Dear Ms. Aportinato,
After 14 years of wearing ill-fitting tank tops, converse sneakers and sweatpants with the word “PINK” written across my backside, I am hoping to reenter the world of corporate America. I realize I will be required to wear a bra, garments without logos on them and shoes that don’t come in 18 different colors.
Since August 2004, I have been employed as a single parent and have been promoted numerous times. I was initially in charge of raising a toddler, then a preschooler who, due to my hands-on approach to keeping her alive, eventually became an elementary-school student. Throughout this period, I was responsible for arranging transportation, providing childcare when needed, and comforting my client in the dark by reminding her it all would OK because I’d just found a wonderful new therapist and the guy who was stalking me had moved out of state. I also was in charge of a pool of babysitters who never hesitated to wait until the last second to tell me they couldn’t pick up because they had just received a last-minute invite to Burning Man.
I scheduled doctor appointments, met with teachers and dealt with numerous customer service people. I learned my ex-husband’s girlfriend was named Rhonda, and singlehandedly tore numerous branches off a jacaranda tree in our backyard when my client repeatedly yelled out, “Look, it’s a JacaRHONDA!”
Being the sole provider, I tried new things — no matter how much they terrified me — and believed that I was incapable of accomplishing them. As examples, I have enclosed photos of my using an electric screwdriver to put together a 22-piece nightstand, using the 20 pieces that remained after I lost my mind because the directions were crap and whoever wrote them
Although the main office was in Los Angeles, we relocated to New York City, where I turned 50 and was subsequently diagnosed with a chronic disease called aging. Since 2016 it has been getting incrementally worse, so that I am now combatting dry skin, hot flashes and the knowledge that my shopping at Forever 21 is suddenly frowned upon (as is any purchase I make from American Eagle Outfitters).
In order to make the cross-country move, I was first required to learn custodial law for the State of California and navigate family court and child-support services. I garnered certain protections and payments to support my client’s increasingly expensive needs, which included threading salons, Starbucks and the lion’s share of my patience and time.
Upon arrival in New York City, I was again promoted to parent of a middle schooler. My job description was altered yet again to include not only private detective but also guilt-ridden, depressed and angry woman. I was expected to find a top-rated public school and look out for her best interests in a city where a 13-year-old can walk out the front door into the night and get from point A to point B without the need to drive a motor vehicle.
Along the way, I have learned such skills as trusting my gut instinct; crying at the gym while still being able to get in a full workout; and coping with being told I was hated and ruining a young person’s life, as well as nights not knowing where she was located. I now understand that you can put in 110 percent of your time and energy into your client, only to have her heap all her praise on your male coworker — whose only contribution is a habit of saying "yes" to every request, which also makes him way more fun to be around than you. I have navigated the byzantine search for placement in a well-respected NYC high school and, most importantly, how to inform a teenager that I no longer will be doing her laundry — even if it means her showing up in class wearing her duvet cover.
In August 2018, after a strenuous and nerve-racking two years, I was promoted to mother of a high schooler. Although I cannot give up this role for at least another four years, my hours have been cut and I am now able to spend more time and focus on other employment.
Please note, I am secure in the knowledge that I would be able to fulfill all the obligations connected with any job at your company. I look forward to your consideration.
A Single Mom’s Resume: From 2004 To Present
I realize I will be required to wear a bra and proper shoes.
Dear Ms. Aportinato,