Friday, February 13, 2009

Submitted for your approval:

A plan is coming together. Slowly. Like most big plans, the picture gets much more muddled before it ever becomes clear. As many of you know by now, the lady friend is pursuing her education to the fullest, and this time it is likely to take us into the inter mountain west or beyond. It is no secret that I've always wanted to live out west anyway, and to that end I've accepted an offer to resume my old job in a national park whose name causes French people to snicker.

It seems like the best option at this point anyway since I can't seem to get a job around here and, even if I did, I'd just have to leave it when lady friend heads off to school, me in tow, in August, wherever that may be. And besides, my old boss contacted me out of the blue with the job offer. It's nice to be wanted for a change. So I will be donning the funny hat in Wyoming come April, the only question being how to bring lady friend along, which is a housing issue. Park housing is limited and I've been told they no longer offer couples housing. That's a problem.

We had envisioned me leaving in April with her following a month or two later and spending the summer together in one of the most beautiful places in the world. That image, however, did not include a third roommate. There's still a chance that a different job in the same place could open up, and maybe the housing options related to it would be different.

At this point, though, a job's a job, so we're sticking to the plan.

Yesterday I went to the police department and had two sets of fingerprints made and mailed them to the park service along with an incredibly exhausting and frustrating set of forms for a background check that required me to detail every place of residence and employment for the past seven years, with personal references for each. If you know me you are aware that that is no easy task. I have been a nomad.

And if you've ever worked for the federal government, you know that these background investigations feel more like a test to see if you can handle the bureaucratic quagmire your life is about to become. My last season in the park (third in a row, 2006), I still had to do the whole fingerprinting/background thing, except they called me on the phone while I was already on my way out there to tell me that the process was not complete and I would not be able to start for another two weeks or so until I was cleared.

I was on I-70 in Middle-of-Nowhere Missouri at the time.

In my indecision I continued for another two hours until I crossed into Kansas where, sitting in a parking lot chewing on a Grilled Stuffed Burrito, I decided they could go fuck themselves and I got back on the interstate headed back east, toward home. Back in the middle of The Show Me State, I camped for the night and had a message on my phone in the morning telling me they'd come up with a solution to the problem wherein I could start work immediately (as planned) and they could tack my hours onto the previous season. So, goddamnit, I pointed the old Ford west once again, in effect driving the state of Missouri twice in one trip.

Ahh, government work. Hey, at least they're hiring.

(And don't get me wrong. I bitch about the process, but I'm a pig in shit out there. I've already started getting myself in shape for the mountains and have been dreaming of the potential climbing objectives since before I accepted the job. So shed not a tear.)

15 comments:

em said...

I am very excited for you, no matter how it ends up happening. And yes, it is very nice to be wanted.

The housing situation will work itself out. I will keep the faith on that one.

Put up a picture of you in hat!

And yes, I'd say you're in shape for the mountains. I am not.

The Dutchess of Kickball said...

Yay job, so exciting. Good luck, and you'll figure out some way to bring the lady friend with you.

Courtney said...

Take another look at your title, dear.

Well, it's nice to have something concrete, and it's certainly your best option at the moment, so I'm proud of you. I'm 90% sure I'm coming with, third roommate or no.

Now I just need to find a job out there.

nancypearlwannabe said...

Wow! That job sounds very exciting and romantic, traipsing around the woods all day and scribbling notes into a moleskin that you will then scribble into your blog. You are inspiring me to move west, my friend. Chris will be so happy.

Allie said...

Congratulations! That is so exciting! Here's hoping all the housing stuff works out well. I hope you get to blog about all of this sometimes. I also hope that you don't get eaten by a bear or anything.

Tiffany said...

Hey Mick! It is going to be great having you back in the valley. I am looking forward to your arrival and cannot wait to meet lady friend.

Julie said...

Wow. What must it be like to be wanted by an employer? That's great news, Mickey. Congratulations.

I'll keep my fingers crossed on the housing situation.

Blogstiny said...

Good luck. I live in Colorado, very similar to Wyoming. Very beautiful, except when it is snowing a foot!

A Free Man said...

I don't know what you have against Misery. Parts of it are lovely. Dammit.

Do you know the Modest Mouse song "Blame it on the Tetons"? Great frickin' song.

The Modern Gal said...

Well, I have to say I have mixed feelings here, but the predominate one is happiness for you. The West is so wonderful ... I'm determined that when I'm ready to give up on Knoxville, West is the direction I shall head. And honestly, I think NP ranger really is your true calling.

I will focus my positive energy on hoping the housing thing and Courtney's schooling works out for the very, very best.

That said, I will miss having you two around. We seriously need to hang out more, maybe do some lite hiking around here. That should be easier for me once basketball wraps up at the beginning of March.

But, I will totally use this as an excuse to make a summer trip out West. I've never seen the Tetons, but they've been on my list for some time. And I suppose you'll always be a blog post or comment away.

Jacob said...

Hey, Congrats. They must have been desperate to call you up without your even applying this time around, especially since you didn't work there in 2007 or 2008. You'd think with the economy they'd have even more people trying to get jobs that you've described as difficult to obtain in the past.

Maybe I'll convince Kim to let me drive us out there for vacation this summer. I've never been anywhere in the contiguous states west of Missouri anyway. Evan's good with camping and we could probably do it cheap with the Prius.

And apparently it's good I got you to take me backpacking a couple of times last year. If you two are pretty much westerners as of this April, we probably won't see many opportunities for it in the foreseeable future.

So what's it going to be like to have a regular paycheck again after so long of being a drain on the American economy?

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