This afternoon I met up with a friend for coffee, and after we said goodbye I ended up at -- gasp -- another cafe.
Creative, I know.
This second stop was a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf located in a land called Fashion Valley. For between the rolling hills of San Diego where the good Spanish friars built churches and universities, there is a vale. And this in this vale, good things come to those who spend. From Saks to Ikea, anything a shopper's heart could desire sings its siren song to the enchanted, and enchantable, consumer.
I stepped inside, noticed there were no tables, and asked a guy with room at his if we could share. He was the only person not spread out all over the place with books and laptops.
Eventually we started talking (i.e. I started asking: "Do you like Hemingway?" since that was one of his books), and I learned that he is a background investigator for a defense contractor. So when people apply for security clearance, this man digs up the muck in their past, finds out their ties to drug cartels or selected foreign insurgencies, and then writes up a spiffy report.
I wanted in. At least, I wanted to know more about getting in.
"Is it something someone can do with a PhD in literature?"
"I studied English in my undergrad."
"Great. Where do I sign up?"
That's the condensed version of our chat. At the end, I left with his business card, a quick tour of his company's website, the advice to apply since they're hiring now, and the invitation to call him when I'm job hunting if I have questions.
Gained: A table, and some precious CC (career counseling, that is)
By the way, a well-placed confidential source affiliated with an intelligence agency has informed me that the CIA is also hiring... they need polygraph examiners, and the salary can hit 113k. Qualifications include:
Excellent command of the English language, excellent oral and written communications skills, and impeccable personal and professional integrity... Ideally, candidates would have a broad range of interests including such varied topics as: art, history, philosophy, travel, sports, writing, foreign languages, coaching, law enforcement, science, photography, music, theater, medicine, information technology, public relations, marketing, teaching, and culinary arts. This position requires the ability to routinely relate to and interact with people from a wide range of cultures, backgrounds and abilities.Art and theater? Travel and writing? Cultural tolerance and interesting conversations? Not to mention, a whole new take on asking!