Thursday, March 26, 2009

Job Interview

"[your Father in heaven] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." -- Jesus (as quoted in Matthew 5:45)

I may have mentioned that I’ve been looking for a part-time job to supplement Wayne’s ELCA Global Mission salary (and a huge thanks to churches & individuals who give to ELCA Global Mission… without you we could never be here!)

So while Wayne is working full time as a professor of Pastoral Care at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, I’m looking for a part-time job for these reasons:
a) to help pay our bills including two college tuitions
b) to use my God-given talents and experiences to make a difference in the world
c) to be able to give generously to God’s work here in Asia and back in the States
d) to learn about, and become more a part of the local community here in Hong Kong

(the order of importance of these four things vary greatly, you understand, depending on the circumstances!)

And so it came to be this week, that I, a middle-aged matron, holder of a Master’s degree in a not so very sought-after field, have managed to snag an interview at a children’s center.

It is drizzling a bit the morning of the interview. I meant to leave early, yet somehow it is still pretty much the last minute when I discover my fabulous new umbrella won’t stay up. Fortunately, Wayne has seen to it that we are well supplied with umbrellas, and I find an extra. Off again in the now driving rain, I walk very quickly to the metro station, only stepping in one large puddle on the way.

The train has just left which means waiting precious minutes for the next one. In the train, out of the train, then I’m racing up the steps of the MongKok station with ten minutes to spare. Has the rain lessened? No, actually, it's a mini-monsoon now. I have to flag down a taxi and actually get one, only to discover the driver speaks no English. "Waterloo DOE" I proclaim, proud of myself for remembering that "doe" means "road" in Cantonese. I show him my damp map. He grimaces, but takes off. I just pray, religious person that I am, just pray he will know where to go. He drops me off at a huge seven- way intersection, pointing down one of the roads. I see no street signs, but splash through the puddles in trust until, voila, I am at 1117 Waterloo "Doe". Enter a little elevator up to the 53rd floor. Breathlessly into a minuscule room, two of the cutest little kids you've ever seen are playing on the floor, anxious looking moms hovering over them, awaiting their child’s turn with the “English tutor” (job I’m applying for). I practically have to step over the children to get to the receptionist's counter, only to realize I have dripped rain all over the floor. The receptionist is kind. She takes my umbrella, shows me where to place my shoes, and says, "You can wait long time."

Not sure what to make of that, I look around for a place to sit. None. I observe the kids and smile, wondering if this is a test to see how well I interact with kids. I am ignored.

Finally after several painful minutes of standing in my stocking feet in the puddle I have just created, I am ushered into another teeny room, the office of the interviewer, where I am given a half hour lecture on the importance of RESULTS and PROGRESS and rigorous TRAINING METHODS (Did I tell you... these kids are 3,4,and 5 years old?)

I nod enthusiastically at what I think are all the right places. The interviewer tells me there is an opening in our area of town for just one day a week, which is beginning to sound like plenty enough time for me with this particular organization.

The interviewer warns me I will need an additional interview if I am to get the job. I find myself wondering what his topic will be for the second interview.

I think I will take the job, if offered, as it pays a very impressive sounding $250 an hour in Hong Kong dollars, and will give me some great opportunities for getting to know families and beautiful children from the “real Hong Kong” instead of just the expatriate community.

The rain has slowed when I leave, and I am able to walk in leisure back to the Mongkok Station. My umbrella works perfectly.

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