September 26, 2001
The Mother-In-Law Department


I've been luckier than most in The Mother-In-Law Department, I must admit.

Both of my mothers-in-law have been gracious, lovely women who treated me with warmth and respect, even (or especially) when they weren't 100% convinced I was good enough for her son. For instance, my former mother-in-law drove me to all of my o.b. appointments, babysat The Tots whenever I had the flu, and helped me bail my husband out of jail every couple of years or so.

And now my *new* mother-in-law may have found me my next job.

She called last Saturday night to tell us about an ad she'd run across in the Help Wanted section of the newspaper.

Administrative Assistant/Office Manager wanted for 12-person Oakland office, the ad reads. This individual should be proactive in developing and maintaining all administrative aspects of a small to medium-sized professional firm. Candidates should possess good organizational and multi-tasking skills. A personable team player with a good sense of humor is desired. Computer literacy a must.

"I don't know," David's mother said hesitantly ... as though she were afraid of sounding like the stereotypical meddling mom-in-law. "Does that sound like something Secra would be interested in?"

Does that sound like something Secra would be interested in? Are you kidding?? This sounds EXACTLY like something Secra would be interested in. Secra is sick and tired of all the corporate nonsense, for one thing. She longs to return to the warm and comforting embrace of the smaller, more intimate office setting. Furthermore, Secra doesn't have the *juice* for a lengthy and complicated job-search right now: the idea of the perfect job (or the semi-perfect job, or even the semi-semi-perfect-job-that-doesn't-completely suck) more or less falling into her lap appeals to her. Plus this job meets all of the most important criteria: the location is right, the pay is right, the duties/benefits/hours/wardrobe requirements are right.

(If there is even the teensiest-tiniest fly in the chardonnay, it's the fact that Secra would be working for an office full of architects ... and she has been warned repeatedly against working for architects. "They're worse than engineers and aluminum salesmen put together," she has been told.)

Still, we thanked David's mother profusely for the tip. She continued to sound a little tentative about the whole thing  --  as though she couldn't quite believe we weren't shrieking at her to 'mind her own business!!'  --  but in fact I faxed my résumé to the company on Monday, exactly ten minutes after I'd submitted my formal resignation to The Totem Pole Company.

And I interviewed with them this morning.

You know how you go into some interviews feeling like you OWN the job, if you want it? How everything just feels *right* the minute you get onto the elevator? How you immediately connect with the interviewer, in a very real and very human way? How you manage to say all the right things/ask all the right questions/chuckle warmly at all the right places?

That's how the interview went this morning.

I'm not going to tell you very much more about the job opportunity right now. There's that old superstitious streak of mine, for one thing ... not wanting to 'jinx' a good thing by talking about it too much. I don't want to put the cart in front of the horse until my chickens hatch under the bridge, as it were. There is also the fact that I probably need to start weaning us all from the massive, bazillion-page *FootNotes* entries of years past, and get us accustomed to the shorter, more streamlined entry. (Since I have no idea how a new job/new work schedule is going to impact my writing time.) Plus I'm just really tired tonight  --  tired in a deep, elemental, hairline-to-toenails way  --  and I'm more interested in looking at my pillow right now, frankly, than I am in looking at this keyboard.

But I will tell you this much. If I get this job, I know exactly what I'm going to do. I'm going to take a couple of days off between the *old* job and the *new* job, just to hang around The Castle in my p.j.'s and eat Capn Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal and answer the reams of unanswered mail weighing down my mailbox (and my conscience) ... I'm going to swap out my old crusty purse for something new and sleek and professional ... I'm going to burn my Totem Pole Company Corporate Procedures Manual ...

... and I'm going to send a GIANT bouquet of flowers to my lovely new mother-in-law.

throw a rock