I’m a Recruiter!

The Dunkin’ Donuts on the border between Gibbstown and Paulsboro is the site of my writing inspiration right now.   I think Hemingway and Steinbeck and Fitzgerald found settings a touch more bucolic or fertile, but, to be honest, I like the scene.  Besides, my mother grew up near here, in Clarksboro, on Cohawkin Road.  I drive by her house now and then, reaching for some fleeting sense of nostalgia and a NJ connection, but the dismantled pick-up in the front lawn cuts into the warmth a little.

Anyway, I’m participating in a school fair (is that the term?) at the Guardian Angels school…and I think it’s in Gibbstown.  I drove by it first, and it’s an adorable building nestled between homes on a residential street.  I saw grass.  For the last three years, I’ve helped Admissions by acting as Archmere’s (freshly-shaved) face, and dang if I haven’t managed to steer some of the best and brightest to Archmere.  At least that’s what I tell myself.  Mullica Hill was the school I visited the last two years, and a school in Drexel Hill the year before that.  It’s an easy task, given the excellent product I am “selling,” but, still, I don’t consider myself a salesperson.  Which reminds me…

In 1988 and 1989, I left teaching for a few years to pursue a career in the hospitality industry, thinking hotels and restaurants would bring me new happiness.  Turns out I just liked free food, low pay, and no sleep.  There was this resort/golf course place in Downingtown called Brandywine Hotel and Resort, on Route 30, right across from the Tabas Hotel:  Mickey Rooney’s cartoon face on a billboard stared at me all day.  I was in convention sales.  It was nuts.  My boss stole our secretary’s codeine every day, dead birds kept appearing on people’s balconies,  and I think the banquet staff were running guns.  Somehow I managed to become a top salesperson, but I spent most of my time revising all the correspondence leaving the hotel:  nobody could write, and I became the in-house proofreader.  Teaching was calling me back.  I call this era My Great Hotel Sickness.

But recruiting students and families to Archmere rises far above the dark days at Brandywine, and the food is better, if not free.  I have cool giveaways, some videos to show, our snazzy viewbooks, and some candy to spread about my table.  I’ll be joined by a Guardian Angels graduate, a current Archmere senior, so this will be a fun night.  So, wish me luck!