What keeps me up tonight? The rattling of the water pipes which I interpret, of course, as a bona fide earthquake. I’ve been living here in California for a year now, and the question always in the back of my mind is, “When exactly am I going to experience an earthquake and will I recognize it when it’s starting?”
Another thing that keeps me awake at night is wondering when and where I will find my next job. What I thought would be my last ditch effort–signing up with a temp agency–can no longer be my LAST ditch effort because yesterday’s meeting didn’t give me the warm and fuzzies. I expected to be thrown in the pool and get cranking with some opportunities but instead all I got was a bit of hemming and hawing from a 30-something year old senior staffer at the temp agency who twisted and contorted her smile enough to indicate I might be tough to place. Thirty years of experience working in corporations and research facilities and she’s wondering if she can place me in an office. I suddenly felt my age. I suddenly felt that the world had morphed overnight and I’d somehow slept through it.
I focused my gaze intently making sure my eyes didn’t twitch when she suggested I consider $10/hr pay, as it would open up my opportunities–I was holding out for a whopping $15/hr. I’ve been prepared to scrape the bottom of the bucket in order to get a job; apparently, I’ll have to get under the bucket altogether.
I walked away wondering how it was that I feel absolutely at the top of my game with what I have to offer, but nobody is picking me to be on their dodgeball team. I’m suddenly the kid with the taped eyeglasses again–the one with the chipped tooth and the hem of my skirt hanging down. And the captain of the team? The new mayor of Dodge? Well, that would be the perky, 30-something year old scrutinizing my qualifications with an insincere smile and a red, ball-busting pen. Slam–straight to the head. Didn’t see that one coming.
Yes, the game has changed. There’s a new mayor in town. And, like it or not, I’d better learn the new rules, which–best as I can figure–is really no rules at all. In today’s job market, we job seekers are expected to throw balls at hidden targets hoping somehow to score. We then spend the rest of the time just trying to stay in the game.
Welcome to Dodge . . . the most overpopulated and poorly run town on the planet.
Do wish me luck. The welcoming committee was laid off a long time ago.