Tuesday, October 28, 2008


To get what we want, we have to know what is wanting in our lives, but we also have to know that we are entitled to get it. Transformation rests in our hands.

-Joan Gould, Spinning Straw into Gold

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Maiden, Mother, Crone

They say there are three cycles to the life of a woman. First you are a maiden-untried, unmarried, preparing for children. (This lasts what-20 or so years.) Then you are a mother-married, working hard to raise you kids. (If you are lucky another 20 years.) Finally you are Crone- dried up, unproductive, no good to anyone... well, guess what-if you live to be 90 you're a freakin' crone for 50 FREAKIN' YEARS!

I hate being a Crone. Crones are old, and ugly and crazy and useless... All the aging books say that my despair over being seen as a crone is a mid-life crisis and soon-like all the rest- I'll accept and move on. Right. No really, they say, there is something freeing about letting go of expectations...and hopes...and dreams...

Sheesh- sounds like I should grab a shopping cart and go stand with the crazy homeless ladies.

I'd rather cling to my midlife crisis. Thank you very much. I may get tossed into the Crone room, but I'm not going without kicking and screaming and very deep nail and heel marks. Screaming the whole way-"Wait! I'm not even fifty!!!"

Friday, October 24, 2008

Another day...

Had a phone interview today. I wish I knew what they were supposed to find out. I guess they want to hear your voice and find out if you are articulate. It was the position from my old home town that I hemmed and hawed about applying for. There will be more phone interviews and then a couple of face to face- I won't worry about the move until I have an offer in hand.

Meanwhile-back to the job boards.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Good Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste

I'm bored. Having viewed the online job boards already by 9:30 a.m., I am compelled to read the news bits which are full of doom and gloom. Job cuts. Job losses. Recession. Depression.

I'm left with nothing to do but listen to my own thoughts. Thoughts like what if I don't find a job? What happens if I'm here next year, looking at the same companies with the same job ads? How will I support myself? Where will I go? What will I do? (I even went so far as to apply to be trained as a studio photographer. They didn't call...)

I read where enrollments in MBA programs have jumped. I've kicked around the idea. But $100,000 a year for three years-seems like a bad investment for a $70,000 a year job.

I could start my own business. Have kicked around a few ideas, but I've been trying to get my fiction writing career off the ground for 12 years-yeah. Plus if the economy is as bad as they say-anything in retail right now would be a huge risk-who has cash? And after my taste of the freelance graphic artist-who by the way hasn't called me back- I'm not so encouraged by the prospects of freelance writing. Even Doonesbury is writing about the down turn in the journalism market.

Suicide rates are up- I've thought about leaping out the window-but again...there is a portico only two feet down...so, bruised would be as far as that would go. Perhaps the best revenge would be to become a cocoa puffs eating, soap opera watching slob who lives off the ex for the rest of her life?? Tattered bathrobe anyone?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I applied for a job yesterday. Got a call from the company recruiter this morning. He went on and on about how perfect I was...except for the fact that I don't have any experience in the actual field- I have everything else. Thank you. He said he was sure I was a fast learner. I am, thank you, and it won't take but a few short weeks to be up to snuff. (They use templates and it would be a matter of learning the terminology. Piece of cake, I've got an engineering background-just not CE.)

Then he went on to say that the guy in the lower position has been there three or four years-and it might be a problem if I supervise coming in without the industry terminology. So, probably I could take the lesser job and learn and quickly move up.

Excuse me? Quickly move up when the last guy has been in the position four years? Oh and by the way, did I mention that the position pays twenty to thirty thousand dollars less a year than the one I applied for?

Then he had the nerve to ask why I hesitated... I explained that I understood the point of view of hating to train your boss-but-I have years of supervisory experience and I don't want to lose it. He tried to convince me that this was a lateral move in a new industry and I could grow from there....what?! I'm not stupid. Why do they think I'm stupid?

Well, the terminology could be a deal breaker...

Just like that I lost the job. Which is fine. It's not the right job for me anyway. So why do I still feel guilty?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mad as Hell

Anger is useful. It tells us when our boundaries have been blown. It should be used to propel us toward fixing said boundaries or at the least recognizing that the situation stinks. Rage on the other hand, is useless as a tantrum. Still it can burn clean any humiliation and shame sticking around.

I hate...hate...to be patronized. That's what I was on Monday. I was basically told-this is the big city honey and you can't play here. But we might be able to toss you a few crumbs-are you interested in freelance?

I want to pull out my hair. Freelance will not get me a home of my own. It will not get me insurance. It will not pay my pension-God, with the stock market in it's current state, I won't even go there.

I am a college educated, intelligent woman with years of supervisory experience and multiple problem solving talents. What is wrong with the world?! ? When I apply for jobs all I get is "You aren't good enough-but poor thing, here are some crumbs." What really sticks in my craw is that two years ago my soon to be ex husband sent out one resume and was hired-with a huge jump in pay. He is eating up my misery-wallowing in his success and happily "supporting me" in my poor attempts to find work.

On Monday, I was walking back to the train station-caught a light as it was turning and scurried across. I thought-better hurry -don't want to get hit by a bus. Then the next thought was- maybe being hit by a bus is the answer...

Just anger talking. Rage at injustice burning through. After 36 hours-the anger turns my heart to steel and today I'm back at the job boards. If nothing else to prove to myself that I am employable- no matter my age or my gender.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nice girls finish last

I got up at 5 a.m. this morning for the "recruiter" job interview- traveled 1.5 hours by train-schlepped 14 city blocks in great shoes I might add- new- four inch chunky heel- met with the recruiter for the promising six figure job....

Her words after looking over my stuff-"Well...you don't have any agency experience."....duh...

But you clearly have a lot of writing and marketing skills. Let's get another opinion. She called in another woman who looked over my stuff-
Then basically second lady said- "You don't have any agency experience"-now I didn't need to go all the way downtown for that- then I find out said six figure job is actually a strategic marketing job for pharmaceuticals...not in the job description by the by...

Then they get all patronizing and condescending that I have published eight fiction novels. "Oh, you write books." Pat, pat. "How sweet." Making it quite clear that they were looking for a cold hearted bitch of an Ad Man and-since I write genre fiction- I'm not it....and they made it clear that, no matter how much I've written and supervised, I'll never be that CHB they were looking for and she walks me out-wishes me luck-telling me the job market is so bad right now- she may be out of a job soon...who knows when or if anyone will hire...

So, defeated, I hobble fourteen blocks back to the train station-still look fab-just have no feeling left in my feet-get on the train and make it home-

Reminds me of an old HeeHaw song..."Gloom, despair and agony on me....deep dark depression excessive misery...if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all....Gloom despair and agony on me..."

I think I'll hobble to the bathroom, run a hot bath and soak in lavender scented bubbles and drink something edgy like a gin martini.

Everything will look better tomorrow...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Another Day, Another Recruiter

I applied for Creative Director-Copy for Healthcare Publications-heavy writing. My perfect job if ever was one. I'm heavy on the writing and I have experience managing a small department of creatives. And the salary is pie-in-the-sky- six figures! Seriously, who gets that kind of money?

Then I got a call-from a recruiter-for the job! YES! I speak with her. She asks me about my background. I tell her. She asks for my current salary-hmmm, I put it 25% lower than the job-which is still 100 percent higher than I've ever made. But I KNOW I can do this job.

She wants to interview me on Monday- the recruiter mind you- not the company looking. Sigh. I've been through so many recruiter interviews now. They all "love" me- but then can't sell to the client. I want to be excited-but really- I'm a realist. Based on my experiences so far, the chances of even interviewing with the company are slim to none. Then she sends me the info- she needs my resume cut and pasted on her letter head. She needs me to fill out a three page paper full of short essay questions. These questions include: The structure of your last work place department-three good reasons to hire you and one weakness-a list of the five top companies you would want to work for-and why-and why you would fit in there, etc. and six work references-managers, subordinates and peers... (There weren't that many people in the department where I used to work. I sent her four.) She wants me to write a "Sizzler" paragraph in third person highlighting my tactical advantages. Finally- a list of all the places I've applied this year-right- I sent her a list of only the jobs in her area that I've applied for since JUNE-and had two and a half single spaced pages. I think that is more than enough information. I also sent her a list of where I've interviewed and why I thought I didn't get it-(Because all those employers are idiots...) No, I said over qualified or under qualified....

Two days of work-filling out her forms, revising, highlighting. Then I called the references and clued them in that she said she would "call" them and ask specific questions. I told them what I told her-so we all have the story straight. the I had to apologize for the white lies I told and try to keep the salary straight...crazy. I discovered something new about myself- If ever I'm asked if I would lie through my teeth for a six figure salary- the answer is not just yes...it's Hell yes!

What makes me sad is that after all the work and the lies...and the hour and a half train trip into town... there is no guarantee that I'll even see the door of the company looking to fill the job. Meanwhile my references discovered that I would lie for money...and I've discovered I'm not certain I like myself for it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Try, try again

I went through the last two weeks of jobs applied for to make sure they were even jobs I wanted to do. Of the fourteen jobs I applied for there are six I would love to get and eight I could do if I'm hired. There are two on my desk top right now that I should apply for...that I promised myself to send something out on. The pickings are slim and now the media is warning to hunker down...job cuts and joblessness will only be getting worse as the tidal wave of financial crap sweeps over us...

Fear sells papers and makes people watch the news. I have to turn it all off or I'd be drinking 24/7. Better ignorance than addiction...no? Off to the job boards- move over boys, here I come. Tanguary anyone?