Crash Test Dummy

Hello! I apologize for not posting on Monday. I loaned out my laptop and was working on a cross stitch project I really wanted to finish.

So Monday was the interview with the first job agency. Since this was in an area I wasn’t familiar with, I invited Smoke along for a ride. He decided we should bring Scooter too.

But first I had to get ready. Since it was a job agency I decided to wear a suit jacket and pants (instead of the skirt–it’s too cold for a skirt!). I also decided to pull out my hooker boots. Ok, they aren’t really hooker boots, but they do have the zipper on the side like Julia’s in Pretty Women. They just aren’t as tall. They do have heels. They are a couple years old, but make me feel confident.  

After we leave, I quickly find out that having a dog with light colored fur, who seems to shed a lot more than a short haired dog should, is a problem when you are wearing a black suit jacket. I’m constantly brushing off my sleeve because for some reason he enjoys leaning against me. I’m pretty sure it’s on purpose.

The drive down there is a long, about an hour, but it’s a straight shot. Compared to my last commute which was going towards the city (the city being DC) and along many different highways and back ways, this drive seems so easy! Why hadn’t I thought of this area before?

We find the agency with about 10 minutes to spare. I’d put my bag of emergency supplies in the back, so that’s where my lint roller is. I open up the trunk and Scooter pops out and tries to jump on me. “Mommy, please don’t leave me! Take me to your interview!”

I’m pushing him off because he’s just defeating the purpose of the lint roller while at the same time Smoke is pulling him back in. There are windows facing the parking lot and in the back of my mind I can just see all of these people looking out saying, “This women can’t even go anywhere without her dog! Does she think she’s Paris Hilton?”

I stuff Scooter back in the car and do the best I can with the lint roller. Then I take a deep breath and go into the agency.

I give the lady at the desk my name and she has me sit down in the reception area. There are windows facing the parking lot and I can see Scooter in the back of the car staring down the building I’m in. For a minute I wonder if he can somehow see me from that distance. He’s a spooky dog!

The lady has me go back to a computer and fill out a survey. This survey has questions like, “When was the last time you did Meth?” Uh… Did these people watch Breaking Bad too much? I type, “I’m doing it right now.” Ha! Not really. There are also questions about cocaine, pot, prescription drugs and alcohol. They keep asking you if you would steal from the company. The way they phrase the questions seem kind of tricky at times so you really have to read them. Since I’m pretty clean (unless you count coffee and life), I finish the survey in no time.

She tells me to sit back in the waiting area and I ask her where the restroom is (see list about turning 40). As she’s leading me there, I’m like, “I’m sorry. I’ve been driving a while.” A voice in my head is like, “Are you apologizing for needing the restroom? And stop offering up more information than people need!” (Also on list of signs your turning 40).

Finally, I’m led back to my agent. Is that what you call them? The lady who is supposed to help me get a job. We start talking and I keep mentioning how old I am, how things were different back when I found a job before. Again, the voice is like, “Don’t tell people you are old! Jeez. Nobody cares, geezer! So what if you walked to your job up-hills both ways!”

She’s super nice (which I’m pretty sure is part of the job, but helps put me at ease) and writes down the kind of jobs I want and how much I want to make.

After we are done she tells me I need to fill out more forms and then I should do some testing. I hate to make Smoke and Scooter wait longer for me, but I want to do the testing and I don’t want to put it off. I want work!

I fill out all the paperwork, which is mostly benefit information and then the front desk lady sets up the testing. Well, actually, the first computer she sets me up at doesn’t work and I have to go back up and get her and I feel like I’m starting to annoy her at this point. I’m pretty sure she wrote in my file, “Annoying. Takes creepy dog with her everywhere. Talks about her bathroom habits.” 

The problem with testing on programs like Word, Excel and Outlook, is that even if you worked on it every day for at least 13 years (which I did), it doesn’t mean used every single feature of it. Some you just didn’t need. Plus they’ve upgraded so much, things you used to know how to do have changed. They do give you a lot of chances to go back if you did it wrong, but if you can’t do it after so many tries, you just don’t know. I don’t think I did bad on those, but I’m sure I could’ve done better.

My words per minute is 68. It’s 70 before mistakes. I don’t know if it’s that good or not. Since all I’ve been typing for the last six months are job applications, cover letters and blog entries, it seems pretty good to me.

Another problem with the testing is that it’s getting later in the day and the employment office is getting louder. They are sending out tax forms to their employees and with stamp prices going up it’s going to cost them over a thousand dollars to send them out. I hear about this and many other discussions while I’m trying to concentrate. I feel like they should move the computers a little further away from the front desk, especially when someone is taking a test.

Finally everything is done and I take my folder and free pen and say goodbye to front desk lady (hoping my cheerful disposition will make her forget my annoying habits) and go out to Smoke and Scooter still waiting in the parking lot.

Now I just wait for a job. Judging by how busy the office is it’s not going to be as fast as I hoped. They have a lot of employees. I told her I would even take short term assignments if they came up, but so far my phone is quiet. (I know…it’s only been two days. But still!)

Yesterday I was supposed to go back to that second employment agency, but I never got a confirmation email. I called the number that called me and left a message on the voicemail. Still no response. Then around two (an hour after I was supposed to be there), I get an email apologizing for not sending me a confirmation and asking when I wanted to reschedule.

I’m not sure about this agency. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to be very helpful if they can’t even get back to you in a timely manner. I will probably go because I have to look into every opportunity, but I’m even less hopeful. It’s closer to the city too, which I was trying to avoid.

After all this I’m not quite as optimistic as I was at the beginning of the week, but I haven’t given up hope. At least I have other people helping me find work now! Every step is a good step. Take it a day at a time. That’s how I look at life. Today I’m breathing. I have coffee. I have my spooky dog and evil cats and I just watched a reunion of the guys from Full House on GMA. Life is good!

Thanks for reading this long post and coming along for the ride! And thankful for the good luck wishes here and on Facebook. Having a place to talk about it helps me get through it!


Redneck Clouds

I’ve had a blog in mind that I wanted to do. I even scanned in the pictures. But all I keep thinking about is my interviews this week. In addition to the two employment agencies (one that I still don’t know what it’s called or where it’s at), I also heard back from the local employment agency who contacted me last time. They had another job they wanted to submit my resume too. 
Things are happening! But’s also making me a nervous wreck. What’s exactly is going to happen? Am I going to have a job soon? Do I still know how to work? Am I going to look stupid? What do I wear? Chicken or egg?

It’s weird to go back to being in a professional mode after about seven months, but it’s time to go back in the world. It’s time to wear shoes all the time. Maybe even a bra. You never know. I might find a job that’s back in the 70’s! With Jack Tripper and Chrissy. Janet.

I’m glad my appointment isn’t until 2:30 tomorrow, because I feel like I need all the time I can get to prepare. Pretend like I’m a normal human being. Well, as normal as I can be. Figure out how to walk on heels again.

And since I always like to include a picture, I was at Big Lots today with Smoke when I saw him motioning me over. When I walked over he was like, “Look at this chair.”

Me: “Yikes. It’s camouflage.”

Him: “Sit in it. It’s really comfortable.”

I sit down and kind of sink in like I was on a redneck cloud. “Yes, it is.”

“When we get money, I want to get it.”

Me: “Wait, for real? Just because it’s comfortable that doesn’t make it right!”

You might be a redneck if… Screw it. We are rednecks! That chair was damn comfortable though. Of course there were other chairs that we could sit on and be visible in but that’s beside the point.

Wish me luck tomorrow!

Check Yes or No or Yes

Yesterday I got a call about a job. This hasn’t happened in awhile so I wasn’t exactly ready. The lady was really nice though. You might think I’m calling her “the lady” to keep her anonymous but sadly no. I didn’t get her name. I’m so very bad with names.

She tells me I applied for a job doing payroll data entry. That did sound like me. I apply for any job that has data or entry in the title. Err… wait. Data AND entry. Entry without data doesn’t sound kosher.

I must sound confused because she goes on to say that most people apply to so many jobs they don’t remember them either. That’s when I realize she’s with an employment agency. I have no idea which one. Because I’m detail oriented that way.
She then goes on to tell me the job description of this mystery job I applied for. By this time I’ve found something to write it down with. Okay, what I really find is a barely sharpened pencil and the Samsung User Manual for our television. All the notebooks and pens I buy and they are never around when I need them!

I write down cryptic notes like: “Data Entry. Payroll. Moderate. Statistical. Data.”

This is why nobody wanted to copy my notes in school! They make absolutely no sense. I mean some of it makes sense. I’m not sure what’s moderate. And thank God I wrote down data! Who knew there was data in data entry?

She’s like, “It’s a data entry position and I can see on your resume that’s what you did in your last job.” She pauses. “Wow. You worked there a long time!”

I love when people say that! “Yes, I did.”

“Can I ask why you left?”

I say layoff’s, funding, blah, blah. I want to say, “They were intimidated by my awesomeness,” but I don’t.

The rest of the conversation went like this:

Her: “This is a three month contract. Is that something that interests you?”

Me: “Err… Yes.” I always say yes. If the job is worth it, why not? I need work!

Her: “Ok, now the hours are kind of strange.”

Now I’ve always wanted a job where the hours weren’t the traditional 9 to 5 so this intrigues me.

She continues: “…Monday through Thursday, it’s 8:30 to 5:30 and on Friday it’s 1:00 to 9:00.”

WTF? I like the thought of going in late, but working until 9:00? On a Friday? What if I want to go out on a Friday night? Hahahaha. No, but seriously, who ever wants to work late on a Friday? Even if you are almost 40 and never go out anymore?

But she’s not done yet: “And on Saturday it’s 8:00 am until the payroll is finished.”

Really? Work late on a Friday and early on a Saturday?

Her: “Is this something that you’re still interested in?”

I want to say, “Hell no,” but instead, I’m like, “Umm… Yeah. I think so.” I’m honestly surprised I have never been sold into prostitution. I always say yes.

“So how much did you want to make an hour?”

I give her the sum that is the least I’ll go with a commute, but I still think I’m selling myself cheap. A pimp could do better! But I’m also realistic. I know what jobs are paying. She tells me that they are adamant in paying an amount that comes to a dollar less than my absolute minimum. Father Sweetness said so! (A pimp name generator gave me that as my pimp name. It’s sad that I couldn’t think of a pimp name on my own).

I explain that there’s no way I can work for that much. She’s very understanding and asks if I want to come and discuss what it is I’m looking for in a job. I agree. Why not? I know I have that other appointment with an employment agency but it doesn’t hurt to keep my options open, right? They are in two completely different areas. I make an appointment for Tuesday, the day after the other appointment.

Sadly, despite my extensive notes (ha) I did not write down her name or company. She said she’d send me a confirmation email, but I don’t have one yet. I’ll probably get it on Monday. The other company said they would send one the day before so this company might too. It’s no big deal if they don’t.

In case you wanted a visual of what I looked like on the phone, here is one of me with my granny:

Just imagine Woody Woodpecker is a phone. My mouth really does hang open like that. I was probably saying yes to him too.  

The Hashtag Blues

I did it. I spent 24 hours off Facebook! I feel better. I don’t know why. And I spent time watching movies and on Instagram and Twitter. And eating. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Calories don’t count on snow days!

Things I learned while on Facebook hiatus:

1. I still don’t understand hashtags. Whenever I post on Twitter, I just hashtag random words. Is there a science to this? A hashtag for dummies book? #hashtag#dummy#

2. I love Instagram. I love something dedicated to just pictures. I love pictures and it’s nice to have a place where you don’t have to weed through all the other stuff to find the pictures.

3. I really need to promote this blog outside of Facebook. Without it, nobody can find it. I’m going to look into that more. I’ve tried a few sites, like BlogHer, but wasn’t qualified. I’m pretty sure I don’t show up in Google either.

4. Connie is my best blog friend! She found me and commented! I didn’t feel like I was blogging into a void!

Now I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled blog activities. I never know what’s better on this blog. The pictures? The normal everyday life posts? I guess I’ll just wing it like I’ve been doing.

#wingit# #blog# #hello# #what# ARGHHHHHHHH.

Can Anybody Hear Me?

It’s been about 12 hours without Facebook and I’m doing okay. Of course most of that time was spent sleeping, but still! I took the app totally off my phone because that one is a little too easy to access and I can install it back when I’m done with my hiatus. I did notice in the statistics that without posting Facebook nobody saw my blog post from last night. That’s depressing. But I’ll get over it! I did also notice that I have a tendency to spend more time on Instagram and Twitter now. I can’t go cold turkey from all social media!

My Twitter link is to the left.

I haven’t really said anything but I had a job with an employment agency next week. I’m super excited! But I’m being low key because I don’t want to get my hopes up. But the people I talked with seemed pretty optimistic. I do need to get the suit out of the dry-cleaning bags. It’s been forever!

Mostly this morning I’ve been watching Easy A (one of my top 10 favorite movies) and waiting for the snow to start. I’ll be tracking it on Instagram. Because absolutely nobody cares but me.

I was looking online for jobs (as I do especially now that my unemployment as ran out) and I saw Specimen Collector. What do you think? Think I’m qualified?

Ok. I’ll be back soon! I know you’ll be holding your breath!

Give Me a Break!

I’ve decided to take a 24 hour break from Facebook. I didn’t go into this decision lightly. Ok, I did. I was feeling annoyed and rage-y and I just decided at the spur of the moment. As of 9:42 EST on 1/20/14 I will be on a 24 hour sabbatical from Facebook.

It’s not going to be easy. There’s a snowstorm coming and I love reading and posting when stuck inside. Plus, nobody is going to see this because I’m not even going to promote it on Facebook. I’m going cold turkey, baby!

On a separate note, does anyone else love the movie Bad Teacher in a crazy undefiniable way? You’d never want her to be your kid’s teacher, yet somehow she still makes sense. It’s not so way over the top it’s unbelievable. It’s unbelievable just enough. Plus Justin Timberlake makes a wonderful dry-humping a-hole.

Ok. It’s 9:54 and I already feel a little dizzy. Has it only been 12 minutes?? Yikes.

Well, say hi if you read this. Let me know there are people not just in Facebook world! I’ll be updating as often as I can!

What Was I Thinking? School Daze

What was I thinking in this picture?

Apparently not much. Maybe: Sky is pretty! Or: Ooo, bird! At first I thought this was me and my brother on the first day of school, but judging by the leaves falling off the trees and our warm clothes, it was further into autumn. The first day of school around here is usually hot and you roast in your new school clothes. (It doesn’t stop you from wearing them though. I’m not wearing my tacky old summer shorts the first day of school! I will wear this turtleneck sweater and jeans in the 80 degree weather!).

For some reason we’re wearing interchangeable burgundy outfits, although my mom swears the colors are a little bit different. I have my doubts though. Notice how the sleeves are almost covering my brother’s hands? That screams hand-me-down to me. Either way, it makes me itch seeing that much corduroy in one place. It’s a good thing we were in different classes! 

I’m holding a book bag and my brother has one piece of paper. Apparently that’s all he needed for school. Lucky! He wrote all his school work on that one piece of paper so he had to use it well! I remember that book bag. I loved it! The green went really well with my yellow jacket. I remember the yellow jacket too. It shows up in a lot of pictures. Unfortunately.

It’s funny because even to this day I have trouble tucking in my shirts. I will buy a collared shirt and tuck it in but it never looks right. It’s always coming un-tucked or it’s too tucked and my pants are under my boobs. Like a grandpa. Add in some sandals with socks and I’ve found my look!

As always my hair is out of control. For the first 12 years of my life I had an aversion to a hairbrush. I treated them as the enemy and refused to use them for religious reasons. Not really. Even Jesus brushed his hair! I guess I just didn’t care, Looking back, I wished I cared. Just a little.

In the background you can see someone walking a dog. I loved how in our old neighborhood there were always people walking about and you didn’t think anything about it. In the neighborhood I live in now, if you see strangers walking around, you reach for your shotgun first and ask questions later! That’s a slight exaggeration. Slight…

I’m not sure why my brother is scared. Maybe he sees the fashion police. Or Joan Rivers. But hey, it was the early 80’s and the 70’s still had a stranglehold on fashion. I’m just lucky there were no bell-bottoms making an appearance. I don’t think. There is a slight flare at the bottom of my brother’s pants. An angel might’ve got their wings that day…

But regardless, it was a nice visit back to simpler times when hairbrushes and color clashing meant nothing to me. When staring into space with a blank look on my face was cute instead of crazy. Before I go, I leave you with this one last thought. Was the person walking the dog wearing a beret? WTF? Any guesses?