Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Weekend

The strangest thing about having a Facebook account is that you make friends with people you don't know.  Well, actually, I don't know if YOU do, but I certainly have.

Last year, I befriended an unemployed person.  Which I viewed as a bit of a novelty.  Sort of like having a friend who was an ex-con or something; a club I found interesting - dangerous, I guess, but hadn't planned on joining.  He had all this insight I didn't have.  Like saying "I'm really sick of the endless Saturday nights."

I'm not so sure I'm there.  The nights tend to be okay for me. The weekdays have been consumed with the sheer amount of activity it takes to find a job in this market.  I feel compelled to go to bed on time. But weekend days?  Those are a killer.

You'd think I'd be able to let it go for two days, but letting it go has never really been my thing.

Weekends are slow.  Recruiters don't call, postings don't go up online, friends would prefer to tell you about, say, Count Chocula being on sale at Target rather than point you to a potential networking connection.  People are trying to rest.  Me? I'm trying to get a job.  This infiltrates my thoughts without interruption.

It's not like Saturday comes and I have nothing to do. I'm a mom.  My daughter delights me, and having her time to myself on these days without the distraction of a job has been, as they say in my old world, upside.  I'm a better mother to her, in many ways, unemployed.  I rarely forget to pack her gym shoes anymore, have found that cutting a crust off of a sandwich can be a good distraction, however temporary. I enjoy her conversation more that I don't spend 60 hour weeks completely saturated by people.  We read more, go to the park that was just too far away for a tired mom who just needs to barrel through the laundry.

But I'm distracted.  I have found myself half listening to her in my anxious state.  I'm quick to say no to reasonable requests (really, we can afford the occasional Happy Meal still).  And this makes me feel like I'm falling down on the only job I currently have.  The directionality?  Bad.

But, with each Monday comes new hope, new opportunities, and, yes, more disappointment (but answers).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

State Jobs

I went to the state employment bureau yesterday to get some information about the state job testing process.

You can learn a lot at the state employment office.

My plan had been to get in to the office, grab a brochure, get out.  Nobody ever told me that this doesn't happen at the state employment office.  

I walked in to the office (I'm not sure if it's relevant, but I think it's fair to point out that I was wearing mismatched clothes and hadn't showered in two days) and said, "I am applying for a state job, and the website says I need to take a test."  Only I didn't know which test.  So, I had to stand in line for about a half hour to find out.  Which is okay.  There are consequences for not having your shit together in life.  I mean, really, I have some recent experience with this.

Strangely, it would seem that other unemployed people also don't have their shit together, because the line got longer behind me.

So, I'm standing in line, and I feel a tap on my shoulder.  "Hey, see that over there?"

I turn around, see a man in his mid fifties, full head of white hair.  Heavy.  Imagine Bill Clinton if he had been raised in the Midwest and hadn't gone to Harvard.

Me: "See what?"


Me: "It's a computer."

"No. THAT."

Me: "You mean the women in front of the computer?"


Me: "Oh.  That's THEM, not THAT."

My line buddy looks irritated, but he talks anyway.

"You know why they look that way?"

Me: "Um, are you talking about them being Mexican?"

"No.  Yeah.  Well, not them BEING Mexican.  About them being fat.  Because they're Mexican."

I'm really feeling uncomfortable at this point.  But I'm not giving up my spot in line.  So, I go silent.  

Three minutes later.


Me: "What?"

"Corn.  Mexican people eat corn.  That's why they're all pear shaped because if you eat corn, you end up shaped like corn."

I resist the urge to point out that he actually  said pear shaped first, and yet he wasn't blaming pears.  I'm busy thinking about this silently for at least a minute.  

Tap tap tap.

"Do you eat beef in a tube from Walmart?"

Me: "Yeah, now I do.  I'm here because I would like a job so I can avoid that."

"Don't be a cheap shit.  We're talking about your health.  You don't want to look like them, do you?"

Me: "I don't eat much corn."  I don't point out that every single one of those women has better hair than me.  Every one.  And I like the fattest one's shoes.  Can corn give me those shoes?

"That beef in a tube comes from 400 Chinese cows."

The career counselor for the state called me at that point. 

I turn around and say, "Hey, I'm up" to my line buddy.  In his hand? A jug of Sunny D.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tom Bergeron

Austerity sucks: We don't have cable any more.  This means that my six year old has resorted to watching America's Funniest Home videos.

I am starting a campaign to fire Tom Bergeron and hire me.  I'm totally funnier than that guy.

Big Problems

I have big problems.  I mean really big problems.  Here's how I know.  I am looking for a job.  Lots goes in to finding a job in this economy, it would seem.  I'll spare you the details.

So, anyway, I applied for this job with a large, frumpy major Midwestern retailer, and got an interview, and another interview and another interview, and another interview for this job.  And then a man with a bad Jersey accent and (I am not kidding) bluing in his hair declined to hire me.

So, that's how I know that I have big problems.

Well, that and the fact that I'm now kicking my fridge.