Skip to main content

The Unbearable Lightness of Being...Unemployed

I have an interview at Harvard Business School (HBS) tomorrow. It's a group interview with two interviewers and who knows how many fellow job applicants. It'll be my first time doing such a thing.

For interview prep, my three-step plan to success consisted of:

Step 1: Read about group interviews.
Step 2: Re-read the job description.
Step 3: Read about HBS.

The process made me reflect on my previous interviews. I only had three so far, and have not heard from any of them. The last one made me happy because the interviewer called me a "strong candidate," but I haven't received any communication within the timeline explained to me during the discussion, which means someone else likely got the job.

I realize that no matter how I prepare, key things remain out of my control. Oh, I can take care of any number of variables -- I can dress snappily, and I'm usually articulate and cheerful. But someone else could have more experience than me, or dress snappier, and be so bloody bright as to eclipse the sun. Or I can make a mistake and shoot myself in the foot.

Here, again, chance plays a role. I've applied to jobs where the description matched exactly what I've done in the past, only to be passed over. Typically, the first question that pops into my head is, "Do I suck that badly?" and I guess the answer could be yes or no. The point is, it's out of my hands, so why worry?

I saw an article yesterday on Slate about how the long-term unemployed have a harder time getting jobs. I feel for those people. I've only been unemployed for a month, and it feels... well, both awesome and awful. The awesome part comes in when I plop myself down on the couch and peruse job listings. I turn in my applications, so very hopeful and positive. Then I go clean something in the house.

The awful bit follows after, when I hear the chirping of crickets from the companies I want to join. My self-esteem goes away and takes a nap. That's when I find a recipe for a new drink. I know how to make sangria now! Go double on the brandy, mommy needs to forget the pain.

Black humor aside, I'm pretty okay. I've achieved a state of semi-homeostasis. I have a routine. I write out goals for the day, and get them done. It could be something like, "Apply to one job today," or "Put together list of items for amenities basket for wedding." I reward myself afterward by playing a game or watching TV. Oh, and my first unemployment deposit arrived today, so I'm all, Now I can pay for my ridiculously expensive healthcare!

Seriously, that healthcare subsidy is a primo reason for the nine to five. When I worked, it cost me a bit over a hundred bucks per paycheck. Now it costs me...hold on to your fashionable hats...SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS a month. I'm paying full price because no company has my back. FML.

I shall be sure to report on how tomorrow's interview goes. If no post comes within a week, assume that I have thrown myself dramatically into the Charles River, and cannot type anymore due to a horrific mutation resulting from the icky waters.

And if I do write a bubbly post about how I totally aced it, reserve judgment until the inevitable followup post -- possible titles include, "I Was Wrong About Everything," "How to Maintain a Delusion Until Reality Kicks You in the Face," or "F***, F***, F***."

Ding! Lunch time.

Popular posts from this blog

Paint Nite!

Last night I joined the "Oops" Paint Nite event hosted by the Club Cafe in Back Bay. About 12+ people came to relax and have two artists guide them through painting this original work:

The point was not to slavishly duplicate "Oops" -- we were instructed to make it our own, to relax, and not to utter the words, "Mine sucks," "Can you do this for me?" or "I thought this was paint-by-numbers!"

Speaking of dashed hopes, I had assumed that wine was included. I had done something like this before, only it was in the morning and we all got mimosas. Not so here! While the artists were setting up, I schlepped over to the bar and was rewarded with a generous pour of Cabernet. Now I was ready.

The setup: Everyone got a 16" x 20" canvas, three paint brushes, and a palette (a paper plate) with red, yellow, blue, and white paint. One artist (Brian) had the microphone and would paint with us, while the other was the assistant (Kory) who wo…

An International Women's Day Miracle!

Truly, International Women's Day is a special day. No, not because multitudes are out there rallying for our rights and giving voice to the powerless. It is because I won a gift card from a company raffle!

Let me explain why this counts as a minor miracle. You see, I never win anything. I answer every damned survey sent my way, participate in all the raffles, buy lottery tickets -- to no avail. This particular raffle occurred monthly, and I had been faithfully entering my name every month for two years, with no results. Finally, last month, I declared: "No more!" and unsubscribed from the mailing list -- but not before entering one final time, because why not.


There's also some déjà vu at play here. You see, four years ago, I won a gift card from a company raffle. The one fracking time I won anything! I was elated! Shortly thereafter, also on International Women's Day, I was laid off from my job.

Sooooo...since the day's almost over, I guess I'm not…

Get Out (2017)

Get Out has a charismatic lead, a terrific soundtrack, and damn good cinematography. While it’s described as horror/comedy, it’s more disturbing/cringe-y than scary, and I mean that in a good way. This is an entertaining movie that’s also pretty effective as social commentary.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya as Chris, a photographer who’s about to spend the weekend at his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parent’s house. Naturally, it’s in a secluded spot in the woods. When they get there, the awkwardness that might be expected from a first-time meeting gives way to a series of bizarre behaviors and interactions. While Chris initially takes it all in stride, it eventually becomes clear that there’s something sinister going on behind the scenes.

The acting and dialogue are highlights of the film, as is the camera work. In particular, Kaluuya’s eyebrows and head tilts are so expressive that the audience knows what’s going on in his head even as he politely brushes off eccentricities. A…