Temporary Insanity

So, I got a call last week for a short-term temp job and because I desperately needed the money and because I had nothing else really in the pipeline, I took the job.  The assignment was supposed to be 4 ten hour days. Cool, no problem.

The first day, there were some issues and they let us go after 8 hours. Cool, no problem.  The second day I worked an extra 2 hours… a tich inconvenient, but whatever.  There were actually people who worked an additional 2 hours after the time I left. But, again, we were told that the EXPECTATION was that you would work a 10 hour day.  The third day, they sent us home at the 10 hour mark. Cool, no problem. The last day, I worked an additional hour and a quarter.  However, there were people who ended up staying about 2 more hours and THEY got assigned to go back to the company and work additional days.

I don’t begrudge any of the people who got the extra work. There were a lot of people there who were in even more dire straits than I am financially and good for them (genuinely) that they are getting more work.  But really… if the EXPECTATION was that you were supposed to stay each day for 14 or 16 hours, I wish that would have been articulated.  If it had EVER been put out to the group that, hey, we expect you to work until we kick you out every day, I would have gone on my 2-3 hours of sleep and just kept slogging along.  But that was never either articulated or intimated or even remotely hinted at.

On the up side, I met a lot of really nice people and (maybe) made some friends. But I can’t help but feel disappointed that, even though I was one of the most productive workers the hours that I was there, I was never clued into the key to getting asked to continue on and I know you are probably thinking I should have known that, but they never gave a clue as to when they were shutting things down every day. Case in point, the day they MADE us leave after 10 hours, I had been prepared to work 12 hours.  So I guess I don’t feel like I was adequately informed as to the true circumstances of the situation. And, if such an opportunity ever comes up again, I will just go into it expecting to work 16-18 hours a day and cancel the entire rest of my life for however long it ends up taking.

There is currently nothing pending and I’m more than a little depressed. I just want to get back to having something I can count on.  And I would like it to not come with a big side dish of questioning whether *I* will be sticking around.

Don’t Get Me Started

So, about 4 weeks ago, I was all excited because I was going to be able to stop the “out of work” clock.  I had a job.  Sure, it was a temp gig, but there was allegedly a good chance that I was going to get hired.

I should have had an inkling from the get-go that things were NOT going to go as I had envisioned.  I got there and they had no chair for me and my desk was, well, still in it’s pre-assembled format. Great.  No phone system, no copier, not even a printer. Oh, and I had been asked to bring my own laptop.  In hindsight, this should have been a HUGE red flag.  Nay, it should have been my signal to turn around and walk back out the door.

Around 10AM, I got treated to an impassioned speech about how I had better be prepared to sign on for the long haul and that they didn’t want someone who was just going to leave again in short order  and that they were concerned, given my background, that I was not someone who was going to stick around. (Insert my eyeroll here… you pay me, I’ll stay).

The week ended and all seemed well.  I was learning how things worked and things seemed, well, fine.  Except that there was still no phone system and, apparently, no plan in place to get one.  At this point I brought in office supplies from home and was mortified whenever we had visitors to the office because there was nary a chair for them to sit in. I was still fighting the gut instinct to run.

Week two came to a close. I submitted my invoice so I would be paid and… was told that I could have a check for ONE week that day and I would DEFINITELY get the balance by Wednesday of the following week.  Like a completely naive idiot, I accepted that but honestly, I was LIVID.

Week three started…. I am starting to sense some panic. I am starting to sense more than a little tension.  Wednesday rolls around… NO PAYCHECK.  Then Thursday… NO PAYCHECK.  Friday comes and there’s no one in the office except me. I start imagining the landlord having me thrown in jail because of bills racking up and the “boss” is nowhere to be found.  Boss finally comes in for about 2 whole minutes, grudgingly hands me a check with a speech about how HE is working for free.  Well, my friend, I CAN’T work for free.

Week four begins.  There is an odd tension in the air.  Around noon we have a meeting with an offsite colleague via teleconference. And then I get told that they cannot afford to continue paying me. They love my work. They want me to stay on but… there is just no budget for it.   Now, the LOGICAL and ETHICAL thing that would follow that conversation is that I would be handed a check for Week 3 (which I have ALREADY WORKED), I hand them my key and I go on my merry way.

But, alas… that is NOT what happened. The boss left for a meeting (and was gone for the rest of the day). I had no check in hand and, frankly, no promise that there was a check forthcoming.  It is now almost Friday again and I STILL DON’T HAVE A PAYCHECK.  The law in my state dictates that involuntarily terminated employees (that would be me) are entitled to their final paycheck WITHIN SIX CALENDAR DAYS.

Believe me, it’s not going to be pretty if I don’t get a call tomorrow telling me I can come and pick up my check.  (Nevermind that it will be over 2 hours of commute time for me to get there and back home).

You know, I really want to believe the best about people and this is the sort of thing that happens to people like me.  Be wise, get everything in writing, document EVERYTHING and don’t walk out the door without your final check in hand.

Have a great weekend.  I will likely spend mine drafting legal papers to collect my check. Wish me luck!

Brief Update

I wish I could tell you that progress had been made. But really, it hasn’t.  I had another phone interview and got moved to the testing phase… scored 95% on the testing (they consider anyone who scores 65% or better) and moved on to the second test phase plus the face-to-face interview where I was told that there were 500 applicants and that I am the first of “two or three weeks” of interviewing.  So… yeah… I am wise enough to not hold my breath for this one.

I’ve been trying to connect with some other people who have called.  It’s not going overly well.  I guess that once I am done writing this, I will try again.

Other than that, not much to report. Although I am signed up with over a dozen agencies, none of them have anything for me.  Meanwhile, I’ve exhausted my Unemployment Benefits and due to the shenanigans currently going on with the government, I am not in line for Emergency Unemployment (at least until things get straightened out) so I am in just a bit of a panic.

So, here’s hoping that I will be able to catch up with the folks who I’ve been playing phone tag with and that one of them will be making a decision (in my favor) earlier than “2-3 weeks” from now.

Runnin’ in the hamster wheel…

This week has been a dizzying array of phone calls and emails and interviews and testing.  I feel like I’ve been in constant “run” mode.

It’s after midnight. I need to be up at 6AM for an early appointment tomorrow (later today, I guess is more accurate) and I just realized that I should write the thank-you letters for today’s interviews but I need to get to bed and I am afraid I would make mistakes that might end up tipping the scales out of my favor. I have some other business at the post office, though, so I am thinking I can do tomorrow morning’s appointment, come home, do the phone interview I have in the early afternoon, write the letters I need to write and prep the other things I need to take to the post office, run out to the post office, come home and MAYBE catch up on some of the things I am behind on (like, oh, the disaster area that is my kitchen), make sure I have myself together for Friday because I am cat sitting this weekend and was thinking that on Friday I will go to do the cat sitting relatively early and leave from the place I do the cat sitting to take care of the plans for the evening (Fridays have become errand night. Which I have no problem with, I just need to get some things done before then).

Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the opportunity to interview for positions and get things moving forward in a positive direction with my career. I just don’t think anyone realizes that there is a whole PROCESS to interviewing, it’s not as simple as get dressed, go interview, come home.

I must plan and put together the right outfit.  I have to shower, do hair and makeup (and I am someone who usually just puts my hair in a ponytail and wears not a bit of makeup, so having to actually do something professional/creative/attractive with my hair and spend the time (which is why I don’t do it on the daily) to do my makeup probably takes me a lot longer than you would imagine).  I have to make sure I’ve researched the company, have directions written down, have copies of everything I need copies of and then it’s out the door to the interview.  I get to the interview spot early most of the time so I have time for “one last check” in the mirror in the restroom then I go and fill out any needed paperwork and do the interview. Afterwards, I have to write a thank-you letter and get it mailed.  Sometimes they send me tests I need to take, sometimes there is a whole online application process to get through but a 1PM appointment can take me from prepping at about 9:30AM to getting the thank-you letter in the mail at 3:30 or 4:00PM.  Then I have emails and calls to return and don’t forget I still need to be applying for jobs (and documenting everything I do for a potential Unemployment Audit).

Meanwhile, I have an apartment to take care of, I have writing to do (because writers WRITE), I have blogs I should be writing, I have social media to keep up with, I have a small business I’m trying to breathe some life back into, I have friendships to maintain and networking I need to do.

Which, again, I emphasize, I am not complaining about any of it. But I really, really just want to get back into the flow of having a job that has (basically) the same hours every day and having some sort of routine and not get calls asking me if I can be at a place that’s 45 minutes away in an hour (when I am not dressed for an interview, need to shower, do hair and makeup and get relevant paperwork together).

If you’ll pardon me, I’m exhausted and need to go to bed.  Goodnight!


I’ve now had three agencies tell me that they don’t think they can help me and/or that they will not represent me based on how long I’ve been out of work.  When people ask me “what have you been doing since you got laid off?” and I reply “looking for work”, they are almost always HORRIFIED and say something like “you mean, you haven’t worked AT ALL for all those months?”

I went on an interview today where the interviewer told me he took down the ad after receiving over 300 resumes.  From that group of 300, they chose 30 to interview. I was interview number one.  He had no prepared interview questions and wrote no notes about me. I will be gone from his mind completely by interview number three.  Also, he wants someone bilingual, something the one sentence ad didn’t mention.  So, I drove for almost an hour (1 way) for a 10 minute “interview” where I didn’t have a key skill needed for the job…

I have an appointment at an agency tomorrow where the rep I am meeting with says he is afraid to present me to clients because “after all these months, you’re just going to seem desperate” but he wanted me to come in and fill out paperwork anyways.  It is, quite honestly, very likely a waste of time, but I will go and dutifully fill out more paperwork so I can dutifully report to the Unemployment office that I am leaving no stone unturned in my job search.

But honestly, I am really starting to worry that I am simply not employable. And I’m pretty scared of what that is going to mean.  Unemployment payments won’t last forever. I’m not sure what to do anymore.

And maybe I’ll be elected Pope…

I had an interview the other day that was three hours long… Three hours in a hot conference room with no airflow. It was for an entry-level job that pays less than I make on unemployment.  I met with 8 people. Back-to-back, I did eight interviews.  Eight times I answered pretty much an identical set of questions. In a hot conference room.  And at the end? I was told that IF I made the cut, they’d be scheduling second interviews “some time next week”… and a little part of my soul died.

It’s one thing to have to sit through three hours of interviewing once.  To contemplate having to go back again makes me cringe.  Especially since there are actually multiple positions available and I wouldn’t mind working for one team and I shudder a little at the thought of working for another of the teams. And remember, it’s for an ENTRY-LEVEL position.  Why they are interviewing someone with over 20 years of experience for entry level positions, I honestly do not understand. But this was a referral from the Unemployment Office and if I didn’t apply for the job, they’d cut me off from my Unemployment Benefits.

So, now I am faced with a dilemma…. do I write EIGHT thank you notes?  Do I only write thank you notes to the people I genuinely wouldn’t mind working with?  Do I not write thank you notes at all and hope they forget about me/pass me by for other candidates?  Can I afford to do that when, honestly, this is the most viable opportunity currently in the pipeline?

Honestly, right now I am hoping some sort of miracle occurs and that a job that had hired someone else has that someone else abruptly quit, spurring the employer to call me out of desperation.  Or maybe my old job will call me back from layoff.

And maybe I’ll be elected Pope.

Strange (but fitting) analogy

I was telling someone that I feel like a piece of over-ripe fruit at the farmer’s market. I know I was good once but now feel like I’m just not something anyone wants.  I’m trying not to “go down the rabbit hole” into depression but in light of how things have gone lately, I am at the point where I find myself not even afforded the smallest bits of human decency.  Cast aside for younger versions who have less experience but are shiny, new, moldable minds and bodies.

I’m trying to figure out what to do if there is truly nothing left for me. If I am obsolete, to be kicked to the curb to make room for a fresh, new model then what becomes of me?

I suddenly have sympathy for old toasters…

Purpose vs. Paycheck

A week and a half ago, I was laid off.  It feels, quite frankly, like much, much longer than that.  I keep applying, talking to people on the phone, hoping that I am doing everything that needs to be done. I keep wondering if I am EVER going to find a job or just keep on interviewing and interviewing.  It seems that there is always someone out there who is just a LITTLE BIT better than I am and they get the job.

Tomorrow I have some projects to get done.I think Thursday will be the day I run my post office errands. And then it will be Friday again.  It seems like just yesterday I was toasting my new job with friends and now I am worrying anew about whether I’m going to find new employment soon.

I have not yet interviewed for a job that’s made me feel that really enthusiastic.  I’ve not even found anything to apply for that makes me feel enthusiastic.  Maybe that’s a side effect of having wanted this last job so much and having had it turn out to be somewhat a nightmare.

I need to think of ways to do something that will give my life some purpose while still bringing in money.

Anticipated Reset…*sigh

As I had feared, I got a call from bossdude today, letting me know I was being laid-off.  I am not surprised, but I am disappointed.  Especially since I do not think this is what bosslady wants.

I am upset that he handled it. I’m HER assistant and she should get to say when things end. But, alas, I fear that my feeling that he was just humoring her and that he wants to force her onto the mommy track are true.  Woe betide any child that comes into this world under those circumstances.

And so… I march resolutely back to Square One… to start over again.

Not a great start to the year…

I’ve not heard from bosslady in over a week. I was contacted last week by the Unemployment Office about my “recent unemployment”…  I am assuming, at this point, that the Unemployment Office knows what they are talking about and that I likely don’t have a job anymore.  To say I am deeply disappointed if this is how this ends is an understatement.

As it is, I’ve gotten virtually no hour the past couple of weeks but I can’t quit because then I will be ineligible for Unemployment, which is a tiny sum, but it’s something.

Meanwhile, I HAVE been proactively seeking work. It’s slow going, though, and I’m starting to panic.

So… I am getting ready to reset the clock and march back to Square One.

Can I get a ‘do over’ on this year so far?