I wish I had something exciting to update everyone on. Proof that I was doing something, something important but I don’t. Not yet.
Last week, I went to the XTO energy site played dumb and came out smart on all the disastrous activity that could ruin north Texas. I felt empowered to do something about it, as there is little being done currently–on any level. Friday at the conclusion of my second-round interview with Environement America, the inteviewer asked me if I had any questions for him, “Yes,” I said, “I was wondering what can you can do about…” and preceded to tell him about what I had learned at the site. He said he too had been worried about what was going up on there and now after learning the extent would like to be able to run a campaign to educate and bring some protection for the communities, but you “have to pick and choose your battles.” Pick and choose your battles? How often do we really get to choose them? Really, what kind of people actually choose, don’t battles just come to you and then you face them, regardless of what may happen, you face them because you have to, because you’re not sure anyone else will?
Meanwhile, the interview for the other job I felt really good about. It was done via webcam. I dressed up in my suit, put on my glasses, and tried to look plain. [Plain Jane vs. Amanda Jayne] Their camera didn’t work and so I could not see them, only hear them, then watch myself looking straight back as I answered their questions. Throughout the week, the called my references. All five of them.
I met with my friend Damien Friday night. He’s in Houston for a year to help secure the union at a downtown hotel, taking a break from our Los Angeles local. I told him about the job, my parent’s hesitations, and my own worries about taking the job–taking any job. He reassured me that this work is the best we can do right now, not only is union organizing the hardest type, but it also brings the greatest rewards directly to the communities. If you can survive the stress of union organizing, the weight of people’s livelihood’s on your shoulders, the lobbying, the protesting, the sitting in workers homes listening to their hardships then working to empower and advocate for them, you can go on to conquer anything. “It’s three years,” he said, “and what better way to spend them. I look at it as college, a second education–in organizing.”