Thursday, February 21, 2008

A-Hunting We Shall Go

So today was a fun day. I woke up late (not that it matters much) after a long night of dreaming about the kind of insane stuff that I dream about. Likely you'll get to read about that later.

I took myself a good old fashioned "get ready for work" shower replete with a brief session of brushing the hell out of the kitty - to her unending delight. She purred and yawned and I just really relaxed into what used to be our little morning routine.

Had a lovely breakfast, made my way to the ol computer, wasted some time online and finally went to the closet to begin the bitter process of getting ready for the job fair. Oh lordy. What is it about department stores and dressing room mirrors that makes those outfits look so good and then we get home and try 'em on... instead of polished professionals we look like the punchline panel in the Cathy cartoons? After eighty shu-jillion different combinations, I allowed myself to accept the cranberry top with the smoky harvest-colored pants and had done with it. Oops, not to worry, I spent just as much time fussing over my suddenly mutinous hair. AND then it was time for these shoes - or those shoes - or those ones up there that I haven't worn since, oh that's why I haven't worn 'em since...
okay those shoes will do. Pile self into car. drive self to job fair.

Upon my arrival at the job fair, I was immediately struck by the artificial-ness of it. It was so polished and primped in there, each glistening booth just bursting with glossy pamphlets and pens and teency flashlights. This is how jobs are won? This is commerce in the employment world? geesh. Well I was there, and still unemployed, so there was really no point in doing anything but jumping into my tapshoes and seeing if I could dance.

Why hello! I said. So pleased to meet you! I said. Oh yes, I said. Oh indeed, how lovely and my goodness what a marvelous opportunity. Ahh yes, I said. Oh certainly that's an important factor when scheduling various whatevers into the ramifications of the third party. Why yes, my nametag DOES insinuate that I'm here looking for jobs concerning my BA in foreign languages but goodness knows I'm a trainer to the core and why yes I'd love a clicky pen with your logo on it how thoughtful. Well thank you indeed for your time and it was such a pleasure to meet you.

Not too bad. I can do this. Just glad hand and smile and whoopsie-do and there you have it! They all seemed so interested in my career path, and how much I delight in bringing technology to adults who just haven't had the right exposure to it... and yet walking away I couldn't shake the feeling that I was at some kind of twisted 10-minute dating game and that all of us nametagged "applicants" were just hard-up singles at a bar waiting to bump into the next one night stand. I wished there had been booze. THEN I decided, oh THEN I'd have been my buttery, charming self and they'd have all swooned at my feet. Yeah, I reminded myself, just before I barfed on their shoes. alas. If I can spare myself the barf, I'll have to forego the swooning and just accept that this is the protocol for finding a job sometimes and you can't win if you don't play and please, oh please gods please, let at least that one guy from the relocation agency call me back.

As I sat in my car afterwards, I was exhausted and my cheeks burned lightly from the gleaming smile they'd been forced to project. Three hours. Not too shabby. Got some good notes, got some good practice in introducing myself and my plan and what I have to offer. By golly I seem to have swindled some actual self-confidence out of this ordeal. My stars. I actually feel GOOD again about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

So, job fairs: absurd and obvious, and at the end of the day pretty much always a damned good idea. Now cross your fingers and hope that guy calls me or emails me in the next immediately.

Just so you know - I got home all abuzz with, like, pride or something. Looking all Ally MacBeel (okay, like three of her, but that's another entry) I sorted through my collected brik-a-brak, business cards, and pamphlets on *sigh* the foreign service etc... and decided then and there to bake cookies. Best. Idea. Ever. MMMMM Gooey.

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