Unemployment Soup

21 11 2011

I have officially moved back to San Diego. I live in a house with three roommates. One of which happens to be a one-year-old. There’s nothing sexy about living with a teething toddler, but I myself am dealing with wisdom teeth pushing through my gum line, and with no dental insurance to cover the cost of the minor surgery, I’m in the same boat the little one is: reduced to screaming and crying, annoying her parents, my other two roommates. At least it hurts to eat.

I am currently looking for work in the general field of my degree, mass media, which includes anything from public relations to sign spinning. I’ve sent out about 20 applications and see only about one interview per week. It’s a slow process, but I feel optimistic. I’m holding out for something that really rubs me the right way. I’m not looking for some one-night-stand. I want to take root somewhere, grow and reap the harvest. This is my full-time job right now: looking for work.

But I guess that’s not just it. I’ve also been babysitting for my roommates when I can; learning that small children are not at all as scary as I thought they might be. We actually have a really good time together, singing and dancing in our pajamas while mommy and daddy are out working and being adults. I’ve started my first book, a memoir, and I’m about 50 pages deep into it as of today. I’ve been running, a lot. I’d like to get back into long distance running, and though it’s been absolutely revolting, the thought of 4 to 5 miles a day, I am pushing past it and finding myself totally consumed by runners high. I sing every Wednesday in Carlsbad, I walk the dogs, and I drink tons of coffee. I checked out the complete collection of Kurt Vonnegut’s work. And when I have time, I write college papers at competitive prices for students. Some people seem to think there’s an ethical problem with this activity, but I disagree.  As long as University of Phoenix is in business, I have no problem helping people achieve a bachelor’s degree. If we’re talking standards of excellence and intellectual achievement, today is not the age to argue over who wrote a silly paper about trade, deficits, and misconceptions in our political economy. I’m just saying. I write almost everyday, but lately it’s been geared towards finding employment and impressing those people with the way I use the word. Funny story:

So last week I had an interview with a reputable travel/timeshare company here in San Diego. Now, this was a very important interview because the job itself seemed almost too perfect. I was interviewing with a woman over a position that would basically require me to manage social media projects for resort destinations in Mexico and Hawaii. Writing stories about travel! Yeah I know. Needless to say I was very excited and didn’t want to mess it up. But I was nervous as hell, and totally sweating as I walked down a long hall to the reception desk where the woman sitting there had seen me coming for at least 2 minutes. The eye contract was weird for that length of corridor. Anyways, afterwards it was really hard to say how it went down, because I didn’t do a whole lot of talking. The interviewer talked mostly about the company, citing the abundance of intellectual capital established within the team of people who had been there for decades, which to me translated to: Everyone here is old, and you…you are very young. And I get that. I just turned 25 this month (thank you all for the birthday wishes), and to an established company with lots of money on the line, I don’t know that I would hire some hot-shot who struts up in a leather jacket. Yeah, I did that. I actually changed my outfit in the last seconds before I left the house because I didn’t think the blue Ralph Lauren oxford was an accurate representation of who I am as a writer/employee. So I threw on a yellow blouse, stilettos, leather jacket and eye liner and headed for the door. I thought I looked pretty cool, which in my opinion, is important for any marketing professional. If you don’t look cool, how is anyone ever going to believe that you’re capable of creating coolness? Which is essentially what we do.

Like I said, the interview went okay, but it was hard to read the woman across from me, a woman who I had done extensive Google searches on in the hopes of gathering any personal information that would give me a leg-up in conversation with her. So when I mentioned that I knew she enjoyed photography, and shoots with a Canon DSLR camera, I wasn’t sure if she was impressed or ready to call security. In this economy, even the person being interviewed should come prepared. Know who you are dealing with. Be ready to make small talk if the opportunity presents itself. But with the interview not affording many opportunities to reveal what a super-secret-internet-detective I am, much of what I learned fell flat. At the end of the conversation I had with her, I didn’t know if I had been interviewed or If I had just had a 45 minute anxiety attack; both were possible, but I wasn’t sure. But then, I was totally surprised when the woman brought up this blog. She said that she had seen it, enjoyed the writing/story and gave me the opportunity to meet with her because the blog ‘stood out’ to her. I thought that was awesome. The pet-project I started over a year ago is now working to get me interviews with perspective employers. Who would have thought? In retrospect, it reveals my growth as a writer in an almost tangible form. I can see the transitions, the shifts from one thought to another, and I’m just glad I was able to write it all down. To keep it as record the things that I have done, the  ideas I’ve had, and the dreams that I hope to accomplish in the future. I’m still not sure if I got this job yet, but I have another interview tomorrow, and so on. Maybe it’s not a funny story, but it’s pretty cool I think. And since cool is part of the business, I guess I’m on the right track.

So that’s it. That’s where I’m at. It’s not as adventurous as I wish it was, not as inspiring as living and working abroad. But it’s a new kind of adventure, one I look forward to sharing with all of you.

The man checking me out at the grocery store yesterday says to me, “You sure are buying a lot of soup.”

And so I say, “Well, it’s cheap. And my erupting wisdom teeth make chewing difficult. And, oh yeah! I’m poor! I’m unemployed, and I have no income and can’t collect unemployment! So yeah! I’m buying a lot of fucking soup!”

I have my bad days too.

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4 responses

22 11 2011
22 11 2011
Sebastian Maselli

Welcome back home.

25 11 2011
apronheadlilly

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Sorry you are out of work, and I hope something surfaces soon!

7 01 2012
Talent Show « Whitneybutler's Blog

[…] around me. And while there  is no evidence to the contrary, besides all that science stuff, unemployment has provided abundant opportunities to reflect, and question the nature of my […]

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