After three and a half years of unemployment and all the attendant difficulty that such a deprivation would bestow upon most people, myself included, I am pleased to disclose that for the past four months I have been working — finally!

I find it funny, though, that the freelance job I accepted, has been to fulfill a job function that I haven’t done in nearly ten years. So, in spite of my faith, optimism, and resolve to follow my heart, it is very hard not to feel as though I have patiently weathered my circumstances for three and a half years only to take one giant leap backwards.

That said, I have an interesting story to tell about how this job came to be.

In late June, I received an email from a man I used to work for. We hadn’t spoken for several years, and on the off-chance that I was still using the same email, he inquired what I was up to and whether I might be interested in working with him on a seven month job in Vancouver.

Of course, I immediately responded that I was interested, and within a few hours we were talking on the phone. The only problem was, I hadn’t worked in three and a half years, and I hadn’t done the job he was asking me to do in nearly ten years — and never in Vancouver. So, being the honest person I am, I told him so — to the point that he finally interrupted and said “You know, you’re doing a very good job of telling me all the reasons I shouldn’t hire you.” He then went on to tell me that there were other people he was considering for the job, and that he would be back in touch with me when he had made his decision.

I thought I would never hear from him again.

That night, I had a terrible dream. In the dream, I saw financial documents for the job that I was asked to do, and within that document, I saw my name, and the amount of money I was to be paid. It was a lot of money.

Incidentally, the man who was proposing to hire me had not disclosed the financial details with me, and I hadn’t asked. He had always been a fair employer, and I had no reason to believe this occasion would be any different. Besides, after such a terribly long spate of unemployment, what difference did it make to ask? I was flat out broke, and would be grateful for any amount of money.

Well, having woken from my dream with the image of the financial document etched in my mind, and the amount of money that was beside my name, I truly thought that in light of having told my potential employer all the reasons he shouldn’t hire me, that my dreams were now showing me all the money I had just managed to thwart myself from earning.

Needless to say, I was beside myself!

Long story short, the day after the dream, much to my surprise (and relief) I was hired to do the job and suddenly found myself with three days to get my life in order before I was to leave for Vancouver.

It was a crazy three days!

I was so anxious about all the things I didn’t know about the job, especially given that I hadn’t done it in such a long time. Consequently, I spent much of those final three days working and doing whatever research I could do to prepare myself.

Finally, it was time to leave for the airport.

Days earlier, my wife told me she wanted to drive me to the airport rather than stick me in an airline limo after having spent the last three and a half years together. When she asked me what time we would have to leave, I told her 10:30 am.

I suppose, before I go further, I should explain how I seemed to have broken the mold of unemployed husbands due to the fact that my wife actually enjoyed having me around the house for three and a half years (and I similarly enjoyed being there for her and my youngest daughter).

Thus, although my wife was overjoyed at the sudden prospect of money flowing into our bank account once again, she was also saddened that I was leaving. And so, she wanted to personally drive me to the airport in spite of the 45 minutes it would take to get me there.

In the past, my wife and I had always cut our check-in times as short as possible. (Really, does anyone enjoy sitting around an airport for hours and hours?) In keeping with that, my proposed 10:30 leave time was no exception to the rule. It was going to be tight, but not impossible by any stretch — unless of course, we were to hit an unforeseeable traffic jam, which in Los Angeles is always a possibility.

However, on the morning of my departure, I was still engrossed in some last minute work related tasks when the clock struck 10:30. I knew we had to make a stop at the bank along the way. But, I insisted to my wife that everything was going to be fine — I just needed a few more minutes to finish up what I was doing.

By eleven, my wife was crazy anxious that I was going to miss my flight, and I was finally finished with the work I had been doing. I packed my computer, headed to the door, and was surprised to discover my wife had already loaded my luggage into the car.

At the bank, five minutes later, I took some cash out of the ATM, got back in the car, and finally, it was time to make the 45 minute trek to the airport. I told my wife not to worry, we were still leaving with enough time to make it. Just as I said that, we both looked at the clock — me at the clock on my cellphone — my wife at the clock built into the console of the car — and wouldn’t you know it, both clocks said the exact same time — 11:11 — a time that you may know has particular meaning to me, and in this instance, was even more poignant owing to the fact that during my long period of unemployment, 11:11 prompts had completely dried up.

My wife and I immediately looked up at each other and said, “11:11.”

I then said, “Don’t worry about the drive to the airport…everything’s going to be just fine.”

As it turned out, there were no traffic delays on the way to the airport. Consequently, we made it there with plenty of time to spare.

Four months later, here I am in Vancouver, and the job is going very well!

Incidentally, the first day I showed up at the office, I was given a master budget for the project. I immediately opened it to the page that summarized my management position and was amazed to see that the amount shown was exactly $1000 dollars more than the amount I had been shown in my dream!

FYI: Now that I am four months into the job, that “money troubles” article I had been led to read three years ago — the one I referenced in my blog article here (where I said it didn’t resonate with me 100%) — I recently felt compelled to read that article again, and now it seems bang on to me!

My story continues here.

(For the previous story, click here.)

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