It happened by accident. I emailed a friend just to say hello. She said she was crazy busy with her real estate business and was looking for an assistant. Assistant?! Hey, I want to be an assistant! I still have my California Broker’s license although it is not required for assistants. Over-qualified? Yes! I love it. I get to do the fun stuff and not be the agent in charge.
I texted Katy, the agent in charge, “I want to apply for the go-fer position!”
“Gopher position?” she asked.
“Yeah, go for this, go for that. You know…Girl Friday.”
“Ohhhh, the assistant position. Really?”
So, I walked across the street to talk about the job. Yup. It’s my old real estate office where I worked for several years before moving to Costa Rica, never to return. Remember my four-part series “On the Verge of Homeless?”
The universe is at work folks. Two days prior I received mail from Florida that was sent to that address. I have not worked there since 2012, yet the staff tracked me down to get that mail to me. It was an omen.
So Katy and I had the interview on a Thursday. I walked up the stairs to her office.
“Katy, hi! How the heck are ya?”
“Good. Busy. I need help. Can you help?”
“Yeah, as long as we keep the hours flexible. You know…my other jobs.”
I have done pet-sitting for Katy over the years. And she knows I give Frank his insulin shots during the week at 9 and 5, so she was good with that.
“Can you start tomorrow morning at 10:00?”
“Sure. See you then.” Interview over.
I walked back to my apartment to change out of my dog-walking uniform to get dressed in my scrubs to go see Frank. As I drove down the road, it suddenly hit me – I needed some real estate clothes! I have become accustomed to donning the uniform to fit the job. I wear a T-shirt that says “CJ – The Petsitter with Pearls” (Yes, I wear pearls to walk the dogs), and I wear baggy scrubs to Frank’s, ’cause he’s ninety years old and he lost his filters. After calling him a “dirty old man” for making inappropriate comments on my attire for the umpteenth time, I said, “That’s it, Frank. From now on I’m wearing baggy scrubs!” He has forgotten why I adopted that uniform, but it works for both of us. If I’m wearing scrubs, I’m going to see Frank. Sometimes I have to look at what I’m wearing to figure out what I’m doing.
Even though it wasn’t Tuesday (senior discount day), I drove directly to Ross, Dress for Less, while still in my scrubs and headed for the shoe department. My shoe wardrobe consisted of flip-flops, running shoes, and six-inch stilettos – nothing in between. I found a sensible pair of mid-heel Lifestrides in black. Perfect! I had plenty of black slacks but no suitable tops. Luck was with me. Crisp white blouses were in! I grabbed four and headed for the cashier. She gave me a puzzled look and said, “Are these all the same?”
“Oh no, they’re not. Just similar. It’s my uniform for my new job as a real estate assistant. I have to look at my uniform to see which job I’m doing.”
“Really? How many jobs do you have?”
“Um, three. No, four! (I’m counting writing even though I haven’t been paid lately).”
So, off I went and stocked my closet which is now divided into four sections. I actually have a writing shirt section which consists of T-shirts that say things like, “Shut up and Write!” It helps.
And why, you may ask, do I have so many jobs? It must be about the outfits – or more precisely – it’s all about the shoes!