Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Unemployment Chronicles, Chapter 6

This is good, right?
My days as a lady of leisure continue apace. I've made my first request for payment of unemployment benefits. I don't know when to expect it to arrive, and of course the Payment Information link is the only one on the unemployment website that isn't working today. So I'll just have to keep checking my bank account, I guess.

Last week, I had a very good job interview, and that made me sad. Why? It was for a "good" job: the salary would be more than I made before, the commute is about 10 miles, and the health benefits and vacation package are very generous. But I would die of greyness there. The "good" job would be bad for me.

So of course I got a call this morning (which I haven't yet returned) inviting me for a second interview for this job. It's reasonable to think this could turn into an offer. Please help me resist!

As an alternative, yesterday I was asked if I could do a small freelance proofreading project, and I said yes with a smile. Last night I dreamed of having my pockets full of nickels, so many I couldn't hold them all in my hands. Maybe I should dream big by starting small?

When I was in New York recently, I kept finding money on the ground. Pennies. I always stopped to pick them up, even when I had to take off a glove to get a grip. I told myself that every time I stooped for this tiny pittance, I was bowing to the universe and saying thank you for the bounty. I kept bowing, I kept finding, and yesterday that new project showed up. Coincidence? The ramblings of a mind with too much free time? You be the judge.

Put me in, Coach
Anyway. On Sunday I met with Cindy, a career coach. She doesn't find people jobs, specifically, but helps people figure out what's the right job, truly the right job, for them and how to get it. I've already proven that I can find the wrong job on my own, and quickly, so Cindy's outside-the-box tactics sound like exactly what I need.

While we met, I answered some questions to help Cindy get acquainted with me, my skills, and my preferred types of work. Later, she sent me some "discovery" exercises that identify my values — the conditions I need to be happy and productive.

None of my answers surprised me; I've done dozens of quizzes like these. Where I'm hoping to be surprised is in the ideas it gives Cindy. I've been thinking of myself and my job prospects in certain ways for about 20 years, and I keep managing to find work that fits my stale vision. Cindy, however, is not hindered by entrenched views. She might say to me, "In my experience, I've found that people like you are good at _____." And then I'll have new avenues to explore.

Is it February yet?
My spirits took a dip over the weekend, but not because of job stuff. On Sunday, I learned of the sudden death of a family friend, and Monday was the anniversary of my Dad's death six years ago. January is a lousy month for me. There's these deaths, and my house was robbed in January last year, and it was in January 2000 that I realized my marriage was dissolving. So I'll be glad to flip the calendar to February.

So I went to the movies
I tried to cheer myself by seeing Stomp the Yard, but it didn't work. For a movie about hardcore, gang-like dance battles and fraternity life, it was absurdly PG. No cussing, drinking, smoking, or partying, and no sex beyond kissing. There was violence, though, both in the beating/shooting death of a boy in the opening scene and in the way the film assaults the viewer with Important Messages for Today's Troubled Youth. Be a team player! Don't let The Man get you down! Underdogs triumph in the end!

I'm sure there was plenty of amazing dancing going on between Messages, but you don't get to see most of it. The herky-jerky editing cuts from one move to the next to the next so fast you never get a sense of what's really going on. Sometimes it even cuts from one routine to another. You never get to see anything from start to finish — which is kind of stupid when one of the Messages is about seeing things through.

Also, there's no background provided on the stepping or step dancing that is the movie's main focus. Maybe that info is a given for the film's African American characters and audience, but I came away as ignorant as I went in.

For a dance movie, Stomp the Yard is pretty clumsy. Two thumbs down.

All right, time for me to get to work.



  • Do you ever think you've totally blogged about something and then have someone else blog about it feeling the same way you did and then go back to see if you blogged about said topic and find out you really didn't?

    Well... I wish I could have told you to not go see Stomp the Yard... which I thought I blogged about and felt about it the same way you did and then later found out that I didn't even mention it on my blog! SORRY!

    By Blogger MrsThompson, at 1:04 PM  

  • Hang in there, Chi... tomorrow's February!

    By Anonymous Rev. Nicole, at 8:11 AM  

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