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Happy Groundhog's Day

by bill - 2010-02-06 18:59:13 ( in culture, holidays, employment) [php version] rebuild

It's been almost five months now since I was laid off. It doesn't seem that long, actually. What've I been doing since then? Collecting unemployment checks and doing freelance consulting, helping people with their computer problems and questions. Check out

for info on the latter. I'm also trying to make money through ads on that and and others I can't think of right now. Pretty soon, I'll make another attempt to sort, photograph and price all of my old unused computer parts, and sell them online. That's a huge job. There just aren't enough hours in the day, and I'm not someone who can function on 4-5 hours sleep. Actually, I don't think anyone can function on so little sleep. They just think they can.

I've also been going on interviews. I like the wording of that: going on interviews, not going to interviews. Like it's a ride, which it is, of course. Anyway, the most recent, expensive and aggravating interview was last Thursday in Chattanooga at Blue Cross Blue Shield. Yes, an evil health insurance company, with a brand new "green-certified" five-building facility. How nice for them, putting their ill-gotten gains into a new facility instead of simply providing better pay for their employees and better services for their customers. Anyway, I drove all the way down there, only to be told I didn't have enough experience with large-scale software deployments, specifically any well-known deployment tool. I could hardly believe it when, after just a few minutes, they were already wrapping up the interview. Assholes. With the questions they asked, the entire interview could have EASILY been done over the phone. But no, I had to drive 250 miles round-trip. When I got home, I emailed the headhunter who got me the interview and told her what a waste of time and money it had all been. I think I pssed her off. Oh well. Headhunters are a dime a dozen.

A couple weeks before that, after a second interview with a company in town, I was informed by email a few days later that I had not been chosen. At a loss for why they didn't pick me -- I'm always at a loss when someone doesn't choose me, that's how confident I am of my abilities :) -- I asked the HR guy through email, "Can I ask whyI wasn't chosen? Knowing me, was it literally something I said?" He said the hiring-managers told him they wished there were two positions to fill, they liked me so much, but the person they hired "had slightly better technical skills." I find it hard to believe anyone has better technical skills


but oh well. In December, I had an interview with yet another healthcare company. They're apparently the only companies hiring right now, around here, anyway. Judging by the repeated questions in the interview -- there were three people playing tag-team on me -- about how I would handle "difficult customers," it was fairly obvious that company was full of screaming prima donnas. I hate screaming prima donnas. Even so, I thought I performed well. If I remember right, my final comment to them was something like, "If there's one thing I've learned, what matters most on any job are the people you work with." I was not surprised or disappointed when I never heard from them again.

But enough about me. Last night was Elizabeth's weekly night of gymnastics. It was her fifth class, I think. At her age, 5 in April, of course they're just doing very basic stuff. Normally, we couldn't afford such a class, but she's getting it free in return for my helping the gym with their computers. Anyway, she loves it. She's a very active child. :) And now she's on my lap and wanting her usual morning concierge services.

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