Monday, December 31, 2012

Exercising Options

I am still getting nowhere near enough hours with my present job. In fact, I have now been waiting seven days for some information to complete a project.  I have sent emails (as this is currently my only way to reach my employer) and have been told that the request will be attended to and then... it is not.

I can't wait around hoping that things will change.  I'm not going to let someone tell me that I am the problem because I've been very communicative and available and it's done not one bit of good.

I think the issue is that bosslady wanted an assistant and bossdude did not feel it necessary, but hired someone to make bosslady happy.  Bossdude has been consistently rude and dismissive.  Also, if they wanted someone to perform manual/physical labour, they should have specified that in their advert, which they did not.  I don't do heavy lifting, I never said that I would and have no intention of doing so... and if that is what costs me my job, so be it... at least I won't have a herniated disc in my back.

Also, there were several tasks at the S office that needed to be done.  I spent a couple of hours on a Saturday taking pages of notes of instructions.  Part of it involved going back to the S office to pack things up, etc. Well... I found out that Dragon Lady Office Manager was told to do all of the tasks I had been instructed to do.  I offered to share the bosslady's explicit instructions with Dragon Lady and she was totally uninterested.  So, yeah...  I think it's time to admit to myself that this really isn't working and do what I need to do.

It's really too bad, too. This really had a lot of potential.  I'm not quitting, I am just going to look for another job and if this one comes up with some hours, great... if not, I won't be looking to sell my kidney on the black market to pay the bills.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Manic Monday

I have an interview scheduled for this afternoon (Monday). I am a little freaked out by that.  It's not that I am not happy with my current job, it's more a matter of the current job not providing enough hours and my being a workaholic.  And current job not understanding quite where my skills lie. But I am learning a metric fuckton (it's a legal term... the attorney I worked for used it all the time) of new things.  Anyhoo, it's just up the road from current bosslady's house and I think it would be a nice, solid, stable income to rely upon that I could supplement my current income with and still not work more than 65 hours a week. Which I know sounds horrible if you work a 40 hour week on the regular and want nothing to do with working more hours but for me, at this point, I NEED that income.

Why, you ask? Well, I am getting ready to sign yet another year's lease at the place I am currently living. Which is, for lack of a more politically correct terminology, the ghetto.  I need to get out of here. I would like to be able to, at some point, afford my own car.  I need to start digging myself out of debt.  Annnnd, I thought I had an expense ending in November that ends up will be dragging out until July.  Sigh.  So, working 2 jobs is sortve necessary and having something with a reliable paycheck will be nice. Plus, it's hedging my bets on what the current bosslady's real plans are.  I know that sounds pessimistic, but it is actually just realistic.

So, there you have it... I'm interviewing. It's a little scary.  We'll see what happens.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Is it in the stars?

I am not one who lives by my horoscope.  I think that horoscopes are interesting and entertaining but I don't plan my life according to my horoscope... However... today's horoscope says:

"Your current interactions with others are the source of both good news and bad news now. The good news is that opportunity comes knocking at your door. The bad news, however, is that you might be so entrenched with what you are doing that you don't stop to let it in. Opportunity won't just stand there waiting forever, so jump up and embrace it joyfully while you have the chance."

And, well... here's the thing. I do like (most of) my new job.  But it isn't providing nearly the hours I would like and then today I got a call from an agency who has a contract job for, well, LOTS OF MONEY.  And I told them to go ahead and submit my resume.

Now, I am not someone who is totally governed by the Almighty Dollar.  That being said, I DO have bills to pay and things have been really, really tight since I lost my job in July so the opportunity to (FINALLY) make some good money is very attractive.  Plus, it's another MAJOR corporation name for my resume and it will help me when I need to do salary negotiations next.

What will it mean for my current job? Well, to be honest, I am not sure. *I* happen to think I could do both because I am not pulling anywhere near full-time hours with my current job.  Plus, to be honest, I am having a great deal of doubt about whether the boss looks at it as a long-term relationship or if I am disposable and there are reasons I am feeling that I am, perhaps, disposable.

So, I had already determined that I was going to allow myself to be open to the possibilities that are out there and then this big money opportunity comes along... And maybe horoscopes are a bunch of hooey, but it does make me wonder what's in the stars...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Well, looky there... a reset!

Yes, folks... the clock has reset and switched from "Jobless Since" to "Workin' Since"... HUZZAH!

And, no, I did not end up with one of the temp agency jobs.

I am working at slowly shifting my schedule to get back in sync with the working world.  While I am not having to be to work super-early in the morning, I am shifting things so I have time to more gradually wake up and get my head together in the morning.

And, I am working on having myself together to be able to be organized and get things done.

It's good to be working again... I just wish I'd had a couple of transition days to be able to tie up loose ends. Maybe over the Thanksgiving weekend, I can work on that.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fast track to Nowhere

So, I had three interviews late last week. I had a phone screen today and have an interview set up for Thursday.  I am finally scraping the bottom of the barrel and heading off to a temp agency tomorrow. Oh... and I got submitted for a job that will be a substantial pay cut but I honestly think it's another one of those things I will not hear another peep about.

The job I REALLY want contacted me again tonight asking me how my job search is going. This is madness and there is a part of me that wants to tell them to either offer me a job or take a flying leap. I do NOT have time to play games. This is my career and livelihood on the line here, people.  The sad thing is that I really, really like the person and I really, really want to work for/with the person but if this person cannot make up their mind, I have no choice but to cut my losses and move on.  And honestly, maybe that's what I should do.

I am SO over all of this. And being with a temp agency is only going to prolong the agony. Because they'll send me on all these short-term assignments and then I'll be without a job (and income) until something else comes along.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Queueing up to return to Square One

The first part of this week was slow. I got a call and there was a brief phone screen type interview and then a couple of days later I got a rejection email. No real surprise given the interviewer's line of questioning during the phone screen (if they choose to dwell on the negative whilst questioning, they are usually not interested but are fulfilling a quota or something).

I had three interviews this week. Two with agencies and another that was to be a direct hire. I was supposed to hear something by the end of the day about the direct hire position. I didn't hear anything.  Even though I felt I presented as a strong candidate, I overheard the applicant ahead of me being offered the job. I am not really sure what the point of interviewing me was, but I suppose she didn't want to say she'd offered the person just before me the job and I could leave after making me fill out several essay-style question filled pages of questions pre-interview.

I don't suspect I will hear anything from either of the agencies, either.  Call it a gut feeling or intuition but there was just a "vibe" that shook my confidence in each situation.  However, I scored well on the testing that they'd made me take pre-interview, so I feel marginally happy about that.  Marginally happy because if it doesn't help me to get a job, what's the point?

So... another week down. The clock ticks on.  Back to Square One on Monday.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Another week passes...

Yet another week has passed and I am still not going to be in a new office on Monday morning.  We've passed the 100 day mark now and I have to admit I am perplexed.  I can't seem to "close the deal" and it is frustrating.  A job I'd interviewed for in early October is still in limbo. A job I'd interviewed for and was told to "alert" my references to receive a call still has not contacted any of my references.

Friday ended up being a horrifically unproductive day that started early and is ending late.  I have a long task list for this weekend.

I need to do something fun/relaxing this weekend.  Let's hope I can accomplish that.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Can't Slow the Clock

The clock keeps ticking... soon it will be 100 days.  Panic set in about 60 days ago... now I am at a point where I just don't know what to do anymore.  It is hard to not just sit and be sick with worry (which I know is unproductive).

I had an interview the other day. I wrote my follow-up thank you letters. I was told to let my references know that they were going to be contacted.  As of 5PM on Friday (a full 2 days after being told to let my references know that they would be contacted), not one person had been contacted.  I am not impressed that I was told to contact my references and tell them to expect contact and then have them not be contacted.

The week ended without any contact from the agency that set up the interview and so I am still "in limbo" and am not really sure what to expect as far as that position goes.    I am trying to not dwell on it but I can't help but feel frustrated.

It's late, though.... and I should head to bed.  100 days won't get here any slower if  I don't sleep...

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

No Thank You... Yes, Please & I need a nap!

Today was the first time I can recall having gone to an interview and walked out hoping against hope that I did NOT get offered the job.  I had an interview today that was just SCARY.  I sortve imagine it must have been like the meeting you have when you are considering joining a cult.  And I want no part of it.


I'm far enough into this (almost 90 days now) that I am sure the unemployment folks are chomping at the bit to cut me off for the slightest reason and I would have to take this abomination if they offered it to me.  And I really can't imagine myself being anything but miserable working there.

On the other hand, I had a wonderful interview the other day and I'd really, really like the job.  I've done all that they have asked of me and now am waiting to hear their decision. It is agony waiting.

And I am sure you realize by this point in the post that I was not murdered at my questionable interview the other day.

I need some sleep... goodnight.

Friday, October 5, 2012

No Office In Sight... *sigh

Another week has passed and I am no closer to being in an office on Monday morning.  *sigh

This morning's project was making my office actually look like an office and not a livingroom.  I am mostly done with that project now.

My pet peeve of the day is this... I missed a phone call regarding a job.  I return the call and get voicemail. I leave a brief, polite voicemail and now it's 2+ hours later and I haven't gotten a return call.  I did try again an hour after my first call and got voicemail again. Here's the thing.  Yes, I am unemployed.  But that does not mean that I have nothing to do other than sit and wait for the phone to ring.  And I know that you, Mr./Ms. HR Person, have a job to do, as well.   But really, you aren't going to give me a call back just because I wasn't sitting around waiting for the phone to ring?

I do have an interview tomorrow (yes, on a Saturday).  I have mixed feelings about it.  On one hand, it could be a very fun job.  On the other hand, this was a posting on Craigslist and the person wants to meet on a Saturday and it's at their "office" but what if they really just want to steal my kidney or something?  Yes, I know that I am probably being ridiculous... probably because I read far too many "true crime" books.  Assuming that I am not murdered, I'll let you know how it goes!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Weird Week

It has certainly been a bizarre week.  The first three days of this week I got nary a phone call or email about jobs and then **Whammo** I had an interview on Thursday and have one scheduled for Friday.  It's also been the week of responding to ads that seem to want an essay rather than a normal cover letter in response.  I can't help but wonder if these are legitimate jobs or if these people have nothing better to do than read these (and, presumably, make fun of the people writing them).  One of the ads I responded to had posted another ad about three weeks ago, said they got 150+ responses and not one person from that batch was offered an interview.  I am not expecting that they will respond to me, even though I believe that I wrote a clever (but professional) response.

I went to an agency on Thursday and they want to deduct the cost of a background investigation AND the charge for a drug screening from applicant's first paychecks.  Honestly, that's ridiculous and is akin to kicking someone when they're down. Ok, let's see, let's use me as an example... I haven't worked in over 2 months, I get about 1/3 of my former salary from UI and you want to take nearly $100 from my first paycheck? Are you INSANE?  This, of course, set a rather sour tone for the interview and I sincerely doubt that I shall hear from them again.  Which suits me just fine because I don't think I really want to work with people who want to run a racket like this.

I know, I know... I should just suck it up and take my lumps if it gets me a job, right?  It just makes me angry when people want to take advantage of people who are in situations that are not of their own creation. I didn't do anything wrong, I just happened to be working for a company that fell on hard times economically and decided that dumping me would save them some money.  Honestly, though, my salary for a month was way less than what they pay for their lease.  I really hate being expendable.

So, we shall see whether this interview tomorrow is fruitful.  I had really hoped to hear from the job I interviewed for last Thursday...but I can't sit around waiting on wishes... gotta hustle and make things happen!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Insomnia Insanity

It's the wee hours of Saturday. By all rights, I should be in bed. Apparently, I do not have the good sense to go to bed, though and keep combing job sites, looking for things I am qualified for and applying for jobs.  (And then coming here to blog about it).

I actually have quite a bit to get done this weekend that does not involve looking for work.  I know I will feel like a slacker, but there comes a time at which you have to get a grip and realize that you are doing all you can do and then you just... let go.

This week was REALLY slow in the job hunt department as far as interviewing and contact with potential employers.  I suppose there is the fact that I have been out of work for 2 months so I am being viewed as "damaged goods" because, of course, if I was any good at what I do, I would have gotten a job right away.  This is, of course, a fallacy.  I am being selective about what I apply for (to a point). I don't want to take backwards steps, I don't want to take a job I know I will not enjoy and I really don't want to have to worry about getting two jobs (because finding ONE job is proving enough of a challenge).  But, being a realist, I know that if I don't find something that I WANT soon, I will have to settle for whatever is offered.  That does not make me happy.

I need to print out a bunch of stuff so I am probably going to need some ink cartridges soon.  It's insanity, I tell you. But, what do I expect at this hour of the morning, really?

And, with that being said, I think I will actually try to go and get some sleep.

(Except that I am going to take a minute to, once again, complain about the trend of contact simply ceasing when the job is not going to be offered.  I took the time to interview, it would be COURTEOUS if you, Mr./Ms. Employer could take a few seconds to send me a quick email saying "Never again darken our doorstep" so I can quit wondering if I have a chance.  Break up with my via text message, if you must, but at least COMMUNICATE YOUR LACK OF INTEREST with some sort of WORDS and not just complete and total SILENCE!  Thank you and Good Day! or, ummmm...Good Night!)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unexpected Tuesday Internet

Usually Tuesday nights, being writing nights, I have access to internet BUT since I am not working and it is a wine bar.... the temptation to spend money that I do not have to spend is a little overwhelming so I have skipped some writing nights. But tonight we are meeting at a local bookstore which is dangerous because I love books BUT there is no pressure to buy wine.  And I didn't think that they had wifi here, but they have wifi so here I am writing.

It's been a slow week, which I realize is a bit bizarre to say when it's only Tuesday, but I haven't had a lot of contacts this week (I did have a phone interview today and I have a face-to-face interview at another company on Thursday....)  But the emails from the recruiters aren't coming anymore and all of the leads I had have gone cold/stale (not hearing back when I heard I would and not being able to get a response when I try to contact them).  The trend away from common courtesy is disturbing.

Hope you are all having a good week! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday Again

No forward progress last week and so the clock ticks onward.... 65 days.

I woke up at 4AM.  I don't have any appointments today, there is no good reason for me to have been awake so early.  It looks to be a gray and miserable day outside.  I have nothing pending.  Funny how "nothing" can be so stressful.

Not sure what I am going to end up doing today.  There are a few possibilities.  Most likely I am going to end up sitting at the computer and filling out applications/sending out resumes much of the day.  I could (and probably should) do some cleaning.  The trash needs to go out but I don't know that I am feeling quite that ambitious.

I keep telling myself that something has to come along soon.  All of the things that were pending have pretty much gone cold. If I haven't heard anything after a few days, it is usually unlikely that I WILL hear anything new.

So, keep on trying to get things going/move things forward/spark some interest.  Hope you all have a great week!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rough Start

Woke up this morning to a rejection in my email box. Not the way to start off a morning.  Got contacted by an agency a few hours later.  They needed me to take some tests online. No problem.  I get the link, head off to the website.  It was about 11:15AM.

Get to the website, log in, do the data entry test. No problems. Go to take the Excel test and it won't load.  Neither will the PowerPoint or Word tests.  Ok, fine. Maybe it's a browser issue.  Open new browser, return to testing site, log in, try to load Excel test and it won't load.  Hmmm....  Ok, still have one more browser to try, open that up, get logged back in... NOPE.  Won't load the tests.

Contacted the agency guy who sends me a new link.  Same thing.  I try it from my laptop. Nope. Not on either browser I have installed on the lappie. Ok. In desperation I try the housemate's computer (and miraculously don't get vaporized by his security system!).  Nope. Won't run on his computer, either.

I contact the test center's tech support after rebooting both my desktop and my laptop and trying again. Still no luck.  Tech Support has me uninstall and re-install Java. This does not fix the problem.  It's now about 2:30PM (I was on hold waiting for tech support for nearly 45 minutes and then they moved glacially slow having me uninstall and re-install...)  Agency guy calls and wonders why he doesn't have my test results. He mis-understands and thinks I am too stupid to log in.  No, that is not the problem, agency guy.  I explain the REAL problem to him. Tell him Tech Support said they would call me back (not bloody likely because they never asked for my phone number).

I spent until about 7PM trying all sorts of different things... surfed around Google looking for clues.  Fiddled with settings.  Nope, none of it worked.

Now, on the test website they have a "check browser settings" option and they tell you if you can see their logo, you are all set to take their tests.  In ALL of my browsers I see the logo just fine.  I don't think the problem is on my end.

And so, another opportunity goes out the window because I can't take the necessary tests. (The agency is not local, so going into their office to take the tests is not an option).

The only other opportunity to come up today was a job that would be 2.5 hours commute, one-way (so 5 hours round trip, assuming traffic wasn't too bad)  All the money I would make would go into paying for gasoline.  Not worth it.

This was not the best Monday...

Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday....Again...'s noon on Friday. And while the end of the week hasn't officially come, I can say with some certainty that I am probably not going to hear anything more about any employment opportunities this week and I certainly will not be in a new office on Monday morning.

It would be a lie if I were to tell you that I'm anything but totally depressed.  I am trying to maintain a positive attitude but, honestly, I just really want to give up completely.  I don't know what I'm doing wrong and the only conclusion I am able to draw is that simply being ME is what is wrong.  I have good, solid experience. I am a quick study. I have fabulous references.  And I can't get myself a job.  Not even a customer service job that pays way less than I need to live and is the sort of job I could have done 20 years ago.  Nevermind finding a job that will actually use my current skill set.

I'm holding onto the hope that maybe next week will be better.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another Catastrophe...

So, I had an interview today and the guy who was supposed to interview me, a guy who freakin' owns a staffing company, couldn't be bothered to interview me himself.  He sent Someone Else to interview me and Someone Else did a fine job but he cannot hire me.  To be hired I have to talk to Boss Dude and Boss Dude couldn't be bothered to interview me... do you see the problem here?  And so, yet another job for which I am an OUTSTANDING candidate is going to go to someone else.

Here's the backstory to all of this.*  My maiden name was Smith.  Plain. Straightforward. Non-threatening. Then I got married and became Cleanslate.  And apparently Cleanslate makes me some sort of dangerous, fringe fanatic freakshow who should not be given a job.  Now, lest you think I am over-reacting I present the following to you.

I have my resume on (as do millions of other people).  A couple of weeks ago, a friend said she didn't think that Cleanslate was what was keeping people from hiring me. I stated that I have been asked, outright, if I would LEGALLY CHANGE MY NAME in INTERVIEWS....not once I've been offered a job, but in the INTERVIEW stage.  And I know you are probably thinking "my goodness, isn't that  illegal?"  The answer to which is "yeah, probably" but I don't have money for attorneys.  And the people I am interviewing with know that they can get away with this because what unemployed person is going to hire a lawyer to sue a company for something that they can simply claim was never said?  I suppose I could go into interviews wearing a "wire" but the point is to get a job, not sue people until the cows come home.

Anyhow, I got distracted there.  I have my resume on  And to prove to my friend that it was ridiculous that my name was holding me back, she had my permission to post the very same resume that had MsCleanslate on it with one tiny change... to put Ms. SMITH at the top of the resume and post it. And she did.  And in 24 hours, I got 74 views of that resume. And then I took it down.  My MsCleanslate resume has 44 views since July.  THE EXACT SAME RESUME....except for the name.

Now.. in that 24 hours, the company I interviewed with today found my resume. And they called me. And I sent a followup email with the signature MsCleanslate.  But, apparently, the interviewer was expecting Ms. Smith and didn't want anything to do with the dangerous, fringe fanatic freakshow that is Ms. Cleanslate.. WHO IS THE EXACT SAME PERSON AS MS.SMITH EXCEPT FOR THE LAST NAME!

I don't even have words for how this makes me feel.  Part of me thinks I need to save my pennies and just give in and go get my name legally changed.  And part of me thinks that Ms.Cleanslate is WHO I AM. It's a name that fits me and that I wholeheartedly embrace.  I am leaning toward changing my name to "Jane Doe" and fading into complete anonymity.

*for the record, neither "Cleanslate" or "Smith" are my REAL last name....

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Plenty of fish in the sea??

The interview on Friday apparently did not go as well as I had thought. They offered the job to someone else.  I will admit that I spent the weekend thinking about what I was going to wear and planning my route to work with the full assumption that this was going to be the job.  And...well... NO.

That is the third job that I felt I was very well suited for that has rejected me.  The folks at unemployment are telling me, at this point, to set my sights a tich lower.  And I have to disagree with that line of reasoning because taking a job I don't want at a pay rate that doesn't pay the bills is a disservice to both myself and the  employer.  Yes, yes, I know... we are dealing with the government here and logic is not in play.  But still... I just really fail to see how this line of thinking is beneficial to anyone involved.

So, at the moment I am more than a little disheartened and dejected.  I am managing to carry on, but I honestly have no enthusiasm.  I revamped my resume... again.  So, we shall see if the new bait ends up hooking us a juicy offer.

It must be bedtime. I'm making fishing analogies.  Goodnight all!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Clock ticks on...

I had an interview today and I had hoped that today would be the day that I would finally rejoin the world of the Gainfully Employed. Alas, it seems that I will not have any answers until next week which means that yet another weekend will be filled with applying for jobs.

I know there are tens of thousands of people who are out of work for months and even years and that I have very little that I can/should complain about. But that doesn't stave off the feelings of panic and dread that I have, especially since I was penalized for having gotten a week of severance and for some reason they are making me wait two weeks instead of the standard one week waiting period for my unemployment benefits to kick in, but I've been reporting to them since the day I was laid off and am in a position where if I am offered ANY job, I MUST take it or I will lose my benefits so I have to be extremely careful what jobs I am applying for.

I did feel that the interview today went well. I was a little disappointed that the next applicant showed up nearly 15 minutes early which distracted the person conducting the interview and really caused me to not be able to wrap things up the way I would have liked to wrap things up. The final couple minutes were very awkward and I vowed to never encroach on another applicant's time because it is really pretty unfair and honestly pretty rude.  Don't get me wrong. I am all for being punctual. I even showed up at the site over a half hour early, but I didn't actually go to the office I was interviewing at until 5 minutes before my scheduled appointment and I was only that early because the agency rep stated in the email that 5 minutes early was their expectation and I wanted to show that I could follow directions.

I did send a thank-you letter, both by email and by regular USPS mail.  I am hoping that my thoroughness and attention to detail will help me get hired (the agency representative seemed to think it should).

So,  this will be another tense, unsatisfying weekend. Unfortunately. Hope you are all faring well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I just don't understand...

Ok, I have to admit that there is something going on that I don't understand.  I've now been on TWO interviews that were set up through agencies where I was told by the interviewer that I should DEFINITELY hear something by a specific day/time and not only do I NOT hear by that day/time but I can no longer get through by any means to the agency.  I call, the call goes to voicemail and I get no call back. I email and get no response.

Have things really gotten to the point where you are no longer worthy of common courtesy if you fail to be chosen for a job?  Is it really so hard to tell someone "I'm sorry, they went with another candidate"?  Are things really to the point where people are so afraid of delivering bad news that they just disappear rather than taking 5 seconds to send an email?  I mean, you can have a pre-written email that says "we don't like you, please never again darken our doorstep" and then just send it out to the rejected candidates.

I don't understand why common courtesy is no longer common...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Killer Case of The Mondays

I didn't quite finish the big project I started working on Friday, but I have made progress.

I went for the interview today and it did not go well.  Did you ever go to an interview where no matter how you answer the question, your answer will be wrong?  Questions like "So, have you stopped torturing kittens yet?"  Where, even if you've never in your life laid a hand on a kitten in anger, no matter how you answer you're going to end up looking like a sociopath.  Well, that's what this was like except for they were job related questions.... So, I guess they were more along the lines of "So, have you stopped robbing the company yet?"  Where, even if you've never so much as pilfered a pen, there is no answer that will put you in a favorable light.  Such was my interview today.

I guess I can take some consolation in the fact that I looked ok.  I had a nice outfit and my hair was actually fairly cooperative.

So, now I am back to looking for jobs since this interview was really the last thing I had "on deck".  I am trying to not feel too down about it and I am trying to stop myself from replaying it all in my head and picking apart every question and every answer.

Onwards to something bigger and better, right?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trudging Along

Well, I've crossed the 30-day threshold and there are really no strong prospects in sight.  Everything that is on deck has a pretty heavy element of doubt...

I was never able to get any sort of response from the agency that sent me on the interview last Thursday.  I've called and I've e-mailed and have been met with resounding silence.  I'm honestly not really sure what to make of it.

I'm not expecting to hear anything in what remains of this week so I am, again, getting ready to start from Square One again on Monday.  Well, that's not QUITE true.  Earlier this week I was contacted about a position that I hadn't heard anything about for over 2 weeks.  I had a phone interview and they wanted someone to start on Monday. And then everything changed and they will be spending the next couple of weeks doing face-to-face interviews.  Of course, it's a job where the commute is an hour, one way.  And I am relatively ok with that but it is not optimal.  Still, it would be a good job.  So, we'll see if it ends up working out.

I fired off more applications today, so in 2-3 weeks should start hearing about those. (That seems to be the standard delay time).

I've got a big project I want to get done tomorrow.  And I have some other things that are overdue, so that will probably keep me busy for the weekend (along with the usual weekend tasks).  Guess I'd better get some sleep!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ego Check

I had an interview yesterday and the interviewer had said he expected to make a decision by the end of the day and I should hear something early today.  Well, it's almost the close of the business day and not a peep.  I was pretty sure I was going to get an offer so I am pretty humbled that I'm not going to be offered the opportunity.

The job I really want hasn't contacted me, either and it's already been a month going through their process, so I am not really holding out much hope of things moving along (and me getting back to work) too quickly.

There were a couple of prospects that were "hot" a week/week and a half ago that just totally went cold/dead.  I'd be lying if I said I was taking it well.  I am starting to panic. Because if I don't get something soon, I am going to have to start looking at taking jobs that don't pay as well and will need to get a second job in order to pay the bills.

I am trying to maintain confidence and a positive attitude, but really feel like I have gotten a hard reality slap this week and am feeling very rejected and humbled and my spirit is breaking.

I will start anew on Monday.  I'm going to try to not think too much about it this weekend.  But I am pretty heartbroken right now.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Anticipation, Waiting and a possible mess...

I had an interview today for a job that I really, really want.  I interviewed with two people. The first just wasn't impressed by anything I said and I kept getting the feeling that he was waiting for me to apologize for/explain the fact that I've had a number of short-term jobs and I just didn't address the issue at all because of the jobs on my resume, there is one that I left after having three bosses in less than a year and I was going to get my hours cut and all of the best parts of the job taken away and one where they decided they wanted someone bilingual in a language I did not know how to speak.  They decided after hiring (and letting go) 6 people in an 18 month span that this skill was absolutely essential.  All the rest of my jobs, I've been downsized or they have been contract positions with a set end (ok, so one of them, the person I worked for retired) but the point is, I am NOT someone who quits or job-hops.  I have the Resume of Career Catastrophes... a series of events which I did not create or control.

The second person I interviewed with, I really "clicked" with and I would pretty much sell my soul to work with.  There are very few people I meet that I feel a fairly instantaneous connection with, but this was one of those times.

And so, I have written my thank-you letters and now I wait.

In the meantime, I got a call about a contract job and they want me to interview tomorrow (which messes up my plans for the afternoon... I have a standing appointment on Thursdays) but the person who had called me could not even give me an address.  So, hopefully tomorrow morning I will get an address and can figure out the best way to accomplish getting to the interview, rushing home to change and then get to my appointment (because interview clothes are absolutely not appropriate for the appointment).

Wish me luck on getting the job I interviewed for today.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Burning the Midnight Oil

It was not the most productive weekend, therefore, I am putting in a little "overtime" tonight in an effort to get things done.  The nice part about being up late is that it is quiet and there is less of a chance of being interrupted in the middle of whatever you choose to work on.  The down side, of course, is that noise must be kept to a minimum because the rest of the world is sleeping. 

I was contacted about a job last week that was the 3PM-11PM shift.  Second shift is a tough one because you completely lose touch with the rest of the world  You are working when people are home and relaxing and you are sleeping through a majority of normal business hours.  It makes it challenging to have any sort of life outside of work (not that I have a really busy life outside of work, but 2nd shift would essentially rob me of having ANY real social life possibilities).  The pay for the position was well below what it is really viable for me to take, so I decided to pass on the opportunity.

Still... there is something to be said for peace and quiet (another reason that 2nd shift would be hard... apparently no one else where I live works for a living and it is NOISY here during the day, even when the kids are supposed to be in school).

I've got an interview lined up for this week.  I am trying to not get TOO excited but it is a job that I think I'd really like.  And maybe I will hear about the other opportunity that is allegedly "moving forward".  (There's a third possibility, but honestly, it's not very attractive so if it stalls out, I'm fine with that).

Hope everyone has a fantastic week!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nothing to see here...

Honestly, you probably don't want to read this. But I need to write it to get it out of my head.

Every day I feel worse.  Not like I'm coming down with a cold or something like that. I feel worse about myself on an emotional level. I feel less and less valuable every day. I keep waiting for things, bad things, to happen because I just can't see how they AREN'T going to happen.  Pretty much every day I burst into tears at some point.

I don't have friends I can talk to about it and I wouldn't want to burden anyone with it if I did have friends to talk to about it. I feel like Cinderella, knowing that there is a magnificent ball happening at the palace and knowing that I am not invited.  But I don't have helpful mice or a pumpkin coach and I sure as heck don't have a fairy godmother and even typing about this now, my chest is tightening and I feel vaguely nauseous and overwhelmingly sad.  I want to be invited to the Ball. To at least be able to stand at a window of the palace and see the finery within. But I'm not invited & know I am unwelcome.

I've never been part of the "in crowd".  The last few years I haven't owned a TV and so when office talk would turn to the latest episode of American Idol I had nothing to add to the conversation. It was very isolating (even though, frankly, I have ZERO interest in American Idol).

I remember that the last time I felt like this was March 2010. There seemed to be only one way to make things any better.  If I get the news I am expecting, I know what the best option will be.  I suppose that, once upon a time in my youth I was resilient.  Not so much anymore.  Small things cut much more deeply than they should and the comforting words that were present when I was younger are fewer and farther between these days. It has become more difficult for me to believe everything will be ok.

Off now to do some research... Errands to run tomorrow, want to make sure I get everything I need. Won't be time to do extra running around on the weekend and the clock is ticking!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Clock Ticks On...

So, my little unemployed clock ticks on....

I have sent Company X about a dozen resumes since I moved to my current location. I've never gotten a call from them... until today.  And they called me about a job that would, quite frankly, bore me to death.  AND would be a step back in pay.  Every time I manage to make a wage I can live with, I lose the job and then end up having no choice but to take a job that pays less and then I inch my way back up to a good wage, the company goes bankrupt/downsizes/decides to cut all persons with my job title and I take a step back again. (No, I am not quitting or being fired for doing something wrong)

In the past decade, my earnings have spanned a range of $15,000. (Low being $... high being $+15,000).  And it has not been consistent... it's been low paying job, high paying job, low paying job, high paying job, low paying job, high paying job so when someone demands your salary history, they have no real way of pinpointing your actual value.  What they are used to seeing is that say, in 2000 you made $10 an hour. You worked for that company for 3 years and left when you were making $13 an hour.  Then you got a job that paid $13.50 an hour, where you worked for 5 years and when you left that job it was for a job paying $20 an hour and so on.

In my case (this is an example, not at all my real earnings) it's been more like  in 2000 I was making $10 an hour. I got laid off, took a job making $9.50 an hour (and worked a second, sometimes a third job). Worked there for almost 2 years then that company went out of business and I got a job making $15 an downsized after 6 months and took a job that paid $11.50 an hour, that was a contract position that lasted 8 months and then the contract ended and I got a job making $20, which lasted for 6 months before I got downsized and because of circumstances took a job for $12 an hour... and had a second job.  The point being there has been no steady progression but I have a threshold of "this is what I NEED to make in order to not have to work two (or more) jobs".  I live in a very inexpensive apartment in a not so good part of town.  I ended up shouldering all of the marital debt in my divorce, so I have to keep making payments or my credit gets trashed and nearly every employer these days runs a credit check so defaulting is NOT AN OPTION.  The internet is pretty much my one luxury.  The rest of my money pays the bills and keeps a roof over my head. I haven't got a dime saved for retirement.  I (thankfully) do not have student loans (of course, I am being hurt by not having a degree, but the crippling debt I would have had to shoulder would be worse than trying to convince employers that real world experience is just as valuable as being able to quote something you learned in a textbook).

And so, the clock ticks on... And only time will tell what happens next...

Friday, July 27, 2012

No Progress

I wish I could tell you that the interview the other day went fabulously and that I am once again gainfully employed. Alas, such is not the case (as you might have figured out from the county clock on the sidebar).

I'm not sure what went wrong. I really thought that things, while a tad weird, went ok.  I met with someone who works in the office but not really for the company I'd be working for. The interviewer was an outside consultant who had no HR experience and seemingly no interview experience.  I did the best I could given the situation to try and sell myself as an excellent candidate for the position but have heard nothing which I am guessing means that they are no longer interested in me. I was told by the interviewer that I should hear, likely that day, from my initial contact person.  Well, it's the end of the week and... nothing.

Ok, so... gotta move on.  But really, how hard would it have been for the initial contact to shoot me an email saying "you know, we've decided to go a different direction".  So, yes, I am disappointed and feel confused about what went wrong.

I have also found a trend on applications that I am not enjoying.  Applications asking for graduation dates which makes it pretty easy for them to decide that you are too old for them to consider hiring. Not impressed, folks.  Age discrimination is allegedly illegal. And yet, they find "weasel" ways around it.. like asking the year you graduated from high school.

Also, I was contacted by an agency that said they were going to send me an email and then I heard NOTHING from them. Again, just tell me you aren't interested so we can both move on. Hrumph.

I should get to bed now, it's going on 2:30AM and I think my insomnia is considering giving me a break and letting me sleep...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Interview - Round One

I have an interview tomorrow. I had a phone interview with this company last week and tomorrow will be Round One of the face-to-face interviews.  Other than a couple of rejections and a couple of dead ends, there hasn't been much forward progress, so I am looking forward to this but, of course, have some trepidation, as I always do, going into a situation where I am uncertain of the outcome.

I am thinking a great deal about appearance related things. I have put a clear coat of polish on my nails and I am agonizing over what to wear, what do do about makeup and the like.  I am just not very good at the feminine arts as I have generally regarded them as a waste of time over the years.  I know that not being the pretty one has cost me a job more than once. And I got one job because the boss's wife was a jealous woman and the boss wanted to "hire someone so unattractive that (my wife) could not complain about her".

So, think good thoughts in my direction as I head off to the interview tomorrow!  I'll let you know if I make it to Round 2 or if this will be "Game Over"... at least for this position.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Schedule/Time Management

When I am not working, I try to manage my time well. I know that I must devote time to the job search but I also know that sitting in front of a computer 10+ hours a day with no break will do me no favors physically.

I try to do my hardcore search activities Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then Tuesday and Thursday I use to do errands, work on housework and attempt to keep myself from becoming a completely worthless lump.  That doesn't mean I don't do any searching on Tuesday & Thursday, just that I diversify my activities more on those days.

I've already reached the point that I have no idea what day it is. I try to mostly take weekends off from the search only because getting burned out and being "at work" all of the time is not healthy.  It's not healthy when you are working for an employer and it's not healthy when you are "freelancing" (or searching for a new job).

So, I am keeping quite busy. I have an errand to run outside of the house tomorrow, not far from home.  I think I will try to get in a workout tomorrow, as well.  I've gone from walking 5000+ steps a day to around a  thousand and feel like I need to be more active.  And I have a bunch of shredding I need to do (I save it for "down time" and haven't gotten to it for quite some time.... way past due!)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Weird Feeling

It feels weird that it is Sunday night and I am not mentally planning my workweek. I have things on my personal agenda for the week, to be sure, but it's weird that I won't have to get up in the morning and I won't have to worry about the things that I normally worry about on a weekday.

The problem I have with being off work (aside from the lack of a paycheck) is that I need to have a great deal of self-discipline to use my time well and to get things accomplished. So many shiny distractions.  But, I have worked as a contract employee enough that I am sortve used to having to have an office mindset even while at home.

Still, I feel a certain lack of purpose when I am not working and I am more than a little worried about a number of small things and worried that I am going to have a big fight over unemployment (because even though they TOLD me I was being laid off, this would certainly not be the first time that someone I worked for was less than truthful). And I am hoping that I will get a good reference from them, but if there is a kerfuffle about unemployment, that will definitely make things weird.

Well, I have a few things to get done before bed, so I'd best get to doing them. Goodnight!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th was indeed unlucky...

About five minutes to 5PM this afternoon, the bossman called me into his office and I was pink slipped.  Budget stuff... Lack of work...  A familiar tune to me (sadly).  

I had planned to work for the company until the owners retired (which I figured would be another 5-10 years) Now, 19 months later, I'm again looking for work.  I know that this is not my fault but I feel like I've failed nonetheless.  And I know that people won't be able to get past the short term jobs I've had (many have been short-term contracts and I state as much, but it never seems to make a difference) so I will have an uphill road to finding a new job.

On the positive side, I will have new tales of job hunting to regale you with. I may be able to blog more frequently (keeping an eye, of course, on making sure I am making the most of my job hunting time).

Funny thing... the bus routes were slated to change at the end of this month and I would have had to travel pretty much my whole commute by bus instead of being able to take the train.  So, the positive here is that I HOPE I can find employment closer to home or at least with a reasonable commute.

So.... Friday the 13th goes down in my book as being pretty unlucky.  And it's back to the drawing board for me!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Numbers are an ILLUSION!

People will tell you that they like working with numbers because numbers don't lie.  Well, I don't know what numbers they are working with but I assure you that numbers DO lie....or at least they are not clear, straightforward representations of the truth.  There are RULES to numbers and you have to work within the rules and even then, sometimes, the numbers are not what they seem to be. They are not a straightforward representation of the real picture. And for someone who is not a native number wrangler (and I am NOT a native number wrangler, I eye numbers very warily) the world of finance remains somewhat a mystery to me.  Oh sure, for a year and a half I have been making things work but I seldom understand how or why what I do works.  Often, I know what the desired outcome is... all I need to do is get the numbers available to represent the answer I know is expected.  It's not ALWAYS that easy, but there are times that it is and I just have to figure out what goes where in the occasion to produce the desired outcome.  I am getting a little better at being able to look at a spreadsheet and figure out what I need to fix in order to produce the desired outcome.  Sometimes I don't get it at all.  Those are the worst because then I have to go ask the boss questions and she IS a native number wrangler (no, I don't understand why someone who is good with numbers hired me to work with the numbers when there are SO many other things about the business that would suit my talents better. *sigh

That said, I stay with the job because I am still learning things and don't get yelled at too much.  I do wish sometimes that I could record interactions so that when I am told to do something a particular way and then 2 months later when I'm asked why I am doing something a certain way and, by the way, that way is all wrong, I could pull out the recording of being told to do it that way.  Oh well, every job has it's flaws, right?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Long and Winding Road

Nothing overly interesting happening on the work front lately, which is why I've not posted. I have, however, started taking mass transit to work. For me, this is a train ride and a bus ride. I've been fortunate enough to get a ride to the train station in the mornings and home from the station at night, which has made the whole thing infinitely more tolerable.

The train part of the journey has actually been fine. I don't know if the train is still a novelty to me which is why I don't mind it or if it is because it usually moves along pretty quickly so I don't have time to be annoyed. The bus part of the trip is arduous on the best days. Monday it was pretty awful because a bus was late and all of the people who would normally take the earlier bus PLUS all the people who would normally take the bus that I ride, ALL packed into the bus. The bus I usually ride usually has no empty seats. With two busloads of people packed in, there were people standing in the aisle from the very front of the bus to the very back of the bus. Fortunately, everyone had a pretty "we're all in the same boat, so let's make the best of it" attitude about it, which made things nicer/easier. It always helps when people aren't surly about situations. We all (eventually) got where we were going but it is not an experience I hope to have to endure again (but I am sure that I will... because buses are late all the time, it's just the way mass transit works).

Since I had something I needed to do after work tonight, I took the car today. I stopped for coffee this morning....because I could. It was lovely. No one coughing on me, no people talking loudly on their cell phones, just me and the morning radio show guys. I got to work a little early, even. I was surprised that there was no one parked in what had been "my" spot, back when I was driving every day.

I'm off work tomorrow, which means I have a long weekend. It will be glorious to not have to answer to the beck and call of an alarm in the morning. I have a mile-long to do list and we will see what I actually end up getting done. If you celebrate Easter, I hope that you have a lovely Easter.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Accounting for Words

I have been very fortunate in my life to run into people who are very complementary to me in terms of their skillsets. One of these talented people is the owner of a lovely business called Words and Numbers.

She's my "go-to" person when I am not sure what the Generally Accepted Accounting Principle is for a certain bit of information that is lofted onto my desk at work. It is good to have a person like that when you are an Admin. who is doing much (very unfamiliar) accounting work. She is also Xero (I am pretty sure I am spelling that correctly) Certified and an extremely talented writer.

Since I don't believe that any of us is well served by standing in our little corner of the world shouting about how wonderful we are, I decided that I should let MY corner of the Internet know about Words and Numbers. She didn't ask me to do this. She's not paying me to say any of this, this is just the sort of networking that makes the business world (especially the business world of solopreneurs) go 'round.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Not Riff Raff

Just when you think you have things figured out, something weird happens. A friend of mine interviewed for a job about a month ago and didn't hear from the company and assumed that the opportunity was no longer available (a reasonable assumption)... So imagine friend's surprise when the phone rings today and the company wants to do a second interview! Follow-up on this will be done (friend is traveling for business right now but company expressed interest in following up when availability is more readily known).

Have you ever registered for a seminar that turned out to not be what you thought it would be? That was my experience today. It wasn't a BAD seminar, it was just not what was expected and it's a little annoying when the seminar leader gets surly when you have information to share with the class after they've asked for questions. I also find the process of being a VIP member and being asked for identification a little maddening. Most of the time being a VIP means you don't have to be bothered with proving that you are not the riff raff. Oh well.

I need to figure out something to do about my footwear. The shoes I wear on a daily basis are just not really suitable, but dress shoes are not appropriate, either. Need to find some sort of happy medium.

The rest of the week will be busy. I need to go grocery shopping after work tomorrow night as I have an obligation on Thursday night. I suppose that I could wait until Friday but just getting it over with tomorrow would be better.

Tired and sore tonight. Should try to get to bed early. Won't happen, but I should try.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Very Long Short Week

As is usual when you have a week that is a day short of a full work week, this past week seemed very long. And the next three weeks are going to be absolute insanity as I have classes and other things going on so I have three 3-day weeks in a row coming up and there is no reduction in workload so I will be incredibly busy (and likely incredibly stressed out).

I had every intent of finishing up the 1099's this week (you have to put a 1096 "cover sheet" on them and mail them to the Infernal Revenue Service (spelling intentional)). However, there are still people who have not responded to my urgent requests for W-9 forms (that I have been bugging them about for 2 months now) and without the information I can't finish up what I need to finish up. I am, as you might imagine, somewhat less than pleased.

I hope to get back here at some point or points during the next three weeks, but if I don't it is only because I am insanely busy and I will then have to come back and write a long post catching you up!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How Not to Impress Applicants

This is not actually about something I directly experienced, but rather, is something a friend just experienced. However, I have experienced similar in the past and was not impressed.

Dear Potential Employer,

I came for an interview at your company. I was qualified for the position. I was dressed nicely. I had showered. I had a copy of my resume and a copy of my references. I didn't stumble on any of the questions you had in the interview and thought the interview went well. I left your facility really wanting to work for your company. I sent a thank-you letter (as applicants are supposed to do). The one hitch was that because of my current job, I needed an answer fairly immediately. I let you know that and you indicated that you would have an answer for me by that time.

The time for the answer came and went. I called you, I got voicemail. I left a very polite message. You finally called me back and gave me a non-answer. You told me you'd decided to interview through the end of the week. But you didn't tell me no.

I held out hope, then, that once you had concluded the interview process that you would perhaps give me a call with a definite answer. 5:00PM Friday came and went with nary a call or an email. Apparently, my time has no value to you. Good to know.

I am left to wonder what went wrong. Was 15+ years of experience not adequate? Obviously you thought at one point that I was worth hiring but then could not even extend the courtesy of a short email to tell me you'd decided to hire someone else? A little hint... you can store a "form letter" type thing to send as an email. It'd probably take a skilled Admin. 3 minutes to write.

I'm disappointed, potential employer. I expected better of you.


Potential Employee in Limbo

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sometimes predictable is a good thing...

Because I have always worked office jobs, which tend to be 40 hours a week (unless doing freelance work) I have pretty much always had a fairly predictable paycheck. So, I tend to take that sort of thing for granted.

Recently, I was talking to a friend who works as a truck driver. He drives all over the US and is what is referred to as a "company driver" meaning that the company he works for owns the truck he drives. To put it in a context that might be more familiar, it's like an apartment situation in a way. You don't own your apartment but you live there and if maintenance needs to be done you call the office and they take care of it. Some truck drivers own or lease the truck that they drive which is more like living in condominium. You "own" your condo and if something goes wrong, you are responsible for paying for whatever needs to be done.

However, there are a number of expenses company drivers pay and then submit for reimbursement. Which is fine if the company decides that whatever was paid is ok with them. And while there are guidelines, sometimes a driver pays for something he believes he will be reimbursed for and that never happens because the company decides that it doesn't meet their criteria. You are also not paid for any "down" time. So, the time you are being loaded or unloaded is all unpaid. You are also at the whim of where the dispatcher sends you. Meaning that one pay period you may have a couple hundred miles and another you may have a couple thousand miles. This means that one week you may get a check for $10.00 and another week a check for $200.00. Meanwhile, the bills that you have keep coming and the people sending those bills don't care that your income was only $10.00 this week.

The presentation when you first start driving is that you will "average" 3000 miles per week. At the mileage rate paid, that's about $700 a week. Not bad, right? Except that you have to factor in that you are only allowed by Federal Law to drive a certain number of hours in any given day and then there is another rule about how many hours you can work in a particular week and if you run over that and are stopped for a random inspection, this can lead to huge fines and/or the suspension/revocation of your license.

I am guessing that for someone who is single, has no children, no debt and maybe has a friend they can stay with so they don't have to maintain an apartment, truck driving might not be a bad deal. But if you are looking for a steady paycheck, this isn't your gig. And there is no trucking company in the world who will offer a weekly base salary + mileage because they'd argue that their expenses if they did that would be way too high. And maybe they would. It's not a business model I've explored extensively.

I can say that the conversation was an eye opener and made me grateful for my predictable paycheck.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

1099 = The Bane of My Existence

I have to get the 1099s out the door by the 31st of January. I started this project way later than I should have. And discovered today that the project will take 3 days longer than I have. No, we can't call a temp to help. I will have to put in some extra long hours and suck it up because I thought I had a file and it turns out that the file is corrupted and is 2 days worth of heavy duty work to recreate. I am less than happy.

So, tomorrow I will get done what I can get done. Friday I have a class all day (Ironically, the class is on Project Management, which I apparently needed to take a couple of Fridays ago to manage the project that is now the monkey on my back!).

I do not like "year end" stuff. And I should have known better about the 1099 project. I should have known to start it weeks ago. But I had other things that were a priority then.

Best get to bed so I can tackle the project tomorrow with a (relatively) clear head.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Money to Burn

I am not a religious person. I am vaguely spiritual. This pretty much never comes up in the workplace but when I work from home I tend to do so in the glow of a candle. Oh, I have electricity, but I tend to light the candle when I work from home and burn a stick of incense and they are both "Money Drawing" candles which I stop and think about/meditate on now and then as I work both because there are a number of people on my mental list that I pray for and the candle is a really visual reminder for me to do that and the other is to stop and analyze if what I am doing is something that has the potential to bring in some money.

This process doesn't replace the need to have a "day job" where I work for someone else, but all of the work I do at home that is actually "work" (as opposed to time spent on the internet for leisure, housework, etc.) is something I hope I can eventually do to replace the necessity of working for someone else.

I am going to try to get to bed early tonight. I have had a series of late nights lately and have another planned for tomorrow and don't want to be too tired to enjoy it.

Also, when I was going out tonight, a young man (preteen) asked if he could carry my trash out for a dollar. I didn't have a dollar but I had a $5 bill and I have been doing some cleaning so gave him a couple of heavy bags to carry. And he did the job, got his money and seemed happy. Sortve nice to see a young person with some ambition. And I realize that saying that makes me sound about 100 years old.

So, I guess I do have a bit of faith, burning money candles and all. If nothing else, they assist me in remembering all of the people that I say a little prayer for.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Order your Chaos

I've always been a very organized person at the office. This penchant for "a place for everything and everything in its place" falls apart at home, though. I TRY to keep things neat, organized and under control at home but it always ends up falling apart and I find myself scrambling to find things, keep things in order and have actual work surfaces that are not piled high with "stuff".

My current desk at the office is far less than optimal. I often have multiple projects at any given time and I have things stashed here and there because there just is not enough room on my desk to keep everything "in progress" out and not get into a stack on a stack situation. I have to have room to use my computer and my adding machine (don't judge me, I know there is a calculator on the computer but it doesn't run a tape and sometimes I need to attach the tape to show Bosslady my reason for coming up with a number that I entered somewhere).

I am trying to keep my home office from falling into disarray, as well. I have multiple projects and need more "real estate" but it just isn't practical in the space I have available. Sometimes I end up cleaning things off the desk that I need and then can't find them when I really need them. Case in point, this morning I needed to pay the utility bill. It is one of three bills I pay with a check every month (all of them related to my apartment because they refuse to get with the program and get online!) and the checkbook was not in its place. Fortunately, I did recall a conversation with myself when I moved it which helped me to be able to find it quite quickly, but it would have been nice if I had just put it back where it was supposed to be. Sometimes I am my own worst enemy.

I am working on a big project. I am hoping that the end result is that I am MUCH more organized. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Same Shit, Different Year

Early last February, I contacted a company that my company buys a product from regarding some bills that we had been charged sales tax on and we are tax exempt so should not have been charged tax.

In April, I was FINALLY contacted by Person A at Very Big Corporate Entity (VBCE) who said "just short-pay the next invoice the amount of the taxes that you should not have been charged".

In May, we got an invoice and I short-paid that invoice per the instructions of Person A.

In June, I got an email from Person B at VBCE saying "Hey! You are past due! You did not pay your invoice in full!" I responded that Person A had instructed me to do so.

In August, I got a fax from Person C at VBCE saying "I'm in the collections division and you are way past due and now you have 2 more invoices.. PAY UP DEADBEATS" to which I responded that Person A at VBCE had told me to do so and that I had informed Person B of that in June. I got a response that indicated that both Person A and Person B no longer worked for VBCE and why was I short-paying invoices? I explained that we were tax exempt. VBCE asked for a copy of our Tax Exempt Certificate, which I faxed.

In September, I got a fax requesting our Tax Exempt Certificate from Person D. 2 days later I go the same request, via email, from Person E. I faxed and emailed copies of the Tax Exempt Certificate to both parties.

In October, I got a harshly worded SECOND REQUEST letter from Person D stating that they still did not have our Tax Exempt Certificate on file. Now, I want to note here that VBCE is about 1500 miles from my office, so I cannot just drive over there. I re-send the Tax Exempt Certificate to Person D. A week later I get yet another invoice where we are being charged sales tax. I contact Person D only to be told that they no longer work for VBCE. I contact Person E and find out it is his last day with VBCE and he can't really help me, but he gives me the contact email for Person F who is taking over his files. I email Person F about the new invoice and that we are not supposed to be charged sales tax and get a request for a copy of our Tax Exempt Certificate, which I sent to Person F. Person F responds that she will get back to me. A week goes by and I've heard nothing from Person F. Then I get an email (at 7AM) requesting our Tax Exempt Certificate. I respond, with Certificate attached at 8:30AM that very same day and get an autoresponse that this is Person F's last day with the company.

At this point I admit I sortve snapped. I fired off an email asking why this was taking months to resolve and I'd sent multiple copies of our Tax Exempt Certificate and had corresponded with now SEVEN different people and pleaded with Person F to fix things. Person F did respond saying she couldn't fix it, I needed to contact Person G.

I contacted Person G who... wait for it... REQUESTED A COPY OF OUR TAX EXEMPT CERTIFICATE. I enumerated to her each person that I had sent it to already but also attached it to the email I sent. (There are apparently no working phones at VBCE because I have BEGGED for a phone number to be able to speak with someone and every single request has been summarily IGNORED).

Person G contacts me at the beginning of November and says that she got a memo from Person H saying that they can't enter our tax exempt status into their system because the Tax Exempt Certificate says "Small Corp, Inc" and they have us in their system as "Small Corp" and since it isn't an exact match, the certificate is meaningless to them.

And so, I get a valid certificate which has "Small Corp" on it and send it off to Person G and Person H. That was 22 November 2011.

This morning I got an email from Person I at VBCE. Person I states that they have the email thread from Person G (who is no longer with VBCE) and did I ever send Person H the Tax Exempt Certificate and, by the way, we have an outstanding balance that needs to be resolved immediately. I refer Person I to the very email thread that she sent to me, specifically the 22 November correspondence in which I state "I have sent a copy of the Tax Exempt Certificate from "Small Corp" to yourself (Person G) and to (Person H)".

I then send Person I a copy of the Tax Exempt Certifcate and request that she acknowledge receipt of the Certificate. Her response? "I will. Send. A email to Person H. And ask whether this was received." (Punctuated in the quotes as it was in her email).

I respond that I would like the receipt of the certificate acknowledged. Response (3 hours later?) "I told you I'd asked Person H. She's out of the office until next week. Harrassing me will not get this resolved overnight. You are very unprofessional and it's YOUR fault that it's taken so long for this to be resolved".

Oh no she didn't....

Yes, she did. She has blamed a failure of THEIR staff on me. I have complied with every single request that they've made of me and somehow this is MY fault? It's my fault that 7 people before her who were sent the certificate by fax, email and US Postal Mail have not received it? It was my fault that it took them from February to November to see that "Oh, this corporation name does not match what we have in our system" even though they've been sending us invoices and we've been paying them? UNBELIEVABLE.

I responded that I have no hope of this being resolved overnight or, quite frankly of it being resolved at all given the history of this whole matter. I told her I did not need a response from her, I will deal with Person H when they come back to the office next week.

Meanwhile, I will begin searching for another source of the product we get from VBCE. Because a year to handle a simple issue is 11 and a half months too long.

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year, New Resolve

So, I didn't update much in 2011. I attribute this to having worked all year (yay!) and therefore I did not have large blocks of time in which to blog nor did I have too many catastrophes to blog about. This is both good and bad. Good that I didn't have catastrophes, bad that it caused me to neglect posting to my blog.

So, my resolution for this year is to get a post in at least once a week. I also want to do more connecting with other bloggers and get to reading more blogs. To that end, I will try to visit the blog of anyone who comments on my blog as, really, that is the polite thing to do and I need to be much better about doing it.

I hope that everyone had a Happy and Safe New Year celebration. Are we all ready to get to work now? While I would like a few more days off, I am ready to get back to work, too.

Wish me luck on avoiding career catastrophes for another year! See you soon!