Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Into the Great Beyond

The only thing more painful than temping is not temping. For the past two days I have been interviewing for jobs outside the city. With a car, the commute would be a leisurely thirty minutes or so, without a car, aka “my way,” the commute is a painful thirty days, or so it seems when wedged between a smelly homeless man and a foul-mouthed pregnant woman on the number 441 bus to the North Shore.

Of course, being the paranoid person that I am (and also one who has missed her fair share of flights), I left myself three hours to make the hour-long trip up north. I settled into the mostly empty bus, and two others, one homeless with an essence of smoked fish about him, and the other a pregnant lady who liked to end everything with “Sheeit” sat down next to me.

The bus driver appeared to be aiming for every pothole and pile of snow along the way, making for a fun, pin ball-like experience for me and my bus mates. When the woman next to me started a conversation about how she prayed her baby’s $100 sneakers would not be stolen like her last baby’s, I did my own praying that my three-hour tour would not end up like a certain other goofy sailor's. I mean, what newborn needs a pair of expensive kicks? Where is this baby going? And who on this planet would steal a baby’s sneakers? Twice? Sheeit.
Thankfully, we did not run into any tropical storms along the way up north, and I did not find myself stranded on a desert island with a maniac bus driver, fishy homeless man, and pregnant lady with her millionaire baby’s $100 sneakers.

I had about an hour and a half to kill before my interview, so I thought I’d find a nice sit-down cafĂ©. Now, this town is a very beautiful place, it just doesn’t have a lot going on in town. I walked a mile in my heels before I came across a cute, small shop named, no doubt in a moment of brilliance, “The Little Shop”.

I was in desperate need of some caffeine, so I ordered a coffee to go, since the little shop was too little for such things as tables and chairs. I had basically walked into a miniaturized 7-11 and would not have been surprised if a Munchkin jumped behind the counter to take my order. The cashier asked how I’d like my coffee.

“I’d like a dark roast, please. French if you have it.”

My order was met with a blank, uncomprehending stare. “We got regular and decaf.”

If my face wasn’t already red from the cold, it certainly got there at that moment. I had just asked for French roast coffee in a model-sized store that sold chili dogs and pizza bagels.

Once I got my regular coffee and was sufficiently embarrassed, I walked back outside and found myself the lone walker amongst a sea of cars. The only ones who weren’t driving were very small carrying large backpacks, or were running very fast, in what may have been $100 sneakers. This was obviously not a place where one took the bus to get to.

Despite my little adventure, the interview went well and I made it back to the city just in time for my next interview, which was at 8:30 this morning in Canton, a good two-hour trip via shuttles, trains, buses, and taxis. Although it was a long commute, it was thankfully uneventful save for my Lebanese cab driver proposing marriage. It actually might not be such a bad deal. At least I wouldn’t have to take the bus again. Sheeit.