Friday, January 19, 2007

Random Bitching Friday (or Would you like some Whine with that Cheese?)

So, it's Friday. I don't have a job so that doesn't really mean anything to me anymore, except that I get to bitch about what ails me. Of course, I could bitch any day really, it's my blog after all, but after so many fluffy posts about Scotland and Xmas and France and cute boyfriends and compliments and cooking, I think a little change of pace is good.

So let's start Random Bitching Friday with the fact that it is Friday and how that once joyous day has no meaning to me now.

It's not that I am not looking for work, I am, but getting frusterated at the lack of writing/PR/Journalism jobs in Vancouver. The problem is that when there is a job I feel capable of doing, they all ask for years of experience. Only, I don't have years of experience, I just "graduated" for fuck's sake, but the three months I did pull as the Head Writer and Editor (an on-camera personality for a bloody video that never freakin' aired) for the horrible IFA, did provide me with as much experience as working somewhere for a year or two. I was thrown into it, I floundered for a bit but I rose above it and came out with a whole load of new and saleable knowledge.

Of course, I very well know that I might not even get a job related to my field, which pisses the fuck out of me because then what was the bloody point of going to journalism school if I can't use it? Regardless of that though, what I really want, even if it has nothing to do with journalism or writing, is to at least like my job. Now, when I was video game testing at EA (which was as unrelated to journalism as I could get), I was bored half the time (OK, all the time) and I barely made enough to support myself. But I did not mind coming to work and I never took my work home with me. If only I could find a job like that but with writing. But I guess that's asking for a bit too much. Only a few lucky fucks get a job they like right off the bat and in a field related to what they went to school for. Do I expect to get a job writing about traveling to different countries and making enough to support myself? No. I've been told by some that that is reaching too high.

Funny thing was, when I did apply for a job that was "beneath" me, they didn't hire me because they said I was aiming too low! So what does this prove? Don't listen to people? After all if I'm always reaching too high or too low, how am I supposed to know what's in the middle?

And what if I don't want to be in the middle? Ahhh, then come the "you have to start somewheres," "everyone has to pay their dues" and the "you'll work your way ups" and the "don't expect so muchs" and the "you never know where it might leads" and of course the classic"a little hard work never killed anyone." See, when people tell me this, I get the feeling that they aren't exactly listening to what I am saying. And what kind of encouragement is that?

Do I expect to get my dream job? Fuck NO. Though, I only say that emphatically because some people have told me not to expect it and to "settle" for something a lot less.

Ahhh, so that's that bitch of the day. Thanks for standing by.

Oh wait. I'm not done yet.

Has anyone been getting calls from this number: 1-877-289-5108?

Because I have. A LOT. They never leave a message, and I never pick up because it's too pricey to answer my mobile before six PM. But finally, after getting the 10th call this week from this number I decided to look them up. Turns out I'm not alone:

There is a local forum devoted to this number, as well as a blog.

Who the fuck are these people and why don't they leave me the fuck alone? Arg, there is nothing more annoying than the sound of a ringing phone. Thankfully I have never answered (and now never will) so they don't actually know if the line is active or not. But SHEEESH, you think they would have gotten a hint by now.

There is one note of positivity here...I swear I'm not in THAT much of a foul, brooding, bitter, angry mood.

Last night I met up with Jen(Expat Traveler), which was awesome since I had never met any fellow bloggers before. Seriously, I think blogging has become the new way of networking.

She had told me about this presentation by Fiona Scott, called Babe in a Backpack, which was going down at the SFU Harbour Centre downtown.

The presentation was about Fiona and her slideshows as she visited 24 countries around the world.

Fiona was very entertaining and outgoing and made a great host. In her early 30's, her trip was the first real traveling she had ever done and went at it alone (bit of a late starter but she made it work for her).

Now the event would have been great for people who had never traveled before (and I had a feeling that since the majority of the audience were past middle age, they weren't exactly taking heed of her solo trekking adventures), but to Jen and I it was kind of redundant.

After all, Jen had lived in Switzerland for many years and being from California, is an expat herself in Vancouver. I've also lived abroad and traveled solo as a backpacker. So the tips on where to stay (hostels, duh), how to get around and why not to be afraid going solo were all kind of lost on us. We knew all this already.

If anything, the presentation was a bit of a kick in the pants that I needed to actually do something with myself...and hence my brooding, bitter mood.

See, Fiona is now writing a book called "The Backpacking Bible for Babes" which should be coming out later this year. Some of you may remember that I actually was researching the market to put out a similar book, a year or two ago. Of course, it never came to anything because I soon lost interest.

Also, Fiona, via blogging about her travels, discovered she has a knack and talent for writing and now is a writer for Outpost, as well as various other magazines, newspapers and websites.

I have a million travel tales to share, but am I doing any of this? No.

Thanks to my brilliant self-doubt and succinct procrastination I am not doing any of the things I should be doing, things I want to be doing. I am, without a doubt, the only cause of my profound unhappiness (about my "career" of course, everything else in my life is fine).

Now before any of you people point this out, yes I am bitter and yes I am jealous. I don't think it has anything to do with thinking I don't have talent, because I apparently do, but with sheer drive and determination. This is a woman who knew what she wanted, went out and got it. She actively pursued the sponsors to put on her event (one of several), joined the writing center at SFU to help with her book and basically went out and marketed the crap out of herself.

Now, why can't I do that?

The most positive thing about the night though (aside from finally meeting Jen) was the gift bag. It had my name on it:

Unfortunately it also contained a huge GAP Adventures guide which has only filled me with more wanderlust and itchy feet frustration.

Sigh. It's gonna be one of those days.


Kass said...

I love your idea of Friday being a whiney bitchy day lol Of course it would never work for me since I'm all about whining and bitching 24/7 lol. I hate that shit about needing this and that experience, and then they expect you're fresh out of college. Its just ridiculous! I think most of the time getting a job you love is really just out of sheer luck, which makes any diplomas, degrees, certificates absolutely redundant. Blah.

I've been getting several calls a day also, but not from that number. From some other ASSHOLES. I get hold music if I answer it and they never leave messages. Its seriously driving me insane!

Anonymous said...

You know, a little hard work never killed anybody.

Aaah...I'm such a jackhole. I'm pretty sure I made an awkward situation out of a non-awkward situation tonight. Yeah, I'll do one of two things:
a)drink so much tonight that I forget about the awkward situation altogether.
b)blog about it for you next time I blog ( in the next few days).

I love your travels. And your bitching.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, I also have 2 jobs that I love...but uhh, one of them is likely to make me lose my mind, and the other could never pay my bills.

Anonymous said...



The job thing is a bitch. I see a lot of my friends who stayed at home to raise children, and now decide they want to return to the workforce, only to learn their skills are no longer marketable.

I offer free advice, only because I have expertise in this particular area.

Get someone to look over your resume. Talk to companies and corporations seeking an indvidual for 'career guidance'. Just ask them for feedback, not necessarily an interview, because even that informal route helps get your name moved around.

Networking is key. It's no longer what you know, but who you know. There are so many positions filled in my network from unposted jobs, that only those with inside scoop know of.

And, if you think it's your interviewing skills, let me know. I have about 100 questions that are commonly asked in interviews, and it's a great prep guide.

So, please, take this with a grain of salt. And keep bitching. :)

Expat Traveler said...

hey! That was a super write up. ME on the other hand, wrote practically nothing. I felt like crap last night and came down with something.

I tried to add a bit more but we are both bang on.. Here's to getting both of our acts together. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Join the crowd. There used to be a blog ring of slackers, but I think it eventually went away because they all slacked so much.

It sucks that you have to work so hard to be discovered.

almost famous kiwi said...

If I can offer some advice, you need to keep aiming high but start low. You are not going to just walk in and get your dream job, you have to work hard and sacrifice for it.
Your dreams are important and you should never lose sight of them but you need to be realistic. When you apply for a job you need to have experience, not necessarily in your field, but you have to proove that you've commited yourself to other jobs.
I have worked at some of the most mind numbing dull jobs but they've all been worth it because they've all helped me get a better job.

Anonymous said...

Wanderlust is not such a bad thing to have, pity it is so hard to satisfy and is always lurking in the back of your mind tempting you with little hints of adventures yet to come.

M said...

hehe, I pretty much have everyday as a whiny bitchy day. oh well :)

I wish I had the funds and time to travel as much as I wanted.

The job thing will fall into place! You, surely have great things coming!

Wanderlusting said...

Kass - Weird, I bet they are in Cahoots.

Jannelle - maybe if you combined your two jobs...caffeinated crazy people?

Elieene - well usually when I get interviews, I get hired. But it's actually GETTING an interview that's the problem. Even if you have the experience, the jobs that suit me here are few and far between. But I agree, networking IS key.

Expat - here's to getting our acts together...and for drinks!

Dan -
It sucks that you have to work so hard to be discovered.
It does suck...but when it finally does happen, it can be "magical"...erm, you'll see what I mean in my next post.

Kiwi - I have worked at some of the most mind numbing dull jobs but they've all been worth it because they've all helped me get a better job. "Serving" at Earls, Filing at Honda (remember Tom, Amanda?), Selling old women ugly clothes, Background work, being treated as "the bitch" of the IFA, Video Game Testing, telemarketing (shhhh)...yup, I think I've run the gamut of mind numbingly dull jobs.

Indy - I agree, wanderlust keeps me on my toes.

M - thanks for the encouragemnt! It helps and sometimes when you are frustrated it's just a catalyst to get things going in the right direction.

Anonymous said...


wow you is "steamin"!!!!!!!!

manders said...

Hey girl!
Just go for those jobs that say you need experience anyway! Try for the interview... and if you get one defend your mucho talented skills and that even w/o experience you can do the job!

I believe in you!!!

p.s.: thanks for your support during this crappy week (brian -ass)

Anonymous said...

i really, really, really REALLY feel for you. what's the point in studying for 3 years when it has absolutely no bearing on what you get to do at the end?

Bollocks I tell you!

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that Harvard actually did a study by placing an ad for the same job but one with starting pay of $40K and the other $100K. A few hundred applied for the $40K and only 13 applied for the $100K. No one is willing to actually admit that they are worth that much money. Just go for it. Just because you don't have "real job experience" doesn't mean you don't have "real life experience" which I think matters a whole heck of a lot more than boring job experience.

Keep aiming high. No one should ever settle.

Have you looked into working for a travel agency or anything like that? Maybe you could work your way up through that route. I'm not really sure how it all works so maybe I'm just throwing out bullshit options but your Travel Tale and Wander Lust blog is a freakin travel guide in itself. Maybe you could get a job doing travel brochures or something of that nature.

PS: Based on your blog about Nuevo Vallarta, there's 90% chance (as long as I don't spend our vacay money before hand) that my husband son and I will be heading there for our one year.

Girl About Town said...

New to your blog and - interestingly enough - this post could have been me when I first graduated (many eons ago lol).

Advice (if you want to take it) is ya gotta make your own opportunities. They want experience? You're fresh out of Uni? Freelance. Volunteer (even for nothing, just to get some bylines). Start up your own publication. Once 'they' see you are pro-active, things will be much easier. It works, trust me!!

The self-doubt/procrastination thing I can relate to as well. The key to this for me has been to try and achieve a different mindset. Try the book 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' - it sounds dorky, but there's a whole current of inspiration that rides through the entire book, and when you read it? It's catching!

Just some advice from an old lady...!

Good luck, your writing is fabulous btw.

Anonymous said...

I'm soooo with you. I am a world traveller and a writer with very little motivation and determinition and I am jealous and bitter too... I just wanted to point out, it's not too late to work on that book. Fiona hasn't been signed anywhere yet and only started working on her project. You could do it too! As well, she has only published one article I've seen on the website of outpost and she works in part time jobs like the rest of us. Like you, she's just starting out. The only thing she has over you, is the drive. so be inspired by her, and do it! (yes, I'm talking to myself as well...) You are right, her show was a kick in the ass. Now it's time to start doing it. Good luck!