Beer Me That Job

July 25, 2011

There are just so, so many things that bother me about the job search process.

For instance: why is it that nowadays, if you want to send in a resume to a job that’s located on a site that isn’t Craigslist, often they make you register with a multi-step process for their own stupid site, which then begins to send you more spam than exists in the entire state of Hawaii? News flash: If I’m looking for a job, I need to be checking my email account for serious job inquiries or, like, videos of kittens happily attacking watermelons sent from friends who want me to be less depressed about the dejecting work of job applications. I do not need it bulked up with requests for me to apply to jobs for which I would never apply and so, you know…I didn’t.

“Job available in your field: Prison Barber” Is it? Is it?

Or bulked up with ads directed at me, the job seeker. Alleged head-hunting agencies that—if really scammy—want you to pay to play, or—if merely sleazy, useless, and opportunistic—desire for you to go to their advertisement-marinated web page that no one actually uses to find jobs. Hey, glad that while I can’t find a job, you’re able to make lazy cash off advertisements springing up in my face like so many unwanted joke nut can snakes.

https://gomersasquatch.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/4e4f5-circussnake.jpg?w=344&h=373

Job peanuts.

Don’t believe me that they’re not there for you to apply to jobs? Actually attempt to apply to a job on one of those sites some time. More often than not, you can’t submit what you need to, it’s unnecessarily convoluted to the point that you end up just not applying, or you have to sign up for more advertisement abuse in order to submit a resume.

Departed are the days of sending in an application directly to the company via email or in a very simple one- or two-step process. Dead and buried are the days of just going over the building and handing the resume in.

(Yeah, try this some time. Then as you leave, hide and watch the receptionist unenthusiastically use it as a great big wrapper for stale gum.) Just, really. In a vast majority of careers, the physical resume is all but obsolete in the eyes of an employer.

Which is fine. All I wanted to do was to email the damn thing in anyway. But it’s just never that simple.

There are other things I loathe about the job application process, too. For example, feeling like the worst sort of corporate whore, having to sell yourself on your cover letter to please the sadistic evil hiring machine of the non-desperate, already-job-havin’ HR dementors while they muse over your life’s accomplishments in the most trivial of manners and make capricious decisions about the fate of your life.

Or that’s at least what it feels like. I know and love a few hiring managers—family members and friends. That’s really not dementors. …that we know of… But I’m fairly certain that all the hiring managers who’ve gone over my resume and cover letter have been exactly like this. Evil suckers of hope and identity.

But most of all, what I cannot handle about the job search process is the interview. The terrible, horrible, stinking interview.

Very possibly it’s just that I’ve always been as inept with interviews as I have been with auditions or, say, blind dates. I lose all semblance of personality (or even what a human is and how it normally functions) when faced with the daunting task of “BE CHARMING AND SAY ONLY THE RIGHT THINGS.” What the hell? It’s like someone telling you, “Be funny.” Or, “Be interesting.” Or, “Be sexy.”  Uhhhhhh. Ummmmm. Buuuuuuuh. *blink, blink, rub eye, blink*

https://monarcaresblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/dog-stretch.jpg?w=198&h=168

“Is this sexy or interesting?”  “No, but it is funny.”

You can’t put someone on the spot like that and expect them to perform well. Least of all me. It’s like I completely lose the ability to comprehend the fundamental makeup of humor or normal speech patterns at that moment and instead sit thinking totally functional and moderately intelligent thoughts with a horrified expression on my face, unable to make them come out of my mouth. It’s amazing—another person’s power to abduct attributes you might otherwise rock when not having to try at them. In these situations, rather than funny, interesting, or sexy, I instead break down into a grotesque amalgamation of the antonyms of all three—a character I think of as Abused Meg.

Abused Meg has had handed to her some of the most ghastly, miserable experiences known to man or woman and is therefore now no longer able to talk with the usual shape or wetness of her former mouth, cannot consider numbers or manifest emotions with certainty, can’t find an appropriate volume at which to express her monosyllabic sentiments, has never seen the sun nor heard loud noises, is constantly on the verge of tears or hiding in her own arm crevice like a sad baby Dracula, and otherwise behaves just as an abused, neglected dog might. At best, she has no personality at all; at worst she’s strange and alienating with the ability to rob anyone else in the room of a sense of normalcy. I am not good at interviews.

And the thing with interviews is, you just can’t ask the freaking questions you want. Mainly—how much will I get paid, and what are my benefits? I don’t get why this is such a taboo. You’re not supposed to ask that until right before you get the job. Why are we all wasting so much time?!

I understand that employers want a person who is right for the job and dedicated to the work. I get that. That makes for a more pleasant work experience for all and a more dedicated worker. But here’s a thought that is applicable for every single person I’ve ever met—unless there’s something truly horrific about my current job, I am leaving my job to look for either comparable pay or a vertical move of some sort, like more pay and better benefits. If money weren’t important with regards to the job, I wouldn’t be working in the first place. I’d spend my time … I don’t know … rowing a fucking boat or painting pictures of me rowing fucking boats. I wouldn’t be sitting in a cubicle taking orders from people. Right? And you—the job dangler—are remarkably stupid in not acknowledging that out in the open and right away.

So why can’t I ask on the first interview—or hell, before I go take off work to waste my time and the potential new employer’s time—what the pay is going to be? Then let’s see if I’m a good fit. Because I tell you what—even if I really love a potential job, I—like most everyone else—do not live in a career utopia fantasy. I have rent and bills to pay. I have to eat. I have a life outside of work I’d like to continue living in a similar fashion or better. I need to find a new job that’s going to pay me what I need to make in order to do all these lovely lifey things. And nearly everything beyond that is a minor deciding factor. The order of importance has to be: 1.) Do I vaguely want to perform this job/am I qualified?  2.)Does it pay what I need/want to make?  3.) Literally anything else that might be a point of interest. It doesn’t matter.

Number 1 is taken care of when I apply. I got the job description, I’m interested so far. Number 2 should be next. Number 2 should always be next. There is no point proceeding if number 2 is a deal-breaker. PEOPLE—NUMBER 2!! Come on.

So, yeah. This is the aspect of our job culture that I think I find most aggravating and wasteful of everyone’s time and energy.  And so does Abused Meg. As she shambles off into the shadows, totally freaking out all who exist there with her wide-eyed weirdness.

**I should note that this is not about a current job search I’m doing. In fact, I’m on the brink of going down to part-time work in a month so I can start full-time grad school (Yaaaaaay!). But being around others who are currently looking for jobs, it brings me right back to that same old rant in my head. Why the senselessness? Why the time-suckage? You know what? Let’s all just quit our jobs and join a commune.

Or go back to grad school.

My Profound Apologies

July 20, 2011

Generally what looking over these old entries is like.

Entry numero trois in my series of recent posts that have been resurrecting old bloggity ghosts from my little blog graveyard where my former blog used to live a few years before I ever started writing this one. Let’s see if I can use the word “blog” some more. Blog bloggity bloggitude. Blog.

This post is actually decently interesting (to me), because it starts out as me around the year 2007, and then stretches back to my booze-soaked mindset around late 2005. And it is vastly different from the present, mostly due to slowly diminishing levels of substance abuse over those periods all the way to my current happy resting place of better emotional health. (Also, you’ll note I’m less snobby about online journaling now. Not related, but it bears mentioning since I have lots of current friends who use Livejournal and other things, and also since I’ve been much more emotionally candid on my own blog in recent years.) However, the message of my original 2005 post still resonates with me.

Isn’t that weird, by the way? When you find an artifact that proves the existence of a part of you you barely remember, but the artifact is still relevant?

So, anywho, here is my 2007 entry, My Profound Apologies (and, you know …my profound apologies):

I know I never actually post anything truly serious on here because I prefer to make my blog entries all very tongue-in-cheek, blatantly poking fun at the teary-eyed, attention-whore drivel that so many misguided, over-funded youths around me hammer out over weak-ass coffee and cigarettes they’re too young to buy and, likely, have to hide in the basement so their parents don’t find them. …Clearly I don’t speak from past experience or anything… I don’t post serious stuff because I live only very little of my life out of the public eye. Anything there is to know about me is pretty well-known by anyone I see regularly. There’s no need. Or ask me a question in person. I’ll give you an honest answer, and hey, probably offer to buy you a beer.

However, gentle reader (I’m going to go ahead and continue by the off-chance that there is possibly one of you out there who has made it tripping over the long-winded structure of my first paragraph. Bless your little heart), I will write this one serious blog post. Because I think it is a good thought.

I have kept a series of journals since I was about 14 years old. Back before Livejournal or Xanga or whatever else people use, when some individuals (myself included) had the idea that private journals were, well, private matters. My journals are full of most of the experiences I’ve had, many of the late teens/early 20s entries are substance-tainted (and the substances vary), and feature some pretty interesting poetry inspired by…well, inspirational quantities of liquor. The great equalizer. (Makes my poetry roughly as bad as the next guy’s.)

Yore.

Tonight I came across a few paragraphs that were the end of my very last entry of my college career. I have no remembrance of writing it (not unusual for me), but I thought it was truthful enough to bear repeating. So hear it goes; an excerpt of the life of a one-time rum-soaked harlot:

“I would really like to take the end of this experience day by day, not thinking about it as a whole. That way, I guess I’ll be less saddened or scared about moving on. On the other hand, I feel like if I don’t stop and really take in the weight of this time of my life–this time on the brink–that I’ll never be able to hold on to these moments like I’m supposed to. I don’t know which will make me a happier person in the long run, or if it matters. I’d like to take more pictures before it’s over. Open myself up a little more to the people I love. Breathe these occasions in. There just wasn’t enough time for all I wanted to experience with these people. Will all of life be so evanescent? Shimmering briefly, then going out as quickly as it had flared up?

Maybe someday when I’m dead these words will be read by a few. Or by more, god help them. They’ll certainly think me a lush and perhaps too liberal with my sexuality. I hope so much, however, that they find the heart in all of it. The love of freedom of expression, the appreciation of people who’ve touched my life, the drive toward actual substance, and the strain for meaning and understanding. That is what should be taken away from every single entry. That is what I put into them, every time, in the middle of all these nights spent writing. The enjoyment, the lunacy, the abandon, the grasping, and the pain. Telling it as I see it, whether it’s meant to be read or not. I wonder if someday I’ll have grandkids who stumble across these journals in a box and are appalled by the way I’ve lived my youth. I hope not, though. Because I sincerely hope they’ll have truly known me before I’ve died, that age will not bring with it the fear of truth and feeling for me. Anyhow, here’s to the rest of it. Goodnight.”

I’m pretty sure I passed out in an alcohol-induced slumber at that point, but you get the gist, yes?

I remember how going off to college was such a system shock to me. I had left my home town feeling really pretty knowledgeable to begin with (adorable). But I, of course, had had these set psychic parameters under which I had operated, and I really didn’t even know they existed. I thought I was pretty in the know. I mean, I’d read some books. I’d been in love. I’d seen a boy naked. I’d smoked 4 cigarettes. Shit, son. I knew life.

Felt infinite; was actually remarkably sheltered. That’ll happen.

That’s youth, though, right? Or at least the big fish/small pond phenomenon that follows a liberal upbringing in an otherwise Mellencamp-esque small town. And I can just recall how I spent my years away at college—and especially my first year—like I literally could almost feel an expansion of the mind at times. It felt physical. A perceived expansion. I’m not talking about getting smarter. I’m really not sure that boning up on reasoning, problem solving, and the logical order of things was the effect that college had on me, aside from being able to tell you mathematically how much caffeine intake is equal to relative parts retained information. And, resultantly, that cramming doesn’t equal long-term memory retention. No, I refer to world view. That whole “broadening your horizons” thing—this is a realistic description of the occurrence. I’d come upon something completely new and wonderfully upsetting to my previous existence (this wasn’t hard to find), and I’d sponge it up and let it change everything. Over and over again, like an excitable tot on Christmas morning, opening present after present and mentally arranging the way they were going to change the terrain of her play area.

I can remember these moments vividly, and I can still feel the little budge in my psyche, if I concentrate hard enough on these individual occurrences. What I find difficult is to have more of these moments now. My horizons have been expanded. A lot. A whole lot, for anyone who is not familiar with the liberal approach I tend to apply to, well, everything. I’ve been exposed to a great deal and have kept a very open mind, and that seems to have served me well. And you know, in the last year, I can say that I have grown exponentially on a whole host of fronts: the intricacies of complex relationships, the intricacies of very complex relationships, self-awareness, the mechanics of emotional well-being, and my ability to take in the city at a rate that doesn’t make me hyperventilate or foam at the mouth too much. But these have all felt like downhill momentum from quondam lessons learned. I would like to find something to feed my craving for a new major expansion; I would hate to feel it’s all settling down.

So I keep looking for classes or books or something that will spark a great big, cataclysmic “WTF? I’ve never thought of that before!” in my spongy, spongy head. I haven’t found anything that seems to be promising yet. I don’t have a religion to speak of, so a manifest destiny on that particular front would certainly shake my fundamental core sufficiently, I’m sure. I just haven’t found the spiritual direction to take. Grant me a vision! I don’t know. Any suggestions for ever altering my current psychological state are most welcomed.  Note.