Over the weekend, while I was diving face first into a delightful cheese and mushroom omelet at one of my favorite breakfast establishments (which in this case, shall remain unnamed), I bit down on something… foreign. To my utter dismay, I looked down and found a stick in my omelet. Really, I have no idea if it was an actual stick, you know, that somehow found its way of the forest floor and into my eggy treat, but it was thin, hard, brown and crunchy. It looked like a stick. So, I am calling it a stick.
Oh the trauma! The delightful meal was tainted, and I could hardly continue on my breakfast journey. They took the eggs away and I swallowed my last bits of waffle and sticky bun with trepidation!
And so the tone was set for the week ahead, where I continued to eat sticks, more metaphorically than literally, but they were sticks nonetheless.
The first stick was not really my stick, per say, but it affected me just the same. An associate of mine was offered a job this week, and oh how excited we were! It was a position pretty much made for him, with opportunities for growth, benefits and a steady paycheck. It was no longer in his field of expertise, but he was happy about that as well. It was everything he, and we, had been hoping for. And then, he told me about the salary. The stick. The 20,000-less-than-what-he-was-making-before… stick. Unlike my omelet, it’s not like he could just send the offer back to the kitchen and ask for a new one.
“Excuse me, ma’am, there is a stick in my job-offer.”
Alas, the feelings of achievement, excitement and relief where sadly overshadowed by the harsh reality of him not being able to pay the bills with this new salary. Now instead of enjoying this success with a happy heart, my friend had to make some hard decisions regarding his financial stability.
The second stick was much more subtle, and much less crunchy. My former colleague and dear, dear friend Julie #1 (read her blog here: icedcoffee) got a job! Yay! After seven months of searching, blogging, tweeting, and developing a pretty serious coffee addiction, she is now employed! And this is a good thing in every way, except that I will miss having my friend available at all hours of the day and night to hang with, lament about unemployment with and attend networking events with. So the stick invading this metaphorical omelet is purely my selfish desire to keep her around all the time. And so I am ignoring the stick and gobbling up this omelet because I am so happy for her, hopeful for all of us left in unemployment bliss, and more than willing to feel lonely as long as it means her success.
The third stick came just this morning as I realized that people are often clueless… Um, oops. I mean people are often unaware (hope that sounds more PC), of the economic situation at hand.
I had forwarded a resume of a “talented management professional with extensive inside sales and customer service experience in a call center environment,” to a person I know who works in management. I had asked him to review the resume, provide some feedback and let me know if he had a position available within his organization. He called me almost immediately and said her resume was impressive and she would certainly be a good fit for his company. But then, he asked me something like this:
“So she just doesn’t need to work right now, or what is the deal, why is she still unemployed?”
First I answered calmly, though my blood was already starting to boil. What exactly did he mean, by “why is she still unemployed?”
He responded with something about how with her experience level it seems odd that she has such a large gap in her employment and wondered why she hasn’t just settled and taken something already, or is she waiting for the right thing and is just not really in need of a job.
Okay, where do I even start with this????
First: why should anyone have to settle? If she is experienced and talented, she has every right to try and find a job that meets her professional needs, whether it takes three months, six months or 12 months.
Second: who says she has even had the opportunity to “settle” on something. I have been off for nearly five months and have only had one interview. It’s a jungle out there and consider yourself lucky if you can get past the online application process.
Third: Is he living in a cave? How can he not be aware of the harsh job market out there and the millions of people out of work? It seems like such an asinine question to even ask… “why is she still unemployed?” Perhaps it has something to do with the lack of jobs, abundance of talented professionals and dire economic circumstances out there.
So I was a bit irate, as you can tell, and ended the conversation with “honey, you need to wake up.” Good thing he and I have a history and me saying something like that is pretty par for the course.
Unfortunately this stick, the crunchy ignorance of my friend, is a common stick these days.
Hopefully this week, as I celebrate not only my dear friend Julie’s new job, but my own Birthday, over a fabulous brunch and some Bloody Mary’s, I will not find any sticks in my Omelet.
Literally, or Metaphorically!