Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Work by Numbers...

I am not an accountant. I've performed accounting functions over the years, but I am not by trade nor practice an accountant. My new job has many accounting functions. I am picking up on doing what needs to be done but there are times when things just aren't balancing or I pour over a statement again and again and it won't come out right and I admit I get frustrated.

So... one of the things I need to do over the next few months is read up on accounting stuff and learn what I should be doing and how I should be doing it. It's hard coming in at the end of a year and trying to make order of chaos when you don't know what the person who created the chaos had in mind whilst they were doing it.

The boss wants to discuss year-end and how things will progress going forward. I have some ideas of how we can get some consistency and things/procedures that can be changed to make things easier for everyone. I know that it's going to be VERY hard to sort things out/make sense of things for year-end and things are really just way more disorganized than I would like. I have a plan for this week and I know it will not go as smoothly as I would like because it never does but this whole working in the midst of chaos thing needs to get straightened out.

I also need to catch up on some things at home so I have time to get other things done. I had a four day weekend last weekend and accomplished NOTHING. UGH.

I figure I need to do something about upgrading my professional image a bit. Yes, where I work is casual but I feel like I should look a shade more professional (because the women who work at the other office on my floor all wear full makeup, heels and the latest fashions every day and it gives me a complex to have them being all judge-y when I walk into the ladies room).

It's 8:45PM... can someone please tell me when I got old enough that 9PM seems "awfully late" to be up on a work night?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tis the Season...

Guess what?

Starting on MONDAY I will no longer be a 'temp' where I am working. I will be a 'regular' employee.

I am SO excited!

So, what have I learned from all of this? That I am probably better off working at a small company than trying to be a good little sheep in a big corporation. That finding a job where there are people close to my own age seems to be a key to success. And I reaffirmed that I am indeed capable of learning new skills and being impressive AND I am capable of being LIKED. Trust me, after the job I had before this one, I was beginning to get a complex and wondered if I was just plain not likable.

I am hoping that now I will be able to actually write something worth reading about the Resume of Career Catastrophes. Maybe something marketable. Fear not, though... I am sure I will still have stories about people I interact with on the job.

Have a wonderful Holiday Season everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Update

So, three weeks into the new gig and I'm still diggin' it. The only thing is that it is really unsettling being a contractor because it is very impermanent. I mean, I know that even having a "real" job in this day and age isn't a guarantee but I hate the nagging fear that comes with being a contractor. Especially on days like today where I didn't really accomplish everything I had hoped to/needed to accomplish.

I have a lot on my mind right now. I really don't need the stress of worrying about whether a job is going to last. Is it wrong for me to just try to forget that every day could be my last day there? I finally feel like I have found a place I can be happy. I just wish I felt more secure about it all.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Clock Reset!!

I am sorry I didn't get here to reset the clock earlier, but I started the new job on Monday and have been out of the loop for the week.

So far, I really like it.

It's another contract position but it's not for a set time and there's hope I may actually become an employee at some point (at least that is MY hope).

Am running out again tonight but I'll be back and write more soon!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Back to the waiting game...

I had an interview this morning. First interview in 2 weeks. I want this job. I am absolutely terrified that I am not going to get this job and if you cannot get a job that SCREAMS "good fit" then what do you do?

It's an industry I haven't worked in before. You know what? The industry (which I won't name here) is so specific that there just aren't going to be a lot of people who are not scientists who HAVE worked in the industry. In the past decade I have learned legal and medical terminology, I taught myself HTML and some CSS, I learned 3 new (to me) software packages and was doing front-line phone support for them in a WEEK. I am not some idiot who just fell off a turnip truck and I can do this job.

I am supposed to hear something about this job today. It's 3PM and I've not heard anything. As the clock ticks toward 5, I become more and more anxious.

I want to reset the counter. It's getting close to 90 days. And November is coming, which means businesses are going to stop hiring until after the 1st of the year.

The waiting... is the hardest part.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Maybe she was right...

In 1992 I was told by an efficiency expert brought in to the place I was working that I was in the wrong field and needed to get out immediately. I was five years into the career that I remain in to this day. I was told that I was absolutely lousy at what I was doing and that I could never hope to be a success at it. I had (and still have) no other skills.

Most of the time, I have felt that this person was wrong and that I AM good at what I do. Or, at least, I am not a dismal failure at it.

But there are days, like today, when I look at it all and wonder if maybe she was right. That maybe I do completely suck at what I do even though I've been doing it for a long time now.

I have no idea what else I could have done or what I could do now that's different.

Maybe she was right. Maybe I should have listened. Maybe I'm just fooling myself into thinking I am capable. Maybe after a good nights sleep it will look better in the morning.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The State of MsCleanslate

I've been neglectful, but it isn't willfully, my friends. A check of the ticker in my sidebar will show you that I am still not working, so I haven't been distracted by a new job.

No, I've been distracted by dealing with the job hunt. Whilst I am being asked to take tests to measure my integrity, I am dealing with people who I honestly believe have no clue what that word means.

Potential Employers... you aren't doing ANYONE favors when you tell people you'll "call them either way" and then never contact them. Believe me, I will remember every single business that did this to me and I will never do business with them AND I will tell whomever my employer is to never do business with them. Sure, that's a pittance in relation to your HUGE customer base, but it would have taken a 15-second email to keep my wrath at bay. It is shady ethically and it is JUST PLAIN RUDE.

To the lady at the agency who knew the second she saw me that she wasn't going to hire me but spent almost an hour with me anyways (and then never made any contact...I'm forgiving you for this because you could have told me "we filled the position" and shooed me out the door and you didn't), I know that you could have (and likely your boss thinks that you SHOULD have) done things differently and I thank you for your time and consideration most sincerely.

I'm trying to keep my spirits up, but I know once we hit November, hiring will enter a freeze period. I am feeling the crunch, I am being less selective in what I apply for even knowing I will likely regret the compromise in the long run. "Bird in the hand......." and all that.

It's funny... I've been to a dozen agencies now... maybe more. They've run the gamut from the debutante cotillion type of atmosphere ("we just simply are not sure that you have the proper pedigree to work here...") to the trailer park atmosphere (don't blink, we'll be packin' up and movin' on any day now...) Or maybe a better analogy is that I have been to both the Nordstroms and the Walmart of agencies. The thing they all have in common? None of them have any work for me.

So, that's where things are with me right now. Be Well.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

When it stops working...

Since my job ended, I've found myself growing more and more depressed. Every rejection seems to hit a little harder, cut a little deeper. Every lead that just stops responding bothers me a little bit more. You'd think it would be the opposite, that I'd be getting used to the rejection but that's not what's been happening.

I've seldom left my home office except to sleep or use the powder room since Monday. And tonight it hit me that maybe that's part of the problem. The office is no longer a place of work, it's where I live.

And it needs to stop.

Experts tell you that if you have trouble sleeping that you should only use your bedroom for sleeping (and, well, other things that are legitimately bedroom activities... *ahem*) that way your brain gets trained to associate the bedroom with being a place you sleep. I would conjecture that the same lesson can (and should) apply to other areas of the home. I mean, certainly, there are rooms in the house that are meant to be multi-functional. And there are times when space constraints make it impossible to separate activities into specific rooms. (Ahh, how lovely it would be to have the money to have a house with a library and an office and a media room and a workout room...). But I think I'm losing my focus by living in the office.

So, I've cleaned off my desk and am going to try to turn over a new leaf. And try to actually be AWAY from the office a little more. I know it sounds counterintuitive to say that maybe I'll get more work done if I am in the office less, but I think that it will actually work out that way.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Full Standstill

So, the job that was moving glacially slow in hiring... has come to a full and complete STOP. I have heard the sum total of NOTHING since LAST Thursday. I think it's probably safe to say that I won't ever hear another peep about it. And that is something that I, as a professional person, just don't understand. How can you work with someone for three weeks and then, with no warning, just never contact them again? You know, if I had done something and had been escorted from the building in handcuffs or something, that's one thing. But nothing like that happened. I went and met with some people, people who I was told were not part of the hiring decision, and then... NOTHING.

There weren't awkward moments. There were no questions I couldn't answer. I am at a complete and total loss to explain how/why everything just STOPPED.

It's terribly hard to learn from an experience when you are given no feedback and when you cannot fathom what it is that you said or did that was so horrific that you just never hear from them again.

Oh well, guess I just gotta get on to whatever the next thing is, right?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It either happens or it doesn't...

So, the job that is moving glacially slow in hiring went to the next step this morning and I got to actually meet with real, live people and not just people on a phone.

There are... inconsistencies. I was told that this was a newly created position. When I was being introduced to everyone I was introduced as "A candidate for X's old job". Twice someone mentioned "...but I thought we'd hired someone for that position..." when I have been told that I am the sole candidate for the position.

There are some VERY worrisome aspects. The people in the office I'd be working in have no idea what the corporate office people are hiring someone to do. It was mentioned that they have no idea who would be training me or who would even have the TIME to train me. There was a brief mention of shipping me off to corporate "but I'm not sure how that would work, I mean, the company won't pay for it since you're just a contractor..." so now I am worrying about how I would afford a trip to a locale 1500 miles away.

And then there was the whole bit about what a nightmare it is to actually get hired on to the company I'd be a contractor for until they decide to hire me (IF they decide to actually hire me). And being told that you have to completely start over with the hiring process, re-apply for the job, be interviewed, go through all of the background checking and everything ALL OVER AGAIN.

I can't shake the bad feeling I have about this. So... it either happens or it doesn't. If it does, I hope they get their shit together. If it doesn't... then it doesn't. Back to the job boards...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Thanks but I'll do it myself....

I've been working with an agency on a job that is moving painfully slow. I just got the most aggressive, assholish email from the agency contact and you know what? Screw it. I'll find a job on my own. I don't need someone being an assclown because I have asked for clarification and they can't be bothered.

Enjoy the fact that you have a job, Mister Man.

I'll take back control of my destiny, thanks.

Quick Correspondence

Dear Hiring Manager,

I have just completed my third interview for a job with your company. The job is a data entry clerk position. It does not involve payroll. It does not involve information that affects National Security. The position does not require me to perform complex neurosurgery. It requires me to sit at a desk 8 hours a day and enter data into forms on a computer. Data that no one but your company cares about.

Telling me that you will probably schedule a FOURTH interview (with one more interview phase and two background check phases) is not filling me with joy or confidence. Nor is it making me think the job is uber important. It is making me think that you are yanking my chain and dragging your feet hoping that the heavens will open and your perfect candidate will fall from the sky into your lap. Because right now, I am your sole candidate and you've already dragged this process out long enough that the two other candidates for the position found other jobs (which they took) and so now you are left with me.

And honestly, if I'm not what you want because you want someone with a college degree to sit at a computer all day and enter information into forms, then just tell me that so that I can move on and not waste any more of your time or any more of my time.

I was born at night, yes. Not LAST night, though.

No Love,
(and surprisingly little patience)
MsCleanslate

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day

Although it has been over a month since I was last employed, I still thought I should write a post on Labor Day. After all, looking for work is a job in and of itself, right? If you answer that in the negative, I conjecture that you've never really had to launch a full-scale job hunt.

That being said, I am not actually working on job search things today because there is enough other stuff that I have neglected that I need to get some things done. First up will be cleaning up the mess that is within the line of sight from my desk! Truly horrifying.

Also, the office needs cleaning (again) and I believe that *I* could use a good scrubbing. Also, need to get the laundry put away. See, all of these little details! It's a wonder I have time to get anything done, really.

I have some filing that desperately needs to get done, too. Which means I need to find file folders and get them labeled. Also... I have some three ring binders that I need to work on getting put together as I would like them to be functional.

I picked up some Fast Flats (Dr. Scholls) over the weekend. I am not someone who wears heels but there are just some times when I do wear shoes that get very uncomfortable and I thought that these were a cool idea. I will probably keep them in the car. I was looking for a link for these when I found FootzyRolls. Once I am working again, I will likely look into getting a pair of the FootzyRolls for comparison.

I should probably get to work on the things I need to get done today. I haven't gotten the kitty litter in from the car yet, so I guess I get to put THAT task off for another day. (I am trying to ignore the cat glaring at me as I type that!)

And, for the record, neither Dr. Scholls nor FootzyRolls provided me with either product or monetary compensation for mentioning their products here. Though should either company feel compelled, I would love to work with them.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

RESPECT?

Last Friday, I had a phone interview. It went well. A second phone interview needed to be done. It was scheduled for this morning (Thursday). Guess what DIDN'T happen? Yeah, the person who was scheduled to be in the call forgot/blew it off. It isn't even Friday. Nice. So now, because someone was too damn important/busy/forgetful to show up for a PHONE CALL, I have to wait until TUESDAY to try again. There are THREE STEPS to the process after that, each taking a week to 3 weeks to process. With any luck, I may have a job offer by the end of the year!

In unrelated news, I had an entrecard ad placement turned down. Ummmm, excuse me? I sortve have to laugh that someone with the word "bitch" in their blog title apparently thinks MsCleanslate here is too offensive.

In any case, getting back to the first part of the post, it bothers me that I spent an hour waiting for someone to come and interview me this morning and now they can't even be bothered to reschedule until next week (so, no consideration AT ALL for the fact that I might, you know, have BILLS TO PAY).

In any case... way too much damn drama in my life lately for my taste. And nowhere near enough sleep. Back to the job boards for me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wonderlic(k) my **censored**

One of the tests that seems to be the "hot thing" for employers to be using these days is an evil little thing called the Wonderlic test.

Some questions are like this:

The ninth month of the year is:

October
January
June
September
May

And those are fine... I don't mind that...

I am even ok with these:

Assume the first two statements are true.

1. The boy plays baseball.
2. All baseball players wear hats.
3. The boy wears a hat

Is the final one:
True
False
Not Certain

I'm totally cool with these, too:

PRESENT/RESERVE, Do these words:

have similar meanings;
have contradictory meaning;
mean neither the same nor opposite?

But THIS? No! NO! NOOOOO!!:

In printing an article of 48,000 words, a printer decides to use two sizes of type. Using the larger type, a printed page contains 1,800 words. Using a smaller type, a page contains 2,400 words. The article is allotted 21 full pages in a magazine. How many pages must be in smaller type? (The answer, according to the key, is "17"... I have no freakin' clue how they got that and it makes me bleed from my ears to try to figure it out)

For the record, I am not stupid. I had IQ testing done in 8th grade (long story) and I assure you that I am not stupid. I admit I have a problem with math, mainly with word problems. I always have. To give you an idea... in the 8th grade I was scoring "Graduate School Level" in vocabulary and reading comprehension and 3rd grade level in math. I CAN figure things out but the Wonderlic is TIMED and you only have 12 minutes and if I get stuck on a math thing, that means that I am not going to be able to answer all (or even close to) 50 questions. Plus, while I CAN figure out math problems without the aid of a calculator, I am QUICKER if I can use one. (No, I am not one of those nimrods who would not be able to make change for you if her electronic cash register was down...by the way, would you like fries with that?)

Hey! Wonderlic people! I have a question for you... who is going to be footing the bill for me when I end up in an asylum because of your test? Ponder that and Wonderlic(k) my **CENSORED**

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Testing...

I've watched trends in hiring come and go. The current craze seems to be a combination of psych testing and something that closely resembles the SAT tests (vocabulary and bizarre word problems to test, I guess, math aptitude and logic functions?)

I don't have a problem with this, except I cannot fathom what most of this has to do with the job for which I am applying. The tests I had to take today had some other types of questions "Name the city once divided by a wall" was one of them. Is this some subtle clue that I will be tutoring the boss's kids? "Name the permanent home of the United Nations"... wait, what? Is this something I am going to be asked in the course of my daily work? Is it some kind of test of "were you paying attention in your high school history class?"

And everyone wants to pull your friggin credit report. Guess what, if you've been laid off and out of work for a while, your credit is probably suffering. Doesn't make you a bad person. Doesn't make you a deadbeat. And without a job, your credit isn't going to recover, so using the fact that someone has subpar credit against them sounds ill advised to me.

Plus, drug testing. I understand that companies don't want addicts working for them, but I'm going to answer your phones, not pilot the company helicopter.

But these all seem perfectly reasonable to employers and they just dangle the carrot and you jump through the hoops and humiliate and dehumanize yourself because you want/need to have a paycheck so you don't end up living in a van down by the river.

That being said, I hope that one of these days jumping through all the hoops will pay off for me.

Insomniac Thoughts

This is mainly fueled by something a friend is experiencing and it got me to thinking. I think it is very interesting how employers expect their employees to work hard, to go the extra mile, to provide excellent customer service, show up early, stay late, work overtime, sacrifice time with your family, friends, loved ones, be on-call, work weekends and holidays.... give, give, give... and they think that they can just take and take and never worry about giving their employees the chance to recharge and find subtle ways to punish people who take time off or are punitive to those who fall ill after putting in long hours.

I am all for putting in a good day's work and receiving a fair paycheck for that work. I am all for going the extra mile and providing excellent customer service. I'll take my lumps when I deserve them and once in a while, even when I don't. I show up early, I stay late, I work weekends but it is very, very rarely that I receive even a "well done" or a "thank you" much less any sort of real, tangible appreciation when I go above and beyond what is expected or even what is reasonable.

Is it really reasonable to have an employee be "on-call" for a week at a time when that means they will easily work 60-80 hours (or more) during the on-call week and then have to work their regular 40 hour week afterwards which puts them "on the job" for 12 days in a row? Factor in a call at, say, 1AM which keeps the employee out until 3AM and then they return home, get three hours of sleep (if they are lucky) and need to get up and get back to the job. Is that wise? Is that safe? Are we really looking at the best interests of ANYONE in that scenario?

Maybe this all made sense back in the days when people got a job after they left school (high school or college) and stayed with the company for 35-40 years. When companies had some loyalty to their employees. When your boss knew your name and your spouse's name and the names of all of your children. And your kid got a nice pen & pencil set from your boss when s/he graduated from High School.

But now? Now it feels like employees are a commodity. Use them up and discard them as quickly as you can and then gripe about all of the money you have to spend on training and how hard it is to find good help. Don't think twice about telling the employee whose Grandfather passes away that if she goes to the funeral, you'll consider it "job abandonment" and not to bother coming back if she leaves. Don't come right out and ask a woman if she has kids or a husband (because that isn't LEGAL) but hide the question by asking "So, if at five minutes to five we ask you to stay an extra hour or two, is that an issue?" Penalize the people who had no choice but to join the workforce after high school who were, at the time, told that what was important was work experience and now, 20 years later, the only thing that matters is whether they have a degree (which they don't). I understand that a college education can be a wonderful thing, but there's something to be said for 20 years of experience, too.

And if you asked them, the employers, how their employees feel about them and their company, most would be surprised to know that their employees feel shortchanged. I suspect most would not care. Employees are a "resource" to be allocated and discarded. You think no more of dismissing an employee than you do of throwing out a pen that has run out of ink.

The well has run dry. As my friend says... "all of the Care has been dredged from Giveafuck Bay"... I can only hope that something that resembles balance can be found/achieved again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Where is the "OFF" switch?

I need to get to bed but I have insomnia kickin' my ass again. Tomorrow (today? ) needs to be a productive day which isn't going to happen if I don't get off of my posterior and make things happen.

Hopefully the Tylenol PM will kick in here shortly and I will go drifting off into dreamland.

I did get a good bit done today. Too bad none of it related to what I really NEEDED to get done.

Tomorrow (Today?) I need to make some files so I can get some things filed away, job searching, maybe run around with the vacuum cleaner? And get the laundry put away. Oh yeah... and deal with the litterbox that looks much like a small tactical (and icky) weapon went off. Bleah.

Also need to locate the accupressure beads. Can't seem to take enough pain reliever during the day to moderate the pain of a sore back... (pulled/bruised muscle? Perhaps sciatica?)

Well, it seems that that Tylenol PM are finally kicking in. Goodnight!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two Weeks....

It's now been two weeks since my job ended.

Yesterday (Friday) I had two interviews. One was a face-to-face interview and one was a phone interview.

The face-to-face interview was for a data entry position and, quite frankly, the amount of micromanagement (their word) involved would likely make me very unhappy. Not to worry, though because yesterday was their first day of "2 to 3 weeks" of interviewing.

The phone interview was the typical sort of questions about why I can't seem to hold a job (I've been working CONTRACTS, people) and then I was told that further paperwork would be emailed to me. It hasn't arrived. I am not holding my breath that it WILL ever arrive.

So... two interviews and I am guessing I will never hear from either place again.

And, while I want and need a job, I can honestly say I am not too sad about losing either of these opportunities.

There is something out there for me... I just have to find it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Set the bar & still fell short...

To further add to the quandry I had the other day... the one about how could an interview go well and then... no job offer... I got a letter today from the person I had emailed with that went on about how I was the first person interviewed and set the bar very high...

Ok... so, you liked me, were even IMPRESSED with me, but gave the job to someone else? I don't understand. Still... 300+ candidates, I made it to the dozen who were interviewed and while I didn't make the cut and get the job, I guess I was impressive.

But impressive isn't putting money in the bank.

I've got to figure out what it is that I'm missing.

What IS The Right Stuff?

When you've done everything right and you still strike out, you begin to second-guess yourself. That's where I'm sitting now.

The last interview I had seemed to go well. We had a good discussion, none of the interviewer's questions stumped me or left me wondering if I had said the right thing. I even sent a bona fide snail mail thank you letter. (Important since some of our interview discussion dealt with technology being good but people losing sight of proper business etiquette). I dressed appropriately (in fact, I was dressed in business professional clothing, the others in the office were business casual). I made the cut out of 300+ applicants to get the interview. But I didn't get the job.

So, somewhere in the midst of all that I did RIGHT, something went WRONG. My job now is to figure out what it was so that I can correct it. So that the next time I'll get the job.

And also, I need to figure out how to get myself in more doors thus upping my chance of an offer.

I've got to step up to the challenge and get that counter reset!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Feelin' like a one trick pony...

I continue to jump through the hoops presented to be able to get unemployment payments even though I know I'm not going to get approved for them. I guess it gives me a focus for my feeling that I am ineffectual and at the whim of entities far bigger than myself. I know it is a losing battle but I continue to fight because giving up is the easy way and Lord Knows I've never been able to do anything in my life the easy way.

I am plagued by worry and self-doubt. I wonder if I will ever again make the grade and measure up. I wonder if all there is left for me is an unfulfilling succession of temp jobs where I will never be a part of the corporate culture, always on the fringes, the outside, looking in. At the same time I know that the conformity necessary for survival in the corporate culture just isn't comfortable for me so maybe it's better that I stop trying to be a part of things and just detach myself and get used to being a drifter.

I think back to every single job I've ever had and realize that never, not even once, have I been accepted as part of the group. I go back in my mind through my school years and realize that not even then was I a part of the social structure. Wondering if my failure to assimilate in those early years plagues me yet today and I just don't know/understand the "language" of being "one of the gang".

And if that's the case, then I have... what? Another 45 or 50 years of being lonely and an outsider ahead of me. Another length of time equal to or greater than the expanse that I've lived already.

I've begun to realize that the only thing worse than being a one trick pony is being a one trick pony who can never master even that one trick...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's been a week...

It's been a week since I was de-jobbed. I'd love to be telling you that I've found something new and all is well, but I can't do that.

In fact, things are pretty much more grim than they've ever been. Because, you see, I am not eligible for unemployment.

State I live in now says "You haven't worked here long enough to qualify for unemployment here, go apply for benefits from State you used to live in..."

State I used to live in says "You don't live here anymore AND you left of your own free will, bugger off, there will be no benefits for you!"

Agency I'd been working for has nothing.

I did have an interview on Monday that I felt went well, but they won't be making a decision until tomorrow (after having interviewed candidates all week) so I doubt that they'll even remember me. Which is sad, because I think I would have been a really good fit for the job.

But I'm looking. And applying. And even though I know it is pointless, I filled out the stuff to apply for unemployment in State I used to live in. Because maybe in OCTOBER, when I will be eligible to apply for unemployment in the State I now live in, it will make a difference. I hate bureaucracy BS.

So... at one week, that's where things stand.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Counter Reset

So, there I was at work today, minding my own business, when I get an URGENT email from my agency lady. "YOU MUST CALL ME RIGHT AWAY" it said. And so, I did. To be told that today would be my last day at this assignment. No reason given (I asked and was told that they were simply told that the person on maternity leave had come back and they no longer needed me).

So, ok. At least it was an "Honourable Discharge" and they didn't try to make up some BS. But a Thursday? That's different.

This all took place about 10:15AM. Noontime rolls around and the "ladies" in my department order lunch. Without a WORD to me. Hello... I am sitting RIGHT HERE and you are acting as if I am not... NOW who's rude?

Anyhow, I was a professional, worked through the day. Around 2:30, I tried to log into a program on my computer and couldn't. I tried another one... no go... I went through everything and couldn't even get on the internet FFS. I mention this to bosslady who tells me "call the Helpdesk". So, I call the helpdesk who tells me that they got orders to IMMEDIATELY shut me down.

So, I called agency lady. Told her I had TRIED to work the day and was locked out of everything that makes doing my job possible. She told me to pack anything that I had and leave. So, I did. I packed up what little I had (including the office supplies that I had purchased with my own money), powered down the laptop, picked up my bag and left. Without a word to anyone. And that, she said, is the end of that.

I am hoping to become re-employed quickly and that it will be sincerely less dramatic.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When do I get to leave High School?

I know as I get older that more and more I will be working with/for people who are younger than I am. But I was hoping that at some point I'd get to work with people who were MATURE.

I'm not sure exactly what's up at work. Last week, they all prepared to go out to lunch together and leave me behind. Again. And, well, I have to admit that I may have snapped a little bit. And then they all scurried off, had a secret meeting and decided that they'd just *sigh* stay in the office. By that time, I was pretty much over it. But it's been one big festival of dysfunction since then. I say "Good Morning" and get met with stony silence. I ask questions... stony silence. The only time I am spoken to at all is when I get an attitude thrown my way over something, real or imagined that they think I've done wrong. And all of the things I've actually done wrong? Yeah... stuff I was never told about so had no way of knowing it was wrong.

I'm not sure if it was Monday or yesterday that near the end of the day, the rest of the dept. was told to go to the conference room. They came back somber and sullen. I am wondering if this relates to one of the gals having been EXTRA dressed up a few days in the last couple weeks. (Like, dressed to interview dressed up).

For a little while, I had been included in things... I thought I was making progress. Now... yeah...the Silent Treatment, whispering, scurrying off to the conference room or the boss's office. Honestly, if that counter makes it to 120, I'll be exceedingly surprised.

My agency rep has been on my back to do something that I think is a bad idea. Stony silence from her today, as well.

Wake me when the working world grows up a bit, will you? All of this dealing with dysfunction has made me TIRED.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Let's cut the crap, shall we?

Dear Folks I Currently Work For,

Listen, I just want you to know that I know that you're not planning on offering me a position. I want you to know I know because then maybe you can stop pussyfooting around when you're near me in the office.

Feel free to speak freely about my replacement. I would prefer that to the whispering that happens now.

Today, when someone asked if his support team was "set in stone" and you practically screamed "NO! Oh no! No, no... not set in stone" did you think I wasn't going to notice that?

If it'll make you feel better, I'll just nod my head to any plausible lie you want to tell me to make me feel better about the situation. But, DO NOT, at the end of the 6 months of my contract, try to feed me some bullshit about how I just didn't work hard enough.

I've known from Week 3, when you told me that I was on borrowed time, that this was not going to be something permanent. I thank you for the afterthought courtesy interview.

But please, people, can we cut the crap? It'll make the whole experience better for everyone.

Thanks,
MsCleanslate

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bumpy ride...

Soooo... Monday at work I was introduced as the temp who was around til the tranferring employee and 2 people they'd made offers to came onboard...

Imagine my surprise today when I found out that there's a hiring freeze and that they can't even bring the people they'd made offers to onboard. Which means... they're stuck with me...

Which would be interesting enough. But... there is now the fact that tomorrow evening, I have a phone interview for a different job with a different company for a job that is really so much more "me". Or at least would be more in line with the skills I prefer using.

And I can only imagine how upset they'll be where I am temping now (and they never miss an opportunity to remind me that I am JustATemp) if I get this other job and tell them that I'm leaving.

But, they never made me an offer... all they did was make some lame promise to think about maybe extending my contract or MAYBE offering me a job. So, I'm a little "If-you-liked-it-shoulda-offered-me-a-paycheck" (think Beyonce's "Single Ladies")

Will be interesting to see if anything comes of this latest recruiter contact... Wish me luck!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Time to Play the Game....

I did get an "interview" for the job I am currently doing (in hopes of getting hired as a "regular" employee, since there are three openings). As I suspected, they are not going to buy out my contract but did say they may extend my contract or consider possibly hiring me. So... there are three open positions, they will be hiring 2 people and I am, I guess, a placeholder who MAY get hired or may be a perpetual contractor. ::SIGH::

At this point, I am not holding my breath. Whatever happens will happen.

They did, however, have me move over to the area the rest of the team works in (since there is now an open cubicle)

That's all I know at this point. (That they like me enough to evaluate me for an unspecified amount of time to determine if they might, possibly, at some unspecified future time hire me... )

I'm going to make a prediction, though...

Right now, I am the only person with my title. There used to be FOUR of us with this title. It'll be 2-3 weeks before the other people start. I am not fully trained on everything that the job entails. Two of the three people who left the position are gone. As in, physically not even in the building anymore. The other is working in her new capacity.

That means, if collections don't meet goal, if billing isn't done, if anything that is part of this position isn't done in the month of July, *I* and I alone will be to blame. Management will hold ME responsible.

So, for AT LEAST the next month, I will be doing the work of 4 people. I am not accruing any vacation, I am not accruing any sick time, I am working with NO BENEFITS WHATSOEVER, including having ABSOLUTELY ZERO paid time off. When, in 90 days, Management reviews my performance, do you want to take any bets as to whether the fact that the work of 4 people was dumped on one person who was largely untrained will be taken into account? I am going to state for the record that unless I put in a helluva lot of unpaid overtime (which will then set the bar so that I can never stop doing that), I have no hope of succeeding and keeping this job.

Is it, then, any wonder that I am still responding to people who contact me about job openings? It isn't as if I am actively seeking a job and following up on leads and sending out my resume, I am simply responding to inquiries I get. And I KNOW that they'd be mad at me if they knew I was doing this, but they're getting all of the benefit out of this and I am getting.... ummm... evaluated for an unspecified amount of time to determine if they might, possibly, at some unspecified future time hire me...or just terminate my contract after having worked me like a dog for three months.

I know what I suspect the outcome will be. We shall see how things play out.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Some days I don't know about myself...

Major changes goin' on at the office this week. Promotions (not for me), people leaving (not me, yet), etc.

Biggest thing is that Tudie is taking another job within the company but NOT within our office. Yes, that's right, Tudie, my nemesis, will be GONE.

All of these changes mean... JOB OPENINGS.

And I'm not sure how to feel about that. Especially since they did interviewing today. About 12:30, bosslady tells me that if I am interested, I can apply via the company website. Why am I being told this today? The day that you are interviewing and hoping to make a decision? I applied for a different position 2 weeks ago and haven't heard a peep. I don't think that HR will even process my application by the time that the decision has been made. And I've already been through the humiliation of applying for a job (as a contractor who was seeking to be hired on by the company they were contracting with) and not getting it, so if it happens here, I will be no stranger to that whole dynamic.

No matter the outcome, I am both fascinated by and terrified by the prospect of seeing how the other newcomers will be treated. (Because of all of the changes, there are 3 openings). And exactly how do I handle it if they are welcomed and embraced (whilst I am still an outcast and can only imagine it will be worse if they don't offer me a position).

Paranoid Me then kicks in and thinks that they wanted me to apply so they could reject me and then terminate my contract early because it would be so awkward to have the temp who you had intimated in the interview might get hired on stick around when you passed them over for a position. I mean, logically, if you factor in human nature, wouldn't there be worry that I would try to sabotage the other newcomers out of spite over their having been hired whilst I was passed over?

The reality is that I KNOW that they wouldn't buy out my contract to hire me. I KNOW that. So do they keep me as a temp til the end of my contract and then pick me up as an employee? Knowing that none of the work I am doing as a temp will count towards my employee time and I will lose holiday pay and all of the other employee benefits? Knowing that I will be held to the standards of an employee, not a temp (required to work overtime and weekends, for example)?

And honestly, after the way I've been treated so far, do I HONESTLY want to work for this company in this department anyway? Honestly? The honest answer is "NO". But it is counterbalanced by the fact that I wouldn't have to struggle through interviews anymore.

So, it was with a "better the Devil you know" mindset that I submitted a damn application. Even though I'm pretty sure I don't have a snowball's chance in Hell.

And I am soooo (she said sarcastically) looking forward to having to submit to another drug & alcohol test.

I'm pretty sure that either outcome will be a disappointment (getting an offer/not getting an offer).

Can I just win the lottery now?

Monday, June 21, 2010

More waiting...

I met with The Borg today. I was GRILLED for an hour. Why, when it CLEARLY STATES on my resume that I have been working contract positions does everyone ask me why I can't hold a job for more than a few months? Listen people, I had two contracts EXTENDED. I was rehired by one agency for a second contract position. But because I haven't had a job for 3-5 years with one company (due to contract work, downsizing, companies going out of business, management decisions to cut a position to part-time when I need full-time work...) I'm somehow not worthy of a good opportunity (which is, itself, a short-term contract... so why the concern about whether I'm in it for the long haul)?

My heart wants to believe I got the job. My gut says there's no f**king way I got the job. But then I go back to "why would you spend an hour with someone you aren't going to hire"? Because I have had the 8-12 minute interview when the moment the interviewer saw me s/he knew that there was no job offer forthcoming but it's rude (I guess) to say "there's no point to conducting the interview, I've decided that since you are not built like/don't look like Malibu Barbie I am completely uninterested..." But they do a cursory interview as if I am going to walk into their office, drop to my knees and give them a hummer that will convince them that I have the necessary "skills" to perform the job satisfactorily. ::SIGH::

And so... now... I wait.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

So now.... I wait... (again)

Tuesday, I was contacted by an agency who has a job available working for the Borg. I've done contract work for the Borg before and this job is a piece o' cake comparatively. Plus, it's NOT working with the lovely (term used sarcastically) group of folks I work with at the moment. So, of course, I jumped on the opportunity.

Wednesday, I went and met with the agency rep. I am cautiously optimistic after the meeting. I could do the job without a problem. Now I just have to get in to meet with the Borg to convince them that I could do the job.

I am nervous. I am anxious. I could actually make a good living again.

So...now I wait. Again.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm glad I don' t have to be you, redux

I'm not a difficult person to get along with. Yes, I am rather quiet and I understand that people find me aloof sometimes (not true, btw, I am just quiet because I don't know you and am unsure of myself). I've tried very hard to have a good attitude about the place I am working now, in spite of having been called on the carpet about my "rudeness", I've really endeavored to be positive in the workplace.

But today... Today my co-workers ONCE AGAIN all went off to lunch together. Without a word to me. One gal stayed behind but it was her CHOICE and she had been cajoled and almost BEGGED to join them. Not ONE WORD was said to me. Not "we're going to lunch and we need you to stay and answer the phone", not "we're going to lunch", NOTHING. And, yes, I HEARD them all planning to go to lunch but it bothers me that I don't even matter enough to be given the COURTESY of being asked if maybe *I* had lunch plans.

And then the icing on the cake. The gal who is my supervisor called for the gal who had stayed behind. At that point there were TWO people at her desk talking to her, which I relayed. "Well, tell her it's an EMERGENCY" and I did and she said to tell SupervisorLady that she was BUSY and would have to call her back. SupervisorLady then called the direct line and cell phone of the gal that had stayed behind REPEATEDLY. As if she didn't believe that I had relayed the message. (I know who was incessantly calling because the gal that stayed behind bitched about it). She finally called SupervisorLady back and all SupervisorLady wanted was to know if she could bring something back for the gal that stayed behind.

HOW FUCKING UNBELIEVEABLY RUDE!! To speak to me and not even ASK if you could bring ME something but to call and call and call someone who didn't even want to go in the first place and who didn't want anything (not that I did, but that isn't the POINT) and not even have the COMMON COURTESY to extend an offer to me. Wow. And it's not even that I wanted or expected someone to buy me lunch, it's that it wasn't even offered to me and was strenuously offered to someone who sits FIVE FEET AWAY FROM ME.

The group at work go out to lunch together ALL THE TIME. They are all "Facebook Friends". And I understand that you "bond" when you've worked together for years and years, but... to blatantly exclude someone, as they have done with me... how is that excusable? (And then to threaten my job because I am not "a team player").

And yes, when I go out to lunch (ALONE), I offer to pick things up to bring back for people. Every time I've invited someone to lunch, I've been turned down.

I've bent over backwards to fit in. I've done favors. I've gone in early and stayed late and done all of the shit work that no one else wants to do without a single complaint. And it doesn't matter.

And so, I have to say to yet another supervisor (at least here on my blog), "I am SO glad I don't have to get up in the morning and be you." Because I can't treat someone like something nasty I stepped in even if they have given me a REASON to be less than nice to them (and I have HONESTLY done NOTHING wrong to any of the people I work with... nor am I rude, inappropriate or someone who has poor hygiene). In fact, they all went out today with the salesguy who has had HR in an uproar for his completely inappropriate behavior in the workplace (a rather "rough/crude" sense of humor). So, I really, REALLY don't understand what I've done that is so wrong that I don't rate even the barest of common courtesy.

I know I am a grown-up and I shouldn't let things like things like this bother me and maybe it's the fact that my co-workers (with the exception of the gal that stayed behind today and Mr. Inappropriate, the salesguy) are 5-18 years younger than I am and maybe there's some weird age-related "thing" going on (in addition to the fact that I'm "not from around here").

And so... the fact that I applied for a new job today (an agency called me) doesn't bother my conscience at all. The sooner I can let all of this be a bitter memory, the better.

THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It never fails to amaze me...

So, the other day we were supposed to have a conference call related to finance stuff. They rescheduled it at the last minute... (Whew! Dodged THAT bullet!)

Found out this morning that they rescheduled the call because "you (our team) weren't ready for the meeting"... WTF?? we spent 2 hours prepping last week, we were in the conference room with our computers up and running and our phone dialed into the conference call number. How is that "not ready"??
Were we "not ready" because we didn't have a plan to collect our goal amount? Well, I'll let someone know when I can pull rabbits out of my ass because I will admit that it isn't a current talent of mine. Were we "not ready" because we hadn't updated our spreadsheet that morning? Well, if someone other than Tudie, who is on vacation until NEXT WEEK, had been given access, maybe would could have done something about that.
Plus, I found out this morning that they're in hot pursuit of Super Collections Woman (an applicant for, basically, the job I am doing now who has a million six years of collections experience and apparently CAN pull rabbits (and maybe the occasional wild hare) out of her ass) and it slipped in conversation that someone was surprised that I didn't interview for the open position... and when I looked confused, the person looked absolutely mortified. (Whoopsie!)
Wondering if, in an ironic twist, I should apply for the open job I found today (another dept. completely but within current company).

Monday, June 7, 2010

1 Goat Suit, please!

Tomorrow I have to sit in on a conference call. Conference calls are almost never fun. Worse when they involve finance, which this one does.

You know it's bad when the Finance Lady calls me and asks for explanations (because Tudie is on vacation this week). Fortunately, I had them.

But, the reality of the situation is this. There is absolutely no way we can make our collections goal for the month without some of the accounts that are 90-300+ days past due paying. And the fact that they are 90-300 days past due tells me that they aren't GOING to get paid.

Unless the equation includes "and then a miracle occurred", there is no way the collections goal is getting met. Again. And I will be fighting the urge to tell them that I never claimed to wear sandals and walk on water so if they expect a miracle from me, they're lookin' to the wrong person.

I will, of course, do the best that I can. But, honestly, I can't produce over a quarter million dollars on top of what we know and expect to get paid and if the collections folks at corporate have been unable to resolve the issues, what do they REALLY expect the TEMP to do?

Anyone know where I can rent a (scape) goat suit? I'd like to go into this meeting appropriately attired.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's called... NETWORKING!

So, check out the new button in my sidebar for the kick butt "Over 40 Bloggers" group (meaning that their chronological age is over 40, not just that there are over 40 bloggers involved in the group....)

I've got to get to bed before I end up face-down in the keyboard. Again.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thanks so much for the speedy response....!

So, on January 22nd of 2010, I applied for a job with JumboCo. Today, I received the following email:

Dear Ms Cleanslate,

Thank you for your interest in JumboCo! We appreciate the time you took to complete our online application process for the following position:

    Requisition Job Title
    00-1000666 Administrative Assistant Badass - Special Projects South of Nowhere
We appreciate you sharing your education and employment information with us, but we also must inform you that this opening has been filled. We wanted to let you know as soon as possible so that you may consider other employment opportunities. (emphasis mine)

Thank you again for your interest in this position and JumboCo. New jobs post daily. We encourage you to continue to visit http://www.JumboCo.com and look for job opportunities that match your skills and qualifications. If you haven't already, we recommend that you take advantage of our automated notification system so that we can email you when new positions become available in your area of interest.

If you have any questions, please contact NeverAgainDarkenOurDoorstep at 866-555-2666.

Sincerely,
JumboCo


JumboCo is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Wow... did they really think I sat around for the past 126 days (from the start date to the end date, end date included) because it's been 4 months, 6 days ( including the end date) since I sent them my resume. Which is....10,886,400 seconds or 181,440 minutes or 3024 hours or 18 weeks and I've been hovering by my phone, obsessively checking my email and losing sleep over the fact that JumboCo had not yet contacted me?

I'm SO HAPPY that they have so quickly released me from the torment of pining away, waiting to hear from them so that I may pursue other opportunities.

Honestly, I don't think I want to work somewhere that it takes 18 weeks to make a simple hiring decision.

If anyone wants to know why people are unemployed for so long, it's because companies don't think twice about taking FOUR MONTHS to make hiring decisions. If I apply today, it means I need a job TODAY. MAYBE I need a job in 2 weeks... but I hope that every single person who applied for that job has another job now. Because I'm spiteful like that. And 4 months and 6 days is not acceptable in my book.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Drawbacks to being "just a temp"...

There isn't a "standard" in the world of temps/contract workers as far as getting paid for time off. In some cases, I have had the "major" holidays as paid holidays (Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving (and sometimes the day after), Christmas Day (sometimes Christmas Eve) and New Year's Day as paid holidays.

The company I work for now doesn't do ANY paid holidays. Which means that next Monday (Memorial Day) I will have the day off (company I work at is closed) and I will not get paid for that day. It is, therefore, my intent to just enjoy the extended weekend and not worry that I'm not getting paid for it and there's not a damn thing I can do about it. My co-workers? Yeah, they all get paid. Whatever.

And, Bossman can be an asshat all he likes about my collecting. But the truth of the matter is that I've resolved about 2 dozen very past due accounts. Without a single phone call. Because I am not going to call people that someone else just called 2 days ago. I'll EMAIL them. I'll FAX them, but I will NOT call them. And I'm getting results. HA!

Still have heard nothing about the opportunity that came up early last week. Since they kept asking over and over if I was available immediately, I'm figuring that I was not a candidate who was chosen to move forward. It happens. You can spend time feeling bad about it or you can move on.

This is me moving on...

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Test

It was a weird week... full of whispered conversations and just general weirdness. I think that they don't believe I am doing any work. I say this partly because bossman has now decided that he needs me to pull a rabbit out of my ass and be able to collect many thousands of dollars owed by month end, I am to report to him about 40 accounts on Monday afternoon.

Interestingly, I am fairly unconcerned about this. If I pass the "test", I pass. Yay. If I don't... then they let me go? I've been waiting for that to happen since my first week on the job so every time one of the bosses wants to talk to me, I am prepared for them to be telling me it's my last day, clean out your desk, etc. When that isn't what they say, I am a little amazed and end up pretty nonplussed by whatever it was that they wanted to talk to me about.

The thing is, if I don't collect the money, it's not a failing on my part. Many of the accounts are 200-300+ days past due. There are issues well beyond the scope of what it is possible for me to fix. I haven't the authority to address 97% of the issues at hand. (Customer unsatisfied with work done, customer doesn't have purchase order, customer believes the service was a warranty covered item...) There have been some accounts where the person I get in touch with has simply never seen a copy of an invoice (whether this is true, I have no idea... the fact that when I send them invoices, they pay them is a pretty good indication to me that they really hadn't ever received it) or maybe there is a new person in the position. I send what they request, they cut a check. But... when you need to collect a quarter million dollars and all I am able to collect is $500-2000 because the really big outstanding amounts belong to another department and I have been told in no uncertain terms that I am NOT to call those customers, what I do tends to look a little inadequate.

I've heard no more about the opportunity that was on the table earlier in the week so I will assume that they have decided to go another direction with it.

But I should probably be proactive and start looking again. Just in case I fail the 'test'.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Micromanagment does not become you...

Maybe I am wrong, but last I checked, Tudie was not my boss. Yet, ever since Bosslady left for vacation, guess who has been micromanaging me?

At least a half million times a day (or maybe it just feels like that) she's asking me what I'm working on, how many collections calls I've made, how many promised payments I've gotten... Ummm, well, because of her stellar training ("You're so smart, you figure it out... class dismissed") I have had to figure out 2 new-to-me software packages completely on my own. I will NOT be in the position of sounding like an idiot when I contact a customer. I don't care how much Tudie micromanages me, I am NOT going to be fumbling through things when I am speaking to customers. Because a bill collector who can't answer simple questions? Is never, ever (did I mention EVER?) getting paid.

The other thing I've been trying to wrap my head around and can't is this. When a customer purchases something, they generate a purchase order. (I know this because when one of the techs wants to buy something, they call me and I have to generate a purchase order, therefore it follows that if someone is buying something from us, THEY would generate a purchase order). Yet, a great many customers who are disputing their bills are disputing them because WE can't give THEM a purchase order number. Wait, what? You folks created a purchase order and... lost it? The person who GENERATED the Purchase Order should be able to conjure that purchase order up again so the invoice can be paid. But yet, they are telling us "Sorry, we can't pay until you give us a Purchase Order number..." I think I am going to use that one next time I have a past due bill and see how it works. Maybe the collector's confusion will buy me a couple of days to pay the bill.

And big hearts to the tech who needed a PO today and just wrote the info on a sticky note and then LEFT ME ALONE. Thank you, Tech Dude, for not hovering and making me feel like I am screwing things up. Can you teach Tudie to LEAVE ME ALONE?

So, that's the latest from my own personal hell...

Oh yeah... and I got a rejection today... for a job I applied for IN NOVEMBER of 2009!! I think I figured out about 5 months and 2 weeks ago that I wasn't getting the job. But hey, thanks for contacting me, folks.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I waited 5 and a half weeks for this??

So, today was the day I got my "training" to do the job I was hired to do. Do you want to know what that training consisted of?

Tudie: "I wasn't trained on any of this. They just gave me this PowerPoint thingy and told me to have fun... and ummm, I don't really know how to train anybody so here's the link to the PowerPoint thingy. Bossman says you're bright so I'm sure you won't have any trouble figuring it out...."

Ok. Yeah. That was ever so helpful. And TOTALLY worth waiting 5 and a half weeks for. And then she was all indignant that I wasn't ready to hop on the phones, at 3PM and start making collections calls. I've got 2 new software systems that I'm going to have to figure out myself and I'm just supposed to jump into calls with NO research? No idea how to pull up information in these systems (because I hadn't perused the "PowerPoint thingy" yet)? No... that wasn't going to happen. Because if I am going to be talking on the phone with people, I want to be able to sound like I know what the beejeezus I'm doing.

Oh and... bosslady is on vacation until next Wednesday. Who do they have filling in for her? Yep, it's Tudie. I give it until noon tomorrow before I get called into Bossman's office. I'll be surprised if I still have a job come week's end.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Opportunity Knocks (and then hides in the bushes)

It's been a little more than a week since I got the call about the other opportunity. I've heard nothing new. I got a call from the same agency, different recruiter about another position today. Again, I expressed interest. We shall see if anything will come of it. If not, I'll just stay open to possibilities. I am still not feeling welcomed or comfortable where I am, although there seems to be an effort now to get me trained to do what they hired me to do.

The thing is, though, that if I do a good job doing what they've decided that they want me to do then I will work myself out of a job. Which may be why this is a contract position. Because if I do a craptastic job then... Oh yeah, they have someone like that already... Tudie.

I'm not someone who is "motivated by money"... that being said, the other jobs that I am being offered pay more than what I am making right now which doesn't hurt nor does it make them less attractive. It's true that another job could end up being even worse than where I am now. However, I don't think that "Optimizing my personal space utilization" (aka sitting at a desk bored to death because you don't have the tools to do any actual work) is the picnic that you think it would be. Because Big Brother watches the internetz and I think they'd notice if I spent hours in the bathroom with my Battery Operated Boyfriend (tempted to test that theory... but somehow think that being fired for being a perv would probably not be a good thing to add to my resume at this time, plus, lube is not always easy to get out of one's work clothes).

I do have a project for tomorrow and allegedly will get some training on Wednesday. Would be weird if they finally got me trained and then I took another job. I have to keep telling myself that they have no loyalty to me, so why should I have any loyalty to them?

Speaking of loyalty... I have things to wrap up for LegalBeagle. More later!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mixed Mess(ages)

Tomorrow, Automatrons R Us (where I am "just a temp") has it's annual "Our Future's So Bright We Can Hardly Stand It" celebration. In the past when I've been a contractor, these soirees were "for employees only" and "justatemps" were not ALLOWED to attend. So imagine my surprise when I was informed about a week ago that my attendance at this function is MANDATORY. And I have to be there an hour before my normal start time. And it's farther from home than my normal workplace. Yeah, I'm thrilled.

Now, I suppose there are some people who would see this as a glimmer of hope that maybe they were going to be brought onboard full time. To this I say "nay nay" gentle reader. And here's why I say "nay nay"...

When I was first hired, there was talk of my getting a company cell phone. I hadn't heard anything more about it so I decided to probe a little today and was told that "Bossman doesn't think it's a good investment for Just A Temp". Allrighty then... this says to me that my "Just A Temp" status is not likely to change.

I hadn't been told by the agency pre-interview why the position was open but it slipped in the postmortem that I was covering for someone on maternity leave. The person on maternity leave is due to come back mid-June and they hired someone internally to cover for her absence and will be (allegedly) keeping him on after she returns. What I don't understand is why would they tell the agency something that isn't true? Why say I am covering for a maternity leave when I'm not? And most maternity leaves aren't six months. So... maybe they didn't want to admit it was a couple of month position and not a 6 month position? I know that there are people out there who would jump at an 8-12 week gig where they weren't going to be brought on full time. I was told by the company in the interview that this could become a permanent position. Was that a ruse as well? Were they afraid that if they were honest I wouldn't take the job?

I finally have access to the programs I need to do the job I was hired to do. However, I need some training to be able to use them. No one seems interested in giving me any training. They all seem as apathetic about that as they did about getting me access to the programs in the first place. (I find it very difficult to believe, especially since I know how to read their IT tickets, which are being emailed to me, that they escalated the situation at all. Everything I've seen so far was done 2 weeks after I was TOLD it was done/requested and everything is marked "low priority" or "not critical").

Meanwhile... another company I haven't heard from in well over a month let me know that a position they had allegedly submitted me for almost 2 months ago has been filled. (insert eyeroll here). But I am "on the top of their list" for the next opening at The Evil Empire. (See this? This is me not holding my breath...)

::SIGH:: I'd better get to bed. I need to be up early to be all "Rah Rah for the company that will never hire me...!"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Possibly interesting situation...

I haven't resumed actively looking for a job, but I haven't "shut down" my profiles on any of the job sites nor told any of the recruiters I'd been working with that I was "off the market". So, today I got an email from a recruiter who has a yearlong contract position, $2 an hour more than I'm making now, similar commute.

I briefly weighed "honoring a commitment" vs. "looking out for number one". I factored in the fact that I am a month in and STILL don't have access to all of the computer programs I NEED to do the job they told me I was being hired to do. And all anyone seems to be interested in doing about it is grumping at ME that I can't do more for them. I don't control the IT dept. folks.

Meanwhile, I've acquired a few new skills so am able to do a LITTLE work. And I have acquired a friend in the new project manager (was a tech, got moved into the PM role, has never been a PM, didn't know what a GANTT chart was let alone how to create one... enter ME to the rescue!)

And the "team" that I work with gushed for an hour today about how happy they are that the gal who is out on maternity leave has now scheduled her return date. And they did the "we're going out to lunch so you have to watch the phones" thing today and so by the time they got back it was stupid to go to lunch so late and so I just skipped it. Again.

All that factored in, I decided to tell the recruiter to go ahead and submit me. My concern being that I can't get to the site where the job would be and back AND interview in the hour that I would be allotted for lunch and they made a huge, hairy deal in the interview for the current job about understanding that I would not be allowed to take any time off (asked if I had any standing appointments, vacations planned, relatives who might possibly be ill/dying) during my contract and that sick days would be frowned upon, I got grilled about my attendance, too. So, I'm not sure how that's all going to work out, but, we'll see.

On one hand, I feel a tinge of disloyalty. On the other hand, I have the overwhelming feeling that they would have absolutely no qualms about dumping me and the "carrot" of a permanent job with the current company is not real at all. Especially in light of the co-worker who seems to really want me gone.

I can already hear them gnashing their teeth and wailing about "all of the time and money we spent training you..." (I think a total of ABOUT 2 hours time has been spent paying any attention to me at all... maybe 2.25 if you count being called on the carpet for "rudeness")

So... we shall see how things will work out!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Search reboot?

So, I'm almost through week 3 of the job and I get called into the bosses office today. Apparently, Tudie has reported that I am "rude" to her all the time.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I was informed that I could lose my job if I don't change my attitude. I had to pick my jaw up off the floor again.

Now, my friends, I have been called MANY things in my time, but RUDE has never been among them, especially not in the workplace.

So, WOW... just Wow.. I was just stunned by that. I've bent over backwards to help out every person I work with. I've done everything from filing to making copies to making coffee (none of which is "my job"). I brought donuts the first Friday I was there.

Now I have to decide whether to try to stick it out for the length of the contract or whether I should start actively pursuing other employment. My gut says it's time to hit the bricks again because when you're dealing with someone like this, who has been with the company for a while, there's no way to win.

I'm too old for this "she hurt my feelings" bullshit, especially from someone who has been as rude as she can possibly be from day one. Plus, honestly, this is a really toxic, negative group of people. I'm not quite sure how to work this, the whole interview thing and all when I'm working and can't take time off, but I don't think I really have a choice.

And hey, the touch of trying to make me feel guilty for "all of the time and money you've invested in me...." did you REALLY go there? What about the time I've invested? What about the fact that you knew I was coming a week before I got there and did nothing to prepare?

Ugh. That's really about all I have to say is UGH! So frustrating and it doesn't HAVE to be that way.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

End of Week 2

Well, I've made it through two weeks at the new job. The most significant thing to happen this week is that I did actually get a computer. It doesn't have access to the program that I need to do my job, but I did get a computer. So, now people can email me and I still can't do a damn thing to help them.

So, hopefully soon I will have a computer and access to what I need to actually do some work.

You know, if you hire someone because people are drowning in work and then don't give them the tools to do the job you hired them for, it's like sending someone to sit in a rowboat right out of the reach of a drowning person... "Hey look, help is here.... but NOT!" (I think my analogies could probably use some work but the cubicle fumes have gotten to me the last couple of weeks).

My desk is clean. I have office supplies (I went out and bought some of my own because Tudie is in charge of office supplies and people are ALWAYS complaining that we don't have something and I figured it would just be easier to get my own than try to argue her into ordering what I want.

This weekend will be spent catching up on all of the things that I haven't had time (or motivation) to do this week.

Then Monday... back to the grind. But at least there is a grind to go back to, right?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

You can't be serious...

So, the place I am working knew a couple weeks ago that they were hiring me. They had pretty much a whole week to prepare. And they did NOTHING. No phone installed in my cubicle. No computer ordered. Nothing.

98% of the job I need a computer to do. Without it, I am pretty useless to them. A fact they like to keep reminding me about.

I found out at 4:50 this afternoon that the request for my computer has JUST been approved. Which means it will likely be ANOTHER whole week before my computer arrives.

I am somewhat less than amused.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Damn Frustrating Day

So I found out this morning that my computer still hasn't been ordered because temps don’t have employee ID numbers and you need an employee ID to get a computer. I am not sure how this is going to get resolved. I would guess that this means that they seldom (never?) use temps. How I loathe the term "temp".

There is a real lack of leadership. I feel like they think I am a major inconvenience. And that they are blaming me for not being able to be more productive.

Tudie contines to be a thorn in my backside. And NO ONE there communicates for shit.

I’m just really frustrated. And I am feeling like a liability. Not a good feeling.

I bet there are a lot of people who would love to sit around and get paid for doing nothing. I wouldn't mind so much if I had internet access or maybe there was a chance of getting picked for a jury. I have things I COULD be doing and things I WANT to be doing and none of them involve sitting at a desk all day with no internet access, no work and no shot at maybe getting to decide someone else's fate in the eyes of the Law.

Now I have to get to bed or I will end up snoring as I sit around doing nothing tomorrow!


Monday, April 12, 2010

Productivity (Personal if not Professional)

So I still have no computer and found out that the phone at my desk doesn't even work. So things are still a total clusterfuck and who knows when they will get figured out? I am not optimistic that it will be anytime soon.

I guess if they want to pay me to sit here and take up space I am willing to take their money.

So the up side for today is that I can do my blog post at my desk and then at home I can edit it and get it uploaded. (If you are seeing this, then count the experiment as successful!)

I also wrote a big to do list. Maybe I will have time to enter that this afternoon. (Got that about 1/2 done)

Over the weekend I acquired a new phone. Now I can surf the web from my phone so I am a happy little gearslut. I am hoping I will be able to learn to work efficiently with it soon. There is definitely a learning curve.

I hate this feeling of being unnecessary and expendable. And it is irking me no end that I'm not even getting calls for interviews. (Not that I want to be out interviewing but are you seriously telling me that this is as good as it gets? A six month contract job is the best I can do?) Really?

Whether or not it's actually true, I keep telling myself that it's the economy, not me. Because sometimes the truth isn't particularly palatable or necessary.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Getting in the swing....

I am still working on getting into the habit of having a routine. It's tough to get myself to go to bed and tough to get up so damned early in the morning but it will come with time. So will getting in a routine for keeping the house in order and getting the chores done.

And I have to figure out better, more efficient ways for getting things done. The trash has needed to go out for a week and this weekend I had an errand turn into a huge time eater.

I'm sure I will figure it out. And I have some other things I need to get done ASAP. Hopefully the weekend time-eater activity will turn into some ways to SAVE time.

And now... it's PAST time for bed. Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Annnnnd... we have a reset!

I am a little late in getting the ol' counter reset but it has now been updated. Yes, I have a job at long last. That's the good news.

The down side? It's only a contract position. Six months.

But, for now, it's a job. If only I could stop getting them to refer to me as "just a temp". Ugh.

So far... I am tired. I am sore because all they've had for me to do is filing because the job I was hired to do requires a computer and they didn't even order that until after 5 on Monday night.

And... I don't really have to worry about whether I'll have friends because, I won't. Remember, I'm "just a temp" and pretty much treated as very disposable.

But, yeah... all the filing that they'd put off for months? Done.

The gal training me.. Let's call her Tudie (because of her piss-poor attitude) gripes that having to train me is taking her away from her oh so important work. Yeah, that's why you're at less than 20% of your collections goal, sweetheart... it's ALL MY FAULT. That you haven't made your collections goal once this year... NOT MY FAULT... Maybe if you knew something about collections, it would be different. And the attitude you have... yeah... not impressing me. Why is it people with the "it's not my job" mentality and the "oh, that didn't get done? yeah Whatever" mentality have jobs and I can't find a full-time regular job to save my life??

Tudie admits she has never trained anyone before and that she barely understands how most of the systems work. (They implemented a new system a month and a half ago, after MONTHS of training).

So... this could be an interesting 6 months. They made a HUGE deal out of "how is your attendance"? at the interview. I think I understand why. I have an inkling that Tudie has a bit of an attendance issue. Along with her attitude problem. And right now most of my dept. is sick (if you include being with child as an illness, then everyone but me is unwell right now. Pray that my immune system holds)!

I'm gonna go now. I'm exhausted and have lots to do before I can hit the pillow tonight!

But... rejoice! The counter has been reset!

P.S. Not that there was ever any doubt, but my drug test came back squeaky clean! yay!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Passing the test...

I may actually get to reset that counter soon, my friends. But first, I must pass the pee test. Oh, I've not done anything to make the test come up positive, but you see, there has been a little...issue... with the test.

On Tuesday morning I studied hard for my urine test (drank fluids and didn't "go" before I left for the test center. I usually "go" before I leave the house for pretty much any reason). I was the only person in the test facility when I got there so I was processed pretty quickly and then back on my way.

The test results were supposed to be done within 24 hours.

Wednesday passed. No word. Then the 24 hour turnaround was bumped to 48 hours.

All of this was very vexing because getting the job hinges on passing the alcohol and drug test and having a clean background check.

The background check came back clean by Wednesday morning. The alcohol test came back clean late Wednesday afternoon. Still nothing came back on the drug test.

At 5:30 Thursday evening I was informed that the lab allegedly never got the instructions to run the tests on my sample. Which was now disposed of. Which means I need to go BACK to the lab and have the tests run AGAIN and then wait some more. Because, you know, my stress levels weren't elevated enough.

So... hopefully I'll get to reset that counter soon. But I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday = Frustration + Fiasco

I went to the agency on Wednesday. The actual meeting with the Agency Lady was 7 minutes long. The whole odyssey took 6 hours. God Bless the Transit System. (/sarcasm) And, SURPRISE! Guess who I have not heard one more bloody word from. So, that was a complete waste of 6 hours.

Thursday I trekked out to another interview. I felt that the interview went really well. One of the interviewers even said he thought my last name was "cool". I was told that they were going to try to make a decision by Friday afternoon and would either decide to hire someone or call back their top three candidates. Well, again... SURPRISE! Guess who I didn't hear from? I can't figure out why I thought it went well and then no freakin' call back. I was told that there were 78 applicants, 9 were chosen to interview. Very nice things were said at the interview so...I don't know WTF went wrong.

So, when I got home on Thursday there was an email from yet ANOTHER agency about yet ANOTHER contract position. So, I send off my updated resume and the Agency Guy calls me. The agency guy who barely has a command of the English language. We spend 40 minutes rehashing my resume. He tells me I am not worth more than tiny monies plus $2 an hour. I tell him, politely and professionally, to bite me. He calls back a couple minutes later and says that his manager will submit me for the position at the rate I requested. Ha Ha, Agency Guy! Friday I get a call from Agency Guy's Manager, Ms. B. Ms. B can speak English! Oh Happy Day. Unfortunately, she wanted me to interview at 1PM and called at 11:30AM for somewhere that it takes 2.5 hours to get via mass transit. We spent most of the rest of the day trying to schedule the interview with someone not having the understanding that it takes 2.5 hours for me to get there and yes, I KNOW it is inexcusable to not have a car but that is the fact of my life, Jack and get used to it. I got told that the agency sent two other resumes over and that the company shunned the other people and only wanted to interview me. I tried to rent a car but it was way too freakin' expensive and a cab was out of the question for a 20 mile trip. So, I am supposed to tentatively plan to be there at 9AM on Monday. Unless I hear something this weekend. So, yeah, no problem... I'll get on a bus at 6:30 AM on Monday and trek out there and then try to find someplace to hang out until they confirm that, yes, the meeting is "on". That'll be a treat. Because, ya know, I have nothing better to do with my time than spend a day hoping that someone will want to meet with me. ::SIGH::

So, the week wraps up with a glimmer of hope that I'll get chosen for the 6 month contract position. Because I need to go through the stress of finding a job every 6 months, it seems. Speaking of 6 months, I've now passed the "6 months since I was last gainfully employed" mark per my handydandy count-up counter. Hopefully I get to reset it soon (to count down the days of my 6 months of employment? Or to count the days employed? Maybe that would be more "glass half full" of me).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Games Agencies Play...

A while back I'd done an experiment and put my resume, under my maiden name, up on one of the major online job sites, just to see if maybe it would get play that the resume with my legal (and, I guess, "weird") name wasn't getting. Sure enough, I've had agencies calling. It is THE EXACT SAME RESUME except for the name and phone number. Yet, not a peep for the one and calls for the other. Tell me that there isn't some sort of discrimination going on.

Anyhow, I got a call today from an agency that I'd sent my resume to and never heard a peep from. I was right up front with the caller explaining what I had done and why. Her first reaction was "ummm, you know that we'll be doing a criminal background check, right?" Fine. I have nothing to fear from a criminal background check. I had TSA clearance and worked with vulnerable adults in the past. I have had jobs where I was bonded and passed the BCA check to become a notary public. Once we got past that, she sent me a couple of tests. One was accounting which I was, honestly, weak at only 73%. But I never claimed to be an accountant and have never in my life taken an accounting class. The other was an Excel test (a version I've not used) and I scored 93% on that and the agency lady seemed quite impressed. Tomorrow, I go in for an interview. I am dreading it. Not because I'm anything less than what I have represented myself to be, but because I just know that this person has some preconceived notions about me now (she was hiding her name, what else is she hiding?)

I wanted to know if my name was keeping me from at least being able to get my foot in the door. I think there is a plausible argument that it is. But is it worth it to use a tich of bait and switch? I guess this interview and what happens afterwards will probably give me an answer to that question. I'll let you know what that answer is.

Also today, I sent a very brief, cordial email to the other agency who is ALLEGEDLY working "for" me on a job. I got a very snappy "I haven't heard anything and told you I would contact you if I did" in response. Nice customer service, people. I'm not impressed. If that's how you treat the people you work with, it's no wonder that you can't find a job for me. I wouldn't work with you if I wasn't so damned desperate due to your attitude alone. Can't wait to tell you I have a job so bugger off. Hopefully I will get that chance SOON!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Here's the status

Heading into Monday (again) here's where things stand.

No appointments.
No credible pending anything (I say that because although I have allegedly been submitted for a couple of different contract positions, I've not heard anything in long enough that I don't believe the jobs are really available... they've either been filled or cancelled).
Back to Square One.

It's frustrating to keep finding myself back here. Even more frustrating is knowing that Other Half loathes his job and right now making a change isn't really an option. We need the income too much.

I'm not sure anymore how much of the problem is the economy and how much of it is ME. I feel like there's some rule about all of this that I haven't been told and it's keeping me from being able to get a job. And the very idea of working another 6 month contract is making me simply ill right now. To know I'd be right back to Square One in six months with yet ANOTHER short term job to have to explain on my resume just makes me feel queasy. But the reality is that I simply don't have the option to be picky right now.

Here's hoping that something turns up. Soon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Perhaps a little help...

So, as anyone who has been here a couple times might have guessed, I am finding the challenge of securing a job following my relocation very difficult. The CounterClock ticks ever onward, marking the days since I last toiled away and collected a paycheck. Panic has begun to set in. And it is damn difficult to network when you live somewhere that you don't know anyone.

The week came to a close with a fairly quiet Friday. Nary a peep from any of the inquiries I've made this week save a couple of form rejections in the ol' email box.

Tonight, Other Half came home from work and told me that it is his boss's last day (it was a voluntary thing, he didn't get fired or something) and that boss had given Other Half his email address with instructions to email MY resume to him so when he's out & about in his new position and he finds someone looking for help, he can drop my resume on them. So, hey... I may get my foot in the door some places that I normally wouldn't have... how cool is that? And this is someone who doesn't even know me which is pretty cool, I'd say.

So, hooray for networking even if it is a tich convoluted. Of course, I'm not going to rely on this netting me a job, but it might be helpful. And I will take all the help I can get right now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Lucky Sign?

For the first time in about a week, I got some job-related news. It seems that another position has come available at The Evil Empire and the agency wanted to know if I was interested. Due to the overwhelming lack of response (even rejection) lately, I eagerly signed on the dotted line to be thrown back into the shark tank to see if I might get a nibble. I may come out of this with some teethmarks, but maybe I'll also come out of it sporting a paycheck. Which would, right now, rock my socks off! (For the record, I am actually not even wearing socks right now... but that isn't because of a paycheck, it's just because I never put any on today).

I was going to do more than I actually did today around the house but I was sortve expecting a package (because when I looked online it said it was "out for delivery") so I didn't want to get to running the vacuum or something and then miss the FedEx guy (who is like "The Wind"... you remember "The Wind" from the episodes of M*A*S*H, right?)

I'm really trying to have a good attitude. I'm just tired. And every day, I am more concerned that maybe I CAN'T really get a job and that if/when I do get one, I'll have lost my skills. I know it sounds absurd, but it's how I feel.

I hope something comes along soon. And that it is something good, not just something for which I will "settle". Time now to sleep.

Monday, March 15, 2010

13 of the listed positions prefer a degree...

I got an email from one of the job boards today that informed me that 13 of the listed positions preferred that candidates have a degree. And you know, I don't have one. But I'll tell you something else... if the best job I can get with a degree is "Receptionist" or "Administrative Assistant", then I don't see the point to getting a degree. Silly me, I thought getting a degree was supposed to keep you from having to do the lowlier jobs.

The New York Times recently had an article that had this to say:

One fast-growing American industry has become a conspicuous beneficiary of the recession: for-profit colleges and trade schools.

The article went on to say that the school make big promises and don't deliver and that the education provided isn't adequate to get a high-paying job.

The reality, for me, is that given my age, racking up a ton of student loan debt probably doesn't make a lot of sense. I watched the struggle my mom had, graduating from college at 50+. Sure, she had the education but she had to fight tooth and nail for jobs because they wanted someone younger to fill the openings. She was working for people she could have given birth to who were not, quite frankly, very well prepared for working with older, more mature workers (she had a boss who tried to tell her exactly what to do with her day, in 15 minute increments... my mother had probably 30+ years of work experience at that point and knew time management skills, thankyouverymuch).


I was thinking last night that I finally know the answer to "if you could go back to any time in your life, when would it be...?" I'd go back to the summer I was 19. I'd suck it up and stay with my Grandparents. I might have been able to score a scholarship or at least have gotten through community college. I don't know that my life would have been better. I wouldn't have had any friends my own age but maybe, just maybe, I could have done something extraordinary with my life. And just once in my life, I'd really like to do something to make my Mom proud (I have come to believe that there is NOTHING I could do to make my father proud).


13 of the positions listed may prefer a degree. Zero of them should require it. All of them should be happy to hire someone with 20+ years of actual experience. But that's not the way things work so I'll just keep on looking and eventually, I'll find something, right?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another Friday... ::SIGH::

Another Friday and I am no closer to being employed. Got a rejection from one pending position (2 weeks after a decision was promised). There' s another position still pending that I have very little hope about due to the interviewer's attitude during the interview. Not a peep from the agencies who had contacted me 2 weeks ago. Oh.. and another position that I haven't heard "for sure" about but since I cannot report to work at 5AM (due to my transportation situation) and can't work weekends (again, a transportation issue), it's pretty much a given that I am not going to get that job.

So, what now? I have applied for a bunch of other jobs, but there seems to be about a 3 week "lag time" between applying and actually hearing from people and I have nothing on deck for next week.

I am contemplating going to a "job fair" next week just because maybe doing something different will help.

Honestly, I'm rather worn-down and feeling hopeless. But maybe I just need to get some sleep.