Karen didn't pick me up until 9:30, but maybe it's just as well. The rain had gentled down to a shower by then. We mainly took the highway past Deptford and Woodbury. With this being just after the morning rush hour, this was pretty busy. We arrived at the very full parking lot of Rowan University's gym around a little after 10 AM. The parking lot was so full, we took a cute little golf cart-like jitney to the main building.
Turns out I was right that this was primarily for healthcare. The majority of the businesses were either local hospitals or local assisted living companies. That doesn't mean this was a washout (pardon the pun with the weather). We walked around together for nearly an hour. Karen spied the owner of several county newspapers; I saw the owner of NJ.com. I read the latter on a fairly regular basis, mainly for their coverage of newly-opening local businesses. Talked to both and learned that they do need freelance writers. Might consider it as a side business. I also saw several local banks, Walgreens, Shop Rite, Goodwill, two construction companies, three steel mills, and four warehouse businesses.
After Karen wandered around to talk to businesses for other clients, I looked around on my own. It was so busy, and there were just so many people and so many booths! It took me over a half-hour to build up the confidence, but I did talk to the Gloucester County Library and Comcast. The former said there were only assistant librarian jobs open to people without library masters degrees; the latter nicely said to check their website for openings.
Almost every booth gave away a little something. Most of them at least had pens, tote bags, and jars or baskets of candy. Others had string backpacks, small foam balls, snacks, pencils, travel chargers, water bottles, and note pads. I must have grabbed at least one thing from nearly every booth. Karen says they want to give all this away; it beats having to carry it back to headquarters.
Karen took over the Abilities Solutions booth for a while around 11 AM, so I sat down in a narrow opening near the entrance to the men's locker room to sip a cup of hot tea and get organized. I ended up with twenty pens (counting a pack with three pens and a box with two), ten tote bags of various sizes, a large chip clip and a jar opener pad from Citizen's Bank, a foam ball from Comcast, a foam green light, a soft pretzel from a local snack food company, two granola bars, three note pads, a note book, a folder from Abilities Solutions with information on their programs, three mini-bottles of water (four if you count the one I drank earlier), a bag of microwaveable popcorn, a gel compress for tired eyes, a Chapstick, and a flyer for a newspaper job fair at the Cherry Hill Mall on May 10th. Grabbed two muffins from the refreshment stand for lunch later and a beautiful selection of purple and pink carnations for Karen and a friend from a florist who gave away samples of her wares.
They finally started to wind down around noon. We stepped outside to discover the rain had slowed, too. It still fell, but not heavily. The jitney was nowhere in sight, but it turns out we probably didn't need it, anyway. We got back to Karen's car in less than ten minutes and were barely damp.
Karen did stop at BJ's next to the Target in Deptford on the way home to get gas. Otherwise, we went back the way we came, on an even-busier highway. She finally pulled up around 12:30; I gave my friend the carnations, then headed for my rooms.
(And I'll be honest - right now, I'm more and more considering going back to school. I need to get a better job, not only to make money, but to boost my confidence. I don't belong in retail. It isn't appropriate for my personality or what I want to do. It does seem that what I want to do requires more training...but I'm worried about the cost and how long it'll take. I need to do more research.)
Had the muffins and a blood orange for lunch while watching Match Game '76. Isobel Sanford and songwriter Marvin Hamlisch joined in for the first week of the new year. Richard fusses at Gene over his tie being over his vest in the opening. The others have more trouble with "__ Port" in the Head-to-Head. Hal "Barnaby Miller" Linden and his wife Fran won Tattletales, over songwriter Sammy Cahn and his wife Tita and Scoey and Claire Mitchelll.
I got an early start this morning, so I went down for a nap around 1:30. Tried to, anyway. I was too excited to do much more than doze. I got up around 3:30 and was still tired.
Checked out Comcast and NJ.com briefly, then worked on writing for a while. Richard looks over the maps, which turn out to be of the entire area. They detail the mines in particular, showing where all of the local strikes were; they also outline the local ranches. He ends up following his horse through an opening in the cliff, coming out of a cave on the other side near several ranches.
Broke for dinner at 7 PM. Watched Match Game Syndicated while I ate. They're back up to the first of two weeks to feature Oscar-winning actress Jamie Lee Curtis, along with Robert Pine, Dick Martin, and Betty White. Gene has to fix the contestant's chair in the first episode, In the second, Gene passes out when a contestant takes too long answering in the second episode, then they all welcome a young Kirstie Alley, long before her stardom on Cheers, to the show.
Took a shower, then finished the night with The Love Boat at Paramount Plus. In the seventh season, it's "Long Time, No See" for the owner of a carnival Julie's putting on for the cruise (Howard Keel) and the pretty girl who has caught his eye (Jan Smithens). But there's a lot more to this young lady than he thinks. A comedy team (Michael Lembeck and Dean Butler) learn about the "Bear Essance" when they nearly let a pretty girl (Randi Oakes) come between them, and the bear in their act gets loose. The carnival's fortune teller (Crystal Bernard) is worried that it's all "Kisses and Makeup" when her new husband (Christopher Meyer) is shocked by what she looks like without tons of makeup and a wig. They both finally realize that she's much happier dressing like herself.