least in the $25 range, higher for writing+web work like I might be doing). I let it be known that I just wanna work, just wanna write, and will take a lower hourly rate (which would still be much higher than what I'm making right now) and would even commute to DC or southern Maryland if the job is good enough. (I live in Springfield, VA.) As long as I have NPR or good music going, I'm not too car-averse at all.
I also liked being referred to as "talent" or "creative talent," which made me feel less like just one more needy person who wants a job. I reckon both are true, but the terms at the BOSS joint have a much nicer ring to them. As if I'm some little piano prodigy or eccentric artist who must be catered to and coddled. "Christie will only deign to work at your office if you rearrange the letters on her keyboard from QWERTY to alphabetical order, and she will not tolerate being looked directly in the eye."
So I'm on file with them, and I think I left Susan with the impression that I have a solid and varied wordsmithing background, and that I'm eager to work. I'm supposed to e-mail her and another temp point-of-contact guy about once a week just to check in, say wazzup, remind them that I'm here and available. Get on top of their pile or whatever. I'm excited and hopeful. This was definitely a good use of my morning.
Now I'm back at the current temp gig (I took the morning off to drive up to BOSS's headquarters in Bethesda). I'm wearing a fitted navy blazer, and I have that "just went to a job interview" look goin' on. It's not that big of a deal, though; I mean, it's not as if the folks here want to keep me long-term. So I guess it's a little bit like if I were casually involved with some guy, but I knew going in that he didn't want anything serious, and that made me feel bad but I was lonely and didn't have much else going on. And then one day I meet some other dude, who is also not exactly looking for something serious with me, but the conversation is a lot more stimulating, and there is the tiny possibility of something longer-term with this new fella. So I'm not going to feel too bad about blowing off the first guy to hang out with the new one. And I'm not going to feel bad about showing up after a date with the new guy with my hair all suspiciously disheveled in a telltale post-coital manner.
That analogy got weird quick.
So I'm sitting here in my blazer, and I have a cupcake (from the nearby Fluffy Thoughts bakery, where my little sister got her wedding cake last year) because I'm feeling celebratory. Yes, I just ran four miles (and typed it in bolded letters, with a bullet point, in my nerdy little list of accomplishments for last week), and I plan to do so again, just as soon as I can bend my sore legs. But right now I'm going to eat a cupcake. Because today is a good day.