A Perfect Beginning

March 30, 2009

In the phone interview several weeks ago the man told me training would be March 30 to April 3 but didn’t mention where. I assumed they’d call me closer to the start date with more details.

By last Saturday I’d still heard nothing, which made me think I actually didn’t have the job. I called the LA regional office and left a message. This morning at 9:00 AM a woman with a welcoming Mid-Western accent called me back. I think her name was Linda. She wasn’t sure which training site I was supposed to go to but said she’d look into it and get back to me.

Just before 11:00 my phone rang. This time it was a man, and he had a very different and difficult to understand accent. He told me I needed to be at St. Brigid’s Catholic Church by noon. It’s near 52nd and Western. When I said that was impossible he wasn’t pleased. The training had started at 8:00 that morning, he pointed out, so I should get there as soon as possible.

I walked home, took a shower, ate lunch, and rode six and a half miles to the church. After I locked up my bike I checked the time – 12:30, better than I’d expected – and saw the man had called me three times while I was riding. I called him back.

‘I’m sorry I was so hard on you,’ he said. I wasn’t quite sure what he meant. ‘I made a mistake – I told you the wrong location. There are two people with your name. Your training is at the Hollywood Youth and Family Center.’ That’s six blocks from my house. I said it would take me a while to get there.

‘But there’s good news,’ he assured me. ‘Your training doesn’t start until tomorrow.’

Welcome to the US Census Bureau.

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