Monday, September 14, 2009

The Scarlett Dilemma

You know, for the past couple of months, I have been applying for jobs, but I've been doing so in a VERY desultory fashion, maybe 2 one day, then nothing for a couple of weeks, then 1 or And I'm embarrassed about the cover letters I've been including: a few dull, brief sentences with just the bare facts.

This morning, though, I woke up with the windows open, and it was a brilliant sunny day, and I loved how the Weehawken trees and sky looked and how everything smelled...

"Sometimes the day dawns like a beautiful girl, eyes and legs flashing,
all one shiny-bright hello..."

And I suddenly felt like applying for a bunch of jobs and being charming and "Chatty Cathy" with my potential employers in the process. Here's a sample paragraph in one of my cover letters:

"...To be honest, I'd never heard of "--------------" before today! But the more I browsed your website, the more excited I got about the idea of working with the vast array of interesting and informative material there. (I didn't have time to read many of the columns at this outing, but did especially enjoy looking over the stats and search-engine watch info. I'll definitely be going back!)..."

Now, if you haven't written many cover letters, you might think the above sounds kind of odd: admitting I'd never heard of the company, admitting to not reading some of their material... But the kicker is how gosh-darned enthusiastic I am and how I'll be going back to their website on my own time, even if I'm not hired.

Of course, I then went on to list the relevant details of my work history...but I also gave them a sense of personality. In just about every job I've gotten, at the interview, the manager commented on my "interesting" cover letter. (And I've been a supervisor responsible for hiring a couple of times myself, so I know how deadly dull some people's letters can be. Like mine were a few weeks ago! Which is fine in a boom economy when you just need bodies with relevant experience, but not in a recession, when hundreds of people are applying for every one job available.)

So, anyhow, it felt good to finally get my sad ass in gear and make an effort at the damn cover letters! :)

I think because it's getting down to the wire -- my unemployment checks running out VERY SOON -- I'm finally getting a sense of what's actually going to happen to me if I don't make a real effort to find another job up here... Nothing dramatic like me "being out on the streets" or anything. But I will end up back in Austin. WITH NO CAR. (My mom's already told me: She'll pay my rent/utilities there for a couple of months while I get back on my feet, but she ain't gonna buy me yet another car!) :)

My family's in Austin and San Antone, and I have friends in both places; so my social life will improve drastically if I move back. And my rent will be half of what I'm paying now, so I'll be able to survive on a shit-paying job while I look for real work. But, but... I don't love Austin. I like it. It's nice. It won't kill me if I have to go back there. But I don't looooooooooove it.

Am I just shallow? Am I a "weather queen," in love with 4 distinct seasons (esp. fall leaves and SNOW!)? Am I a "milieu queen," in love with NYC's, and the surrounding area's, cultural and historical aura? I am, I am indeed.

And what I do in the next 6 weeks is going to determine the course of the rest my life. Kind of like a marriage decision: Which do I want, the nice, safe guy, or the exciting rogue with depth?

The Scarlett Dilemma.

In two senses for me. The first is Austin being Charles Hamilton/Frank Kennedy -- the fall-back choice when there's nothing better to do. The second is more personal, with "the IDEA OF" Sandra being Ashley, and NYC being Rhett. The former is constantly vacillating, constantly elusive, ultimately NOT THERE, despite my efforts. The city, on the other hand, is utterly real and open and offers up anything I want, if I choose to go for it... With the very real potential of a "frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" as a result of my long-term inattention! And I have truly been inattentive, moping around on my couch for months dreaming of a ghost rather than devoting my time to the vibrant and potential-filled here-and-now.


just one said...

there is, of course...Houston.
and the above poem is great,flippant, scarlett, and ...appropriate. glad you woke up with enthusiasm.

casu2 said...

There is no "Scarlett Dilemma" already decided this,
you wanna be in NY.Period.
So, make a GO for it,yeah,one in
capital letters!=D