Well, that certainly didn't take long.
I officially started my job search - what? one or two weeks ago? And, to be truthful, it has been a lackluster experience. Nothing that would prompt the writer's urge to share with the world.
Two weeks ago, I started down the yellow-brick road with a review of my resume, last updated here. It looked okay. Just a small change, replacing the word "present" with the end date of my last job, and - as far as I could tell - that was all the news fit to print. Not especially thrilling, and even my exemplary skills could find no way of turning that into fascinating reading. Of course, I was in a bad mood, just having had my wisdom teeth extracted, so maybe a re-visit is in order. Perhaps I should follow the lead of one of my friends and add "Cat Wrangling" to my list of "Skills", just to see if anyone is really paying attention.
It should at least weed out the drones, of which - if memory serves me - there are many.
I have discovered since that I am still sort of on the fence about whether I am ready for a new commitment to underemployment. Hence my job search has proceeded in a rather halting and haphazard manner. I did apply to a "dream job", a part-time position I would be absolutely perfect for and would love with all my heart, but - of course - I haven't heard anything (nothing new there). Let's call that my "reach" job, because I have not yet given up hope and intend to keep applying to every open position they have until I am hired. This could take some time, so I am in the process of identifying some "safety" jobs, too. I confess that I have not applied to any of them, because every time I make the attempt, I start thinking about someplace I want to go.
What I did do was apply to some temporary agencies. I had assumed that by the word "temporary", it was intended that a native speaker of English would understand "transient, impermanent". Perfect. No long-term commitment required. No headlong rush into job hyperspace. Instead, I found that I was being asked to browse zillions of open "temp-to-hire" positions, none of which were enticing enough to stir me from my ennui. And, BTW, why do companies think it's a good idea to include their stupid-ass company "vision" (bonus points if it's an acronym, double bonus if the acronym is also the name of the company) on their job listings? Do they not understand that there is no extreme of desperation that would induce a reasonably intelligent person to spend the majority of his or her waking hours trying to live up to an acronymous Pharisaism? That leaves the idiots and the crazies. Which probably explains the visions.
A day passed and I received a phone call from one of the agencies. A young lady named Allison, informed me - brightly - that I had a "really great-looking resume" and said that she would like some more information about the sort of "positions I was looking for". I told Allison - also brightly - that I was looking for true temporary, not temp-to-hire, and that I wanted positions in downtown Chicago.
There was a silence. "Oh," said Allison, clearly disappointed. "But you live in the suburbs. We have lots of openings here in the suburbs."
Ah, yes, Allison, I'm sure you do. And with good reason. But I don't drive, thank God, and rely on public transportation, of which - in the suburbs - there is little or none.
By now, Allison was losing interest. Obviously, I was not going to help fill her suburban quota. "I'll pass your resume onto our Chicago office. I'm sure they have something like what you're looking for." Fair enough, Allison, and thank you for calling.
The next day, I got a call from another young lady from the same agency. I think her name was Lauren. She, too, spoke brightly about my resume and enthusastically about all the work they had for me. A little warning bell went off in my brain. I repeated the stipulations I had given to Allison. With identical results. "Oh," said Lauren. "I'm based in the suburbs." Evidently, my resume had missed its intended target.
Explaining my constraints again, I received Lauren's assurance that their office in Chicago had plenty of jobs and that she would send my resume to them.
The following day, Todd called.
Same agency, but now they were sending in the Big Guns. I immediately sensed that a preemptive strike was in order, and started the conversation by stating my need for short-term assignments located in Chicago.
"Well, I'm in the suburbs."
Wow. Again? I tried to cut the conversation short. But Todd was nobody's fool. Enough of this shit. I lived in the suburbs, therefore I would work in the suburbs. Per Todd.
"We have plenty of positions that match your resume. Right out here."
Yeah, I already got that. Three times, now. But I don't want to work "out here". Buyer's market, Todd.
He gave a short, bitter laugh. "You know, I have to wonder about that. May I ask why you don't want to work in the suburbs?" he asked, his voice dripping with contempt.
Todd was trying to bully me! For real? Todd, a man whose vocal register gave me pause to speculate on the size of his cojones. Bullying me. There was a time in my life when I would have been truly outraged. Now I was highly amused. I had to admire it. I also had to wonder how the likes of Todd had a job, whereas I did not.
No, Todd, you may not ask. I held my ground, and finally he had to cave. But before he signed off with another promise to send my resume to the Chicago office (apparently, the Valhalla of job resumes), Todd asked me if I had any call center experience.
Call center experience???
The thought had never entered my mind. No, seriously. Reality flooded in. With a shudder.
Maybe this would be a nice time to go to Ireland.