Monday, November 14, 2011

Two steps backward, a couple forward... I end up pretty much in the same place! But at least not horribly bummed out.

The two backward things:

1) I had a job interview last week. Way on the other side of town. Duties: Writing blog posts for various legal firms. Hours: 8 to 5. (So I'd have to get up weekdays at 5:30am or so to catch 2 buses to get there on time, and wouldn't get home 'til 6:30 or 7pm.) Pay: $12 an hour. I wasn't excited about it. After taxes, I'd be bringing home about $1600 a month. That's a yearly salary of $19,200. That's what a high-school dropout can make working at a supermarket. Yet... Despite all of the above, I was still hoping to get the stupid job! (A stupid job being better than no job and getting evicted next month for no rent payment!) I did not get the job. I could not even get a crappy job that I didn't really want!

2) One of the many temp agencies I'm signed up with called me today with some news: A long-term temp job once scheduled to start today but then pushed up to November 28 had decided on who they wanted for the job; I was "3rd backup." (!) Meaning, if 3 of the ones they actually picked failed their drug tests, etc., THEN I'd be called to work. Pay: $10.55 an hour. And the temp person informed me that since I was on their list, I needed to come in to the office for paperwork, a drug test, etc. Now, I've already been into this particular agency's office TWICE already for various paperwork and office-related tests. This time, I just balked and told them NO. I said that if the company decided they wanted me, then I'd gladly come in to take all the tests that very day, but as 3rd BACKUP, I wasn't going to make yet another trip by bus to their office for nothing. Admittedly, not a real "can-do" spirit, but... Really. All the bullshit for a $10.55-an-hour job that I'm only a backup for? I still have a little dignity left! (I may not have an apartment left next month, but... I've got my pride, dadgummit!)

The above all reminded me of "The Bell Jar," when Elly is unable to focus on her thesis and so thinks of just quitting the whole honors English program at her Ivy League school and signing up at her mother's local college. Only to discover that the requirements for the local school were actually more strenuous than those for her elite school: "Now I saw that the stupidest person at my mother's college knew more than I did. I saw they wouldn't even let me in through the door, let alone give me a large scholarship like the one I had at my own college."

Same here: I condescendingly "stoop" to apply for low-paying jobs, but... they're even harder to qualify for than the high-paying ones that I've been working at for the past 13 years!

Luckily, some good things also happened today to counter the crap.

1) I got an outright offer to do some temp work from home for 2 weeks for $27 an hour!
2) Found a publishing company to freelance for that I hadn't known about and did well on their test. (THIS kind of test, I don't mind!)
3) Applied for a job in my old stomping grounds of Weehawken, and the HR person called me right back! (I had to explain why my resume was coming from Austin, and how I'm definitely looking to re-relocate!) This one's a long-shot, but still: It was nice to be contacted immediately and told how perfect my resume was for their job. And the pay's $30 an hour! And I can still smell and see Weehawken!)


Jennifer said...

I hope you get the Weehawken job. How permanent would that position be? It would be awful to relocate and then have the job fizzle out after a year.

I also don't blame you for not going back to the temp agency for testing. That seems a bit excessive.

Beth Austin said...

I'm talking to the HR person later today about the Weehawken job. I'd go in a second if I had a guarantee of at least 6 months full-time employment, but I don't know that that is part of the deal... I just sent the resume off as a lark, so I'm not really counting on anything, just hoping a tiny bit! :) As I sit here in 75-degree weather in November, I really miss the FALL in the Northeast!

Jennifer said...

I fully understand. Last month we had a couple of chilly days and Sunday and Monday it was in the 80s. I love seasons and it seems that fall has just avoided Texas all together!