Friday, February 28, 2014

Jobless near Seattle

We recently moved to Spokane, WA.
I realize this is not actually that "near" Seattle but the Meg Ryan allusion was working for me.  

Because we relocated 13 hours away from my previous job, I have been without a paycheck for over two months. (it makes me cringe just to type that)
I have joined the unflattering class of Americans labelled "unemployed". 

It has not been pleasant. 

It would be better if I could at least blame my unemployment on something or someone but I've yet to find a responsible party. 

I've considered blaming my useless degree - for some reason nobody with the means to employ me cares that I studied four years of bio-medical anthropology. 

Identifying random bones and knowing what Margaret Mead learned about Samoa in the 80's does nothing for me.

N  O  T  H  I  N  G

Surprise Surprise.

So here's a word to the wise - when your parents tell you not to get a degree in something obscure like underwater basketweaving - trust them. They, unlike you, know what they're talking about. 

I've thought of blaming it on poor people skills - but let's face it - my people skills are awesome. 
If I get an interview, a real one not a phone one, I'm a winner. 

Which just leaves me. I am the reason I am unemployed. 

I applied to be a copy editor for the Spokesman Review.
Writing skills? check.
Excellent grammar? check.
Communications degree? minor check.

I went in for an interview, the first of many here in Spokane, and nailed it.
At the end of the interview I was asked to take a test to prove my grammar expertise. 
No problem.

They sat me down in a tiny desk across from a peeping secretary who confiscated my phone so I couldn't use technology to bolster my score. 

I started the test and flew through the first three pages.


I was beyond confident. I cockily flipped through the pages circling appropriately spelled words, correcting poor conjugation usage and crafting grammatically pristine re-writes. 

I was a winner... until I reached page 4. 

An entire page of athletes to identify. 

I panicked. 

Why on earth would a copy editor need to know who's who in the world of sports? 

I legitimately knew two of the names on the list: 

Tiger Woods the famously seductive pro golf player 

Smarty Jones, a racehorse I happened to watch a documentary on at some point in my perusal of Netflix. 

I put an exclamation mark next to Smarty's name to emphasize just how proud of this random knowledge I was. The rest of the page was marginally white.

I was unaware of just how lacking my sports knowledge was until this point, which is apparently a colossal deficiency. 
The empty page mocked me. 

Rather than leave the page blank I decided to showcase a little creativity and inventive personality. 
I filled in my page as follows. 


Believing the worst to be over and the fact deficiency mitigated with wittiness I turned the page.

It got worse. 

Not only was the test requesting athlete names known by most Americans, but now the test wanted area specifics. 

Here are some questions asked about sports in the Spokane area. 

1. Name as many Spokane High Schools and their mascots as possible. 
2. What year did the Washington State Cougars go to the ________ championship? 
3. Fill in the championship blank in #2
4. Who coaches the Chiefs? 
5. The bulldogs are mascots for which Spokane collegiate team? 

I had lived in Spokane for a total of 1 week at this point. 

... So I made up answers here too, and put my anthropology degree to work. 

In short, I made up or gave up on most answers pages 3 through 6. 

And I found out, after the test of course, why the quiz was so sporting centric. 

I wrote an addendum to my exam explaining that I'd only lived in the state of Washington for a grand total of 7 days and promised to brush up my sporting jargon but I'm pretty sure my excuse fell on deaf ears. 
Shockingly, they didn't call. 

Sad face.  

Since then, I've interviewed at over 20 places. 
that's an average of 3 per week. 

Here are some highlights from my interviewing repository. 

Bums should not be discussed during interviews. 

You should always remember your interviewers name. 

Meeting the CEO right off the bat, in a closed meeting, is not always a good thing on day 1. 

Despite my numerous interview blunders, these experiences have not been entirely unfruitful - I have had a few job offers.

In fact, I even took a job. 

I was going to be a Property Manager at Eagle Point, a large and lavish apartment complex in a neighboring city. 

That lasted for a grand total of 3 hours. 
I quit more quickly than expected. 

After those three hours I realized I hated property management, I wanted to do something entirely different and I didn't NEED to settle for a sub par position. 
At least not yet anyway. 

That was about a month ago. 

Three job offers and no paychecks later, I think my husband is about done with my job search, and I'm right there with him. 

My new approach to career hunting is to actually read the job postings (shocking advice I know) and only apply to positions I'd actually enjoy doing. 

So... if you live in the Spokane area, you should hire me to do awesome things. 

If you don't live in Spokane, I probably miss you. 

Wish me luck :) 

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