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.

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

My Bloody Valentine

Megan:  so..apparently it’s valentine’s day?

Erin:  wait.

today

no

Megan:  haha

i can’t keep track of the date, but everyone on facebook says so?

Erin:  oooooh that’s what all that’s about

i am but a poor single person

i believe ritual suicide is expected of me today

Megan:  yes, have you ordered your red heart-spotted suicide stationary yet?

Erin:  i planned to make my own. with my blood.

before i drink poison while listening to “One is the Loneliest Number” on loop

have you taken any suicide measures yet?

Megan:  my bathtub is prepped for a romantic soak with a tragic ending

Erin:  nicely done

Megan:

and also

Erin:  bahahahaha

that last one sums up my feelings

Megan:  we win!

Please Don’t Go

Psst. Hey. You. Yeah, you Megan.

Oh, hey Blog. What’s up?

“What’s up”? Seriously? You ignore me for three weeks and then you’re all “What’s up?” like nothing is wrong?

Well I..

You what? You’re too busy?

Yes. I am very incredibly busy! I have A LOT going on right now, Blog. I’m sorry. It’s crazy busy at work (January and BOOM! Everybody wants to get healthy!). Not to mention we have this new doc that’s come on and nobody knows what they’re doing. AND we’re hiring someone to take my place so I can MOVE to Austin. I’ve been working like…10 hour days, Blog. And weekends!

Sure, sure. But really? I mean, 10 hours a day – that still leaves like 14 hours to show me some love?

I know. I know that things have been weird with us lately. I’m just so tired and my days are so boring, I have nothing to really talk about, you know? I wake up, go to work, my patients suck, I have ‘senioritis’, I’m hungry and sleepy all day, then I go home and stare at the tv for an hour. End day. My life is really dull, you don’t want to hear about that. It’s boring.

Pie

How do you know? Maybe I do.

Come on, Blog. I promise things will be better when I’m less stressed. Less tired.

But you’re not too tired to spend time browsing Pinterest and watching Seinfeld reruns are you?!

Oh, uh. Well, I mean it just helps me wind down at night, Blog. They don’t MEAN anything to me.

I SAW YOU WITH A GLAMOUR MAGAZINE THE OTHER NIGHT! AND IN THE BATHTUB NO LESS!

Shit. No one was supposed to know about that. I’m sorry, Blog. I really am. But I – I was thinking about you the whole time I swear! While I was reading that Glamour magazine, I was thinking about how “A Beauty Bucket List” is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard and how I don’t NEED Glamour’s permission to “Let it go to voicemail and then text them back”. Really, I mean, that’s fantastic writing fodder. It was all for you, Blog. Everything I do is for you.

Yeah, well it still hurts.

Hey! I’m trying over here! Somebody has to make some money to afford the lifestyle you require, Blog.

You don’t commit to anything!

I’ll commit to punching your face.

You’re flakey!

Fine, I’m flakey! I’M FLAKEY! I’m still going to punch you in the face.

You would never. Your ego depends on my popularity. You would never hurt me.

I know. I’m sorry, Blog. Please don’t go. We’re just going through a rough patch. Soon I’m going to move to Austin where I won’t have a job and we’ll have all the time in the world to discuss food and jobs and drinking and fun. I promise, Blog. I promise. Please don’t go.

Those Cows

On Nov 14, 2012, at 6:31 PM, Megan <megan@gmail.com> to Erin:

I am still at work. Now sitting on hold like an asshole at 6:30pm. I am not a happy person. But I want to share this.

From one of my favorites in the twittersphere:

@Pourmecoffee: Judging you. Always judging you http://www.flickr.com/photos/annemiekeprozee/8172730148/lightbox/


And I shall keep them forever.

On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 7:14 PM, Erin <erin@gmail.com> to Megan:

I am deeply offended by your work schedule. I hope I don’t see you at all tomorrow and that you sleep forever. 

Ps: you and I are those cows

Great American BeerFuck

“So it’s a beer festival and there are rows and rows and miles and miles of tables flowing golden delicious beer. All the breweries just line up to supply you with all the sweet nectar you desire. We wandered down the first row and got a taste from every last table. And the people, they walk around with hats overflowing with snacks and the finest necklaces made of crunchy pretzel to keep from getting too drunk. And by the end of just the first row, we were so wonderfully inebriated we had to stop for the night and go get a coffee to sober up to get home!”

That’s what my friend Tim told me about the Great American Beer Festival that I had just missed when I arrived back in the States last year (slightly embellished).

Hundreds of breweries. Thousands of beers. Endless tastes. Food accessories. All right here in Denver! If only I didn’t have to wait 11.5 months…

Fast-forward 9 months, and Erin and I did exactly what you would expect us to do: Circled October 13th on our calendars and planned a beautiful beer-soaked rendezvous.

Erin bought her flight here in July and August 2nd we hunkered down at our computers to buy $65 tickets the day they went on sale. WOOOOOO! BEEEEEERFESSSST!!!!!!! PARTAAAYYYY!!!!!! YEEEEEEEEEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then this happened:

10:07 am

Megan: so what is going on?! did you get tix? i’m seeing tweets about it selling out. wtf is going on dude

Erin: oh shit!

Megan: gahhhhhhhh the site is being so slow!!! maybe it’s the members only part that’s selling out. okay. okay. it’s okay.

Erin: aw shit, i can’t seem to get any tix for saturday

Megan: DUDE. dude dude dude.

Erin: is it sold out? i can’t get ANYTHING. let’s try friday.  i can change my flight

Megan: beer fest sells out in 25 minutes all weekend? yeah right. i am not buying any of this

Erin: bluuuuuuuuuuuurgh. booooooooooo

Megan: i am convinced this is a ticketmaster error or something, i feel like i would’ve heard a lot more about this festival if it was going to sell out in 20 minutes

Erin: i’m so sad right now

Erin: so stub hub has some for a billion dollars

Megan: $145?!?!

Erin: and upwards. who could have foreseen that these were going to sell out like that???

Megan: no one!!!!! last year it took 10 TEN days. fuck stab

Surprise. Confusion. Disbelief. Horror. Disappointment. Rage. Emotions ran the gamut that day. There was much speculation regarding exactly how and why the tickets sold out so fast. Personally, I blame the evil, wicked institution that is StubHub. Currently, there are over 200 tickets still on sale for three times their value. I won’t get into my conspiracy theory regarding modern ticketing practices and the role of StubHub in them because just thinking about it makes me want to throw an epic temper tantrum, complete with fist-shaking, foot-stomping and insufferable shrieking.

And now the Great American Beer Festival weekend is upon us. Erin is still coming to Denver. But instead of enjoying dozens of delicious, hoppy concoctions with like-minded beer friends, we will sit sadly alone at my house. Without rows of new brews. Without pretzel jewelry. Without hope.

Pity us.

A Preface

As I sat and tried to churn out my first post on this new blog, I endeavored to skip over the “What I’ve Been Up to and How My Life is Now Compared to a Year Ago” entry. Partly because it seemed hokey and indulgent, also because there are minimal blanks to fill in.

That said, after many hours/days/weeks/months of attempting this method and writing ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY NOTHING, I have determined that it is necessary to provide this info. My bitching requires context.

My Life in Four Points:

Friends: See where I am there? The pink dot, in relation to any/all of my friends, blue dots? Unacceptable.

Romance: Yeah.

Job: My career path can be best summed up in this semi-mathematical statement*:

Future: In 2013, I will be getting the helllllllllllllllllll out of here. Destination?

Why?

1.) Take a look at the Friend map.

2.) I hear there is awesome music, kazillions of food trucks and men with beards there.

3.) Food trucks and men with beards.

Didn’t you miss us?!

*If I actually knew how to write an equation, this entire point would be rendered moot.