Job Hunting Sucks

This week I got wind of the perfect job and sent in my resume.  My anticipation (or maybe my desperation) slows time to a sluggish pace, giving me way too much space to second-guess myself.

I should add every minute job and favor I do to my resume, so they know I’m not a slacker.  

I shouldn’t have said I’m in school.  They’ll think I’m an immature 20-something.  They’ll assume I give school priority over my job.

They figured out my age. I’m too old.

They already gave the job to someone else.

The font on my resume was wrong.

They saw my ugly Facebook photos.  They don’t like the cut of my jib, the mad gleam in my eye.

I wish I could be brutally honest on my resume rather than curt and professional.  Instead of, say, “extensive customer service experience,”  I’m dying to say, “I am the customer service QUEEN!  Seriously, I’m super nice.  And my hair always smells good.”

Instead of hoping that a potential employer makes the connection between my experience and their needs, why can’t I just spell it out? “I spent 11 years as a 911 operator helping angry, scared, hurt, confused, drunk, and/or crazy people through all manner of crises .  Your customers would be a refreshing change.”

They want someone with good writing skills, so I point out that I’m an English major and include my experience editing student publications at school.  Boring!  How about I point out that I’m a recovering Grammar Nazi?  That’s got to hold some weight.

I had a bit of a false hope recently.  About a year ago, the leadership at my old job changed.  The new chief is the guy that didn’t want to fire me but had to.  Since the big change, a good friend/ former coworker has been trying to convince me to ask for my job back.  I have a million reasons for not doing it, but it boils down to…how?  How do I ask the people who kicked me out so convolutedly to let me back in?

[Believe it or not, “convolutedly” is a real word that I didn’t make up.]

Several weeks ago, this friend emailed me and asked for an update on my sad little life.  I decided to be honest, even though the answer wasn’t good.  I didn’t get a response.  Oops, I thought, overshare.  But she emailed me back recently saying she had been making inquiries, and found out that other people had been making them, too, regarding my possible return.  The feedback was positive.  “We are hurting for dispatchers,” she said, “and if you’re hurting for a job I think it’s worth a shot.”

I was still skeptical, but screw it, I’d do it.  I am indeed hurting for a job and maybe the time has come to drop my pride a little.  Besides, I owe her for putting in the effort on my behalf.  So I shot off a friendly email to my old director, whom I haven’t spoken to in about a year and a half.  I thought it best to work up to the matter at hand, rather than jump right into it.

I got one short response.  Friendly, yes, but solitary.  So much for working up to it.

My friend started enlisting more help, and I started making my own inquiries.  I was excited.  To have my job back would be phenomenal!  We could have lives again!  We would have everything we need again.  We could have things we don’t need, too, things that merely make us happy.  We could see movies again, and take mini road trips, and buy birthday presents.  Andrew could build his TARDIS.  Jess could have clothes that fit (since she lost nearly 60 lbs.)  I wouldn’t feel like most of the civilized world was out of my reach anymore.

I decided if I was going to lead this budding movement, I’d need more reassurance.  I emailed the department’s HR person and, bush-beating be damned, asked if it was possible, if I should even bother pursuing this.

According to her inquiries:  no.  Damn.

Well, so life goes on.  I keep putting one foot in front of the other and move forward  because that’s all I can do.  

My resume is still floating around the universe, I’m still super nice, and my hair still smells great.  So all is not lost.

My Backyard – The Summer Tour

It has been a tough few months.  I finally hit my breaking point, and hermited myself away to calm down and regroup.  I absolutely hate writing when I’m in a bad state of mind, so I took to reading voraciously instead. The time has come, however, to unhermit myself.  So last weekend I grabbed my camera and documented the better aspects of my reclusive little world to share.

It is definitely summer here.  We have been in the 90s (30s C) for a good couple of weeks now. I staked a claim for myself in the shade of our big redwood tree in the backyard to get away from our oven of a house.

My new throne.

My new throne.

It is theeee best place to sit and read.  It’s also a nice place for a nap, which is unfortunate for the neighbors because I snore like a freight train.

The view from my chair, looking up.

The view from my throne, looking up.

The four trunks of our coast redwood tree.

The four trunks of our coast redwood tree (Sequoia sempervirens).

Once the yard is completely in shade, which is at around 4pm, I might turn on a sprinkler and water something nearby to feel the spray carried on the wind.

four o'clocks

Like these four o’clocks (Mirabilis jalapa), which grow wild in a little corner of the yard.

Or my sister's little garden.

Or my sister Shelly’s border garden.

If it’s particularly hot, I’ll sit directly under the water, which is kind of boring really because I can’t read or tippity-tap on my laptop, and no one ever wants to join me.  I need to suffer mightily to go that route, but go it I do.

The grass is dead in the majority of the yard.  Even the usual weeds such as clover, couch grass, and dandelions, have all but disappeared.  There is still some color to be found, though,

From Shelly's garden to the front of the house:  dead grass, green fruit trees.

From Shelly’s garden to the front of the house: dead grass, green trees and shrubs.

and interesting things abound.

busted pots 2

Tree stumps bursting from nursery pots

These are near the four o’clock colony.  I think they were silk floss trees.  My step-dad, Rob,  propagated them from seeds he liberated from a tree at a golf course,

busted pots 1

Ceiba speciosa, if I’m correct.

and then apparently forgot about. They took root where they stood, wimpy plastic pots be damned.  During a bad windstorm in 2011, Rob worried that they would fall onto the neighbor’s property and cause damage.

spiky logs

Spiky wood pile.

So now they’re firewood.

Have you ever seen one of these?

Homalocladium platycladum

Homalocladium platycladum

It’s known as ribbonbush, ribbon plant, tapeworm plant, or centipede plant.  It is native to the Solomon Islands.  This one is at the edge of Shelly’s garden.

Ribbon plant "leaves"

Ribbon plant “leaves”

It has  long, flat, segmented “leaves” that are actually flower stems.  Tiny flowers pop out along the edges.

Homalocladium flowers

Homalocladium flowers

Here’s the color I promised:





Purple lantana

Purple lantana



Passion flower and fern

Passion flower and fern

Passion flower face

Passion flower face

And this???

And this???

I have no idea what this little orange flower is,

The orange flower's vine

The orange flower’s vine

but its vine is gigantic.  This picture doesn’t do it justice.  By my best estimate it’s 15-20 ft tall, 60 ft long, and 30 ft wide.  It is tended by at least three different property owners. It was here when my parents bought the house over 30 years ago.   Come to think of it, so was that passion vine, and the lemon tree.  Of course the redwood tree.  Oh!  And the black walnut tree!

Black walnut tree, as seen from my bedroom window.

Black walnut tree, as seen from my bedroom window.

When we moved here this tree had a huge hole decayed into the trunk, like a child’s drawing minus the owl inside.  Rob said the tree was rotten and told us not to eat the nuts, and said it would likely die within the year.  Obviously it didn’t, and a couple of summers ago we discovered that the hole has completely healed over.  We’re still scared to eat the walnuts, though, so the squirrels and wild parrots get their pick.

At the base of this tree is another border garden of exotic plants.

Garden under the walnut tree.

Garden under the walnut tree.

Taro, aka elephant ears.  (Colocasia esculenta)

Taro root plant (Colocasia esculenta). Since we grow them for decoration, we call the plants elephant ears.

Nestled into the tree itself are some amusing knickknacks:

Large glass fishing float

Large glass fishing float

Lion's head

Lion’s head

M 'n M man

M&M man

Other curious things are scattered around the yard, too.

Cony sentinel

A cony sentinel.

Cast iron cockerel

Cast iron cockerel left.

Cast iron cockerel right.

Cast iron cockerel right.

An ugly cactusy thing with pretty yellow flowers.

An ugly cactusy thing with pretty yellow flowers (and another bunny).

Logs from a downed oak branch, a casualty of the 2011 windstorm.

Logs from a downed oak branch, a casualty of the 2011 windstorm.

Lantana berries

Lantana berries

Old ferns tangled up in the rangy passion vine.

Old ferns tangled up in the rangy, spider webby passion vine.

Today is overcast and the heat isn’t quite so bad. Cross your fingers that it holds!