Thursday, July 31, 2008

EMPLOYED - but where?

So I deleted my last post because I finally have things figured out (note the calm, serene look on my face).

Well, I have things figured out as much as I can - after all, no one knows anything (especially me) and there's no such thing as a yadda yadda yadda.

Basically, I am employed. Yay? No really, should be YAY! BUT I can't really get excited yet.

I can be relieved. I no longer have to look for jobs. Even though by some sick habit, I am still looking for jobs. I guess its hard to go from three months of checking out at least 6 of your favourite job websites several times a day to...not.

I was offered the contract job as you all know. And I am waiting to hear back about the permanent job. I will know about that one tomorrow and I managed to stall the contract job till tomorrow as well. Which means its a fairly win-win situation. If I get the permanent job, then YAY! Big yays! I can regretfully turn down the other job and I am on my merry little way. If I DON'T get the permanent job, I still have the contract job.

Which means I start work on Tuesday. AH!

Of course, I am not counting on the permanent position - I don't count on anything and a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, no matter how badly you want the bush bird. Honestly, I don't think I will get it. The interview didn't go as well as I would have hoped, they were a lot more serious than I thought they would be (esp for an entry-level position) and I don't really think I won them over. Maybe my handwritten thank you notes will win them over? Maybe not.

And the worst sign of all: They never asked for my references!!

So what I have been trying to do is getting myself psyched up about the job I DO have. And it's really not all that bad. Everything about it sounds awesome except of course for the 1)low pay and 2)temporacy. But if I have to look on the bright side, and tomorrow I will, the guy (my boss?) did say "My hope would be that after the duration of this contract we could keep you on in a different capacity within the company but naturally, at this stage, it is too early to say for sure."

That was nice to hear - maybe I'll get paid more, maybe I'll be permanent but I'll take it with a grain of salt. Maybe in two months I'll want to find another job and with new experience, maybe I'll have an easier time.

Anyhoo so that's my dilemma, solved. Now we play the damn waiting game. I guess it's just till tomorrow but today is going to take F O R E V E R.

And this brings me to a new problem. This weekend is a long weekend and worst case scenario, I start work on Tuesday. So, with half a Thursday and a full-Friday left, what should I do to enjoy my last days of freedom? I am going camping this weekend too which is awesome BUT since I no longer have job-hunting to occupy my time....well...what should I be doing?

I already slept till 11AM, so that takes care of that indulgence...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's good, what's bad


What's good:

*I have been offered a job in a position that I would love to do. Basically working in post-production on an educational film. It sounds a lot like my internship, lots of research and I LOVE research. I was just informed about it today BUT I have not said yes yet. Two reasons why: Pay is low and it's a contract position for two months. Again, there is a possibility of going full-time afterwards and maybe becoming a permenant employee with the company, but for now it's just this project. Also - it did sound slightly overwhelming.

But I may need the position because hell, it's better than nothing (a LOT better) and well, my recent education would suddenly come in handy.

Yet, here I am, twidling my thumbs and deciding whether to accept or not. If this was last Tuesday, then YES. I would have, no doubt. But now, I have doubts. My instinct says something more permenant will come along.

I'm not sure if I trust my instinct anymore.

I will get back to him later tonight or tomorrow morning with my decision. Whatever the hell that is. And I will ask you what YOU think I should do...but I want to give another bit of info to the situation.

I have a job interview today. Uh oh. ANOTHER "dream job." And for some reason, I feel really serene about the whole thing. I think the position would be perfect for me...I mean, the REAL ME. Not the me I want to be or hope to be but the ME that I am and always have been. Sounds corny, I know.

Funny thing is, a month ago, I would have overlooked this job. Why? Because the pay was "too low" for me. Not so low that I couldn't survive but lower than my past two jobs (by about 2-4K per year).

Now I've come to realize that as long as I can survive, the pay doesn't matter anymore. My wonderful boyfriend (who, despite being two years younger, is freakin' years older in maturity) recently said to me that perhaps I should just go for something that pays less, something I can handle and something I can work my way up in. In the past, I lucked out big time. In a way. My Executive Assistant/Office Manager role and my Production Coordinator role were both ones that paid a lot more than I expected....and for good reason. They came with big responsibility and in the end, it was a lot more responsibility than I could apparently handle (among other things). An easier role in which I could gradually work my way up - well, it sounds mighty appealing right now.

OK, so I've gone off on a tangent. Anyway, I would go too much into the role right now because it's just an interview and who knows anymore if it will go anywhere (though the way I got the interview is a funny story - I'll post about it IF I get the job because otherwise it'll mean nothing).

I know not to count on ANYTHING at this stage. But I also feel OK about it...because when I lost the Executive Assistant role at the Big post-production company (back in early June), the role I thought was my "dream job," I kind of thought that was it. But now, another "dream job" has come along which gives me hope. Even if I don't get this one, there is another one out there.

In fact, I am applying for three other jobs this week in which I could see myself being very happy in - one of the jobs I actually have an "in" because an ex-employee of the company is recommending me to them.

So you can start to understand why I may be feeling hestitant about the job I was just offered. If it was a permenant position, there would be no hesitating. That said, even with all these great prospects lined up I've been freakin screwed in the past in this same situation (remember when I gave up the video game job because I thought I would get my "dream job").

*What else is good:

-I'm gonna be featured in my favourite magazine: SELF! I'll let you know what issue it'll come out in, I'm just answering the final interview questions at the moment. Ah, me and my mediocre fame continues...

-I listed my apartment yesterday! After spending three days of cleaning and clearing out half the stuff to make my place "showroom ready," I feel like I am living in someone else's apartment. Someone's really clean and spacious apartment. I wanna start doing ballet in here.

-I'm writing two articles for a travel website. Woot!

*What's bad:

-Guess what job I saw advertised on Craigslist yesterday? Well, if it isn't my good 'ol personal assistant role at DeviantART. Of course, I'm not above petty revenge, so I made a warning post on Craigslist. Not about anything really except that whoever applies should NOT send out their personal info (certified copy of passport, SIN number) and file paperwork with the IRS, until they sign a contract. I like to warn the public.

-Speaking of warning, the EA job to the hotel president which I was warned about, well that's reposted again too. Remember this job, the one in which I went for my second interview and while I was waiting there for an hour, an assistant came out and said "Sorry to waste your time but the boss just offered the position to the girl before you."? Well, what a lie that was. Why is the role available so soon again? I still feel like the boss took one look at me and thought, "Nah, she looks like a blonde idiot." To satisfy my curiousity, I emailed the assistant just now and asked why the position is available again. No way in hell do I want it or want to be considered but it's really intriguing - especially when I was warned about this job and how often it has been filled and advertised for this year!

-Oh and finally, remember the EA job at the online publishing company? The one I did the suprise Excel test for and bombed. Well they're still looking for someone to fill the role, a month later. Maybe if the boss didn't ambush nervous interviewees with a hard pop quiz in something that wasn't even a requirement for the role, he would have better luck.

Speaking of luck...wish it for me! I'm off to my interview shortly and then on to two other companies where I am going to drop my resume off in person. I'm leaving nothing to chance anymore.


So I had the interview. It went well enough, maybe harder than I thought but I did the best I could. But I've learned to not count on anything at this point - I wouldn't be suprised if I did not get it, let's put it that way. Hmmmm. Starting to lean towards that temp work now...

Friday, July 25, 2008

No such thing as a sure thing

I'm gonna keep this short (ha, yeah right) but something happened to me on Tuesday that pissed me right off. Enough so that if you are on my Facebook, you probably responded to my dismal status with a "what the hell is wrong now?" Though most of you were nicer than that (thank you Memphis Steve!)

So, while I was looking here and there for jobs and having no such luck, I did have something up my sleeve. See, I was being considered for a personal assistant/executive assistant position for the CTO of Deviant art. com. And when I say considered, I had the job, basically.

When I first applied, I knew I was overqualified so I wasn't shocked that the HR person in LA (that's where the company is based - the CTO just happens to live up here) said the same thing to me. She initially hesitated on giving me an interview because of all of my experience and was worried I would get bored with the position. I assured her that I wouldn't.

The ad basically described the job as preparing meals, tidying the office, opening bills, watching the guy's 4 year old kid once in a while, doing laundry and drycleaning and the like, along with some executive duties such as answering emails, attending conference call meetings. It sounded easy peasy and I applied because I thought, why not. I would take almost anything at this point. Plus, I like easy...least I thought I did.

Anyway, the rate was $18 an hour which I thought was ok - it didn't sound like you needed a lot of brains to do it BUT there were no benefits. You had to do your own taxes too, which is fine but a hassle. I would have taken $18 an hour too, but I thought I would ask for $20 if I could. It was also in USD funds, and when the Canadian dollar takes over the American, as it is supposed to do by end of year, I would actually get paid less.

So I met with the CTO for coffee, four weeks ago or so. We talked for 2 and 1/2 HOURS!!! It went really well and the guy was super nice. He was a big dork, very awkward and nervous (in an endearing way) but a lot of the things he was saying weren't adding up.

For example, he said, "You're the first person I've interviewed, it's going so well." Then later he said, "The person I interviewed this morning didn't have a driver's license." And "I haven't had an assistant for awhile," then later, "My assistant just quit yesterday."

Say...what? If your assistant just quit come the ad came out for this position over a week ago?

All those inconsistencies aside, he did seem like a good guy to work for, very important considering it would be in his own personal office in his apartment. Tight quarters, if you know what I mean.

At the end of the interview he said, "I guess I have to have a few more interviews just to be sure but I am going to tell you right now that you're my pick."

So I left being optimistic. Rightfully so...right?

A few days later I followed up with him via email. When he finally got back to me he said that he told the crotchety HR woman, Jeanne, that I was his choice for the role and that I had the green light. And that from here on in, the horrible HR woman was going to handle things. I am saying "crotchety" and "horrible" not only because she IS but because the CTO said so himself! Apparently, she's an old biddy (his words) and some guy who works there's mom.

So, I needed some more information about the position. Mainly, I had lots of questions, especially about the wage, about the duties, about vacation, etc.

She got back to me a few days later and said that they approved the $20 an hour that I ended up asking for, that I was on contract and would not get vacation pay (only 2 weeks after a year), that of course there were no benefits cuz they were an American company and I was Canadian and that it would be 40 hours a week.

Some of that I liked, some I didn't. But I accepted and emailed her my address so that she could send the contract.

A day later, I got a call from some guy called Mike. Mike works for the company down in LA, and as far as I could tell, he was the assistant to the CEO down there. It was basically another interview with another unsure, nervous and uneasy guy. I don't know why he was interviewing me but I assume that no one in the company trusts the CTO's judgement.

At any rate, at the end of that interview, Mike seemed impressed with me and thought I would be a great fit for the CTO. Fine. Good. Whatever. But as much I knew I had the job, I wasn't excited until I signed that freaking contract.

So as soon as that was done, I emailed the HR woman again to make sure she had my references and to know what else was going on. She emailed me back and sent all these tax forms for the IRS. I had to fill out all these forms so I could be exempt from taxes, send them my passport, do all these things etc. Meanwhile, she would contact my references and then it was go.

Well, I relaxed because I knew my references were all good. And I did fill out the forms, though I put off sending them out until I saw a damn contract.

The contract never came. I never heard back from Jeanne. So I emailed her, reminding her that I was sending stuff out and wanting to know when to expect the contract. She emailed me back saying that one of my references she couldn't get a hold of, despite leaving several messages and until she heard back, the position was going to be on hold!

That reference I knew was in Alberta so I figured that may happen, however she was from 2006 and I had two other, newer and more prestigious references - BESIDES, she had said in her email "send me three references and if you don't have that much, two will do."

SO why now is she balking because she can't get hold of one?

I explained that to her, that the other two references were the most important at any rate and that the 3rd one may be hard to get hold of since it was from so long ago.

It was at this point that I started to get a bad, bad feeling. This was so bloody disorganized and slow. Why not check references first, before you have me do all this IRS shit? Why is it suddenly stalled?

Then I get a reply back:

"Your last two jobs were only for six months and the other for a few weeks as an unpaid intern. We are looking for a seasoned person with some years under their belts doing executive level work. Your salary requirements are high for your level of experience, and therefore, wehave chosen another candidate who better suits the needs of our company. Thank you for your interest in working with our company and I wish you the best of luck with your job search. Regards, Jeanne"


First of says on my resume how long I worked there, everywhere.

She approved the $20 an hour to begin with.


Suddenly they have someone else?

Did the CTO, the guy I would be assisting, the guy who repeatedly said, "I think we get along great, I think you would be perfect for the job, I picked you for the job, you have the green light, etc" have any say in this at all?


My only explanation was that I got a bad reference from one of my ex-employers. So I contacted them and they both said they only said great things - the woman sounded more interested in learning how much I made though....

So...yeah...that was the one thing I was counting on and it fell through. It almost sucks more to be rejected by a job that you were settling for. I just thought I would humble myself and take a job beneath me because I need freakin' money to survive, pay my bills, get a mortgage, etc. But NOPE. Not for me. You can't even have the sucky jobs, the jobs that everyone around you is saying, "Don't be so picky, go for an easy, low-level position" - Well I took their advice and LOOK at what happened.

Anyhoo, I'm over it now. Despite all of this shit I have been through for the last three months, I am still cautiously optimistic and I still have faith that things will work out.

But it doesn't mean that this didn't piss me off. Wouldn't it piss you off?

PS - though it may have been unprofessional of me, I ended up emailing both the CTO and Jeanne and telling them exactly what I thought of them and the situation - I hope they treat the person they chose with a lot more respect than they treated me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Team Trouble: a long story

Last, last weekend, my man and I went off to the Okanogan in search of sun, sand and adventure. Well, we got all three. And then some.

The Okanagon Region (of which I can never seem to spell properly) consists of Lake Okanogan (with the mystical Ogopogo - North America's owm "loch ness monster"), Skaha Lake and Lake Osoyoos. I'm sure there are other lakes but I can't be bothered doing any research. So I will tell you what I know: the hills are dotted with vineyards (this is Canada's Napa Valley, a wine region that some say is even better than the California version), the lakes are clear, blue and refreshing (except for Osoyoos, which is the warmest lake in the country - bathwater warm!), the landscape is hilly and dry, dotted with sagebush and ponderosa pine and the weather is hot, dry and dusty. This is heaven to me - after growing up on the wet and tree-heavy west coast, I am drawn to dry, desolate and hot environs. The Okanogan is one of my favourite places on Earth and both the Rockstar and I knew it would be the perfect place for our one-year anniversary trip.

We left on "free slurpee day," and after a sugar-high from 7/11's chintsy giveaway (7.1 ounces, what did I expect) we drove East, towards deserts and lakes. We couldn't wait to leave the city behind and feast our eyes on something new to look at. Were we staying at a wonderful resort for our romantic getaway? No. We had to do with a tiny single room in a hostel, share-bathroom and all. We are broke, remember. But luckily, I am so accustomed to the backpacker lifestyle that our bed didn't phase us. We would be happy anywhere.

I took the slow route instead of the main, toll-booth highway, taking advantage of all the little towns you could stop off along the way. Fruit stands, old mines, teepees, deserted roads in which you could pull off on and have all the privacy in the world (if you know what I mean, tee hee). Sure the other way was a bit faster but we weren't in any hurry. Even if it's quicker, I can't stand a boring drive.

We rolled into Penticton around 4PM, unsure of what to do. His main plan for the weekend was to relax on the beach, read his book and swim in the lake. My main plan included the possibilities of: conecting with dear old college friends, going wine-tasting, going horseback riding, floating down the river on an inertube, hiking in the hills...oh and drinking absinthe on the beach.

We ended up doing three of the above. We could have maybe done more, if only we hadn't done the latter choice first.

I bought the Rockstar a bottle of real absinthe for his birthday a few months back and we never got around to drinking it. I wanted to be somewhere safe when we did. Well, I guess we threw that out the window, because our first activity on our anniversary trip was to drink the bottle on the beach.

After a few sips in our hostel room....

We decided to finish the rest on the beach. At 60% proof, we were shooting it straight out of the bottle and finishing it with a chaser of Fanta. Needless to say by the time we got to the beach, the world was alive and shimmering and we felt great (need I remind you that absinthe contains wormwood, a hallucinogen, aka the green fairy in Moulin Rouge). So great, that we barely felt the chill of the lake when we went for a sunset dip.

Then, this is where things get fuzzy. For both of us, but especially for me. I remember we met some completely random couple with a dog on the beach.

Somehow we ended up at their place, high in the hills around town where we danced and drank wine.

I woke up with a start at 4AM. We were both back in the hostel, lying on the bed, on top of the covers with our clothes on. The light in the room was on. It was pitch black outside. I wasn't sure where I was and I was beyond confused. I also didn't feel too sick - but I later found out that's because I was still drunk. I went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth and we fell back asleep.

We then awoke at 9AM and tried to piece together the night. I had many weird dreams, one of them involved being in a restaurant and eating too much pita bread. Of the actual night, all I could remember was going to the random couple's place (was he a French Jamaican guy?) and had no idea how we got back home. Thankfully the bf wasn't as far gone as me (I have a horrible tendency to do that) and I learned that the couple gave us a ride back into the main part of town, we walked back to the hostel and since the front door of the hostel wasn't locked, we estimated that we probably got back to pass out before 11PM.

Then he asked if I remember eating last night. I thought it was a dream but it soon came clear that we did in fact go to a restaurant late that night, where I did consume too much pita.

Then it became clear that he lost his wallet. Normally it would be in his pocket, but the shorts he was wearing didn't have any. So really, it should have been in my bag. But we looked in the bag and found everything else important (my wallet, my camera...empty bottle of absinthe) except that. A thorough search of the room turned up nothing.

We were both starting to feel too sick to panic, so while I showered, he walked around town trying to find what place we ate at. It turned out that they did have a wallet, but the manager put it in a safe and it would be available that afternoon.

That was a huge relief and it was soon followed by the mother of all hangovers. I can't even express how messed up I felt, but a hearty greasy breakfast didn't do the trick. Neither did a nap. Neither than going to the beach again, to take sun and cool off in the waves. OK, the bracing water did make me feel clear-headed but it subsided once I was back on land. And even the Ceaser (Canada's yummy answer to the bloody mary) and Tortilla soup didn't help.

I actually didn't feel better until I brought it all up, later that night.

Anyway, back to the beach. When we were done, we headed to the restuarant to pick up his wallet. It was odd being there, you would have thought it would have come back to me, but I honestly felt like I had never been there before.

The manager comes out to greet us, with his wallet in hand. But before she hands it over, she holds it up in the air.

"Now I'll give this to you, but you'll have to pay me first."

We exchanged a look. She continued.

"You didn't pay for your food last night. You left the wallet on the table and then disappeared."

It was both hilarious, shameful and mortifying. Of course, we paid her and gave her a lot extra, but both of us could not get over the fact that we were bloody criminals! She was thankfully really nice and she said she could tell we were obviously too drunk and she was just happy we were eating and not drinking.

But still! Run out on the bill! I have never done that before, even during my "troubled youth" years. Plus, leave the wallet behind too. I mean, what happened there? So far, since neither of us can remember what happened at the restaurant, neither of us know why we left without paying and without his wallet. Either it was a misunderstanding, or we are the stupidest dine-and-dashers in the world!

And the funniest thing is, I had wads of cash in my own wallet that I don't even remember taking out. Really hoping we didn't decide to mug someone as well.

Well, that was the worst part of the trip. The rest was quite nice. We met up with Sarah and Scott and their adorable pug Stella for some beers and pizza.

The next morning we went wine-touring which was amazing. We only made it to three wineries, even though there were so many high-quality ones to chose from, all within a ten-minute drive (we were in the scenic Narramatta Bench region, with graps growing upon dusty cliffs, metres above the lake). If we had more time, we would have explored the vineyards south (Oliver) and north (Kelowna)....

...and then before we headed back, we capped it off with a trip to another lake and another beach, where we read our books, ate brie and tomatoes on a baguette and enjoyed the undying heat.

All in all, it was an amazing trip - as embarassing as it is to admit what happened, there's no one else I would want on my team...Team Trouble.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wanderlusting - Vancouver, BC

First of all, thank you so much everyone for all of your kind words and encouragement. It's lovely to know that I have so many friends and supporters out there. If you couldn't tell, I truly was in a terrible funk but I've gotten myself out of it. I have a new outlook and attitude (about work, writing, everthing) - let me tell you, it's a very freeing thing when you let go of something and you still see it come back to you. I've made peace with certain expectations for myself and have a more simple plan ahead of me for the future, finding out what I want to truly live a happy life. And perhaps next week I will have some good news, too.

In the meantime, I am going to write, not much about myself, but about my dear old hometown of Vancouver. I've realized that many of you don't know much about the city itself, where I live and what it is like. And that living here, I never think to appreciate this place with new eyes, see it for the first time the way the tourists do (I know, there is hostel down the street from me and I see gaga-eyed foreigners everywhere I walk).

It's happened a few times, upon returning from a year and a bit stint in Auckland, NZ, I was yearning to see the North Shore mountains. After three-months vagabonding around Europe, I couldn't wait to wear my foreign outfits on my hometown beach. But now, in the midst of summer and sunshine, I need to remind myself that I live HERE:

Vancouver, which has been rated the Top Ten Most Liveable City in the WORLD, for the last decade or whatever, on several top ten lists. It's even been NUMBER ONE more than a few times. Can YOUR city claim that (PS please shut up you Sydneysiders, Aucklanders and everyone in Switzerland - we know you made the lists too :P) Bill Clinton even declared it one of the most beautiful cities he has seen.

Of course, we have our share of problems. With its popularity, Vancouver has the highest housing prices in the country (for example, a modest one-bedroom downtown is going to set me and my boyfriend back around $300,000 - I'm selling my 430 sq. foot tiny studio for $200,000!). We also have the worst drug and problems in all of North America (no seriously, look it up). And traffic can be a real bitch sometimes.

But overall, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. OK, I would, but just for a few years becaus I know I would ALWAYS come back to Vancouver, Sea to Sky City.

Plus the Winter Olympics in 2010. Come on!

View from the top of Whistler Mountain, Best Ski Resort in North America and only 2 hour drive away

Even in November, the city can take your breath away (my apartment is just a little to the right)

View from my roof deck facing North

View from apartment facing South/West

The ocean is everywhere! (note city way in the background)

Stanley Park is one of the biggest parks in North America and an easy stroll away from me - perfect way to spend a summer day

The beach is a one-minute walk from my place

Warmest place in Canada - palm trees, you see!

How can you say no to this every night?

I love having our boat so close by

Stunning in Winter - view from top of Grouse Mountain, looking down on part of the city - Peter Jokan photography

Calming in Autumn - Stanley Park Seawall, Peter Jokan

Cherry Blossomtastic in Spring

The nearby Gulf Islands provide refuge in Summer

Beautiful day...

Or night

I encourage YOU to find the beauty in your city!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Change of Course

Something has just come to my attention - well, it's actually been knawing at me for the past year - but only now I think I should face the truth.

I am a terrible writer.

I have somehow convinced myself since I was 8 years old that I am good at writing and have talent in this area.

I don't. I never did.

I liked writing, a lot. I had a lot of stories that I wrote (though never completed - I would get bored) and really enjoyed coming up with different worlds and stories and doing as much research as I could. I remember when I was 14, I invented a town on the Northern California coast. I would spend my nights drawing detailed maps of the streets, ripped out pictures of home magazines to find each person's house. I had a set of characters, teenage girls, that lived in this town and had a 20page bible about each one of them. When I started to write about their sailing trip to Hawaii, I took books out of the library and spent MONTHS researching Hawaii. This truly was the best part - it was like I was living it myself.

Later on, I dabbled in poetry (suckfest) and short stories and then on to screenwriting where once again I figured I would have talent. And while things seemed promising at first, it only got worse as I got older. I used to place in screenwriting contests, now I don't get anything. Just a lot of critiscism. Maybe I fluked out with my one script - either way, it led me to stupidly believe I had some talent. It's quite obvious now that I don't.

Just because doing something - such as writing a script - makes you happy, it doesn't mean you are good at it. Just because you get into Journalism school, it doesn't mean you are a good writer. Just because you got a job writing articles, doens't mean you know what you are doing - it just means that the person who hired you has no clue about writing himself.

And so, I have come to the realization that after 15 years of deluding myself into thinking I had talent as a writer, I simply do not.

I will stop applying for writing jobs. I will stop dreaming of making it big as a novelist or a screenwriter. And maybe, even, stop writing this blog.

But before I do all that, I am left with the question....what AM I good at? If I can't write, what can I do? What do I do with myself? What should my new life goals be? Do I have talent in something, anything, and if so....what is it?

I am not sure that anyone of you can help me. But if you have any ideas on how I should move forward and carve out a life for myself, I would be very happy to receive them.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Still Tired

I am really, really hoping this will one of the last posts of this nature because I am really, really getting sick of writing about it and even more so about actually living it.

Last week was pretty intense if you have't gathered from my previous post.

On Tuesday I had a presentation that I had to conduct in front of a panel. It was for a nearby city's board of trade and basically I had to put together a Sponsorship Package which I would send to the CEO or whomever of a company, trying to convince them to sponsor these business excellence awards that the company I was applying for would host.

OK. I had NO idea how to put together a sponsorship package. Thank God for the internet, where I got an idea of what to do. I created it in Powerpoint, using their logo and pretty pictures and facts from their website and in the end I was fairly impressed. Don't think it was as good as someones who HAD been doing sponsorship packages before, but still not bad.

Of course, I also had to the present the thing in front of people I didn't know. And of course, they didn't have a computer so the fact that it was on powerpoint was useless. Luckily I had made enough copies for everyone who was interviewing me but it sucked that I was the focus of the presentation...I was really hoping to distract them with pretty slides.

At any rate, I think the presentation went well, considering, and then I was subjected to an hour long panel interview. After that torture was over, I had to do a 20min writing test. THANKFULLY the test went better than that Excel one that I did - basicaly I had to write up an article for the local paper about the "excellence awards."

When I arrived back home later, I had gotten an email saying they wanted more writing samples and my references. I sent those off, but even though they said they would let me know by the end of last week, I still haven't heard anything. I know by now that when it comes to jobs, no news is BAD NEWS.

On Wednesday I had my next interview at a PR firm. They had my resume on file, so I actually didn't apply for it. And so despite the long interview and then the press release that I had to write up, I learned today that I didn't get that job. I'm not choked about it though. It was something I probably wouldn't have applied for....a management position that sounded kind of above me. Or WAY above me, at least at this point in my life. I was actually quite impressed though at my interview skills. While they probably didn't hire me because I don't have managerial experience, I know they were still impressed. And if they weren't, I was just proud of how poised, professional and confident I acted.

But still - didn't matter in the end how well I do. SIGH.

I've just been feeling so much stress from job-searching, I don't know what to do. My body is falling apart. Everything hurts, I'm so angry, so tired and so confused. I had never EVER realized it would be this hard. It almost makes me regret quitting my last job and turning down the EA job, even though it had felt right at the time. I just don't understand why someone like me, who is personable, educated, persistent and experienced is having so much trouble getting employment. I mean, as you know, I am not even being picky anymore. I just need a job to survive, I need a job in order to get a mortgage, in order for my rockstar and I to buy a place. I need so much and I keep coming up short.

This weekend, we went away for our anniversary trip the dry, sunny interior. It was much needed - at some points, too much. Combine us two with a beach, hot sun and a bottle of Absinthe and....well...let's just say we are glad we didn't get arrested (though shocked of our actions). I'll explain exactly what happened the next post...:P

Anyway, after this weekend, I had hoped to come back refreshed, with a new week of possibilities (this was my POSITIVE attitude, which is hard for me to conjure up since I have been job hunting for TWO MONTHS now).

But now, looking at Craigslist makes me sick. Job ads make me sick. I can' help but think, what's the point? Why bother applying? They'll make me jump through hoops for nothing. I'll be overqualified or not qualified enough. I'll get my hopes up, only to have them dashed. I am just so tired, so sick and just really, really hating my life at this moment. To be honest, this is one of the most exhausting and emotionally-trying periods of my life - and I've been dumped a lot!

Anyhoo, there is one small window of hope, which I don't want to blog about as I feel like it could fall through and I will look stupid again (just read the film job posts). It's not my dream job, but it's a job and it's something I could see being easy and a lot of fun. But again, I'm not saying ANYTHING until I have signed on the dotted line.

Until then, if you want to know how I am doing, just re-read this post. Because until I actually get a job, none of the above is going to change.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Tired of being a whore

A while back, Farrell made a comment that job-hunting was a lot like dating. I've been stewing over this as I have gone on interview after interview and have come to the conclusion that she could not be more right.

I never dated, as some of you might know. I found it tedious, disappointing and annoying. I just kind of waited until the man of my dreams fell in my lap (after a few pathetic men fell in my lap first).

But job-hunting doesn't work like that. At least, I haven't had the same kind of luck as I have had in my love life. One would assume that after shitty jobs (just like having shitty boyfriends) I would finally, easily, land my dream job. Or even, a "good enough" job. I am not as picky with jobs as I am with my men, as you can tell, but that doesn't make it easier. As my friend complained to me the other day "I wish I had a great guy like you do," I said, "I wish I had a great job, like you do." We have opposite problems. She has a job, wants a guy. I have a guy, want a job.

Anyway, I have been trying not to write too much about job-hunting here because I feel it's all I talk about. But you know what? It's my life right now. THIS is my life.

I have been applying everywhere, been on very few interviews and I am amazed at how tedious, disappointing and annoying job-hunting is. Just like dating.

Case in point....

Remember the dream job I went for a few weeks ago? That was like dating someone noncommital and unsure of what they want. Sure, they SAY they want a relationship but then when you think it's finally going somewhere, they back out and declare themselves not ready. How much time and effort I wasted over that one.

Then there are the shallow ones. Last week I applied for another "dream job," to be an exec assistant and office manager at an online magazine of sorts. I really sold them on my journalism degree and EA experience. So I went in to the interview. The guy asked me what websites I went to on a daily basis. I was honest - Perez Hilton, my favourite blogs, Go Fug Yourself, Probably the wrong answers.

Then he asks how my Excel skills are. Well, they USED to be horrible until two weeks ago when I took a course in intermediate certification. I passed and felt uber confident with the once-scary program that ruined many lives (I really, really felt Excel warped my brain). So he then asks me to do an excel test. On the spot.

I felt vaguely confident because hey, I just did the course the week before and I passed - I had my certificate. PLUS on the job description, Excel knowledge was a "nice to have" and NOT a requirement.

So I tried to do the test. And even though I knew what it was asking of me, my brain froze. I hadn't done a problem in this certain way and wasn't sure how to do it. I must have struggled for 10 minutes, trying in vain to figure it out. In the end he helped me out, to which I muttered, red-faced "But I do have my certificate." He just nodded and went back to interview questions. He then gave me his card and said he would let me know by tomorrow about a 2nd interview.

I get home 20 minutes later and find a "sorry" email from him. He doesn't think my technical skills are good enough.

If Excel is REALLY that important, than put it in your ad as important! That's like someone saying looks aren't necesary and then brushing you off because you have love handles. And way to dismiss the fact that I have the exact education AND work experience for the role. And the fact that I said I'm taking the advance course on the 21st of July. None of that mattered.

I was gutted and humiliated, to say the least. And even though he said he had other people to interview, I see the same ad posted again today.

I also had two other interviews. One was for the role of a personal assistant to a CTO of the 80 most popular website in the world (45 million hits a day or something).

I almost didn't get that interview because the HR person say I was OVER QUALIFIED FOR THE ROLE! I can't fucking win. I could even tell in the interview that the CTO felt bad explaining the job because he too thought I was too good for it. OK, so it's a lot of errand running. But it's for an important company, the CTO was super cool, the pay would be not taxed and it seemed like it could be fun. The intervew itself lasted 2 hours!!! Just me and him, talking over coffee. In date land, this would have been a good one. But his tentative yes has turned into silence a few days later. Did he think he came on too strong? Did he think I was too good for him? LE SIGH.

Oh right, then there was another interview to be the EA to the CEO of a downtown hotel. At first it sounded cool cuz it was a 5-min walk away from my place, it would involve lots of writing, marketing and PR and would pay well.

Then I saw someone on Craigslist has posted a warning about the job. Saying that the boss was hell to work for, that you would have no life and that the job has been advertised every three months. I looked and saw this was true.

I took it with a grain of salt but already felt uneasy. Then at the interview, the interviewer (who was actually the person leaving the role) mentioned something about The Devil Wears Prada and how similar the roles were. yeah. Um...

Then for some reason, I got called for a second interview, this time with the CEO.

I showed up, nervous as hell even though I didn't really feel good about the position and waited. For twenty minutes.

After twenty minutes, the old EA came out and said (calling me by the wrong name), "I'm sorry but the girl who was interviewed before you, just accepted the job. Sorry to waste your time."

FUCK ME. Rejected by someone I wasn't even interested in!!

Anyhoo, that was today. Tomorrow I have an interview for a markting role, which sounds really neat however I have to make a huge project for a fake sponsorship package and then present it tomorrow, in person, in front of the company - people I haven't even MET yet. I actually have HOMEWORK for a job that I don't even have. And then after my presentation on my project, I have to then take a writing test/assignment. I understand that this will totally show if I can do the job or not but still...WHAT HAPPENED TO GOOD OLD FASHIONED INTERVIEWS????

Then there have been all the jobs I have applied for through recruiting firms.

I have been PERFECTLY qualified for all of the jobs and haven't heard from any.

Recruiting firms are a scam. They post fake ads and just collect resumes so they can say they have the most. I even have a "friend" who works at such a firm and he can't even help me. I feel sorry for him for entry such a horrible field, to lead so many people on. I don't know what it's like in your city but in Vancouver, 90% of jobs advertised through recruiting firms lead to nowhere, which is why they post the same ad so many times. I have even tailored my resume (aka flat-out lying) to see if I would at least be contacted for specific jobs. NOPE. Recruitment and temp agencies are just those stupid bimbos who put some slutty picture of themselves on Lavalife just to see how many responses they get so they can feel good about themselves.

And Wednesday. Well, Wednesday I have an interview for a job that I didn't even apply for.

Good times.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

One Year Ago (yesterday)

JULY 1st 2007

My Sweetie and I officially started going out. For those of you up North, yup, we started going out on Canada Day. I basically said that we should be a "couple" on that day, just so it would be a really fun date to remember. Every Year, it's our country's B-Day. Every half year, it's the first day of a new year!

We didn't do anything too special yesterday as we are both broke-ass poor, but we did spend the day on the beach, finally baking in the long overdue heat and then at a friend's house in the town we both grew up in, lounging by their pool. It was a fun day of friends, pizza, beer and ice-cream cake - the last three were big no-nos on account of my lactose and wheat allergy, but what the hey!

We are going on a romantic-ish 3-day trip away next weekend to the interior of BC, of which I can't wait for. Dry desert air, wine tours, swimming in the Lake Okanogan, visiting old college chums.

I'm not going to wax on about my Rockstar and how much he has changed my life (for the better) and how I'm looking forward to all our days ahead and how lucky I am to have such a truly, sincerely amazing man. I'm sure you can get all that from my blog.

But what I will remark on is how quickly the year went! I mean, it seems just yesterday we were sharing our first kiss, and now look at us! It's freaking July 2008! On that note, didn't 2008 just start? What is happening to time?

Even though time seems to rush on as we get older, we still got a lot done during that time. Looking back now, though it seems like we just started, so much has happened over the last year.

July 2007: Started relationship with my Rockstar - Had lots of fun parties - Dealt with stupid muffin problems at work - Went to Silverchair concert

August 2007: Went to Whistler for a night for our one-month anniversary - Got Fired from my job - Went to Italy for two weeks as an English-teacher volunteer

September 2007: Flew my best friend out from Montreal to visit, the first I'd seen her in two years - Went on EI - Told my bf that I loved him

October 2007: Boyfriend moves out of parents house, cutting the commute from 1 hour down to 15 minutes - I go to my first hockey game (yes, bad Canadian, I know)

November 2007: I am interviewed by Inside Edition and make my TV debut - Go to Whistler with all my boyfriend's friend's girlfriends (and his lovely sister) - Start on my weight loss and exercise hardcore plan - Get accepted to film school for January - Am the test model for my friend's makeup classes - Go to Seattle with my BF

December 2007: It's my 26th birthday arrrrrg - Lose 10 pounds - Join parents in Palm Springs for 10 days

January 2008: Get ill on NYE - Go to Disneyland with my BF for 5 days (bliss!) - My mother is hit by a car and my dog Ellie dies (so sad) - My step-grandpa dies (same day as dog) - Start intense school

February 2008: School, school, school - Go to Maui for a week with the BF and his parents (bliss, again!)

March 2008: ummmmm gain back 10 pounds?

April 2008: Cut my hair short (eek) - My Bf's bday - Dealing with freaky spring snow - Graduate from film school - Contacted by my fvaourite magazine who asks if they can include me in their magazine (hello, YES!) - Foo Fighters awesome show

May 2008: More freaky late snow - Go to Bellingham with the bf for a shopping spree - Start 28-day CLEANSE FROM HELL - Kiwi and Frenchie come to visit for a week - Start my hellish job - Quit my hellish job

June 2008: Look for jobs - Angst over jobs - Deal with jobless angst by going to the beach when everyone's at work

Well, that's pretty much it. Guess I got a lot done or at least had a lot done to me. Either way, hell of a year and my sweetie made it all the better!

What personal event stands out in YOUR mind of the past year???

JULY 1st 2008