Unusual Jobs

Interview picture

A note a staff member gave me before my interview

For this weeks snippet I’m sharing an RA interview. Another writer interviewed one of their characters last week and I really liked it! The process for the RA position is pretty intense. There’s a long, detailed application, 2-3 personal interviews, then group interviews where candidates do a series of tasks with other candidates. Organizing RA interviews and hiring can take an entire semester. It’s a big deal.

I’ve invited Carly (my character from The Hall Speaks #fallsemester) to sit with us and answer a few questions. These are real questions asked on interviews and I got them here. Hopefully it gives you a little insight into the RA job and my character. Carly wasn’t a girl I liked right away. She’s not mean but she isn’t concerned with trying to be nice. Eventually she grew on me.

The math: It’s May 7 so she will answer that many questions.  🙂

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Carly Arnold (sophomore at VBU, RA candidate)

Carly Arnold (sophomore at VBU, RA candidate)

So, Carly, thanks for meeting with me. I know you just finished interviewing with Landon for the actual RA position.  I’m going to ask you some of the same question he did but feel free to be candid. Nothing you share will get in the way of you getting the job.

1) Well, how are you?

“I’m fine…can’t wait to get out of these clothes, though. A little tight in all the wrong places if you know what I mean.” She’s wearing a lavender button down shirt and a navy skirt.

2) Ok, I won’t keep you long then. So, why do you want to be a RA?

Hm..I didn’t come to school thinking about the RA job—not at all.  My parents believe in working hard and all that, and want me to work through college. I can’t do retail or fast food stuff. No way. Being an RA seems pretty harmless. I get my own room, tell freshmen what to do, and get campus-credit. It’s really cool, when you think about it.”

She looks down at her lap for a moment, then back at me.

“Beside, it’ll be the first thing I do without my boyfriend. We’ve been together for, like– ever. So I want everyone to see that I’m more than Patrick’s girlfriend.  And the money I save my parents on room and board, they promised to give it to me after graduation. Not a bad deal.”

Pride gleams in her smile as she crosses her legs, leaning back in the chair.

3) Not a bad deal at all. And what are some of your strengths?

“I don’t really have a problem confronting people, especially if I’m right. I can keep residents in line. I’m a planner, good with numbers too. I’m an accountant major so I could maximize our RA programming funds.”

4) And what about weaknesses? What would you say those are?

“Weaknesses, Ha! I have plenty of those…like chocolate, margaritas, bakeries. In general when it comes to food I don’t discriminate. But I’ve been dating slim fast for the last 6 years so no one has to worry about me eating all the food at RA programs. But I guess my social weakness is forgetting that people have feelings. I can tend to just focus on my own,” she explains smiling with her eyes.

5) Why should we hire you?

“Because I have moves you’ve never seen.” She laughs and so do I. “I saw the original red-head, Julia Roberts,  say that in a movie once. Sorry—just wanted to see how that sounded. Why should you hire me? Well…I’m pretty awesome. But other than that, I’m reliable and really organized…I don’t stress out. School is fairly easy for me so I can handle those RA responsibilities just fine.  And I’m pretty normal. Alana’s cute if you’re into that Disney princess kind of look, but I caught her cleaning in the bathroom. I mean, who cleans public bathrooms unless it’s their job?  I’m nineteen with no major meltdowns on my record, so that should put me in the top ten on the candidate list.”

6) Carly, tell me what you would do in this situation: You notice that one of your residents doesn’t seem to want to return home for Christmas. When you approach her, she tells you she’s nervous about going home because her step-father molested her in the past. What would you do?

She sighs.“These questions… this makes me sad. I hate that people go through stuff like this—period. What I’d want to tell her is that while her step-dad is riding his broomstick to hell, that she can stay with me for break. My family is crazy-generous to everyone except me. Of course, I gave Landon the more censored, good-RA  answer, but honestly I couldn’t let her go home.”

7) Do you think Landon will hire you?

“Gosh, I sure hope so. He said I needed this job. Which I’m not exactly sure what he meant by that because my parents have money.  But he sounded pretty darn sure that I needed to be an RA on his staff. Yep–totally got that vibe from him.”

Well, maybe he thinks being an RA can help you as a person.

Her brows shift, moving closer together. She looks kind of offended.

I learned so much in the role and grew as a person because of it. Possibly he wants the same thing for you. Best of luck to you, Carly! I’m sure you’ll get the job. Thanks for letting me interview you. It’s nice getting the uncensored, unscripted version.

“Yeah, no problem. See ya around!”  She walks off towards a guy in a suit.

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Always, thanks for reading! If you’d like to take part in WIPpet just go here.  Be sure to check out other WIPpets, I’ll be doing my rounds later today.  And thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting! Happy reading all! Stay beautiful. 🙂

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WIPpet–Pressure and Authority

The last two weeks I opted to pass on posting my WIPpet because I needed to spend time marketing my debut novel. I’m still in the early stages of getting the word out to readers. There are so many things to do, people to connect with, readers to meet, that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.

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I’m not very good at asking for help. And it’s not because I’m too proud to ask, but being in a helping profession, I’m in relationships where I’m the ‘helper’. At work, students don’t ask me if I need help with anything.  They come to me for direction, coaching, and guidance, not the other way around. I rarely get asked about my personal life. And I totally get that. I would have felt super weird asking my teacher about anything outside of the subject they taught. I mean, asking a simple, “what do you like to do for fun?” could turn into a strange TMI kinda talk. Most students would rather pass.

A good amount of my students don’t even know I’ve written a book. They know I write, but a novelist…well, probably not. I’m afraid if I start sharing about my books they’ll feel pressured to buy them. I’ve been in a position of authority since college and am mindful of students’ perception of me. For them, perception is reality and suggestions from an authority figure become commands. So, I’m careful how and what I communicate. Besides, it’s super tacky for educators to sell anything to their students—it’s just a conflict of interest.

Regardless of my all-day job, I need to work on my marketing strategy. And I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m behind, that I’m learning, that I have no idea how this is done. I’m not afraid to admit I need help.  Here’s my progress report.

  1. Sent personalized messages to my close friends about my novel
  2. Created a Tumblr to reach possible target audience (RAs) chlolecorin.tumblr.com
  3. I’m finally Tweeting! Yay! @chloecorin
  4. Requested a Goodreads author page  yesterday
  5. Made a list of book bloggers (I’ve contacted 2 and received great reviews)

What has been the most helpful approach to promoting your novel? Which book bloggers did you use? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 🙂

On to my WIPpet which is an example of someone taking advantage of their authority. If you’ve read my first novel, you know that Dean Petty is harsh with everyone. She’s the villain with a twist in her story I hope will shock readers. In this scene, she’s meeting with Carly an RA that’s recovering from an accident.

Here’s the math: February 26, 2014. Here are seven sentences (14/2) from page 26 (today) of The Hall Speaks #springsemester

#Carly

Leaning back in her chair, Dean Petty kept her eyes steady on Carly. “Fine–and nothing less will be expected of you!” Petty, pointing her finger, “Don’t think for one minute that just because you’re sitting down–permanently, that you can slack off on your duties.”

Carly’s mouth tightened as her eyes stung. “I know…” she mumbled, knowing the Dean’s words would leave a scar.  Carly wanted to run out of there, to make a point. With her right hand she squeezed her thigh, wishing her legs would work again.

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That’s all for now!

Always, thanks for reading! If you’d like to take part in WIPpet just go here.  And thank you K. L. Schwengel for hosting! Happy reading and let’s all keep writing!:)

Photo Credit: storiesfromthera.tumblr.com

Why Write about Reslife?

Resident Assistants (RAs) are the GReAtest! (students that work for Residence Life)

They

–  Train twelve’s hours a day for a week or more during the summer

–  Spend all day moving in their residents

–  Live with their co-workers and customers (residents)

–  Handle more paperwork than most secretaries

–  Serve on-call, confronting just about any student or building issue

–  Counsels the homesick, confused, abused, and I-just-need-someone-to-talk-to kind of students

–   Write up the drunk student and befriend them at the same time by inviting them to a program

–  Teach all sorts of life skills

–   Make the building pretty with bulletin boards and door tags

–   Have lots of meetings, some at odd hours of the night

All this while getting a degree and trying to balance that thing we call, “life.”

Q: I mean, who does this?

A: RAs—I can’t think of another job so unique, intrusive, yet incredibly rewarding. RAs are some of the greatest people I know.

Reslife

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