-2: Rats

March 25, 2010

Tomorrow is my last day!! I can’t believe it. Somehow this day has snuck up on me. I’ve been trying to get prepared to leave everything but I keep feeling like I’m just going on vacation. It hasn’t hit me just yet that I’m not going back, ever. I guess next Monday or Tuesday when I’m sitting at home around 11am with nothing to do I will probably start to get the picture… Though, I won’t lack things  to do. I will have a lot to do. I have to find a new job, pack up the house in preparation for a move, find a new place to live, go to some job interviews, say my goodbyes and much more.

While I was in the process of winding things down at the office today I felt the need for a sweet treat. I don’t like breakfast and usually don’t eat anything before lunch so sometimes I need a little snack to make it until noon. This morning around 10 was one of those times. I keep a candy bowl hidden in the kitchen at the office. I pull the bowl out when we have client meetings and put it on the conference table. Since I’m the only one who knows where the bowl is hidden,

I want a Reese's Nom Nom Nom

I’m also the only one who has the ability to sneak a chocolate treat when I feel the need. Well today I got a little surprise when I went in for my mini 3 Musketeers. I found, on top of the bowl, an individually wrapped Reese’s cup with a hole chewed in the middle and little teeth/claw marks all in the chocolate. There were a few other candy wrappers torn to shreds around the bowl. I proceeded to freak out.  Never has an attempt to sneak a snack gone so awry! Lesson Learned- No stealing from the company candy dish… I get it. Anyway, by the end of the day mouse traps had been set. And somehow, noone asked what I was doing in the candy dish when I found the situation… maybe I shouldn’t give up my candy sneaking after all. I’m so stealth!

… I hope! I’ve found myself obsessing over this job interview I had on Monday. I’ve been mulling over every minute of it, analyzing everything said, every word of the thank you notes I sent, all the possibilities of what my references said… it needs to stop. They said I would hear something by Friday. I hope tomorrow goes by quickly – my brain is wearing me out!

In other news, my kickball team (Yes, kickball the sport of uncoordinated 8 year olds) had our first game of the season tonight. WE WON!!! Now this news might be a little less exciting if this team hadn’t played together last season. Last season we won just one game out of 12. So we’re already setting the bar high for this season.

Last season we were sponsored by a local bar, The Corner Pub, and our name was “The Corner Publicans” – I came up with the name and was proud of it at the moment. However throughout the season we were made fun of because people associated “Publicans” with “pubic”… I had been concerned that others would think we were all republicans but I guess I overestimated the logic of the average kickball player. I should have put my mind in the gutter a little more….

This season we opted to part ways with our sponsor. We found it to be quite a chore to show up at the Bar either before or after every game. It was across town from the fields where we play and really, how much bar food can you stand. Even once a week for three months is too much…

So this season we’re an independent team with no sponsorship. We had to pay our own entry fee but hey, we got to pick any name we wanted. So we had everyone on the team submit options then we had a vote. The winning team name was…… drum roll please…. “Who Farted?”  ( no, I’m not kidding). It seems that several of the guys on our team were on an intramural team in college with this name and they went undefeated. They think the name will bring us the same luck. I think the name will bring us shame but that’s just me thinking more than is necessary, as usual. So far they are right. One game down, one win for Who Farted?

Who Farted?

Take a good look at this team my friend. We could be the next league champs! Or we could just be the chumps wearing t-shirts that say who farted and have a picture of a man wearing a gas mask. On a side note, I stopped into a local eatery on my way to the game to grab a beverage. I passed a table in the restaurant where there was a family eating. I felt shamed by the words on my shirt. “Fart” was not an ok word when I was a kid. I felt like I might as well have been wearing a shirt with the other *F* word on it.  I tried to cover it up with my purse… Oh the shame!!!

-4: Things Fall Together

March 23, 2010

Things seem to be falling together. I was offered several pieces of free furniture by a co-worker today. This will be a great help as I move out of my shared living space and into a place of my own. I can worry about replacing the furniture later when I have more funds to do so.  Things really are coming together. Now if I could just get that little matter of a job taken care of…

When I was considering the title for this post my mind immediately went to the book “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. I read this book a long time ago and haven’t thought much about it in a long while.  I honestly couldn’t remember many of the key elements of the story so I looked up the SparkNotes for the book as a refresher.  Well, that was depressing.

If you’ve read the book you’ll know that the protagonist’s life begins well but seems to spiral downward until he eventually takes his own life. I first read this book in high school. The topics now seem more serious than I remember them being at the time. Maybe that’s because I couldn’t fathom things falling apart then. When your greatest struggles in life center around who is going to ask you to homecoming and the fact that your car isn’t “cool”… life isn’t too bad!

Life still isn’t too bad (Especially in comparison to the events in this book… ). Things really are falling together. Let’s hope this ball of positivity that I’m currently rolling on keeps moving on down the road.

Speaking of my ball of positivity… I have been extremely positive lately. I usually am but I have been even more so than usual the last week-ish. Clearly the impending life change has me in a good place. I keep finding myself interjecting my glass-half-full opinions into other people’s life situations. “I know you haven’t heard back from the doctor but it’s probably a good thing. I bet they just discovered that it’s not a big deal so they are spending their time calling back the patients with critical needs”… now yes, I would usually say such a thing especially to a distressed friend, but I’m finding myself to be the overwhelming optimist in quite a few conversations a day.  I like it. I should quit my job more often. I’ve missed the old positive Polly version of myself.

I spent the night in Birmingham last night. Before bed I discovered I didn’t have a toothbrush. It was 1 am and the nearest wal-mart was 30 minutes away so I decided to go to bed after swishing some toothpaste (save your cringes… it’s not like it’s never happened to you!).

I got up this morning and drove to Target to buy a toothbrush. Bought it, went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth. While I was brushing, three women came in and laughed at me. I felt homeless BUT I was wearing a $300 business suit, heals and pearls, so that helped. I’m probably the most well dressed homeless person ever. But I’m not homeless just yet…

I had an interview this morning (hence the suit and the trip to Birmingham). It went well I believe. I never really can tell honestly. Once I interviewed for a job I really wanted and left feeling HORRIBLE about it. I wasn’t hired. Another time I interviewed for a job I was interested in but wasn’t all that interested in. It went so well that after I declined the job they called back twice to make sure I didn’t want to take it.

This being said, I’ve come to learn that I have haphazard interviewing skills. I try to dress well so that I feel confident – a new pair of shoes usually helps too.  I get up a little early to ensure that I’m properly groomed ( and that I have plenty of time to go to Target and brush my teeth- ha!).  I go over in my head, how I believe the interview will play out and consider talking points. I’m good at preparing. I think I’m good at the actual interview part but, I guess it’s only sometimes. I hope I did well today…

Today’s little life lesson from me: Don’t forget your toothbrush! And if you do, and you find yourself brushing your teeth in a public restroom do it in nice clothes, you’ll feel better about yourself!

I woke up this morning singing an African Spiritual- “Oh freedom, oh freedom, oh freedom, freedom is coming oh yes I know…” Obviously my psyche is obsessed with my impending departure from my current job, my current living situation, my current state of mind… all of it. Freedom is coming, and yes, I know it!

(I googled this particular spiritual and found several choirs singing it. But then I found this video and had to post it instead. It more adequately illustrates my exuberance than the somber choral spiritual videos.)

While at work today I had two different responses to my resume that I submitted on Monday. Note that I only sent it to two places. This means I have a 100% positive response!! I have an interview set up with the director of a department of NASA for the first week in April and I have to return a call to the Alumni Office of my college for an opening there tomorrow.

Nothing is certain until it’s final, I know. But these first glimmers of hope are helping me realize I made the right decision.

“I’m coming on the other side of something and I have a new hope that blows away the smaller hopes I knew before… I am compelled” ~ Sara Groves

Considering my need to send out a handfull of resumes a day, I need to spend some one on one time with that document and whip it into shape.

I’ve thought a lot about presentation style for this document. Two years ago I had sleek black folders that I put my resume in. There was a copy of my transcript from college on one side and a copy of my resume on the other. I created a little calling card and put it in the business card slot. Now, after two years of working in the marketing industry, I have gained more of an eye for design and my old resume packet just isn’t going to make the cut.

My friend Sarah visited last weekend and brought with her the most beautiful portfolio I think I have ever seen. She just graduated and is looking for a job as a high school history teacher. To begin with, all of her information was in a gorgeous, leather portfolio with scrolling burnt into the leather. Once you opened the portfolio there were sheet protectors containing pages and pages of documentation of how awesome she is: Resume, Awards, Certifications, Lesson Plans and more. I opened it and wanted to hire her myself!

I want a portfolio that looks that stellar. Sarah is going to make a fantastic teacher, I know this because I have known her for years. However, if I had just met her, I would know that to be true just from looking at the presentation she had before me. Now I have to figure out how I can meet or exceed this type of presentation with my own information.

Suggestions?

-9: Honey and Vinegar

March 16, 2010

With 8 days remaining, it’s time to start passing the baton. I’ve considered how this is going to work with several of my duties but I haven’t really nailed down an exact time frame for “de-task-ization.”  How soon is too soon to start doling out my tasks to my office mates? I’m not sure just yet  but some of this will definitely be decided for me.  For example, this afternoon we had our weekly production meeting. I, however, was told to just stay at my desk for the first time in over a year. That was weird.

Today I also faced many questions about my future plans. I guess most people leave when they have a solid plan, a new job locked down or some great life change like moving home to take care of a sick relative or taking time to be a stay at home parent. But not this girl. Nope, I’m just jumping ship and hoping the tide takes me to warmer water.

I’ve been in the same job for almost two years. This, my first job out of college, was pretty much a fluke. I left college without a plan, moved to Nashville hoping to find a great first job in a field that interested me. This seemed like an easy enough task as I am the type of person who is interested in just about everything. Albert Einstein once said “I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.” That pretty much sums me up too though I believe Mr. Einstein just might have had some special talents…

After searching for a month or so I landed a job as an administrative assistant at a marketing/graphic design studio/software development/creative consulting business. As you may be able to tell from that little description, there’s lots going on in the company and a diverse range of tasks being performed on an everyday basis.  In the beginning it was interesting and new, not like anywhere I had worked before. I was, after three months, promoted to “Marketing Assistant” which I was quite excited about at the time. I quickly realized that the promotion was in name only, I was nothing more than a receptionist who now also performed some basic tasks for the marketing team in addition to my original responsibilities. I came to realize that I was not only feeling stifled in a position that wasn’t helping me grow but that I was wasting valuable time and not perusing my passion (we’ll discuss just what that passion is later).

I did learn a lot from this job, the effects of which I am certain that I have yet to fully grapple with. I knew nothing about the industry before  I began and learned a great deal about what graphic designers, programmers, and marketing professionals do on a day to day basis. I learned much about small businesses and the struggles they face in a market where the big guys can easily run you over if you lose your focus or your competitive edge.  I was able to observe the particular management style used in this office and use that experience to help shape my vision for how I wish to treat others and how a business should be operated. A phrase often used around the office that I have come to live by is “You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!” Moving forward, I hope to be a fountain of honey with a very small amount of vinegar on reserve.

As I move on from this job I also want to look back on it as honey, not vinegar. I want to see my time there (or here as I am still an employee) as a period of growth and self-discovery. This job has not defined me; it has taught me to seek out something that I want to do 8 hours a day that will define me. I looked at my first job search as a time when I was out there waiting to be picked. I now realize how much power I have in determining both my own happiness and my own future. With my glass half full, half full of honey, I am moving on.

-10: The Letter

March 15, 2010

I did it. I handed in my two weeks notice. I was scared and didn’t know what reaction I might get but I waltzed in this morning, handed over the letter I had drafted (see below) and politely explained my intentions.  I’ll spare you the details but suffice it to say, it went well.  One day down, nine to go until I’m done with this page in my journey.

Two Weeks Notice

March 15, 2010

I’m putting in my two weeks notice in about 9 hours.  At the time of this posting the national unemployment rate is at a staggering 10.4%, which you know unless you live under a rock or in some strange miracle town in some uncharted part of middle America (congratulations to you, if you exist!).

Am I Crazy?

This graph is an illustration of two things-

One: that I am quite possibly clinically insane for quitting a stable full time job right now

Two: I am taking a risk that may result in disaster as the odds are stacked against me.

But I’m pushing forward as I am certain that there is a job out there more suited to me than my current gig.

I am now accepting prayers, happy thoughts, meditation… whatever it is that you do, on my behalf. I will also accept cash, check or money orders… let’s face it- I’m going to be poorer than I already am.

So follow me on this journey, assist me if you can, gain some insight from my particular plight, know that my humor is meant in good fun (I’m sure I can come off a bit brutish if read the wrong way but I wouldn’t hurt a fly!), understand that I haven’t gained enough knowledge in my 24 years to fully take in the magnitude of most situations that I face, be aware that I generally don’t know what I’m talking about and… enjoy!