Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The WhirlWind of Being 33

Wow - my 33 year on this planet has been pretty eventful. Already. And it's only Day 2.

Yesterday, at 5:02 p.m. I received THE CALL. And, I am unbelievably, ridiculously, supercalifragilisticexpialidociously thrilled to say I GOT THE JOB.

I won't get into all the hairy details, but the sweet girl from HR who called is sooooo quiet, demure and apologetic that I thought for sure it was a No Go. But then she said the magic words: pleased, offer and excited. Those are good words. Really positive words. Make Kalesy happy.

The joy somewhat mitigated the frustration I'd felt over having to serve boiled lobsters and fish chowder all afternoon. (Without tips, may I add, since I'm officially training. But that's a whole other post completely...)

So, yea, it's been kind of an emotional whirlwind of a few days. And I really need some downtime. To integrate and assimilate all this new information.

And, of course, to deal with the emotional hangover that is bound to be the byproduct of the last few months.

In a way, I wish I'd posted more about the entire situation. But then, I kept thinking, who wants to read a bunch of junk that basically says, "I'm scared. Wicked terrified. Kind of hopeful. But mostly scared." ???

So, I didn't. And while the chronicle might have been interesting for me to read in hindsight you, gentle reader, should probably be very very happy that it didn't come to pass.

And now, since I've been on my feet carrying heavy trays all night and the alarm is going off at 5 a.m., I should go to sleep. Not sure when I'm gonna tell them at the restaurant that, oh yea, I'm quitting. I should do it soon. But I feel guilty over having them train me and then leaving. Maybe I'll wait and see what next week's schedule looks like. After all, I have LOTS of free time to fill up between now and August 18.

Here's to an amazing year!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Do You Enjoy Yourself in a Crowd?

Hi there. Hypocrite girl here.

Let me explain. I spend a lot of time on my yoga practice. Not just the postures, but the chanting, the meditating and now I'm even reading a book on yoga philosophy and its application to modern day life. (It's Yoga and the Quest for the True Self and I highly recommend it.)

And all of this practice conditions me to want to focus on the Now, the Real, the phenomenal world (in both its connotations) that surrounds me at this moment.

All of this seems much easier said than done. Because, right now, I'm definitely focused on the recent past and the upcoming future and can't seem to shake it out of my mind.

I have come to terms with how the interviews went. Even the tough cookie. I know my stuff and I feel confident that I proved that. Now, my attention has turned to the psychometric evaluation I had to take.

You know these things. Twenty-two pages of true or false questions about ridiculous things like whether you feel comfortable in crowds or if you feel comfortable speaking your mind even when authority is present. These tests drive me crazy because I don't see those things in black and white.

Define crowds. Do you mean being at the Celtics Rolling Rally? Or a large yoga workshop in the middle of a kirtan?

What do you mean speak your mind? Do you mean stand up for your opinion? Or tell your boss s/he knows where to stick it?

And they tell you with these things "there is no right answer." But that is just not true. I've heard dozens of stories of people who got passed up for a job because of their results. So, this gives me one more thing to obsess over.

I took the test on Tuesday. Haven't gotten my results back yet. I don't know if the Company has gotten theirs. (I can only imagine they'll come out at the same time). So, it's Saturday and I have two full days of not knowing anything ahead of me.

The folks I spoke to on the interviews all said I shouldn't expect a decision until next week. So I really have no more information available to me over which to be concerned. The reality is, corporations move slowly. Even when they're in a hurry. And they can't officially make any kind of decision until these damnable results arrive.

(Yes, I realize I sound exactly like I'm engaging in self-soothing rationalization. Because I AM.)

So, I have no news. And I can only pray that no news is good news.

But the practical and tangible upshot of no news is that, Monday morning, I don my black pants and rubber soaled shoes and begin my career of selling fish to tourists in T-shirts. Be careful what you wish for...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What does that even mean?

I am loathe to admit it, but the confidence and optimism of last week have worn off somewhat. I know this is my own fault. I haven't been sleeping very well and definitely haven't been meditating as much and so I am much less centered and grounded. Only myself to blame.

Which makes it even tougher to admit that yesterday's phone interview went less than stellar.

To be fair, it wasn't awful. I could tell from the get-go that this guy was a bit of a tough cookie. Struck me as the kind of guy who probably doesn't toussle his kids' hair after his ballgame and tell him, "Love ya, kiddo." But what do I know? Anyway, I felt off-kilter and thus didn't shine as brightly as I have for the other four interviews.

All this is bad enough to know. But here's what makes it worse. After a few hours, I sent off my obligitory "Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today" email and got this response:

Thank you for sharing your qualifications and experiences with me today.
Good luck in your future endeavors!

Now, seriously, what does that even mean?

Most of the people I've spoken with seem to think that it's no big deal, that he's probably just an awkward person or bad emailer, that he was one out of four, that things still look hopeful and that it's all still okay.

I'm doing my best to believe and trust that this is so. I know for sure shootin' that I am right for this job - and that I wasn't right for my last one. And I have to believe the Universe is giving me not so gentle nudges in the right direction to fulfill my higher good.

Here's to good news coming down the information highway.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Conditional Existence

You may have noticed I haven't posted in awhile. Which, really, isn't practical since I have nothing these days to do....

You see, I am officially, completely and utterly unemployed.

The ax finally dropped. In a very unceremonious fashion, I was downsized, laid off, made redundant. Last Tuesday. I've been public welfare recipient for almost a full week.

Ironically enough, on Wednesday, I had a face-to-face interview with a company that I really (really, really) want to work for. So the layoff saved me having to call in sick.

I think the interview went well. I know that it went well enough to get me to the next - and final - round of selection. It's down to me and one other candidate. Which means it's at least 50/50 in my favor. I'd like to think it's more than that since the job listing is pretty much a checklist for my resume. And, have I mentioned?, I really love the company, the division and the job.

However, I have two more phone screenings and a personality profile to make it through. So the soonest I'd hear would be Wednesday.

So, in the meantime, I must - I have to - operate as if I'm full-fledged unemployed. Scrimping and saving. Emailing resumes like there's no tomorrow. Getting a job as a waitress. (I tentatively start a week from tomorrow.)

It's a rough place to be in. Because when I'm feeling good (which is, shockingly, more often than not these days) I trust and believe that I will get this other job and actually come out ahead. But when I'm feeling down which, unfortunately, I was today, I feel like there's just no hope.

So, I guess I'll keep spamming the job boards, harassing recruiters, and studying the menu of the local Seafood joint. And, of course, doing yoga, going for walks, imploring the Universe and doing everything I can to get the stars to align in my favor.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Running it up the flagpole

It seems no matter where I work, I run into people who love Industry Speak. Every industry has 'em, but every industry is different.

In restaurants, you have code names for ingredients, you yell "behind" when you're crossing someone in the kitchen, you do "side work" after your shift and "prep" before your shift. It's like an internal secret language and - secretly - I kind of dig it. It's not intended to convey any sense of superior knowledge or advanced intellect. It's more like belonging to a fraternal order of food slingers.

In corporations, it's very very different. Everyone who has been in an office job knows the kinds of people I'm talking about. The types who don't talk about ideas, they "socialize" them. Who don't do good work, they "deliver added-value." And - my favorite - people who take things "offline."

I find that the people who engage in this kind of lingo are usually doing so to meet a few critical objectives. (har!) One is to make themselves feel important. The other is to try and develop a sense of the camaraderie that develops in other industries. But the actual result is usually to alienate themselves and open themselves to ridicule. Furthermore, I've found that the more insecure people get in their position (either they're unqualified to do their job, things in the company are unstable or they just weren't hugged as a kid), the more the Corporate Speak manifests its ugly head.

Napolean was one of these lingoists. Before leaving my last gig, I wrote this mission statement for him:
We must be proactive in controlling our own destiny to convey the ubiquitous paradigm for the construct of creating awareness, credibility and preference for our world-class Sexy Claims.

Now, here at AgencyJob, we've found another one. This gal is an EA or some basic equivalent of that. And, boy, does she love her lingo. I haven't been able to nail down her exact quirks of phrase, yet, but my buddy put this award-deserving email together to convey the overall emotion of the office:

First off, I want to thank you for the great job you’re doing staying focused on executing our priorities. And I want to assure you that we’re thoughtfully evaluating a wide range of potential strategic alternatives in what is a complex and evolving landscape. And we’ve hired top advisors to assist through the process. What’s become clear in the past few days is how much people care about this company. We have a lot to be excited about and there’s more good news to come. As we look to build on the progress we’ve been making, I want to convey how essential you are to our success. As this process moves forward, we’re going to keep you informed. Your hard work and strong commitment are more important now than ever before.

So, if you think it's bad enough that I have to live in survival mode, not knowing when the axe is going to fall, think again. Because I have to live in a survival mode where they don't even speak English.

Some days I really just want to go back to slinging beans and rice....

Monday, July 07, 2008

Taking a Comfortable Seat

I haven't posted in awhile. Life has been a whirlwind filled with broken refrigerators, long walks, lots of work and plenty more universal mood swings.

I contemplated planning a fun little post on corporate speech and its attempt to hide insecurity. And I definitely will run that post up the flagpole soon. But today, sitting on a rock on Niles Beach, I did a pretty deep meditation on being grounded.

In Anusara yoga, class begins with a meditation. And almost always, one of the first instructions out of the teacher's mouth is, "Take a comfortable seat." Superficially, it means exactly what it says: sit in a way you can sustain without movement for a few moments. But I think it actually means something deeper.

When I'm feeling insecure or anxious, I sit on the edge of my seat. I fidget. I ants. I pants. My legs twitch - jumping up off the ground again and again and again and again.

When I "take a comfortable seat," I open my legs and hips wide (attempting full lotus) and let my weight settle into my root. I literally can feel the Earth against the base of my spine. It's a posture that invites stillness. And yet, somehow, you can also feel the pulse of nature, the ebb and flow of tides, the sway of the breeze. You could call it an "active rest."

I've been feeling more "edge" and less "comfortable" in my seat these days. On top of the overarching job insecurity- to be redundant or not redundant, that is the question - there has been a more specific insecurity about the most recent project. And although I wish it weren't so, my job informs my self-view. So I'm left feeling a tad ... off kilter.

I've tried to do more "grounding" yoga poses to counteract this emotion. Unfortunately, I've also resorted to slightly ... less healthy ... methods. The combination of which seems to be working to more or less degrees. We shall see. Still, I feel like maybe recognizing the problem is at least part of the solution.
What can only - ultimately - help is time and resolution of all these survival mode circumstances. Here's hoping there's a positive (read, stable and grounded) resolution.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I Thought These Things Happened in Threes?

The following have all happened to me in less than 12 hours.

My laptop at home has a white line bisecting the screen. It's only a matter of time before the whole thing blows up.

My Sleeping Beauty mug, which holds my nightly cup of chamomile, developed a huge crack, which I didn't see until my tea poured into my cup and right back out onto the counter.

My closet door knob pulled off in my hand.

My fridge and freezer aren't so much with the working. Water everywhere. About $200 worth of food preparing to spoil.

Please - please oh please Universe - let today's meeting go well. Because if it doesn't, I might just implode.