Wednesday, November 30 2011
I was leading an army of kids in the Macarena by the tennis courts. The year was 1996 and the Macarena was huge. It had left South America to summer in Iowa. The event was the big all city day for the citywide tennis program that culminated the summer. I had been a tennis instructor all summer for kids six and up. That day, we were at City Park. They asked if anyone knew the Macarena, so I raised my hand, committing myself to instruct groups of kids as they made their way through the various tennis stations. My station was the only one non-tennis related, and it was the only one non-dignity related as well. I can remember looking out on the youngsters following my lead putting their right hand out, flipping it over, followed by the left hand, crossing them and so forth. I thought, “Now this is a good way to leave a job on top. I have throngs following my every move to a song and dance that will never go out of style. Hey, Macarena!”
Today was my latest last day of work. You know, I liked my job, I actually liked it. I got a chance to talk to a lot of people, I learned a ton, it will actually look good on my resume, and I got a discount, which I used to purchase the thing I’m typing on now.
The tradition at the store I worked at is to “clap out” an employee on their way out their last day. It is strange. I walked the length of the busy store as employees and customers clapped for me. The employees knew why they were clapping and the customers just followed along, because that’s what you do when others are clapping, you join in. I made it through the happiness gauntlet unscathed. We went to have some drinks and appetizers at a restaurant called the Pink Taco. Yes, that is the real name, and yes, they know the connotation.
This job was not my ideal, but thinking back to the state of my finances and mental health before I got the job, it was a lifesaver. We needed it. I can remember the feeling of spending money without any coming in to replace it. Now, I begin a new cycle of looking for a job, but I think this round will be easier.
I sent Michelle this text this morning.
“A week from today I’ll be closer to you.”
I can’t wait.