Friday, September 14, 2012

How to Search for Jobs

  1. Create accounts on job search sites and have them e-mail you with outdated jobs that don't match your current job search because you've forgotten how to log in and change your job search preferences.

  2. Look at craigslist. Wonder how many of them are scams. Flag teaching "jobs" that are really people posting wanting others to hire them. Bookmark jobs to not apply to later.

  3. Pull out all weeds in front yard. Other acceptable activities include painting baseboards and putting fake fingernails on your cats.

  4. Work from the office with the lattes. Discover that there is no cake, and that the music selection is highly varied. Try to block the glare from the lamp with the laptop lid.

  5. Get distracted by an offer of a free shake for your birthday if you sign up for e-mail club thing. Proceed on exhaustive internet search for all free birthday food. 
I'm really looking forward to my birthday this year.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Interviews Suck

I had an interview Tuesday. All I can say is that the job doesn't sound too bad. It's little more than a glorified administrative assistant. If people ask me what I do for a living, I do not want to say "I am an administrative assistant" (or whatever the job title is, which is probably several bullshit words strung together). This is totally my problem of being an elitist with a snotty private school education and a bucket of degrees and "living up to my potential."

But the reason they suck, primarily, is that they are not accurate tools to determine whether someone can do a job.

Like, for example, interviewing to be a teacher. You can talk to me about curriculum and throw hypotheticals at me all day long and ask what the "parts" of a lesson are (and that varies, and even if I can't remember them off the top of my head, that doesn't mean I can't use them, because I have a lesson plan template I use to plan lessons because I work smarter not harder and memorization is an outdated skill). None of my answers matter if I get in front of the class without a clear and engaging lesson plan that addresses multiple learning styles and a commanding, enthusiastic presence that convinces the students to stop making spitballs and do what they're asked to do. Interviews for teaching are bullshit. Just do a teaching demo. I hate doing teaching demos, but they are the only way to see if someone can teach.

So sure, I answered a few questions (really not even that many) at this interview yesterday and have no idea if I did well or poorly because, like I said, not that many questions were really asked of me. Basically to talk about my background (and she interrupted me because it was on my resume, not that I assume my resume speaks for me, but it does include my background and the jobs I've done before because that is what a resume has on it) and find out if I would rather just edit documents all day because that was what I did in my last job (and no, I would not; that was really draining. This was the correct answer). And the obligatory "do you have any questions?" which I did have some prepared, because I never have any questions, so I asked about the corporate culture and made sure that my assessment of the position and the company were on.

Does any of this indicate that I can do the job? Hell to the no.

Another unemployed person I know was rejected from a job and told that she gave a good interview. How does that help her land a job? It doesn't explain why they didn't hire her. I guess the job just wanted to be friends.

The reason I got the last position was because T didn't interview me. She tested me. She told me straight up what the job was, asked me questions about grammar, and gave me two documents to edit and send back to her. Her goal was not to talk to me about the job but to see if I could do the job. And that's what I excel at -- actually doing the job.

I wish interviews were more like exams. Screw it. Just bring me in for an hour and see if I can do what you need me to do. That would be way more worth my time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fear of Finishing

Things I procrastinate:
  • Planning sequences to teach for yoga
  • Tutoring prep
  • Getting reading done for yoga
  • Buying things (in the form of I see things I like and then "think about them")
I also procrastinate finishing things. Like right now, as part of my time off/unemployment thing, I am doing repairs. Tiny little repairs on baseboards, touching up paint.

I will spackle something, sand it down, apply another layer, sand it down ... I will do this for days. I will try to make it perfectly smooth even though the house is full of old bedsheets as dropcloths, rags, gloves, dust.

It is my house and my project and I can take as long as I want.

But what happens when I finish?

And that is the saga of my bedroom. I pulled out the carpet nearly two years ago. And it sat there. I painted but I didn't get molding put up or the floor refinished.

And now the floor is finished and what is keeping me from moving in?

Oh, I need to touch up the baseboards.

So why am I touching up the baseboards in the hall and downstairs?

How am I going to get the closet door back on?

Do I even want doors for the big closet? What else could I put there?

Can I put up molding myself or do I need help (almost surely I do, even if it is just someone to hold things while I nail them)?

What happens when I am finished?

How many days has this blog entry been sitting in limbo?

Why don't I want to get there?

Friday, September 7, 2012

That Fast

Only really took one day.

Since Monday was a holiday, my official first day of unemployment was Tuesday. Tuesday went like this:
  1. Yoga practice. Challenge self.
  2. Breakfast and shower.
  3. Try to apply for a job.
  4. Stupid job website makes you create an account, asks for SSN, doesn't actually create account.
  5. Cry.
  6. Start painting baseboards and listening to Florence + the Machine.
  7. Feel better enough to try to call and reset a password for another job.
  8. Get told that they can reset my password but they can't tell me what the password is.
  9. Get in argument with person's supervisor but not ever actually receive an answer as to why they have this policy. Hang up phone.
  10. Cry.
  11. Screw crying. Paint and patch walls more.
  12. Go dancing.
Um, yeah. And then for the next two days I pretty much proceeded to ignore the need to look for a job other than going out to this weird temp agency to update my records so I can interview for a job that is farther away, pays less, is more boring, and might even make me wear office clothes.

This should make me want to look for and apply for less crappy jobs, but it really just makes me want to spray paint stuff, patch every crack in the house, and pull weeds out of the yard.

So now it's Friday, the end of the week, and I'd set aside a huge chunk of time to hang out with friends, which I still intend to do, and yet I haven't applied for a single job despite all the time I had slotted on my calendar for doing so.

Maybe I just needed a vacation.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Yoga of West Coast Swing

We talk in yoga teacher training a lot about what we learn on the mat and taking it off the mat. But because yoga is a way of life, I learn a lot on the dance floor too, and try to take at least some of it with me.

I learn confidence. I learn poise.

I learn dealing with difficulty (like those partners who cannot find the shoulder blade to save their lives) and I learn when it is imperative to use my voice (like the lead who rammed me into someone on practically every pass and was laughing it off and I finally had to say, you need to watch out, that's your job as a lead.)

I learn how to walk up to people and ask for what I want, which is a dance.

I even learned how to outright steal a partner.

I learn to compliment others -- and how to complement them, too, how to play off what they give me.

I learn to be strong and sexy and attract notice and allow myself to be noticed.

I learn how to keep myself safe and still take risks.

I learn that you dance, whether you feel crappy or happy, and the endorphins do their work.

I learn to let myself out of the prison of rules and restrictions about how I must act and what I must let others know about myself.

And I learn that "we're good" really does mean that we're good, and that you don't give up a great dance partner just because romance didn't happen.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


I let him go.

It was a relief for me, but I'm wondering if it wasn't also a relief for him.
No one likes giving bad news. But it is so much better to give it than to wait and hope the other person does it first.

From my list of probable fallacies:
Once something is started, it can't be stopped without bitterness apparent for all to see.
It was a fallacy; at least, it appears that way at the moment. What I wanted to do was have it be simple. Have there be no explanation, because explanations often sound like excuses. I have no intention of leaving the dance community, and I wouldn't want him to either. But I also didn't want to encourage false hope. I do feel like a number of people have given me false hope and incomplete breaks, and I've found that horrible.

The answer in the end was simple: take my time. Give it a chance. Find the light in him and see if it encouraged my own. And then simply tell the truth. He said okay, perhaps a little too enthusiastically, gave me a hug, and said we were good. I can't help but think he was getting frustrated at my busy schedule and lack of initiative. As he should have been.

I can't even begin to list (because I don't want to put myself through enumerating them all) all the guys who have given me headaches over the years with their lengthy and detailed explanations as to why they couldn't date me. Somewhere there has to be a middle ground between no explanation and something that leaves the hearer searching for chinks in a very logically presented and well-thought-out presentation of a rejection. Therapist J asked me why I even listened when the last major crush went on his whole explainy thing.

I think last major crush thought he was doing the right thing by explaining himself and by talking it over (and over and over and over). At the time I thought he was doing the right thing too. We were really fricken proud of ourselves about it. It was only after I really thought about how much unnecessary information I'd listened to and how little time he spent getting to know me in the first place, that I started to feel dumped upon.

I don't want to cause people the same headache. And while I think when a relationship ends there should be some coming to an understanding and some discussion, I also think that laying all your issues on someone as a reason is not the way to go -- for their sake. And when you're not even in a relationship, when you're choosing not to get started with a relationship, the less headache for the other person, the better.

So I don't want to be too self-congratulatory, because I really don't know if his response was relief or a defense mechanism. I choose to believe that since he said we're good, we're good. In the end the simplest explanation -- I don't feel that way -- was all there needed to be.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I don't want to call this boy

This boy is a tutoring student, by the way.

I've worked for Large Tutoring and Test Preparation Conglomerate since 2001, except not really, because I've taken long breaks, like the 5-year break when I was in NYC and was a Real Teacher and a couple years of break while I was a Somewhat Less Real Teacher at Kind of Fake University and The School That Shall Not Be Named. But, you know, I lost the job at TSTSNBN and I was like, well, LTTPC will probably give me some work at least and I can be doing something and feeling useful.

Claude Noury 1506 The Torment of the Cauldron
By Claude Noury [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

What I didn't anticipate was that I would actually hate tutoring. I had never hated it before. But I came to loathe it. Dread it. Actively procrastinate preparing the lessons, feel squirmy while I was tutoring, resent tutoring even though it made me money. In June when I finished with my student I was so so so glad. I was busy enough and making enough money that I did not have to take on another student.

But now I'm not working. And I don't want to actually be off the LTTPC roster as a tutor because I have gone through their training 3 times now, and I do not want to have to go through that again.

Stocks (PSF)
By Pearson Scott Foresman [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This kid only wants 6 sessions and needs to be done by the beginning of October, so it is not that bad, and he doesn't live that far away, but ugh ugh ugh I don't want to do it, but I said I'd do it and I need to do it, and this is not the worst thing that has ever happened to a human being.


This week's dance lesson was on adding a little hoppy crossy thing to inside turns. Surprisingly difficult for a lot of people, and putting it into practice means figuring out what constitutes an opportunity.

For this move, for a follow, it's an inside turn.

For life, it's anything.

The job that just ended was weighing on me. At times there seemed to be the possibility that it might go permanent, but that was only mentioned once.

This is a tremendous relief.

When I got the job, it was just what I needed: minimal human interaction, sitting at a computer, occupying and exhausting my brain. Endless mounds of work, unimaginable cascades of documents to be read and refined, good pay, security, the ability to not be home using my utilities, so I could save money.

Cubicle land
By Larsinio at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

But it was also extremely boring.

Not that I didn't have work to do. I had tons of work to do. All of it was boring.

Still. In the last month of working there, I went from friendly to friends with some people. I'm trying to keep in touch, even if all that means is using social networking sites -- since I am terrible at actual networking.

The biggest opportunity I get from the job being over is the gift of time. I've never been busier. Being in an office 40 hours a week, driving to and from said office, participating in teacher training, dancing, spending time with friends, teaching yoga, trying to maintain a house and yard, trying to blog and look for a permanent job. Some of these have suffered (witness this blog entry was begun at work and no one seemed to notice or care).

Now I have some time. I have a list, a very sloppy list that I'm going to try to tidy up and physically display in the house, so that I know what I'm doing with myself.

  • look for jobs that I actually want to do
  • spend time with friends
  • go to career counselor people office thing at local university from which I have a big fancy degree (really, I have never seen diplomas with larger physical measurements)
  • touch up baseboards, paint/finish furniture
  • make lots of cool stuff
  • dig up weeds, cut back ivy, mulch mulch mulch
  • blog more and promote this blog (and the other blog)
  • take daytime yoga classes
  • resume a daily yoga practice
  • get caught up on my teacher training reading, observing, and assisting
  • go to advanced WCS classes (which are the same night, just earlier, and I always had trouble getting there on time)
  • buy a new suit since I lost a bajillion pounds and had to give away the old one
  • consider getting some kind of a certificate in something boring but reliable
  • see if I can get myself back to Kripalu and visit my adorable as yet unmet babyfriends Jonah and Xander
  • get stuff fixed, like my teeth and car door lock
  • a thousand other things
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