In the last few months I did a couple of foolish moves to simplify my life: close a bank account that charges monthly fee, without remembering that there were a couple of checks out in the econosphere I’d written the previous week. Like me, the recipients probably didn’t just toss them in the bank the same day.
Hence, impressive overdraft fees, and a cascade of other  consequences like my  Visa card (I was the last person on earth to get one, since I’m aware how idiots like me end up spending a decade paying off the INTEREST ALONE on this predatory bit of plastic) being dunned for insufficient funds..

It’s like banking is a many-part math problem that I am paying insufficent attention to.

Tomorrow I’ll go to two banks and ask if they will consider waiving the punitive fee because I’ve never racked up an overdraft in 30 years there…it’s worth a try.

Speaking of frazzled, Jef Mallet’s cartoon a math problem that involves shopping, a bicycle, and velocity. Today I got a couple hundred bucks worth of food for CC (I don’t shop for me, remember? I forage like a rat, it’s so much more exciting) and wobbled home at about 3 mph….the picture of errand efficiency.
Kid at the Good Earth gave me a spontaneous shoulder-pat, saying “You’re great!” as I bagged up the groceries, baby bok choi on the bottom, 10-lb sack of potatoes on top).

He said he was Patrick and no, he didn’t know me. Just a spontaneous outburst of esteem, the kind of thing that makes Fairfax so bloody fair.

I had admired two different women’s outfits on my way into town: one was an Edward Gorey masterpiece in dark Victorian hues, topped with a grand black hat, and the other was a Bo-Peep frilled pantatlette vision in sheperdess pulchritude, set off atop black and white striped Pippi longstockings.

Man, life is good.

But you do have to pay bills, not just swan around town admiring the well-dressed denizens, and grabbing clothes from free boxes for future (2015 A.D at the earliest) ‘projects’.

Here’s my resume for receptionist at the extremely snooty Bay Club Day Spa.  I figured that their ad in Craig’s List meant they would be hip enough to read between the lines in my resume.

Never heard back, so I called three times to follow up the paper resume I’d wowed them with , and the contents of which are set forth below:

Jacquie Phelan 540 Dogbark Drive Fairfax CA 94930 415-459-etc.

Spa Receptionist


Key Skills

  • Customer attunement
  • Adept verbal/written skills in MS Office, Filemaker, WordPress
  • Personable, attractive, impeccable memory for names, faces and voices.
  • Telephonic talent, sales wizardry.
  • Computer skills : Word, Excel, Power Point, Photoshop


Professional  Experience


Freelance writer, fitness topics Pacific Sun 1994-present
Professional Bicycle Racer 1983-1994

Women’s Fitness Center receptionist and trainer,  Fairfax CA 1984-1986

Solarius Fitness Center receptionist and trainer, San Francisco, CA 1980-1984

Adept first-point-of-contact person

Commended for ability to pacify the impossible, and solve member’s difficulties.

Understands the value of word-of-mouth membership referrals.

Able to create  reports, swab down machinery and locker rooms, attend to whirlpool details and always have a stack of fresh towels at the ready, with one hand tied behind my back.

”Jacquie’s role in cycling  bicycle culture assured that a much larger population (and more diverse, both age and genderwise) enjoys the outdoors in Marin. She is sure to be an asset to the Bay Club as the  Sanctuary Spa receptionist.”
Marilyn Price

Trips For Kids 415-454-1389


“You’d be good for the Bay Club”

Bonnie Phippen

Mill Valley, Bay Club Marin member


And then, of course, the cover letter:

Bay Club Marin

220 Corte Madera Town Center

Corte Madera CA 94926

March 19, 2011

Dear Stacy

I’m interested in applying for the job listed in Craiglist for Sanctuary Spa receptionist.


Please let me know if there is anything more  you’d like to know about me and my employment history. I’ve been self-employed most of my life but as the ‘gate person’ for novice mountain biking women for the last twenty five years, I think I know a little bit about the role of receptionist.

I know a lot about healing mud.
Feel free to call if you are interested in interviewing me in person.
I’d really relish the chance to serve the legendary Bay Club in this vital capacity. Sincerely,    Jacquie Phelan

Dear reader/rider