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?