Monday, March 15, 2010

I am ok with my choices, but I still hate checking the box that says "homemaker" cause it sounds condescending.

The latter part of last week was weird.  Well, maybe not weird, but distracting.  Hence the lack of a weekending blogpost.  There was just too many things that made me drop everything and go, "Oh something shiny."  Then wander off like a toddler running after a puppy.

First, I got a new smartphone.  Upon the high recommendation of Ian @ Daily Dose of Reality, I ended up getting a droid.  There was a lot of time dedicated to figuring out how to use it.  Then, that morphed into like 3 days and counting of stuff like, "OMG, Nick, look at this awesome new application I downloaded.  It makes my screen steamy and I can wipe away the steam and then when you blow on the phone it comes back...like real steam!"  If my husband were a lesser man I would probably be lying in a pool of my own blood right now.

Then, Nick had two days off AND we got our tax return at the same time which meant a fair amount of eating out and running around town to start tackling our tax return wish list.

But the biggest distraction, by far, was the job interview that sprung up out of no where.  There were lots of mini freak outs and proofreading my resume and updating said resume and then proofreading again.  Here's what you may not know.  I have been unemployed since June.  I wasn't laid off.  I quit my job because I was moving and my job made me an awful person.  (I worked retail full-time, a job I never intended to have after college.)  It made me so exhausted I frequently came home to our apartment, walked the 6 feet to our living space, and face-planted in the couch still in my coat and holding my purse, and passed out for 3 or 4 hours.  Some of you may know how inclined I am to use hyperbole.  I assure you this is not the case in this situation.  My husband can vouch because, on occasion, I would still be passed out on the couch when he got home.  In addition to the exhaustion it brought me to a place where I hated meeting people and automatically assumed the worst of everyone I was forced to become acquainted with.  So we move to California for three months and I had the first work-free summer vacation I have had since 1997.

Then, we moved to Charleston.  Charleston, whose economy runs damn near solely on restaurants, hospitality and retail.  Aw, hell no!  Suffice it to say, after much personal struggling and grief, I resigned myself to the idea that I would not be working, in a traditional sense, while we lived here.  (I feel I should note that I harbor a stupid amount of personal baggage on the subject of employment and this was as much of a nutshell I could force it into.)  So last week was when that resignation really settled in.  I even busted out my journal and wrote about how I was finally "ok" with the fact that I wasn't working and that I finally accepted the lack of employment as my choice and that I was in control of it and that it wasn't in control of me or my self worth.  So naturally what happens?  The very next day I get some email about a job opening that isn't retail management, has nothing to do with financial planning or selling insurance cause that is just how shit happens to me.

But really, that is all besides the point.  The whole ordeal has made me reflect on all the job hunting I did in the past, and I have had some really awkward/downright appalling things said to me during interviews.  Is that normal?  Is there so much information on how to prepare for interviews floating around that employers feel the need to try throw you off your game by saying ridiculous things to you?

I have been told, "I can't really turn you down for a second interview because you are really what we are looking for, but, by looking at your resume, this doesn't seem like the job you want."  (Admittedly he was right, but still, WTF?  It's like the professional equivalent of "It's not you, it's me.")

I have also had an interviewer straight up say to me, "Oh man, you are going to have a hard time finding a job here.  This town still runs on a Good Ole Boy system, so if you don't know anyone here to pulls strings you are pretty much screwed."  (Really?  Is there really a reason to use this sort of intimidation?)

I have also sat politely while an interviewer informed me about how dedicated he was to the Latter Day Saints church and while it didn't matter what religion I practiced, I should know that was the kind of corporate culture they adhered to (way to sidestep all those laws about asking about religious affiliation in the interview there, buddy).  He then proceeded to let me know that they also "play hard" and he firmly believed in rewarding yourself for good work.  "That aquarium is my reward.  Every time I make my quarter, I buy I new exotic fish to put in it.  Right now I have about $10,000 wrapped up in that aquarium."  (Gag.  And my mom would have labeled such discussion as "tacky.")

I had also interviewed with a newly expanding recruiting firm.  The small staff consisted of all men and one woman, all of whom were under the age of 37.  So I guess when the interviewer asked, "How would you feel about working on a team full of men?  If you were hired you would be the second woman on our staff," it was a legitimate question, sort of.  But it probably would have been more straight to the point if he'd have asked, "So, your boobs will be stared at, your ass will be grabbed, someone will call you a bitch, and someone will ask if you are on your period should you ever be cranky, but you're not gonna make a big deal about that, will you?"

But all of these pale in comparison to the interview in which I was kidnapped.  That, my friends, is a story that deserves it's own post, so check back later this week!

20 comments:

  1. Erika, I feel your retail pain. It's pretty much the only thing I'm truly qualified to do, and as I am in the process of relocating to a city with little to no job opportunities, it's probably what I'm going to end up doing. I wish you all the luck in the world with your real-person job!

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  2. Sooo cool you got a droid! my contract is up in may and I'm thinking about something like that.
    That is so not professional that they said those things to you while in an interview! You could probably make so much money sewing those crazy men for sexual harrassment that you wouldn't need a job! lol. I think its great you are okay with taking a break from working for a bit until you find what you truly want to do. I'll be doing that asap, I would love to go to acupuncture school full time. I'll check back to read your next post lady!

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  3. Uugh, job interviews are awful. Can't wait to hear about the kidnapping though!

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  4. Hey Erika,
    Great story! I'm so glad to on the other end of it all. By other end, I mean "retired." Some of those things you were asked during the interview are not only weird, they are in fact illegal...
    Also, the LDS guy...that is grossly illegal!
    Which ever way you want it to go, I hope it works out for you! Just keep writing, no matter what! (cause you're good at it)

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  5. OOOooo a cliff hanger, how titilating.

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  6. Girl, own that homemaking! After working in retail for an unspecified-but-probably-way-too-long period of time, you have earned it. You have so, so earned it.

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  7. I'm hooked, I want to hear the kidnapping follow up. Also the steam thing on the phone sounds really fun.

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  8. Heeheehee....I'll definitely be back to hear the story about the kidnapping. Oh, I've had some doozy job interviews, too. I'm happily unemployed by choice right now....and have no issues with checking off the "homemaker" status on any of those forms. (But I still feel like writing "I love my sugar daddy" underneath!) HA HA HA.

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  9. I hear ya!! I worked retail for years, and now I'm technically a "mere" housewife ... something I'm relatively ok with for the meantime ... but not forever. I hate the condescension other people treat me with when they hear I don't work a proper job ... my father-in-law being the main culprit!!

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  10. haha...that last part was too funny. I hear ya about the retail! Where the heck did you move to??? I can't believe people are asking you those questions! This is the time to do something you enjoy. I hope everything works out. Oh yeah and the Droid is so cool! I would be the same way. Do you know there is a barcode thingy that you scan anything and it will look it up for you...check it out so fun!

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  11. Well that's definitely going to be a good read.

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  12. I love the story of your kidnapping interview! I can't wait to read it :)

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  13. I don't know what I'm more jealous about, the droid or the tax return. Good luck on your job search. Wish I could, but I can't really defend the male species. Unfortunately we are pigs. : (

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  14. Interviews just plain suck! Also, a fishtank? Seriously? If I had ten thousand to blow on playing hard my liver would have 'sploded.

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  15. I have had two jobs since I was 15 - 9 years as a butcher and 4 years in an office. And my mom got me both jobs. So I can't quit unless she is going to find me another one.

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  16. You poor thing. I think the fact that the economy is so bad and so many people are applying for the same jobs that the interviewers just don't care.

    And I'm all for honesty, but seriously?!

    I can't wait to read the rest!

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  17. Ummmmmm, I certainly hope we're gonna here about the kidnapping ASAP. CRAZY!! Hang in there. : )

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  18. Shit I'm sorry I am JUST NOW getting to you. How great is the Droid?


    and where's the interview post? ;)

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  19. Guess I should have read this post first, huh? ;-)

    Honey, enjoy not working while you can! :)

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  20. Wow, those are some harsh lines. Aquarium Guy reminds me a little of an interview I had for a pyramid scheme-type company where the creepy manager was talking about how he had earned the sword on the wall behind him because of all the selling he had done.

    Big whoop. I should have just fallen on it so I wouldn't have to hear his annoying speech.

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