My recruiter sent me a job description. Doable, non-scary.
"But it's in Lake Bluff," she said.
I hit Google and discovered that Lake Bluff is way north, but not west, in the tony northern suburbs. I also saw that the Metra station in Lake Bluff was right across from the office, and that line was my local Metra line.
"Fine," I said.
I had my initial interviews at the company HQ, Downtown. The irony is that if the job were there, I could take a single bus door to door.
I met with the Managing Director and a woman in the Creative Department. I got the sense they were really looking for a personality fit.
"I can tell you that you will be going to the Lake Bluff office for second interviews," the woman said.
Well, go me.
The interview was at a time that didn't really work with the Metra schedule, so I planned to drive. In preparation, I took the car to Snappy Car Wash to have it cleaned. I love that place. You step out of your car, and a team of washers descends with brushes, hoses, soap. One group attacks the outside, another team hits the inside, another man does the tires, yet another removes the carpet and runs it through the special carpet machines. It's like a wet, soapy Mexican gymnastics event.
I had my Google directions, and left early because traffic always stinks; just getting through Skokie takes a third of the entire trip time. Driving through Lake Forest, I kept expecting to be pulled over for what my friend Joe calls "Driving While Working Class." Apparently the burgeoning rust on my old Honda did not set off the Hoi Polloi alarm, because the Taste Police were nowhere to be seen.
When you go to work in The Loop, you navigate through congested streets, panhandlers, pigeons, news vendors. Busses churn by, taxis weave and honk constantly, and trains screech overhead on the elevated tracks.
In Lake Bluff, a park with a gazebo faces the office, which itself looks like someone's house. It was a new, three-story building built along a row of new construction purposely built to look old and colonial and quaint. There is a bakery on the ground floor.
I met three of the women, and spent most of my time with the main account director and one of the account managers. I liked them. I like the company, I like the energy, and I like that women drive the business, which has proven rare here, and is completely different from my last job. It's a creative, progressive, high-energy environment.
I think it went well, but I don't know what the competition is like. They had a final interviewee today, so I should hear soon. If I don't get it it won't be the end of the world; after 8 months of job-hunting with few results, I'm used to rejection, but it would be so nice to have a job again.