Job Ramble

I think that one of the most frustrating things about my job situation right now is how completely it rules my life. It’s not as if I’m constantly working (even though it feels that way) but because my schedule is so out of sync with everyone else in my life (not least of whom, of course, is the Man) it’s always very difficult to coordinate doing anything with anyone. I was at a bbq last night and had to leave just as things were settling into that nice after dinner rut where people hang out and shoot the shit and drink beer. I didn’t have to leave because I had a bus to catch–if I’d stayed, I could have caught a ride from someone–but because I had to work at six this morning, which means getting up at five thirty, which means that even though I left early, I still only got six hours of sleep.

And now, I’m sitting at a great coffee shop called Posies in far North Portland that I’ve been wanting to check out for a while. My plan coming here was to work on my resume and cover letter but I feel so drained from working this morning (even though I took a nap after work) that I don’t feel like I can focus and martial what little energy I have into working on finding another job. Instead, I’m writing this, complaining about how much my current job situation sucks rather than working to change that situation. Maybe after finishing this I’ll have gotten into a good enough groove in writing that I can work on my resume and cover letter. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just want to take another nap.

I called a couple of temp agencies last week and was basically told that unless I’d just been laid off from an office job, they couldn’t help me because there are so many people looking and so few available positions. It was this that made me realise that it might be time for me to seriously rework my resume to highlight what office experience I have, which, technically, isn’t much. However, that doesn’t mean that I can’t DO office stuff. I mean, half my job at the bookstore was helping to process requisitions and returns. And when I was managing the coffee shop in Maine (not to mention the work I did on the espresso training program and when I was the office assistant [duh]), a good chunk of that job was administrative stuff as well. So, it’s not as if I don’t have the experience necessary–hell, I have a college degree and a pulse, of course I can do office work! Still, with the economy as shitty as it is right now, it’s not been very easy to convince people of that because they don’t want to take chances and they get so many applications for whatever position they post that they can just take the most experienced person.

And there’s the rub. Even once I finish polishing my resume, I’m still probably not going to be the most experienced person in the pile. So how do I get them to take a chance on me? (Cue Abba) I keep hoping for something through someone who knows someone but even the most well connected of my friends have had nothing to offer except promises to keep their ears open.

Times are tough and I should be thankful to be employed at all right now–let alone with two jobs that are getting me by ok despite the shitty schedule and the state of complete burn out that I’ve achieved working them. Living in the state with the second highest unemployment rate in the country doesn’t bode well–but at least I’m not in Eastern Oregon, where one of the counties has a 20% unemployment rate (yikes). Of course, the dismal unemployment rate statewide (and city-wide, for that matter) hasn’t stopped people moving here without jobs. In face, I just talked to someone last night who moved here just a few weeks ago and is living off savings until he can find something (though he has absolutely no prospects right now). I’m happy I moved here when I did because I wouldn’t have left Maine if I’d stayed much longer. And I also at least had a few interviews set up before getting here which helped things a great deal. It’s kind of funny, though, because as my savings started to dwindle before I found work I started to think about signing up with temp agencies. I wonder where I’d be now if I’d done that…. Probably not completely burned out but maybe without a job, too.

Everything happens for a reason, right?

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