inside anxiety.

“Great, Kaitlyn. I’m pleased to have you as a part of the team. Now we just have to undergo a few formalities, background checks and all that. Looking forward to seeing you in the spring!”

“Thanks! I’m really excited. I can’t wait.” I hang up the phone with a huge smile on my face.

I’m lying in bed, somewhere in between sleep and mindless, incomplete thoughts. Frankenstein. Other novels I should start reading. Upcoming assignments. Patrick Dempsey. Banff. Reference letters. Background checks. Drinking Tickets. Speeding tickets. Background checks. Provincial offence tickets. Criminal background checks. Disobeying the law. Criminal background. Public intoxication fines. Criminal.

My breath starts to quicken. My background check is going to show that I have a drinking fine. And that I got a speeding ticket, which will further indicate my blatant disregard for the law. They’re going to look into my criminal record and they’ll see me as a young, reckless kid that runs the streets rampant, drunk and heckling cops. They’ll see me as a streetracer that disregards children, casually speeding through school zones like a modern day Thelma. Or Louise. Even they probably considered children and slowed down rolling past schools.

Oh no…they’re going to take one look at my background check and dismiss me for life. Probably tell every other hotel chain not to hire me either.

I pick up my phone and Google, “Is public intoxication a criminal offense in Canada?” followed by, “Is public intoxication a provincial offense?” “What is a provincial offence?” and then, “Do drinking fines show up on a criminal background check?” “Is a background check the same as a criminal background check?” “What does HireRight investigate?”

This list of carefully worded questions and anxiety-inducing Yahoo! Answers leads me to a three in-the-morning panic attack. Usually these thoughts stay in my mind. I revel over them for hours on end, while continuing to function as a normal human being in society. But I really want this job. I need to have this job. So today, composure is impossible.

I spam my boyfriend with text messages.

I’m not going to get this job.

            I just spent an hour researching whether drinking fines show up on your background check and they’re going to see I’m a criminal and they won’t want me in the province of Alberta.

            They hate me.

            I’m a reckless, drunken, street-racing criminal.

            They also check your last three jobs and I said I worked there from August-November

            But it was really September-October.

            They see that.

            Oh God.

            Oh God, and I told them in the interview one of my traits is that I’m an honest girl.

            Oh God. Oh God.

My boyfriend, somewhere between annoyed and concerned, calls me.

“Kait. Calm down. You’re being completely ridiculous. You’re freaking yourself out. Just calm down. You’re not a criminal. It was one ticket when you were nineteen. I don’t even think they see that. They’re looking for ridiculous shit like whether you’ve killed a guy, or shoplifted or something. Not whether you drink alcohol in public.”

“Fine, but I also embellished how long I worked somewhere. I’m going to get caught in a lie, and I specifically said I’m an honest girl!”

“Yeah and look how much you’re freaking out about lying about two months. And didn’t you actually get hired in August?”

“Yeah, but I didn’t actually have my first shift until September. Whatever. I’m not going to get this job. I can feel it. I can feel it with every fibre of my being. I just don’t have a good feeling about this. Something’s going to go wrong. I know it. This is karma. I’m a bad person.” I mentally go through all the things I’ve done in the past few months and see if anything bad resonates.

“You’re so ridiculous. You have to stop doing this. And not everything is about karma. This isn’t fucking karma,” He’s past the point of concerned. “You’re not a bad person. You already have the job. Just go to sleep. There’s nothing you can do either way now, you just have to wait it out.”

Unsettled, I hang up the phone and toss and turn for a few more hours. I can’t escape the idea of getting the job, of going through all the hard parts, and then losing it at the last second for my past stupidity. And this always happens to me. I’m Murphy’s Law. If something bad can happen, it will.


My phone indicates I’ve gotten a new email.


            I’m pleased to formally offer you a job with us here at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Looking forward to meeting you finally.



            No mention of drinking or speeding offences, or of lying on resumes. Nothing. After days of feeling anxious and periodically checking my email my mind is finally at ease. No need to freak out.

I walk into my classroom and sit down. I’m relaxed again, feeling great.

“Unfortunately, a number of you mixed up the terminology: you said digitized rather than digitalized. I’m saddened to say that those who did, lost a considerable amount of marks.” My prof tells the lecture hall.

Oh, no. Did I write digitalized or digitized? Shit. I probably wrote digitized. Oh my goodness, I probably failed this essay. And I can’t afford to fail this essay, because I need to stay in Honours and what if I lose my honours degree in my last semester of university… What if I don’t even graduate?

            I feel my breath quicken.


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