Jobs That I Have Had: Installment 0.5

This post is the first of a series, entitled, “Jobs That I Have Had.”

Not long after my 25th birthday I packed up my Mercury Topaz and drove from Farmington, Utah to Washington, D.C. I headed out for D.C. because, to paraphrase George Bailey, I was incredibly anxious to shake the dust of the crummy little state of Utah off my feet and go see the world. As I think about it now, the reasons why I chose to go to D.C. instead of New York or Chicago or Los Angeles weren’t as well considered as they should have been for such a momentous decision. These reasons boiled down to 1.  I’d fallen in love with the place during a visit there as an 8 year-old and 2.  Ryan and his wife, Macy, lived there.  So I headed to D.C. with maybe a thousand dollars in the bank, no job, and the conviction that before long I’d be the only one in the whole office with the guts to stand up to the Senator and urge him to remember why he’d run for office in the first place.

The night Ryan – who had joined me in Nashville – and I arrived in D.C. we joined his wife, Macy and some visitors – Macy’s mom, sometime DDDT commenter Erin, and Erin’s mom – for dinner at a restaurant in Virginia.  Towards the end of our dinner the waiter solemnly informed us that the D.C. sniper had just shot and killed someone several blocks from where we were eating. As we exited the restaurant Ryan and I were astounded to see all four women scatter like a handful of marbles hitting the floor, at which point they starting sprinting in a random pattern of zigs and zags and jukes and feints that would have gotten at least one of them selected in the late rounds of the NFL draft.

sniper

They’re zigging and zagging! What’s a military-trained sniper to do but admit defeat and wait for less agile quarry?

They recognized that the Snipe, as we later came to call him, had the ability to kill them in cold blood, buy they could at least refuse to make it easy for him.  I like to think that the snipe had us in his sights that night, but was unable to pull the trigger because he was doubled over with laughter at the sight of four women conducting evasive maneuvers in a parking lot. I feel confident, though, that had Erin gone down in a hail of sniper fire that her husband, Massey, would eventually have recovered thanks in no small part to the healing power of dance.

mary-murphy-2006-fox-tca-summer-party-arrivals-Dx3GM6

We are going to get you through this, Massey.

Unbowed by the Snipe and the fact I found DC’s roads so confusing that any trip in in a car ended with me calling Macy or Ryan and having them talk me back to my apartment, I began a rather unfocused search for a job. I didn’t at that time own a computer, so I’d ride into the Georgetown Law School with Ryan every day, where I’d use his ID to gain access to the student computer labs. Before long, though, I decided it was small-minded to limit myself to the computer lab and I began to embrace the entire Georgetown student experience. I got to know the lunch ladies in the cafeteria, I began attending the many interesting classes and debates and speeches, and I even managed to get myself quoted in the student paper. I feel confident that had I stuck around a little longer I would have been elected class president.

The job search ground along. I interviewed at the office of a certain songwriting U.S. Senator from the state of Utah. The first question posed to me was, “Tell me, what do you most admire about Senator X?” I don’t remember how I answered, but I know it wasn’t convincing, and it was all downhill from there.  Since work on the Hill didn’t seem to be for me, I decided to look into the CIA.  My initial visit to the CIA’s website showed that CIA recruiters would be present at the career fair of a local university the very next day. I awoke early, put on my ill-fitting suit, and went to meet my destiny.

The campus of this university was beautiful, but something about it seemed . . . a little off. Perhaps I was unfairly comparing it to the all of the familiar sights and faces of my beloved Georgetown. Or maybe I was just nervous because I felt like an interloper for hijacking the career fair of a school that I didn’t attend. Regardless, I followed the signs to the large conference room where the career fair was being held. After entering the room and seeing a couple hundred people, my sense that something was amiss grew, although I still wasn’t able to determine why.

I marched right up to the lady manning the CIA booth, stuck out my hand, introduced myself, and told her I wanted to become an agent. She said, “You don’t go to this school, do you?” I felt the cold pinprick of panic in my stomach, and considered lying. She worked for the CIA, though, and besides, the resume in my hand would reveal the truth soon enough. “No, I don’t. How did you know? “Because this is Gallaudet University. For the deaf.” I addressed her in a whisper, “Ohhhh. Wow. I didn’t realize that.” She responded, in a mock stage whisper, “You don’t have to whisper. They’re deaf. They can’t hear you.”

gallaudet

Gallaudet Univeristy:  You Would Not Believe How Quiet Our Career Fairs Are

After a month or so of this, I began to run out of cash. My friend – if I can truly call him that – Peter heard of my distress and told me he could help me.  This help took the form of part-time employment at a company called Federal News Service.  It’s difficult for me to describe how terrible this job was, but I will do my best in next week’s installment.

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19 Responses to Jobs That I Have Had: Installment 0.5

  1. Eliza says:

    oh my goodness, that cannot be true! you seriously were quoted in the student paper, and you really wen to a a school for the deaf career fair for the CIA? wow serious LOL.

  2. Davis says:

    Lize,

    All true. Ry can verify the student paper, and Ron/Ry/Macy can verify the career fair.

  3. Braden says:

    Oh Dave, you somehow live the life all of us secretly want. I mean who hasn’t dreamed of hanging out somewhere and then rising to the top like you did at Gtown. Awesome story. I have never heard about the job fair. Hilarious. I’ll be waiting for your next post anxiously.

  4. Layne says:

    One of the coolest stories I’ve ever heard Davis. A deaf school? I love that she busted you on it instantly too.

  5. Joe says:

    the career fair portion of this installment made me laugh out loud. that is all.

  6. Joe says:

    in reading my comment it’s important to note that the “that is all” is meant to represent that “that is all I wanted to say” not “that is all I thought was funny.” That is all.

  7. Elisa says:

    {whispers} so I take it you didn’t get to be a spy?

  8. Wade says:

    So, after you’d been made by the CIA agent at the deaf school, what do you do? Did you high-tail it out of there or did you stick around to shake a few more hands and collect a few more highlighters?

  9. Davis says:

    Brade, my ascent at Georgetown was not without controversy. A lot of people – OK, Ryan – were extremely jealous and tried without success to bring me down.

    Layne, those CIA recruiters are sharp!

    Joe, thanks for the clarification. I was feeling a little low after your first comment.

    Elisa, as far as you know, no.

    Wade, I slunk out of there immediately. Most of the jobs there were ASL-related anyway.

  10. Galuch says:

    I cant believe this is the first time i have heard the CIA story…..and all this time I thought it was Woodrow’s command of the Arabic language that got him going. Now i realize it was all that time spent with Mandy from PC…….

    BTW…I’m sure Peter was the one who directed you to the job fair. I don’t know anyone else who besides Topher that attends Broadway performances for the deaf…Im just saying…..

  11. Ben Pratt says:

    LOL Too bad the CIA didn’t send their sharpest recruiter. You were clearly infiltrating, regime-toppling material.

    The first question for the senator’s office lackey position cracked me up, too. Seriously?

  12. Amy M says:

    We lived on Andrews AFB during the sniper time and I would run in a zig zag pattern any time I was out in the open! I would push my cart of Wal-Mart merchandise back and forth in hopes to not get snipered. Everybody did it! It was a scary time back there! But it was also ridiculous with the zig zagging all over and the constant white truck spotting. Thanks for the memories! Oh also there was like a couple murders at Galludet dorms during that time. Are you sure you were there just for a career fair? Maybe you secretly landed the CIA job but some nosy deaf kids found out about it and you had to snuff them out in the name of National security? Good thing they were easy to sneak up on.

    Over the line? Yes. I realized it before I typed it but couldn’t help myself. I have a sickness.

  13. Gina says:

    Oh, wow. That has to be one of the funniest things I have ever read. In my entire life.

  14. Wade says:

    Ben, no kidding, wasn’t that question just perfect? “Now tell me, Davis, how often will you stroke the ego of our dear beloved senator in this cult of personality staff office?”

    [side note: I was going to post a ‘funny’ about what the first question females are asked in their interviews, but good judgement had to interrupt just when I was warming up.]

  15. Peter says:

    I recall not being the least bit concerned about the DC Sniper until you and Macy got me thinking about him. Before that, in my mind, he was simply a ratings booster for cable news and the Washington Post.

    I anxiously await your installment about our treasured time at the Federal News Service.

  16. macy says:

    That creepy snipe. The zig zagging was a must, and I would do it again if the snipe came around again. It sounds silly , but it was really scary….especially when you are pregnant and paranoid.

    Thanks for the fun trip down memory lane. Good times. I loved that you made it into the school paper …..just wished you could have introduced ryan to some of your friends there at G-town law. Such a George Castanza story.

  17. Yesssss, can’t wait. Dying over You Would Not Believe How Quiet Our Career Fairs Are and the evasive Snipe moves. You gotta do what you gotta do.

  18. Erin says:

    Davis, what you don’t know is that after all the successful zigs and zags I realized my true talent and actually applied for a job with the CIA. What a coincidence! That was a one of my favorite and most memorable vacations. Glad to have shared such such a time with all present. Apparently I left too soon.

    I am excited for the next installment.

    Speaking of dance, what happened to Mary Murphy?

  19. Christian says:

    How have I never heard this story before? So freaking funny. The deaf school.

    I can picture those 4 women running in zig zag patterns in the parking lot too.

    “a certain songwriting U.S. Senator from the state of Utah”. Oh brother.

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