Day 12 – When a British Guy Calls You “Smashing”

On August 28th, my wife lost her job. 24 hours later, I lost mine. This blog is a continuation of the day-by-day chronicling of our emotional journey back to employment. This is bound to be upsetting, hilarious and hopeful.

September 9, 2014

George Clooney knew better. You can see that too, right?

George Clooney knew better. Look at his face–you can see that too, right?

Today, I published the first blog in this series. This was immensely satisfying. It’s possible no one will really care about any of this, but I think if I don’t record what’s happening I’m just going to get lost in the lack of definition between the days and the hours. I haven’t been this long away from a 9-to-5 (or more than 5) since I was 21-years-old and fresh off a 2-year stint as a missionary. Back in that February of 1998, I spent a solid month and a half just watching movies to decompress, and became slightly obsessed with Batgirl in a movie I legitimately felt got a bad rap–Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin. I sincerely hope I don’t similarly lose my sanity now.

So, basically, these blogs are dispatches from the recent, possibly deranged past. Read with caution.

* * *

Erin had her first phone interview today, this morning. I admit to a twinge of jealously, though that turned out to be unjustified. The man was British, much to Erin’s delight. She sent him links to a few videos showing off her skills on camera and, the way Erin tells it, he was completely knocked out by her. He called her “smashing.” She rode that wave for the rest of the day.

Some people see what Erin does as easy. How hard is it to talk to an imaginary audience? As anyone who has thought that way and then fell on their butt trying to do it can tell you, there are few things harder than presenting yourself to the cold, unfeeling and highly subjective gaze of a camera lens. After having done hundreds of videos for the Company, Erin’s an old pro and she was rightly recognized as such this morning. Here’s just one, small example of her work–a video for 1st and 2nd graders and I had no small part in. The baseball sequence is my favorite:


Though I’d assumed I’d failed with his colleague, the recruiter called me back today. We had a good, short chat, but there was a problem: I don’t have a portfolio site to show off what I can do. I’ve now got 24 hours to get one up and running. Supposedly, I’m out of work. Sure am busy though.

* * *

A friend took us out to lunch today, to House of Juju in Old Town Clovis. I haven’t had such savory food since I was in New Orleans earlier this year. House of Juju serves fancy burgers and salads and potatoes, but that’s a reductive description. Erin took one look at our burgers and immediately regretted ordering just a salad. I recommend the Dragon Lady Burger, should you dare to make your mouth so happy.

Our friend was there not only buy us lunch, but to listen and be there for us and give us a $50 gas card. That was hard to accept, but his good humor left us with little choice in the matter. Apparently, he found it on the ground and didn’t want it weighing him down.

Our money has an expiration date and we are in need. It’s that simple. I think it’s harder to accept for Erin than it is for me, and I could tell she was uncomfortable as she took the card. Grateful, but uncomfortable. I like to think we’ve been good about helping people in similar fashion through the years. We’ve been blessed monetarily just enough to be of service to others, though we’ve never thought ourselves better than them. Why should that be any different now? We’re not some magical, amazing couple for whom everything goes right all the time because we’re just that awesome. Someday, we will be able to give again. Nothing wrong with receiving a little now. As loathe as we are to admit it, it’s our turn.

After the lunch, I splurged again and got $1.29 dipped ice cream cones at McDonald’s for me and Erin. They… were not delicious.

* * *

Spent most of the rest of the day working on my online portfolio. Feels good to make actual progress towards… well, I don’t know what. But I’ve got to think it will be amazing. That’s just the feeling I keep having the further we get away from high emotions of the early days of all this.


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