New Shoes in the Rain

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Four months

Happy Thursday-before-a-holiday-weekend, everyone.  I always enjoyed saying that, as I always enjoyed a long weekend.

That is, when I was working.  Since the start of March I have NOT been working, at least not for a paycheck.  To be sure, my past employers’ contributions to unemployment insurance have provided me with some income during this period, but it’s mostly been savings that my wife and I have been using for our household expenses.

I have more possibilities in the works, as has been the case throughout this process.  One of them is an on-again, off-again possibility of temporary employment with a local company that can’t quite decide whether I’m vital to their success.  The owners are a married couple who seem like nice people, but their indecision is growing old at this point!

A friend who’s single, never married, regularly shares his exploits in efforts to meet the “right” person.  And from what he’s told me, it’s tough to date as a grown-up, whether you have children or not, whether you’ve been married or not, whether you want a casual fling or a serious relationship.

Kinda what I’ve experienced in the employment market.  In a recent interview I was asked what bothers me in the business environment and without hesitation I responded that people who don’t do what they say they will probably are the greatest irritant to me.  And that appears to go hand-in-hand with what happens in the dating world.

In this four month journey I have honestly forgotten how many times I’ve had what seemed to be a promising first interview (note: if you haven’t done this for a while, the first conversation is almost always a phone call now, and sometimes the second and even third are that as well) and am told that the person will consider things further and get back with me to set up a second interview.

To be fair, I’ve been told this by external recruiters, company recruiters and actual hiring managers right along.  Almost all of them fail to follow up, and ignore my efforts to follow up, too!  In fact, most of the time I get the generic, system-generated rejection notice in these instances.  Classless and demeaning.

I also find it amusing how many employers will utilize predetermined questions (I always imagine them being on a clipboard, which is silly, but if it were in person, it would feel more like a survey than an exploration of my fitness for a given job), so that they’re sure to ask everyone the SAME questions.  Kind of like an online dating profile in that respect.

Have you seen the commercial where people on first dates are responding honestly about their feelings, saying things like “I’ll wait a few days before sending a vague text” or “So, would you be interested in seeing me again?” “No.”  I wish folks would just be honest.  I’m all for political correctness, but when you’re trying to cultivate possible success, it’s important to separate the contenders from the pretenders, so to speak, so let’s just get on with it!

I’m sure the length of my unemployment is influencing how I interact with some interviewers, but all through this process I have tried hard to be pleasant but direct, as that’s how I generally am anyway.  But it’s harder than even I think to conceal the frustration and disappointment that come with this kind of process that has been largely unsuccessful for this long.

Thankfully I’m doing this to find a job.  My wife and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on Monday, so at least THAT process went well!


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