Monday, April 4, 2011


Some of you know that I have been looking for work recently...not that I don't have enough work to do already! Okay, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that, lately, I've been looking for a job that pays. Dinero. Moolah. Cash on the barrel.

A part-time position as a dispatcher at our local E911 office opened up this winter, and it looked like it might be an ideal fit for me. Working nights - so I could still be home with the kids during the day. Twenty hours a week - so maybe I could still get a little sleep, too. No specialized education or training required before hiring. Great pay and benefits. I haven't seen much on the Help Wanted list that looked like I even remotely qualified, or like the schedule could possibly allow me to continue homeschooling. This position as a dispatcher, however, seemed promising.

And so, way back in early January, I submitted a resume. (That entire exercise, by the way, felt like an exercise in absurdity. Criminy! I've been changing diapers, cleaning toilets, and teaching Algebra for 20 years - how on earth was I supposed to sell that?!) Didn't hear anything back from E911, so, after a month, I assumed the position had been filled.

Then, I received an email asking me to attend a pre-interview orientation session. I went. Basically, this was a 2-hour class on how E911 was formed and just exactly what it is that they do. Awesome. Class. A little gross, yes, but I am so very thankful that I had the opportunity to attend that session. Let me put it to you this way - everyone reading this blog post should write a note to their local E911 office and say THANK YOU. Right now. Just go do it - you can check back in here when you finish.

Got that Thank You note in the mail? Okay, so I was one of 40+ candidates who attended the orientation sessions. Amazingly, I was called and asked to come in for an interview. I haven't interviewed for a job in over 16 years, so I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe it's middle age. Maybe it's hardening of the arteries. I don't know what it is - but that initial interview was genuinely a pleasure, not the scary anxiety-inducing ordeal I remember from a couple of decades ago.

Well, I made the first two cuts and was asked to come in for a follow-up interview. At this point, I was one of six candidates still being considered for the position. This interview felt even better than the first. Then, waiting for a final word....

Beep! Beep! Beep! We interrupt this broadcast to bring you an up-to-date report on the mental processes of the candidate in question....

I want this job. I really think I would like working with the other dispatchers that I've met at the E911 office - such an amazing group of people! Yeah, I can handle the additional workload. I perform well under stress, and I'm not a Screamer. And the extra income would definitely be great....

What the patootie am I thinking?! Like I don't already have enough on my plate?! Boy, adding a night job to my schedule is going to take some very creative management. Logisitics - getting to and from work; decompressing after a stressful night so that I'm fit to tackle schoolwork with the kiddos; planning meals...

This job would be a real opportunity for ministry - to other E911 employees, to people in emergency situations. The added income would allow me to help my family in very practical ways and to be more involved, financially, in the ministries of our new church. Maybe God has provided this opportunity as an answer to my prayers, precisely as a means to serve others.

God, would I be doing this for myself, or for You? My motives are not always clear, not even to myself. Am I doing this to establish some kind of self-promoting autonomy, or am I doing it out of a genuine desire to serve my family?

Interestingly, throughout this entire application process, I have felt very much wide open to the prospect of working at the E911 office, and also very much at ease with the prospect of not being selected for the position. And, I have earnestly desired some very clear guidance from the Lord. A friend who prays with me weekly prayed for exactly that - that I would know with certainty God's will for me concerning the dispatcher position. A "No" from the director would be fairly easy to read; a "Yes," not necessarily so easy, as I still had the liberty to accept or decline the job offer.

Well, today - April 1 - was the notification date for all prospective candidates. After probably an inordinate amount of prayer and introspection, I decided that, if offered the position, I would gladly accept it. If another person was selected for the job, that would be okay, too.

I received an email from the E911 director this afternoon informing me that I had not been selected for the position, but that they would be keeping my application on file for consideration for future openings. Yes, I am a bit disappointed.

I suppose I could take that as a "No." But, in God's economy, it is very much a clear answer to prayer.

That's an affirmative, Camille.

For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you...was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. - 2 Corinthians 1:19-20

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