They say to always keep your blog shiny and happy. Never criticize or belly-ache. Stick to the positive and never let on that something might be bothering you….
…bullocks to that…
So the interview with the recruiter went well. It was congenial and went pretty much as expected with, thank you for your time and we’ll get back to you. Although the friend of a friend of a friend of a colleague was so sure that this place was desperately looking for positions to fill, they still took one look at me and decided, “Mmmmmwell…maybe not…hiiiim.” Which is alright. I went in not expecting to be swept up and immediately asked to work that day. What one person says, and what is reality have always been entirely separate things.
Before my first face-to-face meeting with them, I was asked to finish a couple of assessment tests to see where my strengths and weaknesses are in regards to workplace acumen. Since I expressed an interest in Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable work (something where I have very little experience in, but find myself drawn to because it’s detailed work and I don’t have to deal with people), they provided me with tests in both. I failed miserably in both. “Not to worry,” said the nice representative. “I have a few more tests that you can take that would give us a better understanding of what kind of work you can do.”
“Oh,” I said. “That would be great.”
After a few moments of inputting data on her computer, she turned to me and said, “There. I’ve just emailed them to you. Just complete them soon and we’ll get started looking for you. So,” she continued studying a copy of my resume, “what are you looking to be? Reading your resume, it looks like you’re all over the place.” Which I am. In a normal situation, normal people would finish their normal school and find that normal job, and normally advance or apply their skills to a better paying position and another place of employment. Normally. In a normal situation, one would work to strive toward a certain goal. My resume looks like someone who is just trying to survive; instead of a straight line, it looks about as complicated as the tire tracks of a kid trying to parallel park for his driver’s test in the snow. I had no 5-year plan. Nothing is for certain. Especially when it comes to employment. I did what I had to do until I could no longer do it. As I explained this to her, she half-sympathized as she perused the rest of my resume while taking notes.
We finished our meeting, and I left. I got myself situation as soon as I walked through the door; changed into comfortable clothes, made sure my son was dry and comfortable, made myself a cup of coffee. I fired up my computer and readied myself for a session of test taking. I opened my email and sure enough, there was a list of tests, ranging from spreadsheet skills to proofreading prowess. This was all well and good until I got to the bottom of the list. There was a test that wanted to check my proficiency in Spanish.
I grew up in central Maine during the mid-70s to the late 80s. The landscape is rolling and mountainous. It’s people are and have always been a homogenized mixture of English, Irish, French, and Dutch…except for me. My lineage didn’t come from a straight line. I’m Italian, German, French-Canadian (Acadian) and Philippine. I was the darkest kid in those Grammar School class photos. I was 8 years old, playing in a playground when I was told by some fat, sickly, trailer trash Cracker to “get off my playground, nigger.” I am reminded of my non-linear heritage in the eyes of everyone I grew up with. I suffer the slings and arrows of bigotry blatant or implied. I get beat up for no reason. I move to New York where I could be amongst a deeper shade of soul, and nobody knows what I am. White people think I’m black. Black people think I’m Mexican. Mexican people think I’m Asian (I’ve been given the nickname “Chino” on more than one occasion by more than one person). Asian people think I’m a goddamn rock star….and I’m okay with that. I have seen bigotry for years, I know what it looks like, sounds like. Tastes like.
I see that test, and I’m back at that playground.
I try to blow it off. Focus on other things. But, it’s always there. I take a few more tests, then I tend to my boy, feed him, change his diaper. I go back to the list, and I cannot proceed any further.
Technical difficulties, the kind you experience when you have been at a company at least a little while, were preventing me to continue. A page kept popping up saying that my session was still going on. I log out, thinking that might help. I log back in, same response. I leave it alone for a few hours, come back, same response. Come back the next day, same response. I contact the help desk, they respond back…hours later, essentially telling me the problem is at my end and not there’s, turn it off and turn it back on….that kind of thing.
I respond back, something to the effect of, “All I wanted to do was take some tests, how did I have to end up at the mercy of a third party IT department?” They responded back…hours later saying, “Look dude, I’m super lazy and it’s Friday. Could you like, give me some contact info and I could like, probably get back to you? Thanks, dude.” Paraphrasing, but not by much. Hours later. Not within the hour, many hours later.
So, let me sum up: I’m at the mercy of an apathetic, third party, IT department who can’t do anything because reasons. I’m waiting for them to get their act together so I can take a list of tests that I’ll probably fail, to be checked and scrutinized by a woman who thinks I’m a migrant farmer only to be told that my resume is screwy and they might get back to me once they have a position open up for a groundskeeper. Which is, y’know, KINDA the same as accounting.
Perhaps it was the past few days of putting up with this nonsense. Perhaps it was the rejection letter I received today had something to do with replying to everyone at the organization by saying, “Look, thanks for everything, but I can do rejection on my own.”
So, I’m back. Back to blogging, back to writing, back to creating, back to my quest of working on my own. I know I’m missing something about the 9 to 5 world, but if it means ignorance on this level, I’m not missing a thing. I’m glad this happened.
REVISED: I apologize. I’ve always had the habit of not completing a thought. It’s a nasty habit that I hope to shake the longer I write. This post was a lethal combination of writing while angry and continuing to do so until I fall asleep on my keyboard. I had more on my mind that I meant to get out there so, here it goes…
I’ve always been a subscriber of the “Do What You Love…” movement, and I’ll probably continue to do so no matter how many times I get slammed to the dirt.
However, that being said, I’m finding less and less things to love. I try and fail and repeat and hopefully love might come out of it. These days, I’m trying real hard to hold onto the things that I love to do. I have passion, but is it enough? I have ambition, but it is enough? I have a plan, albeit flimsy, but it’s better than nothing. Is that enough? Seriously, I feel my mood starting to stain everything in my brain a deeper shade of burnt umber. I’m doing what I love, just waiting for the money. Is it enough?