Posts tagged ‘post-college’

March 13, 2010

On Snowstorms and Gym Class


Cleaning up after a snow storm in Boreal, Cali...

This is pretty accurate

Unintentionally, I ended up working for a district that does not really enjoy having snow days, even on days that it should. (Seeing as that I actually went to some of these schools years ago, I should have seen this coming). On one particular morning,  I looked out my window and saw the snow falling and the roads caked with a substance that would both prevent me from going where I wanted to go and try to slide me into a tree. At the same time. Since I had agreed to the job a few days prior, I was not allowed to cancel it. Well, I could have but it would have involved calling the head of Human Resources for the district and asking her to fire me.

The drive itself was bad, but nothing that I haven’t gone through before.  However, I’m used to driving in these conditions in my tiny little Focus and made it on time. Somehow.

Walking into the school, I found myself hearing, “Why the hell are we here?” from both faculty members and students alike. The snow didn’t stop falling and I spent much of the day staring out the window watching as the sidewalk, which was plowed sometime ago, disappear under a white blanket. I would like to say that I was actually admiring the beauty and power of nature, but I was mainly dreading the ride home. In many classes a good quarter of the students had parents who loved them and decided that they should have stayed home anyway, which was good for me. You see, I-like many teachers-love small class sizes for many reasons. Some reasons are noble. For example, you can actually teach kids better, there’s less distractions, you can manage them more effectively. Other than that, I enjoy them because they’re easier to get the attention of-and thereby-toy with.

However, it is impossible to mess with a gym class. Those kids are there to run around and use up that excess energy derived from raging hormones;  there’s not a damn thing you can do to stop them.

For the gym class there was another teacher who was there to co-teach with me. He told me that he expected about 20 students to be absent for the class that hour, out of the 100. I began to laugh nervously, “You’re kidding right?” The distant look in his eyes was one that you see often in mental patients, lost in a world in their heads, a better world far more colorful and wonderful than our own. No, he wasn’t. This became all too apparent when they started piling in.

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January 25, 2010

corporate zombies* Ate My Neighbors OR I’m Overqualified for This…Right? Right!? (Part 2)


I really need to stop keeping lofty goals for myself. Like this nugget for instance; I want to be identified as either the Anti-Christ or as the BFF of the Dali Lama-regardless if I am either.

This has nothing to do with the rest of the story I started in the last post, so anyway…

When I met my actual boss, he was anything but happy. He was already annoyed that he had no control of my hiring process so when I told him that I had no experience in retail he made little effort to hide his aggravation. He began to talk to me about how hard the job was and that I needed to “step-up to the plate” everyday. It was then that he started churning out more cliche’s and corporate buzz words then I had thought possible by a single person. He seemed like a walking stereotype of corporate America. Those people don’t really exist do they? No one could be that souless, right? He began telling me about his career at the department store, and how he had been there for around 10 years or so. Implying that if I work hard enough, I could get his position. Maybe, in another 10 years.

I was laughing to myself. There was no way I’d be stuck here for that long right? I was a college graduate, college graduates don’t get stuck working retail department stores for the rest of their lives right? Sure, in the next few weeks during my computer training (which I later found out was full of outdated information that no longer applied to the floor) I’d met some people who had been with the company for 30+ years, but they didn’t have degrees. I wasn’t the same as them, right? Right?

Wrong.

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January 20, 2010

I’m Overqualified for This…Right? Right!? (Part 1)


As I left my final English class, with my paper in hand, I was assured my degree. I was practically skipping down the hallways with my friend Pat (who not skipping) who unintentionally decided to end my parade by throwing a suicide bomber on my Santa float thereby scarring the children my metaphorical crowd forever,

“So what are you going to do now?”

I hadn’t thought that far ahead. Maybe it was the stress of writing that final paper, or maybe it was the hope that my internship would produce some sort of decent job, but I hadn’t the damnest clue. What was I going to do? My first reaction was to write that book I was working on-but I wasn’t going to embarrass myself by telling Pat that. I guess I had to get a job, I told him.

“Yeah, but get a job where?”

Pat seemed to be on a roll with killing my good mood that night. I didn’t know; a few months prior I was sure of using my degree for getting a job in marketing,  public relations, or something that involved using my writing skills. I even had relevant work experience to boot with an internship that ended only weeks ago! Yet the more I considered those fields, the more I thought against going in that direction. (Well that and the fact that no employer even bothered responding to me). I decided to try a shotgun approach for a job, any job that would pay the bills. I told myself that it would only be a temporary job while I tried to figure out my career. (That and if I include all the soul searching here, it’ll make for a ridiculously long and confusing post).

I had one interview with a department store. Which was great since I had vowed, that with my degree, I would never return to food service again. My first interview lasted no less than 5 minutes, but I was told to return for another. I arrived for this second interview a good 15-10 minutes early (just like every job-getting aid suggests) and began my wait. I was feeling confident, how hard could this be?

Apparently, this department store had decided to test how bad I really wanted this job by ignoring me.

I had noticed that it was 30 minutes past my interview time, and there was no one in the room but me and an elderly lady. Thinking that maybe she was my interviewer in disguise and was testing how pleasant I could be under stress, I decided to talk to her. Turns out that she was supposed to have an interview an hour ago. We heard footsteps occasionally, but it was never for us. It was always some employee on their way to or from their lunch break. Yes jackass, I’d say to myself, we’re still here. At one point (around the one hour mark) a short lady with an ugly disposition came by, assuring us that our interviewer would only be a moment longer.

She lied. After another half hour passed, I saw a new person walking through the hallway. She was a middle-aged black woman professionally dressed with a smile on her face. Almost like the kind you see on diversity in the workplace pamphlets. She began talking to us right away.

“Oh, you must be our interviewer.” we said, finally glad that the wait was over.

“No I’m not,” she responded as our hearts sunk yet again, “how long have you both been waiting?”

“Well,” the elderly lady answered, “about two and a half hours.”

Turns out the lady was from Corporate. This became obvious when her picturesque expression instantly shattered into something more akin to… something angry. I don’t know how to describe it, it’s not everyday you see a corporate minion break their usual bland demeanor. I feel like I should be telling you that she turned into a leprechaun and gave me a pot of gold instead. I did have to wait another 20 minutes or so for my brief interview (which turned into “Fill out these tax forms”) but it was worth it. Why was it worth it? Well, after our interviewer finally showed up, she was pulled into another room. This did little to save face on her part since I could still hear Lady-From-Corporate yelling at her for a good 15 minutes. The phrase “I don’t care if they’re even qualified for this job-you’re giving it to them!” was uttered. Apparently, I was supposed to have yet another interview had everything gone as planned.

You could say I was happy, but there was still nothing I could do to repair the fake Christmas for those imaginary children in my head.

January 16, 2010

The Start of DIY Fame and Fortune Or The Start of a Long Winded Suicide Note


I don’t know if this was the result of sobering up or becoming intoxicated (the memory is pretty hazy), but I do remember what I was thinking: I was laying on the floor of my bedroom, my eyes wide open on the unchanging ceiling, as I said to myself  “If I don’t have anything published by the end of my 23rd year, I’m going to shoot myself.”

Now this wasn’t out of any sort of depressed notion or self pity; I was pretty happy at that moment and feeling ridiculously confident. So confident that I didn’t really mind that my friends were shooting off fireworks at 3am in my neighbor’s backyard. (The cops never came when she called anyway). While I have been busy finishing college, getting a house, and working, I have yet to publish anything. I have recently realized, being a month into 23, that I have to do something soon or blow my brains out.

Now, I realize the 19-year-old-me wasn’t that smart, so he didn’t bother with any fine print. He didn’t consider self-publishing, or even self publishing on the internet. (‘Cause that totally counts). So that’s where this comes in. I will chronicle my attempts to get myself published in various forms of media and if by the end of the year I’ve gotten nothing done,  I’ll still have this… blog. So HA! take that Younger Me! You may have a freezer stocked with booze and strange cacti but I have a degree now and therefore am certifiably smarter than you!

But then again, being out of college is a different world. There is no longer an uncaring adviser who will send you back and forth from building to building in order for you to sort of find the right answer that you will only realize is wrong by the middle of the next semester! You’re on your own, and nobody gives a damn about you. Not only that, but once you’ve graduated you realize you now have the rest of your life to either succeed at your life’s ambitions, or horribly fail at them. (Usually the idea of failure is the only thing that actually comes to mind).

Maybe this constant reminder of what my dreams are/were will take it’s toll on me and I will become a shell of a man, regretfully looking back at what I could have been. I will only be able to stare mournfully at my shattered dreams as if they were a dead kitten laying on the cold pavement. The weight of my failure will transform me to the point that I am no longer recognizable and my fiancee will leave me, saying I am no longer the same man that I once was. This will cause me to become an alcoholic; and in a sad, drunken stupor one night in some back alley of Detroit I will finally end it my life by blowing my brains out all over the wall of an abandoned building. (And you would enjoy that wouldn’t you internet).

Or, you know, I just might succeed, but where’s the fun in considering that?

Until one of the two outcomes comes to fruition, since I’m obviously not going to be able to fill this damn thing with simply myself trying to get published, I’ll give you my dear (currently non-existent) readers stories of the horrors of post-college life. Everything from working a job that requires no degree (even though you are surrounded by people in the same position with higher degrees), becoming a substitute teacher, and probably other stories that have nothing to do with anything. And while you may be thinking “Well gee Mister,” because you do talk like that, you know, “that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

Well that’s too bad. (But keep reading anyway.) You see, I have this problem in life where I often do things and crack jokes only caring if I find them funny. Sometimes going out of my way to make a big show out of a really bad joke, which I think makes it funny in a really, really stupid way. I enjoy being over-the-top (as you may have noticed already) which also gets me annoyed stares and in trouble. My sense of humor is off, I’ll admit, so my bar is pretty low. I can’t even take myself seriously. There is no need to feel sorry for me, because in the end, I am easily amused.

Fozzie Bear is my idol.

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