I had to get a personal background check today. "It's behind the new courthouse beside the church in the lobby of the jail, hon," Tracy from the county sheriff's office told me over the phone. "You can't miss it." After circling the block three times, I finally didn't miss it.
I was the only person in the jail lobby not smoking or contemplating smoking, and I was the only person in pigtails. I saw the Records Office sign and made straight for the door. The lady behind the bullet-proof glass gave me a funny look when I asked to get a background check. "Well, hang on, I'm new here, too," she explained. So she got a quick lesson from a coworker on how to tell young naive girls in pigtails how to fill out a piece of paper with their name and address requesting information on whether or not their meth lab's been busted and if they had to kill someone in the process.
"Why do you need the check?" she asked.
"I'm applying for a teaching position overseas," I replied.
"Okay, we'll have that right out."
I sat in an orange chair and discovered that my phone could download worldwide weather maps at no charge for the next 24 hours.
"Allright, here you go," she rapped on the thick glass. There was some muttering from the women in the cubicles behind her. "Oh, they want to know what you're going to be teaching."
"What?" I hear a woman behind her yell. She turns back toward them and plays an air piano. Muffled voices. "They want to know where you're going to be teaching."
"Germany." More muttering...
"She wants to know if you'll say something in German." She opened the door to the office so that everyone could hear me.
"Danke fuer meine Papier!" I shouted.
"Allright, whatever," came the reply.