Jaime, our Tattoo Girl, has asked her friend Tamara to help her find a new job. Tamara is a whiz with resumes and cover letters. But Jaime is not sure what type of job she wants. She just knows she’s not going to be a manager at OfficeCo, where she currently works. She’s binge-watching NetFlix and eating popcorn with her loyal companion, her cat Mr. Mittens.
This post is standalone, but if you’d like to read earlier installments, please see links at the end of this post.
It came in her email. She wasn’t sure how it had gotten to her, but she didn’t delete the announcement.
Come to the Fremont Solstice Parade! Interested in art? Help us make giant puppets for the parade. – From something called the “Cascadia Arts Collective” in Seattle.
Giant puppets? Wow. That sounded really strange.
And really fun.
She had the art degree, after all. What had she been doing with it? Pointing customers to the file folders or white board markers on the shelves of OfficeCo in University Village. She had done the pointilism pieces in her night class at the community college, but that was almost a year ago now.
Jaime RSVPd for the puppet-building workshop. Clicking through the Cascadia website, she noticed a call for Interns – the graphic dsign internship caught her eye. Hmm. Web design – she didn’t have much experience there. But wait – branding, merchandise design – she had taken some of that in Art School – they had wanted students to be marketable, after all – and she could still remember key points from her classes. Oh, wait – the internships were only for academic students. Still – ah! At the bottom of the webpage was a statement encouraging anyone to get in touch with the outreach manager if they wanted to get involved.
Hmmm. This was something. It wouldn’t pay, but she was ready to try something different. She didn’t know what she wanted to do, yes, but she did know she could totally get excited about a grass-roots group putting together art and making it a cultural movement in the Pacific Northwest.
Her email to the volunteer contact at the Collective only took a few minutes to compose. She decided against including a resume or anything formal, opting instead to write a brief email stating her interest and something about her background – nothing about her job at Office Depot, of course, or the failed studio work in Houston when she was married to Anton. “If you could use some help with graphic design or branding, please let me know. I’m interested in the community arts vision that Cascadia presents!”
Well, she’d wait a few days and see what happened. In the meantime, when she was Googling for Cascadia’s website, she’d seen a listing from Coyote Central. Hadn’t the community college art instructor, Frannie, mentioned that Coyote Central did art instruction for teens – and especially for diverse populations? Perhaps she could teach there.
On Coyote’s website they didn’t list any job openings, but they did encourage contacts for assistance as a volunteer. Jaime wasn’t quite sure what that might entail, since it turned out that Coyote was about way more than arts instruction. There was an annual auction, planning kitchen gardens, Guest Chef Tuesday events, and a lot more. But, what the heck. It all sounded exciting. She fired off another email, to the volunteer contact at Coyote Central, a tweak of her Cascadia email, asking about how she might help.
Well. Neither of those was a job, true. But she didn’t have to leave Office Depot quite yet. As long as she came up with a strategy to keep bad-date Corey at bay, she’d be okay. And Nathan, her manager, was a good friend – she would miss him when she was gone.
It wasn’t until after she was settled in on the couch again, Mr. Mittens close at hand, remote control clicking through the “Just Added” section on NetFlix, that Jaime realized she still didn’t know how she had gotten that email. She hadn’t even heard of Cascadia before this morning. Did someone subscribe her email address to the mailing list without her knowledge? That seemed unlikely. Tamara wouldn’t have sent her anything that didn’t pay – not Tamara. Nathan? Maybe. But she should have gotten some sort of confirmation – these days, organizations didn’t just add people without checking, she knew that much.
Huh. A mystery.
“Well,” she said to Mr. Mittens, clicking on a movie choice and opening the NetFlix window, “let’s take a look at the last ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie, shall we?” She still liked Johnny Depp, in spite of the recent announcements that he was in financial trouble, something about about losing all his money – in a scam? He seemed to be everything she was not – a risk-taker, a provocateur, an actor who had moxie.
Who knows? Some of that moxie might rub off on her.
Here we are again, spending time with our favorite Tattoo Girl Jaime. Again, thank you for your lovely and encouraging reader comments on Haunted Wedding Dresses, which I posted in several parts. You have inspired me to share more about Jaime, our girl with the tattoo and the protective cat, Mr. Mittens.
What has been your experience with job hunts? Do you try networking, or answering job ads? Perhaps you are a freelancer. How do you balance work that pays with your artistic or writing activities? I would love to hear about it!