Drifting, Lacking, Wanting

I hadn’t mentioned it earlier because to be honest, it’s really just kind of humiliating…I’m starting another temp job (about six weeks) with part-time hours. I’ll be traveling within the area to different schools and taking pictures. Quite honestly, I would have preferred to just to have stayed at home and collect my first unemployment check, but Sparring Partner wasn’t going for that.

It’s gutting me. Unemployment. I got an email from one employer that said, “We regret that you are no longer considered for XYZ position because you did not meet our minimum requirements.” What exactly were the minimum requirements I didn’t meet? I don’t know. I didn’t go back and pull up the description, but I have to believe that is just their rejection form letter (which doesn’t allow for replies) and that my experience and education aren’t really lacking considering the rather entry-level position.

One of the positions I was overlooked where I was temping for a year and a half was filled by a woman who got a position I had applied for back in January with another company. I heard that she then quit to accept another position I applied for elsewhere. She then quit to take the job where I was temping. In eight months, she had three jobs. All of them I had applied for. This was the same woman who on her first week of employment called in sick three of the five days.

If I was you reading me, I would have long ago wondered what the fuck was wrong with me that I can’t get a job. I think my husband has started to wonder, too. I feel like my spirit is being crushed slowly especially tonight when after Doodicus’s Teacher Meet-Up we had to tell him we couldn’t go to Pizza Hut as a kind of last hurrah before school starts on Wednesday “because we have to cut back until I can find a job”; or when we had to limit the cost of his new school shoes to $40 or less; or when I reused colored pencils and crayons from the past few years instead of buying new; or when I went through the “gently used” school uniforms to see if there were any good finds.

We are not on welfare or anything like that, but knowing that I had to agree with Sparring Partner that we couldn’t enjoy a meal out…? Even I have accepted that a job really isn’t going to be around the corner any time soon.

20 thoughts on “Drifting, Lacking, Wanting”

  1. That woman with three jobs in 8 months – that would be a total red flag for me if I was hiring. I smell a huge rat somewhere in there. Don’t compared yourself with her. It completely sucks the position you are in. I hope it gets better very soon now the summer is over.

  2. I’m sorry. It sucks. I know how awful that feels and how much it seems like there’s no end. You really lose sight of your being and totally doubt your worth. I feel like it is MUCH worse than dating honestly.

    It took me almost a year to find a job (which I was fortunate because I was still working at a regular job) and I had to move to get it. In the year I searched both in and outside Seattle, I think I applied to 5 jobs in Seattle total and that’s all that I found in what I do. Are there opportunities to do some volunteer work for an organization there? Perhaps that would help networking or making contacts?

    1. I’ve agreed to be a parent/teacher go- between at school. It’ll give me opportunity to rub elbows with the city’s elite since it’s a parochial school.

  3. I know searching for a job just sucks. We’ve gone through it way too many times at our house. My husband is an attorney and it was so hard for him to sit through some of those temp jobs and see the idiots with no experience getting the better pay and benefits. But it does work out eventually. Hang in there.

  4. I have to believe that something has to click into place soon. You are bright, eager and adorable. I would hire you in a heartbeat (though my company is very job specific and training isn’t an option so I can only hire people with tons of background…primarily nurses). Undoubtedly your region isn’t helping much, as there aren’t tons of employers close to you.

    When I started my company, I did it with barely any money in the bank and a lot of determination. It was hard as hell. I worked 20 hours a day for the first 6 months and thought it would kill me. It didn’t. It has ebbed and flowed over the years but by 2014 I will be considered a dinosaur, as my company will fade away–through new laws in the medical world. *sigh*

    I guess we just have to keep plugging along and take what comes until something else comes. You may meet someone in your new position that will click with you, and bring you on board where they work. Stranger things have happened.

  5. I don’t wonder what is wrong with you at all. I have been on the hiring/acceptance ends of jobs and admissions of the university where I worked. I talked with the applicants but did not have final authority over who was hired/accepted. What I found was that the people who did have authority only looked at the surface and not underneath. They were impressed with big name universities and big names, period. And often those were the same applicants who later showed had no substance or competence.

    It’s hard to not to wonder what is wrong with yourself when you have gotten rejection letter after rejection letter. But, believe me, it is mostly THEM not YOU. Just think about the decisions that went into hiring your trainee and how incompetent she is. That had nothing to do with your abilities and the kind of employee you are.

    1. That drove me crazy! I don’t understand the inefficiency of a company that would keep a less qualified employee over one much better suited. Does. Not. Compute. I hope DD finds a place that deserves her!

      Hang in there, DD! Don’t give up! We are so rooting for you!!!

  6. Unemployment is a depressing, humbling, shitty experience.

    I am so sorry you’re having such a rough time right now. It sucks. And I’m hoping you find something soon.

  7. This sucks for you, especially when it starts to affect your family. After J’s year of unemployment and being told recently that the company’s contract is unlikely to be renewed in February, I’m terribly skittish and afraid that he’s going to be out of work for another year, but this time without the savings (since we ate those up during the last year of unemployment).

    I really hope you find a great job very soon, and that this temp job is fun in the meantime.

  8. Ugh! I am so sorry about this. I have no idea what you are like in the workplace; obviously you are competent: you ran circles around Trainee! I can only offer you what we look for in our work place. This is going to be long, but I hope it helps…

    My husband and I are professional illustrators. We have a very small company (he and I, plus his mom, who is our bookkeeper and handles all the financial aspects of what we do – she doesn’t take a pay check at this point). We just hired a new illustrator, a recent graduate from our alma mater. There were a number of factors why we hired her as opposed to other, and some more talented, applicants.

    1. She responded the same day that we posted our job listing (on our professional organization’s site, as well as through the professors of the two undergraduate programs). Her initial e-mail was professional but not cold, with a link to her online portfolio and resume.

    2. She arrived promptly for her interview dressed professionally. She was friendly and eager to learn, but not flaky. She did not ask for time off (in the event she got the job) to visit someone far away *during the interview* (as another candidate did). She expressed a strong desire to learn and excitement at the thought of this new job.

    3. Her reaction to our offered salary (not much, but it’s what we can afford) was pleased surprise.

    4. During the interview, which took place during mid-July, we informed the candidate that we were looking for someone to start in the beginning of August. Without hesitation she told us that wouldn’t be a problem, she had already started looking around the area for housing.

    5. Her portfolio was good, but not as good as some other people that applied. The main issue that sealed this job for her? Attitude. In such a small company, attitude is 99% of the job. Talent is 1%. Really. What’s an even better surprise is that during her first week, she accomplished two projects with very little instruction (at least, a lot less than we were anticipating).

    Some problems with the other candidates:

    1) One young woman had been in and out of school of 10 years before finally getting her master’s degree. On her portfolio site was a link to her blog, which we perused. She mentioned that she needed to get a job that paid her enough so she could indulge her expensive foodie tastes. While I certainly don’t begrudge anyone for having expensive tastes, it was clear that this salary and position, located not too far but far enough away from the metropolitan city in which she lived, would not help her meet those goals. Her portfolio was excellent, she had a lot of talent, and I have no doubt she’ll find a job that would be a better match.

    2) Another candidate, a man our own age who had graduated with his master’s degree the same year we earned our BFAs, was someone with whom I worked at another company about 10 years ago. He was there for a few months, took the current database of work, and left to work for a competing company. He knew I worked at the company he was applying to. Maybe he didn’t think I knew he took the database? I have no idea. In addition to this, he quality of his work…Well, we do wish him all the best.

    3) Another candidate contacted us about a week after the job listing, stating she was on vacation but would send us her resume & portfolio when she returned. Sounded fine…Her e-mail address looked web site specific, so we looked it up and found her online portfolio, resume and blog. She seemed like a very nice girl, but far too “artsy/craftsy” for what we really needed. [I’m telling you, after you’ve had a number of employees, you see where you make your mistakes].

    4) The last candidate contacted us the day we were going to offer the first candidate the position. This girl, in the same program as the first, had also received a good recommendation from her professor. We decided to interview her as well and see how it went. She was not dressed professionally. Nicely, but more appropriate for a dinner out with friends. Also revealed too much of her bosom. Didn’t seem thrilled about the salary, and asked if it would be a problem to take time off the following month since she already had the plane tickets. Her portfolio was good and her professor, with whom DH & I went to school, said either girl would do a great job. In the end we went for the first candidate, but would consider the last candidate down the road.

    Attitude. All I can suggest is look pleasant, confident, eager with a no-problem-I-can-handle-any-task-you-throw-at-me-while-smiling attitude. Something you have no control over is that the job market right now is horrible. Hang in there and persevere, DD! I do so hope you find something really good, and soon. Everything is crossed…

  9. I’m sorry – I’ve been in the same position and know exactly how you feel. I think it’s just that much harder to get a job when you’re unemployed and looking. The person you referenced who keeps job hopping probably gets good recommendations because she sucks and her current employer is eager to get rid of her. It IS a really tough economic climate, so don’t be so hard on yourself.

  10. Been there and totally sympathize. Hoping things turn around soon for you.

    (And, even tho I have a job, my hubs took a job with a pay cut–so we still are having to go without certain things we are used to, so I totally can relate to the cutting back issues.)

  11. I might have wondered about you…but I’ve been there. I was fired when I was 5 months pregnant with Sam. I spent 15 months looking for a job (minus the month immediately following delivery). It sucked and I questioned my self-worth. But I know now that it wasn’t me. When you hear about the “bad economic climate,” this is what they mean. You are a victim of forces much bigger than you and it has nothing to do with your qualifications or abilities. Not meeting minimum qualifications is (1) a human resources screening tool that does not make room for ANY flexibility (I was once rejected for a paralegal position because I don’t have a paralegal certificate…even though I have a law degree…because the HR matrix said so); or (2) you would cost too much money and the other applicants can be hired for less; or (3) you just don’t know the right people.

    I guess I’m just trying to say, I understand. It sucks. But I understand. Hang in there. It will get better eventually. And really…taking pics of kids isn’t too bad of a way to spend time, is it?

  12. My brother takes photographs at schools for a living – LOVES IT! You have the same schedule as the school kids, but there is lots of travel.

You can say it here.

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