Oh, the Places You'll Go Online to Find a Job!


Winter 2009

I awaken to another mythical day, waiting for my alarm clock to break out in song. It snores instead. Nothing has changed. I'm still on unemployment time, caught in the weightless zone of a daydream where time moves like a Wiffle ball.

"What day is it?" I ask my dog lying next to me. She doesn't know either. I discover the answer after I climb out of bed and stagger down the hall to the office, my daily workout. The wall calendar never lies unless I forget to change the month. It's January -- no February -- no March. And it's Monday, a.m., not p.m., a reliable source (the clock) tells me.

Time to start slogging through the job sites online.

My first job-ops sweep targets office assistant positions within 15 miles. Nothing. I widen the search to 20 miles. Nothing, then 40 miles. Still nothing. 2,000 miles later there appears to be a job in Quebec, though the commute is a bit of a schlep from Connecticut and requires a visa.

Another website looks promising. Lots of jobs posted here, but in a strange dialect. Oops, it seems I've drifted off to Belgium. I'll send a resume anyway. Maybe I can telecommute with a translator. An idea so far-fetched, my brain and computer freeze. 

Seconds pass before I receive a last transmission from my thoughts. "You must reboot!" 

I hit Ctrl, Alt, Delete -- then nothing, but a dark computer screen. Am I dead? I see a light. 

Don't go into the light!

It's just the monitor. Thank God, I'm alive and back in the motherland.

I cyber-trot over to Yahoo and scroll down the page. There's a job 40 miles away if I can speak Spanish, French, and Pig Latin. My Pig Latin is good, but I'd rather not interact with hogs. My French is pathetic. I only know several words, and I'm pretty sure they're obscenities. I can speak Spanish well enough to order lunch at Taco Bell.

Why aren't there any jobs that require fluency in English? A skill I rarely use anymore.

I ask The Google to find career sites with endless opportunities and end up at the red-light district on Craigslist. Another waste of Wiffle ball time I fear. But then my fingers screech to a stop at a headline that screams, "SUPERHEROES WANTED!!!"

I step into the interview chamber inside my head and face an imaginary recruiter.

I'm here about the superhero job.

I see your resume includes leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

Well, I did work for the Daily Planet for two years.

Then you left because of -- acute kryptonitus?

Someone put kryptonite in the Cremora. After my third cup of coffee, I couldn't reach the penthouse bathroom in a single bound.

But I requested an interview based upon your experience in leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

Your building isn't that tall. I could probably leap it in two or three bounds.

That's not acceptable. The job requires superhero expertise.

Please, I need this job. My cape and mask are on layaway.

Too bad you dropped out of Superhero School.

But I've got x-ray vision -- which also works as a microwave.

I'll keep your resume on file. 

She laughs as flames shoot from her fingertips, torching my resume; the ashes float into an urn that sits on a credenza. 

I exit the interview chamber. 

This is an excerpt from my unpublished memoir, Pitfalls and Pratfalls: In Search of a Paycheck, on how a quirky, fifty-something gal overcomes the pitfalls of today's working world to find a job that fits her skewed expectations of a "normal" office.

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