One thing's for sure: if you're going to be running around the country for a month or two, you're going to have a hard time keeping any engagements you might have back home. Before I decided I was going on a trash rock tour across the country, I was looking for a job. A couple companies wanted to interview me. My final interview was today.
I was to meet my prospective employers at 1pm in McMinnville, a drive of an hour and a half from Portland. I got there on time only to find out that things were very busy at the company and someone was supposed to have told me not to come. Deciding to make the best of a poor situation, I ate the pizza and berry cobbler offered me and informed them that if they hired me I would not be able to start until sometime in August instead of May like I had originally said. As expected, they told me that they would probably need someone sooner, but they might still need someone in August and they'd let me know if that turned out to be the case.
"Do you have any time limits today?" They asked me.
"No, I pretty much left today open since I didn't know how long this was going to take," I said.
"Well, we've got some paper that needs to be sorted. Would you like to help us out? It'd give us a chance to see what it would be like working with you."
Since there was a chance that there still might be a job for me in August, I obliged. The next hour and a half I spent writing ID numbers on copies of invoices and moving them to various piles. This was interrupted twice, once by an impromptu foosball challenge and again by some words of encouragement from the CEO.
"Nice to see you're putting your college degree to work huh?" He said.
"I worked as an office assistant right after graduating from Harvard at the top of my class. Someone said the same thing to me. I told them, 'how can I be trusted to run the company if I can't be trusted to make a few photocopies?'"
I nodded. They who are faithful in little things are also faithful in much. I went back to my work until one of the programmers called me out to look at some of the code with him. We did some debugging for another hour and a half before he decided they'd kept me long enough. Before I left though we went back to the break room for more berry cobbler. As I was washing my cutlery, the CEO came in.
"Ryan worked for an hour and a half on the refund and helped me debug for another hour and a half." I heard one of the programmers say.
"Really?" The CEO sounded impressed. "So what's this about not being able to start until August? What's going on with your schedule?"
"Well," I said, turning to the body-building Harvard graduate, "my band is going on tour in June and we probably won't be getting back until sometime in August."
"Yeah." His face seemed frozen; it was hard to tell what he thought just yet.
"Okay, so who's financing this?"
"We are. I make enough money freelancing online and we have a bit of money saved up. Should be enough to cover the cost. I figure I might as well be a little irresponsible before I have to go be responsible again."
The man rolled his eyes and walked out. As he left, he called back down the hall: "Well, I hope you know while you're being irresponsible we may not have a position for you in August."
"That's legit," I called back. The man laughed as he always did when I said "legit." He was an attorney by training and had never heard anyone else use that word as a synonym for "fine."
I left feeling pretty good: I managed to impress my prospective employers and then turn them down with my trash rock plans. It was funny, looking back. I imagine the CEO of that company couldn't understand why anyone would willingly throw away a chance at a stable job with a nice income. Perhaps he wrote me off as just another kid with naive dreams. I know that if I don't take this time to run off and try my potential I'll never have any peace of mind about it. I guess that's perhaps what he didn't see: I'm not wasting my potential. I'm testing it. I'm proving it.
Still, I want to vindicate myself of his derision. I want to come back flush with a successful tour, a solid fan base. I want to be a rock star.
Will you help make it happen?