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....