Blog of a Million Dreams

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August Winding Down...

...and the job search is getting frenzied.

I've applied to all local districts, applied even to jobs in another state. Now, I'm trying to think outside the box.

Tutoring? Well, I lined up a job, just to have them cancel on me 2 days before it was supposed to happen.

Now I'm considering 'retraining' but have to think through asking the EDD for permission. And there's a chance I'd be denied, so I'm really thinking about a way to do it.

I'm thinking of cosmotology school, as an esthetecian. But it's at least $4,000 at the community college (probably more at a private school). And who knows how much at a private school. And it would take at least a year, at the end of which I'd have to cram for an exam.

But the end result could be a stress free, relaxing career, with the potential for travel. And my dog might be able to hang with me, if I found the right salon (he's little...I could put him in a back room and no one would know. plus he doesn't bark).

So, that's what I'm thinking now.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Job Search not going well. In any event, and in honour of yesterday's phone call from a 'pretend' employer, I'm venting below.

Dear Hiring Manager (and posers),

I am tired of responding to ads for positions that you really don't want to fill. Or don't really have. You see, despite my being qualified for every, single degree, credential, skill or ability you have chosen to list I rarely hear back from any of you.

And when I do, it's usually a one-liner along the lines of..."we had so many qualified applicants and decided not to call you for an interview....thank you for applying.".

Although, this morning, I did have one lovely rejection email (a one-liner) that stated..."Thank you but you do not meet my client's qualifications." I guess I should be grateful that I even heard back. Clearly, however, the client had some qualifications in mind that weren't listed in the job posting, because I met all of them. I'm not wasting my time applying for those jobs I'm not qualified for. Perhaps I should've included a photo with my application or is there some other qualification that I'm not aware of? Perhaps that qualification should be included in the posting!

But the doozy of all doozies are the Pretend Employers who take up my time, energy and cell phone minutes with pretend job offers. You know who you are. Countrywide, Aegon, Farmer's Insurance...

Usually they have a phone number that looks out of area...and I'm thinking, "hmm, maybe this is a phone call from a job I applied to in another state or maybe it's Prince Charming calling to ask me to the ball..." so I answer, full of hope.

"Hello, I'm trying to reach Cecilia Santos, regarding her resume," a distinguished voice rumbles.

My adrenline actual voice! An actual person! Asking about me! About my resume! Maybe a job...

As the voice drones on, little information is given out. Instead, this person (Juan or David, sometimes it's a woman) compliments me about my resume.

"I found your resume on ...>Careerbuilder, Craigslist, Dice, you name it<...and you seem like you would be a good fit for a position that we have open. Are you available for an interview tomorrow?" Sounds too good to be true, right? Now, in the past I would've been all over this like jam on toast. BUT, having survived a layoff in '05, I now know that if the person on the phone doesn't immediatly tell you what company they represent, it usually isn't about a real job.

"What company are you calling from?" I now ask.

The usual response is, "Oh, we are a well known financial services company and we are actually experiencing growth and expanding right now. This is a great opporturnity and I have an opening to meet with you at either 2 or 4 tomorrow...what would be a good time for you?" Now the pretend employer is hoping that I've forgotten to ask about what company they represent.

So I persist, asking again what company they are from. And again, the attempt to distract..."We are actually hiring right now and, as I can see from your resume, based on your skills'd be a great fit, so I have only 2 openings tomorrow, when can we schedule an interview?"

At this point, disgusted, I start to list companies, "Are you calling from AIG, Aegon, Farmers, Countrywide?"

Finally, a good 20 minutes into the conversation, and COSTING ME MONEY on my cell phone (no I don't have unlimited minutes I'm on a budget you moron), the caller (pretend employer) admits that they are looking for someone for a COMMISSION-ONLY position.

Guess what, a-hole...STOP calling me and trying to make money off my unfortunate job (or lack of) situation. I am looking for a job. I have experience. I have degrees, credentials and skills. I'm not working for free. I can do that for myself and get more done and reap all of the benefits myself.

So....I guess the main thing that I'm trying to say is this; HR people don't know how to hire qualified people and Pretend Employers are the scum of the earth. Stop posting positions without listing ALL of the qualifications you are looking for and stop calling me with pretend jobs.



Thursday, August 06, 2009

Reads A Lot

I've read a lot this summer...

Some of the books I've read so far are;

Microtrends by Mark Penn

This was a pretty interesting book. Mark Penn, according to his book, was responsible for getting the Clintons in office...because he was able to see the country's trends and understand what these trends meant. The premise of the book is that a small percentage of the world's population...a miniscule amount of people..can effect change. Because a small percentage of people is still a large enough number of people to create a market for something, finding a niche can create huge social change.

Some of the upcoming trends that Mark Penn talks about have to do with blogging, knitting, pet owners, extroverted technology-philes, older dads and more. I did disagree with his chapter about young women. He claims that in America today, there will be a larger percentage of single, unmarried women who will not find husbands because there are more men than women now then any other time in history. However, I believe Mark Penn failed to take into account the social engineering in Asia, where people are opting to abort their female children (or, worse, commit infanticide). And many Americans are choosing to marry non-Americans, so I think that American women will find husbands in Asian countries where there aren't as many women.

However, while it did at times drag on, this book did have a lot of ideas for thought. And it actually tied in with the next book I read, below.

I also read

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

This book attempts to explain why some people are a huge (financial) success, while others flail away, never going anywhere. His book made a lot of sense. He shows the outlying factors that led to the successes of people like Bill Gates. He also explains why some people were failures (many times they were simply born at the wrong time, or, in the case of hockey players, born in the wrong month). He also described his own family and why (or more importantly, how) class matters. This was a good read.

Currently I am reading

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

I've just started the book and it does drag a bit (especially when he cites these scientific papers). But I completely agree with what I've read so far. Eating processed food is a good way to get really, really fat.

So far I'm enjoying my books! Oh, I'm also reading Finding the Sweet Spot by Dave Pollard...but I have to do the exercises so I'm putting it off a little bit. Also, I checked out Debra Winger's book from the library but haven't had a chance to get to it.