Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

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.

Ready?

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.

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 about.com 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.

My Job-Related Life Is Far Too Depressing to Write About, So Here’s a Post About My Dog.

This is my dog.

She is, beyond question, the cutest mentally deficient animal on the planet. I’d imagine her life is similar to that of Miss South Carolina, in that they’re both pretty enough for most people to overlook the fact that the lone thought zipping about inside their skulls is “WHY ISN’T SOMEONE PETTING ME??”

Let me rewind. Back in November of last year, something happened at my house. It was either an attempted break-in/double homicide, or a very confused and disoriented anti-leaf activist who merely wanted to alert us to the presence of leaves on our sidewalk…at midnight, in November, in the pouring freezing rain. So I decided to get a big dog.

What’s better than a big dog for protection? A morbidly obese dog! Duh.

So, a couple of months later, we adopted Asta.* She is the worst defense animal in the long and sordid history of man’s interactions with beast.

That is Asta’s angry face. She makes her angry face and barks intimidatingly any time our house is in danger, such as when a delivery person approaches, someone walks by an open window, our neighbors talk loudly, or someone on the street farts.

However, whenever anything happens that might clue a dog in to the fact that their house is being attacked — like, for instance, our seven-foot-tall friend peeking in through the window in our door — she flees to the bathroom and hides behind the toilet until she is assured by us that the danger is over and the scary tall person was just here to bring beer and scratch her head.

In Asta’s eyes, the most egregious sin that can be committed by man is the cessation of head scratches. I’m pretty sure crazy-leaf-man could come back, murder Nick and me in a gruesome fashion while declaring “I REALLY HOPE THERE ISN’T A 97-POUND DOG IN THIS HOUSE BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE SUFFICIENTLY SCARY TO MAKE ME STOP MURDERING THESE PEOPLE” and she woud watch the whole thing from a safe distance and then headbutt our lifeless, mangled corpses while wondering why the fuck we would stop scratching her head.

Headscratches?

So, she’s not really serving her guard-dog functions, inasmuch as I’ve had better guard-fish, but she is in essence me in dog form. Allow me to delineate:

1. We are both fat and hairy.
2. After running for more than half a block, we are both ready to collapse in the sidewalk and wait for a neighbor to call 911.
3. We both like cookies. A lot. Also bread. If you leave either of those items on our coffee table, it is very likely that one of us will eat it without considering the possibilities of poison that would naturally arise from someone from the internet leaving food items on our coffee table.
4. We both like to sleep between 12-16 hours a day.

I have to admit, she seems to get much more pleasure from chewing things and pooping than I do. And I haven’t managed to successfully teach her to knit. Yet.

So that’s my dog. Maybe someday soon I’ll have something employment-related that I can write about without realizing on proofread that I should probably commit hara-kiri to save my family the shame of having spawned such a stupendous failure. In the meantime, I have continued to harass the conference center people to no avail. I am contemplating either donating plasma to pay my student loan bills or going back to school to become an astrophysicist.** I’ll let you know how it works out either way.

*I named her after an awesome dog from a great movie, but because apparently no one watches movies from 80 years ago, everyone thinks I’m insane and no one knows how to pronounce her name. Hint: It starts with “ass.”
**Because astrophysicists make the big bucks.***
***What the fuck do astrophysicists do, exactly? For all I know, I’m qualified.

How to Get an Awesome Job in Five Easy Steps

Step One: Learn a useful skill.
Instead I: Got an English degree. Off to a great start.

Step Two: Diversify your employment history.
Instead I: Worked for three years in a (totally awesome) job that required me to use my brain 4.5 times. Then I worked for Staples, but I’m still not sure how I feel about having that on my resume.

Step Three: Punch up your resume. Make yourself sound incredibly desirable.
Instead I: Compiled a list of my failures and tweaked a Word theme to fit them. Actual line from my resume: “I type at 80 GWAM.” I’m still hoping that someday, someone will care about my sweet GWAM. I was like, the best in my keyboarding class!

Step Four: Make connections.
Instead I: Spent most of college being the girl standing in the corner at parties, alternately snarking on the cool kids and whining about wanting to go home.

Step Five: Achieve success! Start doing grown-up things like folding sheets and cleaning the house for no reason other than to have a clean house! Peel your ass off the couch and figure out how to do a sit-up! Stop watching so much sci-fi television!
Instead I: Discovered that the entire series of “The X-Files” is on Netflix Instant. Score.