Workin …

I am really thrilled that my new job is turning out so well.

In the past, I always wondered what it would be like to work for one of those Silicon Valley start-ups, or somewhere like Google, etc. Now I think I have an idea. πŸ™‚

The company I work for does Internet marketing. My job, specifically, is designing and tracking emails for a large for-profit college group, to generate leads (potential students). You may have gotten some of our product in your inbox.

It’s cool, because I get to edit/write copy, do graphic design work, code (or I will, as I get better at PHP) and analyze data. Everything I enjoy doing is part of this job (well, almost everything! πŸ™‚ ). At least my professional interests are covered. I still haven’t found a job that will pay me for watching hockey or writing short stories! LOL!

The added benefit is that my co-workers are generally younger than I am and the whole corporate culture is pretty freewheeling, at least compared to the places I’ve worked in the past. Someone messed up and we all got an email about the error. One of my colleagues in the email department sent out a response reminding her that the penalty for spamming was $14,000 per incident. Times the 80 of us it got sent to. He totalled it up and told her to “Lawyer Up”. Not only that, he sent it out to the entire company. All that happened was that we all got a good laugh. I’ve worked places where that would have gotten him reprimanded at the very least. The week before, someone commented on the admin assistant’s email about a problem in the men’s room, with stats as to which restroom had had the most problems: Men’s or Women’s. The company president asked for the ROI on that in a follow-up email. I can’t repeat the response to THAT, but again … not the kind of interaction I’m used to. But boy do I enjoy it!

The last thing I love is that I can’t remember ever working in a place where people were so collaborative and relatively attitude-free. Now I know I’ve only been here for a couple of months, and I’m sure there are some tensions I just don’t pick up on. Still, I don’t see the ultra-corporate, I’m in it for me BS that was a part of nearly every other job I’ve had.

They’ve even given me a “leader” position — I’m responsible for adding publicity on Twitter for our (email) group. Everyone feeds me links and I use CoTweet to post five or six a day. I’m to learn as much about Twitter and how we can use it as I can. I also write (along with everyone else on a rotating basis) posts for the company blog.

It’s nice, you know, despite everything else going on, to have nine or so hours a day when I’m pretty happy. Thank you, Lord. I needed that. Do you think you could do something about the Canadiens defense and help Alex Auld so he can successfully spell Carey Price? Amen.


Workin’ in the Coal Mine …

Well, it’s a temp job for a background check company, not a coal mine. Although coming along about 5:00 p.m., it feels rather coal minish, without the dust and the risk.

I heard from one of the jobs today; it’s not happening for me — or anyone else they interviewed this go-round. I blame it on the personality profile thingie they did. They have this fixed idea about who they want to hire and if you don’t fit, bang! None of us did. They interviewed more than 12 on the phone, 12 in person and then brought four of us back for a second interview. Now they’ve decided to start over again. I wonder who it was decided that.

Nothing on the second job — I’ve pretty much given up on that. I guess it could still happen, but I’m not holding my breath.

But today, not too long after I got the call about the first job, I got an e-mail about a telephone interview for a job I applied for weeks before.

God willing, I’ll get the right job. Hopefully, it will be soon.

[Three] Faces Have I …

I had a good ‘laugh at myself’ moment today, when I realized I had developed three separate personalities for handling calls at work.

One of my faces is businesslike, one is ‘just folks’ and one is my ‘if America had a BBC I’d be broadcasting on it’ phone voice.Β  I found that if the person I was talking to was in a hurry, or annoyed or very ‘businesslike’ themselves, that’s how I’d react.

The just folks voice is great for small towns, especially down South.Β  It’s for people who had a friendly approach to the calls.Β  I love calling the little rural places.Β  They’re real antidotes to NYC, for example, where everyone’s in a hurry even if they aren’t.

Finally, when I’m dealing with a big company where I feel I need to do some ‘impressing’ to get them to take me seriously, I have this phone voice where I drop half-an-octave and get very smooth.Β  That’s the funniest one to me, when I think about it. I’m not much of a smoothie in ‘real life’, but I turn into one on the phone.Β  An old friend of mine told me once that she was sure that one day someone would want to meet the person behind that voice.Β  Too bad I don’t match up to it! πŸ™‚

I Was Born in a Small Town

My temporary job has me making phone calls to all sorts of places around North America. I have called Montreal, PR and a good selection of the US.

I don’t know why — I surely know better — but I find myself thinking of places not Ohio as being just like Ohio, but only different. I suppose I’m aided in that viewpoint by my travels largely being limited to the states contiguous to mine, plus the nearest parts of Ontario, which are fairly similar to the surroundings I’m most familiar with. Being in southern California recently punched a big hole in seeing things that way.

It’s not just places, terrain and such, or plants, or environment or climate. It’s people, too. As I call around, I hear all kinds of accents — the variety of Southern ones and Western (not so much California, but Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, etc.), New England, the mix of East Coast cities and regions (Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey), even the differences through the Midwest. To quote U2, “we’re one, but not the same …” It’s worth celebrating, actually, those differences and commonalities.

The work I’m doing is not terribly exciting, but it is interesting. One of the places I’ve called was a small town in the Northwest, where I checked on someone who worked in a funeral home. He was also an official in the county. Both offices were run from the same place. You get used, when you live in a larger area, such as Cuyahoga County, to the idea of everyone having an office. But I grew up in a small-town area not all that different from that town, and I can imagine how everything is in one small building and not in a collection of large, neoclassical buildings.

When it comes right down to it, I’m a small town person and I hope one day I’ll get to go back to one, if not here, perhaps somewhere down South or farther North. πŸ™‚

Just One Victory …

If there are two words that describe my life right now, they would be the ones in the picture above: Epic Fail.

I have been interviewing for jobs and so far there have been two results (which add up to the same thing):

1. You’re overqualified and we really think that you will be bored with this job in six months. (Me: “But I won’t be bored with getting a paycheck!”)

2. “We have reviewed your resume, and while your qualifications are quite impressive, we have chosen a candidate whose background more closely …” yadda, yadda, yadda.

Of course, there are other results as well, such as when you submit your resume to a temporary job firm (I have zero pride about where I work, believe me) and they’re all enthusiastic and tell you “We’ll have no trouble placing you!” and then you sit by the phone and hear nothing. Or you respond to a resume where you have ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING in the job description and write a cover letter that points this out in the nicest possible way and fine-tune your resume to match and you get no response. Not even a “we have reviewed …” letter or email. How long does it take to type out a form e-mail and send it? At least I’d know they saw my name!

All I can figure in the latter case is that they only decided to look at resumes 1-30 and I was number 31. Alternatively, their wife’s cousin’s nephew had to have a job so he got in ahead of me. Or something like that.

I’ve even applied for department store and grocery store work. I guess they saw the graphic design degree and laughed themselves hoarse as they turned the application into confetti and threw a party with it.

From a personal standpoint, there are other issues, too. But I promised not to talk about that, so I won’t.

I’m working on writing — as always, that’s the one good thing I have going on — a couple of stories in my “universe” which are completely different and potentially saleable, but even if that all works out great, it won’t happen tomorrow and right now, I just want some honest work that will bring in a paycheck, no matter how minimal. All I need is “just one victory, and it’ll be all right.”

I’m So Tired …

I can’t get over how whipped I am right now. This is exhausted we’re talking here, not just tired. Granted, I didn’t sleep as much as I wanted over Calicon. But after I left the others (and they were in the process of leaving) I went back to the room and passed out for awhile before getting up to pack, eat and go back to bed some more.

We slept in yesterday morning and went to bed early and slept in this morning. I got up to come to the library and walking here (which I have been doing without conscious thought lately) was like walking a marathon. It’s not that hot, that I should have this much trouble.

Oh, well. Back to the job hunt; had a couple of interviews but nothing firm yet and so I’ll keep looking until someone says those three magic words: (no, not THOSE three words) “You are hired”. πŸ™‚

And In The End …

Well, Calicon is more or less officially over, at least for me. I leave from Burbank today.

Those who are leaving from LAX decamped last night to another bivouac location more convenient for tomorrow’s manouevers. πŸ™‚ I’m standing lone picket (so to speak).

This morning, I stood looking at my room as I closed the door for the last time. It occurred to me that we leave behind little bits of our lives everywhere we go; this room, that home and so on.

I know I learned some things about myself over the last few days — some of them good, some not. After seeing all the pictures that have been posted, I am insistant even more about losing weight. It scares me. If I look this bad NOW, after I know I’ve lost weight and inches and sizes, what in the name of all that’s wonderful did I look like THEN? Gee whiz! Still, I’m going to keep the pix around and remind myself that this is not who I am or want to be or look like.

The hardest thing is dealing with how things are going to be when I get home. I have to find work. I have to deal with the fact that I have lived on the hope of this weekend for the past year, and as much as I did enjoy it, there were some unmet expectations that I will likely never have the chance to fulfill. Dreams die hard and I will be doing some mourning for them. I’m already creating a new expectation by aiming for MontrΓ¨al in February — getting to see the Habs in Bell Centre. I need something.

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Dumbledore tells Harry that “It does not do to dwell in dreams and forget to live.” Sound advice, I suppose, but what do you do when dreams are all you have?