Wednesday, July 7, 2010

we need jobs!

(This title is to be read in your best Larry Fine voice. A friend of my brothers had the theory that Larry was the Stooge who always motivated the action. He was the one who always said, "Look, a baby!" or "We need jobs!" So I always hear the Larry Fine voice behind "We need jobs!")

Barry's unemployment is about to run out and we're pretty tapped, though we're expecting a check for the last bit from his father's estate. But clearly, it's time to start working again.

I've applied for a ton of different jobs, but what I really want is to go back to NYU, where I worked from 1983-1988, and 1990-1998. And amazingly, since there's a hiring freeze on, I have not one but two interviews there. The one today was at the (university-wide) Office of Faculty Resources, and tomorrow at the Faculty Services department at Gallatin School (which is the division from which I graduated). I did a lot of faculty benefits work at my last NYU job, which is probably why I got the interviews. But I've been applying to NYU on and off since around 2000, almost every time I was unemployed, and these are the first two interviews I've had there since I left.

The Faculty Services interview was this morning. For anyone not in the northeastern US, we have been in the middle of a monster heatwave for most of the past two weeks -- I'm talking temperature in the high 90s and up. This makes it a little tricky to dress for an interview. Fortunately, NYU is not terribly corporate, and I think I got away with my Mission Canyon outfit, since it was the one I have with a matching tank, capris and kimono jacket. (All of the other Mission Canyon and Tienda Ho clothes I have are all different patterns (with the exception of two solid Tienda Ho pieces, a black top and brown pants) that you can mix and match, but the matched set seemed a mite more formal, as close as I was going to get to any kind of suit. (Actually, I remembered today that my first supervisor at NYU, at the History Department, dressed a lot like that, in ethic-y tunic-y stuff.)

Well, enough with the fashion report. The interview went quite well, I think. It's a support job in an office that provides services to faculty university-wide; it encompasses things like the Curriculum Challenge Fund (money to help faculty develop new courses) and the Distinguished Teaching Awards. I met with the top three people in the office, all women, and I think I came off as seasoned and very knowledgable about the university. At the end, the director said, "We still have a few more people to see, but we'll be in touch," which sounded good to me.

Tomorrow, I'm interviewing for a job with the faculty services unit at Gallatin School, so it's probably a somewhat similar function but only within ones division. (It happens to be the one that granted my degree.) At my last NYU job, I did a lot of faculty benefits work, which probably contributed a good deal to my getting both of these interviews. (Tomorrow is either the black Tienda Ho top with a patchwork Mission Canyon skirt, or a purple and white Mission Canyon sleeveless dress with a dark green MC jacket. All of the colors I mention are the main colors -- the pattern I wore today is called "lime" and is mostly light green, but also has blue and brown in it.)

As far as I can tell, they're both good jobs. The university-wide one is a grade high than the Gallatin one (which means a slightly better salary), but they're the top two clerical levels and both pay in the mid-40s, so either would be just fine. (I was earning $36K at Penguin, but started at $30K, so this sounds like really good money to me.) The most important thing is that NYU's benefits are insanely great. I'm not exactly sure what they are right now, but health insurance was always cheap and with a choice of about 5 programs, there's a lot of vacation and a ton of holidays (plus sick and personal time), and tuition remission (the fantastic benefit that rhymes!). TR basically offers nine credits of free tuition every term, provided you have the academic chops to get admitted. Graduate students have to pay tax on the value of the tuition, but undergrads don't. This is how I got my B.A. If I go back, I think I'll take a master's of some sort, just because I'd enjoy it.

I finally started reading my old classmate Joe Wallace's new book, Diamond Ruby. It's absolutely excellent, just the kind of old-New-York historical novel I adore.Diamond Ruby: A Novel

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