Monday, February 28, 2011

On Jobs I Didn't Take and Jobs I Couldn't Get and Didn't Really Want Anyway

So we've been in this God-forsaken town for almost two months, and I still don't have a job. It's starting to get me down, just a little tiny bit. People say, "It'll happen eventually. Just give it time." People say, "You're too good for them." And I try to put on a happy face, to say "I know, I know, really, it hasn't been that long, considering the economy. I'm not worried yet." But the truth is, I am. I'm worried, I'm depressed, I'm afraid I'm a failure. Why won't anyone hire me?

Well, if we're being completely honest, someone did hire me. Two someones, in fact. The first job offer I received was less than a week after I started looking. It was a nanny position, caring for two young toddlers. I didn't think the interview went very well, and wasn't really feeling a connection, but they offered me the job. And despite my misgivings, I would have taken it, if I could have. But, being unfamiliar with the area, I hadn't realized when I applied just how far from our apartment it was. And with my lack of a car, and the hours they needed, there was just no way it was going to work. So I sent an email with my regrets, and cursed myself for my carlessness.

The second job I was offered was McDonald's. It pains me to even write that. I know, believe me, I know, that there is nothing wrong with working at McDonald's. There are few things more worthy in life than a hard day's work, wherever that work may be. But...I just couldn't. I could go into detail about how I got a bad vibe from the interview, how I really thought there was something off about it, but if I said that was the reason I didn't take the job, I'd be lying. I just couldn't let that be the best that I could do. Husband was all for me taking it "just for a little while" but something told me it wouldn't work out that way. For some crazy, irrational (or maybe not) reason, I felt like if I put on that red visor, I would be stuck there for the rest of my life, and I just couldn't stand that. I (almost) graduated college, I got married, I moved cross country...to work at McDonald's? Two months later and still jobless, I look back and feel guilty for not taking it. But, if they called today...well, I might take it. Husband can't go on pulling all the weight forever. But it would probably be the low point of my life to date.

I think, no, I know, that I'm smart, educated, a hard worker, and could bring a lot to the positions I'm applying for. And yet, despite literally hundreds of applications, I've only gotten a half dozen interviews, and no job. It's frustrating to the point of pulling my hair out. I mean, whatever happened to entry level positions? Jobs where they paid you crap and taught you skills? Last week, I applied for a job in the produce section of a local grocery store. And got rejected before I could even finish the application, because I didn't have six months worth of grocery experience.  HONESTLY?! I buy produce every week. Half the time, I know more about the produce than the person checking me out. (Checkout girl: "Ummm...what's this?" Me, trying to keep my voice as non-judgmental as possible: "That's a cabbage.") I'm a freaking vegetarian. And I have experience in customer service, food service, inventory and stocking. You would think that this is enough to get me a non-skilled, minimum wage job at a grocery store. You would be wrong.

Ugh.

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