Friday, August 3, 2012


I have written about this before, but I want to summarize for my readers and bring everyone up to date.

Waaaay back in May, I applied for a job in Washington state, at a small state university.  They needed a person to run their developmental writing program.  They enthusiastically invited me out to interview, and I did my research and - to quote the Dean of Student Services - blew them away.  Well duh.  This is what my doctorate is in.  My experience working with special populations coupled with my best friend and I putting our heads together resulted in a pretty darn good day of interviews and a decent public presentation.

So then I waited.  And I heard back the day before I got married, while driving with my mother (who had flown in for the wedding) in the Oklahoma heat to go get some hamburgers.  Ok, I was getting fries; she was getting the hamburgers with my friend Charlotte.

I didn't get the job.  They hired the incumbent and said that what I would do was probably too much for what they needed.  Worst compliment ever.  But, said the Dean (who I will now just call "Dean"), I have this idea to bring you here to work on my grant and then in the English department for a year until I can find you a permanent position.  I'll let you know in a week.

My Cousins, Baling Hay at my Granparent's Place
Nice compliment!

So Grey and I got married and went on our honeymoon.  At his parents house on the way back (I truly enjoyed the visit and yes, we visited my in-laws on the honeymoon.  We be cool in valuing family) I got another call saying he could make it happen.  Just wait a week to get the contract together.  That was the second week of June.

Today is August 3rd.  We have been married 2 months and a day.  We get to cohabitate and are enjoying it.  Someday Grey is going to yell at me for any one of the stupid things I do, like leaving socks on the floor or not cleaning out the kitty box often enough or waking him up too, too early on a Saturday.  But no, nothing so far. I keep waiting for him to have a strange habit that drives me crazy.  But no. We like walking and talking and hiking and eating healthy and not watching television and having a glass of wine once in awhile.  It's a nice life, one I didn't expect would happen for me.

But still no contract.

My Favorite Part of the Year!
The way universities work is this:  A job is created, posted and filled. One the candidate is selected, a contract is sent, outlining the terms of the agreement, length of appointment, compensation and benefits.   If amicable to both parties, the contract is signed and it's a legally binding proposition.  A job offer is nice but not legally binding. It's two people spitting on their hands and shaking.  It's certainly not something that Grey should quit his job over and not something that I would put my house up for sale over.  Of course, contracts usually follow within a couple of weeks of an offer.

But this time it's taken over 8 weeks.  All I have is an offer.  If I got a contract today, I would need to sell my house, ask my husband to quit his job and find another in Washington and move both of our households within a little less than a month.

I didn't want to, but I had to give a deadline for the last date I would be available.

This came from conversations on those long walks with Grey.  I am pretty much a push over.  I trust people and if it were just me, I'd have already packed, sold the house and left by now.  But it's not just me and I am no longer that portable.  So I told them I needed the contracts by Wednesday.  Did I say "contracts" in the plural?  Yes, I did.  Aside from actually securing grant money and figuring out what classes to ask me to teach, there was a question on how many contracts it would take.  Since I would be working in two different areas, one of which is a grant, it was decided two weeks ago (after the single contract was ready) that I would have to have two contracts.  Then it was vacations and what it boils down to is that the people who got the grant money won't let someone have that money to administer.  The English side got me the contract the day I needed it.

Dean never got me a contract.

In fact, last night around 7:30 I got a text from him saying that the grant side of the contract (while it is forthcoming) wouldn't be ready until next week.

"I am very sorry," my letter will read, "but I have simply run out of time and cannot accept your job offer.  Perhaps next year when a secure position is available..."

In the meantime, school has started again and I quit my public school teaching job.  It would not have been fair to keep them on the line and I did the right thing in dealing squarely with them.  Grey put me on his insurance.

So far, this has been the only real source of marital strife.  I gave them way too long before I gave a final date that I could accept the offer.  Grey also thinks they have handled me poorly, offering me a different job than what I interviewed for, for less money and with no guarantee of more than a year of employment.  I really wanted this; having been grieving the loss of this chance for the last week.  I'm sure I've been a peach to deal with.

I'm disappointed.  This year I won't get to move to my beloved home state or enjoy the cooler climes.  I won't get to take Grey hiking or skiing or for weekend trips to Seattle.

It doesn't mean never though.  You don't just fall in love with a job and get married to it.  You fall in love with a contract- in this case, I never even met it.

I have so much to be thankful for right where I am.  Good friends, a home, good health all around and a terrific husband who is just crazy enough to move someplace he has never been because I want to, and grounded enough to insist that I insist on being treated fairly.

Oklahoma isn't a bad place.  My friends are here and I am more or less infamous in these parts.  :)

And you know, I can find a job.  As I have heard and said so many times before, "Ain't nothing but a thing."  I'm disappointed; true.  But I'm happy because the really big things that matter are still in place.


  1. It is certainly their loss.
    I hope the perfect opportunity presents it self, and soon.
    Happy days are ahead, I just know it!!
    Thanks for the update.

  2. "And you know, I can find a job. As I have heard and said so many times before, "Ain't nothing but a thing." I'm disappointed; true. But I'm happy because the really big things that matter are still in place."

    Grey is right. They didn't treat you right. But what you said is true, Mindie. The things that matter are still in place. Let us know when you get another job. You can probably get your same job back, in fact. Good luck! Another year's experience in the classroom won't hurt your chances to move on to something better...

  3. Awe, love, sweet love! You are an amazing lady and God has a plan for you. Yes, you are a wonderful teacher and I'm sure you will secure a job. I can understand your love for your home state, but certainly admire your commitment to your new husband and your new life as "one". Praying for you...

  4. Pretty sure there's a job for you in Austin, TX. :o)