I am not good at being positive about myself, but this week has been a pretty good week. This has been an amazing few days at work (note to self...consider that you would have to leave your job if The Man's job offer pans out).
So far today, I have had two teachers interrogate me about any other classes that I teach, so they can be sure to book me.
"We want YOU!" they said. "Can we request you? It'll be next year. Are you booked already? If you are, we'll wait."
I can hardly believe this. Am I booked next year? Are you serious?
Three years ago, I was working at The Company Which Shall Not Be Named. I was practically glued to my desk covering for my boss, who was never in the office. I worked my ass off and got no credit, appreciation, or recognition. My boss was one of those people who took the credit for your accomplishments, but if you screwed up! The finger of blame would descend upon you. (Now, imagine that you are having to run interference with Vice Presidents of the company for this person. Holy Crap!) I came home ANGRY every night. I was constantly stressed out. I felt completely value-less as an employee, and the harder I worked, the more useless I felt.
Now I go to work in a different place every day, but the schools are are becoming more and more familiar. I am getting a lot of "repeat customers' through my company, people like those teachers mentioned above. It's a great feeling to be appreciated. To me, that is worth more than a title change or a 3% raise. (which, when you're making $12.00 an hour, is so ridiculous as to be laughable.)
The kids are also wonderful. Sure, there are stinkers, but on the whole, it's a fantastic feeling to walk into a classroom and 25 kids start shrieking, "She's here! She's HERE!" with manic glee. They want me to see that they've lost a tooth since that last time I was there. Or to tell me they got a book on volcanoes, and can they show me? Or they saw Jurassic Park, and can scientist really do that thing with the bug in the amber? Is that what I do in my lab? Or do I blow things up? Blowing things up is cool. Hey, did I bring rockets this week? What do I have in my big crate to show them today? Are we going to make a project today? What is it?
At the end, I get the occasional hugs, and loud choruses of thank you's. They all want to tell me what their favorite part of the presentation was, and when I am coming back. When I head across campus, kids from past classes will see me, and evidently tell their friends. It is like being a rock star, or Spongebob Squarepants or something. I have been mobbed a few times, which is just hilarious.
And as of yesterday, my worlds have started to collide. I showed up yesterday at a new tutoring job. The boys didn't recognize me without my lab coat, but when I mentioned that I taught science, their eyes got big. "You helped us make volcanoes in our class!!!"
These two boys are ten (and adamantly opposed to having a tutor). I had no problems with them after that. I figure, if you can hold the attention of a 10 year old boy, you can basically do anything.
So today, I finished up class, and headed out to the parking lot. I got stopped by a grown woman, which is unusual. (Adults usually give me indulgent smiles and a wide berth, like I am wearing a Big Bird costume.)
"Did you teach my daughter's class yesterday?!" She didn't stop for an answer. "That little machine you gave her...I can't believe everyone in her class got one! We all played with it, even my husband. It was fascinating! What a fantastic program you have! Do you do birthday parties?"
I chatted with her a little and gave her a flyer. I continued rolling on through the parking lot, and was reaching for my car door when a white Saturn swept up next to me and the driver dramatically announced, "Wait!!! Are you Jenna? I need to talk to you!!!"
Um, OK. Guy knows my name. I waited.
The upshot is, this guy wants me to work for his company and develop and run the science section of his after-school programs for a school district. He says he wants to talk to me, and that he is sure he can pay me enough to make it worth my while to leave my current company.
I gave him my number, since I am sure it can't hurt if I talk to the guy and see what he's going on about. But I am still in shock. And part of me is wondering if he followed me or got a tip off or something...I mean, what are the odds? Granted, I do tend to be paranoid. But...!!!!!
I suppose I should be happy that my life isn't boring.