Down and Down We Go, Or: Happy Schadenfreude Day!

I finally got a phone call from the conference center last night. You’ll never guess why they hadn’t contacted me! No really, guess:

1) The conference center had burned down in a freak accident involving a hot plate and a lemur.
2) My contact had been fired for forcing potential employees to work for free as a condition of their employment.
3) Someone claiming to be me had been showing up to work for the past two weeks and they were too lazy to tell the difference.
4) When my contact said “I’d like you to come in as soon as possible to meet with my boss and finalize the paperwork — but before we do that, I’d like you to come in for a couple of events as a testing period,” what she meant was “There are three other people who are still candidates for this job and I’m having them go through the same illegal procedure, so it’s going to be a while before you hear back from me.”

If you guessed #4, congratulations! Bonus points: She also sounded pissed off that I had been bugging her and her boss about the whole thing! Now, I’d like you to reflect on your life for a moment, really examine it, and consider this: At least you aren’t me.

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.

Polling Time!

ROCK ON!!!

Rock On!! (Franklin, In.)

ENTHUSIASTIC and ENERGETIC men and women needed for a growing company. No Experience needed, we provide full company training!! If you are interested in an opportunity for a career, please call Riley at ***-***-****

* Location: Franklin, In.
* Compensation: $400 per week and a $1000 sign-on bonus after 30 days

YEAH!! THIS IS TOTALLY NOT A SCAM! Or if it is, IT’S A TOTALLY ROCKIN’ SCAM wherein they don’t even require that you have experience as a rock star! Or whatever this job actually entails! Maybe they’re looking for rockin’ accountants? Or rockin’ HR representatives? I’m afraid we’ll never know.

A vague job posting promising barely lucrative pay? HOLY SHIT WHERE CAN I SIGN!?

All Fall Down

When I went in last week to shadow the techs, I was regaled with many unsolicited tales of my [then presumed] new boss’s incompetence and awfulness. I was to be replacing one of the techs, who had recently turned in her letter of resignation to this woman by email; she was then chewed out for being “unprofessional,” as letters of resignation must be delivered in person. The very same woman who accused her soon-to-be-former employee of such a breach in professionalism is now dodging/not returning my calls. It’s been over a week since I’ve heard from her, and every day that I don’t hear back it’s looking less likely that I’ll be working there.

It’s still not Staples, but that means less than I thought it did.

Meanwhile, the day after I interviewed at the conference center about a month and a half ago, I was contacted by a local press which was impressed by the resume I’d sent them and which wanted me to send in editing and proofreading tests. I promptly did so and felt pretty fantastic about them. After a month and a half of radio silence, I finally got up the courage to email asking what in the hell happened to my application, but the forces of the universe turned my email around and slapped me in the face with it. Thinking perhaps my contact had been fired, I called the press directly to find out that not only was she still working there, but a brand-new in-house editor was, too. Which means that although she found me to be “capable,” I likely won’t be receiving any work from them. Oh, but they’ll “keep me on file.”

If I had the strength, I would rant about employers rude enough to deny failed applicants the closure of a brief form letter explaining that they are worthless taintstains not qualified to tie their own shoes standing up. But I’m tired of the constant emotional yo-yo of the past eleven months. I’m especially devastated by whatever the hell the conference center thinks it has license to do to me. And the thought that I might have to beg for my job back at Staples…well, that’s just too much.

All Good Things

On Friday afternoon, I went in to the conference center to shadow a couple of AV techs, who were remarkably candid about how much they loathe their jobs and their boss (I later had to be reminded that I did the exact same thing to a newly-hired coworker at Schlaples). One of them actually, if sort-of jokingly, asked me “Are you sure you want this job?” And, of course, both of them noted with outrage that forcing me to work without pay before being hired is quite brazenly illegal.

Saturday was my last day at Schlaples. There was no fanfare or cake; only a handful of coworkers were even aware that I was leaving, as I believe my propensity for shutting myself in my office in an effort to avoid pesky customers and peskier managers allowed my four-month employment to go virtually unnoticed by most of them. I suspect the “Antonette*” tag has already been peeled off my locker, which has likely been reassigned to my replacement by now. Although two managers were present in the last few hours of my employment, neither of them even acknowledged that it was my last day or said goodbye as I left. Considering that I’m usually an insufferable suck-up to authority figures and pride myself on being a thorough and efficient worker when given the opportunity, I suppose my decision in recent months to serve my customers over my employers was noticed, if not by the former, then by the latter. Sidebar: Why was this a conscious choice I had to make? What the fuck kind of business model requires that of employees? And how sustainable can that possibly be?

Although I had intended to bonfire my Staples uniform this weekend, the opportunity passed me by and I was forced to settle for dumping it in my municipal garbage can and tossing a bag of dog crap on top of it. It wasn’t nearly as cathartic as I’d hoped.

*Yes, my name was publicly misspelled, noted, and never corrected. Because they care, that’s why.