The Ironies of Job Hunting

I went on a marathon streak of applying for jobs today.  Ideally, I want a job in film/theatre/television, but those are not always available, so I apply for other creative industries, such as design firms and music companies.  One such creative company that I applied for was a clothing distributor in the Garment District.  Later in the day, I got a call from a New York City phone number, so I knew it had to be about a job.

“Hello, this is Jaymie,” I answered cheerfully.

A man with a high pitched, foreign accent responded, “Yes, you responded to my job posting on Craigslist.”  I always hate when they start with that.

“Ah, yes, could you please remind me which one?” I asked.

He hesitates, “What?”

I spoke slower and enunciated, “Could you please remind me which company it is.”

“Yes, I’m hiring for an office assistant,” he responded.  Definitely not the specificity I was looking for.  He continued, “It looks like you are working in theatre.”

“I work mostly in theatre, film, and television, yes,” I replied.

“Oh, you see, this is a different industry,” he stated.  Here we go…

“What kind of industry is it?”

“I run an embroidery company, but you probably wouldn’t be interested.”

And here is the problem I have–if I applied to work for your company, why wouldn’t I be interested?  I saw on your Craigslist ad what kind of company it is.  Had it been a law office or a financial firm, I might have been less comfortable applying.  I’ve never understood why employers would think that I’m not interested in a job that I applied for.

What I did say was this, “Of course I am still interested.  While my experience is mostly in the arts, I am always open to broadening my horizons and trying new things.”

What I wanted to say was this, “Did you like my resume, anyway?  Did you see that I have a ton of experience as an office assistant?  Don’t all of those skills and experiences apply to any kind of office?”

The way he left it was that he was going to send me an e-mail with more information.  I still have not received that e-mail, though.  No worries, I do have a lead on a theatre-related job that I am very interested in, and I am going in for a second interview on Monday.  Now I just need to find a nice tie to wear.  I didn’t bring as many with me when I moved.

 

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On The Bumpy Road

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t written in almost two weeks!  There is a reason for that, unfortunately.  You see, about two weeks ago on one of my days off, a glass of water spilled all over my laptop.  I was enjoying a lunch that I had just made and was listening to Sara Bareilles’ new album while I was about to respond to an e-mail.  I went to pick up my heaping glass of water and unfortunately, my wrist knocked it over.  It was one of those moments where everything went into slow motion.  I swear, I saw my whole life flash before my eyes.  After all, for a poor 20something, a laptop with water damage is death.

My brain sort of shut down for a second.  I had no idea what to do.  I immediately texted a tech-savvy friend for advice.  He suggested that I shut down the computer, dry as much as I can on the outside, and then remove the battery.  Now, on the old Macbook models, the battery was easily accessible.  On the Macbook Pro, which I own, the battery is guarded by ten microscopic screws.  I searched my entire apartment to see if perhaps my room mate owned a very small screwdriver.  No luck.

The first place I could think of to find a screwdriver was CVS.  After all, there are two CVS stores, right across the street from each other, on my street.  The CVS employee was very helpful but alas, no screwdrivers.  She pointed me in the direction of a hardware store and told me that some of the dollar stores along the way might have them.  I dashed over to that hardware store to find a sign that said, “Closed today.  Death in the family.” Of course.

I turned around and decided to stop into every dollar store I saw on the way.  Now, they all had screw drivers, that is for sure.  The troublesome part about this was that I need a size #00 Phillips screw driver.  00 means that it is one whole size smaller than a size 0.  Very tiny.  Of course, none of these dollar stores had what I needed!

I finally found a hardware store, and they had this great little four-in-one screw driver with the size that I needed.  I bought it and went back home to open up my laptop.  I got through about six screws when it suddenly ceased to work.  I thought I might have stripped the screw, but it wouldn’t work on any of the other screws.  I decided that I needed another screw driver.  I didn’t want to walk all the way back to the other hardware store, so I had to find something else.  In a panic, I went to the RadioShack right under my apartment.  It was just my luck that they had what I needed, but it was included in a big set of screwdrivers. I bought it, of course, and went right back to unscrewing the back of my laptop.

I should add here a “Don’t try this at home” warning.  Apple does NOT want you to open up your computer.  It actually voids the warranty, I later learned.

Lo and behold–I open up the back of the computer and I can see it plain as day–little bits of water residue on the motherboard.  A Google search advised me that I should let the laptop dry out for at least twenty four hours but that I should let it dry for as long as possible.

For me, as long as possible ended up being about another week, since I was so busy with job interviews and working at my PA job.  Fortunately, I had applied for dozens of jobs the weekend before my laptop got fried, so I had a few interviews lined up.  It was tough not being able to apply for more over the following two weeks.  I think that fact is hurting me right now.

Back to the laptop… Long story short, I turned it on, and it turned on just fine.  Unfortunately, the screen did not light up.  I knew then and there that I had to take it to the Apple Store.  I got a “Genius” with a very “tough luck, kid!” attitude.  You see, Apple can’t fix just the pieces that are damaged.  They have to replace the entire “logic board,” mainly as a safety precaution in case there is any damage that can not be seen by the human eye.  The price tag for such a repair costs as much as a month of rent for my apartment.

I decided to get a second opinion at this place called Tekserve, which is basically an independent Apple store.  The employee at Tekserve suggested that even though they could fix it for about $100 less, getting it repaired by Apple would restore my warranty, of which I had about a year and a half left.  So, I decided to cough up the money to Apple so that they could repair it.  At this point, it was going to take almost a week to fix, and I just wanted my computer back.

And now it’s back.  Money is extremely tight right now, unfortunately.  I am still in the mix for a really big corporate job, and even though I feel like it would kill my soul, I really need the money.  I have one more interview lined up for Monday and hopefully there will be a few more in the week.

In other news, I stopped biting my nails on April 1st.  Nope, not an April Fools joke!  I have good feelings about this week.  Time to keep my head up and get back to work!

Shaken, Not Stirred

It’s been a busy day, and for me, it’s only just begun!  I don’t get to my production job until the afternoon, so for me, dinner time feels like lunch and days seem to blur together.  My phone tells me it’s Friday. Good to know.  It’s weird doing performances six days a week.

I woke up this morning to finish preparing my meals for the next few days.  Yesterday, I made a delicious minestrone soup and today I made these delicious Chinese Spring Roll Salads.  Of course, I packed them into my mason jars, so that I could enjoy them through out the week.

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After that, I rushed to Manhattan for a job interview, or at least what I thought was going to be a job interview.  I got to the high rise building fifteen minutes early for my scheduled time.  When I got inside, it was a very high security building.  Good thing I got there early!  I had to have my ID swiped and a name badge was printed with my name and photo and everything.  I was told to go up to the sixth floor, where the production company that I was interviewing for had their office.

I get there and strangely, there were no signs.  I began to peak around the hallways to see if I could find a sign to let me know where I was going.  Instead, I hear a receptionist call out, “Sir, we’re in here!”

I go up to her and say, “I have a 1:30 appointment with Natasha.  Is this the right place?”

“I think so,” she replies, “Just wait in the open room around the corner”.

Okay, that was strange.  I find the open room and see a group of people sitting around a table.  My first thought is that it was a group interview or that I was being interviewed by a group of people.  Turns out the group of people were all applying for various jobs with this production company, from production assistant to receptionist.  They tell me that there is an application that I need to fill out and then somebody will call me in.

I go to pick up the application and notice that it is a lengthy pile of papers, all asking for various items of personal information, such as addresses and social security numbers.  There were also your typical tax forms, the kind of information one gives after being hired.

As I filled out the form, I began to get a really sick feeling in my stomach.  I felt nervous but not in the way I usually do right before a job interview.  Once I finished filling out the forms, I decided to google the company on my phone.  The only research I had done so far was to look at the company’s website, which was “under construction”.  I gave them the benefit of the doubt and decided I would ask about the company when I got there.  After that I googled the company’s name + “scam”.  Well, it turns out that this company, called Storja Productions has several reports of being a hiring scam.  I asked the people at the table, “Did anyone bother to google this company?”

The woman next to me, about 40 with a wiry hair piled high on her head, responded, “Yeah, I did.  I kept reading that it was a scam, but I am an adventurous person and a risk taker”.

Another person chimed in, “Everyone wants to vilify things that are unfamiliar”.

I wish I was making this up.  I’m as much a risk taker as anyone I know, but I am not stupid enough to hand my personal information to a complete stranger.  I asked the girl “running” the interviews how far behind they were.  She said that there were two people waiting before me and asked if  I could please wait in the lobby.

I went back into the lobby and saw about a dozen people, all who had been in there when I arrived.  Surely, they were more than two before me.  I grabbed my bag and my lunch and headed back into the elevator.

On my walk back to the subway, I felt very shaken and uncomfortable.  I was so distracted, that I took a train going in the wrong direction.

The good news is that I got a call this afternoon for a real interview and look–my phone is ringing as I type.  Hope that’s another person calling to hire me!

Plot Twist

This morning I had a second interview for that front desk job.

I arrived about fifteen minutes early (after having to run with my breakfast in hand to catch the subway).  When I got there, I was told that the manager of the company, who I would be interviewing with, was running late.  Not a problem.

When he arrived, he walked right past me and shut the door.  I then proceeded to overhear a conversation in which it sounded like he didn’t really want to hire anyone new.  He just wanted to get their current front desk people to work full time.  Well, after all that, I get brought in for the interview, and he kept telling me that it was a full time position, even though at my last interview, I was told that it was only going to be part time.  I was so confused.

The rest of the day I spent reconnecting with old friends and making a new one.  I met up with a family friend (Hi, Isaac!), who is very well connected in the theatre community out here.  I got to meet his adorable Italian greyhound puppy (You’d be jealous, Sarah!).  He was even kind enough to send my resume in for a production assistant job.  When I was on the train home, I got two e-mails, both job offers; one for the front desk job and one for the production assistant job.  Both positions unfortunately conflict, so I have to pick one over the other.

After thinking about it all day, I’m going to take the production assistant job.  It’s not the kind of job that will pay my bills–I’ll still need to find one of those–but this job is part of my reason for moving out here.  I know it will be a great stepping stone toward greater things.