Saturday, July 7, 2012

My Dream Job?

With 4 hours of sleep post-Neil Diamond concert, which was FUCKING AMAZING (the concert, not the sleep, which eluded me due to nighttime overstimulation), I woke up at 6:00 am, certain I'd be back in bed by 10:00 am. Well, I stayed awake until 7:30 am before retiring once again to my slumber chamber and woke up at 10:15 am. I had the most wonderful dream...more wonderful than the dream about kissing Guy Friend the other night, and just as, if not more unlikely to ever materialize. This involved what my dream job would be.

In the dream was the woman who sat next to me at the unemployment HQ yesterday in real life, who was a gregarious blond named Wendy, a marketing executive who's been out of work since last August. We got to chatting about how ridiculous the re-applying for extended benefits was, and, once all herded into a conference room, complained in unison about the simplistic yet exhausting manner by which we were told to report our "work searches" for the last two weeks. She had giant folders of printed out results of her job search, all in detail and systematically filed, had highlighted where she'd gone on actual interviews, while I arrived with a single folder full of, well, bullshit. I listed, on the work search record, everywhere I'd sent resumes since May (which took me most of yesterday morning to fill out. Hey, it wasn't easy doing all of that internet searching at the last minute!).

Each eligibility week, one had to account for five jobs applied. Evidently, it wasn't sufficient that one had applied, for example, three jobs on one day during the course of an eligible week and had *not* applied for any jobs on any other given day of the week . The gentleman who'd shepherded us into the conference room made us collectively re-fill-out our searches, listing that we'd looked for at least ONE job EVERY day of the week in order for our searches to qualify, which was only slightly more anal-retentively insane than having to be responsible for presenting a search record in the first place. You follow? What was the bottom line of said exercise in redundancy? The entire room of people fudged their work searches to attempt to account for each day in front of the IDES shepherd. Because he told us to. Eventually, he photocopied and stamped our documentation, told us to continue certifying for benefits and dismissed us. Chatty Wendy asked me to keep my fingers crossed and pray she gets the job for which she interviewed last week.

But what thoughts are assuredly responsible for the dream? I'd attribute it to the following: Jonah Lehrer's book that I read on creativity, the anxiety of doing poorly at school, and actually having scanned job openings in the field of social media on the web. I was half tempted to actually SEND my resume (which would need to be edited and revised, which I never did after I was fired from the medical practice and highlights my experience in the medical services field, not touting my creative or computer skills) for some of the jobs involving social media. I'm EVERYWHERE on the net. I use almost every avenue of social media ever created, thus I am a resident "expert" in my own personal opinion. Couldn't you just see me as the VP of Tweeting Shit About a Company all day long? Where do I sign up for that?

Anyway, in the dream, I'd gone on an interview at an internet company at which this Wendy woman was temping, her job grading word problem math tests that the heads of the company routinely gave out to the workers. (I thought this to be ghastly, with my math difficulties.) To drive to the interview, I had to wind my truck around steep hills, almost like a roller coaster, around narrow twists in the road on the edge of Lake Michigan, up in the north shore, around the area where (I think) Guy Friend lives. I arrived in my casual plain clothes, not owning a business suit (which I honestly don't own).

Wendy told me a little about the company, but I don't remember what sort of business it actually was, her description vague and my memory of the dream fogged a bit. The interview process immediately segued into me already working there, whereupon I met the CEO, who was a young man in his 20's wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

"Why do you want to hire me?" I asked him. "Because you're snippy and you don't take any crap from anyone," he said. I asked him if he'd read my blog, to which he said yes, which matched up to a lengthy visit someone paid according to my blog tracker from a hidden IP address (in the dream). I was given a tour of the company, in which there was a room where the CEO had purchased a new cage for my parakeet, Nitwit, who suddenly had a pool in which to bathe himself, and a stereo to listen to, his old, tattered cage in a heap headed towards the garbage. "That was really nice of you," I said to the CEO.

"Should I bring my laptop to work or will you have a computer for me?" I asked. "Bring your own, even though it's Windows and we all use Macs," he said. "I have a Windows phone, too," I said. "Yeah, that's douchey, but it's ok," he replied. With no job description provided, I asked him what exactly I was supposed to DO at said vague internet company job. "Just write. You'll help develop (blah blah blah, I don't remember). But you can write all day" he said. "And how much money are you planning to pay me?" I wondered aloud. "However much money you feel you should earn," he said, implying I could set my own salary. "Oh, ok then!" I said.

Worrying about getting home to have dinner with my mom and Luke, I wanted to leave, and I remembered that I was still in school. I asked Wendy, "Do they offer flex-time, because I'm still taking classes?" She said, "Yeah, you can come and go whenever you want. As long as the work gets done, they don't care." Alrighty then! The CEO and I had a discussion about how we both had teenage sons, which would've been biologically impossible given the CEO's age, but this WAS a dream. I asked the CEO if he could hook up speakers to my laptop so I could listen to my iTunes while I sat and wrote all day, which he said the IT people would have to figure out, so I packed up my stuff, the CEO going on and on about smoking marijuana in the office, which I politely declined. "I smoke. Can I smoke in the office?" I asked. "If it helps you write, sure," the CEO said. Sweet!

Everyone except me in the company to whom I was introduced were wearing clothes more akin to going out to clubs and partying for the evening when we all amassed into elevators to leave for the evening, including Wendy, who at unemployment, was indeed dressed in sort of skanky "business attire," and it was blatantly obvious that she had breast implants. (Why everyone assumes I likewise have breast implants is a mystery. I guess, technically, I shouldn't be as skinny as I am and have as big a rack. Yeah, admittedly, I sort of have that fake porn star figure about me, though I go to perilous lengths, most of the time, to hide it. Wendy was, in real life, about 5'4" with platform sandals on (meaning, she was probably all of 5' tall barefoot), wearing skin tight black pants and a short-sleeved black blouse that fit her like a sausage casing. Bleach blond hair and too much makeup added to her skankiness. But hell, she must've been doing something right, because I peeked and saw she was taking home $850 every 2 weeks from unemployment, whereas I was making $396, and that includes my dependent!) In the dream, I was nervous about taking the tollway home to excitedly tell my family about my new job of "just writing" for as much money as I thought my work was worth. Thank you, unconscious memory, for throwing in my driving anxiety into a dream about job anxiety while I'm riddled with school anxiety.

That's all I remember. I think some of it was likewise inspired by comments made yesterday by my friend, Joel, from college, in response to my Facebook posting about feeling down and disgruntled over my poor performance in psychology, and how, if given a choice, I'd either write for a living or teach writing for a living. Joel asked me if I needed an advanced degree in order to write. I said, "No, but Lofty Ambition 2 would be English professor." I said in my reply comment that I definitely *could* write with just a BA in English-Writing, but that I doubted anyone would be willing to pay me to do so, which I believe is true. Proportionately, the number of graduates in my writing program who got jobs and became "professional writers" at Knox was, to the best of my knowledge, very small. While I went into marketing a couple of years after graduation, and did a lot of writing and public media relations, I blew that gig by becoming addicted to narcotics, and have little interest in adopting a stuffy corporate lifestyle again, which is probably why the dream was of a casual, creative atmosphere at an internet startup company that was similar to the companies described in Jonah Lehrer's book, Imagine: How Creativity Works.

Joel was suggesting that if I continue to perform poorly in psychology and I'm disheartened by it, that I abandon the pursuit of an advanced degree in the field and championed me following my bliss. (Joel was a philosophy major who went on to become a lawyer, who, despite his profession, I really like. Joel graduated from Knox with a degree even more impractical than mine and is successful.) I complained in my Facebook commentary what I iterated here before, that the populous collectively is viewing me through glasses blurred by lenses with $$ signs on them. "How much money can you make?" is the chief question in a great percentages' minds. The job prospects for someone with my "skill set" are very small, including landing a gig as an English professor, even worse than becoming a doctor of psychology. With crunch time in the decision-making process upon me, I'm finding it difficult to rationalize incurring $300k in debt to attempt to transform myself from a writer into a scientist. Thus, I'm at a crossroads of confusion and insecurity.

I have an admissions appointment at the Adler School of Professional Psychology the day after Abnormal Psych ends for the semester. I plan on keeping that appointment, by which time I should have a reasonable chance of knowing what my final grade is in the course, which if not an A, greatly reduces my chances of attending the school. I'll find out if I need to take statistics as a pre-requisite, which will be 100 times MORE challenging than Abnormal Psych, which Luke'll have to help me with. I may be able to take it concurrently with going into the doctorate program, which is one of my questions for the admissions counselor. While the school's criteria for admission includes an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and mine was 2.7, largely due to dicking around as a young woman, at least I got excellent grades in my writing and English courses. The classes in which I excelled all thrilled me. The ones that were obligatory, or ill-planned, or poorly, I didn't pull the best grades. One of the points I wanted to impress to the grad schools, collectively, was that I take my post-grad studies far more seriously than I did my undergraduate work, and that I'm quite a different student in middle age than I was in the early 90's.

This all goes back to my previous conundrum from the last blog about psychology being a science, and me not being terribly talented at science. While I doubt my skills and potential in a scientific field, I am confident of my skills in writing and creative pursuits, and not simply out of delusions of grandeur. I'm just not feeling "smart" lately, and I know it's because Abnormal Psych is kicking me in the ass. Some chalk it up to the professor being difficult, the acceleration of a summer term; others say that earning a doctorate is supposed to be difficult; otherwise, everyone would have a doctorate.

True to a certain extent, but I am left wondering if I misinterpreted my real talents and strengths and am attempting to capitalize on something seemingly unattainable, or which otherwise wouldn't satisfy me in the long run. (The attainment of something seemingly unattainable is sort of my life-long pattern, my standard operating procedure. My socio-economic, personal and spiritual karmic wheels are perpetually on the cusp of nirvana, only to wind up horribly disappointed.) Kate always said that my writing would get me "somewhere" in life, and while I had a great opportunity when I was in marketing like 15 years ago, in practicality, I'm now 40, haven't been in a business field since then, have a practically useless degree in writing, the job market sucks, and I need to either pursue an advanced degree full-time or find a job, little for which I'm qualified. (No, I honestly don't want to endure the torture of working in another fast-paced doctors' office. The truth of the matter is, had I not been utterly shitpickles in the first place, employing any semblance of logic, I'd have bolted out of that consortium of fucktardedness that nearly drove me into a straightjacket, with my physical body crumbling apart long before I was given the boot. I likewise don't want to end up like my ex-husband, stuck in a low-paying rut for a decade doing something I inherently hate, so far removed from my creative brain and dissatisfied that I cannot awaken in the morning bearing the thought of another day in a cubicle. At least Craig has zines he writes for and a radio show as a voluntary outlet. Kind of like writing this's fun and I enjoy it, and it's my sanity outlet, and while it would make a colorful book, is just a hobby.)

Jesus, if "Rhythms" can't even get Guy Friend to give me a smooch, it sure as hell isn't going to earn me a living, both of which are a downright shame. What sparked the discussion between Joel and I in the first place? Another Einstein quote.

My 12-year old is getting further in the online, creative world than I am. He finished his gifted program, having developed, from "SCRATCH," the title of the class, an MIT-generated simple video game he based on the world's first video game, Pong. It is of walruses battling against one another to bounce a bucket (which, if you've ever seen Luke's movies on YouTube about his stuffed walrus, Walle, you'd understand) with external creatures getting in the way of the passing back and forth of said bucket. It's not remotely as complicated as the XBox games he plays regularly, but the class, he complained, was centered around simplicity that he could've easily surpassed. Anyway, the following link is the resulting game:

I think Luke needs to skip high school, go straight into MIT on a full ride and get a genius job in order to support his haplessly idiotic mother who clearly wasn't trained via higher education to do much more than make up new, original, derogatory insult words. I retained one piece of information in Abnormal Psych thus far: habitually creating neologisms is a clinical sign of insanity. 'Twas ever thus.

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