I’ve decided to embrace the fact that everyone seems to be on vacation or about to go on vacation or otherwise focused on anything except hiring me. I’m going to take a road trip. It might seem like I’m just running away from the reality of my life, but really I’m going to go visit some friends and family (or that’s how I’m describing it).
I’m going to head out next Friday. I’m pretty excited. The summer after college, my friend Kristin and I drove around the country. It was a fantastic adventure, and twenty years later I still enjoy boring anyone who will listen with stories from that trip. This will be a fraction of that trip. I’m basically driving down the east coast. Now that I think about it, the northeast was the one region of the country we didn’t visit on that trip. It’s like I’m completing that trip. Or something. At any rate, visiting Kristin is one of my first stops on this trip!
When I first got laid off, I was very strict about not watching tv during the day. I’d usually watch The Daily Show while I was eating my lunch, but after that I’d turn the tv right off. Things have gotten a little more relaxed around here lately. A couple of months ago I sat down to eat lunch. I was flipping through the channels, and I came across the pilot episode of The Good Wife, a show I somehow had never seen. Before I knew it I’d sat through three or four episodes. I’m pretty sure the only reason I stopped watching that day was because I had to leave the house to go to a friend’s for dinner (I can’t remember exactly, but it seems like only a free meal would have done it).
I haven’t binged watched many shows. A couple of winters ago, I plowed through five seasons of Friday Night Lights in an embarrassingly/impressively short time. There are things you notice about a show when you watch more than one episode every week. When Season 4 of Arrested Development came back last year, I watched it pretty quickly, but I feel like it was kind of designed for that. The Good Wife has a few…we’ll just call them quirks that are very noticeable when you watch back-to-back (ok, some days back-to-back-to-back) episodes. All the characters say “phone” rather than “call.” As in, “Phone me later,” “He never phoned me,” or “I’ll phone you when I hear.” I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone in real life say “Phone me.” The other annoying thing is that every day when Alicia (Julianna Margulies) gets home she tosses her keys on the table by the door, puts down her purse, and goes to get a glass of wine or talk to her kids or opens the fridge to get something to eat. All without ever taking off her coat. I’m not talking about her suit jacket, but her overcoat. The show’s set in Chicago, and it’s apparently always cold, because she’s usually wearing what looks like a winter coat. Which she never takes off in her home. I don’t know why this bothers me, but it does. Although not enough to stop watching it as quickly as I can!
I haven’t posted much recently. Partly because I feel like a broken record, and partly because I think it’s probably not all that interesting to read my whining. The brightest spot of my week last week was getting a rejection phone call. And since they had let me know I didn’t advance past the first round of interviews several weeks ago, I wasn’t in any way surprised I didn’t get a job offer. It was a really thoughtful phone call, and the fact that I was excited to get it pretty much sums up how I’m feeling these days.
Everything seems to have ground to a halt. My guess is that now people are all distracted with the end of school and summer vacations. Some days I’m totally content with the fact that I have time off to enjoy this amazing weather we’ve been having and go for long bike rides and get yard work done. And other days I’m in full panic mode about how long I’ve been out of work.
Way back in the olden days, you applied for a job by printing out a resume and cover letter, putting them in an envelope with a stamp, and then sending them out via snail mail. Larger companies might then send you back a postcard acknowledging that they got your application. And then at some point, if you didn’t get the job, you’d get a rejection letter in the mail. For most jobs now you either apply online or email a resume. Strangely, this hasn’t sped up the process at all. Plus you’d think email would make it very easy for an organization to communicate with potential hires. Some places do have a seemingly automatic form email they send to say, “we got your resume.” But most don’t even do that. Generally most applications are followed by radio silence. It’s gotten to where I’m amazed when I actually get a rejection email. I’m sure that these places are inundated with applicants, but it just seems like common courtesy to take a few minutes to send out a mass form rejection. Weirdly, the few rejection emails I’ve gotten have been really thoughtfully worded. I’m sure they’re still form letters, but someone took the time to the time to put a few kind words in. Hiring managers: your consideration is appreciated! (and that’s the end of today’s rant).
I had a flurry of interview activity over the past few weeks, and now I’m in limbo waiting to hear if I made it to the next round of any of them. The waiting game… I submitted a resume last week and got an out of office message saying that the guy was out until June 3rd with a whole list of who to contact regarding a variety of subjects. The job was not one of the subjects, so I contacted the woman listed for “anything else.” She replied that Jim was handling the hiring, and he’d look at resumes when he’s back. In 10 days. Clearly they’re not in a big hurry to get someone in that job. You’d think at this point I’d be used to the fact that everyone on the hiring side move so slooowwwllly. But I’m not.
I do feel pressure now to really take advantage of having time off. Some of that is because it does feel like the job market has picked up. And some of that is because the weather has been so nice lately! I’m working my way through my house project list and trying to be outside as much as I can. Oh, and still look for work!
Well, I survived my marathon interview yesterday. But just barely. When I was driving to the interview, I passed a tree with five giant turkey vultures perched in it, and I wondered if that was an omen.
It was beyond exhausting. There was a point mid-day where I went to the bathroom, and it took everything I had to talk myself into going back out. I was expecting to be asked basically the same questions in each of the six interviews. In fact, the hiring manager had given everyone the exact same four questions to ask me. Only one person volunteered that she found that ridiculous. I feel like I got a good sense of the job and the department and the organization. The real kicker is that after all of that, I’m pretty sure it’s not the right place for me. Onward…
Well all of a sudden, things seem to be picking up. I had three interviews last week and have two more this week. The one tomorrow is a second interview following-up one of my phone interviews from last week. I’m a little nervous, because it’s a series of six interviews with 10 people. I’m worried about keeping my energy up while I answer what I’m guessing will be the same questions every 45 minutes, and then I have to take two excel tests (whatever that means) which they are allowing me 90 minutes to complete. Should be a fun time. But I think I’ll have a pretty good sense of the culture of the place and the people by the time I leave, so that’s something.
It does feel like their are more hoops to jump through with all of these. I just heard from another place I had applied to (five weeks ago) asking me to write a brief explanation of why I would be a good fit for a particular job and organization (which I thought was pretty well addressed in my cover letter) and take a knock-off Myers Briggs’ test online. My initial reaction to any extra homework potential employers ask for is always indignation at having to put more time in. And then I remember that I actually have a lot of time. And I need a job.