Two weeks in…

(Photo: I looked in Google Images under “wigged out” and this is what came up. My post has nothing to do with cats. Or actual wigs. But I feel this photo sums up the Dadaist way my life is unfolding.)

I cannot believe it’s been two weeks since Epic Job FAIL. Here’s a state of my union.

The first week involved a lot of sleeping. Also, a lot of wandering around the house. I did managed to clean out and organize both the entryway closet and the master bedroom linen closet which was FULL of expired allergy/cold medication. So, you know, the ferrets can’t make meth anymore. And that’s good. Our water bill was outrageous.

This week has involved more sleeping, less wandering, and a new quirk – WACKADOO MOOD SWINGS. Like, minute-to-minute mood swings where everything is ok then it’s MOST. DEFINITELY. NOT. OKAY.

Both weeks involved a decent amount of wine, but not to the point that you should be worried.

So far, I have applied for thirteen jobs and sent out ‘feelers’ to around ten former colleagues, contacts, and other resources. Not even a nibble yet.

I pitched the following idea to Husband: why not try to cobble together a work-life around writing so that I am not exactly full-time freelance, but am making “enough.” Teaching English, contract proofreading, visual facilitation work, etc. After all, this is sort of my dream though in our minds it would happen on our terms, not because of a series of unfortunate events.  The response was lukewarm.

There are so many threads to consider here:

  • We won’t have employer-provided insurance or retirement plans, or maternity leave (see below for more on that) until one of us gets a job with those benefits (COBRA? Stupidexpensive.)
  • He doesn’t think I have enough of a client base right now, nor can I establish one quickly enough, to consider freelance writing as a full time job
  • Can’t start a family in this situation – I feel it would be irresponsible to actively try for kids (which is effing scary in and of itself – I’m 34 and now that me and my old ass are so very very old, there are no longer eggs in my ovaries, it’s all just quiche now)
  • Husband wanted to start nursing school but that’s not a great idea with me not working – we are having to defer plans left, right and center
  • Picking up holiday work for me might be less beneficial than my unemployment insurance which will let me work on writing and searching for a new job
  • Husband *would* have had a great job if….agh. Such a long story and it makes me so angry to tell it.

My plan (because I always have one) is to:

  • Continue searching for full/part/contract employment and just see what pans out
  • Keep sleeping when I feel like it
  • Work on my story some more
  • Hone my facilitation skills – I just requested like 10 books from the library on strategy, innovation, and organizational change – to help my visual facilitation practice (see my stuff at http://www.sarathompsonwrites.com)
  • Try not to wig out completely

 

Thanks, Jobfox…The Writing Spider Hates You Now

Dear Jobfox’s Resume Critiquer Madeline Willis,

You know I just lost my job right? And that’s why I searched for new jobs on your website. Mind you, it took me a good two hours to get through uploading my resume and filling out a couple of stupid questionnaires before I could actually LOOK for anything.

Seriously?

Can you make it more difficult to find jobs on Jobfox? Because I got nothing but time, sister. Time to fiddle around on your overly-elaborate site.   Jobfox asks you to “register” on their site which includes uploading a resume and filling out questions about your work history and it takes EONS. It is NOT USER FRIENDLY.

So once I did finally get all my little ducks in a row, I didn’t actually find any jobs worth applying for.

Believe me, Madeline, I’m a pro at search words for jobs.

Can you imagine my feeling upon waking this morning to find an email from you, Madeline Willis Candidate Service Consultant, detailing in 1,900 words (I counted) exactly how crappy and horrible my resume is? Madeline! I submitted my resume around 3 pm yesterday, EST, and according to the time stamp on the email you replied by 1:53 AM. You must have stayed up all night combing my resume and writing nearly two thousand words about it!

Bless your little heart.

However, Madeline, turnabout is fair play and I’ve provided a resume critique critique for you here so you can indeed become a better resume critiquer. Best of all, I’m not charging you FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS to do it. I’m doing it FOR FREE. How’s that for customer service?

(*Author’s note: I am listening to Pandora now, on my Baroque Chamber music station {don’t hate} and you know what’s on? Beethoven’s FIFTH. HOW APPROPRIATE.)

Madeline, I think you’re sabotaging your message here by saying things like:  ” I didn’t find [your resume] to be exciting, and it didn’t make me want to run to the phone to call you. In short, your resume is effectively sabotaging your job search.” Sabotage? Is that really a good word to choose? I suggest investing in a thesaurus to help you find more appropriate words. Frankly, I’m glad you don’t want to call me. You’re a robot.

Now, this was really hurtful.   “I’m concerned that your resume is selling you like a generic, and that it’s not likely to get picked among those of other candidates. The ideal resume design is airy, clean, and uncluttered, with the effective and strategic use of white space.”

White space?

Madeline, I really believe

that this email letter I got

was a generic auto-response generated from Jobfox to make me feel bad enough to pay you to “fix” my resume.

I

think

Jobfox

PREYS on people who’ve just lost their jobs.

Moving on.

“From the way the resume is worded, you come across as a “doer” not an “achiever.”” Thou dost wound me, lady! As a card-carrying member of the Overachiever’s Club of America, I don’t see how you came to this conclusion. Perhaps I should fax you copies of my middle school report cards? I reviewed my resume after reading your letter and truly – it’s CRAMMED full of ACTION VERBS, RESULTS, and OTHER FANTASTIC STUFF. Here are some verbs I used: planned, facilitated, organized, supported, wrote, edited, proofread. Those are verbs, Maddie.

But I guess since you’re probably an autobot….NAY a DECEPTICON…you can’t really read.

Here’s where we come to the crux of your letter. See how she repeatedly uses my name to show that it’s a Personalized Letter to Me?

Sara, it was difficult for me to evaluate your resume because there was so little information and this is a big problem. You would really benefit from working with one of our writers. They have a way of helping you articulate your strengths and identify accomplishments that will transform your resume into an impressive document. My clients tell me the process also helps to prepare them for interviews.

I would REALLY benefit huh…? Tell me more!

To encourage you to make the investment now, we are offering our best price on our resume writing services in the first 5 days after you view your resume evaluation. Save $100 off our price of $399, a 25% discount. In addition, we are the only resume service that offers the option to pay for your resume in installments. We spread the cost over six months to make our service affordable for everyone.

If you purchase in the next 5 days, you have the option to make a one-time payment of $299 (a $100 savings), or six monthly payments of $53.29 (a $100 savings). Either way, you will still have your new documents back in 4-5 business days so you can improve your chances of getting hired quickly.

Egads a discount! What would I do without that discount? The ONLY service to offer payment in INSTALLMENTS? So you’re like the QVC of resume rewriters!?

I felt badly about my resume after I read this letter. Well…until I realized it was a cleverly disguised marketing ploy designed to prey on the panicked job seeker who wandered into the Jobfox’s den…

In short, Madeline, and Jobfox – shame on you.

In conclusion, I feel my time at Jobfox has been wasted. I feel manipulated. I’m also sorry for the unwitting who pay you money to do anything.

Best regards,

The Writing Spider

PS – How’s that for a generic no-talent self-sabotaging copywriter?