I like working at The Changeling compared to other jobs I could have - I've got a boss who understands my weird Inn-related quirks, I spend a lot of time with my best friend, and the hours work so that Momma Kamen can watch Little Moira rather than hiring a sitter most nights. And, yeah, the tops have been better this summer, and not entirely because I'm less worried about Good smiting me down for wearing shorts and a scoop-necked t-shirt. All the time at the gym had me able to carry trays easier, and having a boyfriend actually makes me less nervous dealing with people. I don't flirt, but I'm less worried about being friendly, because I'm sure that there's not something else going on in my head.
But it's still waiting tables, and while Ashlyn and Moira don't pay the tipped minimum wage (in part because Moira says that tipping is, and I quote, house-shite), what you make is pretty dependent on how busy it is and what sort of mood the customers are in, and that's kind of scary. I read something online about how one emergency can wipe most people's savings out, and that's kind of me. Like, a couple weeks ago, Little Moira had a really bad night, wheezing instead of crying, and I might have wound up spending everything I've saved up on a trip to the emergency room if Dad hadn't texted back with something to try first.
Yeah, Dad. I'm not really back on speaking terms with my real patents, but when my baby girl gets sick, pride goes out the window, and apparently Dad feels the same way. A situation like that does make you focus a little more on making sure that you can handle emergencies, and not just that; families come in with kids not much older than Moira in preschool. On the one hand, I kind of don't know if she needs it - she's curious, can count to ten, likes being read to, and makes friends at the park, so what's something formal that costs more than I'd make working the hours she's there going to get us? But it just seems so expected...
So I've started looking for other jobs, and, wow, there is not a whole lot out there for a woman with nothing more than a high-school diploma and the work history that Krystle and I have accumulated. Not a lot guaranteeing that I'd work enough hours to get insurance at all.
The résumé is also kind of a problem. Calvin wanted to help when I told him I was thinking of looking for something, but once you get back past my work history and into Krystle's, it's kind of a minefield. I've mostly been saying that "I" was kind of a mess until getting pregnant served as a wake-up call and he hasn't pushed, and who wants to put something more specific down as bullet points? Not like anyone I want to work for wants to see that, either, but it does leave a pretty noticeable hole between Krystle's high school graduation and my first stint at The Changeling.
Also kind of tricky: Interview clothes. I'm pretty comfortable with my body these days, but every professional-looking skirt I try on seems to be saying "look at my butt!", especially when I'm also wearing heels. Like, they work when I'm sitting with my legs crossed, but not once I'm on my feet. Tops are tricky too, if you're built like me and don't want your breasts getting all the attention. Momma Kamen insisted on altering my jacket, grumbling about how trying to fit us into clothes made for white women without curves are part of how they keep the sisters down.
She got weirdly emotional seeing me dressed up once everything matched and I'd pulled my hair back into a bun and put on makeup, saying there were days she didn't think her daughters would get this far. I told her not to count her chickens, but kind of got it when I looked in the mirror. Obviously not nearly as strange as the first time I saw Krystle's face and body, or when I watched a baby grow in it, but my first impression was that I looked like I was wearing a Halloween costume. Not quite "sexy businesswoman", but not church clothes, or the casual tomboy/busy single mom I think of myself as being, and not like any pictures I've seen of Krystle. More grown-up, I guess, another version of us.
I didn't get the receptionist job I interviewed for in that outfit, maybe because of those doubts. Maybe the next one, though. It's another thing I do now that I didn't before.