Last year, LeBron James did something I found hilarious. He set up a one hour ESPN special where he announced what team he would sign with. I have little interest in the NBA, truthfully. I’ll watch it if I’m over someone’s house and they have it on or the Celtics are in the playoffs. Aside from that, I couldn’t care less about it. However, I was intrigued by this. I didn’t watch it (it wasn’t a Celtic playoff game and I wasn’t over someone else’s house), but I appreciated it. I’m told they also had this over the top introduction in Miami. I didn’t watch it for the same reasons listed above.
What happened to James? He got to the finals with his new team, beating the Celtics along the way (I only watched one game that series. It was game 3. The Celtics won. Rondo hurt his arm real bad and still dominated.) At the finals, his team lost to the Dallas Mavericks. Sucks.
I can relate a lot to this. Last year, I had this blog going and was sending emails out to people about interviews and it was awesome. I kept being named a finalist. It was awesome. Then I’d get rejected. It was terrible.
So why did I do it? I think it started off as a way to discipline myself. I knew if I had a blog, I’d want to post on it. In order to post on this blog, I’d have to apply for positions. In that respect, the blog was successful.
I think eventually somewhere along the lines, this blog became like LeBron’s ESPN special and over the top introduction. I get the feeling those were suppose to be pre-championship celebrations. This blog was a pre-hire celebration. The thing is, if you pre-celebrate, sometimes it never occurs. LeBron and I know this all too well. It is embarrassing. I wanted to hide from everyone for a few weeks after not getting any positions. I’m sure LeBron felt similar after the championship loss.
In my favorite post to date, I explained how people were trying to encourage my failure last year. “You’re so young and you’re a finalist. Others you are competing with have tons more experience.” Other junk like that. No one says that about LeBron. “Oh, you made the Eastern Conference Finals. That’s awesome!”
In my favorite post, I quoted Red Auerbach, who liked to make fun of the Boston Bruin’s habit of hanging up division titles. I compared the complements I was getting to the Bruin’s practice. I associated myself with the Bruins, and it was flattering to neither of us.
This year, I didn’t blog anywhere near as much. I tried a few times, but it didn’t seem like it was worth it. Frankly, I was sick of having to write depressing posts about not getting hired. If I never posted about applying, I’d never have to post about not getting. I applied to a grand total of 3 jobs. Only two were in education. I seriously considered leaving, as I didn’t want to adjunct forever. I got the non-education job. I didn’t take it, as it was in Rhode Island and paid commission. On average I was told sales people make $10-$15 an hour. That didn’t seem worth relocating.
The other two jobs were to community colleges in Boston. I decided I wanted to stay in the greater Boston Area for at least one more year. I didn’t want to leave my family, the church I’m a member of, or UMass athletics.
In my 26+ years of existence, the Patriots won Super Bowls following the 2001, 2003 and 2004 seasons. The Red Sox won the 2004 and 2007 World Series. The Celtics won the 1986 and 2008 NBA Finals. Entering the end of my job search last year, the Bruins were the only professional New England team that matters to not win a championship in my lifetime.
The day the Bruins opened up against the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals, I was told I was a finalist for one of those jobs. I was so tempted to post here, about how fitting it was. I have a draft still of how I was going to start it saved on wordpress. I also titled it “Boston Bruins.” Here is what I wrote:
When this blog went on hiatus, I wrote a post named after the Boston basketball team. It talked about how Red Auerbach used to make fun of the Bruins for hanging up division and conference championship banners.
As I really enjoy sports, I see everything as a sports game. There are winners and losers. This is true of all aspects of my life, from dating to this job search I’m on. Interviews are starts, being a finalist is like winning one’s conference, getting the job is like winning a championship. I was the Boston Bruins last year. I won a few conference championships (three I think) but never could close the deal. 1972 is the last time the Bruins won a Stanley Cup. Since then, they’ve made 3 Stanley Cup appearances, but have yet to close the deal.
Tonight, the Bruins open up in Vancover against the Canucks to try once again to get that ellusive championship. I thought it was fitting that today I received a call asking me to come for a second interview with Vice President Brenda Mercomes at Roxbury Community College. It’s Monday at 2.
I’ll be rooting really hard for the Bruins to win.
However, watching the end of game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, none of the Bruins touched their trophy. It was no big deal to them. Or maybe it was but they couldn’t, as I’m told that’s tradition in the NHL. However, I decided if the Bruins, a team that hangs banners for everything, didn’t touch the trophy for this, I shouldn’t post. I didn’t want to have lower standards than the Bruins.
My interview for the finalist position was on the day of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Bruins were down 2-0. I sat around doing nothing until about 12:30, when I started getting ready. One of the worst things happened: I couldn’t find a tie. I searched till like 1, then I paniced. I have three ties. I wore one to teach every day. I wore one a few days earlier to the interview in Rhode Island. How could I not find one? I called my sister and brother to see if I left it in Dorchester, there was no answer. My dad has plenty, but it wasn’t feasible to go to Dorchester and to RCC from where I live in less than an hour. I was hoping one of them could meet me, but they couldn’t.
Around 1:15, I panically called my friend Jon. I don’t know why I called him, he was the first person that came to mind. I told him my dilemma, and he said he had plenty of ties, he just needed to find them. And he also needed to figure out how to get one to me, because his wife had their car. I paniced more. He found the ties and jumped on his bike and rode like the wind to my house to let me borrow a tie. I called a cab as he was on his way, and I made it to RCC with a tie 10 minutes early. At this point, I decided there was no way I could go to Rhode Island. How can you leave community like that, where friends drop everything and bail you out at a moment’s notice?
The interview went well, as well as it could have gone. I was told I was one of two finalists. I was also told I was the only native of Boston in the running. Obviously, this made me the Bruins and my unknown opponent the Canucks. My interview was Tim Thomas-like, if I do say so myself. The only questions were would my offense pull through for me and did my opponent have a sieve like Loungo in net.
The Bruins won their next two games to tie the series up. Vancouver won game 5 to take a 3-2 lead.
The day of game 6, I received a call from HR at RCC saying that everything seemed to be going ok, but it would be helpful if I came in as soon as possible and filled out some additional paperwork. I dropped everything and went in in jeans and a tee shirt. I also hadn’t shaved in a few days. I grow a fast beard. It was unfortunatley in the inbetween stages of clean shaven and awesome beard, so I looked like a homeless guy. I didn’t care. I didn’t have time to worry about that. I was given six sheets to fill out, and I needed to have all the course numbers, section numbers, and credit hours for every course I had ever taught. I didn’t have my laptop with me, and couldn’t remember section numbers from 3 years ago off the top of my head, so I was told I could bring it in later. The HR person had a committment the next day, so we agreed on meeting two days later. The Bruins won game 6 to tie the series and force a game seven.
I filled out the paperwork and brought it in the day of Game 7. The HR person looked over it and said that it seemed good, and she should be able to get me a contract soon and said she hoped I’d accept. She’s obviously never read this blog. I told her as long as I got more than $10,000, I’d sign. I should have played hard ball and went with a higher number, but I was so excited I couldn’t think straight and went ridiculoulsy low. She assured me it would be more than that.
Close friends and family knew about the interviews. No one knew about any of our conversations or the paperwork or anything like that. At this point and time, I felt like I wanted Jon to know, as he bent over backwards for me big time so I told him. I also had my parent’s car for some reason I don’t remember, and as I dropped it back off to them, my mom asked me if I heard anything. I hate lying, so I tried to answer without answering with responses like “I haven’t heard anything official.” She kept asking and it got to the point where I would have to tell her or else lie, so I decided to tell her and my father. I told all that I wanted it kept confidential.
Obviously, someone has tapped my phone line or my parents house, because somehow more that those three found out, and I know they’d never betray my confidence ( 😛 ). I was asked by several people about it, and I responded “No Comment.” I didn’t have a contract, it’s state funded, there’s budget cuts, thousands of things could have went wrong. I hate telling people when things don’t work out for me. It feels so degrading. Frankly, I didn’t want to deal with it anymore than I’d have to.
The Boston Bruins won Game 7 of the Stanley Cup that Night. One facebook, I posted a line to my Boston Celtics post on this blog, and commented with something along the lines of “It’s fitting that the Bruins won tonight.” My friend Boulat figured it out immediately and asked on facebook if I had a job offer. I did the safe thing and ignored it.
The last two weeks were stressful. They seemed like months. I heard nothing from Roxbury. I’d call and the HR person either wouldn’t answer or didn’t have any new information for me about it. She would say things like “Hopefully by (insert date here).” The specific date would come and go with no contract. This went on for at least a month, even though it’s apparently been only two weeks. I began doubting. Then, after years of waiting (one week in real time), I was emailed a rough draft of my contract. I had to check and make sure my name and address were right. I’m sort of lazy and have never updated my permenant address, so it’s still legally my parent’s house in Dorchester. The contract draft had my mailing address in Brookline. There was some confusion over which address should be used, but after a few emails that was clarified. Then I waited.
I called Friday to see what the hold up was. It had been 2 days since we figured out the contract was ok. I was worried that I misunderstood and I had to do something else. There was no answer. I called again Tuesday morning, and asked if I should bring in the rough draft signed. I was told no, that the President of RCC would sign it and then it would be mailed to me. I was told this might be a week or so.
That afternoon, I was called at 5PM and told that the president had signed and they were going to mail me the contract. I asked if I could come in instead, as I wanted this done ASAP. We agreed to meet at 10:30AM on Wednesday. At this time I signed the contract.
I’m glad that the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup this year. I was rooting for them really hard.