I had come to the realization that I could no longer choose between a career and being a mother. I was an undependable employee and I was unwilling to continue to put my children second. After an eight hour work day and a one hour commute, I was tired, impatient and unsatisfied. I wasn’t even the mother that I wanted to be. After a not so well planned pregnancy, nineteen years after the birth of my first child, I went on strike. I refused to serve two Gods. My husband Andrew supported my decision. I began living my dream life. My days were filled with sending my older children off to school and playing with my baby, Elias. As soon as it was safe to do so, I strapped him onto a baby seat on my bicycle and we rode the hilly country roads at the nearby lake daily. Eli would squeal as we rode down the hills, I inhaled the mist rising off the lake and marveled at the sights of blue heron swooping down for a catch. Eli and I read books and talked about the animals that we saw on our rides. He sang before he spoke and spoke in sentences by the time he was one year old. I had never been happier or healthier. But by the time Eli was four, I realized that if he was going to have any socialization I would have to send him to pre-school which meant that I would have to find money to pay for it.
I told a dear, old family friend, that some people would describe as a flakey, new age, tree hugger type about my dilemma over tea one day. She told me that I needed to ask the universe to provide what I needed. So I did. I tried to center myself, (instructions leftover from a yoga class) imagined the universe around me and asked the vast and endless cosmic eternity to help me land the perfect deal. Then I began reluctantly, to look for work.
I applied for one job. The ad read, “Corporate English Language Trainer, work from home”. It seemed too good to be true and I felt certain that it was a scam. The internet advertisement indicated that the ideal candidate would speak English well, have an interest in languages, European culture and have an interest in world politics. I responded with my resume and cover letter. My cover letter bragged about my communication skills and culturally international upbringing, it didn’t seem that I had much to lose. I received a phone interview and was invited for an in person interview.
The location of my interview added to my skepticism. It was located just five minutes from my home. I walked down some stairs into a strange sort of strip mall like office to find numerous women in various attire waiting. When my name was called I was greeted by a 30 something redhead who introduced herself as “Janie” and had a nice smile. She didn’t look like she could be part of a scam. She was dressed more casually than I, who had jumped at the chance to put on my grown up clothes and look professional. We discussed my language skills and interests and she dismissed me promising that she would contact me soon. The next day I received an email with a job invitation and a request for a copy of my identification, social security number and my checking account number.
“AHA I knew it, a scam”, I thought. This was just a more complex version of those emails from the royal magistrate in Kenya who desperately needs to find an heir to the dearly departed and please provide your checking account number for the lump multi- million dollar deposit. I tried to recall her face so that I could report her to the local authorities. She seemed so, so, so Midwestern, so suburban housewife. I went to the bank and opened a separate checking account with $20.00 and faxed her all of my paperwork.
My name is Ingrid and I am a Corporate English Trainer.