The Sadder But Wiser Girl…Poop Detective

Theme ThursdayThis post has been slightly altered from its original form in order to appease the WordPress gods.  They won’t let you reblog more than once, and I really wanted to link this up to Theme Thursday.  Just sayin…  The theme is to rerun a favorite.  I’m awfully partial to this post, and I’m not sure why.

Two things happened in the past 24 hours that got me thinking.

Yesterday afternoon my phone rang.  I always program different ring tones along with the numbers in my phone so I have a general idea of who is calling.  This particular ringtone I hadn’t heard in quite a while.  It was my former employer, *Disorganization Ltd.  Why the heck would they be calling me?  Oh they have seen the error of their ways, and they really do need someone in their office here.  Not a chance.  I’m glad I didn’t answer, because I probably would have gone all Anakin Skywalker on them.  They did leave a message though, which went something like this:”Hi *Sadder.  This is *Spacy Lady.  I know we haven’t talked in a while, but you know that everyone that works for our disorganization has to teach 10 classes a year.  You have only taught five.  I need you to call me so we can make you feel bad for not wanting to be on call for us to work that 30 minutes a month we may need you.  I want to talk you into making yourself available to teach classes that are cancelled 90 percent of the time, to call and beg you to teach classes several hours away that we will turn around and assign to someone else at the last minute, and to make you feel terrible about the fact that you won’t work enough to even pay for a babysitter.  I’d love to catch up with you and rub it in that we wouldn’t retain your position.”

Ok, so that’s not what she said, but that’s how I took it.  Really, what does the word “resignation” mean to you?  To me it means I can’t collect unemployment.  Needless to say, I won’t be returning that call right away, if at all.

The other thing that happened is that I got another rejection letter from the place I keep applying for different jobs at.  You’d think that with all the turnover they seem to have that sooner or later they’d run out of people and be forced to hire me.  Wow I must REALLY suck!

I started thinking after reading that of the jobs that I COULD have.  All the skills and stuff I’ve acquired over the years, surely it’s worth something.  I know that being able to sing all of the lyrics to “Abby’s Flying Fairy School” won’t get me very far.  However, a few others may.  The following is a little list I’ve come up with:

1) Poop Detective-I worked in childcare for 11 plus years plus had two children of my own.  I know my poop.  I could be like Bones.  They could call me in to the scene of the crime and have me tell them about the feces.  I’d stroll in, be able to tell them how old it was, how long it had been there, the size and approximate age of the perpetrator.  “This came from a 2 and a half year old male approximately two feet tall who’s still in diapers.”  We’ve had some pooping in our house that no one would own up to, so I’ve had good practice.

“I’ve got something in my diaper and it’s not a toaster.”

A few years ago I probably could have done that simply by smell.  I could smell a poop a mile away.  But I think that superpower is fading.  Still don’t know how I quite got it.  Maybe I got bit by a radioactive baby.

2)  Wandering Minstrel-I don’t play lute.  Or guitar.  But I’ve played flute semi-professionally, as in I was paid a few coins to show up for municipal band.  I could stroll around and play my flute.  I pitched this idea to my husband-I think they need one of these where he works.  He liked the idea.  Maybe I could even use my children as interpretive dancers.  (You’re wondering why I don’t just go play flute somewhere for money.  It’s been awhile.  My kids don’t let me talk on the phone or use the bathroom.  Do you really think I’d have time to practice?)

3)  Cat Herder-A very wise (and fun!) preschool teacher I used to work with likened getting a group of preschoolers to go anywhere is very much like it would be to herd cats.  Surely there are herds of cats roaming the earth that need herders.  I understand I am qualified.

4)  Paint Color Name Chooser-I’m sure there’s a better word for this.  SOMEONE has to choose the names of all of those paint colors out there.  I think I’d be very good at it.  Of course once I named one Baby Poop Brown I probably would be out of a job…

5)  Excuse Service-Need an excuse to get out of something?  Give me a call and I will make up one for you.  I’ve certainly heard one for just about everything…

6)  Professional Disorganizer– Not only could I undo your organizational methods, I could do it in record time (even faster if I get my kids involved).  I’ve had lots of practice (ADD again, you get the picture).

So there you have it.  Perhaps I’ll think of more as time goes on.  Six jobs that I would be very, very good at.  Now if only I knew where to look for them… In the meantime, maybe I can try just making it as a blogger.

*The names have been changed because like I said, I don’t want anyone burning down my house…

You Like Me. You Really Like Me!

I feel like Sally Field because you really like me! Now I’m going to go watch “Smokey and the Bandit”.

The results are in.

On a day when I was feeling particularly empowered, and my husband was especially encouraging the night before, I invited people I knew to view my blog.  At least I think he was.  He said something about my blog.  That’s encouraging, right?  I sent him a link to it because he’d never seen it.  And the more I thought about it after he went to bed, the more I thought that maybe I don’t need to be totally anonymous.  I had already set up the page for total strangers.

The reason for my anonymity once again ties into my anxiety.  That someone somewhere that already knew me was going to tell someone else who used to know me that I ranted about them online or something like that.  And they’d come burn down my house.  Or that I’d accidentally offend someone. Then I realized that the only one I’m probably really going to offend is my husband (would he REALLY be offended about me talking about his zest for meat?)

It’s been a tough couple of years.  Social anxiety manifests itself in different ways in different people.  For awhile I felt like everyone I ran into was either judging me or hating me.  Lately I tend to run from people because I either don’t remember their name (I’m allowed because I’m ADD dammit!) or because it’s really hard to be upbeat when people ask me if I’ve found a full-time job yet.  Let me share how I feel about my job search as of late.  Imagine me saying this is in a sing songy voice with a great big Cheshire cat grin:  “Why no, as a matter of fact I’ve run out of jobs to apply for because I suck so much that jobs I’ve put my resume in for have been reposted so they can hire someone else.  Rejection is SO FUN!”  And then all my teeth break from forcing the smile.

So naturally when people say “Hey you should blog” I think “What the hell is so interesting about my life?”  But I AM good with the written word.  If it weren’t for my ability to write, I probably really would be sad and not wise because I would be good at NOTHING.  Writing has gotten me some places.  I do believe I can bs my way through just about anything if I can write it down.  The only reason I made it into the music education program at Lord Valdemort College (the one that shall not be named, of course.  See what I did there?)  was because I had to write a paper to get in.  If I could do that then there may really be something to it.

And my Facebook friends like my blog.  Some have even said it’s funny.  And also some people not related to me like it.  That’s good.  That’s very good.  It’s good to have something to feel good about.

You like me, you really like me.  So I’ll keep it up.  I started a notebook of ideas of things I can blog about.  Once I lose the notebook we’ll see what happens.  I do have stories.  And I have kids.  And I’m ADD, which I’m told is actually a sign of being creative or something.  So keep reading.  And I’ll try really hard to keep giving you something to read.

The Internet: Brain Sucking Distraction or Useful Source of Information?

I have really got to get a life.

I have purposely avoided the computer, trying to only focus on the job search thing twice a week.  But yet it continues to suck me back in.  Especially Facebook.  Something about looking at everyone else’s supposed fabulous lives helps pass the time?  Who knows.  I do know this-that I really need to stop googling everything and anything when I am online doing whatever.  Somehow I wind up on some of those forums that you’re not supposed to really look at when you are not quite in your right mind.  “I have been unemployed for three years, and now I’m dead.”  “I quit my job and my skin burned off”.  “I have been jobless six years and now I live in a toaster oven.”  Ok so none of those really actually existed, but they might as well have because that’s how I take them.

A while back I took a little detour through a nearby town to stop at a locally owned appliance place.  I haven’t had a working dishwasher in a really long time and my mother had offered to help either fix the one we have or aid in the purchase of a new one (I’m sure the mountain of dishes in the kitchen when she visited was a bit of a catalyst in that situation).  I’m bringing this up because all of my research about dishwashers took place on the internet, except for the guy at Lowes who was in his third day of work there and he really really liked Samsung dishwashers because he had one.  Not exactly scientific research there.  Anyhoo, it turns out that it does not matter what the product is, EVERY product out there has an I-hate-this-product website.  EVERY product.  They could make an appliance that pooped out solid gold eggs and someone would find a reason to complain.  Funny that the very dishwasher that is sitting dormant in my kitchen is actually one of the top rated ones out there, but people hated it just as much as any of the other ones.

I walked into the store with two wide eyed children, and the appliance guy looks me up and down.  I try to talk to him, explain my situation.  Told him about my dishwasher, made sure I made it clear that we had bought several appliances from them in the past and wanted some “expert” advice.  Then I opened my mouth and said I had been looking on the internet.  At that very moment, I think I made Hulk angry.  He proceeded on a ten minute tirade about how the internet is evil and that I should not be looking up, well, anything.  I think If I had lingered the villagers would have come out and burned me at the stake.

I politely thanked him for his time, turned and ran out of there as fast as I could.  This is why the big stores are doing well…

I had a point, and it was about the internet.  Anyone can post anything on the internet anywhere.  That’s what makes it so great, and so awful at the same time.  If you need information on something you can get it quickly, now whether it’s correct or not depends.  The same goes for an opinion.  Or pretty much anything.  You seriously can type in just about anything and something will come up.  Not so good for an anxious person.

If you’ve been hunting for a job anytime recently you have probably noticed that EVERYTHING is online.  EVERYTHING.  Even a job at Casey’s is one you are directed to the internet to apply for.  I am not so proud to say that I will never ever be hired for a job at Kum and Go.  I am a very intelligent person, but I can’t pass their test.  And you can’t take it a second time.  Every job I have applied for this time around has been online.  That’s just how it is.  Good for me as far as the convenience-I don’t have to leave my home as long as I have the internet.  Bad for me in the fact that they most likely skim over my application and toss it in the trash.  Or laugh hysterically “Bwah ha ha!  How dare someone with a music education degree apply for this job?” and light it on fire.  Oh wait, it’s probably all digital-doubt they actually print them out.

I have several websites I check twice a week.  Ok I TRY.  It’s been a bit more often.  I can’t help myself.  I don’t know why-when jobs are posted there is a week or two to give people time to apply.  I also have done the networking site LinkedIN.  It’s where you “link up” with other people to try to get as many connections as possible.  A lot of the career websites highly recommend it.  I don’t quite get it, but I’m willing to give it a try if it will increase the likelihood that I might get a decent job.

Back to the forums I keep coming to, usually about 11:00 when I should be heading to bed, or doing something more productive like reading a book.  Much like the whole appliance debacle, there are many different stories out there.  There are the success stories, and then there are the people who I wish I had never read about (that would be the guy in the toaster.)  The fact is, I can try as hard as possible, but it may be awhile before I get a job.  And what if I DON’T find a job?  What’s the worst that can happen?  Not us homeless living in a cardboard box, or me exploding (somehow things exploding always work their way into my anxiety).  My husband has a good job-we won’t be doing great but we will get by.  I honestly don’t WANT to work full time right now.  My kids are still young-part-time so that I can contribute would be GRAVY right now.

I want to get past all of the anxiety about the whole situation.  I really want to just enjoy things and take it as it comes.  I don’t want to simply exist, I want to enjoy life again.  But at the moment I can’t.  Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment to address the sleep issue.  Finally-I lost my insurance when I lost my job, and now that my husband has insurance again I need to get things taken care of.  And as much as my husband does not want me to take meds to help me, this is something that as much as I would like to conquer on my own that I may not be able to.  If the doctor recommends it, I think I need to do it.  Does that make me a bad person?  No.

On an up note, this week has been one of the better ones for exercise for me.  Today the whole family participated in a walk for my husband’s work.  Between my morning walk and that one, I did over 5 miles in one day.  I am tired, but I feel really good.  This is the kind of thing that I want to get back to doing.  I used to be religious about it-before I had kids.  Now, not so much.  I want to do things like this again-also reading, writing, and GETTING AWAY FROM THE INTERNET (except for this blog, of course)  Maybe getting to the doctor will be the start of some good things.  And I can get back to being the semi-funny semi-fit fully conscious person I used to be.

I Quit: One Womans Voyage Into the World of Unemployment

I quit my job this week.  I wish I could say that it was just like in the movies or on tv.  Nooooo.  That there were lots of tears and then they offered me a raise and all kinds of great stuff for staying on with them.  Nope.

There are organizations out there that should never be referred to as “organizations”.  There is nothing organized about them.  The particular one that I have been at for the past three years is a prime example.  The heart is in the right place-it just doesn’t necessarily hold all the other organs to where they should be.  On lung tells the spleen that this is the way we are doing things now and then the opposite kidney does, well, the opposite.  Poor spleen.  She never had a chance.

Yes I am the spleen.  I’ve been feeling pretty lowly for the past few weeks.  I’ve known this day was coming for over a month.  When one supervisor shares with me that she is excited that our instructors will be doing all of the cleaning and maintenance tasks that I have been doing for the past 9 months, I made my best attempt at not snorting and did not jump under a table.  I was, however, absolutely floored because it was quite apparent that this woman had no idea what I actually DO for my job.

In the months that followed I experienced disorganization that could drive any semi-organized person into a tizzy.  It’s getting bad when you begin keeping documentation of everything just in case they decide to throw you overboard.  I wasn’t thrown.  I was more eased up to the edge and left dangling.

The truth is that they decided to peel back the responsibilities of my position.  So much peeling that by the time they were done there was really nothing left.  They wanted me to be the peeled onion, on call.  Whenever they needed me, I  was supposed to hop up and run there.  I opted to resign.

Now before you utter “WHAAAAAT?  Leave a job in this economy?”  Let me be the first to say please don’t.  I’ve already heard it.  No I do not know what I am going to do.  I’ve already spent several nights on the internet looking at job websites sobbing the classic words of Rachel Green “I…am… trained for nothing…”, I’ve updated my profile on LinkedIn, I’ve sat and thought through every possible scenario. I have had the pity party too (I’m surprised I have any friends left on Facebook…).  But the truth is I really didn’t have any control over the situation-at least resigning made me feel better.  And we have made it this far on what we’ve been making, we can stretch it out more.

So now I’ve got that off my chest-I’ve got better things to blog about.