Monday
Sep172007

« Funemployment »

I hate to admit it but I have been gaining experience in this sort of thing. As far as I'm concerned, I should still be at Concepts, or even at Scantech. I just chafe at the business of giving that 110% when the new 110% is really 200%. If places want 200%, can't that just be made clear up front? It is awkward as hell explaining how I am not at these places anymore. (At Scantech, I have documented 30 instances of hirings and firings in the six months and a week that I was there. Add to that the fact that TWO floor managers demoted themselves to save their sanity and return to positions they could do more thoroughly. As far as Scantech goes, I think those numbers take a bit of the weight off my shoulders—if I ever have a chance to explain why I was dumped.) At both jobs I showed up and tried, and worked overtime when I could and tried to learn new stuff. Sure, each was "just a job" but my economic reality then made it so I had to go with it, so I did all I could and while I knew and sometimes got really depressed about how poor a fit they were for me, I prepared myself to do them with aplomb. Still, I accept that maybe there is some greater purpose in not "succeeding" at places I didn't really like anyway, so I have had that to think about. There are in fact many things I'd rather be doing than moving equipment and blueprints. Neither of those had the intrinsic rewards I sought, and seek increasingly now that I've had the chance to, um, keep looking for my new career.

This time I recreated my resume from scratch for the first time in years. I had been using an endlessly modified version that Kelli had once helped me set up a few years back. That one used the typical chronological presentation, but seeing how I've had so many different job roles—audio tech, recording engineer, driver, social service worker, sandwich artist, and more—it got unruly, and I had various resumes made to reflect all the different facets of my work history, but found that I would still have to craft one from parts of each to address certain submissions. So, finally I found out about the functional format and decided that that would be better in presenting my varied history, my accumulated skills, and to generally make me feel that I was more than a list of jobs which looked pretty scattered. Crafting the functional version gave me a chance to streamline things but also to finally envision how many types of things I have done, and to see the last 15 years in a new light. I guess there is a nuanced semantic distinction between "scattered" and "eclectic."

There have been a few ads that looked pretty good, and many that would just keep me where I was with Scantech or Concepts. I really wish I could just keep doing my old job at the senior center. That job was just so cool. I drove around a few hours a day, brought food to people, talked to them like friends, and got to listen to NPR all the way along my route. My day was short, my pay was adequate, they gave me some benefits, and the people at the center liked me. But that job and others like it are always in jeopardy of funding cuts. The commercial sector can pay better if it chooses to, and can be full time or overtime, and all that, but I don't really love it. So I hope something of socially redeeming value shows up, and perhaps leaves me feeling that even if it is for 20% less than a commercial job, it still has a meaningful reason for existing, and for me to participate in it. I do know however, that some jobs meet my criteria for meaning, and actually pay OK too. I do hunt for those too, though some of them are more high end and require degrees that I don't have. Still, I have a few practical skills and an ability to think outside the box, and so there has to be something.

In the mean time, I've had a chance to get some gardening done in preparation for the winter. I picked up my guitar, and Kelli's, and my other guitar, and my bass, and, well, I decided I had to play again after months and months of nothing musical, and years even of just playing to enjoy the sound, or to write some lyrics. I've had a chance to read some great things, and to relax a bit after seven months of steady work, more work on weekends, and moving house, and all that. I've had a chance to connect with friends again after a long while of separation. I saw Matt Zuniga for the first time in four and a half years. Kelli and I go walk the dog a mile and a half or two each night, and maybe a few pounds have been shed. With a life like that, who wants to work for the Man?

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