Sunday, December 30, 2007

random thoughts and musings

I haven't had a lot to say lately though all kinds of thoughts have been bouncing around in my head. Just nothing coherent enough to write down. So I have been blog hopping and lurking in various places for the last three weeks.

I am still looking for work but the search has gone slowly. I have been looking for new sources of information but haven't found anything consistently useful. Why, you ask. Well the job boards I had been using (Indeed, Just Hired, CareerBuilder, and Monster, etc.) have had nothing useful for me. The lists can be categorized as military, driving, medical and sales. I did my military stint thirty years ago and even if I were in much better physical shape (ie, 80 lbs lighter) I don't want to revisit that job. I really, really, really, REALLY don't like driving. I do it when I absolutely have to and for only as long as I absolutely must. Besides, I don't want to try to get a CDL. I have no background for the medical jobs. And after my last interview for a sales/cashier position I have to seriously rethink that pathway. I wrote about being 'overqualified' for those types of position a while back.

I have come to realize several 'truths' through this very unsettling year. I never realized how much I hate job hunting. But I do hate it--so much that I put serious job searching off for months even though I knew my boss was going to close the party goods store well before she said so. Then I applied for tellering jobs even though I was dubious about doing so. I had resisted that avenue for a long time and had very little success in the application process. Usually I got the dreaded "we have received your application and will consider it carefully" letter followed by silence. Once I did receive a letter saying "Thank you for your interest but we have hired someone else." Mom had been pushing tellering. No heavy lifting, regular hours, decent pay. So when I did get an offer I jumped on it. I was still tentative and dubious but, what the hell, it was a job and I needed one. All too often in the past, I have jumped into jobs because at least that would end the search. And, all too often I have added a new entry to the 'been there, done that, and don't want to do it again' list.

I have also discovered that I don't like to multi-task and I don't do it well. Being the one legged man in a butt kicking contest is no fun and not very rewarding. Psychologically, I am not well suited for multi-tasking. I have a tendency to think ahead and, when interrupted, can easily pick up at the point about which I was thinking instead of the point at which I was interrupted. I tried continuously during my short stint as a teller to control that tendency but it always rose up to bite me in the ass.

Through out my adult life I have had two fall back strategies when things began to fall apart. I would either pursue a different academic goal toward a new career goal or I would find a job for two or three years as a cashier or retail sales clerk. Now neither of those strategies are viable. I don't have the resources or the faith to go the academic route again. The last time through I piled up a large student loan debt of which I doubt I will ever be free. Even if I had no student loan debt, I don't have the breezy faith of youth that there will be good paying jobs available when I finished. The last interview for a sales job ended, for all intents and purposes, when the interviewer pronounced me 'overqualified.' Mostly, however, I don't even get called for an interview.

I have said before I need to re-think my strategies but I don't know where to begin to do that.

Friday, December 7, 2007

weather, csi, miscellany

We just had our second measurable snow of the season and the coldest temperatures. This year the snow doesn't bother me because I am unemployed and can decide not to go out in it. I loved snow when I was a child. We didn't get snow days unless we got more that about 8 inches too quickly to be plowed. But I still had plenty of time to play in it and go sledding. As an adult snow means cleaning off my car and warming it up, driving on slick roads, limited visibility due to glare or blowing snow, and idiots in other cars who refuse to slow down to a reasonable speed. It means bosses who want you there no matter what to take care of the few customers or client who are stupid enough to go out for what ever is so important they are willing to risk their (and everyone else's) lives to get. I used to work in a party goods store and, I ask you, what is so 'fracking' important about paper plates and napkins? That boss was one of the few who would close for really nasty weather. But we always had customers who complained that they came by but we weren't open so they went to Walgreens or Wal-Mart. You can bet the executives of those chains were not out in blizzard conditions, unlike their much lower-paid staff.

But enough of that rant. The snow is still pretty and for the first time in a long time I can enjoy it. Mom and I are planning for the next week since the weather reports indicate a small train of storms coming in. Sunday looks bad which doesn't bode well for a birthday party we were planning to attend. Instead, tomorrow looks good so we will go to the grocery store for the few staples that might not last through Tuesday and will stop off at to see my sister-in-law and give her our presents for the birthday boy (her grandson.) They say there are two seasons here: winter and construction. We call those seasons construction and planning your outings to fall between the snow storms.

I don't have many tv shows I really like to watch. That is watch instead of nap through, read through, or do needlework through. TV is more background noise than anything else. Mom has tinitus and the noise drowns out the ringing in her ears. CSI has been one of those few shows but that may be changing. Last night's show was disappointing. I like these kinds of shows when they have a balance between the personalities of the characters and the 'how to prove who done it" aspects. Right now the characters are predominate and not in a good way. Warrick Brown is melting down under the pressure of a nasty divorce for which his own suspicious nature is much to blame. Under that pressure he has gone from a recovering gambler to a pill-popper. Some of his actions had me asking 'How can he be so stupid?' Worse, Grissom, who has never been highly sensitive to those around him, has made no attempt to understand what is happening to Brown, heretofore a very reliable investigator. Grissom's affair with Sara humanized him and without her he is showing his most insensitive side.

I hope CSI regains the balance before I give up on them.