I turned 41 a few weeks ago. It’s probably something I shouldn’t publish in such a public forum, but I am told I look good for my age. And forty is the new thirty. And age is just a number. I try to believe all of that because, frankly, as my job search stretches into its fourth month, I wonder and I worry.
Admitting that I didn’t exactly jump into my job search at first is something else I probably shouldn't tell. There was and has been a not-so-small part of me that likes making my own hours and not having some jerk tell me what to do every day. I have no problem saying my last boss was something of a jerk. I don’t know if he was over-compensating for being so short (I’m 5’6” and I looked down on him), or if it was because he was 27 and an ex-Marine. I don’t know. But telling the world all of that is probably not in my best interest if a potential employer ever reads this post.
If it hops like a rabbit...
Looking over my resume, I wonder if I’d hire me were I in such a position. I have only held a few long-term jobs and it shows. It screams the words “JOB HOPPER” almost immediately. It also shows how I didn’t finish college and makes me out to be something of a dreamer. I am a dreamer, unapologetic about it, too.
I guess I’m just trying to figure out why I’ve only had three interviews in three months. The last one was over the phone. It was a sales job that sounded perfect. It was working at a diet center. The words “inside sales” usually implies all phone work which I’m totally comfortable with doing. Then the interviewer said I’d also meet with and counsel clients. I quickly realized that as much as I would have enjoyed the fringe benefits of working at such a place, I’m too fat to meet with clients and convince them that they were in the right place to lose weight. I thanked the nice lady and hung up the phone.
I’m not a little overweight, I’m a lot overweight. I refuse to give out my number here, but let’s just say that I was almost as excited to get free help losing weight as I was to work at that diet center. Looking in the mirror, I wonder yet again, would I hire me? Fat discrimination is as real as ageism and other “isms.” Maybe I’m too fat to get hired?
I fight authority--authority always wins
Of course, all of this pondering comes at a time when thousands of baby adults are graduating from college this time of year. Dewy faces with high expectations and aspirations that hopefully weren’t drowned in a keg of beer. That’s what employers hope for, after all. So many of the classifieds I've seen lately flat-out state that they are looking for “recent college graduates.” How is a 41-year-old fat college dropout who has problems with authority supposed to compete with that?
The answer is I can’t.
Once upon a time I wanted to go to college and even had scholarships. My parents, caught up in the cult of Jehovah’s Witnesses, refused to let me go. I often wish I’d pushed harder or just ran off and tried to make it on my own, but I was their brightest hope for a good kid. I did what they told me to do. That’s probably why I hate authority as much as I do. It has never served my interests, only its own.
A few years later, I finally got to take some college classes. I remember how excited I was at the promise of finally having a future. But I didn’t have enough money to pay for school and eventually had to let work take priority over everything. I managed to go to a trade school, The Broadcasting Institute of Maryland, where I graduated at the top of my class and served as class president.
The only job offers I got were out of town and my then-husband had no intentions of leaving Baltimore. Now that radio is such a sad state of affairs (along with newspapers), it’s a real shark fight to get a job in it. So many of my good friends who’ve worked in the business have been tossed out of the aquarium; they’re selling cars, installing elevators or applying for the same jobs I am.
Wouldn't it be loverly?
The only thing I feel completely fit to do is write. I loved being a journalist, but I hated having someone else dictate what I wrote. I have often joked that if someone would pay me to write what I like, I’d sit around and do it all day. And you’d have to force me to stop.
I am still waiting for that phone call.
UPDATE: I found a blogging contest where I stand a real chance at winning! The prize is a JOB for six months WRITING!!! It will pay me enough to live on and provide me with a badly-needed new NOTEBOOK COMPUTER! So, if you read this blog, do me a favor...vote for me to win!
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e