Friday, December 9, 2011

Unemployment Diary: Shortfalls and little sins

On Monday I put on dress clothes. Underneath was a torture device otherwise known as a foundation garment and a pair of pantyhose that have been in the drawer for so many months, they no longer recognize the shape of my leg. Good thing putting on pantyhose is like riding bicycle. You don't quite forget.

I applied makeup and lipstick. Not my usual red, but something more subtle and understated. I put on conservative jewelry and made sure my ankle bracelet didn't peek out from under my pants when I sat down. In that moment, I was glad that I'd forgone that chest tattoo. With a rack like mine, I'm not supposed to wear high necklines. It's a rule, so say my daughters who've watched plenty of What Not to Wear.

I walked out to the garage careful to avoid any contact with the cats. I was wearing black and didn't need to be flecked with cat hair. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw how clean the car was. MathMan had made a special effort to have it tidied up. I would be pulling up to valet parking and I wanted to make a good first impression.

This would be my first in person job interview since February 2010 and I was nervous as hell.

All the way there, I thought about what I would say, the examples I could give for how I was the best qualified person for the job. It's a position outside of my former career industry so it feels like a long shot to begin with, but I  kept telling myself that I had years of related experience and therefore had no reason to be so nervous.

You know your strengths and weaknesses, I told myself. Play to your strengths.

And yet, it felt like so much was riding on this. It's only the fourth interview I've had in two years. The further south on I75 I traveled, the more monumental this interview became.

I arrived and introductions were made. Everything was going well.

And then the first question of many more to come was asked. It was, of course, the one question that would expose my most critical weakness.

I admitted I didn't have an immediate answer to the question, but that I would know where to find the answer. Then I saved myself with a follow up comment.

"Oooh, that's good. Yes," the interviewer said with a smile.


Okay, I told myself, the worst is over and the interviewer hasn't cut this short.

The rest of the situational interview went well, I thought, and I had plenty of experience to draw from for each answer. I didn't spill my glass of water, curse or lean over and pick lint off the interviewer's suit. (He was dressed impeccably.) My handshake was firm and my personality warm.

As I drove home, I listened to MSNBC. They played a clip of some doof or other repeating the mantra that the unemployed need to just go get a job.

Were it that easy. The unemployment rate in Georgia is 10.2%.

It still feels like a long shot. I'm trying not to make myself crazy wondering if I'll hear back from them. I haven't taken to ironing yet so maybe the steps I'm taking to reduce my anxiety are working.

If I don't hear from them by next Monday, I'll be putting out the following alert:  Send laundry.

Give me something good about your week. What's gone well?


  1. What's gone well? Let's see ... We won World War II and the post war years were good for most people. We actually put astronauts on the moon and subsequent small home computers are great. And I'm happy Apple gave us (for cash, of course) the iPod and iPad).

    Concerning my week? I haven't slipped on the ice or awoken in an ER and there's been no nearby train wrecks and we haven't had home invaders, raids by black helicopters and CIA drones.

    I did take advantage of a Costco coupon, saving a few dollars on the 52 oz. bag of M&Ms.

    BTW, is your chest tattoo a War Eagle, a Winged Sacred Heart, An Owl in Flight or Guns n Roses?

  2. Bill, that's quite the comprehensive list. I'm glad you've had a good week. No falls and a coupon. Not bad. Not bad at all.

    There's no chest tattoo, but if there were, it would be probably include unicorns and rainbows.

  3. good on you...and great job on the can def be hard getting back out there...

    good...hmm....been a rough week actually but i am still breathing and still have a family and home...thats a pretty good base line...

  4. I'm done with school. Tuesday was my last, did you hear me I said LAST, class!

    I feel good about that and then I resumed my workout with weights yesterday that I've been putting on hold the past few weeks as I completed paper after paper for this last semester. I am so happy to be done with school :)

    If that company was smart they'd hire you ASAP. You have so much to offer and they'd be fools not to see that. Good luck!

  5. Fingers crossed here, along with lots of paws. We'll be watching for news.

  6. This would be my first in person job interview since February 2010 and I was nervous as hell.

    You're beating me by 100%.

    Good luck, Lisa!

  7. Brian - Thank you. I'm sorry it's been a rough week. I'm glad it hasn't worn down your spirit. Breathing is a plus. I have to remind myself to do it sometimes.

    Liberality!!! Congratulations! This will be the first time since I've known you that you weren't in school. Well done. Ask for that raise. And thank you.

    Ranger Bob - Thanks to you and the Newfoundlands. Maybe they'll bring me the luck I need.

  8. Thunder - Thank you. It's so unlike any time before when I was out of work and looking. Those times look so easy compared to today. I hope something good happens for you soon.

  9. Reading this made me want to bite my nails. I'm glad you're not feeling anxious, but I am, on your behalf, waiting for your phone to ring. Please say something on facebook as soon as you know. xoxo

  10. What's gone well? We have five and a half dozen cookies in the freezer, and our party is still eight days away. I hope this means I won't be freaking out over having enough food the night before.

  11. PS I want a tattoo, but married a needle phobic man who cringes sympathetically when I bring up the idea. I guess it's henna for me.

  12. Susan - I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything. Don't bite those nails!

    Summer - Don't you love being ahead of the game? I used to want a tattoo. Mr. G. has always been a bit negative about it so since it doesn't matter that much to me, I don't get one. I like to remind my parents that I'm the only one of three siblings without ink. They'd assumed I'd be the first.

  13. Lisa- I wish you a TON of luck! I really hope you got it! Sending lucky job vibrations your way!

  14. I linked this today, since I am going through it too, my friend. Hang in there.

    Just realized the other day, that I have shoes for working in a health food store, but not to work in a mall. So, I need shoes for a job I probably won't even get! (I'm sure you know what I mean!) GROWF!

  15. I wish you much luck.

    As for me, I've had one phone interview and one pre-screening phone interview in fifteen months.

  16. Lisa dear, congratulations on getting the interview. I think about you a lot. The pundits have NO idea, none.

    My week? Mostly good. I have one more project to go to finish my last class in school librarianship. (And I sure hope that ship isn't sinking!) I received love letters from 2 former first grade students, one from 10 years ago, and one from 20. That rocks. On the down side, I think we're reaching the conclusion that our sweet Molly dog needs to be put down, and that makes me weep.

    It all sounds like life, doesn't it?

  17. As of just a day or two ago even the WSJ reported that the real unemployment figures are probably closer to 22.5% than the 8.6% we were apparently supposed to be celebrating.

    I really hope this interview leads to a job offer. I have no doubt you can do anything you set your mind to.

  18. If you don't get the job, well I'm not suggesting that you release an army of rabid weasels inside their office.

  19. Why were you wearing pantyhose underneath pants? Yes. I fixate on shit like this. I feel your pain, girlfriend. This reminds me of long, long ago and far, far away in the land known as my youth when I was pursuing an acting career -- the optimum word being "pursuing" and man could that sucker run.

    Best of luck on the interview. They'd be lucky to have you.

  20. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

    What's going well? I hosted this month's book club. I hate entertaining, actually get an ache in my tummy. Thankfully, hubby hid in the corner and replenished food and drink, even surprising us all with homemade chocolate pudding toward the end of the evening.

    So grateful I don't have to think about hosting for another year. I'd so much rather meet at a bar.

  21. Oh Lisa, I really hope you get the job. I'm glad the interview went well. xoxo

  22. I've got a good feeling about this, Lisa. All of my fingers are crossed for you!!!

  23. Love the pic of John Garfield and Lana Turner from one of my favorite movies. And if I had a job interview I don't even know what I would wear. Scrubs? Good luck.

  24. Love the pic of John Garfield and Lana Turner from one of my MOST FAVORITE movies ever. I don't even know what I would wear if I had an interview, scrubs? Good Luck.

  25. please excuse double post, don't know what I did.

  26. Love the pic of John Garfield and Lana Turner from one of my favorite movies. And if I had a job interview I don't even know what I would wear. Scrubs? Good luck.

  27. Thanks, gang, for the good wishes. I'm still waiting to hear and I appreciate your supportive words.

  28. They would be a fool not to hire you!

  29. It sounds like you nailed it. Good luck and I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    You sound like a good interviewer in general. I think I'm okay, but I've had some horrible interviews with aggressive, snappy HR reps. Years ago, I was sitting in the lobby waiting to be called in when the woman who had interviewed directly before me came FLYING out of the building, her face red and upset. I barely had time to register an "uh-oh...." before they called me in. Let's just say that woman's expression was an accurate sign of what was to come in the interview room.

  30. Keep that bracelet on!

    If we could collectively wish this job into being for you, Lisa, I know you'd be employed this week. Fingers and toes crossed.

  31. Did you send your thank you note? Even though people think it is out of date, everytime I sent one I got a positive comment about it.

    Can't wait to hear if you hear!!

  32. Good luck Lisa! Sending lots of positive energy for you, whichever way it goes. You are brave to throw yourself out there to the wolves!

  33. Good luck. It's a good sign that you got asked to interview. Must mean there are some jobs out there and, no surprise, you are supremely qualified.

  34. The idea that some people who are so far out of touch with reality just telling the unemployed to go get a job boggles my mind.

    As for something good that happened to me on the week of the 9th.... hard to think about that.... I bowled a 138.


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