I realized, today, that I have been so absorbed with this entire job search process, it has overshadowed everything else. I caught some of the evening news for the first time in several weeks, and it was like being in a foreign country-one where I don't necessarily know the language and where the customs are unfamiliar. I also discovered, during commercial breaks, that the new television season has begun, and I truly haven't a clue as to what the new schedule or new shows offer. A quick check of the DVR revealed a cornucopia of missed programs. It will probably take weeks to cull through the menu to determine what is worth the time to watch. My personal calendar is filled with notations for call backs, cattle calls, interviews, assessment appointments, but no very much of a personal nature.
I also noted that, while I have been faithfully putting laundry into the washer and dryer, somehow, the finished product is not making it back upstairs to fill the dresser drawers and closet rods. Dishes are washed, but never make it back to the cabinets. In fact, everywhere I look, there are partially completed tasks. This isn't necessarily a wholly new situation, but the piles appear to be even larger than when I was working full time. What has happened here? A box arrived almost a week ago from my book club, and I haven't even opened it. (This is truly strange as normally boxes from the book club are pounced upon and devoured.) In fact, I don't even remember which selections I actually ordered.
Suddenly, my daughter is talking to me about Halloween and costume options. The rest of the holiday season isn't far behind. Where did summer go? I realized that it is time to pull the plug on the pool and winterize. The trees are full of fall color and many of the leaves have already fallen. Now, granted, some of the early fall color and leaf fall are related to the brutal heat and dryness of the summer, but things seem to be escalating towards the winter season, and somehow, I missed a goodly portion of summer and fall. In trying to be disciplined about the serious nature of job hunting, I seem to have forsaken all the other aspects of life, much like a workaholic. And my concentrated efforts haven't resulted in anything concrete.
Many of my fellow unemployed have indicated how blue they get, how depressed. Now, I am wondering if this is really a function of rejection letters, (or the lack of any acknowledgement). I wonder if the blues have more to do with being completely out of touch with family and friends, missing out entirely on the ebb and flow of everyday normal activity. Don't get me wrong, the job hunt requires a great deal of social interaction, but the purpose is not purely social. Everyone, involved in this process, is on their best "company" behavior. Situations are artificial and contrived. It is like ballroom dancing in a minefield. You never quite relax and enjoy the conversations and company. Instead, you are always on alert, obsessing about insignificant word choices, body postures....things that you would normally let pass completely.
Recently, in a group interview, the speaker was outlining the company, the company focus, and the traits that they were seeking in potential employees. At the close of his informational presentation, he decided to analyze each and every candidate in the room, pointing to specific postures and trying to interpret what they were thinking, feeling, along with their level of enthusiasm. In my case, he focused on the fact that I had rubbed my nose, and informed everyone in the room that the action indicated I didn't believe anything he had said. I didn't appreciate being skewered in front of a room full of strangers, and pointed out to him that rubbing my nose had more to do with seasonal allergies, not wanting to sneeze all over everyone and disrupting his presentation, than the action had any bearing on what I did or didn't believe. That particular situation really conveyed the ridiculous levels of nuance this process seems to foster. I didn't take any antihistamine, because I didn't want to appear as a zombie, but my suppressing a sneeze was deemed as a rejection of the veracity of the speaker (and as head honcho.....we all know what happened to my chances for that particular position) I guess I should have sneezed all over everyone and stood out from the crowd.
I used to be able to accept that I might have a message on my voice mail, but now, answering the phone has become a compunction, as if being otherwise engaged might somehow result in you missing that one opportunity. I had turned the cell phone off going into an interview a couple days ago, and didn't realize that I hadn't turned it back on afterwards.....Guess What? The world did not come to an end. I did not miss the job opportunity of a lifetime. In fact, the only thing that I did miss was the annoying telemarketers trying to sell me online education. So perhaps there is a valuable lesson in all of this. I really should devote some time to reading, seeing and hearing the news, looking at my mail, and maybe even reading the inserts. Single minded devotion to the job search process has not yielded the desired results, merely frustrated the bee jeebers out of me. I think that it will benefit all my efforts to re-establish some balance in life and rejoin the rest of the human race. Perhaps go out to coffee, with no other agenda than drinking coffee with a friend and sharing the news of the day.
Filed under: I am Fed Up with Job Hunting