August 2009

Yesterday I posted that I had scored a lateral move in my quest for a decent paycheck.

Cancel that.

Seems I misunderstood the phrase, “when can you start?”

There was a job fair at my place of employment and apparently it went well. Our team was able to hire a couple replacements for the college kids who would be leaving after their summer stint. Apparently my immediate supervisor asked if there was a replacement hired for my position.

I was called for a “sit down” with my current team leader and my potentially new team leader. “We need to all get on the same page.” “I think there’s been some sort of misunderstanding.” “No one has been hired for your position because your position isn’t open.”


When someone says to me “when can you start,” I take that to mean, “when can you start [the new job].” Apparently it meant “[IF I WERE TO OFFER YOU THE POSITION] when could you start?”

Syntax? or corporate butt-cover? Or, as I think we also used to refer to it back in the corporate world: Damage Control.

Because now IF I am offered the job, I still have to prove that I am able to do the job by working a shift with the (20-something) team leader, so that she can see –first hand– that I am capable.

I feel completely disrespected. I have a resume that could paint these kids into a corner, but because I am actually trying to get ahead, I have to risk emotional torture every step of the way. Do I play the game? And IF I am offered the position, do I  work a shift so that I can prove I’m capable of doing the job? or do I cut off my nose to spite my face and say that my resume, exemplary work ethic, and talent displayed so far in my current position should speak for itself. Take it or leave it. I don’t play games.

I should mention that this is a somewhat creative position where talent and skill is necessary. But, I submitted a photo-portfolio and professional resume which was very well received during my apparent [non]interview. Not to mention, the nine months I have in my current [somewhat creative] position.

Needless to say, I did not sleep a wink last night and I woke up with a massive headache.

Maybe I should call in sick (?!) like the youngsters do.


Nine long months later, I am still underemployed. I have had 1 job review requiring that I fill out a six-page evaluation form for a .50/hr raise.

I’m days from my 6-month follow up. I expect to get another “glowing review.” Of course I am reliable, self-motivated, responsible, and professional. I’ve worked in the corporate world for 30 years (duh).

Now, I am being evaluated by supervisors and managers who are young enough to be my children. Humiliated? Don’t even let’s go there.

I’ve spent entire shifts distinctly aware that bits of gray matter were slowly melting and dripping out my ear. I’ve signed on for in-house corporate “University Classes” –on my own time– just to get some new information to chew on while marking time doing the mundane.

Yesterday, I managed a lateral move. If not upward, at least different. Hopefully, this change will be challenging for the next couple months, because, I don’t care what the [employed] economists say – sadly, I do not see any promise for employment in my field in my near future.

I took this image at the beach the other day. Funny how the tide pulls at the mud and leaves trees. Sometimes I feel like my waking hours are spent in a mud forest.

Mud Forest

I spent almost 2 hours writing and re-writing a cover letter and editing yet ANOTHER version of my resume the other day. There was a job listed at an undisclosed company, by an anonymous person, desperate to fill an ambiguous position for not much of a salary. It was vaguely marketing oriented, so I tossed my experienced hat into the ring — again.

And waited.

And waited.

Not even a computer-generated “thank you”, but no thank you.

…and I wonder why I’m stuck in this cynical cycle.


Is this really the way we look for jobs now?

Companies need help, but won’t identify themselves to the potential employee. They expect full-disclosure in the opposite direction. How can one possibly sell oneself if they have no idea what the market is?

It’s enough to make you throw in the towel. In fact, I’ve decided that job-hunting is now like going on a diet. You shouldn’t weigh-in every day.

OK. This has got to be the strangest, yet easiest barter I have ever done.

Always looking for a way to save a few bucks, I keep my eyes open for bargins. This one fell right into my lap!

My auto dealer was running a promotion. Teaming up with the local hospital, they were offering a free oil change for donating a pint of blood.


Plus, I got a free T-shirt!

This is when I realized I was a true “Hobo”.

For those who have not followed my posts, I need to let you know, that I currently spend my new workday in an upscale grocery store. Due to my extensive background in chocolate and baking, when I was hired, the HR department suggested that I work in the specialty department. I toil away daily making mundane chocolate products and fancy coffees (lattes and the like) for the self-indulgent.

One perk of the job is getting free food. Generally, it’s given to us if it is perfectly good, but damaged or “out of date”. We refer to that as “coded”. Much of what is currently in my home freezer is coded food.

Anyway, on this particular day, one of my “team mates” was given a partial dozen eggs for free because an egg or two was damaged. She was excited. We, as a team, had “scored!”

She took out the department’s hot-plate, boiled up a pot of water and proceeded to hard-cook the eggs. To make the meal complete, we ravaged our “tip cup” for $1.85 and purchased a loaf of french bread.


~pathetic or poignant?