Friday, May 21, 2010

Thanks for Rubbing It In, Bing Crosby

Yeah, well, not if you don't pay your gas bill....

Yesterday was one of those days.

The money noose tightened.  We got the gas turned back on so it's not all bad.  You know, if I had to choose though (and the last three weeks have been an "experiment,") I'd rather go without gas than water.  Just sayin.')

As a result of the continued money issues, I've expanded my job search quite a bit outside the field I'd worked in for nearly twenty years.  Whatever it takes....

Using the online form from the Georgia Department of Labor, I tried to apply for a job which is considerably lower on the food chain from whence I came. It sounded like an interesting job in a different kind of setting, so why not apply?  The skills I've acquired over my twenty years in not-for-profit and association management are highly transferable and fit the job description - administrative, communications, coordination, working with people, etc. 

The Dept. of Labor denied my request for a referral.  Wanna know why?  I don't have the required six months of experience in academia.  You know, because admin jobs are soooooooo different from one field to the next.  You pretty much use your skills to do what other people ask you and voila!  Job done.  I mean, even when I was the head of the organization, that was basically what I did.  I made recommendations to the Board of Directors, they blessed it as was or complicated it and then I did the tasks to complete the job.  Sometimes a volunteer came in and helped, most times not.

So I think I could handle this job working for a junior college.  Coordinating a couple of student programs doesn't seem so far out of my realm that the learning curve should be unreasonable. We wonder why people are out of work.  Six months required experience is arbitrary at best.  It occurred to me later, of course, that it may have been a situation where they had to post the job, but already had someone lined up for it.  Ah, well.  I'll keep looking.

In the meantime, I decided to give up the fantasy of publishing a book.  A complete waste of time.  I have no talent, blah, blah, blah.  MathMan was on the receiving end of this bout of self-pity and doubt.  I love that man for putting up with me, I really do.  He sent me a couple of positive thinking texts and came home prepared to give me a stern talking to about my attitude.  He walked into the bedroom and was shocked to see me smiling.

He did a double take.  "What's wrong with you?"

"Nothing, why?"

He gave me one of those looks.  Nothing is such a dangerous word...

"Oh, this?"  I pointed at my grin.  "I decided to stop worrying.  Worry or not, doesn't change a thing."

While I was in the shower getting ready to go to Sophia's 5th grade graduation ceremony (hello, contrived sentimentality!) I could hear MathMan rifling through my bedside stand looking for whatever I'd taken to alter my mood.

My mood change really was a combination of his attempts to buoy my flagging spirits and an hour and half of thinking time as I pushed the back and forth across the slope that is our back yard.

Later we sat reading our books while we waited for the graduation ceremony to start.  I'm reading A.A. Milne's The Red House Mystery.  He's not all Pooh, you know.  "Oh my god," I whispered to MathMan.  "I'm losing my mind.  I realize as I read this, I'm editing A.A. Milne.  See here, he doesn't need that was...." I pointed to the words on the page.

MathMan just shook his head in that way he has when he realizes yet again that he's chosen to spend his life with a needy lunatic.  "And you say you're not a writer........"


  1. You can't blame Bing. He was a Gas Kook, he couldn't help himself.

    You're a writer. Don't be a wanker.

  2. You are a brilliant writer, no matter what you do for a living.

    BTW, I have often thought that I, too, would excel in the position of Editor to Dead Writers. Go check with the Georgia Dept of Labor. Who knows, there might be an opening...

  3. How can I get a kook-center? Our household needs more kooks.

    Employers can be extremely choosy these days. They can get exactly what they are looking for because the pool is so big.

  4. Okay - talk about CONTRIVED. My boo boo la la had a graduation ceremony for Pre-K and she isn't even REALLY graduating. She goes there next year too. Matters not all the kids graduate if they are staying or going on to Kindergarten.


  5. It seems to me you're probably correct they already had someone chosen for the job and not unlikely they threw in that person's particular experience as a requirement for anyone else. I'm sure you'll find something better suited to your experience so keep that smile on.

    The trouble with book writing I learned for myself is that I'm still not capable of writing one I'd be happy to read. You are very capable of writing one I'd love to read. Keep jotting down those notes and conversations, random thoughts and conclusions, adventures and misadventures, and one day you'll find your book has written itself.

  6. Sorry to call bullshit, my friend, but I've seen enough of your writing to recognize that, when you say you're not a writer, you're out of your mind.

  7. You ARE a writer..shit. You write every FLIPPIN DAY!!!!!!!!! How else does one define "writer?" Can you earn a living from it? Ah well....there's the rub. Sheeeeee-it.

    OK. Tell me if I've already recommended this book to you. "Do What You Are." Tieger, wife and husband team authors. Have I recommended it? Have you looked at it ? Has it been helpful? (A friend had borrowed my old copy. When I "retired" she still had it. Finally got it back a few weeks ago. Have I looked at it? Um. No. Have I done anything of worth or value since Dec 4th? Um no.)

  8. I wouldn't give up on writing, even if you need to find the regular-paying gig right now for practical reasons. What about entering some short-story contests in the meantime? You usually only win about 15 or 20 bucks or so, but it could also be a good ego boost.

  9. It's "community" college, not "junior" college.

    All I have is a rinky-dink Associate's degree from a rinky-dink community college, so don't you go belittlin' my experience, yo.

    Go on, write that book and get it published so I can review it!

  10. *sigh*
    you're in my heart

  11. Hey there~ My 21 year old kiddo experienced some job world shock therapy. Even a custodian position was calling for 5 years experience!!!

    Then he scoffed.... look at this job! Minimum wage and NO BENEFITS ~ who is going to apply for THAT???

    Probably about 80 people, son.

    Times are hard.

    Come to think of it, do you know of ANYONE who ever found a job through the Dept of Labor?

  12. Here's a thought: pick up something, anything by Muriel Spark. She can't be edited...every word counts. "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" is one of my favorite books. Ok, my favorite. My friend Maud is rereading all her stuff. It's therapeutic.

  13. Im going to have to agree with TomCat's comment on this post Lisa!

  14. Don't give up! You've not even been rejected once, have you? I have never read anything so funny as your posts about your family. That collection alone makes you a writer.

  15. LOL! :) You're showing your female Iwanskiness again, Lisa. *hee hee*

  16. Being an author isn't "as seen on TV".

    First, there isn that much money in it unless: 1. There's a movie deal 2. it's on the NY Times best list 3. your publisher loves it and promotes the hell out of it 4. your most recent book is one of a dozen others you've written.

    In retrospect, I think I would rather learn to drive a gravel truck or be a dockside crane operator than fuss with writing (unless it's purely hobby).

  17. I relish the idea of AA Milne turning in his grave....

    Hello love :)

  18. Your writing is spellbinding, so the thought of you thinking you aren't a writer is most distressing. Buck up, ducky! Chin up, what?


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