Soooo, I had a job interview at Target this morning for a seasonal position (nothing major, and no, I'm not quitting my bike shop job — I'm crazy, not stupid ;D).
I was quite proud of myself for planning everything in advance (planning is not my forte) — indeed, I packed breakfast, Gatorade packets, and a change of clothes for the interview (so I wouldn't look like 'that crazy, sweaty bike dude' during my interview). I looked up bus schedules ahead of time, figured out which bus I needed to take and when, and determined when I had to get up and leave.
I was ready. I was on it. I was ... awake off and on all night, as I always am before job interviews, but that's not important (and I had weird dreams, many of them about cycling, but that's also not important).
I rolled out of bed this morning at about 7:15. By 7:45, I was rolling down the driveway, lights on, backpack on, pants on, head attached (yesss!!!). I made pretty good time (though not, by a fair margin, record time) and was standing at the bus stop at 8:09, ready for the 8:25 Number 72 to roll up (yes, I could have ridden the whole distance, but that would've meant sacrificing a considerable cool-down period on the bus, and I may have mentioned that I didn't want to show up looking like that sweaty, crazy bike guy).
The bus came, I jumped on — everything was perfect. Off we went, over the river and through the ... well, not really through the woods, nor to Grandmother's house, but you get the picture. I sat patiently, working on a new personal high score in a version of COLLAPSE! called 'Relapse' (this is the only working game I have on my phone right now, because my phone refuses to talk to the internet, which apparently insulted its Mom once a couple of months back).
Before I knew it, I was there: I asked the bus driver to let me off at the stop nearest Target, and she obliged me. And then I forgot to put the bike rack up (she had to honk at me, which she did very politely — I must've looked a little frazzled or something).
Warning bells — yea, very klaxons (okay, I just wanted to say 'klaxon' — in fact, it was so much fun, I think I'll say it again: klaxon, klaxon, klaxon!) — should have sounded. And yet, somehow, they didn't. I rolled on over to the Target in question, locked up, and went in.
I was early and had time to kill, so I changed, then sat around in the cafe eating the breakfast cookie I'd brought with me and reviewing my notes from Psych 101. I was calm, cool, and collected. I was on top of things.
Around 9:30, I got up, checked my teeth, and checked in with at the Guest Services desk. The fact that it didn't actually say Guest Services, even though Kelly at Target had specifically told me to come to the Guest Services desk, should also have served as some kind of warning. But I, in my outoing, peppy, confident mode, am apparently immune to such things — so I confidently approached the friendly lady at the desk, Dana, who said, "Oh, you probably spoke to me yesterday." Then she sat me down so I could complete an in-store applicant evaluation on one of their semi-working computer systems (it actually worked fine for me; she was a bit surprised).
It was only after I had completed the evaluation that I realized I hadn't spoken with a Dana at Target — though I had, in fact, spoken with a Dana yesterday, she was one of the clients of the courier service. Some kind divine force prompted me to say, "I'm sorry — I just realized I didn't actually talk to you yesterday. I talked to Kelly."
Dana looked surprised. "Hm, I'm not sure that we have a Kelly here."
I had the presence of mind to say, "Oh, she might actually work on the IUS end of things," or something like that.
This prompted Dana to say, "Oh! There's a Kelly at the New Albany store -- do you think..."
To which I replied, "Wait, this isn't New Albany?" I am certain that I have never more closely resembled the archetypal 'Deer In Headlights.'
And then I realized, to the accompaniment of a distinct sinking sensation in my belly, that I had probably managed to disembark while still in Clarksville. (In fact, I should already have known that I was in Clarksville, for a number of reasons, but that also is not important.)
Fortunately, Dana is one sharp cookie. She said, "Oh, let me call over there for you!" Then she rang up the New Albany store, explained the situation, and sent me out the door with directions (for which I was grateful, though I rode a different route entirely) and her blessing (for which I was grateful).
I debated changing out of my interview clothes, then thought, "To heck with it," and rolled up my trousers.
The ride to the next Target was blazingly fast — in fast, I am not sure I have ever wrangled a higher average speed on any ride, ever. It's kind of funny what your legs will do for you when the chips are really down. I felt strong and fast, if a bit nervous, and really, really grateful that my legs and Quicksilver (whose rear wheel is a little out of true thanks to a pothole-related incident that I may have mentioned already) were both operating smoothly.
I was also really happy that I'd had the presence of mind to spend what seemed like most of an hour yesterday re-seating the rear wheel to minimize brake rubbing as much as possible (which is, in fact, kind of important), because I've apparently been riding with major brake rub in the back for several days now. D'oh. No wonder it's seemed like more work than usual lately.
At any rate, in very short order, I hit my next Target. I found the Guest Services desk — which was, in fact, labeled 'Guest Services,' this time — and apprised the highly-capable Glenda of my situation. She sat me down in the cafe, where I did exactly nothing because my composure was totally shot by then, and headed off to find Kelly. Meanwhile, various visions of doom unfurled themselves before my mind's eye (I have never been late for a job interview before).
In the end, it all worked out all right: after just a few minutes (during which time I was able to blow my nose and dry my hair a little), Kelly appeared and greeted me. She was very pleasant, even down-right friendly, and when I explained how I missed my Target, she laughed and said she had done the same thing at her corporate interview. I then completed two quick interviews — one with Kelly and another with Glenda.
In the end, even though I was late, sweaty, and obviously one of those crazy bike guys, I got the green light (even though Target's logo is more like a red light — or, as a friend of mine once said, "'...wait: it's a great eye ... lidless ... wreathed in flame. Oh, God, I work for Sauron!'").
Glenda handed me a form so I could run over to LabCorp for a drug test. I felt entirely confident about that, because we have been studying drugs in Psych 101 and I even reviewd my notes — but it turned out this was just one of those 'pee in a cup' tests.
Hm. ...I wonder if neatness counts.
Anyway, in the end, I rode 11.3 very fast miles, mostly uphill (though most of the grades were gentle), with a good many pleasant Southern Indiana drivers who, for the most part, really deported themselves admirably. One guy — the oncoming lane, oddly enough — yelled something like 'Roooooooooaa...' out his window; I have decided to believe he was singing 'The Yellow Roooooooose of Texas' very loudly and off-key. Certainly, if that was the case, the gusto with which he sings is quite admirable, though he should probably keep his day job.
So, to make a short story long, provided I pass my drug test (which I should, unless the nachos I made last night were contaminated with clenbuterol), I now have a second part-time job working for Sauron early in the morning, which will, inherently, mean a lot of early-morning miles on the bike, since the bike is how I get around.
Somehow, even though it will be cold and dark and, eventually, weathery out there, I find this idea quite exciting.
...And I guess I didn't really miss the Target, after all.