Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Thanks For Coming, Now Please Leave

Merry and Happy to You and Yours.

All right, now that we've gotten THAT out of the way, let's turn to a favorite subject of us all, someone we literally wouldn't be here without: me. Yeah, like you didn't know that was coming.

This morning I had my last interview of this little round of interviews ... two last week, one today, so far one for two, with today's obviously still up in the air.

Last week, Wednesday, had an interview at BS for their highly (not) coveted third shift, what is known in the parlance of the day as the Graveyard Shift. In this case it would have been four nights/days a week, Tuesday to Friday: midnight to 10am. Maybe they call it the graveyard shift because too much of that shit will kill you. My interviewer was a reserved, poker-faced black professional woman ... hard to read her, but since I didn't get the position, it would be silly even for a person like me (who can harbor a grudge at the drop of a dirty look) to rehash, or even to hash period. 'Tis water under the bridge.

Second interview, Wednesday, a local position based here in Astoria. This one I scoped on craigslist, while BS and the place I went today, RSM Mc-something, came through one of my now five freelance agencies. Anyway, this guy puts out a research report, some kind of library science deal, out of his apartment up on 31st Avenue, so I would work a little at his place, then when I get the hang of it, I could do it here.

Anyway, there was an Asian woman working in the other room when I got there, I just assumed it was his girlfriend or wife, and we all chatted for a while. At the end of it, I must have done something right, so he said he'd give me a shot or try me out, and so that's some modicum of good news. I just called him before and he said he'd have something ready for me early next week, so I jotted it down in my Genuine Leather Lett's of London portable appointment book, patent pending, which I received as a gift yesterday. Thanks, Holly. "Fill it with jobs!" you said, and I sure hope to.
Today I put on my conservative blue pinstripe suit, red power tie, black Rockports and hit the bricks for my 11:00 date with destiny. After passing the typical post 9/11 Large Manhattan Office Building security, I headed upstairs, interfaced with the stunningly attractive young black receptionist, and signed the visitors' registrar, noting that two other people, at 10 and 10:15am, had signed in to see the same woman. My dreaded competition! I cursed them and their families going back several generations, and then for good measure put a powerful pox on their chances, before sitting down in one of the sumptuously plush leather easy chairs arrayed geometrically in the lobby area and starting to focus on my best sales pitch. After all, I would need to summon all my relevant skill sets if I was going to successfully pull this off, because lord knows I have my hands full being me on a semi-regular basis, and now I would have to convince someone else that I was indeed job-worthy.

Finally I met the supervisory person, an attractive woman in her early 40s if my
eyes weren't playing tricks on me, and after a perfunctory back and forth during which she yawned unapologetically -- I guess I have that effect on people -- she passed me off to a pair of actual proofreading specimens. More conversation, with me playing the part of the earnest, sincerely interested, grateful applicant, treading a fine line between eagerness and desperation, to a fare-the-well ... a fine fare-the-well if truth be told.

Have a better feeling about this one. It's an accounting firm, so there is some of what is called "cross checking" numbers in the business. What shift I would work at first should I be offered the job was never discussed; I told them I was okay with wherever they wanted to use me -- day shift, 4 to midnight, even 10pm to 6am -- although I told them I prefer one of the first two shifts if I was given a choice.

Freelancing really slows down during the dreaded holiday season. I worked last Friday at LT, then off Monday Christmas Eve, obviously Christmas day, which I spent with my sister on Long Island, then today I had the interview and called Robert at that research company, with the rest of the week still open ended. Late last week I called all five of my freelance agencies, let them know I was available these next two weeks, so get me some work, people! This is all the more pressing a matter because last week LT, my main client, the company that over the last 18 months has used me more than all the others combined, is phasing out freelancers over the coming months. In fact, the print department is itself being phased out, and so the ads and such generated by that department will be originating in the L.A. offices. That sucks, and yet it's another concrete reason to hate Los Angeles. There's always a positive if you're sick enough to look real hard.

Over the last few weeks I've gotten calls from two of my other mainstay freelance clients, and they've given me some work recently, but not enough, never enough work. I thought I would be a lot busier with all the new freelance agencies I've registered at in th
e last few months, but it still hasn't resulted in the workload I expected. That's why I'm leaning toward taking a full-time assignment with one company. I'm getting to the point where I'd rather know where I'm going to work tomorrow before the end of the day before, if that makes any sense to all you non-freelancers.

Had a Christmas party at one of my agencies last week, and it was cool but not as good as the year before. Different place, different vibe, fewer contacts made, etc. Maybe it was also because I had to tear myself away from a still functioning open bar situation because of an early interview the next day -- the one that, predictably, I didn't get anyway.
I don't mind going on interviews, what I really hate about the current online-driven employment market is when you don't even get a call back or really any feedback at all regarding why you didn't get the position. It becomes a waste of time in that way, whereas if you got something more than the hated "they decided to go in another direction" or "they're gonna pass" -- which I got last week from a woman at one of the agencies -- at least you feel like you're sharpening your skills in some way or fine-tuning your whole mojo. This is the worst of all possible worlds, a Kafkaesque exercise updated to Seinfeld-ian proportions. I'll leave you with that and let you get on with your business. Thanks for being you. I know I was.


jimithegreek said...

Since I am now on the job hunt myself, I feel ya! The lameness quotient out there is amazing!

Wardens World said...

What happened? You were there for a long time...

jimithegreek said...

yeah, they are going in a different direction, right got younger chinese guy paying half the price!! celestial bastards

Wardens World said...

Fuckin' hoopleheads! That sucks, but hope it works out for the better in the long run... i feel in my gut next year's gonna be a good year. all the best to you, brother.