Wednesday, March 30, 2005

In the beginning

This blog will chronicle my adventures in abandoning the career path I chose at age 15 and striking out on my own (moving back in with my parents).

I studied journalism in college, did the student paper, the internship, the whole nine yards. Then I got a job. Hated it, quit after two weeks. Got another job; liked it much better.

But generally, I just don't think being a newspaper reporter is going to be my thing. So I chucked it again and went home.

Now I'm 23, unemployed and living in my sister's old bedroom. I've been back for about three days and have been doing some job hunting every day.

So far, I've applied at
5 bars
1 brew pub
2 chain restaurants that have bars
2 department stores
1 mall store
2 riverboat casinos (that also have bars)
1 bagel shop
1 home improvement giant

I popped in to one of the department stores today, hoping to score an interview, which, technically, I suppose I did.
I got there about 12:15 and sat for at least 20 minutes while they searched for my application. I'd dropped it off about a week and a half ago, and when the customer service lady told the interview lady, she rolled her eyes and said "That means it could be literally on any manager's desk."
Finally she came back and asked me to fill out another application.
As I was doing so, smiling merrily all the while, I noticed two things. One, these jeans I'm wearing that I thought were in pretty good shape are actually frayed and crusty at the bottom, and more than likely smell like one of the 25 smoke-filled places I've worn them in the three months since I've washed them (I stopped short of sniffing them). Two, on the part of the application where one is to list one's job history in exhaustive detail, a note read in big bold letters: "DO NOT OMIT ANY JOBS."
Well, truth be told, in the elusive first application, I had forgotten to write in my recent two-week job. Since realizing I did that, I've been purposely leaving it off of other applications (how will that affect my ability to mix a red-headed slut, I pray thee?). But now it seemed I was going to be immediately questioned about this history, so I'd better be honest. I filled it out and gave it back to the girl who had previously rolled her eyes.
She was of a certain type. I'm not saying that because I think all people fit neatly into categories...just certain people. Like her.
She had a constant air of frustration about her, of the official variety. The type that says, "I'm simply exhausted because I'm the only person around here who knows anything." She wore a cheap sweater and a black skirt with a walkie-talkie stuffed down the back (lovely).
She glanced over my application and led me into a room with a long table and about 25 chairs, a television with videos laying all around it, and a mountain of boxes and bubble wrap. It seemed beneath the shimmery veneer of the only upscale department store in town lay a dirty secret: the clothes came in boxes.
She asked me why I wanted to work in cosmetics. It was then that I realized all my reasons were stupid: it looked easy, I got to wear a lab coat, the promise of a discount. Instead, I told her I liked make up and liked to put it on my friends. She probably inferred that I do so whilst others in my Girl Scout troop braided hair or had silly string fights. And really, who could blame her?
Then she asked if I had any experience in retail. I told her that in high school, I worked at Osco. This was a job I had for about two months in 1998, but she didn't know that.
"Well, we like our cosmetics people to have a little experience in retail." She then said she'd forward my application to the people in the men's and junior's departments, which were hiring.
And that was it. That was the end of the interview. I think it was about two and a half minutes.
So children, remember, when someone tells you a college degree is your ticket to a fulfilling career, he is no better than a lunatic who rides a rusty bike about town, peddling lies from his rickshaw.