Monday, December 21, 2009

Lesson #8 - Breaking Up

Well Thanksgiving came and went and I am still working in call center. But…

I quit!

Finally. I had dreamed about doing it so many times but for some reason I was still nervous to tell my boss that I was done working there. No matter how much you hate your job, it is still hard to tell someone that you are breaking up with them. Well, that’s what it feels like anyway.

What am I doing now, you ask? Um, looking for a job. There is the potential that I will stay in Portland and the potential to move to Austin. Hopefully this new start will be a little smoother than the previous one. But, we’ll just have to see.

So I have two more days left of answering phones and then freedom! Well at least a week long vacation to the arctic tundra we like to call Wisconsin.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lesson #7 - When It Rains It Pours

Endurance. It’s an interesting thing. You know when you are working out and you think you can’t do one more push up or run another second but you somehow manage to push through the pain and finish? That’s what I feel like.

I came home the other night to a wet bed. And no, I did not pee in it. The ceiling did. It was raining in my bedroom. The funny thing is I live on the bottom floor. The even funnier thing is that this is the second leak in our apartment since moving in four months ago.

Portland, so far, has not been my shining moment.

Last week I called in sick to work, mainly because I was sick about the fact that I had to go to work at a call center another day. I would love to report that it is getting easier to go to work each day, but unfortunately it is quite the opposite.

I had an interview last week for a job I would totally love. The only problem is that it is 48 miles away. That makes it a little unappealing. I am really starting to wonder if I am not supposed to be here right now.

We’ll see… Thanksgiving is my ‘deadline’. You never know what can happen by then.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lesson #6 - Third Time’s A Charm

You would think by now I would get the hint. But I had to go and apply once more to Whole Foods. And then turn around and get denied almost immediately. Three times! At least they were all at different stores and all different positions. Wait, that means I just got denied three times by three different people. Oh the pain.

Job hunting really gets old after a while. I have been consistently looking for a job here in Portland since April. Let’s do the math – that is 6 months of searching. A half of a year! My goodness, by now you would think I’d be doing something a little more exciting than saying, "Thank you for calling. This is Shannon. How can I help you?" every four and a half minutes.

I seriously never want to look at a job search engine ever again. It’s getting depressing. The listed positions should have a disclaimer that says, "oh and by the way Shannon, there is no possible chance that you will get this job, so don’t even waste your time applying." That would be helpful because then I wouldn’t waste my time. I really hate wasting my time.

I hate wasting time so much that sometimes in interviews when I realize there is no possible chance I am going to get the job I just want to stop and say, "you know this really isn’t going to work out, you and I both know I am not a good fit for this position so lets stop wasting our time, goodbye." But I don’t because I know I shouldn’t. But really I don’t know why I shouldn’t because I know I am not going to get the job. I guess I always hope for that chance. Well that and I’m desperate.

And that brings me to today. Waking up at 2:45 am so I can listen to people from all over the country talk about their petty problems. I guess somebody has to do it.

Desperation, it’s an ugly thing.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lesson #5 - Crickets

Waiting. I am getting good at it.

Still haven’t gotten a phone call to let me know yay or nay. In fact, all I have seemed to have gotten is the sound of crickets. Like no one is there. Not even a quick email response. It’s confusing.

In other news, I have made it through Day 2 of starting work at 4:00 am. Waking up that early has been brutal. My body pretty much hates me. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to go to Day 1, but now it looks like I will be heading to Day 3 tomorrow.

Tomorrow I have a phone interview with another organization. I am very thankful the ball keeps moving somewhere. Hopefully it will stop at a really great place to work before I get too used to a 7:00 pm bedtime.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lesson #4 - The Assessment

I have officially graduated from training and should be on the phones from here on out 8+ hours a day. How exciting. These past two weeks have seriously been a form of torture and next week starts at 4:00 am. I can’t believe I actually made it this far and not sure how I can muster up the strength to keep at it.

Thankfully I have hopes of better horizons. I had a second interview last week at an organization I would love to work at in a position I would love to do. I am hoping to hear back on Monday if I got it or not. I know they liked me, I just hope they didn’t like someone else more. Oh and I had to take a test, well an assessment, and I am nervous I might have failed. Even though according to the guidelines there are no “wrong” answers. I am not quite sure how it would be possible to pick up on someone’s management and motivator styles in 20 questions, so I don’t quite understand this hoop I had to jump through. All I know is that I answered the questions as honestly as I could, because in all reality I wouldn’t want to work there if they think who I am would not be a “good” fit. Even though I know, and I am sure you know, I would be.

But I am trying hard not to get my hopes up. One thing I have gotten used to this summer is closed doors. Maybe this time it will be different. Please be different.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Lesson #3 - The Verdict

So I got the job. The job at the call center. I start next week.

I was sick all day waiting for the phone call telling me the verdict. I think I was secretly hoping I didn’t get the job. But I also knew if I didn’t get it, I would probably feel even worse. Lose-lose I guess.

When the phone rang I couldn’t bring myself to answer it so I let it go to voicemail. I was hoping it was someone else telling me they wanted to bring me in for an interview. But it wasn’t. It was just someone telling me they wanted to hire me. I should be excited, right?

When the recruiter told me I got the job, I had to keep reminding myself to sound positive and be thankful. I think I did a decent job. Maybe I should go into acting instead.

Well I have a week before I have to punch in my timecard. Maybe the job of my dreams will call before then. You never know, a lot could happen in a week…

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lesson #2 - Second Interview

Tomorrow I have a second interview at a company interested in hiring me to do customer service in a call center. The woman described it as “open cubicles with 25-100 calls per day each call lasting approximately 3.5 minutes to 4.5 minutes.”

Sounds like a dream job.

My heart is broken about it. Like I want to bawl my eyes out when I think about working in a call center. But I have to go tomorrow whether I like it or not, and I have to try my hardest and shine above all the others in my (eek!) group interview. Even with a broken heart.

I feel like I am being squeezed into a glass jar that is too small for me. I guess I am a bit of a dreamer and always want to make sure I have room to be creative. I wish I would just hear back from at least one of the other jobs I applied to that seem to make my heart jump. Okay, okay, I know I am being way overdramatic and taking this job does not mean forever. It’s just during these “tough economic times”, right?

Aside from the long commute, lower pay, and bad schedule, I am sure the people who work there will be nice since it is, by all means, friendly customer service. And besides, they might not even hire me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lesson #1 - Transition

So since watching a movie last night, I am somewhat inspired to begin a new chronicle of sorts about my journey of transition. Sounds like such a deep thing, but really all that is in my life right now is transition. But on the deeper side, it seems that all your life is transition anyway. So I guess I am writing about life. And I am starting it with my life transition from Seattle to Portland which probably began about five months ago…

Basically, to set it up my boyfriend somehow convinced me to move to Oregon where he is from so he could go to school in Portland. Since I happen to be crazy about him, I agreed. It’s been a less than easy road.

List of challenges so far:
  1. Decided that quitting my perfectly good job in Seattle in the toughest economy since the year I was born was a good idea.
  2. Even with our insanely detailed cleaning job, my previous landlord withheld all of our deposit of $2500. (Who even does that sort of damage? Not four single women!)
  3. Slept in a room with no windows for a month while all my stuff sat out in a trailer in front of the house I was staying at. The mailman wrote me threatening letters claiming I was blocking the mailbox. He probably needed the exercise. Oh and there were cats, which I have come to realize I am allergic to.
  4. Family was slightly hesitant at first to be supportive. Although, it has shaped up and I am very thankful for their encouragement and support.
  5. Lack of much response from the multitude of jobs I applied to. And the few interviews I had provided absolutely no bites. Talk about blow to your self-esteem. Repeatedly.
  6. Changed the phone number I had for over 10 years to a new local number to hopefully boost response from the jobs I applied to. It was a sad day. And I don’t think it helped.
  7. Had several companies say they really liked me, they just either weren’t hiring right now or only hiring internally. Ouch.
  8. Whole Foods and Nordstrom flat out denied me. Still wondering why.
  9. Finally moved into a place but with a roommate I didn’t know. It was on the stressful side getting actually physically moved in. And is on the slow path of actually getting to know each other.
  10. Don’t really have any friends here in my new city. Now don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t like tons of quality time with their boyfriend? All I am saying some new faces in the mix might fill the community sized hole in my heart.
  11. Wish it was easier to find a church. How are you supposed to find a church in a new city, especially in one that doesn’t really like church? Yelp and Google Search have been, unfortunately, no help.
  12. My car reached 100,000 miles, got broken into, and the battery completely died. Oh and I keep forgetting to replace the burnt out light bulb in the back.
  13. Had to venture to the doctor with no health insurance. I was sure it was cancer, my doctor was sure it was heartburn. He was right. Thank you Prilosec.
  14. The kitchen ceiling in my new apartment began leaking this brownish orange liquid. There now are 3 large holes in our kitchen that my landlord seems to be dragging her feet to fix. It’s been over a month. Oh and our refrigerator doesn’t close all the way. Yea for lukewarm milk!
  15. And last but not least, I hate my credit card. Mostly the debt that has been accrued on it since I started this little transition. I just love that hanging over my head.

Like I said, it has not been the most pleasant journey. Although the sun has been shining a lot this summer and I can walk to the mall. And the fact that I think Portland might just be a cool town. Well, once it accepts me and gives me a sweet job and some friends. Until then I hope I don’t have to add too many more items to the list above.