And I’m Back.

Maybe for this one post.  Maybe forever.  Who knows?

I’ve been AFK for a lot longer than I realized.  I mean, I know it’s been awhile, but re-reading my last life-related post, it was last year, when I was still fairly new at my job and had just signed my building contract.  That seems like a lifetime ago.  Could it really only have been nine months ago?

So much has changed, and yet, nothing really has.  I’m still at the same job, but in a much different place mentally.  I’m still single, although there is definitely someone new in my life.  I’m living back at home, but only temporarily – my house is well and truely on it’s way to being done now.  More than that though, I feel like I’m a different person to back then.  Can nine months really change you that much?  I’m not sure.  I think it has though.

In my last post, I had only been at my job three months.  I was feeling new and awkward and vulnerable.  I was shy, I didn’t feel like I knew anyone.  I was just another face in the big crowd of staff.  Flashforward to today, where I feel like I have found my place in the store (front and centre!) and have some wonderful friends there.  I feel like I can pretty much talk to anyone there now, which for an extremely introverted person, and given there’s 80+ people working there, is a big thing.  A very big thing.  It took a long time to find a job after I lost my previous one, but I feel like I was meant to work here.  The job definitely has its downsides (I mean, it is retail) but I still love it.

I’m also currently learning the ropes for management.  This has always been on the cards due to my previous job experience, but I’m super excited it’s finally happening.  At my previous job, it just kind of happened out of necessity – I mean, it’s not that I didn’t want to do it, but there wasn’t any formal invitation to it, and I never got the official title for it, or the pay to match it.  I was just kind of assumed to be doing the role because nobody else could, and because I was already doing it, why should they increase my pay?  It was an extremely frustrating situation to be in, and I’m sure not an entirely uncommon one in the working world.

Anyway, while this is similar in terms of they won’t be increasing my pay anytime soon, the title is given and the whole store knows what’s going on.  Ideally, obviously, I’d love to be paid for it, but I completely understand that they want to train people first and make sure they’ll do well before anything is set in stone.  Either way, I feel much more comfortable with this scenario.  I also feel like, in general, I get a lot of recognition in store.  I touched on this back in my last post, but that was only a small taste of what I get on a regular basis.  It is safe to say that while I knew recognition was a nice thing, I never fully understood how far it goes with job satisfaction.  I feel like this is one of the major reasons why I love working where I do.  All the store leaders go out of their way to highlight when staff are doing well, and are full of encouragement to get everyone doing better.  When I say encouragement, I don’t mean nagging, or shaming, or being negative – all things I’ve received in my last job, and in turn, I’m ashamed to say, have probably been guilty of dishing out too – I mean celebrating wins and talking about success stories, and sharing tips and tricks on how to do well.  It’s a very refreshing change from where I was previously, and I wholeheartedly want to take this on board with my management skills too.

Tying in with all this, as I touched on earlier, there is someone new in my life.  I don’t really know how to describe our relationship (I feel weird even using that word) but I know there’s something there.  It came completely out of left-field and I think we are both a little shellshocked by it, which is why it’s hard to describe.  I’ve worked with him since I started my new job, but didn’t really notice him – well, no more than I notice any of the other 80+ team members.  He was always friendly, but still, just another face in the crowd.  Until suddenly he wasn’t.  It was literally just like that.  One day, absolutely nothing.  The next, absolutely everything.

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That’s the thing with me.  It’s always been a bit that way.  I fall extremely hard and extremely fast.  Some of my friends are a bit jealous.  I don’t know why.  It’s not a good thing and has lead to me getting hurt 100% of the time.  The other (or maybe the same) issue is, I’m super clingy.  Like…if you knew me as just an acquaintance, you’d probably never pick it because I’m seriously introverted.  I am happy to not speak to people for a week at a time kind of introverted.  Until my heart latches onto someone, and then suddenly, the second we aren’t communicating, it’s all “noooo, come back, I already miss you soooo much!”.  I can step back and see myself and know it is 100% crazy and not at all attractive but I can’t help it.  I have to literally tell myself dozens of times a day that I need to back off, he’s not going anywhere, you don’t need to be acting like this.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Which is why we are currently sitting in this limbo status.  It is 100% my fault for being way too overbearing, and I’m working on it.  I really am.  He’s basically told me he’s not interested right now, which hurt like hell, however since then we’ve gone right back to how we were, so it’s just a weird place to be in.  That being said, I’m not complaining too much – it could easily have gone the opposite way and he refused to talk to me at all, making for a very awkward workplace.  Plus, I feel like this is just a learning experience on how to take things slow.  So, learn I shall.  Maybe things will eventually fall into place, or maybe we’ll both drift back to being just colleagues.  I know what I’m rooting for, but I’m not going to push it either.

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The other big update is my living arrangements.  Since my last update, I was forced to move back to my parents place – the landlord of my rental property sold the house and the new owners wanted to move in.  So back to my childhood home I went.  After living out of home for four years (and wanting to get out of home for many years prior to that), it hasn’t been easy readjusting.  I’m very grateful I had somewhere to go, don’t get me wrong, and my dog is loving the fact she has company almost all the time now, but it is still a very hard place to be back in.  I’m fiercely independent, and on top of that, my relationship with my family has always been tense.  It improved considerably after I moved out and got my own space, and now, day by day, I can feel it slipping back to how it was.  I feel very suffocated being back and having to answer to people again, and being told what to do and when to do it, instead of in my own time and at my own pace.

My mum especially doesn’t seem to understand why I get home and lock myself away, but then, she’s never really understood me much anyway.  She’s outgoing and very much a people-person.  My dad is quieter, but also enjoys being outdoors and getting things done.  I’m like my nan, who prefers to be left alone and doesn’t like her routine messed up.  They see me as lazy, and while I’m not denying that, it stems from my need to unwind from a day spent talking to strangers.  As an introvert, I need to mentally recover from that, and if I can’t, I have a tendency to lash out or become very upset.  If that means sleeping all day on my day off, or going for a drive by myself, or watching 10-year-old Simpsons episodes, then that’s what I do.  When I was living by myself, nobody was there to judge me on it, and it felt completely normal.  Now, all I’m getting is snide comments and rolled eyes.  I’ve literally been spending hours and hours at work just hanging out to avoid home – this is something I haven’t done at all since I started working there, and something I swore I wouldn’t do for my own mental health, but now, I’m finding that my mental health is being affected if I’m at home too long.  I’d rather be around my friends at work than being told what to do at home, even if that means sacrificing my unwinding time.

Thankfully, my house is well on the way to being finished.  After so many delays I’ve well and truely lost count, the framework went up a couple of weeks ago, and since then the roof has gone up and they’ve put in the windows and wiring, and the fencing.  The bricks will be getting laid tomorrow and the plastering should be completed by next week.  I’m hoping like hell it will be done before Christmas, so I can go back to living alone again.  My dog isn’t going to like it, but on the flip side, she’ll actually see me more as I won’t be avoiding home like I am now.

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I can’t believe how much has changed in what feels like a short amount of time, but there you have it.  It’s also hard to believe exactly a year ago, I was going through some of the darkest moments of my adult life, and today, I’m feeling pretty positive about everything.  2016 has definitely proven itself to be a great year so far!

How has everyone else’s 2016 been?

J x

Time to Change – Day Seventy-Two

Hey guys,

Once again it’s been awhile since I’ve blogged.  I’d like to say it’ll get better but I’ve got a big month coming up (without even including Christmas) so we’ll see how we go.

So, the last week I’ve spent working in my own store instead of the one I was training in.  It isn’t open yet (that’s tomorrow!) so we spent a week being trained up on absolutely every faucet of the store and how it’s going to run.  First off, I just want to say how amazing the store is.  I mean, it cost $15 million or something insane like that (I feel like that might be an exaggeration but that’s what I was told) so if it wasn’t amazing, I’m sure there would be plenty of people with plenty to say.  Either way, I love it.  It’s two levels and huge and I really think the customers will be very impressed by it all.  My favourite part of the whole place, though, is something the customers will never see – the back room.  It’s seriously bigger than the whole store (shop floor and back office together) that I used to work in.  We each have our own massive locker (only accessible via our personal passcard), there’s a beanbag room, a huge break room and kitchen with vending machines, a slushy machine, a fridge, two microwaves and a fully stocked breakfast bar (including a toaster and sandwich press).  We also have a PlayStation 4 and a table tennis table we can use.  I can’t stress enough how fantastic it feels to have a company truely care and want to look after their staff like this, especially coming from a company that didn’t even want to give us money for a small store Christmas party.

The training week was interesting.  There were parts I really enjoyed and parts that I probably could have done without.  It was awesome getting to know the (giant) team, and I think I’m doing pretty well with names and faces considering there’s over 90 of them.  It helps we all wear name tags and I’ve added a lot of them on facebook as well.  I know I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but the company do really well in picking really wonderful trainers for these things.  For most of the week I was in a guy named John’s group (I’d been in one of his trainings previously but I’ll admit, I wasn’t sold on him then.  To be fair though, I didn’t want to even be in that training as it was after a long day at work and on a boring topic).  It turns out he’s awesome.  He’s really funny and supportive and he made the week a lot of fun.

After the week wrapped up, we partied up like we were all 18 and our parents were out of town.  We were given access to what seemed like a limitless supply of alcohol, pizza was delivered and we hung out in our giant back room and got to know each other.  Some people headed to the bean bags and set up a make-over area (I didn’t last there very long as it isn’t my scene), others huddled around the PS4 and versed each other in games of FIFA16.  There were people who set up a table tennis competition.  The main attraction, however, was beer pong.  There’s nothing quite like bringing a crowd together like a drinking game – especially when, after a couple of hours, the store manager agreed to play.  Very amusing to watch!

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Booze and PS4

I’ll admit I wasn’t feeling too good towards the end (I probably shouldn’t have mixed drinks…or even drunk at all given I was already headachy before the party started).  That being said, I hung around for quite awhile, until I knew if I didn’t leave, I’d be on public transport at night.  I know that’s an inevitability sooner or later, but for right now, I’m trying to avoid it.

As I walked out of the building, I walked headlong into the last thing I was expecting – a giant protest marching at a snail’s pace down the street.  I guess this shows just how much I’m not a city chick.  If I was, maybe it wouldn’t have come as such a shock, but I’ve never been this close to a protest ever…not one on this scale, anyway.  I had one storm past my old work through the shopping centre once, but that was a couple of people taking an leisurely stroll compared to this.  It was interesting and I was fascinated by it as I was headed towards the train station.  Then I realized I’d have to cross the road…and that was going to be an issue as the protest was going in both directions as far as the eye could see, and everyone was so tightly packed in that I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.  I think quite a few people had the same issue as me – some just decided they’d hang back and watch, and I guess wait until it fizzled out or moved on.  I didn’t have that luxury as I knew I was already cutting it fine trying to get home before nightfall.  Then I saw a guy with a stony look of determination on his face, his eyes pointed squarely across the street, and he marched into the crowd, weeding his way through.  I decided I’d have to do the same.  I don’t think anyone in the protest was too impressed as I forced my way though, but honestly, I don’t care.  As much as I’m okay with people trying to change the world and show the government what they stand for, I’m not going to miss my train because of it.  Especially not when it looked like it could go on for a long time yet.

I was extremely relieved when my feet hit the pavement on the other side of the road.  As I kept walking, I still couldn’t believe how many people were part of the protest.  If I had of known it was happening, I probably would have left the work party earlier and kept walking to try to find the end of it.  Instead, I headed into the train station, glad that having the work party at least meant I’d missed peak hour so I’d get a seat.  I got home right on nightfall, thankful I’d decided to shove through the crowd when I did!

Public transport in general has been going okay for the most part.  I hate that it means I have to get up at 6.30am (my previous job allowed me to get up at 7.30) but I quite enjoy not having to drive as much.  I am going to try to avoid getting on evening peak hour trains though, even if it means kicking back at work for half an hour.  I had one night where we were so jammed in that people from the next stop physically couldn’t get onto the train (and had some rude bitch asking me to move in more when clearly, we were already on top of each other).  It was extremely uncomfortable, made worse because I had terrible balance so need to hold something if I’m standing on the train, but the only thing I could grab was the rails on the roof, but I’m so short that I can barely grip it even at full stretch.  Not good.  Another night, a bunch of dero teens decided to sit on the seats right across from me, play shitty music on their shitty phones and treat it like their lounge room, including standing on the seats.  One of them beat up another kid in front of everyone, then later the same idiot even played “I just had sex” (not sure if that’s the title of the song but it was repeated over and over) and said it’s his favourite song with a smug look on his face like it was because he’d actually been laid…um, 16 year old shithead, that’s unlikely, and everybody on the train knows it.  It doesn’t matter how loudly you play that song, you ain’t fooling anyone.  I felt bad for the older lady sitting near them, who I’m sure was getting even more annoyed at them than me.  I really wish parents taught their kids train etqteique (particularly if you know they’re going to regularly catch it to and from school), as being young is no excuse to act like that.

Apart from work, I’ve had an awesome three-day weekend.  Seriously, it’s been one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time, and I didn’t even hang out with anyone.  Saturday I spent catching up on sleep and I redyed my hair to a brighter colour of red (still not entirely happy with it but it’s getting there).  Sunday I went to the shops to get my work uniform taken in, spent the afternoon relaxing (I started re-reading the Hunger Games) and I also purchased FIFA16 which I’m really enjoying.   It was on sale due to Black Friday and although it isn’t a game I’ve previously had any interest in, it looked really interesting when the boys were playing it at work.  Turns out I really like it, and I think I’m pretty good at it.  Sunday night I decided I was going to take myself to the movies.  This is something I’d previously never had considered – I’ve always been concerned about what people think (the fat chick sitting alone in the movies), but I decided I no longer care.  If they want to think that, that’s fine.  I really wanted to see Mockingjay Part 2 and I didn’t want to wait until my friends were free (if they even wanted to see it at all).  I also decided that I was going to spent an extra $10 and buy tickets for a comfy recliner seat.  Ever since the Hoyts Lux experience I had on my birthday, normal movie seats just don’t cut it for me any more – they’re uncomfortable, especially if the movie is long.  The recliner ticket was the best $10 I’ve spent in a long time, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I didn’t feel too judged (or maybe I just didn’t care enough to notice) and I really liked the movie.  I’ll definitely be doing it again!

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Today I had a busy day.  I headed back to the shops to collect my altered clothing, then I headed to Big W to buy a curling iron (I’d done some research and decided to get a Remington Perfect Curls, as it looked both good and idiotproof).  I got to the register, dug around in my wallet and found a partly-used gift card, went to put $10 on it as I wasn’t sure how much was left but didn’t enter it properly, and it wound up putting the whole lot on it – and it went through!  That was a massive win for the day, as I was nervous spending that much money right now (I wanted curls for tomorrow’s launch so I was just going to suck it up, but it wasn’t the best time to be spending cash).  Seriously, I couldn’t believe I’d gotten that lucky!  After that, I headed to the nail salon to get them redone.  I decided to get matching colours to my lanyard for tomorrow, and they looked really good in the end!  I then headed to the grocery store, then finally home.  A very busy day!

When I got home I cranked up my new curler and put it through it’s paces.  After trying for a week to get my hair straightener to do curls and epically failing, I was a little nervous as to if this would work.  I was extremely impressed with it!  As the reviews had said, it was definitely idiotproof, and it just worked.  There were two curl setting options – bigger, wavier ones or smaller, tighter ones.  As curls tend to drop out of my hair quickly, I decided to try the smaller ones, and within about 45 minutes, I was done and it looked really good.  The next test is to see how long they hold for, but I think it should be okay.  I’m so glad I bought it!

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Remington Perfect Curls 2-in-1 – definitely recommend!

I’m going to wrap it up here as I need to start making dinner (we won’t talk about my shocking diet this week.  Maybe I’ll have some better news next post).  Tomorrow is going to be a super huge day and I’m so excited for it!

Hope y’all had a great weekend too! 🙂

-JD

Time to Change – Day Thirty-One

Sorry I’ve been a bit slack in updating this.  It’s a lot harder to maintain a daily blog after a full work day and a Foxtel box filling fast with TV shows.  I’ve had an okay couple of days.  It’s my first full week back at work that doesn’t involve sitting in a classroom.  I feel like the store doesn’t know how to treat me.  It’s not their fault, I was always going to be in a different league to the normal newbies.  They want to treat me the same but I get bored and zone out.  I put my own contract through almost without help today (three days into the job) and I know they were all really nervous I’d mess up.  I did okay though – no major issues from what I could see.  The only problem with independence is that they then assume I can do everything and while I’m advanced, I’m not that far ahead, purely because I just haven’t shadowed people enough to witness them doing certain things.  So then it’s this awkward “ready but not ready” phase.  I want to serve customers alone, I hate following people and being treated like I don’t know anything…but I also hate it when they try to give me something to do and I have to admit I don’t know.  I’m sure it makes them think I’m not ready and I should be shadowing.  Urgh.  Who’d have thought having experience could make things so complicated?

Speaking of experience, my old workmates have finally caught on that I’m back in the centre again.  I accidentally crossed paths with my old manager as I was buying breakfast, and she obviously told the ASM, and the two of them kept walking past all morning.  Seriously, grow up.  Particularly the ASM, as I worked exactly half a shift with her and so doesn’t know me at all.  From what I’ve heard, almost the whole store hates her, and she can think what she wants about me and my actions, but at least I was well-liked when I was there.  I know it shouldn’t bother me that they’re being so immature, but it kind of does.  A little.  I expected it, of course, but I still don’t like it.  I’m trying to move on with my life and they’re there, dragging me back into the drama.  I’m not expecting them to be happy for me, but I also didn’t expect to have to put up with this rubbish.  I just hope they get over it quickly.  I feel like I’m in a zoo or something.

I’ve been eating…okay.  Better than last week but still not great.  I’ve been having banana bread for breakfast (not great), lite apple crumble yoghurt from my favourite place in the centre for lunch (not too bad)…but then by dinner I fall apart.  It’s my fault, I was supposed to have a gameplan lined up but it hasn’t happened.  I’m going to do it properly from next week, after I’ve gone to the shops and collected food to take to work.  I need to eat a better breakfast, that much I know.  I love banana bread but I know it’s really sugary and not at all as healthy as the name suggests.  I also need to go back to healthy dinners.  Tonight I had fish, but last night I had Maccas…not great.  It’s tough being back in my old stomping ground in some respects, because it’s so easy to slip back into old habits, such as take away on the way home.  I’m going to really try not to let that happen again.  My self-control is definitely getting stronger, but it’s still not great.  I think planning meals out will help me stay on track and not get lazy or let my cravings get the better of me.

Although my weight hasn’t changed dramatically on the scales, I definitely feel like I’ve lost weight around my tummy.  It looks smaller in the mirror.  I’m grateful I can see some changes, because I’m a month in and feeling very deflated that my weight isn’t dropping.  I know I’ve had a rough couple of weeks with my diet but I didn’t think it was that bad, save for a few meals scattered throughout.

I haven’t been going on my walks.  My foot isn’t getting any better and I don’t know what to do about it.  Wearing a brace doesn’t seem to help, wearing supportive shoes isn’t helping, resting it doesn’t change anything and exercise makes it worse.  I don’t know whether to just ignore the pain and go out anyway (and risk making it worse), or continue avoiding exercise and risk gaining weight.  Part of me wants to go out and exercise (especially for the dog’s sake) but I’m terrified of doing more damage as I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t stand.  I can’t risk anything that will affect my job.  It’s just so annoying it isn’t getting any better!

It was payday today, my first one at my new job.  I’m super happy as it looks like my hourly rate is higher than my old job – I only worked for two-thirds of a payrun and my pay was only slightly lower than a full cycle at my previous work.  So good!  I need all the extra money I can get as I’m building a house at the moment and I know little things are going to crop up as it happens.  Super excited for it to be done though, I hate renting.  Such a waste of money and you don’t have the freedom to do what you want either.  Unfortunately the land settlement keeps getting pushed further and further back so who knows when the construction will actually start.

I’ve got three days left of the week and I’m already hanging for Saturday so I can nap.  I feel like it doesn’t matter how much I sleep, it’s never enough.  I don’t know why I feel so drained…the job isn’t hard or anything majorly different to what I’ve done for what feels like forever, but I’m more tired every evening than I can remember being in a long time.  I guess it’s just a big adjustment coming from three months of relaxation and unemployment…and it’s stressful being in a new environment surrounded by people and systems you don’t know very well.  I’m sure after a few weeks I’ll get used to everything and maybe I won’t feel so wrecked.  Until then, I’m going to savour my weekends and catch as many z’s as a I can.

-JD

“Sorry You’ve Been Unsuccessful”

I’ve heard that line what feels like countless times over the past month – both verbally or in a generic rejection email.

I lost my job recently, one that I’d held for the past five years.  It happened quite suddenly, although I was planning on leaving anyway…just not until I had another gig lined up.  That didn’t happen.  Instead, I’ve applied for 36 different jobs and had eight interviews.  Now, if you haven’t jobhunted for awhile, or have gotten lucky and been successfully able to jump straight from job to job, then you’re probably thinking “only eight interviews?  So what?”.  I probably would have thought the same thing six months ago.

I was so naive back then.

A job interview is mentally draining.  Firstly, you get a phone interview (if you’re lucky).  You spend twenty minutes trying to talk yourself up to some random on the other end of the phone, trying to sound confident but not arrogant, and trying to convince them (and usually, yourself) that you’d be fantastic at whatever job they’re calling about.  Issue is, most of the time, you didn’t apply because it’s your dream job.  You applied because, hey, they have money they might be willing to part with if you can play the part.  Sometimes when they call you have to mentally track back as to why you even applied for the job at all (do I really want to sell DOORS?  Is that even a job?  How many people go door shopping?).  Then you remember you were having a “low day” where you feel like you’ll never get a job again and applied for anything you believe you could remotely do, to hell with job enjoyment.  Finally, the call is over and they tell you they’ll be in contact.

This is a good situation.

A bad situation is when they decide that phone interviews are soooo 1999, and decide instead to make you do a VIDEO INTERVIEW.  Prior to this whole thing, I’d never even known this was a thing.  What a wonderful happy place the world seemed when I didn’t know about these.  Basically what they are is you, dressed up nicely, filming yourself, talking about yourself, in an empty room, addressing people you’ll never meet in the hope they’ll throw you a bone and call you in for an actual interview.  They basically give you a link (usually to an app), a bunch of questions and a timeframe, and leave the rest up to you.  It’s kind of like an audition tape for a role that will never pay you enough to warrant this nonsense.  But even this isn’t the worst of it.  There are two styles I’ve come across – the first is where you have time to answer the questions and redo your answers.  Aka, they let you be professional in the video.  Trust me, you need time to redo your answers.  You stutter, you get tongue tied, you lose your train of thought, you say the wrong thing, you swear, you scratch your face.  It happens.  If you think filming yourself over and over for an hour trying to answer the same questions is bad, oh ho ho, you’d be wrong.

There are sickos out there who don’t allow for that.

I’ve only had to do it once this way (so far) but they basically fire a question at you, give you about 20 seconds to come up with an answer to it that doesn’t sound too pretentious, and then bam! you’re expected to look professional and jobworthy on camera while you answer and try not to get tongue tied.  And just for good measure, they throw in a time limit on each answer too.  Who doesn’t love a bit of pressure, right?!

Okay, so once one of those two scenarios play out, you then do some more waiting.  Oh, the joy of checking your inbox 236 times a day in case an interview invitation might have crept it’s way in there without you noticing (you conveniently forget that your phone actually tells you when you get mail).  No mail?  Damn.  Maybe I missed a call and my iPhone spazzed out.  I’ll just check my call log.  Nope.  Domino’s is still the last call.  (It was a “low day” – don’t judge me!).

Finally, you get a follow up call from one of the potential hirers.  They always sound so optimistic, like you’re the top person on their list and they’re falling over themselves to hire you.  Like the interview is just a formality that has to happen but if it were up to them, you’d get the job on the spot.

It’s a trap!

You probably aren’t top of their list.  They’ve probably already made 10 phone calls exactly the same as this prior to you.  Hell, they probably gave everyone a face-to-face interview that could string two words together.  Or maybe they didn’t.  Maybe they are actually falling over themselves to hire you.  You just don’t know.  The issue is, you’re so happy you’re finally getting a step closer to a job that you completely forget that you may not actually have a 99% chance at landing it if you put on a bit of make up and have a positive attitude.

This is the “high day”.  The time after that phone call and before the interview.  Especially if it’s for a job you actually may not want to bail on the second something better comes along.  It’s the day you don’t order pizza, it’s the day you get off the couch and put on a bra and maybe even do some housework.  Someone thinks I’m worthy of a face-to-face meeting!  I’m one step away from employment!  We’re on the home stretch!

So the day of the interview comes.  Time to get yo profesh on.  Nice clothes, make up, perfume, uncomfortable shoes.  What is it with dressing up and wearing uncomfortable shoes?  Put some extra jewellery on, brush your teeth extra well.  Pretend like you haven’t been channel surfing for a week straight.  Positive thoughts Jessa, you are a hard worker.  They’d be crazy not to hire you.  Speak clearly.  You’ve got this in the bag.  Don’t ramble.

You leave early, even though it’s the middle of the day.  There might be traffic!  There’s not.  So you wind up sitting in your car, 20 minutes early, scrolling mindlessly through Facebook wishing your friends posted more interesting things and trying not to think that most of them aren’t posting because they are at work and you are basically trying to convince the world you’re worthy of joining that league once more.

Finally the time comes when it’s time to go in.  You feel overdressed.  Should have worn something less attention seeking.  Everyone is looking at me. (Nobody is).  Should have worn comfortable shoes.  Nobody is gonna hire me if I walk like my legs are asleep. You approach the nearest staff member and mumble awkwardly you’re here for an interview.  The staff member looks you up and down, then says “well, wait around, they’ll grab you when they’re ready”.  So you wait.  You don’t want to just stand there like an idiot, so you walk a little.  Not too much though, you don’t want to look like you’re pacing.  Keep moving though, you don’t want to look bored.  In the end you probably look like both at once.

Finally, the interviewer arrives.  Cue awkward introduction.  You try to sound confident but it doesn’t come out that way.

Oh well already blew it might as well go home.

But no.  You follow the interviewer to the meeting area and sit down.  Here comes the stupid, open ended question that seems mandatory in every interview ever.

“So, tell me a bit about yourself?”

You’d think after eight times I’d have this down pat, but I never really know if I do.  Do they want to know about my work history?  Do they want to know about my general interests?  Do they want to know about my day and what I ate for breakfast?  Or are they simply asking it as a polite formality?  Every interviewer seems to have a different take on this, from what I can gather, so I never know how to answer.  In the end, I usually just go down the job history path.  It seems safest, albeit the most dull.

Once the conversation starts the interview generally starts to run it’s course smoothly.  I have quite a bit of valuable experience (that much I know is true) and the interviewers seem to be interested in it.  Keyword: seem.  This is when my confidence picks up and I talk (ramble) about back stories and tasks I’ve done and why I’d love to work for…what company is this again?

Finally, after a final – more confident – handshake, the interview is over.  You walk away with your head held high.  You not only survived it, but it seemed to go very well.  You start to pick it apart on the way home – the interviewer said “we’ll be in contact by Monday”, that’s gotta be a good sign, right?  They talked a lot about that one story you shared about how you helped that guy out, that must mean I’ve won them over, surely?  In your head, you’re picturing the next five years of your life at the company, and start planning your life now you have an income again.  Even though a little voice is saying “Jessa, get a grip, they told you they have more people to interview” you’re already mentally partying.

More waiting.

So much waiting.

The day arrives that they promised you an answer.  You stare at your phone.  You want it to ring but think “if they don’t call til later, surely it means good news”.  You hope one of your referees message you to say they just got called, but nothing comes through.  “It’s okay, they probably got a call at an inconvenient time and didn’t have a chance to tell you”.  Finally, the phone rings.  Here it comes!  Good news at last!

“Hi Jessa, how’s it going?  I’m just calling to let you know you’ve been unsuccessful, sorry.  Do you want us to keep your details on record in case something else opens up?  You were great, we just found someone better”.

You feel like you’ve been kicked in the guts.

You knew this was going to happen, or at least, there was potential that it would.  Despite that, you let yourself get excited about it.

Bring on another “low day” where you hate the world and all the shitty TV shows that are on.  You hate you don’t have an income to go out and buy three boxes of Krispy Kremes and two pints of Ben and Jerry’s.  Instead you make do with Nutella on toast because that’s the best comfort food you have in the house.  You try not to look at your computer but can hear it calling “Jessa, time to do more job applications!  Time to do it all over again!”.  Eventually you give in and start applying, and because it’s a low day, you think selling blinds is a fantastic life choice.

And so the vicious cycle starts all over again.

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-JD