Truth be told, we (by ‘we’ I mean Kirk) acted pretty wishy-washy about making the big move. He was hesitant to travel all the way across the country without either of us having secured a job beforehand. This was an understandable concern, but my counter-point was this: how is one supposed to get a job without a face-to-face interview? (I’m sure it happens, but not to most of us Joe Schmoes.) And if Southern California is where we want to live, then the “find a job, then move” story will need to be read backwards.

I spent months scouring a few weeks perusing craigslist before the big move. I found the same thing over and over: Must have mad skills. Will pay little money.

But then I found this listing: “Reporter/Photographer.” An online magazine in San Diego would be paying $32,000 a year for someone to write articles and take photographs of local restaurants and businesses.

This job would pay me to write and take pictures. Excellent. Sure, it’s a rather bottom-of-the-barrel salary for one of the most expensive places to live, but – it’s a salary.

I applied. They asked me to come in for an interview. Awesome! But, I emailed back, I’m actually in Michigan right now. No problem, they said, let us know when you get here.


When we arrived I sent an email. And…I didn’t hear anything for three days. I emailed again. Finally, a response. An interview was set up for Friday.

Nervous and jittery, I woke up early. I tried on a million couple different outfits. I steamed-ironed my pants. I organized my resume, writing samples and notes of questions. I slipped into jammed on some uncomfortable “interview/real world job” shoes. This was it.

It was a 45 minute drive. I was almost there.

I missed the exit. I took the next one I saw, ended up on another highway, got my knickers in a knot, made a giant loop and luckily ended up back on the right road. Finally, I found the address. There it was, squished in between an iHOP and a Wendy’s – a dumpy little two-story office building.

Okaay. I checked my lip gloss in the rear-view mirror. You drove 2000 miles for this job. Here we go. I straightened my jacket and walked up the steps. Knocked. “Come in!” said a woman’s voice.

I pushed open the tinted glass door. I walked into a small sardine can of an office. Stacks of loose paper, manilla folders, and kinck-knacks littered the desk and shelving units. “Can I help you?” asked the assistant.

“I have an appointment with John.”

“John? He’s not in today. Who are you?”

To be continued… here.