Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Anyone have a light socket I can plug my existence into?

I haven't looked for a job in almost ten years. They seem to creep up on me before I even want them for some reason. Maybe this is where I have failed, by never pursuing anything, just taking whatever shit pile falls from the sky and smacks me down. But I hate looking for a job. I hate it more than working at a mind-numbing-fuck-my-cerebral-cortex job.

See, I have an "enchufe", literally a socket, like a light socket. Everyone knows that you need a socket if you want to connect a plug, you can't just plug something directly into the wall. Looking for job in Spain with no enchufe is akin to trying to plug in a lamp directly into the wall with no outlet, making a bunch of fucking holes in your freshly painted living room wall, never even getting close to the electricity wiring or actually jamming it into wires and getting electrocuted and then getting repeatedly frustrated because you're sitting in the dark, in a room full of holes with your hair on fire. No outlet, no light. No enchufe, no jobbie-job. Thems the rules around this place.

Despite hating this concept and disagreeing with it on every ethical level, I find myself relying on enchufes and also being them. This whole country is a mess because of enchufes. You go to the bank to open up an account and the person that opens accounts doesn´t even know how to type so you wait all morning while he pecks away at his computer, essaying it forever to find the "F" as in "fuck me" key, taking a coffee break mid-way through. The extent of his applicable experience consists of being someone´s brother-in-law.

My enchufe apparently wants me to have a job more than I myself even want one and has pestered me since before I left my other job for me to let him help me. Initially he offered me a job in his company, which didn't materialize into much. I woudn´t have made a good fit anyway there, but he worked his magic elsewhere, through his wife's company, and when that failed, his wife's former employer. And the enchufe gets gradually weaker, but you can still get a little flicker of light from it. Please stay lit, motherfucker!

Today was my second interview.

As far as interviews go, I know all the rules. I myself have spent the last three years interviewing people for positions. I paid close attention to what candidates considered appropriate interview attire (their instincts were almost always wrong).

I paid attention to see if there was any shit under their fingernails (you'd be surprised), how punctual they were (Don´t you dare show up late without calling, you idiot, and don´t show up thirty minutes early and stare me down until I interview you ahead of schedule), if they made eye contact (not avoiding my gaze but not creeping me out either), their handshake (not too firm, not a dead fish. Confidence, but not aggressive confidence).

Thus my instincts to continue this protest against washing my hair, and to wear a leopard print top and some hot pink stilettos, and turn up an hour late had to be abandoned in favor of clean hair, black suit, with no flare or anything that stands out other than my vast experience and impeccable professionalism (can you tell I´ve bought into all this bullshit?). Fingernails clean and manicured? Check. Shoes shined? Check. Self-esteem? Uh...check.

Deep breath. Remember, you don't give a fuck if you get this job. Oh, but you do, but your life has been a path leading to this. Shut up! You don't give a fuck, you're gonna ruin it if you are overly eager. Ok, these people are gonna have to beg me to work for them. Please hire me. Don't you see everything I've ever done has lead up to this point? Whatever, I might consider a position here with you chumps. I might let my talent grace your organization. Oh, please, pretty please don´t let me wither away into an unemployment statistic.

"Hello, I'm here to interview with Ms. Rodriguez"

"Right this way, I'll lead you to the interview panel," says the receptionist.

Interview...um...panel? What the fuck? All I heard was, "Let me lead you to the dungeon of doom where you will have your soul picked apart and you will have to justify your measly existence before a board of PhD's in Bullshit Detection."

Another deep breath.

When I get nervous it's physiological. My voice shakes. I don't give a fuck about this job so why is my voice shaking? My hands tremble. These bastards are gonna have to beg me to work here, so why can't my hands stay still? I can't find the right words. I don´t know why I am acting all jumbled and flustered, these motherfuckers should be jumbled and flustered.

Later in my mind I torment myself by revising what I had said and imagining I could start over again and practice what I would say if given another chance, something more eloquent, more thought through.

Well, I guess I have going for me that I've spent my entire life squirming my way out of uncomfortable situations without anyone seeming to notice I was squirming and nervous as hell, so maybe I did ok.

Fingers are crossed that the outlet I'm trying to plug the lamp of my livelihood into isn't burned out, or worse, filled with water and ready to electrocute me to my economic death.


I was just about to post this, when I got a call with a job offer. As you may have suspected, I didn´t make them beg. I thought about it for a second though.

"The Dogs of War" by Stephen Poff found on Flickr.

"The Directors of Distillers Company Limited" by Charlesfred found on Flickr.

"My, what is that you´re wearing?" by Dave77459 found on Flickr.


Jen's Farmily said...

Congrats on the new job! I'm still looking and I agree that it sucks! I haven't even gotten an interview yet. Blah!

Rassles said...

Someday I'm going to have a real job and like, learn how to do stuff.

KM said...

This post is hilarious. I'm currently looking for a job in Santiago, Chile. I'm from the states as well. To say that it's frustrating and makes me want to poke my own eyes out is an understatement.

Bluestreak said...

@J and J Acres -thanks for the well wishes, I still haven't gotten the precise offer complete with remuneration information, so I may be tooting my horn too soon. Come to think of it, I may accept absolutely anything they offer me, including a free daily meal.

@Rassles - whatever. Your job is awesome.

@nyGRINGA - Good luck, hang onto your eyes, I don't know how well people do in the recruitment process without them.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear me that first photo.

Congrats! Job interviews are evil. Especially that question "What do you feel are your weak points?"

Martin said...

thats the way to do it!

Fned said...

Uhm... congratulations.... ?


Fned said...

Uhm... congratulations.... ?


Bluestreak said...

@Duck - they didn't throw that one on me. I would've karate chopped someone if the face if they had, and then told them my weak point was not being able to kill someone with my karate chop.

@Xbox - today was a day of dumb luck.

@Fned - thanks, but don't congratulate too soon. I fear what their salary offer will be.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

As a recent interviewee, it’s interesting to hear what goes on on the other side of the table.

Congrats. I’m still waiting on my job offer. New York City has been knocked flat on its ass because of the economy so offers are few and far between.

Anonymous said...

"Self esteem? Um...check?"
Ain't that the way when it comes to interviews! Ugh!
This is terrific news! Congrats on the offer!
If you don't end up liking their terms you're welcome to come look at horse vagine with Hellbilly & I anytime.

formerly fun said...

Shine on Blue.

Bluestreak said...

@Unbearable - I've heard that re NYC. Best of luck to you. Just don't wear pink stilettos and you'll be ahead of the game. Unless you want a job hookin'.

@Mongoliangirl - Horse husbandry (is that what that shit's called?) has never really been my forte, but it's never too late for a career change. Do I get to watch you chase Hellbilly 'round the barn in tighty whities as part of my benefits package?

@FF - awww, thanks.

Gwen said...

I hate the job hunt, too. And I suck at interviews. It's so frustrating because I'm pretty sure I can handle any job thrown my way. I just have a hard time communicating that confidence in an interview. Apparently, you don't have that problem! Congratulations on your new job.

Anonymous said...

Gah...don't you hate when you body betrays you? Quavery voice. Red face. Shakey hands. Inability to sound coherent.
Congrats though!

Bluestreak said...

@Gwen - passing the interview is sometimes the hardest part of the job. Although in this case, I may have sold myself a little too well and fear I'm not prepared for the job.

@hereinfranklin - It's so uncontrollable. I can't tell myself enough to relax. My body won't listen.

People in the Sun said...

That's what I hated about Israel. Every part of society could be improved if you know the right people. Your whole life was determined by who your father served in the army with. I don't know if that was a grammatically-correct sentence. I'm an English major. I should know this shit.

I only did well in these panel interviews. Maybe because I felt free to move my eyes a little. God, this bullshit job search is so silly.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Horse husbandry will do. I suspect, however, you will come to know it as we do should you need to come clean some horse vag..."Pimpin' out the stud and knockin' up the fillies."
Benefits around here? Tighty Whities? Check!

Bluestreak said...

@People in the Sun - they always tell you, even in the states, that networking is important. This is an entirely different monster than networking though. It's completely weird how people are so eager to act as enchufes, maybe it makes them feel good to have a bunch of people owe them favors. It also makes people feel important to know other important people.

@Mongoliangirl - I guess you have a whole different set of dangers and risks associated with your workplace. Like, uh, getting horse herpes on your arm. I hope you scrub up good before getting your hands on Hellbilly.

American in Sydney said...

Congrats on the job, I think? I've been considering getting a paying job-- you'll have to let me know if it's worth it.

kate said...

Congratulations! The whole process is so grueling... Anyway, in this economy, even a shitty salary is something to celebrate. I hope you get things firmed up soon (and that it turns out to be a good situation for you, too.)

My Way said...

I'm just going to say congrats even though you haven't ironed out the final details.

Now, when you do, and you do start working.....I hope you will fucking complain about it on your blog.

Anonymous said...

Dude, that's great! Job hunting is the worst. Once I showed up to a job interview in July in long pants and a long-sleeved sweater. I had poison ivy all over my body and concentrated on fighting the urge to scratch.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for you! Unemployment can be fun. So is paying the bills.

Bluestreak said...

@FGIS - I recommend avoiding it if at all possible.

@Kate - thanks. yeah, that´s what I keep hearing that I should pretty much take anything at this point and it´s probably true.

@My way - but it´s what I do best, complain.

@Captain Steve - that sounds like the worst interview experience ever. Have you written a post about that one, If so I´d love to read it.

@Prayingtodarwin - thanks. Paying bills is much much funner.

A Free Man said...

Congratulations! Hope it's going well.

I wish I had gotten my Ph.D. in Bullshit Detection...

Gypsy said...


I'm convinced the only reason I got my current job was that I didn't remember what the position was when I interviewed so I couldn't care less. Voila! Job offer. ;)