It all started 4 months ago, well if I want to be truthful it started a long time before that, I made the decision to join the Peace Corps. Hopefully.
First I would have to write the essays. Like taking speech class in high school and college I put it off, hoping that maybe Peace Corps would change their mind and the essays would be optional. Like high school and college, they insisted I had to write the essays. So write them I did. Over and over and over again. I passed them around to friends and family. Each person corrected the previous, contradicting each other. So I did the only thing I could think to do. I ignored them (well unless it was a grammar mistake, I’m prone to those).
I crossed my fingers and hit send. Well then I had another part of the essay, laying down my health and mental health status. I was looking good. Hit send.
About a week later I get a packet in the mail, I nearly flew up the stairs to my apartment to get it open and go through. Fingerprinting charts and background check sheet. I filled out my stuff and made plans to get fingerprinted the following day.
Writing the essay was, apparently, not going to be the hardest part of the application. Getting fingerprinted was. I walked the next day to the local police precinct, 30 blocks mind you. And waited, for 3 hours before being told to come back the next morning. Defeated I walked back to my apartment. How hard is it to fingerprint someone?
Well, I got caught up with work and Peace Corps took a bit of a back seat until I got an e-mail from my recruiter. She informed me that I needed to send in the rest of my paperwork within the week. So I had to revisit the fingerprinting. The next morning, after calling the Chinatown precinct, I went and got a money order for $15. Well, it turns out the precinct lied to me, it would cost $16 for two sheets, and they do not take cash. I tried to make poor pitiful eyes at the older chinese gentleman who was fingerprinting me (hey it worked on a speeding ticket I never received). No dice. So I run back to my bank, the lady smiled sympathetically at me but could not waive the $4 fee. She suggested I go to the post office as it would only cost me $1. I go through the back alleys of Chinatown, barely dodging the “handbag, handbag, DVD, DVD” ladies. Left the precinct with ink still on my fingers and a package to mail off.
Two weeks later I set up my interview. It was on Thursday June 16 at 10 AM. I leave my apartment an hour and a half before I have to be there. The train was not working. Great, now the universe, and not just the police department, is working against me. I ran out of the train and got a car service. For $30 they could take me. (writers note: I would like to show how dedicated I am at this point I have spent $35 dollars on unnecessary expenses to complete the application)
I get there, go through the metal detector and meet my recruiter. I’m not good under pressure, oh I’m fine with answering questions and giving good answers, the problem is all of the sudden “um” appears to be my new favorite word of all time. I did kind of push the Health Extension assignment. Let me say the only other interview that was more nerve racking was the one for my current job. I had 6 people sitting in asking me questions at the interview for my current job, she had a laptop.
The next day I got an e-mail. I got nominated! I quickly called family members and my boss. I informed my boss that it was quite possible she would have to find someone new. She was just humored that I was giving a 10 month notice. She’ll miss me, no matter what she says.