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Posted April 23, 2006 by

Yesterday I Woke Up Sucking On Lemon

Let me clear a few things up:
In regards to my two interviews awhile back—
Neither of them has ended happily. The job opening that I had an actual interview for…they went with someone else. Someone who wouldn’t need to relocate. And the meeting I had through a referral? I sent a follow up email about a week ago, and I have yet to hear back.
Secondly—my current situation with my boss.
In the comments I have received on my previous entries where I’ve mentioned him, it was suggested to me that I be honest with him, and that we try to work towards a better environment.
Let me put it this way: there is no way to turn this car around. It is going too fast, heading for a cliff, and when it drives off, it will fall to the bottom and explode.
My boss is the kind of man who seems to start arguments for fun with the other people who work there. He’s the kind of guy who sees nothing wrong with taking a half day of work so he can go play golf, and then doesn’t come in at all the next day because he’s too hung over. He’s the type of person who cannot articulate himself, so when he gets frustrated with his own shortcomings, he becomes condescending.
Bottom line—there is no talking to him to try and make a better work environment. He wouldn’t even know what a healthy workplace is like.
Finally—where do we go from here?
First and foremost, I’m using my B.A. in theatre everyday, playing the role of someone who likes their job and sees value in what they do.
And there may be a light.
My girlfriend has the prospect of getting a job in the office where she is currently a student worker. If this comes through, I’m leaving town, whether I have a job to go to or not. I’m getting tired of being turned down for jobs I’m applying for just because I’d have to relocate. And I’m so tired of living in this city and my situation at work. It’s time for me to move on. The idea of not having another job lined up is a little frightening—maybe more to my mother than to myself. But in all honesty, anyone can pick up a part time job at Target. And after the year I’ve had, wearing a red polo shirt and stocking shelves doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea.

Posted April 13, 2006 by

I Am The Snake Who Bites His Own Tail

Last Friday, I had two, not one, but two job interviews.
You may be asking yourselves, “how does this happen? How does he do it?” How did I go from getting no response to résumés that I send out, or a mailbox full of rejection letters to two interviews?
There’s an expression that says something along the lines of: “It’s all in whom you know.” That is how I came across the first interview. Let’s not even call it an interview at this point—because in all honesty, it wasn’t. It was an informal meeting.
Let’s start at the beginning.
My old boss from college had been keeping an eye out for any job openings in the Minneapolis area that I should look into. A few months ago, somehow, he met someone who works at a company in the Twin Cities, and mentioned me to this person. He got this person’s contact info, and passed it along to me.
I sent in my information, and they told me they didn’t have any openings at the moment, but that they would keep me in mind. A few weeks later, I followed up, just to see if there had been any change. This time, my info was passed along to someone higher up, and that person contacted me.
It just so happened that the week they contacted me was the week I was going to be in the area for another interview. So I made an appointment to come in before my other interview.
This meeting lasted only a half hour—drastically shorter than I thought it would. I talked to the person who had contacted me, and no job was ever really offered. Really, no opening was ever mentioned to me throughout the course of all the emailing I did with this person. He mentioned they need a lot of equipment installers, and I said that I really wasn’t interested in doing that. At that point, I felt like I had kind of botched things, but I also didn’t want to say yes to something that I have no interest in doing. That’s kind of how I ended up in the job I’m stuck in right now.
My plan was to kill time between appointments somewhere in the cities—a coffee shop or whatever. But I had too much time, so I ended up driving back to where I had been staying; an hour away.
I left a few hours later for my second interview, and this actually was an interview. It was for an audio/visual technician opening at a very swank hotel in the Cities. I met with the head of the department, and then with his boss, and then with a woman who worked in the H.R. department, and an hour and a half later, I was on my way back to my girlfriend’s dorm room.
I thought that one went well—at least better than the morning’s had. This was a job I actually was interested in.
So now here I sit, waiting to find out if they are going to hire me or not. I wait, and I worry. It’s sad really, but I’ve come to a point in my life where I can’t just be happy for something that’s happening—I always have to think more about the negative than the positive. I mean, I should be thrilled that I had a job interview for something that I’d like to do. I’ve only had 2 other interviews since I seriously started looking for another job last November.
But then I think about having to try to throw a move together. How quickly can I move up to the area? How much will it cost me? What kind of apartment can I find? I have to keep my girlfriend in mind. Is it a place she’ll like? Can we afford the rent?
I worry about how poorly things are going to go with quitting my current job with the boss I’ve been leading on for the last six months. Will he understand? Will he be happy for me? Will he fire me right there?
Will I be good at my new job? How nervous will I be? I hope I don’t screw up too badly and they regret hiring me.
It’s things like this that keep me up at night. The worry about life eating away at me. I hope some day to be free from all this. To not have to worry about everything.
Until then—I’ll just keep walking on the eggshells that I find littering my path, and hope that everything goes better than I expect it to.

Posted April 04, 2006 by

Exactly What You Wanted

“What about you? You think you’re going to be around here for a while….”
“Are you happy here?”
“…For the most part, sure. Yeah. I should be around here for a while.”

It’s conversations like this you never expect to have with your boss at 8:15 a.m. on a Saturday morning. But here I am, and here he is, and here we are.
And I’m lying. I am lying through my teeth. I am lying right to this man’s face.
I guess I’m qualified to do that. I have a B.A. in theatre.
It’s month seven of this job, and I’ve been looking for a new one for about six of those. I’ve even had interviews in that period of time, and I’ve just always made up excuses as to why I couldn’t work: “Is it cool if I leave for lunch a little early today?” or “I know I’m taking Friday afternoon and Saturday off, but I was wondering if I could take all of Friday off too? My mom needs me to help her move some boxes in the basement before I go to visit my girlfriend.”
“The reason I’m asking is because I was at home last night thinking ‘Why did he have to leave work early yesterday? Does he have a job interview?’ Well, I thought I’d just flat out ask you.”
“No. I didn’t. I had an emergency I had to take care of in town, and it needed to be done before 4:30.”

Maybe he’s seen through my thinly veiled disguises. And all this time, I thought I was so clever. But this time in question—I really did have an emergency.
When I got home that Saturday afternoon, I started to wonder if I had done the right thing. I hadn’t expected that question to ever be asked of me, especially not at that time in the morning on a Saturday. For a moment, right after he asked me, time stood still, and I thought “well, here’s my chance to be honest.” I could have told him how unhappy I was, how I had been seriously looking for a new job and that I was hoping I would find one very soon. But what would all that honesty have gotten me?
My boss is a very unstable man. And ever since I started getting job interviews rather than “no thank you” letters, I started worrying about how the whole “we need to talk” conversation would go with him. Would he understand? Would he wish me well? Or would his face turn red? Would he say “F—k you,” and tell me to get out?
So when he confronted me, I took that split second when time stood still, and wondered if I wanted to have that conversation now. Or did I want to wait until I had another offer, when the risk of getting fired would give me more time to pack up my apartment?
I chose the lie. To make things easier on myself for the time being. To keep up the illusion that I’m happy with what I’m doing. And to make things harder for when I have to be honest with him.
It’s reminiscent of when I was younger, and I would do something wrong. I wouldn’t tell my mother about it, but when she found out about it, I would be in more trouble than I would have been if I had just told her when it happened.
Hopefully something new will come along—hopefully I will find my ticket out. It’s getting harder to keep this lie up for the time being.

Posted April 02, 2006 by

Long Story Short or The Lesser of Two Evils

I started referring to it as choosing between the lesser of two evils.
Long story short:
Last June, about three weeks into my job search post-graduation, out of desperation, I started asking an acquaintance of mine about where she worked, and if there were any openings. It came up in conversation one day that she videotaped weddings, and with the audio/visual experience I had in college, I figured it was something I could do.
I sent her boss my résumé, and I came in to talk to him. I can’t call what happened that morning a job interview, because there was no interview. I could barely get him to sit down at his desk and talk to me. And when I finally did, he told me he couldn’t hire me at the time.
So it came as a surprise when, a month later, he called me at 8 o’clock in the morning and offered me a job.
I had gotten my wish, or at least at the time, that’s what I thought. It was a way for me to move out of my mother’s house. It was the break I had been waiting almost three months for.
And seven months later—I realize the mistake that I made.
At times, I regret taking that position. It’s made me nothing but miserable since I figured out what kind of person my boss is. Video taping weddings and video production is one thing—but it’s not a professional video production company. It’s an office in the back of the appliance store that he runs. And not only am I standing behind the lens of a camera at a wedding I wasn’t invited to, I am trying to convince some middle-aged farm couple of the benefits of a front-loading washing machine. I am not a sales person, nor will I ever be one.
Yet, here I am, whoring out satellite dishes.
But most of the time, I just answer the phone. And I pray that 5 o’clock comes faster than it did the day before.
Did I make the wrong decision though? I’m unhappy, but I’m out on my own. Had I stayed in my mother’s house, and taken some part time job at a sandwich shop until I found something more solid to move out for—what kind of shape would I be in? I wouldn’t have rent to worry about paying, but at the time, it wasn’t money that I was worried about.
And now, almost a year has passed since this whole mess started. But I’ve learned from my past mistakes. I started looking for a new job back in November. And out of everything that I’ve sent my résumé out to—every writing job I’m not qualified for because I don’t have a degree in English or Journalism—I’ve only gotten two job interviews.
There is hope though—another interview on Friday afternoon. If this works, it would be a godsend. A way out of Dubuque, IA, a way out of my cold apartment, and a way out of my job.
But if the past has taught me anything, it is that I shouldn’t put a lot of faith into interviews. That’s a terrible attitude to have, but after almost a year of “no thank you” letters and after almost a year spent in hell—wouldn’t you feel the same way?
Here’s hoping though.

Posted January 21, 2006 by

The search is over, for now

After multiple close calls and rejections from employers, I finally received my first job offer related to my college major. The job is with a growing biomedical company and is very interesting. I will be testing a computer system that controls an electro-magnetic catheter used in heart surgeries.
In the beginning I will have to work some odd hours and overtime, but I get paid well for my work. Although this is a contract position, it could lead to greater things with the company, and pad my resume.
Excited would be a good description of how I feel. I get paid for doing pseudo heart surgery and playing with a computer! After some long months for searching, I have found an awesome starting position.

Posted December 22, 2005 by

The Interviewing Experience

Many employers like to see not only a solid grade point average, but also a good amount of extra curricular activity. It has been my experience that most of the questions on interviews relate to character traits, leadership positions outside of school, past jobs, and/or other voluntary activities.
During my most recent interview, I was asked about leadership positions before college, and ideas that I gave to a former boss. The interviewer didn’t ask one question about my college experience; however I was required to bring them a copy of my transcript.
Also, I found it interesting that three different people interviewed me: first the recruiter, then the IT director, and then a project leader. After the three-hour process, I was exhausted; however, I did have a good insight into the company.