Tag Archives: Miracle Mile

Crossing fingers after phone interview marred by no bars, technical problem

I had a fairly good telephone job interview this morning, despite equipment problems on both ends.

And despite me stumbling over some of the questions.

Some of the problems started this morning when I tumbled out of bed and checked my cellular phone to make sure that it had charged overnight. I was immediately troubled to see no bars, not one.

“OK, don’t panic,” I said to myself, of course, leaving out here the expletives. “I’ll just whip up some congee, grab a shower, and check the bars again. Perhaps a T-Mobile tower is down or something and it will take a bit of time to get it up again. If all else fails, I’ll make a run to Starbucks, troll for a cell signal, and pirate some Wifi. And just sit in my CRV for the interview.”

Yes, I do sometimes have extended conversations with myself.

Congee, check.

Shower and shave, check.

Car keys, check.

Laptop and cell phone, check and check.

Cell phone bars, not so check. Still no bars.

So, off I went for the Starbucks. As I drove closer, I checked the bars and the signal seem to be coming in strong. Great!

I circled the Starbucks in the Miracle Mile in Stockton and head back to my apartment to go over notes before I planned to return to the Starbucks in time for my interview call.

Funny thing, though, as I drove back to the apartment – I started getting more bars. Eureka! A strong signal. Perhaps, just, perhaps, T-Mobile fixed the glitch and I’ll be able to receive the interview in a non-stressful environment sitting at my writing desk in the living room of my apartment.

There I sat for more than an hour going over “20 Most Asked Questions In A Job Interview” – of which, the interviewers would later ask only one of the “20 Most Asked Questions In A Job Interview” – and tried to relax just a bit before my 9:45 a.m. call.

Everything was going well enough when I took another look at my cell phone at 9:30 a.m. and – PANIC! No bars, again! Ugh!

I scooped up my laptop, a notepad, a couple of pens, and my cell phone and headed downstairs to the garage. There I jumped into my CRV, cranked up the engine, and headed – at only slightly excessive speed – to the nearest Starbucks where earlier I had found a strong signal and where I could pirate WiFi. (I say “pirate,” but Starbucks provides free WiFi. Using “pirate” is an attempt at making me more edgy. Did it work?)

I parked in the same spot I had earlier, but the cell signal was at only two bars. I didn’t want an every-other-word experience during the interview. I drove around the block trolling for a stronger signal and found one – very nearly in the same spot I had been before going around the block. Time: 9:44 a.m.

OK, quick drink of water. Pull out the computer for the notes on the “20 Most Asked Questions In A Job Interview.” Pull out the pad of paper to write down the names of the people on the search committee conducting the interview. Go online for a quick check of email.

It was then that the phone rang. I let it ring again, popped open the cell phone, paused – “Hello. … Hello. … Hello!”

Nothing. Great! Well what else can go wrong?

I tried dialing back a couple of times, but all I got was the ear-piercing tone of a fax machine. Great!

OK, don’t panic, don’t panic, don’t panic … DON’T PANIC!

Oh, wait, the phone’s ringing again.

“Hello. … Hello. … Hello!”

Oh, crap, not again.

One more attempt to call them. More piercing sounds. OK, OK, OK, I’ll shoot an email to the person who arranged the interview. Under the circumstances, maybe – just maybe – we can reschedule the telephone interview.

The email was very nearly set to send when the phone rang one more time. By this time it was five or 10 minutes after the scheduled appointment

OK, don’t panic. Let it ring again.

“Hello”

“Hello, Keith. Sorry for that bit of technical problem …,” said the woman on the other end.

Sheesh, that was close. I’ve been out of work for 20 months now and I cannot afford to miss an interview for any reason.

The half-hour interview went well enough, I think, especially since it took place over the phone as I sat in my CRV with a laptop balanced on my knees.

I stumbled on a few questions. It’s a marketing job and my experience is in straight-up journalism, but several of the interviewers have newspaper experience, so they may have cut me some slack. They gave me verbal feedback and laughed where they should have, so it wasn’t all bad at all.

The job would be with a leader in its field and I think skills I honed as a columnist, opinion page editor, editorialist, and essayist could come in handy. The problem would be in having time to write about all the positive aspects. That’s a bit of a change considering all my work experience is in newspaper where much of the news is not good.

Well, I’m crossing my fingers. It appears it will be about 30 days before I find out if I was selected, so I’ll be patient and continue my search in the meantime.

Bookmark and Share
Advertisements

Maine Stuff in My California Apartment No. 8 … At least, until I consume them

Today’s photos are of a package from home and its contents.

My Mom and The Sis – probably with the fine assistance of nephew Max and niece Sophie – put it together for my birthday, which was a little over a month ago. Procrastination runs in the family. 🙂

But in all fairness to The Sis, she is a wife, mother of two very active children, Max and Sophie, and has a full-time job. She’s busy. My Mom – known as Mems to The Sis’s two very active children – is busy on her own what with grandchildren to spoil, friends to visit, bowling balls to throw, books to read, a dog’s ears to scratch, and box wine to drink.

Don’t get me wrong. It was a lovely surprise. I knew the package was coming and that it might be a while longer, so it truly was a lovely surprise nonetheless. And very much appreciated.

Here’s the package straight from Fryeburg, Maine. Well, perhaps not straight-arrow straight, but close enough.

Yes, that is me using a corkscrew to open the package from home. It was handy and recently had been used, so I knew it worked.

The package from home was waiting for me yesterday when I returned from a day at empresso coffeehouse, the coffeehouse I frequent the most. It is located in Empire Theater on the Miracle Mile in Stockton, Calif., and hence the name of the coffeehouse. I go there for the reasonably priced and reasonably tasty caffeinated beverages, friendly baristas, and WiFi I use for the protracted job search and to keep in touch with personal and professional contacts.

The package from home is opened. Inside were chocolate chip cookies, Bar Harbor Jam Company Maine Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix, Bar Harbor Jam Company Maine Wild Blueberry Jam, Captain Mowatt’s Blue Flame and Captain Mowatt’s Fireberry Sauce. Apparently, my request for “no sugar” went unheeded … again. 

Inside the package from home were three Ziploc bags of chocolate cookies, Bar Harbor Jam Company Maine Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix, Bar Harbor Jam Company Maine Wild Blueberry Jam, Captain Mowatt’s Blue Flame and Captain Mowatt’s Fireberry Sauce. Trust me on this, it is all yummy stuff and I will enjoy it all.

However – and it’s only a small “however” – I have asked several times for no more sugary treats. I’m closer to 50 than I would like and it is getting harder and harder to keep the weight off. The last thing I need is sugary treats.

To Mom and The Sis I thank you.

This is an occasional multipart series of photos of things related to Maine that can be found in Keith Michaud’s California apartment. All photos in this series are shot by and are the property of Keith Michaud.

Bookmark and Share

Coffeehouse observation No. 138

From my perch at empresso, the Miracle Mile coffeehouse I frequent, I can see several laptops open and Facebook on the screen, several other people texting on cellphones, some talking on cellphones, a professorly gentleman wearing suspenders and smoking a pipe, several people reading books – yes, books – a group chatting, and a fellow strumming a guitar. It’s a coffeehouse, all right.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.

Bookmark and Share

Coffeehouse observation No. 70

I’m back in more familiar territory today – empresso on Pacific Avenue in Stockton, CA, USA. It was quiet earlier, then bustling, now quiet again, but it may be building to bustling again. The coffee is good and strong, and beautiful women of all ages frequent the establishment. I’m guessing that has something to do with the draw of the businesses on the Miracle Mile, the adult school down the street, and the proximity to the University of the Pacific and San Joaquin Delta College. Whatever the reason, I don’t mind. In rainy weather lately, I’ve been patronizing Exotic Java because it is next door to the Margaret Troke Branch Library on West Benjamin Holt Drive. (I typically walk to empresso in order to avoid a parking ticket and I don’t like walking in the rain that much. There is free parking at this particular library branch.) Nice baristas at Exotic Java and coffee that hits the spot, but it is a bit less active than empresso, probably because it is a block or two from Pacific Avenue. Oh, but it has a drive-through window, which makes it convenient for motorists. I can recommend both establishments.

Go to Coffeehouse Observer for more coffeehouse observations.