Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nope, no thanks

It turns out, I am an AWFUL judge of people at first meet.  And poker faces, I guess.

I thought that interview last week went great - both of the people I met with told me I would be coming back for a second interview with the COO this week. 

I got - hopeful - I even bought some new work clothes.

I had a great weekend, and even hummed my way through my Monday morning chores.

I got to Starbucks, turned on the laptop and sent an email off to the agency to follow up on the second interview.

And then I got the response.

The company had changed their minds.  They twisted one of my answers (on a "your strengths" question) into my weakness and said that was exactly what they were not looking for.
They said that I said that I am NOT a multi-tasker!
I am THE multi-tasker!  My entire "me pitch" is all about me being a multi-tasker!

I guess I really don't want to work for a place that would twist my words to make me look bad, but I was SO SURE this was happening.

Of course, I got this email in Starbucks, where I started crying and had to go home and crawl under the blankets and cry for the afternoon.

I spent the better part of this morning looking for health insurance.  I'm sick to my stomach over that.

I am so sad.  I am so tired.  I don't know how much more of this I can take.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Off topic, aka It's my blog, and I'll write what I want to!!

Not a job post!
A me making music post!!

I'm in guitar class right now, as always.  I've also joined the 60's Classics Ensemble at the school.  I joined this class to work on my vocal ability, and my harmonies.  I do not bring my guitar to this class, just me and a tambourine.

Both graduations were a week ago.

For guitar, we chose Just Like Heaven by The Cure.  I had known my teacher was awesome before I had signed up for class (she's a friend of mine), but when I saw that she had The Cure AND The Muppets in our song packet? I was excited.  I like my classmates - even though they had been together for months before I joined, they were very welcoming and friendly. 
So, I practiced and practiced and practiced the riff of the intro that I had been assigned. Our class is pretty big, so we had split up the intro into six parts. Two dudes and I had been assigned riff #1, which is awesome tab, but also is repeated throughout the song.  I already know ALL of the lyrics, because, c'mon, it's The Cure.

I had dinner with my teacher before class, as we do every week.  I told her I would be willing to sing, merely to sing OVER a super annoying and off-key ding dong in the class. Teach laughed and said ok.
We had about 20 minutes to practice before graduation.  No mention was made of who would be singing.
Our turn came up at graduation, and the program director asked who to mic.  Teach pointed at me and said "Von".
I had zero water and was a little tipsy. I'm going to sing?!
I turned it down, but ended up with a mic in front on my anyway.  At least there were also a few other mics around, so it wasn't just me.
I NAILED the riff, every time.  I was soooo excited.
I also lost my voice right after the first verse of the song.  I didn't care. 

For whatever reason, I compartmentalize my musical attempts.  Guitar is for guitar - 60s is for singing. I dunno, I'm just weird.

Two days later was 60s graduation which was at a bar.  I tried to tuck myself into a corner, I thought it would work, since we are a huge group. Nope.
This teacher looked at me and motioned me to the front - to my own mic.
I was terrified.
It was a blast.  I had a great time.  A few of my friends and a bunch of my family came. I was nervous and self-conscious at times, but I had fun.
The next day, I asked VonSis for critique.  Not that she is a music critic, but at least she's honest.  She said that I got self-conscious at times (true) and I didn't sing out like the rest of the group.

I thought on that for a few days.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

As long as I can remember, I've loved music.  To me, it's like breathing, it's just always there and I need it to survive. I've also been singing as long as I can remember.  This was fine, probably, when I was a toddler, belting out to Fleetwood Mac and CCR, and Heart.  It was maybe even "cute"
Then, the 80s brought the invention of my life - a walkman.  That thing was surgically attached to me from the moment I got one.  Now, I was singing, but I had headphones on, and didn't realize how loud I was. I sang all day and all night.  VonSis would come in my room and tell me to shut up.  On long car rides, the whole family would tell me to knock it off.  I kept singing, they kept shushing me. A vicious circle of singing and shushing, shushing and singing.
I developed a compromise
I kept singing, but very very quietly.  Almost mumbly. Around all other humans.  All the time.
When I was 20, I got my driver's license, and a car.  I spent hours and hours driving around and singing. Alone. In my car.

Now, here I am, nearly 40 and wanting to sing.  But my vocal muscle memory tells me to shut up, to shush, to mumble.

I'll have to relearn to sing out.  To belt (a little).  To remember that I love it, and even if I suck, the joy outweighs that.

Plus, no one thinks I suck but me.  It's that whole "listening to your own recorded voice" thing.  I hate it when I hear my recorded voice - like when I hear a voicemail I've left, or a message. Yuck.  It's the same thing with my recorded singing voice - the lyrics? correct.  the key? correct. high C for 8 measures? correct.  In tempo? correct.  I just hate it.

At least this is a flaw I am working on with determination.

Friday, May 2, 2014

A People Person

I have been working since I was 15 years old. 
My first job was at the local pizza parlor that was owned by two brothers-in-law.  O and L.
They were tough bosses, fair.  The uniform was ugh - white pants and their flimsy logo'd tshirt.  White pants?!?!? What chubby 15 year old wants to wear that? But I did.  And I answered the phones and fell in love with the pizza boy. I was always on time and always worked my shifts.
I picked up a delicious pizza there last week.  I walked in the door and L said "VON!!! How are you? How is your family?" Yep, they still love me.  They don't ever, ever want to hear that I am nearly 40, but they have a soft spot in their hearts for the chubby little blonde who worked there for two years when she was in high school.

When I was 16, I got a job at a hardware store.  I was a cashier. I was always on time, fell in love with the lumber yard dude.  I wore a gold smock with the logo on it - a big smiling beaver.  I worked a lot, was always on time.  I moved on up to the service desk.  I still had to wear the gold beaver smock, but I learned how to price out lumber and custom doors and do mathy stuff.  On my last day, three of the lumber yard guys sang "End of the Road" by boyz to men as I walked out.  They gave me flowers.  I'm still friends with a couple of people I worked there with.

When I was 19 I decided I didn't want to go to college anymore, I was going to go find a real job.  I signed up with an agency and quickly found a job working as a file clerk at an  insurance company downtown.  The big leagues!! VonParents were happy for me and bought me a lovely business casual wardrobe.  I had pretty dresses and even a trench coat.  I took the el every day and went to the Art Institute for lunch breaks. 

Right around 21, I was an asshole, and I got fired.  I was on the phone with my boyfriend and friends all day. This was stupid. I learned my lesson.  I'm still friends with one of the people I met there.

I got fired in August, so I took a month off and hung out in exbestie's pool. All day. Every day. I still lived at home and didn't really have bills, so I wasn't worried.

September I walked into another agency in answer to an ad they had placed for some job in a bank.  Instead, they hired me to work there, at  the agency.  I was 21 and placing people 10, 12 years older than me in jobs, and fixing their resumes.  We drank beer on Friday afternoons.  I'm still friends with both of the awesome women I worked with there.

When I was 22, I started to look for something else, I liked my job, and the people, but I needed more money.  I found a job at AutoParts Place really quickly. 
I was 22, and a receptionist with a 10 minuted commute. 
I LOVED that job.  I was there over 10 years, and I kept moving on up the food chain.  I went from one job to the next to the next to the next.  I went from a department of 12 to just me in Chicago and the rest of the department in Boston.  I fell in love with a warehouse dude, got engaged to him, and called off the wedding and the relationship all while I worked there.
I held out for more - money, responsibility, whatever - until I couldn't anymore.  I decided on 1/1/07 I would look for a new job.    I found one in July.  The CEO of AutoParts Place even flew out before I left, and visited me.
"So, where are you going?"
"Big Stupid Company"
"Ah. I can't talk you out of it then."
**hindsight makes me wish he had**
I am still friends with MANY of the people I worked with there.  As far as work families go, we were/are extremely tight.  We weathered business changes, great joys, horrible sadnesses, crazy people and crazy times.  I feel fuzzy warm love for several of the people I worked with there.

I loved my last job.  I did.  I learned so much from some incredibly smart people - smart women.  Women who I admire and will remember.
But, I'm not sure I'll be friends with many of them.  Not by my choosing.  I haven't seen M since December.  Lots of empty promises that we WILL see each other, but even those are getting less frequent.  There are so many people I do not miss (see yesterday's post). 
Is it because I worked with a lot of sales people? And in general, I distrust sales people? I don't know why. 

This whole post originated with the thought that I MUST have value, I MUST be a good person, or friend or something, or else why would all of these people, going back 25 years, even want to stay in touch with me?  I may have lost that direction along the way as I typed.  It became kind of a chronicle of jobs.

Whatever, it's Friday. So I can do what I want.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Looking back

Ya know, I'm getting over my last job. Finally.  Sure, I miss the people (most of them), and I miss the perks and hours and all of that.
Yes, I had it GOOD.  And I know that.  I worked my ass off, but I had four weeks of vacation, seven "summer Fridays", two personal days, a bunch of holidays, an hour lunch, an unenforced dress code.
And much, much more.

But, here's the thing.  They let ME go, and kept Lazyoldbitch?
Lazyoldbitch is 900 years old.  She'd use a steno machine if she could.  She's lazy, rude, nasty, and evil.
And, they fucking KEPT her. 

At my job before the last one, the President used to ask of his people - "What are the working hours I am getting from this person?"  That stuck with me.  I'm going to be totally honest.  When there was work to be done, at both of my last jobs, they got 95% working hours from me.  Yes, I internetted, and chatted with my bestie.  But I worked my ass off.
Even though she was forced to come in and be at work 37 hours a week, she still got out of actually working. She would waddle in the door at 7:58. Then she would stink up the bathroom for about 20 minutes. Then she'd have to chat with her buddy (who also did much less work than I did) for another 30 minutes. Then, as her people started to arrive, she'd sit at her desk and have her second breakfast of the day.  Her own people told me that they "knew better than to speak to Lazyoldbitch before 9am!!"
Um, even though her start time was somewhere between 8:00 and 8:30?
She would then shuffle some stuff around her desk, say nasty things to me, chat with her family long distance on the phone and on facebook.
Lunch time was always a treat.  She'd shovel food in her face while playing solitaire (God only knows how she got to keep that on her work computer, while everyone else's had to be removed).  She would then make sure her people weren't paying attention and would them put her feet up and read her book for another hour.
She only ever moved quickly at  the end of the day.  She even had permission to leave early every three weeks to have her nasty stringy frizzed out hair done. Um, what?  Her "working hours" were about 1.5 to 3 a day.

So, as I look back - I have stopped being sad and saying "why me?" and started getting angry and saying "why NOT HER??"

If that company thinks she has more value than I did, then it's a damn good thing I am not there any more.  She's a piece of shit. 
If karma is real, I'd love to be there when it bites her in the ass.

I'm hoping to see her again someday soon.  I just want to walk up to her and tell her she is a hateful, ugly and lazy bitch.  Then I will walk away and never give her another thought.