Dear Pranksters,

It’s hard to follow a post like Swan Song up with anything. Everything I’ve managed to come up with sounds too trite, too stupid, too (as a former troll called me) “navel grazing*”

So I’m going to do just that. Write a post that is entirely naval grazing, entirely stupid and entirely trite. Why? Because obviously.

I thank you for your love on the last post – I’m sorry I gave you guys the Sads. It took me ages upon ages to write and when I did, I feared the outcome. This IS the Internet, after all. But I was overwhelmed by your comments. They’re beautiful – thank you.

A couple of you have asked if I’m okay, and the truth is that I’m not. I’m aiming for okay. I’m hoping that one day, I’ll wake up and not feel the weight sitting heavily on my chest. Until then, I’ll continue with therapy and finding My Happy – which, thanks to you, Pranksters, I feel whenever I see the things you’ve sent me – your old towels and sheets. Paper towels. The things a very small apartment needs.

I’m carefully labeling them with your name, then mine, and when I am done with them, I will send them on to the next person who needs them, under the promise that when they are done with them, they too will send them on, once they’ve put their name on the item.

I’d call it the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but we all know that my pants have a terrible temper and, upon occasion, run off to Vegas without me.

Got any better names for this project, Pranksters?

Love Always,

Aunt (motherfucking) Becky

(the “motherfucking” is silent)

Most of you know that with The Big D comes the need to work – more than I already do. If you’re not aware, I already write for a number of places, including The Stir (the comments are amazaballs, and by “amazaballs” I mean, “cruel,” so I don’t read ‘em – better for my overall sense of self-worth that way). I’ve spent countless hours working on Band Back Together, but, of course, that’s not paid work. Which means I have begun the job search.

The job search finds me with an odd skill set – I’m a nurse, but I haven’t practiced in so long that I’d guess dust would pour out of my fingers when I started an IV or shove a suppository up someone’s bung. And to be honest, it’s not that I didn’t like being a nurse, it’s that I LOATHED it – and frankly, I don’t have recent enough skill set for anyone to hire me (that’s not to say that I won’t do it – just that it’s not as simple an answer as it sounds)

I’m a writer – a versatile one – and that’s what I love to do. I’m not above trying something new – shit, with all the changes going on, new is no longer synonymous with bad. Imma embrace change if it kills me. (and it may)

My odd skill set non-withstanding (non-profit, BSN-RN, writer of Navel Grazing crap), I’ve been job hunting. It seems like every time I turn around, there’s a new job farm to check out. Which means I have to, once again, pull shit out of my ass to sound like a fully functional adult.

This is what I’ve learned on my job search:

0) Spraying your resume with Cool Water before handing it in to HR is a must – it let’s HR know that you’re flirty, yet casual (and probably NOT a date-rapist).

1) Adding things like, “Anus Bandit” under “skill set” is a good thing because you can simply say, “It’s Latin,” which makes you sound WAY smarter.

1) Make sure your email address stands out. Rather than the tame “becky.harks@gmail.com” send them the more flirty: “sex_kitten23@hotmail.com.” Everyone knows that Hotmail spells “classy.”

2) Make it very clear on your resume that you consider “office hours” to be “whenever you roll out of bed and no sooner.” Shows that YOU have the upper hand and know what you want outta life.

3) When setting up an interview, insist that it’s with “The Big Big Boss,” (even if – ESPECIALLY IF – he’s overseas and needs to be flown back in) and not some stupid HR slacker – you’re the best and you know it.

5) If you happen to spill coffee on your resume, remind the HR person that it shows that you’re a “multi-tasker.”

8 ) It’s not like anyone ACTUALLY checks out whether or not you have a degree – I mean, you can print one of those motherfuckers out on your computer! See?

things I've learned job hunting

THAT looks motherfucking OFFICIAL.

13) Bring a burly friend with you to interviews. Have him stand menacingly at the door with sunglasses on – if asked, say, “He’s my bodyguard.” If you want to REALLY stand out, launch into an off-key duet of “I Will Always Love You.” Bonus points of you can choreograph a dance scene involving the person interviewing you.

21) While choosing interview attire, choose one of those t-shirts you can make at Walgreens – preferably a picture of yourself giving the thumbs up. Like this:

things I've learned while searching for a job

(that’s frosting on my fingers)

34) Always include a link to your personal blog, especially if it’s something classy like, “Mommy Wants Vodka,” so potential employers can see just how stupid you are.

————–

Apparently, I’m going to have to ratchet it up a notch if I really want a job. Pranksters – do you have any jobbity-job idears for me?

———–

Also: what is my list missing? I feel like I’ve left out a veritable treasure-trove of awesome.

——————–

*riddle me WHAT you’d be grazing out of your navel *shudders* and I’ll give you a pony**

**probably***

***okay, that’s a lie, I’d keep the pony and put it on roller skates in my backyard

Comments are love, or some bullshit like that. Either way, they make my heart happy. You should leave (or at least THINK about leaving) a comment and SUBSCRIBE to my RSS feed or I will send my Chicago "friends" after you, yo.

36 Responses to Things I’ve Learned While Searching For Jobs

  • Susan Croft says:

    AB – I love you and I’m proud of you and I’m behind you 10 thousand percent in this (suckfest of a) journey. Clarify for me – are you trying to continue working from home? Or is this a “let’s keep the electricity on” job hunt? Are all 3 kiddos in school now?

  • Julie says:

    My cousin is the co-owner/operator of Weird Chicago Tours. I think that would be a perfect place for you. You would rock at pointing out where all the whores and serial killers used to hang out!

  • Beth H says:

    I may be stating the obvious and I’m sure you’ve heard/thought about this, but have you considered writing for a living? Your blog is amazing. Peddle the shit out of your mad skillz, yo!

    • Niki says:

      even amazing writers will find it very difficult to make a meager living from. Writing is not something that pays well unless you pump out best-selling novels. I myself have looked into it and it would be a great way to supplement an already existing income.

  • laura says:

    and whatever you do, make sure the word “guru” appears on your resume, along with “thought leader” and “dynamic thinker”

    Seriously – you got skillz, AB. you;d be a great Social Media nerd for any group. Especially a non profit. What about mental health groups, historically LAME-O in the social media enviro. I worked at one (they were full of the awesome) that was a little behind the times in technology (they still used a typewriter). Not all their fault, the State reporting reqs were primeval. you’ve developed an entire community around social media support. YOU are an EXPERT! might, i even say, GURU! Sell it sista!

    • Joules says:

      I am loving this idea and think you should take it one step further. Get ordained online in 5 minutes or less and start your own religion. The Church of Social Media. You are dynamic enough to carry that off, fo sho.

  • Michelle Green says:

    Keep at it. After many moons, I have had to return to “big girl” work. My resume as a homemaker is AMAZING to say the least but for some reason potential employers don’t give a hoot about my ability to feed an entire high school football team while doing laundry… they suck and I make next to nothing but I keep chipping away.

    Do something amazing so we, the pee-ons have someone to look up to.

  • Delfin Joaquin Paris III
    Twitter: tfpHumorBlog
    says:

    When they ask you your weaknesses, tell them:

    “I don’t find myself being able to leave work at work, and I find myself doing additional projects at home. I guess I just a weakness for excellence. Also, I steal tampons from the ladies’ room.”

  • kelly says:

    I know this wont sound glamorous or anthing, but if you had to, you could do home care for people. Just the fact that you have a BSN would be more than enough to get you a job taking care of an Alzheimer’s, MS, or dementia patient. Also, I have an at home job you could probably do. Email me if you want the details. I’m pulling for you :)

  • Brenda says:

    Sweetie – I don’t where you live ( and don’t need to know, lest you think I am a scary stalker or some such whackness) but what about something non-traditional that capitalizes on your IMPRESSIVE NURSING BACKGROUND but doesn’t require you to have any booger interface? Like a Care Coordinator in a Visiting Nurse office or a CSR for an insurance company or a medical records supervisor in a hospital or an office manager in a doctor’s office…….that sort of safe-behind-a-desk-and-a-phone job. You have probably already thought of these but more and more offices are looking to fill what was traditionally an admin-only job with people who have some clinical experience, like your IMPRESSIVE NURSING BACKGROUND (keep saying it!)

    If you have an active Craigslist in your area, you can both search for some private home support positions, too. You can likely weed out the need-the-colostomy-bag-changed-hourly jobs from the make-mom-tea-and-hand-her-the-remote jobs on the phone screen. Also, post YOURSELF on there as a home support person – you just never know if there’s a rich asshole out there who doesn’t want to spend the time with their parents anymore and will pay someone to do the easy stuff.

    You are such an ass-kicking life ninja! Use that IMPRESSIVE NURSING BACKGROUND and all your other fabulous skills, talents and experience and make this YOUR choice…….

  • magpie says:

    Don’t forget to add your hobbies! Like my personal all time favorite: colonic irrigation.

    Seriously, though, good luck.

  • Grace says:

    Don’t forget: When you go in for your interview, loudly announce “Let’s get this bitch STARTED!” Then plop yourself into the chair, kick back on the two back legs and put your feet up on the interviewer’s desk.

    That shows that you’re management material and above that entry level crap.

  • CassyLassy says:

    I have a couple…
    “What you wear” is NOT as important as “What You DON’T wear.” Less IS more if you know what I mean… ;)
    Your references should always include someone classy and well known. Like someone from the cast of “Swamp People” or (even better) “Jersey Shore.”
    Instead of including the “Things I Excel At” in your resume make sure you put the “Shit I wont do for ANYONE!” (i.e. They made me wipe dirty adult asses in nursing school. I will NEVER DO THAT FOR ANYONE EVER AGAIN!) This is an important one. You need to make sure your potential future employers always know you will not wipe their ass.
    :)

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    i’m pretty sure you forgot to add “wear spandex clubwear to your interview, with a maximim skirt length of ‘i see her pupik’ and be sure to wear strappy stiletto sandals with that”

  • Anjali says:

    I had had a former nurse come to my house to take blood/urine samples/vitals for my application for life insurance. I’ve no idea what the title of that job is, but she said she loved her job. It required a lot of driving, but she said she made decent money and could completely make her own hours. She only worked when her kids were in school.

    Best of luck! I’m pulling for you!

    • Cindy says:

      They are called Life Insurance Examiners. Somewhat of a cush job. Drawback is when the client doesn’t open their door- they don’t get paid. :( I’m in the industry and have friends that do it. You get to meet interesting people and get paid to drive around and stick people. Good times.

  • blu_canary says:

    Next time you worry about an interview, just imagine this:

    Someone I know went to an interview. For a rather high-profile position. At a school—with actual kids. And her husband went along on the interview as her “manager”. And she got the job!

    I’ve met this woman’s husband and he is SO not a selling point. Controlling and weird, yes. She, herself, is quite kind and we shall leave it at that.

    My point is, if she could get a job under those conditions, YOU can certainly get one on the merits of your resume.

    Hang in there!

  • Courtney says:

    You don’t have to publish this comment, but the phrase is actually navel GAZING…not grazing. :) For what it’s worth, I’d agree with utilizing your nursing skills. I don’t love my job either but….sometimes, we gots to do what we gots to do.

  • Pete In Az says:

    navel grazing?

    For bellybutton mints… Obviously.

    On the job front, Do a search on telemedicine. With your IMPRESSIVE NURSING BACKGROUND and IMPRESSIVE COMPUTER BACKGROUND, it might be something worth looking into. I think it is probably something you will have to go somewhere to do, rather then something you can do at home. It is a NPC ( no patient contact) job.

  • stephgas
    Twitter: stephgas
    says:

    i just landed a cushy (by my standards) job with order entry and customer service. of course, i’ve been averaging $130 a week working 39 hours a week at my current gig. so mcdonald’s would have been ‘cushy’.

    you should check craigslist. lots of interesting jobs on there.

  • a says:

    My recommendation for job searches is to review every job ad you can find, determine if you can somehow match your skills to it, and apply for everything. I’m sure you’ve thought of most things that seem obvious with your skills – now look for the job requirements and figure out how to fit your skills into them. And if all else fails, push carts at Home Depot. They have stock options even for part-timers.

  • Becca says:

    Well my Mom is a nurse, and she hadn’t worked as an actual nurse for about ten years when she took the job at the prison. She lasted a year before she quit, because like you, she hated it.

    Maybe you could look into freelance writing for a company? I don’t know, you’ve probably thought of that already. I will be sending all the good energy I can muster that you will find something you totally enjoy.

  • Southern Northerner says:

    I think you should try to make writing your new career. You love it, and you are fekking brilliant at it.

    Whatever you do, remember your pranksters are behind you 100%! :D

  • bekkitae says:

    Medical background + Lots of typing experience = Perfect Medical Receptionist!

  • B says:

    I don’t know if you’ll think this is boring but I work for a medical insurance company… gasp… as an RN and do chart auditing. Check into HEDIS chart review nurse. (Don’t ask me what it means, I’ve only worked at it for 8 years). It’s project based and pretty flexible. And no wiping anybody’s ass. Our motto is “Hey, at least we didn’t kill anyone today.”

    Good Luck!

  • starle says:

    Just want you to know that I am thinking of you. I have done the big D and it is no fun. You will not look back and laugh, but you will get to a better place. I do not think you should have to work at all. You do enough already. Adding a job might be too much. Get a better lawyer or something. Work might be a bit…ambitious. Hugs baby!

  • Kathleen says:

    How about school nurse? In a big enough school district, even being a regular substitute will make you enough to live on. (Or you could really embarrass your kids and try to get on as nurse where they go to school.)

  • You’re right that you don’t want this blog on your resume, but maybe you can put the band back together stuff on there if it’s not already- it’s volunteer work, but it’s still a significant effort on your part that uses many job-related skills.

  • daisybv2 says:

    I am so behind on everything I am trying to catch up again and get back in the blog world. I want you to know that I am thinking of you and that you ROCK.

    School Nurse?

  • Meagan says:

    Check if your state is hiring disability analysts. My husband has been one for years, and a number of his coworkers are nurses. While it is a state job, it is federally funded, so that adds a layer of job security.
    My mom worked as a home health care nurse after being out of the field for a decade. She worked night/weekend shifts to earn more money.

    Good luck!

  • Nikki
    Twitter: laughmoar
    says:

    Two years ago I lost my job. It sucked ass! I sent eight months on unemployment and looking for anything. I ended up making $11 an hour less than what I had been making for years but it was a job. Blah! Long story short I started blogging to pass my free time. I posted about the irritants to job searches – there are plenty. The thing that pissed me off the most was the lack of follow through for jobs I applied. People just don’t respond anymore. I came up with a form rejection letter. You may want to print it out and attach it to you resumes with a self-addressed stamped envelope. Just in case… http://highlyqualifiednotoverqualified.blogspot.com/2010/04/rejection-letter.html

    Good luck! It is not fun to search and not really know what you are trying find other than a paycheck. The right job will fall into your lap because you are obviously intelligent, articulate and can use proper grammar and punctuation. Also, you rock!!!!

  • Grazing upon navels just sounds gross. Grazing upon grass (with the 4 stomachs) is bad enough. It is as I’ve always said, ‘Don’t Eat Lint’… especially not belly button lint.

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