Archive | October, 2010

Thank Goodness That Wasn’t Me

25 Oct

In preparation for my upcoming interview, I’ve been reading up on all the things you should and shouldn’t do on an interview.

Do: Dress appropriately.

Don’t: Ask about your salary.

I think I’m ready.

But yesterday, as I was toiling away the hours at work, I found something that made me feel waaayyyyy more prepared and at ease than I had anticipated, mostly because I knew that I would NEVER commit these “Worst Job Gaffes” that Time Out New York put together in the most amazing and hilarious slide show. Go through the slide show here, but here are a few to pique your interest, and gentle reminders to myself…. my interview has got to go better than this, right?!?!  

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A light at the end of the tunnel??

21 Oct

I have a job interview on Friday! So for all you people wondering if I’m just resting on my laurels, think again! I apply to jobs on a weekly basis, and while my success rate has been abysmal, it’s nice to know that employers realize I exist outside the black hole of despair where I’m currently employed.

This is actually the second interview I’ve had since starting this job, and the last one was a very clarifying experience. It felt really good to know that someone was still impressed by me, or at least impressed enough to offer me another entry-level job. Nothing stokes the ego like being told someone wants you. Plus, the last interview I had introduced me to the idea that there are in fact more boring jobs than the one I currently hold. And then I proceeded to sit in traffic for an hour during rush-hour, and suddenly my weird hours didn’t seem so bad!

The other benefit of having an interview while you’re currently employed is that there is a lot less pressure. When I got this job, I was weeks from graduating and the pressure to get a job was intense. Every single conversation I had was about “the future” and “real life” and “Oh my God, I will just DIE if I’m not employed.” So when I had a job interview here, I jumped on the chance and presented the image of the perfect candidate. I said the right things, asked few questions, and immediately said yes when offered the gig. Of course, the thrill of being employed lasted approximately 3 days, I started work on the 4th, and realized that I really had no idea what I was hired to do. And then came the tears. Oooo, the tears.

And here I am almost 6 months later, maybe better off, maybe worse, and I feel good about this interview on Friday. If I really allowed myself to think about it, I’d be putting deposits down on apartments, buying new clothes, and breaking out, once again, my rich, refined person’s accent. But I’m trying to stay calm, which is actually quite easy when you’re barely sleeping.

I just want to be loved! And I want to feel good about myself! Mostly I just want to feel that all of my hard work is being validated. I know that’s a pretty hefty list, and I will do my best not to get down on my knees and beg them to hire me. I’m not entirely ruling it out….but I’ll try.

Anger Management

15 Oct

Over the last few days, I’ve experienced the inherent signs of road rage. A quick Google search lead me to a PDF, which must mean that this is a real affliction, because PDFs are serious business.

The symptoms, according to said PDF:

  • Mentally condemning other drivers, or entertaining thoughts of violence against other drivers: I believe threatening to drag bad drivers out of their cars and punch them in the neck at a stoplight fits the bill.
  • Verbally expressing condemnation of other drivers to passengers in your vehicle: Idiot, asinine a-hole, MOVE OVER…etc, etc.
  • Motorists violating traffic safety rules because they don’t agree with them: Do I really need to sit at an empty intersection at midnight for the five-minute red light? Uh, yes. But do I? Uh, no.
  • Engaging in aggressive and risky driving: Following too close, Speeding, Weaving in and out of traffic, Speeding up to beat a traffic lights,  Cutting between vehicles to change lanes, Using the horn excessively, Flashing headlights excessively at oncoming traffic, Passing traffic and then slowing to teach another driver a lesson: Yes, Sometimes, Sometimes, Definitely, Sometimes, Sometimes, Sometimes, Sometimes….oh my God, I’m a bad driver.

It’s just that I have a difficult time understanding why people rush to cut you off, only to drive 10-15 miles below the speed limit. I also don’t understand why driving 10-15 miles below the speed limit is necessary. If you’re that afraid to drive, THEN DON’T.

It also blows my mind that at 11:30 at night, which is when I’m on my way home, there are so many vehicles on the road. Shouldn’t you be sleeping? Every night for the past 2 weeks, I have gotten behind someone crawling home at midnight, and it’s just ridiculous! So yes, I am guilty of tailgating, screaming in frustration, and often laying on the horn, but can you blame me. Don’t answer that.

Maybe my road rage is an expression of some larger anger that I have. I’m not an angry person, but I’m far from a saint, so while I was hurtling down Route 23, passive-aggressively belittling my fellow drivers, I decided to do some deep thinking and figure out why I was so vengeful.

Here are some things that I am potentially angry about:

1. The fact that I’m using my $200,000 college degree to right-click, copy, and paste.

……

Uh, that seems to be the only thing that’s making me angry. So until I get another job, take another road.

Dress Code

8 Oct

The dress code at my work is somewhere below business casual. A lot of times, it’s far below. Example: the other day I walked into work to find a hooded, baseball-capped figure sitting in my seat. Was it a tech guy emerging from his cave to fix a computer problem? No, it was my colleague, apparently dressed for a hip-hop throw down after work. The head of my department ran our weekly meeting in a velor track suit, so I think you get the picture I’ve been trying to burn from my brain the past few days.

I, on the other hand, dress like I’m actually going to work. While I’ve since hung up the skirt suits for the time being, the closest I get to casual is jeans on a Friday. Even when I worked the 5 am shift, I wore a pencil skirt and cardigan. It’s not that I’m trying to one-up my co-workers or walk around with my nose up in the air, but I enjoy looking nice. Plus, who knows who may be looking. Perhaps a future boss…?

But today, I just did not feel like going to work. Of course, this is nothing new,  but today, I could not motivate myself to put the effort into dressing well. So I slipped, and have spent the entire day feeling self-conscious and unprofessional. Now, this outfit is not pajamas, jeans, or a track suit, but it’s closer than I think it should be. The most I could muster today was black leggings and a black fleece sweater.

I know. Leggings. And I know. Fleece. But I’m tired, and usually no one but my coworkers see me and yesterday I wore a dress. I needed a break. Don’t judge. But even though I just told you not to judge, and you can’t even see me, I can feel it. Just as I could feel it all day at work. Of course, things immediately started to go off course. I stepped out of the elevator and practically into said track-suit-wearing boss. That was not part of the plan. Neither was the head-to-toe  scan she did of me. Then, one of my other coworkers had just come from a meeting, so she was wearing a suit. Another was wearing a pretty skirt and blouse, and the third is rich and always wears nice clothes and I didn’t think I’d be working with her today so STOP JUDGING ME.

I admit, I  looked a little too relaxed. And that’s just not my thing. In high school, people used to comment when I wore jeans to school. “Are you sick? Where’s the skirt today?” So the fact that I went to work in a step up from pajamas was just too weird. I SURRENDER TO WEARING COMFORTABLE CLOTHES TO WORK.

But I won’t sacrifice my blue jellies sandals. Don’t push me that far.

Money (finally) well spent

6 Oct

Back in the beginning of the summer, I decided that if I was going to be miserable for the next year, but still making money, I might as well go on vacation.  Who cares if I would be by myself, possibly trekking through a third world country. As long as I was far away from the words “NJ Transit” and “work,” I could be kidnapped by a Mexican drug lord and probably still be happy.

So I planned the most elaborate, complex, and thought-out trip I could imagine: a 5-day tour of Peru. Peru is a great place to set aside some serious planning time–there’s a lot to see and plenty of ways to see it all. I spent pretty much 2 full work days planning it, looking for cheap flights, finding hostels, and taking copious notes.

And then: MY CAR. My wonderful piece of $%@!# car started taking all of my money. $500 here, $150 there, each repair bringing me hundreds of dollars farther from a pleasant stroll through the Inca Ruins of Maccu Piccu and the luxurious softness of Peruvian wool against my ears. I finally ripped the notebook page filled with inane cost and time plans for my perfect trip and wiped my daily tears with it before sinking into the realization that the farthest I was going to go on vacation for the time  being was the Catskills, where my parents have a house. And only if they were driving.

But then September rolled into October and nothing was wrong with my car! Suddenly I was $650 richer! I had options. I could save, or I could spend.  No guess-work needed, I spent it baby! And who the hell cares, I’M GOING TO CANADA!

Yes, my first trip as an “adult” will be College Week at Mont Tremblant. Think Spring Break,  but winter/quaint Canadian village/spiced cider style. This works for me, since I love quaint Canadian villages. Also, the price was really great.

As a “working woman,”  I sort of imagined myself taking refined wine tours of Napa and sailing through New England with my Harvard-graduated main squeeze rather than partying with frat boys and getting an unattractive goggle tan . But tickets to Napa are too expensive on my salary, and my wine palate is restricted to boxed wine. And I don’t really want to get into that New England fantasy. But this trip to Canada has given me something to look forward to and an assignment.  I have three months to come up with a really good excuse to miss an entire week of work right after the holidays. I’m considering wisdom teeth issues, a horrible, undocumented case of stomach flu, and the most appealing, getting a new job before I have to put in my request.

Eat up. Shut up.

2 Oct

Ok…so I’ve been aching to write this blog for a while now, since this is a daily occurrence at my office. There is a person, shall we call them Salad Suzie, or perhaps Hamburger McGee…whatever. The point is this person eats ALL. DAY. LONG. And not only do they eat all day, but they eat WITH THEIR MOUTH OPEN. AND TALK.

GROSS.

I can think of very few pet peeves that rank higher than this disgusting vice. One of them is smoking, and the other is people texting on the street without watching where they’re going. You are in a city….LOOK. UP. But eating with your mouth open is definitely high up there. Combine that with actually trying to talk, while chewing, while swallowing….ughhhhhhhhhh.

I personally don’t find it that difficult to take a bite and gnosh with my mouth closed. Pretty much everyone else I know has also mastered this societal given. And if someone is talking to me while I’m chewing, I give them the international sign for “I’m eating right now,” which is a vigorous head nod, paired with a hand wave, finished off with an exaggerated chewing motion. Trust me, it’s very attractive.

Of course, this doesn’t always work, like when you are on the phone. A portion of my job requires a lot of phone time, and thus, a lot of talking. So when I have to listen to a person flap their gums and smack their gums….it’s a lot of gums. Salad, soup, chicken, pasta, cupcakes, you name it, she’s eating it, and I’m hearing it.

The odd thing is that this doesn’t seem to bother anyone else. Although honestly, who wants to be that person. Um, I DO. But since I’m still relatively new, and the youngest person in the department, I don’t think it’s in my best interest to say “O MY GOD. PLEASE CLOSE YOUR MOUTH. NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR THAT.” So I’ll just keep my mouth shut. Apparently it’s not the easiest thing to do.