I've been looking for work. Every Thursday, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) sends out a list of job openings they have in an email distribution in the form of a spreadsheet. I got on that mailing list a while back, and today when it came I spotted a really cool job that doesn't involve either IT or administrative work.
Apparently Legoland in Carlsbad is opening an aquarium attraction in August, and they need people who will do a variety of work there, including leading groups of children and their teachers around the aquarium and teaching them about the undersea critters on display. Part of the job description said the right people would have to be able to put their hands in fresh or salt water for extended periods of time and be nice as they handle the creatures. They would also have to be okay with creature-poop and the stink that can come from there.
Well, I've raised kids and I take nursery duty at church once a month, so I can handle stink. And I absolutely love to tell people about things like how to get out of quicksand, exploding toads, and swans that fall in love with gigantic swan-shaped boats. I'm sure I could learn stuff to tell about the fish and crustaceans they'll have on display at Legoland's aquarium, called "Sea Life."
The job description said to "apply in person" on Mondays and Thursdays between 2 and 5 pm at Legoland's Human Resources, so I checked mapquest (never having gone to Legoland before) to find the way. I updated my resume a bit to say that I like to do this kind of work (even though most of my working life has been at a desk), got dressed up nice, and took off for Legoland.
The directions took me TO Legoland, the part where they want people to pay $10 to park. Seeing that I was trying to get a job, I didn't think I should have to pay to park, so I showed the lady in the booth the job sheet from the EDD's CalJobs website and asked her where Human Resources was.
She said I was in the wrong place. I needed to make a U-turn, go back to the traffic circle, turn left, then turn left on another street and one more left (I started losing track of the street names), and I would see a sign saying, "Legoland Human Resources." She didn't make me pay.
I followed her directions the best I could, but most of the buildings in that business park area were nameless. I drove all around, looking for Legoland, and then got stuck in a left turn lane that put me on a road I knew was the wrong one and that had a center island to keep me from turning around anytime soon.
When I could, I headed back to the business park and drove some more, until I had gone past every building in the area. Finally I stopped and asked a lady, who was taking a giant gift basket out of the back of her minivan, where the Legoland Human Resources building was. She said it used to be around there, but it isn't anymore. She suggested I go back to the main entrance to Legoland.
Well, that seemed pointless, since that's where I started, but I didn't have a lot of options.
Back at the same booth with the same lady, I told her that I couldn't find the building she sent me to, so she told me to follow that green line around the parking lot, and it would lead me to a brown booth, and I should ask the people there to tell me where I should be going. She still didn't make me pay.
I followed the line, which stopped a couple times, and I stopped at the same spots to look around for it to start up again. At one point, I passed a pale (not brown) security shack that looked deserted, but the green line kept going, so I did too. And then the green line stopped for good in the middle of the parking lot, not near any buildings, so I turned around and went back to the nearest parking spot to the security shack, parked, and walked over to the door of the shack.
A security guard was inside, and I showed him the job listing and asked if I was in the right place. He said it was the right place, but they weren't holding open applications now, since a lot of the positions have been filled. He called over to (I presume) Human Resources (wherever they are) to ask what he should do with me. Should he send me in, or send me back home?
The answer was that I should definitely not come in. The security guard gave me a little business card with the website address on it and told me to fill out the application online. So I walked back to my car and drove to the place where the Exit sign pointed, but there was a gate-arm across it, and the arm didn't lift. So I backed up and drove around the parking lot some more until I saw an Exit sign pointing in a different direction and went that way, where the road was open and I could get out and go back home.
I got home a little before 5:00.
But the day wasn't a total loss, because I met a friend for dinner at 5:30, and she had invited another friend as a surprise. The three of us used to carpool together back when all our kids were little (they're all in their 20s now). So we had a wonderful time of catching up over great food and laughter.
Even after all the wild-goose chasing, I have to say: Life is good.