Thursday, January 21, 2010

Reliably transport THIS!

The words "must have reliable transportation" have become the bane of my existence. Because what it really means is "must have vehicle available during work hours so you can run our bullshit errands and get us a latte! and don't spill it or get decaf!" This also weeds out anyone who, for whatever reason, relies on public transportation to get to/from work. Most of the time the people who rely on public transportation to get to/from work could also be classified as "underprivileged" or "disadvantaged" or, in street parlance "broker than a celibate ho".

I suppose you MIGHT get away with claiming that you use public transportation and eschew having a car because you are "green" if you look like an emaciated non-meat eating pseudo hippie who has enough sense to wear a business suit but still reeks gently of patchouli and sandalwood. But there are really VERY few people who can successfully pull THAT off. I am certainly not one of them.

There is no real hope for solving the transportation dilemma on the horizon. I am wondering if maybe I can convince an employer that a burro is "reliable transportation" AND an excellent source of fertilizer as I will need to leave it to graze on their lawn while I am slaving away at my job. I suppose I could also claim that it will cut their lawn maintenance costs. I mean, isn't that a GOOD thing? I will have to find employers with big lawns, though... cuz you don't want the grazing and pooping to create any ISSUES. (And do we really need any additional issues if we already have "grazing" and "pooping")?

Ok. So. Maybe a burro would be a hard sell. And there's the whole dilemma of having to find a burro in the first place. And convincing the landlord that it's really a sortve large, funny looking dog.

I thought that maybe a scooter would suffice and be all economical and suchlike BUT I think that most of the drivers where I live would just drive right over a scooter and barely notice that there was a "thwump" sound when they hit it. Bicycles fall under that same fear + they would guarantee I'd be sweaty and that is SO unattractive.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Gettin' better all the time....

I had an interview last week. It went really well. They wanted someone to start on Monday . I heard nothing and so assumed that, once again, I'd done something wrong and didn't get the job. Sure as shit, got a brief email today saying that while I was "impressive" someone else was a better fit.

Had a phone interview today for a job that pays tiny monies. It is in a call center that is open 24/7. They expect you to be available for all shifts, including weekends. With no vehicle, I can't get there on weekends. So, basically, I had a phone interview today for a job I cannot possibly accept in good conscience if they decide to hire me.

To say I'm a tiny bit frustrated would be a gross understatement.

I don't understand how I possibly blew the interview that I thought went well. Everything they needed done, I could do. I had experience in all of it. I was willing to accept the tiny monies they were offering for pay. I was willing to commute the hour and 45 minutes (or 14 minute drive.... friggin' public transportation!) And... again I didn't make the grade. WTF? I've NEVER had a time when I had a half dozen interviews and got ZERO offers.

I don't know what to think anymore. Could it be possible that I found and moved to the one place on Earth where they hate me even more than where I moved from? I am beginning to think that must be the case. Maybe some mass memo went out to all area employers from the netherworld from whence I moved saying "Do Not Hire MsCleo... she sucks.... and not in the "fringe benefit" sort of way"...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

As expected, the Sound of Silence

I had sortve figured that it would be quiet job-wise because of the holiday. I was right. I DID get a psych eval for a job I applied for and did the eval. Whatever. It is what it is and I just freakin' deal with it because what else can I do? I do try to appear to not have the crazy, though. But, they ask you questions like "Which is worse? a) stealing from your employer b)raping your employer c) murdering your employer?" I am not quite sure what the proper answer is there but I am thinking that they would rather be robbed or raped. It's sortve fun as a former psychology student to try and figure out the balance between "honest" and "sociopath".

I'm stuck on another thing I'm working on and it's pissing me off. I hate having to rely on other people to finish shit. Also, the more I think about the guy that asked the illegal and offensive interview question, the more I really want to go back to his office and kick him in the balls. But I know that would be pointless because it wouldn't teach him anything. My secondary plan is to figure out how to make sure his business tanks. Because that'd be really satisfying. I think it's sad that his customer base is older people and I think if they had any clue how he talks about them, they wouldn't be so thrilled about the company. And no, I won't name the company or the guy because I don't want to give him the free publicity.

We shall see if tomorrow is any better. I am not holding my breath.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I've about had it with recruiters...

It's disappointing when you go on an interview and feel it went well and then... the phone is silent, there is no new email and you know, you just KNOW that they were not as into you as you were to them. If they really like you and want to hire you, the follow-up is swift. If it doesn't come right away, you are likely not their first choice. I know this because I've done interviewing and hiring and if you like someone and you want them, you call them right away. Even if you haven't seen all the candidates yet, sometimes you just know you've seen "the one" and you call them right away. And then you interview the rest and hold them to the standard that "the one" set. If someone matches or exceeds that, you have a special file for people you will give your next available opening to/people you will call if, for some reason, "the one" is a bummer.

And then there was today's recruiter call. I called her back right away and left a message and she took her sweet time calling me back. The job was an entry level HR position. I told her about my background and she asked "Have you done sales?" Wait...WHAT? This is an HR job, there was no "sales experience needed" anywhere in the ad. As soon as I said no to that she couldn't hang up the phone fast enough. Here's a hint... if there is a specific NECESSARY skillset, you need to PUT IT IN THE AD.

So... to recap:

Monday= Interview (for which I received rejection on Wednesday)
Tuesday = Call from recruiter who I called back and left 3 messages and she never deigned to call me back.
Wednesday= Interview (they've not called/emailed me or my references)
Thursday= Call from recruiter who advertised a HR position, wanted unmentioned sales skillset and from whom I will never hear again.

Nothing on deck. No prospects. Monday is a holiday so I will hear/have scheduled JACK SQUAT on Monday.

I'm getting really tired of this. Can I just get a job already?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sour Grapes for One, please...

I got rejected by the company I interviewed with the other day. You know, Mr. Illegal Interview Question? Yeah... that guy. And I know that I didn't want the job that badly but that I can't even get a job with a second-rate, two bit organization that flagrantly casts aside regard for the law stings a little bit. What, were they afraid I'd try to make their business legitimate?

I was likely rejected because of both my voluptuous body and my offbeat name.

Well, I hope the Oglebunny takes DICKtation well and that she doesn't get carpal tunnel from handling Mr. Wizard's Magic Wand.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a vat of sour grapes to stomp into a lovely foot wine."

Memorable quotes for
"Monk" Mr. Monk Gets Drunk (2005)


[after finding out how his favorite Cabernet is made]
Adrian Monk: I've been drinking that wine for fifteen years! It's Foot Wine! I can taste it...
Natalie Teeger: Oh, come on, you cannot taste it!
Adrian Monk: I feel like I can taste the feet... the toes... and what's between the toes...
Al Nicoletto: And the fungus. It really is barbaric.
Natalie Teeger: Okay, I didn't see any fungus! Look, I'm sure they have clean feet, there are probably rules about that stuff...
[She trails off as the grape stompers walk past them, stepping barefoot on the wet, muddy ground]

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

So much for "first thing...."

So, yeah... Mr. Interviewer last night said he'd be checking my references "first thing" today. It's now 4PM and nary a peep. (Which I know because I have access to one of the office phone caller ID histories for one of my references and nary a call today. At all.)

So, the lesson here is any interview that starts off with a highly offensive and quite illegal question is one that you should likely just drop an F-bomb and walk away from.

The result would have been the same, but more satisfying.

Interview Postmortem

First off, on my way to the interview I was asked if I were a working girl. While that might have been more financially rewarding than what lay ahead, I tried to, as graciously as possible, turn down that stunningly awkward proposition.

The mass transit experience was not wholly unpleasant, likely due to traveling in the opposite direction of pretty much all traffic at that time in the evening. Coming home I managed to just squeak onto the bus, which is good, because waiting a half hour wasn't really something I relished.

Now... for an interview's first question to be "say, do you suppose you could lose about 20 lbs...?" is never a great sign. I fought the urge to drop an F-bomb and smiled sweetly. Turns out that (allegedly) the person whose spot I'd be filling had a major cardiac incident. Listen sweeties, weight is ONE factor to cardiac incidents and although I am a pretty heavy hitter in the body mass department, I do not (knock wood) have any major health defects. So... we got the massively inappropriate questioning out of the way right away and I am more than a little concerned that some Oglebunny is probably going to be chosen over the less svelte but more competent me. (And I frikkin LOVE the term "Oglebunny"). The other concern is that the previous person did not drop dead from their cardiac incident so, ummm, aren't they coming back to their job?

Moving on... I seem to have suitably impressed interviewer number one who called out interviewer number two. I am not as certain that I impressed interviewer number two but they did ask for my references before I left and I have no worries at all about my references.

BUT... here's the kicker. They didn't even have a copy of my resume. Neither of the interviewers, quite frankly, had very good interviewing skills. They WANT an Office Manager, they just don't want to PAY for an Office Manager. I got the very distinct feeling that I may know more about running a business than at least one of these guys. I certainly know more about computers and social media. If they only want someone temporarily until their superstar comes back, I'm willing to live with that, but I don't want to be surprised 3-6 months from now when she's ready to come back and I find myself suddenly de-jobbed. Also, the job doesn't pay very well at all and 90 days is a damn long time to wait for a salary review when you're forced to rob Peter to pay Paul for 3 months and, honestly, getting a $5 an hour raise is unheard of, to my knowledge.

I am convinced that they have had trouble finding and retaining quality help because they do not do things like have resumes in hand and know anything about their candidates before they come in to the office. I will be interested to see if they call any of my references (and I WILL know if they do) or if that was a bluff. Given the fact that they OBVIOUSLY don't know anything about Employment Law or legal/illegal interview questions, I can see where the whole reference thing could get quite ugly. Fortunately, I have superstars for references and am not at all concerned.

Bottom line is that if I don't get this job, it won't be because I didn't try. I worked my ass off "selling myself"... but they're going to take the rest of the week to interview and "try" to decide by Friday. Send me good vibes and send some bad juju to the Oglebunnies!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Insomnia = The Crazy

So, did you ever have a situation where you were not only worried "what if I don't get the job" but ALSO "what will I do if they offer me the job?" because you weren't really sure that this was something that you wanted to do but you were so hard up that you really need to take any job that's offered to you (especially since the damn carpal tunnel is acting up and giving wristies behind the local 7-11 probably wasn't the best move vocationally)... Yeah, that's the sitch I am in at the moment. A virtual "damned if I do, damned if I don't" situation and I honestly do not like it one little bit.

Also, a little notation to the place that I traveled 6 friggin' hours to for an interview (round trip, but still)...thanks, you schmucks, for not even having the courtesy to send a form email telling me you didn't want to hire me. I didn't tell you how long the journey took me, but you sprang tests on me that I ACED and then you didn't even send a form email out? I would have been PERFECT for that job.

I'm beginning to think that the reality is that I really don't have the skills I need to do the work I've been doing. I don't have any other skills, other than doing office work but I honestly don't enjoy it that much. I can't imagine what else I would do at this point in my life. Odd to be my age and have no clue what you want to be when you grow up.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Interview with a side of quandry

Ok, so... I have an interview set up for Monday. Which you would think is a good thing. It's Downtown which will mean the commute should be pretty easy (yay for public transportation) and the best benefit is that I would have an office and there is a window in the office.

Now for the quandry. The job pays teeny tiny monies. More than minimum wage, but not enough for Ms. Cleo to live on. It is 10K a year less than my last job and the smallest salary I'd have since 1997. (Starting in 1998, I was making 3k a year more than this job pays, starting in 2000 $5k more and starting in 2003, I've always made at least 10K more than this job pays).

And yet, it's the first interview nibble I've had in 3+ weeks.

When you start a new job, you can't exactly say "I have an appointment I need to go to...." and I really want to find a job I can stick with so I can get 3-5 years of steady employment under my belt.

And yet, it's the first interview nibble I've had in 3+ weeks.

So... I am pondering whether I should take a job that guarantees that I am going to have to get a second job which may be premature because I haven't even been to the interview yet. For all I know, they'll hate me or they'll find someone else that they want to hire.

We'll see how things turn out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

No, please... tell me how you REALLY feel....

This has not been a great week for Ms. Cleo. Much drama. And a call from an agency that went really awry.

I got a call from an agency representative (allegedly, at least) and we had a little discussion about my experience and all seemed to be going as it usually does in these situations. And then things went... weird.

She told me that it was her professional opinion that I had been "grossly overpaid" for most of my jobs in the last decade and that I "must be a problem employee" whose employers keep me on "out of pity" because none of my recent contract work has lead to being hired on. I was informed that GOOD contract employees are ALWAYS found a job within the company they are contracting at and that she believes that I must be "a real piece of work" to have so many short-term positions. She is sure that I may have been TOLD that the contract ended but she's pretty sure that they just got my sorry ass out the door and then hired someone who is intelligent and competent.

Yeah, so.... I don't think that agency is going to be much help to me. I don't know if this woman was having a lousy day and decided she needed to call someone she could be a bitch to or if maybe this is some insane Craigslist person who posted an ad and then called people who responded and claimed she is with an agency. Or maybe she once upon a time worked for the agency and is now on a campaign to make sure people don't work with them. In any case, it is an agency I'd attempted to work with before and gotten treated hideously so I wouldn't have been inclined to try again anyhow. But, yeah... this did NOT do wonders for my self-esteem.

How is YOUR week going?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Frustration

So, got contacted by a headhunter who has a great job, that I can do, right up my alley, really decent pay and..... I can't frakkin' get there. It's in a place not accessible by public transportation (but would be a not unreasonable drive).

This is so maddening/frustrating. And there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. Without a job, I can't get a new car nor can I afford to (I believe futilely) throw money at getting the old one fixed.

Grrrrr!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Decade, same ol' job search

Nothing too exciting as the first day of the year comes to a close. Same shit, different decade.

Craigslist ads are a good source of entertainment but they are not proving a really good source of actual, legitimate jobs. Not that I am relying on Craigslist, mind you. I am just getting to the point where I am sortve scraping the bottom of the barrel looking for options.

Have some SERIOUS issues to iron out, though, my friends. And sooner rather than later. Where I am going to find the money to address the issues is another whole story but... we do what we have to do until we don't have to do it anymore, right?

Hope y'all have a magnificent year. Hope that you got nice holiday bonuses or at least managed to avoid the latest Reduction In Force. I'll let you know if/when I find something. I'm still sortve hoping Ross Perot needs a good Executive Ball Washer. I believe I have just the right soft cloth to buff those big bad boys to a blinding shine!