Bright Spots

A lot has happened since I properly updated! I’ve moved to Texas with my big sister. We have an apartment we like immensely and jobs we’re… putting up with, haha. I’m working two part-time jobs, sometimes totaling up to 48 hours a week. One is at a library, and it would be ideal if it wasn’t only 20 hours (and every weekend, to boot). The other is in retail, which… yeah. Retail. I have to talk myself out of quitting virtually every day. It’s not worth the money – except that I have to have the money. Urgh.

The last week has been especially tough for me. I wrecked my car, came down with a miserable cold, and my sister went home for Christmas, leaving me to take care of myself, the dog and the apartment alone. (I’ll be following along after her as soon as my work schedule permits — but that’s a whole new set of obstacles, involving a 12-hour drive on Christmas Eve after a full shift, in a borrowed car that I hate, with a dog.)

My GPS is in the car that I wrecked, at the body shop, so I’ve spent this week getting lost over and over again. That usually involves tears and panic, not to mention lost time. The housekeeping is falling to pieces because I don’t have the time or energy to clean up after myself. All I want to do is sleep and I can’t even sleep well because I’m so wretchedly sick.

Not a very merry Christmas season, you might say.

Except really, Christmas is the one bright spot in all the mess. Seeing lights and trees and decorations never fails to lift my mood, even if just for a moment. I still love the carols, even after hearing them on endless repeat at my retail job. I plug in the Christmas tree and outside lights at our apartment, even if only me and the dog are there to see them. And the one thought getting me through all this is that in a few days’ time, I’ll be home with my family, opening gifts and eating pancakes and doing all the things we’ve always done together. I won’t have to go to work or pay bills or do much of anything, just for a few days.

I’m trying not to think beyond that.

Job Hunting Pet Peeves

Job hunting is the worst.

I am tempted to just stop there, because everything about job hunting is terrible and there’s almost nothing more to be said. But that’s never stopped me from saying more things anyway, so here we go!

I am in the uncommon position of trying to job-hunt several states over from where I actually live. I’ll be moving to Texas this coming summer — sooner, if I can get a job! — and it would be so much nicer to have employment before I get there, instead of moving halfway across the country in blind faith that there will be income available on the other side. The good news is, the area where I’m going seems to have a steady supply of openings. The bad news is that I’ve been applying for those openings for a few months now without getting a single nibble in return. And since job hunting is, as previously agreed, THE WORST, the process has reminded me of all the things I particularly hate about the application process. So: JOB HUNTING PET PEEVES.

(1) Listings that don’t specify how much the job PAYSDudes. I am not looking for a job because I’m bored, okay? I’m looking for a job because I need MONEY. Will your job pay me enough to keep the student loan people off my back, gas in my car and food in my belly? That is the ABSOLUTE MOST IMPORTANT NUMBER ONE THING that I, and anyone else looking for a job, need to know. Why on God’s green earth would you withhold that information?

(2) Listings that don’t specify whether the job is full or part time. ANOTHER REALLY FREAKING IMPORTANT PIECE OF INFO. It’s great that the position you’re offering pays $13.50 an hour! Like, seriously, you have ALL my attention! But if you neglect to mention that I will only be working 20-30 hours a week, without benefits, there went all my enthusiasm because, as mentioned above, I have an eating habit to support.

(3) COVER LETTERS ARE EVIL. Why?! Why do you do this people? What possesses a company to require every applicant to write a soul-searching letter about why they want this job? Surprise: I want the job because I need money. That’s it. That’s all there is. I’m applying to your company specifically because… you have an open position that I might be qualified for. That’s… that’s all there is to say. This is a transaction, my friends; you offer money in exchange for work, I offer work in exchange for money. What more do you want from me?

(4) Please attach resume. Now please painstakingly fill in all the information you just submitted on your resume. Seriously, what is this crap? I mean, of course I understand why you want this information. Which is why I just gave it to you! You already have all this! I am literally copy-pasting from my resume to fill in these blanks! I even understand that maybe you want to be certain of getting specific info I might leave off the resume — the phone numbers of all my previous workplaces, maybe, idk, little non-standard things like that. Fine. Then either make a note that my resume should include these things, or just have me fill in the blanks instead of enclosing a resume. It is STUPID to require both.

(5) Minimum requirements leading to rubber-stamp rejections. This particular pothole is new for me, at least in the sense of being a problem. I had previously encountered applications that had some hard-line minimum or other — 3 years experience, for instance. The application asks outright, “Do you have 3 or more years experience with X?” and if you answer no, you get a rejection email immediately upon submitting the application. This has even been a problem for me before when I did have enough experience but clicked the wrong thing and had to jump through an amazing number of hoops to get my application considered. But now it’s becoming a more serious issue. A lot of the Texas jobs I’m finding are requiring (for reasons I can’t really understand) that I have a Texas driver’s license. Of course I don’t! I don’t live in Texas yet! And though I’ve yet to get a rubber-stamp rejection email, I sure haven’t been offered an interview yet either, and I’m starting to really fear that I’m being automatically rejected without anyone even looking at my application. Are these people deliberately going out of their way to avoid considering applicants who don’t currently live in-state, or is that just a side effect? Either way it’s crappy, and either way it needs to stop. SO THAT I CAN GET A JOB ALREADY.