Monday, November 24, 2014

For this I bought slacks

My sister is rocking the slacks; I'm in
the granny squares dress.
I have two basic states of dress: casual and fancy. Throughout life, you could find me in jeans and sweats or dresses and skirts (usually too short or too tight if you found me during my teens, but that's another story). I never really have been a fan of dress pants. You know, trousers. Or as mom always called them, slacks.

When I was a kid, I remember my mom wearing a rainbow of polyester slacks. She had them in all colors, and they came with the front crease sewn in like piping. They were pull on.

It was the 70s.

Perhaps it was this early introduction to slacks that turned off them so? I don't know, but I do know that if I had to get pants, they were going to be jeans (for a few extra-mullety years? Stirrup pants, lace glovelets optional). And if I were a teenager, they would be the Levi's from the JCPenney catalog with the orange tag, the ones with the denim that felt stiff like cardboard. Within minutes of finding them in my room, the waist size on the back label would be crossed out (so subtle!) and the legs would be taken in. That Home Ec class in 7th grade came in handy in my teens.

But I digress; back to the slacks.

Recently, I've decided that I need to get a desk job. I mean, I write and edit now—a lot—at a desk at home, but I need separation. After a summer that was filled with conferences and seminars of inspirational and awesome people telling me to live my dream, find what I love to do and work at that, I realized a truth (for me at least):

Taking what I love and making it my job takes what I love and turns it into work.

I don't want that.

I need separation. I need to be productive and work and I need to be creative but I can't have all of that together. I'm happiest as a writer and editor when I'm working for the man (i.e., a paycheck) and working for myself. Releasing the technical aspect of work for me helps to get my creativity in gear as well. I need both parts.

But again; back to the slacks.

I sent out resumes and applied for jobs that sounded interesting. Also for jobs that sounded doable. I was very excited—I've worked in the corporate world before, and the last time I searched for a job, it was just a matter of applying to the one that sounded most interesting and the one that I actually wanted.

Did you catch that part? Some of you may be laughing at that. Some of you may still be nodding along with me because that's how it works. Only—no. It doesn't. Not anymore. The employment landscape has changed, and changed drastically. I realized this as I planned for an interview, I needed to put my best foot forward, research the company, cover my visible tattoos and FOR THE LOVE OF A PAYCHECK TO NOT TALK ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. I was ready. I went to the interview, in a skirt with tights, an outfit that "goes" but does not "match" as per my style icons Clinton & Stacy (What Not To Wear hasn't been off the air so long that I can't do a first-name only reference, right?). I practiced questions I found in books. I practiced questions I found on Google. I practiced my witty repartee.

I was a shoo-in.

Only when I got to the interview in my carefully selected attire, it was not an "interview" in the classic sense of the word. I was given questions to answer and there was to be no interaction with the panel "interviewing" (for lack of a better word) me. I was told to answer the questions in whatever order I saw fit, and explain how I was the right person for their job, how my experience matched their needs, how I would handle certain important situations, what I would bring to the table.

Clearly, a knack for expository presentations is not one of those things.

I prattled on for several minutes and was nowhere close to my allotted time before I started to babble like a poorly-coached Miss Teen contestant.

It. Was. Hideous. I may have actually said "I'm going to stop talking now before I talk you out of hiring me," or that might just be my bad nerves remembering the pain to be more painful.

Needless to say, I did not get that job. Nor did I get many of the others that I applied for. In my favor, there are many more still open for which I am under consideration. And I hope if they Google my name, then a decent (albeit somewhat dry) sense of humor works in my favor.

Also, since then, I have tweaked my resume, picked out a wardrobe for my first week of work (as one does) and bought a pair of slacks for the interview.

Because you never can be too prepared.


  1. Ah, the job hunt. It freakin' sucks. May I suggest that you download the Glassdoor app on your phone, and set it to send you push notifications when certain jobs that match your predetermined keywords just float in? I love it.

    1. Ooh, the glass door sounds way better than the glass ceiling.

  2. Love you, Mari!! I think you're being saved for something better down the road.

  3. I feel you on the job hunt. I am currently exhausted by retail but haven't had any luck finding anything more worthwhile - so in retail, I continue to languish. So many jobs, and so many others applying for them. I think that I (like you) are just where we're at till the right one for us comes along. Then everything will surely magically fall into place. I just know it!