Well, well, well. . .I guess my perseverance/patience/laziness have finally paid off. Today just after lunch, I received a note from my guy at my Not-Your-Average-Cook job. He feared I might have already secured gainful employment, but wanted to let me know that a full-time position had just opened. A real, tangible, we-have-to-have-a-body job. I let out an audible squeal, collected my senses and left a message on his phone. Something to the effect of, "Of course I don't have a job yet, silly!"
I heard back from him about 15 anxious minutes later. Someone had quit (not even the person he was anticipating would be leaving) earlier today and their staff was down to bare bones. He's just got to run a couple of background checks -- one for a history of elderly abuse, the other for violent felonies -- and a drug test (I told him I could come in anytime - that I didn't need to go out and buy a mask - and he said, "well, we are cooks after all. . .") I'll get training rolling on Monday.
I'm nothing shy of intoxicated right now. I know from experience that somewhere below my feet there is a floor, but I'm nowhere near it. Yes, there are major childcare issues to be tackled, but I feel like this is a huge stride toward my independence, my happiness, and ultimately, the rest of my life.