...cont' from Part 1: (again, terribly long and perhaps a little boring...)
Tuesday night we went back to my friends' house around 8:30. I crawled in bed by 9 with a good book, ready for a night of no sleep. With the combination of nerves and my body still on night-shift sleep schedule, I wasn't sure I could go to sleep at 9. (If I am sleeping at 9 pm at home its only because I'm taking a quick nap before work :-)
I fell asleep by 9:30 and woke up at 8am to my phone ringing...my kids back in Ohio calling to say good-morning/good bye before they left for school. I was so thankful I was able to get a good night's sleep. It was desperately needed.
I crawled out of bed and threw on enough clothes to make me presentable enough to drive through Dunkin Donuts for a LARGE caramel coffee. I may have a slight addiction to coffee and needed something to jumpstart me that morning.
I hung around the house with Ann, gathering my thoughts for the day. I received an email from a co-worker who had sent a letter of recommendation to the Talent Acquisition rep at Insurance Co A, where I was interviewing later that afternoon. I almost cried. The letter was so kind and full of good things. I didn't realize that I was perceived in the way he described me.
I showered and got dressed before noon and was ready to leave by 12:15. I made it into the city and to my reserved parking spot by 12:45. I parked there last year...it is in an interesting spot. There is a small driveway snuggled between two large buildings. As soon as you pull up there is a gate with a security speaker system. You have to push the button and give them your name. If you are approved, they lift the gate for you to pull forward where you go down an incline to a metal door where you wait for it to open. It feels slightly intimidating. :-)
I easily found a place to park on the first level and walked to the elevators. Last year I took the elevators up to the lobby where someone met me. This year I had to walk out of the plaza deck and across the street and around the corner to the main entrance. It was freezing. Because I overthink things and totally stress out about the stupidest things, I didn't take my coat. I wasn't sure what I would do with it while I was in the meetings, so I opted to tough it out and not wear one at all. Not my smartest move.
I was almost 25 minutes early, so I ducked into a Dunkin Donuts and grabbed another cup of caramel swirl coffee. Thinking ahead, I only bought a small one. I sat in the coffee shop thinking of what was up ahead and wondering how it would go. I was oddly calm at this point.
Leaving the coffee shop, I heard sirens and all sorts of commotion. Looking ahead to the crosswalk, I noticed a group of people standing around/kneeling over someone. It looked like someone had been hit by a car. It took my mind off my stress as I said a quick prayer...but the noise of the sirens didn't do much to help my adrenaline.
I easily found the door I was to go in and went inside to the security desk. I gave them my name and time of appointment. He couldn't find my name on the list...I glanced down and saw that they had it listed as 1:15am, not pm. I had to laugh to myself...I would probably do better doing interviews at 1:15 AM.
I signed in and sat in a little waiting room in the Talent Acquisition area. I heard/read somewhere that often they will watch you on cameras to see how you act or what magazines you read in a waiting room. I found something that looked 'smart' and pretended to read it, occasionally stopping to stare at nothing and act like I was intently reading an article. I have no clue what the magazine was about and hopefully I wasn't holding it upside down. The last thing on my mind was reading those articles. haha.
Madelyne came out and introduced herself. She walked me upstairs to the conference room I would be meeting in. We spoke for about 15 minutes and she told me what the job was like and different things like that. She was so sweet and I really enjoyed getting to know her.
The first woman came in. She is the 2VP of the one particular department in Business Insurance. We seemed to connect and the interview went well. She said she always asks one question to potential BA's to see if they have the natural aptitude to be a BA. "I want to build a house and am hiring you to do it...where would you start?" I was taken aback...not sure how to answer it, so I guessed. I just started asking her questions that I thought were totally stupid sounding and irrelevant. But she smiled and said "Perfect...you nailed it...you have no idea how many people only ask one or two questions."
After 30 minutes with her, the Director of this department of Business Insurance came in. I was meeting with her for an hour. This woman was new to the company and I was really excited to meet her and hear of her perspective of things there. I was nervous to have to interview for an hour straight. In half hour interviews (even if there are many back to back) if they start to go downhill, it won't be long until someone else comes in. But with an hour? If I blew it in the first 10 minutes, it would be a loong time trying to recover.
I shouldn't have worried. Brandy was in.cred.i.ble. I felt like I was meeting an old friend for coffee. She was so professional and knows so much, but it was comfortable and so easy to talk to her.
Next was the consultant for the group. I met with her for 30 minutes, hearing some repeat questions and getting some new ones to attempt to hit out of the park. Again, she was so easy to talk with.
The final woman would be the manager I would report to directly if the job was offered to me. I met with her last year (the other three were new women I just met). We hit if off last year and I remember being told she wouldn't be my direct manager (at last year's interview) and I was terribly disappointed. So when she walked in during these sessions, I could hardly contain my excitement. She is the type that will be patient with me, but will also encourage me to succeed in all that I can.
We talked a little about the job and I almost fell off my chair laughing.. (not really...I just snorted laughing in my head while maintaining composure) I'll be doing BA work, but the line of insurance will be Agriculture. I guess growing up in Wayne Co, Ohio will be a benefit to the big city job after all. ;-)
We went through her list of questions in half the time so the second half of the interview (proof of my listed strength of 'efficient' hehe) we just talked and she answered the list of questions that I had about the job, the company, the city, etc. She explained that if I was offered the position, I would be replacing someone who was retiring.
Last year when I was offered this position it was because the team wanted to stay pro-active. There were potentially 5-10 employees in that BA/PM group that were planning to retire over the next year or two. The team didn't want to be left without any senior talent and all newbies. However, HR looked at it like there wasn't a current position open for another BA or PM. This year there is an actual opening because someone is leaving in May and they want someone in there soon so they can train with her...hopefully for about 3 months.
I quickly did the math and figured out that I should have started 2 weeks ago This could potentially move really, really fast. Which is great, but also kinda frightening. I found out there was an opening on Feb 11. I got the email with the job description on the 17th. I had the interviews on the 26th. This was fast...this is too good to be true.
When we finished up, it seemed very promising. But I wasn't going to celebrate until everyone signed on the dotted line. (I'm still waiting on the official word)
Madelyne was waiting for me outside the door to finish up so she could walk me to the door. On our way over we spoke and she told me of the next steps. She kept hinting that I had a good chance, but kept stopping herself. I was trying hard not to read into it, but still it made me excited! She said that if the team approved, typically the next step would be another round of interviews with the next higher up management. But because it was them who first met me and requested I be brought in, those interviews would be skipped. She went on to say she would meet with the team and call me next week.
Instead of having me walk outside and in the way I came out, she took me across the link to the interior elevators that take you down through the parking deck. I wasn't sure which level I parked on, so I asked the security guard which level was level with the ground. Seems like a dumb question, but this parking deck is odd and isn't normal.
She told me that if I pulled in right off Prospect, that level is G1. Sounded like it made sense, so I hopped in the elevator. I went to G1 and I knew immediately, it was NOT the right level. I jumped back in the elevator and went up a level. I looked at that one. Again, it was NOT the right level. I looked around and realized that there are 2 sections per level. So I went through the doors to the other side. Again, not on G1 or G2.
At this point I was very frustrated. My feet hurt from the heels, and I was cold (remember...no coat ;-) I went back up to the lobby and asked the woman again and was very clear..."I drove in right off of Prospect, did not go up or down...which level is that?" She said "It has to be G1." Back to the elevator I go. Back to G1. I look in every place I can and the car is not there.
I was getting so mad. I have a decent sense of direction and have never been lost in my life. I might be unsure of where I am exactly, but I can usually stop, think, and figure it out rather quickly. I've never known the fear of being lost. And I was starting to get concerned. This is a secure lot, so I couldn't just walk outside and walk in to the parking lot the way I drove. Not to mention a large number of employees were starting to leave at this point. What on earth would I do if I ran into someone I interviewed with? I didn't want them to think I was completely incompetent. I did what I always do when I don't know what to do. I faked confidence.
Then, with confidence*, I walked in every level that the parking deck had. Except for G5...because she told me it most likely was not on G5. Irritated, cold, mad, and walking with pinched toes, I didn't know what to do.
Going back inside was not an option and the only thing I could think to do was to wait until every.single.car was gone so I find mine faster. Then I gained some sensibility and decided to stop and pray. Cry/whine to God is more what I actually did than pray... it was then I decided to check out G5. It was my last resort. Sure enough...there was my car.
Rethinking my steps and the path I took, I realized that the lot was built into the ground. So while 5 was the ground-level, it was also the top. Sweet little security guard must have never been in the parking garage ;-) I was never so excited to see that plain, gray rental car. Then I realized that too much of this pilgrimage to move East I've held tightly in my hands and haven't always asked God to help me through the small details. I realized that without Him, I would still be cold and my car would still be lost. I guess I'm not as self-sufficient as I let myself think I am :-)
However, so far on this trip, I took on a four-lane highway with my luggage in tow and then took on a parking garage in very high heels and no coat. I can proudly say I won both battles :-) I was afraid to think what other adventure I would find myself on.
We went out to Chinese that night for dinner and then went to church. My mind was racing at top speeds until I sat in church. The warmth, the security, the familiar hymns made me relax enough that my brain turned to scrambled eggs.
After church, I went out to ice cream with a friend and we chatted for quite awhile. I'm so excited to be getting to know her better...I'm sure I was a terrible 'date', but I know she is understanding that my day was quite challenging and full!!
I made it back to Ann's around midnight and quick packed for my flight home the next morning. I had to leave their place by 4:30 am and wanted to be as ready as possible.
I laid down and mind racing, fell asleep.
Next up: Part 3: Thursday.