Friday, February 29, 2008

Post College

And now for my third and final installment of Bore You with my Personal History! With your host, Joe Space Tourist!

Okay, that was cheesy. I admit it. I apologize, and it will never happen again. today.

Anywho, when we left off, I was in the highly ironic position of being unemployed because I had graduated from the university. As it turns out, it wasn't exactly the season to be looking for jobs. I started out by applying for positions at the University itself, since I had had a student job there and I had a lot of connections. That didn't pan out though; overall, I must have applied for 20 jobs there, and only got one interview. That interview turned out to be for a job for which I was not very qualified, because the posted job description wasn't detailed enough for me to know that it was only barely in my field.

So I started widening my search, and applying for jobs at other local companies (I really enjoy this area of the country, and I have no intention to ever live more than 500 miles away from my current location). A month passed. And two. I was starting to get really worried by the third month. I had forced myself through this entire process to apply for at least one job every weekday. By this point, I had only gotten one other interview (in which I thought I did well, but I didn't get the job) my bank account was distressingly depleted, and I had started looking seriously through pizza delivery wanted ads. Then there was a spark of hope! I had a friend who worked at a local plasma bank (and for those of you who don't know, plasma is the liquid part of the blood between the blood cells). They had an opening for a phlebotomist (someone who draws blood from people), and if I submitted an application, she could probably get them to hire and train me. Me? A phlebotomist? Well, it was marginally better than pizza delivery. I filled out the application, and a couple of weeks passed without hearing from them, so I basically gave up on that too.

I had one other possibility short of delivering pizzas; there is a large company in my area that has a reputation for hiring lots of people in my field, but the jobs are usually despised those who have them, and they try to move up the latter or get out as soon as they can. Two of my former colleagues at the University had once worked there, and both had warned me off that company. But it was my only hope left if I wanted to pay the rent, so I went ahead and applied. They actually had me apply through a temp agency, which wasn't exactly a good sign, but I was determined to try, so I did. Well, it worked, and I got an interview! I put on my best (and only) suit, and walked in for the interview.

My interviewers were more than a half hour late. They were a large, unfriendly-looking man and a not-quite-as large, but even-more-unfriendly-looking woman. It was less of an interview and more of an oral exam; they grilled me with questions on every aspect of my field, and I stammered and stuttered through them. It was a disaster. There was one question in particular that they just wouldn't drop. I didn't know the answer, even though they kept dropping hints, but after what must have been ten minutes, I still couldn't figure it out. I left that interview with the intention of perusing the pizza delivery want ads and filling out some applications the next day. But first, I needed to go home, play a video game, and unwind.

Not an hour later, my video game playing was interrupted by a phone call. I had gotten the job! I was saved! I mean sure, hindsight is 20/20, and I should have gotten the hint by the fact that they kept telling me what I needed to wear to work and where the best places were to eat were between the interview questions, but still!

Three days later, I got a call from the plasma bank. They wanted to hire me as a phlebotomist. I politely declined and hung up the phone. Not that it wouldn't have been an interesting experience.

My job turned out much, much better than I had feared. It turns out that most of the rumors and warnings that I had heard concerning this company came from people who worked in a completely different department from the one in which I was hired to work. Things here are a lot better! The people I work with are really great, including the two people who had interviewed me. I hope that if they ever read this, they can forgive me for my large, unfriendly comments.

However, I wasn't out of the woods yet. Shortly after I was hired, my roommate told me he was moving to another state. My bank account was still suffering from the depletion due to my being unemployed for three months. I couldn't pay for my apartment without a roommate, so I needed to find one soon. And I still hadn't saved a penny toward my trip to space.

But I'm going to stop here, and that means you get to read about my personal history at least one more time before I make it up to the present day.

I apologize for that.

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