Devil Inside


As much as Dave v2.0 tries to stay on the bright and sunny side of things these days, there are still moments when I have to stand back and make sure what I’m hearing or seeing is, in fact, what’s really going on.

Today was one of those days.

Ann has been working at the same place for over 11 years. It’s only a part-time gig since during a majority of those 11 years I was bringing home the proverbial bacon (but not frying it up in the pan). There was really no need for her to work any more hours than those. And during my current stint of unemployment that’s still the case as we have little to no bills to pay, outside of standard living expenses and utilities.

Over the past, I dunno, year or so, Ann’s boss – we’ll call her Debbie – has been somewhat secretive about her plans to buy a new practice. What it meant to everyone at her current office was never made clear as she never told them any concrete plans – but they all seemed to know. This is what happens when your employees also act as secretaries.

Their collective powers of deduction determined that Debbie did indeed buy a new practice and when she was confronted by Ann and a coworker about it, she still denied it.

Then today happens, today being the day that Debbie told the employees that she will be closing their current office by March so that the new purchase would thrive. So this statement confirms that the other office is now under her rule, no?

Nope. Debbie has yet to confirm that she owns it but is already taking cost-cutting measures by way of slashing insurance benefits and telling them hours will be minimal in January.

Debbie is good at what she does. She was also a good boss to work for as was evident by the time people spent under her employ. But this recent acquisition seemed to turn her into an unprofessional, mean, spiteful, devil of a woman who suddenly began to worship The Almighty Dollar rather than do good for her workers.

Then she pulls this little stunt today, leaving everybody high and dry without any reasonable explanation as to what’s going to happen.

She couldn’t have done this at a worse time than now and couldn’t have been more of an egoist about it.

And for that, I we have lost what little respect I we had left for her. I We hope her ego is indeed satisfied, as are the demons fueling her need for more, more, more.

Happy Holidays, Debbie. Sleep well. I We know you will.

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LinkedOut


LINKEDINToday, I received a LinkedIn connection request from a coworker still working at my former employer. I think I had spoken to this person only a few times at length and to be quite honest, I was only doing it to be cordial. There wasn’t much else to say to this person as far as I was concerned. Opposite sides of the fence, you might say, in more ways than one.

And as most of us do when we receive such requests, we click on the link and start to stalk checking out the person’s profile: current and previous employers, current and previous cities of residence, other connections, etc. Then I got to thinking that if this person came across me then they must have also seen all of my same information.

Without much more thought, I did what I should have done a long time ago: I deleted my LinkedIn account, and I did it for several reasons besides this one.

I Never Used It
Outside of changing my profile picture and updating my resume as my employment situation changed, I did not engage in anything on the site. I followed only a few, did not join any discussions, etc. That alone was reason enough for me to close my account.

It Never Worked
True, you get out of it what you put into it and I put lots of tweaking into my profile. It yielded only a few contacts from potential employers and neither of them seemed legit. I even posted drawings I did in college as a means to sway potential employers into seeing that I’m more than just a one-trick pony. Zip. Not one person asked about them.

My Resume Sucks
No really, it does. If you read it you’d probably think I was one of the dullest people on the planet. Seriously, who would willingly subject themselves to 9+ years of writing, editing, and proofreading? Aside from that I don’t have experience with Chicago and AMA style which, if you plan on being a proofreader, is huge outside of holding a degree (which I don’t have, either). I’d prefer to not return to those occupations again and given these facts, chances are I probably won’t and I’m okay with that.

Few Connections, Most Distant
A majority of my connections were from my past and pretty much useless. What good is the opinion of or recommendation from the guy I worked with nine years ago who probably barely remembers me? What about the invite from the aforementioned person today? They are as good as strangers to me now, and I’d rather have more up-to-date contacts to give to potential employers. (Most of my current references are not on LinkedIn.) Also, I’m not a “connection whore” and feel the need to link to everyone I could think of like the guy who sold me peanuts at the ballgame. I like my circles small but some like theirs large which boggles my mind as to how they keep up with all of them. That, or like Facebook, they treat it as a popularity contest. S/He with the most connections wins.

Strangers, Stalkers, and Psychopaths
Aside from the random invitation from someone you may know, there was also the plethora of invites from headhunters, recruiters, and downright strangers – more people who have seen my embarrassing CV. At first I approved them thinking that hey, the more connections, the better. Then I realized that these few strangers I approved just connected to even more people. It was like a pyramid scheme without the scheme: they were on top and their mass list of connections trickled down. What an ego trip. Compare that to my 50 connections when I closed my account. Then there’s times when things turn sour with one of your connections or you ask them to write a recommendation and it was so poorly written that you have to keep it private. That happened to me. This person turned out to be a real psychopath and I hid their recommendation from the public eye.

And with that, I’m done with LinkedIn. So to all of you – all 50 of you – who were connected to me via LinkedIn, you aren’t now. But it’s doubtful they’ll even notice I’m gone.

And to the former coworker who wanted to connect with me, don’t hold your breath waiting for my approval.

“Better Times Lie Ahead”


Bagua Mirror

“Better times lie ahead.”

That’s a quote from an Android dev whom I emailed regarding an app they created. I donated a few dollars since I use the app all the time and said that I would give more if I could but unemployment sort of prevents me.

He truly deserved my donation since the app is free and I appreciated the work that went into it.

He told me not to worry about it and that indeed better times lie ahead.

He was right.

Since adopting this new way of thinking with my meditation and elimination of all things negative, I haven’t had a single “Woe is me” day and continue to plug along as if everything was fine.

Because as far as I’m concerned it is, despite being unemployed at the moment.

Now, about those mirrors. What you see above is a bagua mirror, a Chinese mirror that is used in feng shui and believed to deflect negative energies away from the home. I found two of these at a thrift shop earlier this year and they sat around the den until I decided to place them on either side of my incense burner as a way to add some décor.

I later learned that using them indoors is highly discouraged. And strangely, whether you want to believe it or not, I lost my job soon after placing them as décor (when I had yet to learn about proper placement).

Soon after learning of their actual purpose, I hung one of the mirrors above the front door and one facing my neighbors to the north of me. We have quite a history. I did that in the hopes of the mirrors doing the job that they are supposed to do and ridding our home of any negative energy.

I also recently rid myself of someone who seemed to find joy in spreading negativity. Not sarcasm, flat-out negativity. I can be sarcastic. There’s a distinct difference, and this person was not someone I wanted to remain in contact with anymore. I don’t need that kind of person around me, even if only in pixel form.

I’m continuing to be optimistic about everything even in these tough times when my unemployment checks are akin to making $6.50/hr. working 40 hours a week. Yes, they are that small. But we’re getting by.

So, getting back to those mirrors. Are they really working?

Since placing them, we haven’t had any problems with the neighbors and the one above the door could very well be keeping the positive energy inside the home.

And tomorrow, exactly two months after being laid off from my job, I have an interview scheduled at 11 am. Considering that I didn’t get any calls for interviews the last time I was unemployed (except for the one that led to me getting hired), I’d say that getting called in only a few months as opposed to two years was pretty good.

If you can believe it, I was on the phone with one recruiter when another one called. The first job, however, was too far so I had to decline but everything has been arranged for tomorrow’s much closer interview.

You can call it luck, you can call it anything you want. As for me, I’d like to think that it’s been a combination of everything I’ve been doing in order to look on the brighter side of things. I even think those few words of encouragement from a total stranger put me in a better mindset about everything.

I’m heading to that interview tomorrow and giving it my best shot. And if it turns out I don’t get the job, it’ll be disappointing but definitely not the end of everything.

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But I’m counting on you, maneki-neko Smile

Adventures in Unemployment, Part 2


First and foremost, I’m on yet another Facebook break. I’m not posting anything over there but will approve and accept all Candy Crush Saga requests. So to all of my Facebook friends, no, you won’t see me for a bit but I will happily take all the Candy Crush help I can get.

Secondly, if it seems like I’m writing a lot about my current employment status (that of being unemployed), you’re right. If anything, it gives me something to write about since every experience feels absolutely incredulous.

And today was no exception.

I had received a notice a few weeks ago that I had been selected to attend a so-called Initial Assistance Workshop at the local my assigned Career Transition Center (not to be confused with the one that offers little help). Here’s what the workshop was supposed to have covered:

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By the time we were finished, all we did was fill out some paperwork that had little to do with any of this. If anything, it seemed like those in attendance were being audited by the state for not filling out proper forms. And while the notice stated that the workshop would run from 9am to 2pm, we were done by 10:30am.

As I normally do, I felt out of place at this workshop. If anything, I felt like the smartest person in the room despite forgetting my Social Security card and having to go home to bring it back. If not, they would have had no record of my attendance and could have delayed my unemployment check.

Anyway, back to why I thought I was the smart cookie. A woman I’ll call Susan was in charge of the meeting and went over the forms we were to fill out, none of which were difficult. While we filled them out, she told us that one of the reasons we were there was because we hadn’t uploaded our resume to the state’s job-hunting service, hadn’t logged into it, hadn’t registered, etc. She called out all of us individually and explained what we needed to do in order to get up to speed.

I was the only one who had everything done right. No further action was required.

And when you go to anything dealing with state assistance, you always get a handful of characters. Today’s workshop was no exception.

One guy who admitted to not being computer savvy said that his computer crashed while he was in the middle of uploading his resume, which he claimed was difficult enough. This was also the reason his unemployment check was delayed. But if he’s not good with computers, it’s doubtful his computer crashed. I’d wager to say that he never did anything in the first place.

A woman left the meeting after a lengthy Spanish discussion with Susan. From what I picked up, she asked Susan if this meeting was going to be in Spanish as well. She told her no and gave her a time and date of the Spanish meeting.

Another woman wasn’t even supposed to be there. Susan asked for her packed and she left.

The guy next to me had questions regarding guardianship and how to list it on one of the forms. Toward the end of the meeting, Susan reminded us that we needed to return next week to return one form. The guy then spoke to Susan about the date, telling her he had a court appearance that same day. I don’t know what arrangements they made and I didn’t want to eavesdrop but it was hard to ignore when Susan said, “You have a court date?” in a voice that commanded attention.

So I will return on Monday to return my form for whatever reason. In the end, I don’t think I accomplished much and will continue my job search on my own. The place is depressing and filled with understandably unhappy unemployed people, but some tend to voice their displeasure about the services more than others and that’s not a vibe I want to be around. It’s bad juju, man. I’m telling you.

But something good did come out of today’s trip.

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I got to eat at Dave’s Burgers, a local institution. Dave’s holds a place in my heart not for obvious reasons but because it was the first place I went right after Anthony was born at the hospital down the street. Tiffany, Dave’s owner after the original Dave hung up his spatula, was one of the first people outside of family to learn I was a father.

I hadn’t gone there in a long time so after the workshop I thought I’d catch up with Tiffany who once knew me on a first-name basis and had my order on the grill when I arrived. Yes, those were my Fatty Fatty Fat-Fat Days.

But Tiffany had to do a double-take when she saw me today and was shocked when I ordered a cheeseburger, not my old usual Jumbo Double with everything. It was good to chat with her, even if she is now baffled at how I run 10 miles on the weekend.

“Damn, how the hell do you do that,” she asked with a curious look. And she must weigh 90 pounds sopping wet.

Speaking of running, registration has opened for two of my favorite events.

Grrr. I need to find a job – soon.

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more nonsense.

Karma


As I continue to wallow through the doldrums of unemployment and continuously applying for even the most menial jobs, I get word from a former coworker about the status of Former Employer.

Basically, the questions surrounding my layoff are still being brought up nearly three weeks later and yet there are no answers. Work is beginning to pile up and now they are recruiting former proofreaders who have moved on to other departments to handle what’s becoming more than the regular crew of proofreaders can handle.

The place is apparently in a state of flux with this abundance of work, which means that there is obviously money to be made and a demand for the products they produce.

Yet my assignment was ended because there was no money in the budget to retain me.

This is amusing to me. They could potentially start approving overtime so that they can get more of the work done but if I was still under their employ, the piles would be taken care of in a timely manner. They could also hire new people but that would require training and would also be a setback since they could only proof certain projects.

So many things for them to consider while I’m struggling to find a job.

Karma, man. Karma.