Thursday, June 25, 2009

The People's Bus

I had my first interview in almost four months today. I'd responded to an ad for a part-time person for a local software company. I have to confess that what prompted me to respond was not the pay (it's not outstanding), but the fact that it's a small company in Andersonville. if you live in the Boston area, it would be as if you had the opportunity to work in Davis Square rather than in the Financial District. After several years of commuting to Chicago's busy business hub, an area crammed with buses and taxis and El tracks and panhandlers, the notion of being able to get to work easily in a very pleasant neighborhood was tantalizing. Two miles from my home instead of ten.

I debated whether I should try for a part-time job, so I called SP. I tend to weigh SP's advice heavily because in many ways he is a lot like me, so his reaction is a good barometer.

I told him of my ambivalence of a part-time job; on one hand, I would not get bored as easily, the day would pass quickly, and I could pick up other work elsewhere to fill in the gap. And as SP said, "You have to start somewhere."


Cut to the chase: company has been around for 25 years, is the leader in bookstore-inventory software (for small bookstores to those with as many as 30 cash drawers), integrated with point-of-sale.  Very little staff turnover, all Customer Service is handled in-house. Office is on the second floor (second floor! I just walk in! No transpondered photo ID on a lanyard!)  of a wonderful old building originally built for doctor and dentist offices. Lots of walnut-stained wood and textured glass. I loved it immediately. Not to mention that it is a stone's throw from a Turkish crepe restaurant that serves Nutella-raspberry crepes. With ice cream.

The woman I met was very normal, my age-ish. The place seems stable, they have a good product that they support well, and I think I'll like the culture (I told her I like working with smart, funny, competent people, and she said I'd just described the company). 

So I'm supposed to think about it and get back to her to let her know whether I'm interested (not a job offer, just a continuation, I think).

The bus back home was crowded, and I was saved to an empty seat sat at the back by with two men on my right and another on my left, also sitting there.  They all started to compliment me on my dress.

"That is a NICE dress."

"SO summery."

"You have to hand-wash that?"

I told them nope, it was a cheap dress that I could throw in the wash. 

"How does it make you feel to have all these men complimenting your dress?"

"Like the best ten dollars I ever spent."

By now it was clear that the men to my right were gay. I don't meet many gay black men, although there was that time at Roscoe's with SP that a tall gay black man pushed a pitcher of something blue at me and said, "Have some baby. I call this PASSION."

"We're here for The Taste [of Chicago]," one of the men said. "He's not from Chicago."

"I had that corn with the Parmesan cheese," his boyfriend said. "That is good. I've never had that before."

"Well I already told them that since I AM from Chicago, he's already HAD a taste of Chicago."

"Would that be a sweet or spicy taste?" I asked.

The man to my left introduced himself and told me he was coming home from work at the Dominick's at Clybourn and Division. We had a chat about Cabrini-Green,. and then the couple asked me about a good place to eat.

"But first I got to get my munchies on. You know what I mean by that, right?"

"It's one o'clock in the afternoon!" I said.

"Honey, It's four o'clock somewhere."

So I suggested Uncommon ground on Clark (I think the meatloaf and martinis sold them), and showed them where to get off the bus. Then Dominick's man got off at his stop, and I headed directly to babysitting since I was late. 

A MUCH better commute.