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.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Baby Steps

Still no word from what seems to be the main hope for employment. I do have an interview tomorrow that will be quite a trek but we shall see how it ends up going. It would be quite a lengthy commute every day.

I got sent a list of "Screening Questions" by another potential contract position today. If they go strictly by "things I have already done", then I have to be honest and say that I likely won't even get an interview. But, honestly, I do have the capacity to learn new skills, especially computer software skills, pretty quickly. Still, it's only fair that they might want to hire someone that they don't have to train and I understand that. Still, I can now at least try to pick up the skill so if I am asked about it in the future, I will be able to say that I have studied it and go from there.

I am certainly working on honing my follow-up skills this week. I am pretty sure that the main position I am waiting to hear about is not going to be decided in my favor. I need to let it go and move on.

That's about all there is to say at the moment. More when there is more to tell!

Monday, March 1, 2010

1 rejection & the sounds of silence

I got the call today that I was hoping I wouldn't get. The one telling me I did NOT get the job I so desperately wanted. And, even though I KNEW that would be the outcome, it did not stop the tears.

The other job that I'm supposed to hear about? The one that I went and interviewed for last week? The people who were supposed to decide by Friday? Still not a peep. But, lo and behold, I found the job posted as a brand new position today by another agency. So, I know that I'm not getting that job. How do I know? Because the job description I found was verbatim for the job description sitting in my email box.

So, large multinational company who thinks itself clever to be gathering up another whole pool of applicants whilst you leave the poor suckers you've already interviewed dangling in limbo, I have to say a rousing FUCK YOU and the horse you rode in on. I stand by having called you The Evil Empire in the past. This is dirty pool and I hate that you feel like this is ok.

My heart is broken and my wallet is empty... The only thing on deck is a job that is a three hour (one way) commute. ::SIGH::