Today I got turned down for my dream job after making it to the final two applicants on the short list. When I got the phone call from the CEO, he had a lot of very nice things to say about me that I really didn’t hear over the din of my falsely launched career crashing inelegantly into the ground.

Before I found about that I’d been invited to interview for this job, I had observed that this nearly year-long experiment into making my job hunt semi-public had taken a turn, such that I feared for the safety of my minuscule audience’s major veins and arteries. Things were looking unendurably bleak; this job was supposed to be a beacon, a sign that things were turning around. Now that I’ve fallen short, I’m expected to react with optimism to the fact that I made it as far as I did, but the truth is that knowing I missed a magnificent opportunity by a hair is infinitely more painful than a thousand impersonal rejections. The fact that a company I truly admired and was incredibly enthusiastic about working for liked me and wanted to work with me, but not quite enough to actually hire me, is pretty hard to recover from.

The point is, I can no longer even hope to be funny about what has turned into a complete reassessment of myself, my achievements, my career, and my life. At first I thought that the only way to approach this series of truly unfortunate events was by laughing at them, and back in the salad days of my near-miss with Aflac and rich kids and physical therapists attempting to hire me to plagiarize, it was possible to do so.

I want to thank all of you who have listened to me bitch and whine, and read along with my journey through this colossal waste of a year. Your words of encouragement have helped me to stay alive. I know I’m not alone in weathering this recession, or even just the post-grad blues, but I’m pretty sure we’re all going to make it out the other end more or less intact.

Finally, thank you to Nick. I know I’m not always the best at showing it in real life, but my appreciation for the support and love you’ve always shown me is endless. And when the shit really comes down, you’re always there with a cold frothy one and a hug.

Enough sappy bullshit. Everyone, enjoy your lives, and when I have something less morbid to write about, I’ll write about that.

Thank You…Karma?

Apparently yesterday’s Marvin-the-Paranoid-Android-esque pondering on life’s cruelties was enough to kick-start some good vibrations, job-wise, because I just got an invitation to interview for — wait for it — an entry-level editing job at an actual local publishing institution!

We all know this ends in misery, rash-related or not, but I’ll still have a few months after the interview and before the rejection when I can dream.

The Long, Slow March to the Breadline

Today is my first day of unemployment in four years.

Technically, I’m not exactly unemployed; my job at the University is merely shutting down for the next month for budgetary reasons. Those reasons may have something to do with my state’s stalwart determination to make California’s government look competent.

Anyway, down to business. If you don’t want to spend the rest of the day staring woefully at your shoelaces while contemplating the consumption of household janitorial products, I suggest you promptly navigate away from this webpage, because I’m about to write the two most depressing statements in the history of the English language.

I hope all but the most painfully emo among you are gone by now, ’cause this is going to get ugly.


1. I have, in the past month, developed an extremely painful rash on my arms and legs with no apparent cause or remedy, and
2. I am concerned that I might not be able to donate plasma to support myself through this period of temporary suspended income — as has been my plan — due to said unexplained rash.

Even worse, I fear that the rash may be stress-related; therefore, my fear of tainted plasma could actually be prolonging and exaggerating its effects. Even worse than that, the rash appeared synchronous to my decision to finally turn around an extremely disturbing weight trend;* so far, my strenuous efforts to eat thoughtfully and exercise more seem to have been rewarded with bright red alligator skin. The universe noted my attempts at self-betterment, chuckled broadly to itself, and handed them back to me in the form of a giant, pointy suppository.

Did you hear that? That was the sound of every ounce of joy being sucked out of the room. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

At any rate, it would appear that my semi-unemployment period has taken a sharp left turn towards Morbid-ville. I’m on the fence over whether to document my whacky plasma/rash-related hijinks, or continue the suspension of this endeavor until such time as good news finally peeks its little head above ground, sees its shadow, and burrows back down.

*I don’t mind capping off this awful post with the admission that I’ve gained 70 pounds in the last five years. Don’t expect me to be held liable for any self-harm which may have resulted from reading this blog.

I Reject Your Reality and Substitute My Own

Reality Actresses/Actors (Danville)

Looking for Actresses/Actors for new web based reality program.Full time or Part time positions available.NO SALES.Great Earnings potential.All applicants must be 18 years of age or older.This is not a scam.Small company looking to establish themselves in the reality based industry.

Sometimes, I think we’re all looking to establish ourselves in the reality-based industry.

Also, I’m 93.5% certain that this is a subtle casting call for pr0n, and there are going to be a few very confused wannabe-Snookies (or perhaps they won’t be that confused after all).

Site note: I’ve been absent of late not because I’m working on my novel or traveling the high seas, but merely because absolutely nothing of interest has happened whatsoever. When my life gets interesting again, I’ll be sure to memorialize it in print.

Proven Fact: Onions and Anger Sell Armchairs

This snippet is from a local job ad I spotted this morning.

Sales Career Position. Type “A” Personality, Career Minded.

I know that “Type A” can mean “hard-working and career-obsessed.” But this is what has to say about the defining features of a Type A personality:

* Time Urgency and Impatience, as demonstrated by people who, among other things, get frustrated while waiting in line, interrupt others often, walk or talk at a rapid pace, and are always painfully aware of the time and how little of it they have to spare.
* Free-Floating Hostility or Aggressiveness, which shows up as impatience, rudeness, being easily upset over small things, or ‘having a short fuse’, for example.

Now those are some features I want in a furniture salesman. Oh wait, did I not mention that this job is at the Furniture Store of Madness? This is an example of one of their milder, less Bosch-esque commercials:

I cannot overstate the difficulty of attempting to decipher, at 3 a.m., the association between root vegetables and ottomans. However, I believe that video makes it clear why The Worst Dad Ever wants a Type A personality to work for him. Their selling strategy seems to rely on the implication that if you don’t buy their couches, they will beat you with sticks.

Please Judge Me

Yesterday, I interviewed for a position as an SEO analyst with a local marketing company. I honestly have no idea how I got here from five years ago. I wanted to make you a timeline to assist with the analysis of this situation, but my Photoshop skillz are horrendous and it was difficult to make a readable timeline that fits in my theme, so behold the abomination:

The point is, I have no idea what I’m doing claiming to be qualified to work as an SEO analyst. These are some things I can do well:

1. Edit other people’s written works (in other words, criticize them without having to generate content).
2. Write non-creatively.
3. Cook.
4. Knit.
5. Eat.
6. Play MarioKart (this is somewhat arguable).

No one will pay me to do any of those things. No one will even interview me to do those things. In the past nine months, these are the things I have interviewed to do:

1. Sell insurance.
2. Fix computers.
3. Operate audio-visual equipment.
4. Online marketing.

List 2: Good god, you suck. List 1: You suck too, because you’re not making me any money. Both of you should be ashamed.

So anyway, now we’re at SEO analyst (that’s Search Engine Optimization for those of you not up with your online marketing lingo). I don’t really want to write more for fear that my prospective employers might find me (as though it’s difficult) and not hire me based on the high levels of snark apparent. So, prospective employers, this is for you:

Please hire me! I have many qualities that you are looking for in an employee. For instance, I am efficient, a hard worker, have excellent communication skills, work well in an office setting, and am REALLY desperate. I can’t emphasize that last one enough: My bar for crappy employment is set at “Staples,” which means that you could force me to make you soufflé for breakfast every morning and then step on it while I watch and you would still be better than my last employer. Seriously, hire me, because I know what desperation tastes like and as long as you don’t fall below the Staples line, I will never leave you. I’m like a battered woman: As long as you don’t beat the crap out of me for not bringing your beer promptly enough, I will love you forever.

Some Things I’ll Tell Myself I Will Do Now That I’m Back Down to Part Time Indefinitely

1. Finish Infinite Jest while sitting out on my porch. I’m 356 pages in and I started this thing last August; plus, I’m pretty sure I’m Vitamin D deficient and the weather is too nice to spend all day on my couch with the blinds shut so my neighbors can’t see what embarrassing thing I’m watching on TV. (Hint: It probably involves aliens.)
2. Housewifey things. Possibly while wearing an apron and engaging in mid-day tippling. Bonus points if I can figure out how to wrangle my hair into a beehive.
3. Learn to exercise, now that “I don’t have time, I work 45 hours a week on a berserker schedule” is no longer an excuse. Sidenote: Parents, force your children into sports, or else one day they’ll be 22 years old and consider performing a single sit-up to be an insurmountable task of epic proportions. Chin-ups, I’m pretty sure, are actually impossible and the whole concept is a conspiracy by Hollywood to make me feel insufficient. I only say this because I don’t think I’ve never seen anyone do a chin-up outside of TV and movies.
4. Learn how to write basic code in a few programming languages. This one is pretty random and significantly less likely to happen than the first three, even the beehive one and the sit-up one. I’m not even remotely interested in learning to code, but it seems like the only industry that’s hiring right now is IT.
5. Knit a wicked cape for my dog. Because all dogs need wicked capes.
6. Figure out how to make cheese, and then
7. Figure out how to not eat all of the cheese in one sitting while watching embarrassing TV.

And, of course:

8. Find a job, you damn hippie.