Editor’s Note

So sometimes (a lot of times) I write blog posts and the unintended consequence is that it evokes lots of pity and/or sadness and not a lot of understanding and/or entertainment.

Erin’s reaction to last week’s blog:

Erin: that was a sad post though my friend. i”m going to give you one of those creepy hugs you hate

or just hold your hand when you’re not looking

cuz i’m here for you soul sista

Megan: ugh. damn.

Ultimately it’s evidence of my weakness as a writer and my tendency to act really extrasupermelodramatic about everything. I accept this. I’m self-aware. I don’t necessarily prefer it, but I accept it.

But this weekend I came across this tweet from one of my very favorite websites:

It is a far happier and more eloquent version of my grievances. If you read my post and could empathize for even a moment, I promise Brain Picking’s “How to Find Fulfilling Work” is worth a glance.

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The Human Condition (and Not So Subtle Clues About Where We’ve Been)

Just what is it about working in an office that makes you want to hang yourself with a keyboard cord?

I’ve been asking around and have yet to find any concrete answers. Like…are there people out there who like…actually like…like their jobs? If so, we need to talk. Stat.

The honeymoon phase of this job is over. THE END. And I still didn’t quite see it coming. I thought this time could be different. It’s a field that I’m interested in, the people are cool, blah blah fucking blah. Maybe I could settle in here a bit, one day move up to a position that pays me a livable salary and that requires me to use my resume-unfriendly skills like creativity and common sense and decency in dealing with other humans?

LOLZ.

Nope. Here I am again lamenting not just all of my life choices, but my existence as a human being in general.

<COMMENCE INSOMNIA-INDUCING, SUBSTANCE-ABUSING QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS>

I’ve started to adopt the dangerously cynical opinion that most people are just making the best of a shitty situation and that none of us want to be trapped at a desk answering inane emails and completing corporate self-evaluations and watching management struggle to keep up morale because, quite frankly, they just don’t care either.  And that some people are just cool cats about it all. They just go to work, get it done, make the monies, and go home to a much more fulfilling world that makes company wide emails about kitchen cleanliness a little less hard to swallow. (So maybe that’s my problem. I have this job and that’s about it. More on this later).

But me? I’m having a temper tantrum. I’m guessing that because my personal life is relatively unfulfilling, it’s created a situation where my ego is all tied up in my job. Meaning that even though I don’t have much stake in anything that goes on at this job, I’m still super insulted by the micromanaging and the cliques and overall lack of respect for employees (and that’s best case scenario, assuming that a better personal life balances some of the nonsense we endure for 40+ waking hours a week). And then I realize that this place is better than most places I’ve worked. So then it’s me. It’s me and my perpetual fucking malcontent that has left me awash in life crisis and consequently absent from this blog.

It’s not that I don’t have anything to say. It’s that I’m not interested in people’s rainbows and bunny farts responses. Because the reaction to this is always “Well, change it”. Like I fucking ordered the wrong milkshake at the drive thru. Wait, wait! I didn’t mean vanilla, GIVE ME PEANUT BUTTER DOUBLE FUDGE!

And while a more positive and well-adjusted me knows there is wisdom in this advice, Quarter-Life Crisis Me can’t just snap my fingers and fix it all. Remember my last search for a new job? REMEMBER?! Do you want to relive that? Do you know how long it’s going to take me to voluntarily experience that again?

So this is why I wonder if it even can be fixed. Do I need to just suck it up and accept my tiny cubicle and tiny paycheck and tiny esteem? Is this the human condition????

IS THIS WHAT THE KEYBOARD CORD IS REALLY FOR?!

Words with Friends

Hey. We’re alive. But only barely.

Somehow Erin and I have had the same sort of week, the kind where someone in your office goes on vacation and all of the sudden you are doing two people’s full time jobs instead of just one and you’re still slightly new and everyone’s panties are in a bunch about things you only kind of understand and/or care about. The kind where you’re CC-ed in on a thousand different emails that don’t have anything to do with you or have everything to do with you and you start suffocating under the weight of just how mundane your Outlook-related stress is. The kind where by 3 pm you’re a mere a shell of a person, brain short-circuiting, patience pushed to the brink before it is maliciously punted right over the edge by some self important bitch who spreads her miserable, black unhappiness like the plague and then dares you to come back for more. The kind where you go to bed at 9 pm because you’re falling geriatrically asleep on your sofa but it’s okay because you don’t  really want to be alive anymore anyway.

As you might imagine, our work-time chats have reflected this. And really, this is the truest snapshot of our lives since we last spoke.

Exhibit A.

Stress-eating: it's real.

Stress-eating: it’s real.

Just kidding. You didn’t really think that was accurate right? Look a little closer*.

Exhibit B.

That's right.

Ahh, yes.

There will be much drinking tonight.

*The merits of swearing from a totally respectable and reputable source

The Enemy is Everywhere

Austin, TX. Monday 7:56 am:

“WHAT. IS. THAT.”

“What’s what?” Erin answered from her room.

“WHAT. THEFUCK. IS. THAT,” I repeated, my tone drawing her out of other room immediately.

A very large…something. On the floor. Unmoving. But with insect qualities. My brain wanted it to be a rabbit foot key chain.

Sometimes Erin wears barrettes and brooches like this.

Denial.

Is it…an orange and black feathery accessory that fell off of one of Erin’s purses?

Is it a moth? It MUST be a moth. Look, those..that..part appears to be…wings? And antennae. I walked to the other side of the couch, away from it while Erin performed her inspection from a safe distance.

“Uhhmm. I think it’s a roach?” Erin offered delicately.

I thought of my bed and its proximity to this creature. Cottage cheese and coffee threatened to come up on me. I have a hard enough time getting breakfast down as it is. I couldn’t get any nearer than three feet to help confirm. I couldn’t help confirm.

We put a tupperware over it and some weight on it and resolved to tell my pal Juan, the building guy, as soon as possible. “We will tell them. And they will SPRAY.”

I got in my car to head to work. My breakfast was still sitting high, ready to defy gravity with one mental misstep. I hoped his friends wouldn’t come to visit him while we’re gone. I considered the warnings that we’d received from our friends: bugs are a given here. I didn’t believe it, but here it was. Fruition. Then I wondered what other kinds of bugs we would encounter here in the wilds of Texas.

You see, Erin and I, we have a long and loathsome history with bugs. Continue reading

American Idle

So this whole “trying to get a job” thing has turned out way worse than I imagined in the months leading up to this move. I should’ve known better. Positivity and optimism really aren’t my bag. But I was hypnotized by the availability and variety of jobs (and tacos) this town promised.

I’m not sure what to attribute the difficulties to, as Erin found a job and is (happily? unhappily? It’s hard to tell) employed and has been for quite some time. So I can’t help but think, maybe it’s me? Then again, maybe it’s them. All of them. But maybe we all have our fate. Maybe the world is shit. Maybe everything happens for a reason. Maybe God is dead. Maybe the next interview will go really well Continue reading

Blow Jobs

Did I enter into this situation voluntarily? Yes. Did I assume the first few weeks would be depressing and frustrating? Yes. But did I also tell myself that of all the job markets to willfully enter Austin is about as promising as any? And that the pain of job searching and temporary poverty is far outweighed by the promise of better jobs, not to mention a more robust life seasoned with peer socializing and a spicy blend of food and music and entertainment? Yes and yes.

<Begin Job Search>

I can think of few scenarios as soulrapingly horrible in which to knowingly place yourself as ‘requiring employment’. It’s starts off innocently enough with a standard list of complaints that anyone might have under the pressure of a dwindling bank account and few prospects.

“Oh damn,

1.) …this is a disappointing selection of opportunities available here on (Craigslist, Monster, Indeed, Bright, Careerbuilder, SimplyHired, LinkedIn, USAJobs, AdministrativeJobs, TexasEmployment, etc). Bummer.”

2.) …this job here that I’m really interested in only pays a little more than the carwash down the street. Balls.”

3.) …this job requires me to write a painstakingly detailed and specific cover letter selling myself like a two dollar whore. Blurgh.”

Fair enough. These issues are to be expected. If getting hired were easy, everyone-

blank

Yeah.

<Begin Downward Spiral into Job Search Hell>

However, after the first hour or two of active employment seeking, an assault of inconvenient and/or mockingly stupid obstacles begins and it makes you doubt that a.) this kind of hoop-jumping nonsense is ultimately worth your time for said job and b.) you are even interested in an employer with such a deplorably asinine application process.

Examples of this kind of dickitude include but are not limited to:

Second Person Job Descriptions“You are detailed-oriented and a real go-getter! You love to be ORGANIZED and can’t sleep at night if your memos aren’t perfect! Now PROVE IT!”

“You are an ass-kissing cheerleader! You’re desperate enough for a job that you would just about anything wouldn’t you? Now down on your knees and prove it!”

Parsing ResumesWhat do you mean your previous job title isn’t “August 2010”?

Please upload your resume here so we can fill in the boxes all wrong and you have to go back and fix everything anyway. For the nineteenth time. This hour.

InternshipsHere, click on this awesome and exciting new job! (Just kidding, I mean, um, unpaid internship. We don’t have any money for you. Can’t believe you were dumb enough to click on that!)

Get your shit together people. If I wanted a job that doesn’t pay, I would have a blog.

And my favorite, Salary BracketsPlease enter your minimum and maximum salary requirements.

Yes, because I just feel really uncomfortable making more than $70,000 a year. In fact, if that’s what this position pays, I’m going to need to decline right now. Too much. I thrive only on Ramen and off brand toilet paper. Thanks though.

no

<Continue Downward Spiral into Total Self Reproach and Misery (It’s Getting Darker)>

I assume that for people with a definitive degree and desirable “skill” (ie software development, accounting, nursing, you get the idea), this process isn’t so brutal. You have a career goal in mind, you can tailor your application and communications to that career goal and the rest of these ‘bumps’ are just there to get your heart rate up.

But for someone like me with what has proven a fairly useless liberal arts degree and whose primary experience lies in clerical work and customer service and delicately attending to the egos of the assholes whom I ‘administratively assist’ (a very fucking under appreciated talent if I do say so), this routine gets really demeaning.

“Tell us why you want this job and why you love administrative work.”

Because I need to pay my rent and because fuck you.

“List all job related training or skills you possess and machines or office equipment you can use, such as: calculators, printers, computer equipment, types of software”

SInce you are unemployed and have loads of time, let’s play a game that will totally waste minutes of your life you’ll never get back and that will make you feel like a lousy piece of shit. Close your eyes and pretend you’re in an office. Now, list all the things you see there that plug in or require batteries. Bonus points if you can name more advanced equipment like paper shredders and cd-roms. Double bonus points for jump drives.

Office Administrator: Duties include supporting c-level executives, managing all incoming calls and documents, greeting guests, assisting with client relations, and general housekeeping.

And general housekeeping. Meaning, it is your job to clean up after the lazy jerks who are far too good to do their own dishes because, well, you fall underneath them in the career hierarchy dontcha know? Also, since we put it in the ad you can’t get mad when we treat you like a servant k? K.

Or worse even, “If a job with low pay, limited hours, a sometimes high amount of stress, and no benefits interests you, please reply to this posting with your resume and a cover letter that tells a bit about yourself and why you want this position”

These are positively heinous hurdles you might encounter when searching for a job. The mental energy required to battle these constant insults to my intelligence has drained me of any capacity to truly enjoy Austin (and living in general) right now. And it is having the perverse effect of making me expect a far better job than I’m probably even qualified for, because surviving this with your psyche intact is a fucking profound and unsung accomplishment.

everything

<Job Seeker: Meet Rock Bottom>

I’m not even sure I will survive with my psyche intact. I’ve found myself clicking on the less savory categories of Craigslist, wondering what “other ways” there might be to make some money.

Single Executive needs help (Austin/Round Rock)

Single male executive needs open minded female help with errands, odd jobs.Please email me and let me know a little about yourself and how much you charge. I also would like to see a photo of you. If you’re open minded and can give a massage even better! Perfect for college student I pay well.

Looking To Hire New Escorts Start Today… (Austin)

We are a busy agency looking to hire a few new Thin escorts white & hispanic,ladies must be 18+, have a drive to make money, sexy an attractive. We are currently hiring for the day shift, drivers are provided.If interested please send 2 pic’s ( face shot included),along with name, availability, contact info, start Toady.

Well guess what? I’m available.

i'm available pope

Ben What

For anyone who’s wondering, we livin’ in Austin now (more on this later). Specifically, we reside near a very complex tangle of highways and interstates and frontage roads. The road we are forced to use the most so far is called Ben White Blvd.

As an avid Parks & Rec fan (I would happily give up all my friends to join the Parks & Rec crew), when I hear the name “Ben White” what I really hear is “Ben Wyatt”.

Who is Ben Wyatt? He’s this guy.tumblr_lrw28o3gvv1qa378ao1_500

So life for the past seven days has gone something like this:

“How do we get to the Sam’s Club?”

“Take Ben White to-“

Ben Wyatt

This guy.

“Where’s the nearest drug store?”

“Ben White and-“

This guy.

This guy.

“Which road takes us to the airport?”

“Just go Ben White to-“

This guy.

This guy.

This flawed connection is relentless and uncontrollable in my sad little brain. Adam Scott is this man’s real name. He’s from California and has nothing to do with Texas. But for me, he is now and will remain the face of Austin.

Just keepin Austin weird in my own weird little way.