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Archive for March, 2010

sanity check

If three days go by after you responded to a job offer and there’s no response, not even a “we’re thinking about it and will get back to you soon,” are you justified in beginning to wonder if they mean to get back to you at all?

And if the only new thing in your response was to reveal that your reason for wanting to telework part-time before moving–already agreed to in principle at the first interview–is because of your daughter’s scheduled time with her father, are you justified in wondering if, having learned you are a single mom, they are just not keen on the idea of bringing you on?

Or am I being paranoid?

Because we are now at the point where it is actually impossible for us to settle things in time for me to start when they said they wanted me to start. And I’ve got to think that’s a bad sign. But then, I have a history of seeing rejection where it doesn’t exist. So I doubt myself.

Have travelled beyond Nervous to Pissed Off, though. Come on, jackass: I have a life to plan and decisions to make. If you’ve decided to withdraw the offer, at least for the love of god have the decency to say so.

It feels a bit like dating, this. If he hasn’t called you within three days of your last date … He’s Just Not That Into You!

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Q: Why is Maeve not getting anything done today?

A: She is:

1. Nervous
2. Distracted
3. Sick
4. All of the above.

Nervous: Have not yet heard back on job counter-offer. Feel like I am existing in a state of suspension between two other distinct states, like the liquified caterpillar in a butterfly chrysalis. I’m just goop. I’d like to know, thankyouverymuch Universe, if I am to remain a caterpillar for a while yet or do the butterfly thing. Being undifferentiated goop is a bit tiring.

Distracted: The Trader’s Ex was informed about me on Friday. I met the Trader-Tot on Saturday. Trader-Tot met PP and they played well together. Now we can figure out where we want to go. Which is a bit like being Alice in the hall of doors: so many doors, so many of them too big or too small right now, should I eat the cake or drink the cordial? I didn’t leave the key on the glass table, did I?

Sick: I have a cold. Allergies are driving me bonkers. I want to bury myself in my duvet and sleep for a week, except that I’m too wired from 1 and 2 to be able to sleep, and too congested from 3 to be able to breathe.

It’s a very curious feeling, having a couple of big things lurch forward at the same time but not in any definitive way. I am butterfly goop in a hall of doors. With a cold.

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Thoughts 2

Imposter Syndrome: YOU WILL LEAVE YOUR SAFE, STABLE BORING JOB FOR A NEW JOB THAT YOU KNOW YOU CANNOT POSSIBLY DO AND YOUR NEW BOSS AND COLLEAGUES WILL FIGURE OUT FAST THAT YOU CAN’T DO IT AND THEN THEY WILL FIRE YOU AND YOU WILL BE IN A NEW TOWN WHERE YOU DON’T KNOW ANYONE WITH A MORTGAGE AND A DAUGHTER TO FEED AND YOU WILL END UP STARVING ON THE STREETS AND PP WILL HATE YOU AND GO TO LIVE WITH HER FATHER HOW COULD YOU EVEN THINK OF DOING ANYTHING SO IRRESPONSIBLE AND FOOLISH AND SELFISH?

Yes, my brain thinks in all-caps when it enters Imposter Syndrome mode.

Meanwhile, I am forcing myself to be rational and negotiate.

There is a rational part of my brain telling me that after all, if I go and I fail or the company fails, at least I have some new experience doing something more interesting and challenging on my resume, which will make it easier to get the kinds of jobs I want in the future. Whereas if I don’t, I won’t get any opportunities to learn or grow or challenge myself, and won’t be any more qualified for any other kinds of work than I am doing right now. So it’s more responsible and rational to take the risk than not.

My stomach disagrees with me on this point. I am ignoring it.

As far as negotiating goes, I sent off a counter-proposal this morning and haven’t yet heard anything. I’ve chosen to interpret this as a maybe. If it were a NO I’m sure I would have heard back right away. If they’re taking their time, then they’re thinking about it. Yes?

The Imposter Syndrome brain (THEY WILL THINK YOU ARE ARROGANT AND SELFISH AND STUPID IF YOU DON’T IMMEDIATELY JUMP ON THEIR FIRST OFFER) is hurting my stomach but I am trying to convince myself that if they want someone who can manage employees and lead projects, then they want to see that I can do some kind of negotiation. And I’m not asking for anything unreasonable or outlandish or that we hadn’t discussed previously.

My stomach, though, disagrees.

My stomach is absolutely dead certain that, although I am bored and underutilized and not learning anything or being challenged where I am now, this is the best I can do and I shouldn’t try to do any better. My stomach thinks that this kind of hubris can only lead to a spectacular fall. My stomach believes this is hubris.

Poor stomach.

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Thoughts

1. the benefit of being offered jobs only at large public organizations is that, since they are unionized, you either take what they offer you or leave it. The offers are entrenched in legally binding contracts and if you were to ask for something more–more pay, more leave, better benefits–they’d just look at you out of the corner of their eyes as if you’d suddenly revealed a taste for catburgers. Getting a job offer at a small private company means negotiating. Negotiating means asking for what you want. I don’t need to elaborate on that, do I?

2. Yes, that does mean I got a job offer. It also means I am negotiating, in my own way, which means I feel nauseous.

3. It also means I am weighing the pros and cons of moving to Beyond Bob for myself and for PP. Pros: Lovely small town, much closer to the Ex, much closer to my parents, lots of parks and green space, would be able to have a house. Could have more time both with me and with her Dad. Cons: Leaving her friends, leaving a good school, more upheaval and adjustment. I said I wouldn’t move her until I was convinced that I was moving her to something better. I think this is it, but how sure do I have to be?

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Upshot Part 2

Not quite the done-deal that pea thinks–there are two of us who made it to the final round–but I think I’m the front-runner, and oddly, it’s pretty obvious that I’m the front-runner because of my writing and publishing experience.

They’re not hiring a writer. They’re hiring a manager. I worked pretty hard to sell the writing as proof that I can work to deadlines, multitask, handle heavy workloads, learn outside my field and communicate effectively with various audiences, and those are relevant skills–but writing would be a pretty small chunk of my day. Most of it would be managing. I have no managing experience. (And it’s killing him! “If only there were someone at your current job who reported directly to you,” he kept saying. But there isn’t.)

(That said, I wonder if I should have said a bit more about what I’ve observed about effective management, even if I haven’t had a chance to practice it. What do you think, Dear Readers? Is it worth a follow-up email? There’s an article or two online I thought he might be interested in and was thinking about emailing his way; should I include something about this very obvious weakness in my application? Or let it drop?)

Anyway. We’ll see.

If I don’t get the job it’ll be because I don’t have management or supervisory experience.

And so if this is something I decide to pursue again in the future, I’ll have to patch that gap up a bit. Probably outside of work since I don’t have even the faintest hint of a want’s afterlife to practice supervision in my current workplace, where it would be all about administration and politics and meetings and filling in spreadsheets and reporting to HQ). I’ve been thinking about some of my volunteering and activism and wondering if there are more visible ways I can contribute locally, so maybe that’s the route to go. Whether I get this job or not.

~~~~~

Gearing up for interviews is always brutal.

In my head, it’s always me begging for rejection. They’ll see through me, I’m a fraud, I don’t belong here, they’ll reject me, it’ll be catastrophic, I can’t handle the rejection! And I know where it comes from, but I end up feeling nauseous with nerves.

They’ll hate me. Of course they’ll hate me. They should hate me. Why wouldn’t they hate me?

They didn’t hate me (I met a bunch of the worker-bees too, who all seem quite nice, and I don’t think any of them hated me). They didn’t reject me. I feel pretty confident saying that if I don’t get the job, at least I made it pretty tough for them and he’ll wish he could have offered it to both of us. Which isn’t to say I won’t be crushed. Anyway.

Didn’t help that my boyfriend picked a fight with me the day before, or that he picked a fight with me before the last one either.

On Monday, it was, of all things, FB. A friend of his posted about the young daughter of a friend of hers dying unexpectedly, and he said that he’d written to her about how it just proves that you never know and it’s important to have perspective and treasure the little things, so he’d rewritten an email to his ex-wife about their ongoing financial disputes. And I was a bit icked by that, given that I had a cousin die young unexpectedly and I have several friends who had children stillborn, and so I’ve seen that kind of grief upfront too often to be so casual about it. To me, dead kids aren’t life lessons, they’re tragedies. So I told him that I found it troublesome and I told him why, and I thought I was pretty calm about it, but the next thing I know he’s talking about how he’s stepped in a landmine and is pulling shrapnel from his back, and he had good intentions, and then ignored me for an hour only to say afterwards that he was going to bed. So.

If you had that interaction with someone, you’d think they were mad, yes?

A few hours later, well after midnight–you can imagine the new and combined bundle of nerves I was at that point–I wrote him an email to say that I didn’t appreciate this coming the day before an interview AGAIN. And he claimed not to know what I was talking about, he wasn’t mad, he just didn’t feel well (but couldn’t actually tell me so before stalking off), etc. etc.

We haven’t really talked since, and I’m not sure that I want to.

Because it’s pretty obvious that he was upset. Yes? I mean, there’s no other real explanation, is there? And this isn’t the first time he’s been mad or upset and refused to admit it and come up with some bizarre credulity-stretching explanation for his behaviour that then requires me to hammer him like a fucking jackhammer until he admits that he was angry/upset, which I don’t feel like I should have to do, and I don’t feel like I should have to accept his ridiculous excuses either.

And I know if I talk to him again it’s going to be me excavating his actual emotions again, and I just don’t fucking want to. I shouldn’t have to. They’re HIS feelings, goddammit. And it’s just the sort of thing my mother or the Ex would have done–“I didn’t do that, how could you think I would do such a thing?”–you didn’t see what you saw, you didn’t feel what you felt, your perceptions are off and you’re off your rocker, Maeve. I’m not signing up for that again.

Frankly I believe that the idea of me interviewing for or accepting a job Beyond Bob is stressing him out (not that he’ll admit that either) and rather than talk about it or deal with it, he’s blowing up–and then refusing to admit it. Which, ok, I can understand that, but it’s not ok to take a situation that’s already difficult for me and make it even more difficult by adding conflict to the mix.

So.

Job interview went really well. Relationship took a bit of a nosedive. Ought to know whether or not I got the job in a week or two. How long it takes to figure out what’s happening with the Trader will depend on how quickly I can regain some sort of motivation for tackling it.

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raining, pouring, etc.

The best part about cliches is how you never need to type them out in full anymore.

Got the interview. Also got a new writing assignment, as well as a volunteer one, and tidying up the edits on a piece that’s been accepted.

There was a bit of a writing drought after I took the holidays off. Now it’s over, and thank goodness, but …

Well. I’ve already proven that sleep is more or less optional. … Right?

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2nd interview next week

Imposter syndrome is in full flower. How on earth did I manage to convince these people I can do this job?

Ack.

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