"How did you find out about this job?" Lynn asked me one day, outside of the body shop's bay doors, where we would normally stand to smoke cigarettes. I am trying to help her quit and to stay quit myself. I've even told her to consider walking, as Sandi and I have been doing for months, even though Sandi has picked up her habit again.

I found out about this job the way I found out about most of the jobs I've had in New Orleans: word of mouth. My first job was from the temp agency that my ex got his permanent position from, and I think I may have answered one actual post in the local paper. After that, it was all who you knew. The café I worked at was across the street from a restaurant that needed an office manager. The owner of the café baked cheesecakes for the owner of the restaurant and so were on fairly good terms. Clyde, the restaurant owner, had a tow truck driver, Moose, pull cars out of his lot that were illegally parked. Moose told me about an opening at a Ford dealership. And here I am.

I had been putting out resumes online for various insurance companies, since I've been told that working in the office of a body shop is something they secretly appreciate and reward, once in a blue moon. Now I'm getting these computerized cards telling me that my number has been inserted in the wheel of fortune and that I would be notified if it ever comes up.

This is one of the harder things about wanting to re-locate, other than the biggest problem which is where to move to, something I haven't yet solved. Even the big power insurance company for whom we are a preferred shop isn't showing much interest in me. I know this will all take time.

I'm trying to not limit myself to the insurance realm, since that would be so pathetic an effort to short change myself that it wouldn't even be funny. I'm pretty good about telling people what to do, and I guess I could be at least halfway decent at being instructed, but not indefinitely. I work best when you just let me do my job, once I've learned it enough to not need your help. My whole life has been training people to replace me as I ascended.

But now I am going back to the bottom, no word of mouth out there in the unknown world. Yuck.

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