Over Two States and Through the Clouds: To an Interview in North Dakota I Go

North Dakota Capitol in Bismarck

Thurs: Nov: 24, 2011 – Thanksgiving: Today I am flying to my home state of North Dakota for an interview on Friday in the state’s capital – Bismarck. Those of you who have been following my blog from the get go know the reason I began writing this blog was to chronicle my efforts to return to my home state for employment. So if you’re new to my blog, check out some of my early job hunting/road trip blog posts!

The last few days have been a flurry of activity as I prepared for this interview, all done with the news on Monday that my beloved Grandmother had passed away. Grandma B., as she is affectionately known in our family, turned 100 in July. We threw a huge party that more than some 75 people attended! (See my blog post   https://jobhuntingwordnerd.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/party-like-a-rock-star-grandma-b-turns-100/ for more info about this big bash.) Now Grandma hadn’t been ill recently, but she had been declining some over the last few months. So even though it isn’t a complete shock when your 100-year old Grandma dies, it still is so incredibly sad! I’ll write a blog soon dedicated to this very special lady!

So amidst dealing with grief and working at my part-time job that recently has been more of a full-time job, I begin preparing a 10-minute interview presentation, updating my work sample portfolio, which needs much spiffing up, and getting ready for the trip. I work frantically down to the minute, accompanied by the sounds of the Thanksgiving Macy’s Day Parade on TV, until a friend picks me up to take me to the airport. En route to the airport, we chat about how enjoyable low level of traffic, and how human traffic in the airport is also likely to be minimal. And minimal it is!

I have traveled many times on holidays, including TDay and Christmas Eve, often because fares are reduced or frequent flyer miles are easier to use. It’s my experience that people are generally in a better mood traveling on these holidays – workers and travelers alike! However, in spite of the pervasive cheery mood and sparse crowds, since I haven’t flown in a while I’ve forgotten how much work it can be to traverse a large airport and about the intrusive security screening! I finally get to the the TSA checkpoint, where because of the holiday there is absolutely no line or wait! It’s there that I encounter my first Scrooge of the day. Ebenezer TSA guy takes a grumpy look at my ticket and ID, followed by an equally curmudgeonly glance at me to try to determine if I might be a terrorist! I wish him a Happy TDay in a cheery tone, and then began the disrobing process – off with the shoes, sweaters, coats and any metal items that might set off the screening beeper. I then drag out my friend’s borrowed laptop, my liquids in the required size allotments, etc. Then through the pervasive full-body scanner, followed by gathering up all that stuff again and returning it to its proper location. Honestly, it’s quite a workout!

It’s around lunchtime and I peruse the airport food offerings, in hope some establishment might have some kind of TDay turkey special. Anyone that has been traveling for awhile knows that the quality and variety of airport food has improved greatly over the years. I search out a little airport Mexican joint that has an awesome Chicken Pesto Burrito. I then do a little people watching. It’s a tossup in my book which venue offers the best people watching – an airport or a sporting event! I observe a young guy with unruly hair and a large backpack hitting on a pretty blond pilot. “I’d like to follow you home,” he says a little too loudly, followed by “Gobble, gobble.” The no doubt embarrassed pilot quickly scurries away, and the young guy, who maybe was imbibing in some morning Bloody Marys, continues yelling gobble, gobble at no one in particular as he walks away.

Friday, Nov. 25: I will keep the details of my interview private. I will say that I think it went well! Of course, during my interview post op, I think of questions I could have answered differently, or things I wish I would have said – but that’s always the case.

That evening I tell my friend I’m craving a Taco Pizza. Now I know Taco Pizza is not unique to North Dakota, however, I have never been able to find it in Colorado, or the Washington, D.C. area, where I lived for eight years! She tells me about a local place that has extremely yummy Taco Pizza. We check out their website, http://aandbpizza.com/, which says they were voted “The Best Pizza in ND” by The Food Network. I think it’s certainly the best Taco Pizza I’ve ever had, and maybe even THE BEST pizza EVER! OM Goodness it’s SO delicious! I am in pizza heaven!

 Sat., Nov. 26: It’s time to head back to Colorado! As we approach the airport, I comment on the large volume of cars parked at the airport lot, overflowing onto the grassy area next to the lot. My friend says it’s due to the holiday weekend, but also the cars of oil field workers, who I guess can’t find parking closer to the fields!?  The airport is busier than when I arrived on Thursday, as people began the post-TDay trek home. Flying out of a small airport is such a breeze and so much less time-consuming than a large airport. Although I haven’t rented a car today, I have in the past, and in an airport this size, you can park your rental car, walk a few short steps into the airport, drop off your keys and walk a few more sort steps to check-in, and yes, only more short steps through security and to the gate. Probably less than a half mile from start to finish! 

As I start the security process, a cute, little blonde girl of about four catches my eye in front of me. She reminds me of my blondie nieces when they were that age. She is adorable dressed from head to toe in hot pink Miss Kitty apparel and is toting a black and pink polka dot backpack. I compliment her on her outfit, and she gives me a shy smile. She is instructed by her mom to take off her coat and shoes, and I think how it’s slightly sad that little kids have to go through this increasingly intrusive screening process as well! I set off a random screening beeper when I go through security. I am pulled aside and my hands are swabbed to test for chemicals – a first for me.

I then head to the airport’s lone cafe and gift shop. I love looking at all the North Dakota trinkets and goods, particularly the food products. I find the ubiquitous chokecherry jelly and also chokecherry honey, no doubt produced by one of my former beekeeping colleagues! I also find another North Dakota food stable – caramel rolls – and treat myself to one.

I then head (yes just a few steps) to the gate. For some reason, I haven’t been reading much lately, and considering it’s one of my favorite pastimes I’ve been feeling positively book-starved! I’ve been trying to join a new book club, but can never seem to get the book read or get to the book club gab fest. This month’s book is “The Paris Wife” by Paula McClain, and with the interview behind me I crack it open and give it my full concentration!

Lisa, Talented and Professional, and Hopefully Soon to be Employed Job Seeker!

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2 Responses to Over Two States and Through the Clouds: To an Interview in North Dakota I Go

  1. I know there are a lot of jobs all over the state, including Minot. Trouble with Minot – the housing! Good luck with the job hunt in Bismarck.

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