Wednesday, March 10, 2010
In which our heroes bum around and eventually find work, eventually missing the former and regretting the latter
Our arrival was followed by a week of takin' it easy. This was something we were grateful for. The cross-country move kind of took it out of us, so having a week to max and relax was lovely. After we were maximized and relaximized, however, we realized it was time to start seeking work.
The job hunt was not a fun one for us. I hate to be one of those guys who just whines about the sorry state of the economy and all that, but let's face facts: it's a bit hard to find a job out here. I applied to several places: Wal-Mart, the movie theater, several bakeries, and, of course, Bath and Body Works.
Now, those of you reading know me. I'm a decently bright guy. I have a good degree from a good school. My resume is pretty nice. I have good references.
You guys, I could not get a job taking tickets at the movie theater. Bath and Body Works wouldn't even call me. IT IS THAT BAD.
Luckily, Wal-Mart's temp program was hiring. I figured that would be a good way to spend my time, since the position itself is based around capriciousness. I like to think I could have gotten a good, serious, "career-type" job if not for the fact that I'm only here for a few months. I like to think I'd be qualified for it. But as I'm only here for a short time, not many folks are willing to hire, train, and mould someone for several months just to have them pack up and head out.
Anyway. Now I'm big tempin'. I spent the first month of my illustrious temp career in Specialty Tax.
It is exactly as much fun as it sounds.
It's basically the element of Wal-Mart/Sam's Club that deals with state tax exemptions for certain vendors and resellers. My basic purposes there were scanning in documents, copying down license numbers, and doing a LOT of cut-copy-pasting. It was not the most engaging work, but the people I worked with were good folks who took a shine to me. They even got me a cake when I left their division.
Now, though, I find myself in the Private Label Marketing team. I'm not sure if I came as a surprise to them or something, but my employer (again, a very nice lady) just can't come up with anything for me to do. I spend my days getting paid for what is, quite honestly, not very much work. It's not something I'm proud of, but then again, it's not something I can exactly control either. I don't really have the power, knowledge, or experience to really start something out of thin air, so I'm reliant upon assignments and instructions. Alas.
Meagan's job hunt started very similar to mine. She also applied for jobs all over the place, and, despite her great overqualification for them, she didn't get any calls either. When Wal-Mart hired me, they told me that they had looked at her resume and would be happy to hire her, but there was some trouble. Meagan is looking for part-time work so that she can still be home most of the time with Lydia, and Wal-Mart's temp program doesn't do a lot of part-time work.
Finally, after weeks of hunting, Meagan got a call from Lowe's, asking her to come and interview. Think about every Lowe's you've ever been to. You don't really expect the workers there to be rocket scientists, do you? I didn't. But Meagan had to go in not for one, not for two, but for THREE SEPARATE INTERVIEWS just to get the job at Lowe's. And this isn't for a management position or anything--she's just looking to be a cashier.
The three interview system wouldn't have been terrible of itself, except for the fact that the people scheduling the multi-interview weren't exactly on the ball. She did the first, then waited a week, then got the other two in the same night, then waited a week to hear back that she needed to have a drug test….and that she would then have to wait another week to get the results of that test (compare this to my job at Wal-Mart, in which I interviewed, drove straight to the drug test, and got a call that afternoon telling me I had the job and that I could start the next day). So, we fully expect that Meagan will at long last be gainfully employed within the next year. She may even get the chance to start work before we leave town in July!