Saturday, February 28, 2004

Yesterday I went took some tests and filled out the full application for that customer service job. I will know the results on Tuesday. The money is pretty good, for someone like myself with no experience and no education to speak of, but I see two potential problems that I have been trying to avoid. I am afraid of people, and I am terrified of telephones. My worst fear, then, is a person on the phone. And I would be required to spend 7 hours and 50 minutes of my day talking to people on the phone about their credit card problems, and then trying to sell them credit products and services.

I am sort of hoping that not having an actual phone, but just the headset, will alleviate some of the phone phobia. I normally deal with my phone fear by simply avoiding the telephone. I'd rather get in my car and drive to talk to a person in person than to call them on the phone. If I can't do that, I try to get someone else to make the call for me. If I have to make the call myself... it usually doesn't get made at all. Dialing is gut-wrenching, and then there's the nausea of waiting while the phone rings. Then, if I am unlucky, someone answers, and I have to speak. I stammer and stutter my way through what I need to say, sometimes digging my nails into my palms just to get through it. It's absolutely paralyzing.

And then there are the times that the phone rings and I have to answer. I am pretty terrified of that too, but there's no anticipation factor. I have gotten to the point that I pick up the phone without thinking about it, a little sleight of mind that prevents me from standing over the phone, wringing my hands, like I used to. Mostly, it isn't for me, so I just take a message. My conversation has become routine in that situation, and I am quite pleased and proud of myself that I can do that much. If it is a telemarketer or whatever, I just hang up. If it is someone I know personally, I can talk to them, usually. If it isn't a good friend or relative, they are often left hanging with awkward silences, punctuated with bursts of nervous babbling.

So, one might think that a call center job would be out of the question for me. But I think I am willing to give it a go, anyway. Most people don't like their jobs. You just have to do what you have to do to get by. And a job that I hate might be good incentive to get through school.

The husband had a potential temp job fall through yesterday, and he came home pretty pissed. He was going down to do paperwork, and found out when he got there that even though they had asked for a recent criminal history on his application, they actually needed 7 years on a background check, rather than 5, so his 5+ year old assault conviction came into play, and they said they couldn't use him. I imagine it was really humiliating.

So, he came home really upset and stayed grumpy until I found something to cheer him up. I grabbed some grapes and demonstrated microwave grape plasma , and that cheered him right up. And then he got a better attitude-- he had two interviews on Thursday, and we'll still keep looking for work.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

And the job hunting saga continues.

Today, I applied for a customer service/sales (aka telemarketer) job. Under our current circumstances, I think I can handle getting yelled at on the phone for $10/hr to start. It beats the pants off of nothing, for sure. I am supposed to go in for testing/interview on Friday morning at too-early-o'clock.

My husband applied for a few different jobs and did some phone follow-up. He's got some possibilities coming up for temp work, anyway. Hopefully something there will work out. He's got two prospects for permanent employment also-- he's got an interview on Thursday for a security guard job at the college he attends, and a possibility of getting a job as a floor attendant at the casino where his sister works. They aren't the kind of work he wants to do, though, so he's not acting especially grateful for those opportunities.

He called back one of the places that declined to hire him and talked to that guy for a while. Apparently, he might have stood a chance of getting that job if he had called right after the closing date, since interviews were granted to a small, random pool of people picked from the qualified applicants. The guy told him to apply again next time there's an opening-- probably next January. That's not really very useful to us right now, but I am sure he will give it another go next year if a position opens up. It would be good money and close to home.

I sort of wish that I had kept my crappy job at RGIS, but it is probably best that I didn't, since I was getting a little too rough around the edges. I have an insomnia problem that is made much, much worse by an irregular schedule. When I was younger, I could manage to drag myself around without the sleep, but now that I am older, it isn't so easy. I am not sure if it is all age, or if it is just because I have so many more daily obligations to fulfill now. I was also a little annoyed that I was being scheduled for a late night followed by an early morning, AND I was expected to drive to distant stores, simply because I have a van. I butted heads with my supervisor over the driving thing just before I decided to quit. He wanted me to drive 15 miles south to pick people up to go to a store 15 miles north of where I live. Other people who live closer to the stores have been allowed to go directly there, but he was counting on me driving, though he didn't come out and say so until I asked if I could just meet them at the store. I was peeved about him being peeved at me, and I got the idea that I was being scheduled just for the transportation. I almost wish I had gone and shown up in some little compact car.

I am really tired tonight. My husband had another little meltdown last night, and he wanted to talk to me about it. Actually, he wanted to sit there and look miserable and demand that I help him. He couldn't tell me what he wanted me to do. He just wanted me to make it better, I guess. I was irritated because he got me out of bed for that bullshit, and I had plans for this morning. Instead of waking up well rested, I have been dragging my sorry butt around all day because I didn't get to sleep until really late.

His little meltdown was triggered because of a job he didn't get. He has had a hard time even finding a crappy job in the last year. Noone wanted to hire him for $10 or even $15/hr when his last job paid $54k/year. He couldn't get another job at what he had been making because he needs more education for most of the jobs, even the ones exactly like the one he used to have. He's really been struggling, and because he hasn't found a job, he now has this huge hole in his employment history. He had a friend in management at a company who would have hired him if he could have gotten past the initial human resources review, but they rejected him because of the gap in his work history. His friend called last night to let him know what was up, and he broke down over it.

Ask me what I think about a "jobless recovery". Go ahead. Ask. Just make sure you are wearing a flak jacket when you do.

We've got to get something nailed down this week. It's required by circumstances. I don't want to lose our house, if we can avoid it. I don't know that anyone out there is reading this, but if you are, pray for us. I don't care if you are praying to Jesus or Allah or Krishna or Odin or Yemaya... Just keep us in mind.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Looking for a job sucks. It sucks butt. It sucks a big, hairy goat's butt. I realize that this isn't news to anyone who has had to find employment for themselves, but I had to say it anyway.

I have some work I need to do this week on a website project (for money! w00t!), but I also need to look around for a regular job that will result in a weekly or bi-weekly paychecks. I really want to be able to pay our mortgage. That's the most important thing. Being homeless with kids sucks even more goat-butt than looking for a job, and we are dangerously close to that. My husband has a few prospects and an interview on Thursday, but we need something to come through NOW.

I should be getting a little bit of child support this week. That's something. My husband did work that temp job, so he should be getting paid for that soon. I sold something on ebay-- not for much, but it's something. And I opened a little online shop at, as I had mentioned, with a few EverQuest related items available for now.

I plan on having a lunchbox design added tomorrow that's pen-and-paper RPG related-- it will be a "dice box" thing. I plan on putting up better designs of my own making, of the fantasy art sort, but I wanted to get something out there for now, until I can get to a scanner. I only have the "basic" shop, so I can only have one design for each type of item. That is, I can only have 1 white shirt, 1 grey shirt, 1 fitted white shirt, etc. I can't have multiple grey shirts with different designs on them, for instance, unless I upgrade to a premium shop. Right now, the only thing I can afford is free, so I will just have to cycle designs as I have them available. Anyway, the shop is at .