Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Friday, November 17, 2006

    Cubiclephobia

    I woke up in a panic over finding a job.


    Other than a design gig here and there, I've been out of the workforce for four and a half years. And those damn software companies didn't bother holding off on all their software updates until I was ready to go back. InDesign? Web design? Wha?


    I may be behind on everything else, but I'm two years ahead on my worrying. I wasn't planning on going back until the boyos were in first grade. But I've found myself searching Monster late at night, and felt my stomach clenching up as I read the qualifications, the job objectives, the drier than mummy farts Corporatespeak.


    I don't want to go back into a cubicle.

    I'm not lazy. I never played a single game of Solitaire or web surfed. I always worked hard. But I got my ass handed to me all the same, the last time I was trapped in a cubicle.


    I've freelanced for eight and a half years. Before that, I was a graphic designer in a two-person marketing department for a life insurance company. I got along great with the woman who hired me, but she grew tired of the horrid atmosphere of the place and left a few months later. She warned me first, said I might want to apply for her job (the salary was staggering) and hang on as long as I possibly could, squirreling away the pay difference.


    I applied. I wore my best suit. I gave my spiel to the president. He asked if he could keep my resume. I said sure. He said he wanted to show the woman he'd already hired what a skilled assistant she'd be getting. And it was fun watching me interview.


    So I became someone else's job perk.


    My new boss, 'Helen', laid down the law on her first day. I would file. I would stuff envelopes. I would set up slide projectors. I would be given little in-house design projects as time off for good behavior. Any design projects I had currently going for agents were to be terminated. All material would henceforth come from corporate, damn the 7% response rate on my stuff versus their 2%.


    Then 'Helen' tried to win me over with unicorn stationary.


    But the real problems started not long after when I caught a 65-year-old perv cornering a 19-year-old worker in his office.


    I told our HR person, a woman, 'The Eunuch' about it, at the behest of the 19-year old, 'Astarte'. I was not the only witness; 'Stacey' The Eunuch's assistant was with me. Stacey gave her testimony as well. Astarte was sent home for three days. When she came back on the fourth, they gave her $2,000 to sign away her rights to sue. And she lost her job immediately. Security escorted her out, just as they escorted out every woman fired from that office.


    My job disappeared right after that. I had the option of applying for a new one they'd just created. I'd have two bosses instead of one. My duties would expand to cleaning my new boss' desk and emptying his wastebasket. No graphic design work.


    And no desk.


    In the morning I would sit in a chair Boss #1's office, (when I wasn't filing of course) and in the afternoon I'd sit in a chair in Boss #2's office (when I wasn't wiping his ass of course).


    I declined their kind offer.


    They asked me to stay until they could fill this charming new position. I did (stupid, stupid me) while I looked for a new job. I should have spent my time looking for a lawyer. One evening, security came for me. I was escorted to HR, told my performance was 'disappointing', and asked to sign some form. Then I had 15 minutes to get my shit and get out of there while both security and the Eunuch stood over me. I think I left half my stuff there. I was escorted all the way to my car.


    Not my brightest moment.


    I went freelance after that. I did well, until I had the boyos.


    Even as I type this, I feel my blood pressure rise. Should I go back to school, retrain? I just don't feel confident enough to continue freelancing. But are my experiences typical of the corporate world?

    How difficult is it to re-enter the 'working world' after kids? Anyone have any tips?

    Ga.

    12 people left me a love letter:

    Blogger Bud wrote in a love letter...

    What, they didn't stone Astarte? I hate those fucking assholes. These are the kind of people that make this pacifist want to explode. I don't know what it'll be like going back to work after a layoff like tht. But I highly recommend retraining. The software thing just grows geometrically every day. I gave up trying to keep up a LONG time ago. Luckily, with Macs it's not such a big deal for what I need. But in design? Yeah, retrain, love. It'll be worth it.

    10:58 AM, November 17, 2006  
    Blogger meno wrote in a love letter...

    I got back into the work force after having a baby by signing up with a temp firm. Being a temp has advantages and disadvantages. But it does expose you to work again without a huge permanent commitment. I ended up getting hired at the place i temped and becoming the mananger of a department and worked there for 11 years, until i retired.
    A good way to get your feet wet without jumping all the way in.

    3:38 PM, November 17, 2006  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    Darlin', why do you think I went back to school after the divorce? Hadn't a clue what to do with my life after 7 years home with babies. Still don't. And can tell you that since I started in the program 4 years ago, the design programs have already gone through several iterations. Took the digital class my second year and I think I would learn all new stuff if I took it again now! I know the GIS is completely different based on the superficial intro I had then and the course I took this past summer...
    It's mind boggling. I join you in the job world jitters. It's another one of my Pissed-off-at-the-media-issues b/c they make it all seem like we are supposed to stay at home, have our million dollar idea and then become corporate whiz-moms!

    4:59 PM, November 17, 2006  
    Anonymous Anonymous wrote in a love letter...

    I guess the question is this: What do you want to do?

    Get the blood pressure down. You don't necessarily have to do the corporate thing. If you wanna do, say, the spa thing you talked about weeks ago, there's a lot of 16ish month massage therapy programs in town.

    Maybe you wanna do something completely different.
    /jo

    5:49 PM, November 17, 2006  
    Anonymous Anonymous wrote in a love letter...

    Not that you want to do this, but nursing school was full of after-kids-in-1st-grade/college moms.
    /jo

    5:50 PM, November 17, 2006  
    Blogger Stucco wrote in a love letter...

    One word: dominatrix

    9:42 PM, November 17, 2006  
    Blogger Des_Moines_Girl wrote in a love letter...

    DON'T DO IT!!! RUN!!! SAVE YOURSELF!!!

    Okay - seriously - as a working mom (stupid term - all moms are working moms) I can tell you it's no picnic but you have to go where your heart leads you. What will make you happiest knowing that whatever you choose there will be some days where you'll wonder why you are doing what you're doing. As long as it's not every day it's fine.

    A few things to keep in mind:

    1. You don't have to work in a cubical. You could continue to work freelance. Maybe just crank up your freelancing? Create a biz plan. Troll for more clients. Get out there and stir up new biz.

    2. Training is good - take some classes. You will add to your resume and build your confidence level.

    3. There are books written for mom's returning to the work force. They give good tips on how to translate your "mommy skills" into corporate speak.

    4. Join a professional organization like NAWBO - National Association of Women Business Owners. Great for networking. A lot of these women left the work force to have children and have since returned. They could teach you a lot and might even give you some job leads.

    5. Think outside the box. Don't pigeon hole yourself into any one kind of job. When you update your resume, list your skill sets in broad and narrow terms.

    Sorry for the long comment. If you need help with your resume, let me know.

    Good luck!!!

    7:45 AM, November 18, 2006  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    I'm pretty sure they would have stoned her Bud, if not for witnesses. That's why she asked me to step forward for her first. She was afraid they would fire her on the spot if she came forward by herself. And she was probably right.

    Sounds like you had good luck with a temp firm, Meno. That might be one route for me. Thanks!

    Ga! Amusing, you're scaring me without the zombies! ;-) I'm glad I'm not alone in this boat. Maybe you could give me some tips on how to balance the kids with school. You're doing a fine job of it.

    Yeah, Jo, that's one of my big questions; what do I WANT to do? I'm a bit burned out on the GD stchick, though it's something I already know how to do, and I was/am pretty good at it. Competition's gotten fiercer in the field though. There is the spa thing... Nursing? I'm not smart enough to be a nurse.

    Dominatrix? Hel-LO Stucco, re-training! Do you know how many years it's been? No, you wouldn't. ;-)

    Thanks for the long comment, DMG. I know you've got A LOT of insight on this. I might have to ask you for some pointers on aggressive freelancing. And I will definitely join NAWBLO one of these days, thanks for reminding me. I feel like I can now that the boyos are in pre-school.

    8:30 AM, November 18, 2006  
    Anonymous clowncar wrote in a love letter...

    Ever thought about techical writing. Not alotta room for metaphor and simile, but you'd be good at it. I came thisclose to pursuing it til I lucked into my current gig.

    And there's always clown college.

    11:06 AM, November 18, 2006  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    I've thought about it, but again, there's that training thing.
    Looks like I'll have to go back to school no matter what.

    How much experience do they look for with tech writers? We'll discuss tonight. Kiss Lil Peewee for me; she'll be missed.

    1:19 PM, November 18, 2006  
    Blogger amusing wrote in a love letter...

    HOw 'bout getting published, hitting the best seller list, making a fortune, going on a round the world publicity tour during which you meet a rich and charming photographer and you run off together to do new books on the nomadic tribes of Far Western Savannaland....oh wait. That's the plot to my romance novel that's supposed to make me the big bucks...

    Scratch that.

    5:15 PM, November 18, 2006  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Hey! There you go stealing MY big million dollar idea! Well, ok, minus the photographer, plus speaking on a writer's panel with Neil, plus a film deal, plus a contract for JALLs 2 and 3...

    5:24 PM, November 18, 2006  

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