I started looking for jobs before school even ended. Before I knew it, I was panicking because I wanted to stay in the area I’d went to college in: the gorgeous Napa Valley. Rolling hills, rows of grapevines, wine, sophistication, and what should have been communication job opportunities galore. I was planning on being able to start my own photography business on the side. The only thing I needed was a job and an apartment.
I began with the most logical choice for job hunting: Craigslist. I filtered my results to only include Napa County and Santa Rosa, dreaming of Cheers! once a month and business meetings at Napa Valley Roasting Company. I searched until I found two positions that would be great to start out with: a law office in Santa Rosa and the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce as a concierge. Of the two, I figured I would enjoy working the most at the Chamber of Commerce. It’s situated in a little green-roofed house next to Pizzeria Tra Vigne, and I knew for a fact that they had a very friendly office manager, who I had chatted with while hanging posters for my internship at Nimbus Arts.
I drafted as brilliant of a cover letter as I could muster and sent it off, hoping for the best.
Graduation came and went. Monday after graduation, I loaded the last of my belongings into my Civic, which for some reason didn’t include a shirt or pants, and called my friend Chelsea to come job hunting with me. All I had to wear was my blue dress I’d worn for graduation the day before and my navy blue flats that I love but my mother insists should “never ever be worn to an interview again”.
We went to Harvest Inn to apply for receptionist positions, admiring the hardwood floors and old-fashioned furnishings as we filled out our applications and frantically searched through our phones for employer phone numbers.
I stopped at St. Helena Chamber of Commerce to introduce myself and follow up on my application. The office manager recognized me and assured me she would let the CEO know I had stopped by.
We plastered our faces on the closed glass door of the Cameo Cinema in disappointment when no one was there to speak to.
We drove out to Calistoga and walked through the gorgeous grounds of Solage to reach the human resources building and fill out applications there.
Finally, we finished out the day by enjoying melt-in-your-mouth sirloin steak sandwiches at Buster’s in Calistoga. As we sat sipping our drinks after a good day of job hunting, Chelsea told me, “I hope you get one of these jobs. Hopefully you’ll get to stay here next year.”
I sighed and finished off the last of my strawberry shake. “Me too.”