Archive for March, 2009

A Quick Update

I’m exhausted. In regards to my last post, let’s face it; I’m a glass-is-half-empty sort of person. But the new job seems to be going pretty well. I’ve come to accept the fact that as the new person, I’m bound to look like a fool much of the time. Thankfully, my coworkers are kind and patient teachers who help me fix all my mistakes. I like them, but it’s strange – I’ve never worked in a predominantly female environment before. There is a little less Nascar and a little more cattiness. OK, goodnight.

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The New Job Started Today

It’s not having what you want
It’s wanting what you’ve got

~Sheryl Crow (Soak Up the Sun)

My primary method of applying to jobs has been through online applications. Most of them disappeared into the computer and never generated a response. Eventually, I tried something different and tried going directly to HR at the places I knew were hiring. Most of these people said, ‘nice to meet you, but you’ll need to fill out the online application’.

Of all the applications I filled out, only one generated a response, and it was one I wasn’t particularly excited about. I had my interview at the office in the town north of here for the part-time position (afternoons only – as if that could possibly work in conjunction with any other part-time job) which I had applied for. The manager who interviewed me also said we should discuss the supervisory position because of my previous managerial experience (in a completely unrelated industry). He got my hopes up, then took it back because I don’t have previous experience in this industry. Well, duh, but he was looking at my resume when he said it the first time.

The interview went well, and as I was leaving, the manager introduced me to everyone else in the office, as though it was assumed that I would be getting the job. I spent the next several days frantically trying to follow up on all my other applications in attempt to find something better. It didn’t work. I was torn: should I say yes, and although perhaps unethical, keep quietly looking for something? Should I say no, on the basis that I have over five months left before my unemployment benefits run out, and I’m sure I could find work in May when tourist season starts?

The manager was so impressed with my interview that he decided to offer me an unadvertised full-time position in the office around the corner from where I live. Work’s, work, right? I took the job.

On the positive side, this job gets me in the door into the office world, which is part of the reason none of my other applications generated interest. It also gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. The company (a large international organization which will remain unnamed) offers benefits including health/dental/life insurance, more than two weeks annual vacation, a 401K plan, and tuition reimbursement for related education (business courses). Supposedly there is also room for quick advancements for anyone eager enough.

On the negative side we have two issues. First, everyone I talk to thinks I will be bored out of my friggin’ mind. I’ve been trying to put that thought aside, but it has really been drilled in there now. Second, the pay (to put it nicely) sucks.

The weekly pay amounts to just slightly more than an unemployment check (or just over half my old salary). I cannot pay for rent, bills, and food on what this company is paying me, never mind an appropriate wardrobe. But work’s work, right? I’m still hanging on to the side work I’m doing for my friend, and that may generate additional similar projects. I expect to be working at least sixty hours a week for the foreseeable future. That’s why I don’t really have time to discuss this.

I’m irritated and insulted. I have 10 years of customer service experience. I have a degree from an internationally acclaimed university. At bear minimum, I should be making $12 an hour. Have the last 10 years of my life meant nothing? I could have had this job at this pay as a high school dropout. Of the seven other people I now work with, not one has a higher degree, and six work at least two jobs to make ends meet. And I’m really fucking sick of hearing about how it’s all because of the “economy”. OK?

Hired!

I just don’t have the time to tell you about it right now.

Mmmm, Yummy Food

I should be spending more time at the gym, but I’ve been doing pretty much the total opposite lately. I’ve been reacquainting myself with my oven instead.

About a week ago I made some Olive and Rosemary Bread (yes, with yeast, from scratch, no bread machine). It was the first time in several years that I’ve attempted to make bread, and although it took forever, it came out great. Of course, because I had to give away some (it doesn’t keep long enough for just me to consume it), I got requests for more bread!

Last night I made a little roast chicken. It was in the oven for nearly two hours and completely fell off the bones when I took it out of the oven. My whole apartment smelled delicious! I also have a great recipe for chicken tacos with a green sauce that I’m going to make tonight with some of the leftovers. And I’ll still have the legs and thighs leftover for another meal!

Last summer during blueberry season I purchased two 10 lb flats and froze them. Freezing blueberries is a pain in the butt, because you are not supposed to freeze them in a block, they are supposed to be spread out in a thin layer and allowed to freeze individually, before tossing them all together. It took days to freeze them all! I love blueberries and figured they would be gone in a couple months. But I still have some! Lots, in fact. So I’ve promised Boyfriend a pie sometime in the near future.

But today I’ve been having a lousy time on the job search front, so I think I”m going to skip the gym again and make some Cinnamon Raisin Bread. At least cooking yields tangible results.

Where is my Fairy Godmother?

Edited to add lyrics!

Its a pretty good crowd for a Saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
cause he knows that its me they’ve been comin’ to see
To forget about life for a while

And the piano, it sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say, man, what are you doin’ here?

Oh, la la la, de de da
La la, de de da da da

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man
Sing us a song tonight
Well, were all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feelin’ alright

~Billy Joel (Piano Man)

I must have watched one too many Disney movies as a kid. I really, honestly, and truly thought this life would turn out better.

Every little girl has dreams, and I doubt she dreams of one day becoming me. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, but this isn’t it either. I thought I’d be someone. I thought I’d matter. I thought I’d have something useful to contribute to society. It thought I’d do something(s) noticeable. At the very least, I thought I’d be happy.

A friend hired me to do some work for him. Actually, I think he took pity on me. He and a partner are working on a hobby/restoration/”investment” project and have now hired three others (all of whom would be otherwise completely unemployed) to do the dirty work. And it is very dirty. But it gives me a purpose and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. The pay is decent, and since I’m only part time, I can still be searching for something permanent.

But I hate, hate, hate the work. The best thing about getting laid off was thinking that I would never have to do this shitty work again, and for this project, I’ve got the worst of it, because the other two wouldn’t do it. But I’m so torn, because it puts food on the table. Beggars can’t be choosers, right? And I’m definitely a beggar looking for work.

I want to work in an office. I want to sit at a desk and not have to work in awkward places or contorted postures. I want to be clean; I want to feel pretty. I want to stop inhaling chemicals “known by the State of California to cause cancer”. I want to employ my mind, because someone once told me I was intelligent, instead of continually abusing my small tired body.

Unfortunately, there are also lots of qualified people looking for office work against who I must compete. I’m finding that it is simply impossible to convince a hiring manager that I am capable of switching occupations.

So, I’m sitting in my local bar (b/c they have wireless internet) and drinking whiskey, while a part inside of me dies. And tomorrow I’ll get up and do it all over again. Yeah, this really is the life.