Posts Tagged ‘special’

Work Job

25 June 2009

Dear J-

When we first moved to San Diego I had no job and no prospects; at the time I thought that with the economy as good as it was and with the sheer number of people (and therefore jobs) it would only be a matter of weeks before I became a productive member of society.  Well, it ended up being more like fifty-six weeks or so and towards the end I was starting to get a little desperate, contemplating various jobs as an apprentice (plumber or welder) or some similar physical work.  It felt, at the time, that I couldn’t get a job based on the demerits of my resume, so I almost felt like I needed to start from scratch, and find a trade that would accept folks without experience.

Desperate situations make for irrational choices, but you always keep (at least in the back of my mind) the thought of how many restauranteurs and taxi hacks may be floating around there with advanced degrees and qualifications.  I believe that you don’t always have the choice to turn down every job that comes across your plate; as the weeks went on without interviews, with well-meaning folks getting rubbed the wrong way by my attitude (I’ve been told that I lack the proper respect and obeisance due the older generations), you begin to question whether it’s your stiff-necked pride keeping you from applying to just any job that comes down the line, or if it’s career suicide to commit to something less than what you were expecting.  After all, to most HR offices, all you are is what you can cram onto a single letter-size sheet of paper, and yet that square foot of material is more than enough to cram all sorts of landmines and traps into — the wrong formatting, spelling errors, strange experiences, gaps in employment, etc.

The point is that there’s any number of jobs out there, but you end up having to balance your resumé needs with what you’re capable of doing.  What about you makes you special from all the other candidates out there for this job?  Put the wrong thing down — or collect the demerit for an odd job or experience — and your sheet goes into the recycling bin.  Where do you draw the line between settling for the first available job that sounds like what you should be able to do and the first job that’s right for you?  I’ll hasten to add that I’m the wrong person to ask — but you’ll know when you start, if you feel intimidated or invigorated by the work.



Cold Water on Your Back

5 November 2006

I must have really been homesick those two years in Boston. That’s all I can excuse myself for.


All the same, I really enjoyed grade school. You got crayons, glue, pencils, and a notebook in September. You listened to stories after lunch. You wondered what was on top of the roof, over the fire escape, past the fences, behind the bushes, under the slides, inside the teacher’s lounge. I personally had a huge fear of being in the sunlight with the bloodstones present. As my friend described it, it would suck the blood right out of your body, much as lab reports and midterms were to do in a few years.