Lovely Rita

Every day sends me a list of jobs they think I would be perfect for.

Well, maybe not “perfect.” Maybe “interested in.” Or maybe “desperate enough to apply for.” A few weeks ago they sent me a listing for “COMM’L DRYWALL METAL STUD FOREMAN.” Not, mind you, “Comm’l Drywall Metal Stud ‘WORKER,'” but “FOREMAN.” They know leadership potential when they see it.

Today, at the top of the list was “PARKING ENFORCEMENT SPECIALIST.” This puzzled me. Regardless of how cute I would look in that meter maid uniform, I really don’t have any experience in any type of “enforcement” activities. Okay, technically, that’s not entirely true. There was the job I had when I graduated early from high school so that I could work and earn money for college. Indeed, I worked for the Staten Island Mall Security Office, but really, I had no power personally. My job was to communicate with the security guards via the special two-way radio system, and send them out to deal with the daily assorted situations that arose at the mall. I was “dispatch.”

“Security, this is dispatch. Do you copy?”
“Copy dispatch.”
“Please go to Paws and Claws on level two. We have a report of a python eating shoppers.”
“Ten-four, dispatch. Over and out.”

Of course, not every situation was life and death.

“Security, this is dispatch. Please report to “Manny’s Music” on the first level. They are complaining of missing organs.”

And even though I just sat in the office all day, I was required to wear a uniform – white shirt, blue skirt, and sensible shoes. I LOVED IT. I was about to enter a four-year drama program at college, so having to wear a costume all day was right up my alley. I wasn’t just a worker in an office, I was a character in a real-life play. Still, I wasn’t really “enforcing” anything.

But maybe knows me better than I know myself. Maybe all these years I’ve spent pursuing a career in the arts has been a total misuse of my talents. Back then, when September finally came and I told my bosses I was leaving to go to college, they offered me a full-time position in the security office, with a pay raise. I thanked them, but declined. I was headed to college, and a life in the theatre. I had big dreams, and the world was my oyster.

Now, all these years later, I wonder if I might have made the wrong choice. Had I pursued a career in mall security, who knows what I could have achieved? I could have risen in the ranks, and perhaps be in charge of several malls by now, instead of an unemployed writer searching for job possibilities. (Oddly, they never send me listings for “SLIGHTLY SARCASTIC HUMOR WRITER.”) Maybe is telling me it’s not too late, that I still have a chance at success after all. Maybe it’s time to look within, find hidden talents, and step out into my future in a whole new way. Maybe my future lies not with writing my book, but with “PARKING ENFORCEMENT SPECIALIST.”

And of course, there is that uniform.


2 Comments on “Lovely Rita”

  1. sallymandy says:

    My comparison day happened the time I went to the local temp agency, filled out their forms, and was told I would not find any work. I think it was because I can’t work a 10-key adding dealie.

    It sucks that artistic people are in these situations. I wonder if our culture will ever get it right?

  2. karen says:

    Tara, I am pissing my pants at this. You’re awesome, really awesome. God, you just made me smear my Voluminous mascara. Now it’s not so voluminous at all, it’s watery, muted, like my “colors.”

    I am so proud of you for the headway you made yesterday. You’re so gorgeous without makeup. Try a soft plum if you want to bring out the green in your eyes, or brown (way easier to use for you) if you want to draw out the gorgeous gold!. Work those eyes, and try and find just a stroke of soft blush in that corally color you bought.

    I am so glad you are pleased!

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