Friday, September 18, 2009


Not great, though. Just better.

Done with cramps but need more sleep. The other night I conked out around 6 and woke up, totally awake, at 10, so I'm trying valiantly to bring myself back to a nighttime sleep schedule rather than vampire time. Haven't touched the new article in a while (need to get back to that) but I have been picking away at job materials. And took the cats to the vet. They are perfectly healthy and up to date on all their shots now. So if you come over and they bite you, you can't sue me, neener neener! You could get really pissed off though I guess. Whatever. I have Timido on my lap as I type, being adorable and I can't imagine anyone getting pissed off at him. I must have a very short memory or have blocked out all 5 am occurrences of play sessions. Heh.

The other thing I have been dealing with, and it's surprisingly anxiety-inducing, is the temp job racket. All summer I have put out a few feelers, sent some cover letters, answered a few ads, spammed out some adjunct-availability emails, and in general had no luck getting some sort of "random paycheck job" together. But all this work ---a couple hours one evening, an afternoon maybe a week later, spread out across the summer --- actually eventually germinated and grew and now may be bearing fruit. See, this is why I would suck as a gardener. Because really, hello? Where are the instant results or acknowledgment? I wanted a job back in July, not this whole "plant seeds and water and wait" thing. At least when you feed pets, they run up and eat the food and then the food is gone. You water this patch of ground and it just gets wet and muddy and sits there. No payoff or reinforcement.

So anyway, I thought that sending out emails and letters and ad answers and everything and having them result in resounding silence meant that I hadn't gotten anything. In reality it means that there is often a 4-month turnaround towards actually filling a business job too, which I find interesting, given that everyone loves to slam academia for their weird way of running things and talk about how "oh business is just so much faster and more efficient." Well maybe at the top, professional levels it is. But at the "damn I just need a paycheck" levels, they stuff all the resumes in a pile and go back to other, bigger projects and putting out various fires, even if hiring this low-level peon might mean that they had more help in the fire fighting.

And of course adjuncts are last-minute contingency hires anyway. So this week I have done some, uh, "pre-interviews," where I met with people who I think wouldn't hire me or interview me earlier because they did not know me, and now want to have a "getting to know you" type meeting thing so that they have a face to put to the name and resume when they pull it out of the "we'll keep your name on file in case anything comes up" pile. They really wanted to have these meetings. The meetings have been surprisingly the same for "business" and adjunct work, and everyone has promised me that they do not have openings right now and can't predict when they will, but if they do, they'd love to call me and bring me in. So I'm feeling like I have made the hurdle into actual consideration for the next job that gets posted or comes up. This may all result in me not getting anything at all this fall and getting fifty-seven different types of work for winter. And knowing me I'd probably take all of them.

So I get nervous for interviews and I get nervous for "just getting to know you" meetings and I get nervous for those "come in and drop off your resume and we'll chat" thingies too. They're not particularly draining or bad, but, you know, it's small talk and lots of active listening with someone you don't know yet or particularly care anything about, and there's always this little clench in my stomach as I worry I'm going to screw something up royally, and then I don't, but I also don't get any definite offers to work for them right then and there, and I leave.

And since I don't like doing this, I have decided it is an "eat your vegetables" or "go to the doctor" type of thing, and I can just be nice to myself for the rest of the day. I went out and had a beer and chips and salsa yesterday, for example, even though it was only 3 in the afternoon, and I'm thinking I might do that again today after I write this up. I'm certainly not bothering to make myself write my article or fill out a postdoc app after these, because, really, actually making myself go to one or two of these is quite enough. If that shows I am incapable of doing adult work-type things, pffft, whatever. It certainly shows that I am not a go-getting people person who should work in sales (seriously! go look on and read some of the sales people advice and their resumes! Horrifying! I'm kind of appalled these people even exist!).

Anyway, I had a surprising number of those all get scheduled up this week, and now I seem to be done. Until something happens and I graduate to the next level of interviewing or something. That means that tomorrow, I promise, will be full of highly productive thinking and writing and applicating. (I need a better word for "filling out job apps." Well, maybe applicating works.) But first, I'm going to go find a Mexican food restaurant with a nice patio and hang out with some chips and salsa and beer.


Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Please write more about the chips and salsa and beer (or margaritas) at 3:00 in the afternoon. It's about that here and I am indoors grading on a gorgeous day. I want some vicarious fun, please.

Bardiac said...

I absolutely agree that any day when you have an interview, have to go to the doctor, or have to see a lawyer for businessy reasons are all days when no calories count and when you need to treat yourself with extra kindness.


I hope something turns up with good things for you.

Anonymous said...

What I wouldn't give for good Mexican, the likes of which I've only ever found in your neck of the woods. And a patio, somewhere warm, with beer!

Sorry bout the other stuff, tho.

Bavardess said...

Ugh, I hate those small talk 'getting to know you' meetings. Why can't we just do everything by letter, damn it?! And in my part-time gig, I work with a bunch of sales people. They truly are a breed unto themselves (and it is hard getting them to take 'no' for an answer).