I'm to find out in the next few days whether I'm employed again. After 2-1/2 years of living in the margins of existence, it's an exciting prospect.
The job is a simple retail cashiering position at a dollar store, but this is the closest I've come to real employment since my ordeal began. My most recent training and employment has been in substance abuse counseling, but county funds are tight, and jobs are few and far between. I applied for the cashiering job because I'm pretty much out of options and patience. I'll be making about a dollar more than minimum wage, which is far, far better than the absolutely nothing I earn now.
There are several of these new dollar stores opening up because the chain is just entering our local market. I got the job announcement from our state employment agency for job seekers. We were hired in a group, and I guess the wheat will separate from the chaff naturally. The problem is that I have no clue where the new store will be opening.
In order to get this job, I had to tell them I have reliable transportation, but the only transportation methods available to me are the city bus and my feet. The job can start as early as 5 AM and run until as late as 10 PM, but the buses only run from about 6 AM until around 9 PM. What will happen if my shifts run earlier or later than the buses do?
What will happen is that I will be forced to walk, even if the store is 10 or 15 miles away. I will walk. It's not the walk that worries me as much as the danger of walking in the dark. The sky lightens at about 7 AM right now, and goes dark again before 5 PM. What happens if the store is not in a relatively safe area? What happens if I trip and fall? What happens if I'm mugged or shot? I'm grateful for my cell phone, one that is subsidized by the government and costs me about $5 per month. I remember when I was young and thought myself to be tough and hardy and wish I had that confidence now.
But it matters not. I will walk.