Monday, June 11, 2012

Being unemployed has stopped being fun

Being unemployed has stopped being fun. It's almost summer! In Maine! The shortest season and the time to do a ton of fun stuff before you're stuck in the house for 9 months of winter. There's concerts and fairs and the beach and state parks and just driving around because it's so friggin' beautiful. But it all costs money. Gas ain't cheap and my new car is a gas guzzling Chevy.

I'd rather be unemployed in the winter. Knitting, board games, movies and computer games are way more fun when the sun isn't shining and there's snow falling outside your window.
There are so many jobs right now but no one wants to hire me. I've submitted a resume to dozens of places, many more than once for different positions. I have had a grand total of 3 interviews since February. At the first one I got a rejection letter in the mail the NEXT day. That means she wrote it and sent it out as soon as the interview was over. The kicker is I thought the interview went really well.

I used to like interviews. This was mainly because I almost always got offered the job I interviewed for. This was before the Great Recession. It was also before the Navy base here closed. Now there's more people than jobs so they can be uber picky.
I've found that the biggest problem is that the longer I'm unemployed, the more rejections I get. The more rejections, the lower my confidence. The lower my confidence, the less likely I'm going to do well in an interview.
I was talking to someone about how I hate those standard questions interviewers ask when they have no imagination or if it's a big corporation and they have to ask them. Questions like "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" or "what can you bring to this company?" This guy jokingly said I should tell them "I can bring my lunch". I'm tempted to say that just to see if they have a sense of humor.

Really though, I've been doing reception for 12 years. I have good references. I can speak in full sentences, am polite, dressed neatly and I swear I bathe regularly. What do you want? Reception work isn't really a career with a lot of growth potential. In five years I'll probably still be answering phones, filing and whatever. Which is fine. I just want money to do things.

When they ask me if I have any questions at the end of the interview I usually don't ask what I really want to. I'll ask why the last person left, if they have benefits, what the hours are or other mundane stuff. What I want to ask is do my co-workers like Doctor Who, Cuteoverload, the Daily Show or at least Looney Tunes? Or do they watch FOX news, quote Rush Limbaugh, attend anti-abortion rallies and feel the need to impose their opinions on everyone they work with? But you can't ask those things.
The worst job in the world can be made tolerable and even fun if you get along with the people you work with. The flip side of that is the best job can be made unbearable if you work for a bunch of jerks.
Unfortunately, I can't afford to be that picky. All I can do is hope I get lucky.