Murderous Anticipation.

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I have been applying to so many jobs in the last ten months that I actually forget about a lot of them. I do write down all the places I applied to and the position and what site I used. But they cease to stick in the forefront of my mind anymore unless, and until, I get the seemingly inevitable “We appreciate your interest in the position but at this time bla bla bla you suck bla bla…” email. Recently, though, I sent in my resume and a writing sample to be considered for a blogging internship with the NGO, The Borgen Project.

Blogging? Talk about a dream come true! Plus, writing for a great organization that works with politicians to end extreme global poverty? Hell yes. My levels of anticipation have been mounting for days.

I actually got an email back from them at the end of last week informing me that they liked what I sent and that I had been moved forward to the second stage of the hiring process! Yes! All I had to do was write a 400-500 word article on one of two topics and send it on in with a good title and sources, and if that was a success there would be a phone interview.

So I sat down and researched my topic, how ending global poverty could benefit the United States, for a few hours. After studiously taking notes and making references to quotes and data, it was time.

Can I just say that going from writing academic papers for Literature (usually 5-10 pages) to writing personal blog content (whatever feels like a good length without too much rambling) to trying to write a 400-500 word blog that is essentially a news article is…super damn complicated. Basically I had to write out the whole thing and then spend two hours tweaking and deleting and rewording before I had something informative that came in at just 487 words.

After hours of editing I finally realized that I was no longer getting anywhere and that it was what it was going to be and just went ahead and smashed my hand down on the mouse to send it. What a relief!

Psh. Nope. I proceeded to agonize over it endlessly and get no sleep. Then worried about it all day. Actually, for the last three days I’ve been checking my email every couple of hours, holding my breath, and then furrowing my brows when I realized there was nothing there. There has been a constant battle in my head about “Well not hearing anything right away is a good sign” and “Seriously? Why did I even try, I fail. Wahhhhhhhh”

Today at work, though, I pulled out my phone to figure out how to spell some complicated flower name so I could put it on a chalkboard sign (oh, working floral) and out of habit I checked my email.

Re: Blogger Internship

The conversation in my Gmail between HR and myself was all bold and highlighted, signifying that an email had been sent to me.

There was a moment where I was totally convinced I shouldn’t poke that email until I was off. But I stabbed worry and caution in the face and opened it.

Hi Chelsea,

You passed the writing exam! I would like to set up a phone interview for…

And then I started jumping up and down and flinging my arms about.

What a relief!

PSH!

FryPhone interview means “Lets start frantically researching the organization and reading all their blogs and liking them on Facebook and researching SEO writing and generally panicking and rereading the email.”

I wish I was lying when I said I’m getting a haircut tomorrow. For a phone interview. 

It’s just that this could be a monumental internship for me. I finished my social media marketing internship with Environmental Paper Network in a very anticlimactic fashion last month. And the other marketing and communications internship I started with Out Network is apparently on hold as the founder/my friend/my mentor recently started a new big boy job, went to Maryland to get married, and reenlisted in the Reserves and he has yet to message me back (I’m letting him get to it when he gets to it). Aside from pumping up the volume on my pathetic resume, it will give me something else I need SO desperately. A writing portfolio.

It has been so frustrating to find posts for writing jobs only to read,

Requirements:

  1. ___ years experience
  2. Portfolio of published writing

I mean, technically blogging isn’t really the same as getting published in a newspaper or a magazine or an academic journal. But it’s a start, and the fact that I’d be writing for an organization’s blog and not my own is a plus.

So, here’s to 2013 actually working out and this being what helps me get a real job.

Navigating the Interweb.

I am woefully incompetent when it comes to these newfangled internets all the kids are raging about these days. Well, at least compared to most of my peers.

They stole my face? Herbert, come in here! This book is filled with stolen faces! It must be black magic! Get the cross, it's time for a witch burning!

They stole my face? Herbert, come in here! This book is filled with stolen faces! It must be black magic! Get the cross, it’s time for a witch burning!

Compared to my 70 year old coworker, Gloria, and the women who come through my check out line, I’m a genius.

I don’t use Reddit or Instagram. I have a Twitter that I haven’t been on in months. Outside of Facebook, Google, WordPress, and a few others, I don’t get out much on the internet.

And why should I? Especially when all my contemporaries are posting the same thing on Facebook. I can just appreciate it there and like and share and whatever else and move on.

This is all leading up to announce that I started my new blog The Wee Wanderer. But it took me about an hour to figure out how to link the damn thing to this blog and this blog to that one.

Mostly because I was trying to figure out how to make it all as fancy as Ms. Katie has it on Sass & Balderdash. But then I got annoyed and chalked it up to being broke and not blogging enough to justify getting a premium membership or a domain or anything. At least, just not right this moment.

In any case, go check out The Wee Wanderer. You can look at my snazzy and super free theme and a beautifully composed About section. Of course, by the time you read this and inevitably click that link, I might have added a post. But still make sure to note how well I take advantage of all the free stuff WordPress offers…

Gloom & Doom

I’ve been so exceedingly gloomy the last few weeks.

Gloomy. Vampires probably live here. Real ones, not that sparkling, flat-faced bitch.

Gloomy. Vampires probably live here. Real ones, not that sparkling, flat-faced bitch.

It doesn’t help that I found out that my trip to Ireland won’t be a paid vacation even though my year is up at this job in October because the company goes January to January with benefits.

And that they are working me to death and paying me shit for it. I’m quite literally a specialist in two departments and a cashier and still only get cashier pay with the only chance of a raise in October, which will be a whopping 2% of what I made in the last year…

And that people all around me are getting better jobs and getting married and moving and all of that.

I had reached a certain level of contentment earlier in the year. There was a point I had come to where I was like “oh it doesn’t matter that my job is terrible and I don’t make any money because I have a great life outside of work.”

But then that died the last two weeks.

I think I’m back on the track to being okay again, though.

Planning this trip to Ireland will really help keep me from going nuts. I just have to remind myself that each shift that I work and each day that I spend there is one drop of cash closer to going to Ireland. Because, while the trip itself is already paid for ($999 a person for 6 nights and 7 days including a rental car, hotels, and airfare), we still need spending money for food and gas and trinkets and pasties. Plenty of pasties. Actually, I just like the way that Irish people say that word.

So I’m thinking of starting a separate blog for my adventures there. We got a fancy ass camera (Canon Rebel T31) so there will be tons of pretty pictures to post. And Steven and I literally can’t go anywhere without some sort of misadventure. Especially if it involves a car.

I think I shall start it soon and go through the whole planning and countdown process as well. Won’t that be fun?

Hmm. I think I'll get white girl wasted while I write this bullshit piece on the must see aspects of...where am I again?

Hmm. I think I’ll get white girl wasted while I write this bullshit piece on the must see aspects of…where am I again?

And in connection to this new blog I’m going to take a class starting in June on Travel Writing. It seems a little hopeless to think of getting a job in something like that. Lot’s of people want to do it these days because they think that they will get to take a lot of free vacations (which is a lie) and get paid to have fun (also a lie). But I do think it could be interesting and maybe bring a lot more life and professionalism to the blog itself. And maybe I’ll be realllllllly lucky.

You never know.

On that note, I need a really catchy name for the travel blog. I was thinking of doing something related to the traveling gnome since I’m (legally) a little person. But then I figured that has been waaaaay over done. Thoughts?

2013:Year of the…?

2013 new year sparkler     Originally, I’d had high hopes for the year of 2013. I had this feeling that I was going to  do really cool things and make the most of my life, no matter what.

I’m a little torn on how that is turning out.

On one hand, I’m still working at the grocery store. Only now, I have three departments fighting over where I work every week.

On the other hand, I’ve Seen Flogging Molly with Skinny Lister in Charlotte and Mindless Self Indulgence in Atlanta. I’ve gone to the Atlanta Aquarium, gotten the boyfriend a super fancy new camera for our anniversary, and…we are going to Ireland in November.

Those are all really super things, I think.

But there’s that damn “job” getting in the way of everything. I had reached this point of contentment where I was okay with what I was doing as long as my outside like was rich and fulfilling. But it is getting to the point, once again, where I spend so much time at work and all of that time is miserable that it is becoming difficult to separate one part of my life from the other with any real success.

So I wanted to look into some tips for keeping yourself sane when you’re closer to 30 than you are to 20 (or past that, even) and still working a dead end job.

  1. Turn your phone off or to silent. This may seem like a no-brainer to some people and it may seem like an impossible dream to others. But everyone needs time to unplug their brains and not handle calls from work or desperate text messages from someone trying to get rid of their shift.
  2. Actually unplug. People are SO connected to everyone and everything all of the time these days. When I’m waiting for something or standing in line I automatically pull out my smart phone and start scrolling through Facebook, even if I just looked at it and no one has posted anything new. Or rather, they posted something new but it was just a share of that same stupid picture that has been going around for weeks or a site begging Like “BLABLABLA” if u luv ur mom. And, ain’t nobody got time for that. We need to remember to let our brains cool off from all the overwhelming, and constant, information. A quiet mind leads to a happy mind.
  3. Find an addiction. A healthy addiction. Whether that’s yoga or running or stretching or meditation or whatever. Find something to focus your mind on that allows you to become more connected to your own body. Focusing on that not only makes you physically healthier, but mentally as well.
  4. Join a group, club, volunteer organization. Too frequently I realize that I only have 2 friends and my boyfriend. ALL of the rest of my face to face human interaction is with coworkers and customers. This is enough to make anyone start to question their insanity. Especially once you start holding conversations with the flowers that you’re cutting or the candy that you’re stocking…
  5. Remember that if you are at a dead end job, like a grocery store, that no matter how much you need the money, it is just a job. It is just a grocery store, restaurant, creamery, factory, whatever. Nothing that you’re doing is life-altering to anyone else. They might think that it is…but it isn’t. And while this can be depressing, focus on the fact that this lack of real responsibility leaves you free to take classes, hang out with friends, plan a trip to Ireland, and not given any shits when a customer screams in your face.

A Quandary.

So I have this interview tomorrow. But I’m unsure of what I want to do. See it’s this marketing internship with a well-known and respected IT company. $12 an hour and 40 hours a week. Pretty sweet deal, right?

But, here’s the kicker. It’s only 60 days. At the end of the period there’s a review. If I’m doing really well and there’s a job opening they’ll give me a job. A real, business, marketing fucking job. If I do horribly, they’ll just terminate the whole thing. If I do really well and there is not a job opening…I don’t get a job…

So I realize that the only way to succeed in life is to take chances and make waves and all that. But I also realize that there are these very real things called bills. And I have quite a lot of them. And if I don’t have a job at the end of 2 months, then I don’t have a way to pay my bills. I also forfeit the raise I’m about to get at my current job, dental insurance I’m getting, and quite probably my full-time standing. I can’t take a leave of absence because I have only been there a year. My coworkers have informed me that if I leave on a good note I can get my job back in 2 months if things with this other company don’t work out. And judging by the amount of people I know there who have left and come back repeatedly, I know this to be true. Mostly. What I don’t know is that my specific job will still be there. The job as the only actual full-time cashier/respected department floater who has been depended upon for the last week to run a department while the department head was working at another store. So I could come back, lose any and all benefits, and only be working 15 hours a week. Do you see the issue?

My mother does not see the issue. She’s says to go for it. And I understand where she is coming from. But, my mother and I have always differed in the way we think about the future. As well as money. I like to know that I can pay my bills and eat my food and be what I consider to be a contributing member of the household and not a total drain on my wonderful boyfriend’s money. She responds to this with “Well, just get a different job.” Yes. Because that’s been going so well for me thus far. I actually have amazing jobs thrown at my head every day, I just find the joys of working at a service job even though I have a degree to be really rewarding… I get that too I guess. As a woman who hasn’t worked for “the man” since about 1982 when she and my dad went into business for themselves and who is currently a real estate agent who, while she works at Century 21 and technically has a boss, still essentially works for herself, she might not have the best idea of getting a job these days. Frankly getting a job in the 70’s when having a 4 year degree was still impressive and the population was a lot lower and so was the cost of living (and hitchhiking across the country was still considered relatively safe) was a bit of a different experience. I try to explain that “just getting a new job” really doesn’t exist anymore. As I ‘ve discussed I’m over qualified for a lot of things and under qualified for the rest. It becomes a matter of finding someone who is either willing to hire me even though I have too much education and experience or hire me even though I don’t have enough. Quite the gamble.

It seems like settling to stay at a job where I make just enough to get by and that is not a career. But it seems silly, also, to take a chance on something like this without the guarantee of a career. If I was still a college student, this would be a no brainer. If I was younger and still having things like my car and health insurance as well as my cell phone paid by my parents, this would be a no brainer. But as an almost 26 year old entirely on my own with an all too familiar understanding of what happens when you don’t give companies the money you owe them, I’m unsure. I guess if I take it, don’t get the job, and can’t go back to the one I have now I could go back to writing about the woes of being totally unemployed. Without the benefits of receiving unemployment…

Thoughts?

Why haven’t they invented teleportation, yet?

Um, which one is the engine?

Um, which one is the engine?

There’s a very specific reason I always make my boyfriend call the car shop when I need anything done.

He has a penis and an adam’s apple.

Plain and simple.

See, when I call I get some gruff man on the phone who tells me that whatever I am saying is incorrect and is as condescending as possible about the whole thing. When Steven calls, they’re BFFs by the end of it.

It’s one of the oldest forms of sexism. I am a woman and therefore can’t possibly know what happens when an alternator goes bad on my car or when the starter isn’t working. My starter is the reason I called them. Over the period of a few weeks my car has been getting progressively worse. I would go out to go home or go to work and my car wouldn’t start. The battery would work, clearly, because all the lights and the radio would immediately come on. But no matter what I did, it just wouldn’t connect to the starter and START the entire car. It didn’t even make a noise like it was trying to turn over. Or thinking about it but struggling with the follow through. Just nothing. Initially if I just tried repeatedly the car would finally come to life after a good 10-20 minutes. This last time I went out, on Christmas Eve no less, and boom, nothing. Well, something I guess. There was a loud TICK coming from the engine when you tried to start the car. So we gave up and Steven has been driving me to work ever since. So when I called them today and explained the issue and they told me it was the battery, I was dubious. I just got the battery 6 months ago when these jackasses fixed my alternator (see below for that fiasco). Unless the battery is dying at an alarming rate, I don’t think that is the issue. I never leave the lights on or just sit in my car with the battery going…

Of course the car started, though. But I’m still skeptical. It’s been sitting for almost 2 weeks and had plenty of time to decide to screw me over. Plus the combined juice of 2 batteries could have easily just forced the thing to come on. Plus, the aforementioned problems with the car suggest that the battery is, in the end, not the culprit.

Like when I needed a new alternator. I was complaining for YEARS that my car was doing this weird jerking thing when I turned the AC on. Or tried to accelerate. Then in started this loud ticking from the front of the car. Eventually it would get to the point where the car was just shutting off while I was freaking driving it. I went repeatedly to the shop telling them the problem. Every time I got “well we can’t duplicate it so we can’t fix it because you’re a crazy lady and nothing is wrong with the car.” I told them, point-blank, it was the alternator. Instead they decided to rewire the entire thing. I told them, again, it was the alternator. Nope. 3 new batteries and a huge pain in my ass later the whole thing just died on me completely enough that Ford couldn’t argue the point. And, hey, guess what it was? The alternator.

funny-found-cat-kitty-male-female-park-car-sterotypes-bad-comic-picsMy point here is this, I am a woman. An educated, 20-something, woman. Who owns a car. And who would like the men of the automotive industry to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that I’m not totally insane. Or unintelligent. Also, I have a boyfriend who knows things. And I have this really cool, new thing you may have heard of. Called Google. It’s crazy, I know, but if I type in something like “2005 Ford Focus ZX4 SES won’t start and loud ticking.” I get all kinds of neat stuff that agrees with me about my starter malfunctioning. Strangers on the internet aren’t usually the best place to get information. And if you try hard enough you can usually find some moron who agrees with you. But when the first 50 topics tell me that I am not deranged in thinking that the problem is my starter and not my battery, I have to wonder if these people are disagreeing with me because my sexual organs happen to be placed on the inside of my body, rather than dangling around between my legs asking to be kicked repeatedly.

10 Items or Less

I have just started watching 10 Items or less on Netflix at the suggestion of my grocery store coworker. I have to say, that he was right. This show is a pretty good display of my current life. There was a point a few weeks ago when I was working in the floral department. Jamie, a manager at the time, came up to me and said, “Ah, you’re working over here? I need you to do me a favor.” I assumed that there was some kind of flower or gift situation that needed my attention. We walk over to the door and he continues, “Well, the door keeps opening and closing. I need you to figure out why and come find me when you do.” Really? Is this in my job description? Okay, whatever. So I plant (hah!) myself in front of the possessed door and look meaningfully into the motion sensor. It glides open. I keep standing. It glides closed. Open. Close. I move to the other side of the door. Open. Close. Open. Close. I keep staring into the motion sensor. Daring it to release its secrets to me. The produce department had been watching my antics. They come over and proceed to stare into the door with me. Open. Close. Jacob, the courtesy clerk comes over as well. Open. Close. Meanwhile we all continue to walk inside and outside the store. I’m sure that the customers, if they even noticed anything so far away from the free coffee samples we serve, were all very confused by the large group of people trekking back and forth. Eventually everyone else went back to their respective departments and I managed to figure out that a display of absolutely charming and probably very well-made dog ornaments was the culprit. Jamie and I shoved it to one side. Voila! The door was no longer possessed.

This shows me that the things on 10 Items or Less really do happen.

There’s a gentleman on the show named Buck. He is the newest member of the

The resemblance is uncanny!

The resemblance is uncanny!

grocery store, Greens and Grains, and is a full-time cashier. I fully relate with this man. When I first started there was a little bit of resentment among a few people over the fact that they wanted to have the full-time position and I just waltzed in and took it. Granted there wasn’t a physical confrontation like on the show. But, I was questioned pretty thoroughly by a number of the other cashiers about my status in the store, the last job, my age, how much I was getting paid, and a few other things. I also sort of felt like I had walked into a rather dysfunctional family that was just a wee bit incestuous.

I now feel as though I am a part of this family. But sometimes I really do have to raise my eyebrows in wonder. Or concern.