Saturday, May 1, 2010

Still crawling through the desert of joblessness

Sigh. This week is exactly like last week: nothing to report, but nothing completely over with either. Argh. I'm still playing phone tag with someone in the HR of a CC that, I think, wants to interview me. But Sleepy Woman, from the lack of energy and interest in the messages she leaves on my phone (or her own voicemail message, for that matter), doesn't sound like that is a very likely or exciting possibility.

A while back I had decided that I need to just give it up and move back into my parents' house, but then little things keep popping on the horizon that look like possibilities, and I think, hey, I might be able to get this one and why bother dealing with moving if I'm going to be moving somewhere permanent soon anyway? Then that oasis turns out to be a mirage, and I keep crawling along.

What's worse, I keep seeing interesting postdoc-type things and other job possibilities appear on the chronicle and whatnot. And one of my friends keeps sending me everything she can find for me to apply to. I could extend this waiting and wishing stage and my underemployment straight on through to next fall's job search. Siiiiiiiiigh. I don't want to do that, but I feel like I should be applying to stuff, you know, trying harder, actually doing something to solve my life, instead of just sitting around waiting for the latest search committee to reject me.

Thing is, it's very hard to apply to nonacademic jobs while I still have academic ones on the string. I've basically given up and can't bring myself to apply to The Gap or whatever else local is hiring when I have this feeling of "any moment now my time will come" on these jobs that are juuuust out of reach there, full of cool shade and shining water. I think I need to move away and force myself to completely give up on academic employment before I can make myself really go for the nonacademic search in a serious way. Which then leads back to the thinking above. Why can't search committees just hand you the job at the end of the interview and say, here, have a beer! You're hired!

And I certainly haven't been doing anything to make my candidacy more attractive, like writing anything or even reading anything. Not even fun stuff like going for walks or to the beach. Basically, waiting around and sitting around feeling depressed are full-time enterprises that do not leave room for actual activities, not even for applying to more jobs. It sucks. Basically I have totally failed on my new year's resolutions, cause I haven't even been cooking, what with all my health things still going on unresolved, and haven't been pushing myself to go outside or socialize with people or anything else I dedicated myself to doing. Even the poor cats are feeling neglected ---- not for food or petting, but I haven't brought out the cat toys and really exercised them for months. Poor kitties.

Bleah. This may stay like this until the end of the month. I keep trying to start some project or read something or watch something or just break the lassitude, but it falls by the wayside after a couple of days. I'm just keepin' on keepin' on. Thing is. that's both really boring and not doing anything for my sense of having a life.


Dr. Crazy said...

1. You have *not* failed on your New Year's resolutions because the year isn't even halfway over yet.

2. (((Sisyphus))))

3. I *know* that things are going to turn around for you. I don't know *how* - academic job? staff job in academia? non-academic job? - and I don't know when, but I know YOU. And YOU are fabulous, and this is NOT going to be your life forever. I know that's small comfort given the current state of things, but you are not doomed to your current state forever.

4. Kitties, as demanding as they are, are quite forgiving and wise, so do not feel guilty about not playing with your kitties. For exercise they have one another, and also, they are not dogs, who need constant attention and exercise. Kitties are like furry life partners as opposed to furry children, and thus they understand when they need to pick up some of the emotional slack.

5. Don't deprive yourself of all fun things because of the shitty situation re: jobs. Give yourself one day a week to do fun things - whether to see friends, to read something totally trashy, to do whatever it is you want to do.

Keep the faith, Sis. Things really will, somehow, get better.

Belle said...

What I know of you is from this blog - and I agree with Crazy. Keep the faith, keep plugging away, and know that your friends out here are rooting for you.

heu mihi said...

Nothing to add but agreement. Concurrence? At any rate, I concur with the above. Poor Sisyphus! I feel for you. But it will end--you will have A job, and do interesting things, and it will all be better someday.


P said...

I never see a glass half full, and I've been cynical since the age of 12, but I still *truly* believe, based on life experience alone (and I'm old), that things have a way of working out.

That's not at all what you want to hear, I realize, but it's the first thing that came to mind.

That and what all of the above said.

Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

You should come over to my house. I'll make you cocktails. It WILL get better!

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Yeah, as you know, I'm with you. I spent yesterday afternoon converting my CV to a resume. It felt like getting revenge on the job market, which was sort of pleasant. So far, I've only found one job to apply to. (I have a fair amount of editing experience, so I'm going to try to find something like that.) But I'll keep looking. Someone asked yesterday if I'd give up teaching at warm-and-fuzzy school if I got an editing job. Uh, yeah. Even an entry-level full-time editing job would pay at least ten grand a year more. I might tell WAF school that I'd continue to teach night classes for them in literature, but I'd definitely give up the comp part. You could have it, if you want!

So we'll see. I do still have two active applications out in the academic job market. But I don't even care at this point.

Unknown said...

Sisyphus and Fie Upon This Quiet Life!, your posts almost made me cry (I linked over to Fie...). Really. I'm so overwhelmed these days by the hopelessness of the academic job market and the absence of ANY nonacademic jobs I'm currently qualified for (as you know, even the entry-level jobs like those I had before grad school have gotten few and far between and really competitive). I hate to see others in the same position, but it actually makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one pushed to the edge, after giving up my apartment, struggling to survive on too many underpaid adjunct gigs, and losing my health insurance at a time when I REALLY need it. Especially when I make the mistake of reading comments other academic blogs like I did today, where established academics seem to take absolute joy in callously stomping all over "whiny" job seekers because we apparently have no right to be scared, desperate and frustrated-- or at least we should shut up about it because there are people with "real problems" out there. Yes, real problems like facing eviction, unemployment, and running out of money while going deeper into debt. Ugh. The end of my rope seems closer and closer, and I'm glad you are so articulate about these issues.

Sisyphus said...

Oh new, I hope you have some sort of safety net for your situation! I am sorry things are so sucky. I am slowly working my way up to accepting moving back into family's house (mainly because I think my sister will cave and let me in instead of me moving in with mom and dad, which still sounds too terrible) and I hope you have someone you can rely on if it gets too desperate!

Good luck!

Arbitrista said...

Watching so many smart people go through what you have makes me more convinced than ever that the academic hiring process is irredeemably broken. It's just inhuman.