My dear friend Sasha pointed out that my blog composition has settled into a sort of triangle of topics. And I’m cool with that. It’s just not the topics I thought they would be. Witness:
Once again, the cats have won the internet. Resistance was futile. We’ve all been assimilated. And with that in mind, prepare yourselves for the most recent conversation with Otto, a guest blog from the abovementioned Sasha.
I just came across this petition requesting that people with tattoos and piercings be given equal opportunity protection, making ink and metal equal to gender, sexuality, race, religion, disability, national origin, etc.
No. Just no. Please take this ridiculous claim to EEOC and shove it.
Equal opportunity employment exists to protect people from discrimination against choices they could not make. Let me repeat that, in all caps, because maybe those of you who think this petition is the one for you are a little too self-involved, privileged, and entitled to have missed it when it was just in italics. EEOC exists to protect people from discrimination against choices THEY COULD NOT MAKE.
I will never argue that employers should be able to discriminate against tattooed and pierced candidates. I have many, many tattoos and prefer to be able to show them off whenever possible. I am proud of my body art, and I love it. I would like to be able to walk into any office and not have to worry about them being a factor in the hiring decision.
But I also recognize that every bit of ink in my skin was my choice, unlike my gender, race, sexuality, and national origin.
If you want to be recognized as a viable candidate despite the ink and holes you have put in your flesh, then lobby for a separate law, one that forces employers to turn a blind eye to your body modifications and just look at your on-paper qualifications. SCOTUS is not going to turn people with body modification into a suspect class any time soon (see: “immutable“), so stop pretending you are one. Take your ridiculous entitlement and privilege and do something valuable with it.
The very first thing I did in 2011 was wake up, shower, and go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients to make Raspberry Crack† for Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman.
At the time, I thought: holy crap. I am leaving a year filled with pain, anxiety, emotional abuse, misery and more pain. And I am leaping into a year that begins with one of my favorite authors and one of my most beloved musical artists, as well as some of my best friends in the world (Hi Whitney and Alexei!). Around a kitchen table. At which I will be sitting. Wow.
What could possibly go wrong?
Ultimately, very little. Very little had to go wrong. 2011 was a year of trying to convince myself that I could survive the status quo. Little secret between me, you, and the rest of the internet? Almost didn’t happen. Survival, I mean. 2011 brought me the closest to suicide I have been in a decade.
Sounds dramatic, right? I guess suicide is dramatic, but I don’t intend to make a splash with the idea.
I mostly mention it to give you some context, Gentle Reader, for my mindset coming into 2012. I have spent 2011 trying to put my head and my heart back together. I have been questioning and trying to come to terms with who I am and the choices I have made. I have been wondering what my place is in this world, and if I even have one. I have been lost, personally and professionally. And with regard to 2012, I am not as optimistic as I might like to be. I see SOPA and NDAA and the economy. I see my empty bed and my empty wallet. I see my grad school loans only overshadowed by my law school loans. I see an election year that is terrifying in its lack of viable candidates and a surplus of terrifying candidates. I see rage waxing and worry that my strength is waning.
I have found strength in myself that I didn’t know I had. I have friends who are so phenomenal that it’s a little overwhelming. This blog has a nonzero number of readers (that nonzero? That’s you. You are not zero—not The Zeppo [that's Xander]. Mazel tov). I have things to work toward in 2012 that aren’t just about trying to find reasons to keep living. I’m still funny. My cat remains adorable.
So my resolutions for 2012 are:
- To remember that I am loved by amazing people.
- To come to terms with the decisions I have made to this point.
- To consciously and carefully let go of as much of the baggage I’ve been lugging around with me as I can.
- To stop carrying the world on my shoulders.
- To practice guitar more often.
- To try at least five Scotches I have never tried before.
- To find a hottie or two to hang out with/hook up with.
What, you thought they would all be emotionally intense and interesting?
My biggest resolution, and one I hope to keep more than anything is this, though: I want to live. 2011 was about survival and subsistence—emotional, physical, and economical. It’s time to find ways to live. I wish that were as easy as it sounds, but it’s without a doubt worth working and fighting for. So I guess 2012 is going to be less about just trying to hang on, and more about climbing.
Happy new year, Gentle Reader. I hope your resolutions are wonderfully easy (or nonexistent). I hope 2011 has been amazing for you, and that 2012 will be even better. I hope there is no climb for you. I hope when you look around at the world in the new year, that it’s either a world you know you can live with, or a world you know you can change for the better (or both). I don’t yet know what the world has in store for me. I guess…let’s all hope for the best.
†Raspberry Crack is something I make, that my friends named, and that appears to be fairly addictive. The look on Neil Gaiman’s face when he first tasted it will be something I hope to use to get some incredibly nerdy and hot girl into bed some day.
Today, Whiskeypants is happy.
My birthday is a week from today, and I cleverly created a wishlist on Facebook of things I really really want.
We’ve had some movement on my requests for whiskey: I am now in possession of some amazingly delicious highland malts (that’s a hint, a loving hint. Possibly an anvil). I have also had some success with my requests for shopping sprees and even the request for piles of money.
But to the best of my knowledge, nobody has moved forward with my request for 1+night(s) with Olivia Wilde.
Didn’t I have a truly godawful 2010? Don’t you love me? Don’t you care about my happiness? And honestly, don’t you think I deserve 1+ night(s) with Olivia Wilde? I do. I really really do.
It’s not like we have nothing in common. I mean, look: She’s beautiful, talented, smart, well-off, and she has all of her teeth. And I’m smart. It would be a dream match even in the worst of circumstances.
Also, she’s married.
Think about it, folks. Take a moment right now and think about it.
…Yeah. That’s right.
(As an alternative to Olivia Wilde, I will also accept gainful employment.)
Zombies have become so popular we even have a television show about them, now. They have a dance troupe, and small children have been known to stalk me, growling: “brains!”. I think one might recently have been voted into office (a zombie, not a small child. Actually, probably both).
More importantly, I have noticed that the majority of zombie flicks generally view the zombie apocalypse as a bad thing. But as a single, unemployed American lacking in basic health care, I have to say: is it, really?
I woke up this morning with the knowledge that I am still jobless and almost out of the inhaler that keeps me breathing on a daily basis. With no national health care option, I am actually kinda fucked.
Then, light bulb!—What if there were a zombie apocalypse?
I would be able to—after killing a number of the freaky undead, of course—just walk into a pharmacy, grab some Advair, some Vicodin, and some hair product, and walk right out again. That’s right, folks. The zombie apocalypse would be national healthcare. National health care—plus vicodin!
But why stop illuminating there, light bulb? Think about it!
- The mortgage crisis—not to mention the stress about having to pay rent: OVER!
- Frustration with public transportation: OVER!
- Uncomfortable political conversations: OVER!
- Reality TV: OVER!
Okay, yeah. I get it. The price of all of this beautiful freedom and ability to breathe is having to shoot the occasional family member or friend in the head, because if you shoot them anywhere else, they will keep on comin’. But it’s only the humane thing to do, folks.
I should point out for you pessimists out there that it works out the same if I become a zombie—breathing, rent, food, political discussions, hair product: all a non-issue. Health care or Hell care? I’ll take what I can get these days.
The thing to remember when one has been rejected by a unicorn or Angelina Jolie—they don’t exist. Okay, I haven’t been rejected by Angie recently, so her existence doesn’t really matter one way or the other. I just had to include her out of revenge for the fact that I recently watched Salt.
Now, I recognize that being rejected by an imaginary creature is a double-edged sword:
- On the one hand, Fuck you, unicorn! You can’t reject me, you don’t even exist!
- On the other hand, being rejected by a creature that doesn’t exist is damning in its own special way.
- On the third hand—and I don’t know where the hell that hand came from, or why I have it—I am sitting here looking at the pluses and minuses of being rejected by an imaginary horse-thing. Also, I just made this a triple-edged sword.
Dungeons and Dragons aside, rejection sucks. Especially with regard to a job that not only would have put me in the middle of an organization for which I have wanted to work for years, but also would have allowed me to do things like pay rent and purchase whiskey.
You know, if I had an actual third hand, I could play guitar and drink whiskey without having to put anything important down. I could keep my hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel and never once sacrifice safety to road rage while flipping off other drivers. I could hug and grope simultaneously.
If you are wondering how I am really coping with this particular rejection, well…I don’t have a third arm with which to drink it, but there’s whiskey just down the street and the two arms I do have are quite capable. Cheers.
I had an interview yesterday (with the unicorn of unicorns, btw), which brought up a very serious blog-related issue. If I get a job, I am not actually terminally unemployed. Which means I may someday need to rename this beast.
Options I have already eliminated:
- The Adventures of the Employed: Shows minimal effort, also has a “neener neener” effect with regard to being all employed and stuff.
- Exercises in Schadenfreude: We don’t want to be too open about that, after all.
- Pay Attention To ME: Tempting, but covered via Facebook.
- Francis: Evokes Dirty Dancing for those old enough to know what that is, but doesn’t exactly cover the subject matter of this blog, which is obviously…um…
Options I haven’t eliminated:
- Changing the subtitle to the title: Typically Narcissistic Blogging.
- The Adventures of the Terminally Snarky.
- Ruminations on The Dumb.
- Naked Pictures of Your Mom.
- The Adventures of Whiskeypants.
- The Adventures of Whiskeypants and Your Mom.
I am, of course, open to other suggestions.
Employers find all sorts of ways to reject you. Let’s look at a list of recent rejections I have received:
- The Silent Treatment: I never hear from them again. Even if they interviewed me, I was apparently so embarrassingly awful that they would prefer to pretend I don’t exist.
- The Cordial Letter: Rather than inform me immediately of their decision, they take the time to type, print, fold, and mail an actual letter. Because this is the 19th century and trees are in abundance.
- The Cordial E-mail: Generally preferable, often awkward.
- The Offer for 60% Off Pole Dancing Lessons: Mixed bag option. Sure, they might be trying to tell you that you really have no future—not just with the company, but also in your chosen field and your clothes—but they are also offering an alternative and giving you a deal on training.
Time to work out. If I am going to be pole dancing, I really should be in better shape. Endurance is essential.
I tend to wake up around 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning. Generally I wake up in a funk that not even coffee can reach. That is, unless I wake up:
- to a beautiful woman, or
- to an exercise routine.
No, the two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s ideal if they are not. But that is so totally off topic… Ahem. Right. The point is, I’m in much better shape to do all of the things I need to do after I have exercised. My mind is clearer, I feel stronger, I feel better.
It helps with the depression, makes me feel more confident. It changes my whole approach to the job search because I feel better both in mind and in body.
In addition, I have been drinking less. For a while there, I was sliding dangerously into the territory of my scary alcoholic forebears–I had nothing to do but sit around the house, watch my relationship disintegrate, and feel like a professional failure, so I filled all of the growing voids with whiskey. I won’t tell you how much Jameson I was downing daily, but I will tell you that I expect a Thank You card from them any day now. And maybe a coupon.
I dialed that back a lot. I told myself that if I couldn’t reasonably dial it back I’d have to give it up entirely. The thought of having to give up on all of the Scotches in the world entirely before I got to try them was enough to get me back on track. Now, I don’t need the threat–I am aware of how much healthier I feel when I’m not swimming in alcohol every day.
Am I starting to sound like Tappy Tibbons?
The point is, these are things I am doing for myself. Not because I have obligations elsewhere. The search for work feels like I am taking the slow, scenic route through an endless pit of despair. The fact that I am getting up every day and doing these things for myself helps immensely–not with the scenery, but with my ability to withstand it.
To be continued…(I think.)
I think I have eliminated self-sabotage via cover letter as an option for handling unemployment-related depression. However, we may revisit this option later.
In the current economy, people are applying to jobs for which they are entirely overqualified. This would be depressing to anybody. I’ve been a student most of my life. I have two graduate degrees, but I’m not overqualified for anything. Just overeducated–unless, of course, that office job requires me to be able to read Latin. Ministerium consulatorium rerum technicarum tibi gratias agit quod uocauisti…
It’s easy to tell myself there’s going to be nothing out there for me. Easy to focus on anything but the job hunt. So I have two job hunt-related goals:
- Apply to at least one job a day.
- Apply to at least one job a week that I would be really excited to go to every day.
The first one is occasionally a challenge—there are days when I look at the job boards and see nothing. Those days I have to search farther afield for listings. I have to remember to look not just at private companies, but at county, state, and federal options. To go directly to company web sites—they aren’t necessarily posting all or any of their jobs on Craigslist. To even glance at that dreadful EDD job bank. And so on.
The second one is a serious challenge. Finding a job I could fall in love with when I can barely find jobs to which I can apply is like finding a unicorn. Finding a unicorn once a week is…unlikely. Most jobs out there are just donkeys with plungers stuck to their faces.
I found a unicorn yesterday that is still making me smile today. I might not get the job, but now I have a little more hope to get me through all the donkeys out there.
To be continued…
Getting up in the morning and finding motivation to look for work is increasingly difficult.
The job market is beyond brutal right now. With so many candidates out there who have all the experience and certification they need for the majority of the positions that have been listed, getting a foot in the door when the best you can offer is being way overeducated, smart, and charmingly witty is nearly impossible. No matter how amazing you might be at the job.
It’s tempting to give in to despair. Or to edit my cover letter so that it says,
To Whom It May Concern:
I’m pretty sure you have already tossed my resume in your recycle bin because you have received 250 resumes from people with far more experience in the field. But if you are taking the time to read this–I’m rad. I mean, really. I’m not only brilliant, but I’m hilarious, and I come with a strong work ethic that gets stronger the better you pay me. Additionally, I can play, like, five songs on the guitar with an average of 1-4 mistakes made per song, and I have a nice singing voice once I’ve had my coffee.
Hire me. I’d be extremely grateful, and you know what they say about gratitude…
Since I can’t further jeopardize what little employability I have by hoping Human Resources has a sense of humor, I must find ways to teeter back from the Stokeresque precipice of doom—complete with bloodsucking fiends—that is Craigslist these days.
To be continued…
I don’t have to be anywhere. It’s entirely too easy to spend a day wandering around the house in pajamas, watching random tv on Hulu.com, wondering if I’m too lazy to get up to get another beer–and then end the day wondering where the day went.
If I do that, how am I supposed to find a job, get my Night Elf hunter to level 60, learn yet another easy, camping-friendly song to play on the guitar, and keep up on my exercise routine?
Time management is important when one is unemployed. There are only so many hours in the day, but there are people to hang out with, television shows to catch up on (True Blood, Dexter, Mad Men, Burn Notice, 30 Rock, etc.), quests to complete on World of Warcraft, vodka to infuse, bartending/babysitting/catsitting/other shifts to pick up wherever possible, guitar to practice–and of course, the incredibly frustrating and painful job hunt.
Sure, I make it sound like fun, but one does have to keep busy in order to not freak out or get too depressed about wondering where, exactly, next month’s rent is coming from (yet another reason to put together a decent repertoire of songs on the guitar–just in case I need to put out a hat on the sidewalk and sing my heart out for a few bucks).
Damn it. That means I have to have a heartbuy a hat.
I have got to remember to use this time productively. Like putting together a dark acoustic version of “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga on the guitar.
Unemployed? What are you doing with your days?