Count Your Curses Today For Tomorrow They May Become Blessings

My curse in life of late is that I love to travel and I’m not able to.

It seems that everyone I know is either going on a trip in the next few weeks or has just returned from one. It’s been so long since I’ve flown my bags flew for free! And a non-alcoholic beverage was included in your ticket price. I know, I know — the Dark Ages right?

What I wouldn’t give for that stale plane air smell or the leg cramps from not moving for 4 hours or the feeling of having to pee but not being able to because we have just begun our descent. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind that stranger with his head on my shoulder, softly snoring.

Up until the last few years, I would have told you that my curse in life was that I love to travel but I hate to pack.

Amazing how that curse now seems like a blessing . . .

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You Don’t Es-say

It has been YEARS since I was last told to stop writing and put my pencil down, #2 of course, and turn in my paper. Until yesterday that is.

Once again, in this crazy yet necessary job search I am on, I was surprised to find an entirely new application process for a position I am interested in.

Initially it was familiar, fill in your personal information, upload your resume. I clicked “Next” and was taken to ten (10) multiple choice questions, all specific to my experience as it related to the position as it was posted. After I had completed them, I clicked “Next” once again and received a message offering Congratulations! that I had passed that initial phase of the process. Below this congratulatory message were four (4) essay questions. I kid you not.

If you are reading this blog you know I like to write. But I was not expecting this in an online application. They called it an online interview which is what it was.

I think you were given 4000 characters for each answer. I felt like I wrote a good amount, but on one of the questions I was done answering, I think I had 3,000 characters left!

The other strange thing was the message at the top of the page said each question should take about 30 minutes (is that in metric???) and that if you couldn’t finish everything, you could save your application and return to complete it at another time.

I was pretty satisfied with my answers. There was no spell check available in this program so I copied and pasted everything into Word to check my spelling. Then I thought maybe I would print my answers out from Word and look them over and send the application in before bed. I’m usually one to go with my first instinct but I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a quick review.

I hit “Next” and was taken to a fairly empty page where the only thing that was there was:

Thank you! You have successfully submitted your application!

WHAT? I thought I was going to be able to save and review? All I could think of was what if someone had NOT finished and tried to save and instead the incomplete application was sent in?

This job search never ceases to amaze, discourage, baffle and/or disappoint. And I’m a POSITIVE person . . .

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It’s The Law!

I’m just finishing up the job search for today. Since I found out I was losing my job, I have kept a notebook for the job search. In there, I log every job I apply for. I was just scanning my list and I could see that this month, April, has provided more openings than ever for 2010. The breakdown for this year so far is:

January — 5
February — 4
March — 9
April — 16

I just went on and looked up “Law of Averages”. It explains that the “Law of Averages” is a lay term used to express a belief that outcomes of a random event shall “even out” within a small sample. It usually reflects bad statistics or wishful thinking rather than any mathematical principle. The Law of Averages typically assumes that unnatural short-term “balance” must occur.

Some of the examples include:
. Belief that an event is “due” to happen
. Belief that a rare occurrence will happen given enough time

I am nothing, if not a law-abiding citizen.

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Please Make Sure That Your Seatback Is In An Upright Position

Other people in my life might disagree, and I don’t really want to know if they do, but I don’t think I’m overly dramatic. Consider that my disclaimer please.

I said something to my husband over the weekend that has been on my mind for a long time now. I told him that I feel that as far as my career goes, my best days are behind me. I certainly didn’t feel this way when I was still working, I thought I was still moving in an upward direction. As I have mentioned, I made a career change a few years ago and it could not have been going better until I found out my company was closing.

Now, with all the time that’s passed, it’s hard to imagine that someday in the future, the NEAR future, I’ll travel again, I’ll create something out of nothing, I’ll make a difference.

I don’t say this in a “woe is me” kind of way, more as a factual thing, at least in my mind. I realize this goes against the power of positive thinking and that everyone says the best thing you can do is to stay positive. I do try, but when I really analyze what I’m thinking, which I do all the time, I realize this is what I sometimes believe.

How to turn that around I’m not sure. I have many more years of work ahead of me, and I certainly don’t want the years that came before to have been the pinnacle of my career.

I hope I remember this moment the next time I find myself sliding my laptop bag under the seat in front of me, as I secure my seat belt and check for the closest exit.

And that’s what I have to focus on. Me and my career in that plane, taking off again.

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Keeping A Clutter-Free Mind

I started a new project this week, one that is NOT taking place in my house for a change. A friend of mine has been telling me for a long time now that she thinks I should start my own Organizing company. You know, de-cluttering and organizing. I did the same thing with my home after I lost my job and I think I do have a knack for it, but I’m not convinced this is on my career path.

So we’re spending 3 days a week together for 3 hours at a time and we’re tackling all the nooks and crannies. We all have it, those things we throw in a spare bedroom when company’s coming or the gifts we get from friends and family that we just don’t know what to do with. With the daily chores we all have to do to keep our families running (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc.), who has time to tackle the ever-growing pile of STUFF? I really appreciate my friend’s faith in me and her honesty in asking for help.

We’ll see where this goes as far as a career for me. As I’ve said before, I’m open to whatever is in store for me down the road. If it’s shredding and labeling and organizing, I’m up to the challenge. Once you clear a path through the clutter, whether it’s in your home or in you mind, there is no where you can’t go.

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Last night we watched a show about Benjamin Franklin and his inventions. I’m sort of a history geek, especially when it comes to our country’s beginnings and the role that Pennsylvania and Philadelphia played in it.

Ben’s (yes I feel as though I can call him “Ben”) contributions to the world are amazing; he was so diverse in his interests! So many things we use on a daily basis are due to his insatiable mind. He had a vision that far exceeded the world he lived in both geographically and metaphorically. He could see beyond what he could literally see.

His inventions include: swimming fins, bifocals, the odometer, the Franklin stove, the flexible catheter (thanks I think) and the glass harmonica.

He created the library, the fire department, Daylight Savings Time, fire insurance, the public hospital, political cartoons and street cleaning.

And, in his spare time, he kind of created this country with a little help from his friends Tom and John.

He was also a writer, a diplomat, a businessman, a musician, scientist, politician, printer, philosopher and statesman.

During the show, they stated that in those days the word “gentleman” was defined as a man of means who did not have to work. I can’t help but wonder, in my shoes:

What would Ben do?

And honestly, I don’t know. But one of his quotes is “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” Both apply to my job search so I am counting on this to be true!

One more thing. Yes, I really do have a Benjamin Franklin Action Figure. (THANK YOU J!) And I do believe he could kick G.I. Joe and Ken’s butt!

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Part-Time + $200,000 = EMAIL ME!!!

I heard on the radio today that Danielle Steel’s assistant is going to prison for extortion; stealing from the beloved author. The position was a part-time position and paid $200,000!!!


No matter that Ms. Steel lives in San Francisco and I live in Pennsylvania. I love her books and I love dollar signs with lots of zeros behind them! I am PERFECT for the job!

Danielle, if you’re reading this, EMAIL ME PLEASE!

Love (in a non-bosom-heaving, non-bodice-ripping way),
Sister Rain

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The Only Thing To Fear Is . . . Well . . . Fear

Somehow in the last few weeks I have been able to somewhat distance myself mentally from the despair that is my job search. I have never been one with the ability to “push it down” when strong emotions take over. I don’t know whether it’s been the fact that there has been more postings recently, but I have not been panicking as much as I normally do.

That said, I have quite a few resumes out there right now for available jobs and yet no one has called. The past few days have brought no new openings and with each passing day I can feel Fear knocking on the door. It really is amazing what goes on inside each of our heads isn’t it?

I mean, even though the emotions of the job search have been kept at bay recently, that doesn’t mean it’s any less at the forefront of my mind 24/7. Is it a protective measure so I don’t go completely crazy that I’ve been given a reprieve from the negative emotions? I suppose I shouldn’t dissect it and just be grateful for the break.

Right now, it goes like this:

Fear: (Knocking on my mind)
Me: There’s nobody home. Go away.
Fear: (Leaves)

At any moment, though, I realize it could go like this:

Fear: (Knocking on my mind)
Fear: (Comes barging in without an invitation, sits down, grabs a bag of chips and makes itself comfortable)
Me: (Cuddles up to Fear and lays down with it)

I gotta get a deadbolt . . .

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Gray Matter

If you’ve ever filled out an online application for a job, you know the questions to expect while applying for a position. Normally with these online applications, there are questions they require you answer and some that are optional.

I have no intention of moving at this point in my life, so any jobs I find are in my area. However, one question I see all the time on applications is “Are you willing to relocate?”. Yes or No. And this is ALWAYS a required question.

You never know what kind of filtering goes on behind the scenes after you submit your application. Does the computer whip through your answers and lump you into the “possible” or “impossible” category? If you say “No” to relocating, does that automatically make you “impossible”? And yet I really do make every attempt to be honest so why say “Yes” to relocation if I am not open to it? Would it be so hard to include an option of “Not applicable”?

As in life, the job search is not black or white. There is an awful lot of gray matter in between. I’m hoping there’s some gray matter left in this ole brain of mine once this job search is over. But it’s not looking too good.

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What Would Dick Button Say?

I just finished doing the long job search and there are 4 opportunities I am applying for. It’s almost like I’ve hit the lottery to have all these postings printed out.

Answering these postings is going to take some time. I never know what the application process will be for any given job until I start to do it. Sometimes it’s a simple as sending an email, other times I spend a lot of time filling out an online application. No 2 jobs I apply for are EVER the same.

I’d like to think I’ve become an expert in the job search and yet I’m wondering if I can’t really claim that title if I’ve not yet gotten a job. Does that mean I’ve failed? I suppose success is relative. I’ve seemed to have mastered the triple axle but can’t quite stick the landing.

You know I’m tired when I’m using Winter Olympic analogies when it’s 70 degrees and sunny. Forgive me readers and TGIF.

I’m gonna go and try and stick the landing on one of these jobs.

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