Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Warning: This post really could have been multiple Twitters, but I don't want to overload their system.

I'm getting into an unemployed groove over here. Get out of bed at 9:15 or so, eat breakfast in front of the computer, do some job search stuff, eat lunch, then work on refinishing my table (see below) until I can't, read crap online and work on other minor projects, play Turok, make dinner, eat with radio, then upstairs for TV/Turok/more computer time, or out for singing/a show/etc. In bed by midnight. That's the semi-productive life I've been leading.

For lunch yesterday I made an egg sandwich, a mug of tea, and a glass of watered-down unsweetened organic cranberry juice, to which I accidentally added a generous dose of milk. Normally I stop myself before actually pouring the milk into the wrong container, but this time I just filled my glass of juice to the brim with creamy goodness. I might be starting to lose it.

Yesterday was also day two of my furniture stripping project. I'm working on a rough-hewn-looking coffee table that I bought for $20 via Craigslist. It appears to be a knock-off of a fancier, pedigreed table that Pbup had (and probably still has). I'm using a water-soluble stripper, which means it doesn't work all that well, but I don't need to use a ventilator.I also have to scrub the stuff off, hard, so I also get exercise, kind of.

If you've ever wondered where everyone who doesn't work a regular 9-to-5 job goes during the day, I can tell you: WalMart. Twice I've had to go to the dreaded WalMart to get more supplies; the second time, I rode my bike there, and with my messed-up hair and work clothes, I fit right in. I didn't even bother unrolling my right pant leg. I still hate it in there, and their selection is shit, but it is about a mile and a half closer to my house than Foster-Farrar. And if I can't justify going to the cheapest possible store while I'm unemployed, when can I justify it?

I've been reading about salary requirements, and how to handle requests for them, and I just want to point out that the word salary is really weird. If you see it used frequently, it ceases to have any meaning. Salary. Salary salary salary. It's like a salad, and celery, together. I feel it would be better if it were spelled salery.

Doing all of these little projects, and cooking real food, is time-consuming. And I am starting to feel stressed about my lack of income. I am torn between wanting to continue enjoying myself (while still looking for work) and just taking any job at all in order to stretch out my severance pay for as long as I can. And by "any job at all" I mean soul-withering work like temping and data entry. But jeez, I don't really need to be that person, do I? I haven't had to do that kind of work for 12 years. Universe, please give me permission to not be that person. I will repay you by doing the crafty things I've been putting off: finishing my quilt (started, oh, 4 years ago or so) and completing the new scarves and opening an Etsy shop and writing the pitch for that magazine. Amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I was unemployed, I read a bunch of books about interviews, and one of the best bits of advice I read is that when you're given an offer, you shouldn't say anything right away. You should pause. Say nothing. Then say, "Hmm." It gives you an air of un-desperation. Also, it seems like you're weighing your options. What you're really doing is girding yourself up to counter offer something more. But you do it with confidence and say, without apology, "Would you consider {blank}?"

Here's the thing about salary negotiations: successful business people make a lot of money and the reason they do is because they're good at negotiations, like sales negotiations, etc. When you're being offered a job, there's always a range that the recruiter can work within. They're never going to offer you the top of the range right away. It's a fact.

The other fact is that if they're offering you a job, it's because they want you. And if you ask for $5K more and they say no, they'll either counter-offer or they won't and you can still accept the first offer. And you'll feel confident that you're getting as much as you can from the employer.

Do not take a life-sucking job. Definitely take a job to extend your unemployment, but take it doing a job you've secretly wanted to do but that you could never do because it didn't pay enough. I took an on-air job in radio. And I actually still have that job now on the weekends. I would have never taken the job for a full-time real job because it hardly pays for the gas it takes to drive there. But as far as passions go...

What about working part-time at a yarn or fabric store? Not one of the terrible chains, but one of the small specialty stores? That could be just the thing! And Christmas is coming up - this is exactly when they hire holiday help.

Lady, the world is your oyster. Good luck!

-Jennifer Myszkowski