I like to leave the office for my lunch break. I used to have a bad tendency to simply never take a lunch, in jobs past. Now, I make it a point to. I’m not getting paid for that hour, and damnit, I need to be kind to myself. Take the hour. Ingest some fresh air. Get off my ass. De-stress myself as much as possible.
Thing is, my office is in a weird little spot. There are no parks nearby, and it’s not close enough to downtown to go for a stroll. We’re right on a highway, so it’s pretty much either: have lunch at your desk (and continue working, because you won’t be left alone), take your lunch break in your vehicle in the parking lot (weird and awkward), take your lunch to the picnic table out back (and not be left alone), go out to eat (and go broke), or take your lunch to some other random parking lot.
The last option on that list is the one most people in this vicinity seem to gravitate to. I spend nearly every one of my lunch breaks sitting in my vehicle, parked in the parking lot of a local grocery store. And anywhere from five to two dozen other folks are doing the same thing.
All parked in the grocery store parking lot. Eating lunch. Alone. But together. Some listening to music. Some chatting on their phones. Some texting. Some playing games. Some smoking. Some napping. Some exiting their vehicles and sitting on the asphalt, just to be that much closer to fresh air and sunshine.
We exchange occasional nods of acknowledgement when we accidentally make eye contact with fellow Parking Lot People.
Other than that, it’s a solo thing. For many. It’s weird and sad and uplifting all at the same time.
And I dunno why, but I just wanted to mention these Parking Lot People, of whom I’m one.
My boss is an epic bitch. I don’t mean like one of those passive aggressive bitches. I mean a full on, in your face, self-proclaimed bitch bitch.
For the most part, I’ve been fortunate enough to not be on the receiving end of her first-class bitchery. I usually witness it from the sidelines, as an anecdote, or just watching her lambast some poor fuck.
Today, that poor fuck was me. And I almost let her have it, right in front of her precious little committee. Fucking committees. I’m a fucking committee person now. Why couldn’t I be a gangsta? Huh?
The skinny little cunt insulted me in front of her favorite little pet committee. Repeatedly. Had I done anything wrong? Au contraire. She’s pissed off because someone else is leaving the company, so she’s taking it out on those closest to her. And as her rightfuckinghand, I’m the closest one at work to take it out on.
If she keeps the shit up, I’m gonna volley Little Miss Former DA’s shitstorm right back at her. She thinks I’m sweet and quiet. She has no idea what simmers beneath the surface (and boils on days like today).
I can hang with her on most days. And at least I didn’t take it personally – like getting upset or crying or thinking I was a fuck-up. I just got pissed. I’m mostly calm now. Mostly.
Good thing the weekend cometh. There’s a cider or three with my name on it.
I’ve been hustling. And I do mean hustling hard. I’ve got two side hustles going on, on top of the full-time job (which I’m actively seeking to replace with a different full-time job elsewhere – never satisfied anymore, it seems).
One is the tutoring gig, which is frankly more trouble than it’s worth at this point because of an extended commute and a low cut of the pay. But I’m committed to seeing the school year through. They’ve got another month in these parts.
Second hustle is a writing thing I’ve been doing. Fluffy SEO padding shit to trick google. (They probably think I don’t know what’s up, but it’s fairly obvious it’s all bogus to do some hardcore SEO driving. You know, bolding keywords here and there. Burying a “moneylink” in a sea of non-competing, vaguely related links. Appending exactly three license-free stock photos and one embedded YouTube video. Yeah. Fun stuff.) But you know what? I’ve decided that I don’t care. I’m not screwing over any people with the BS articles and blog posts. I’m helping to trick a search engine that tricks people anyway. And while it still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, at $15 a post…I can’t afford to linger too long on my reservations. I figure…keep this up a couple of months, and I’ll be back to salient. Quite frankly, that outweighs ethics at this point (to a reasonable extent, anyway).
What does bug me is that the hustle further stymies my own words, because damnit I’m churning out four to eight of those suckers a day on top of my day job. But I don’t know how long the little gig will last, so I’m gonna milk it for all it’s worth.
I think…I just needed to vent that. And say that, no…I’m not trying to disappear. Again. Doesn’t mean I won’t. But it’s not my intent.
One day at a time.
One day at a time.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some hustling to do.
Move across the country, leaving behind (nearly) everything you’ve ever known. Oh wait, that totally doesn’t count as adulting.
Job hunt for three months, because you refuse to settle (at least until your shekels run out).
Land a job from your shortlist of “dream” jobs…then promptly find the negatives (even though you actually kinda love the work – don’t worry. I anticipate rants aplenty.).
Commuting an hour each way, in good traffic – only taking one week to get sick to death of that aspect. To death.
Keeping your after-hours tutoring gigs because bills. Because money. Because adulting. Because your “dream job” is highly underpaid.
Become a slightly better-functioning night-owl/pseudo-insomniac and running on four hours of heavily medicated sleep-aid sleep at best.
Start adding a shot of espresso to your usual vanilla chai latte because tired as fuck, even though the taste makes you want to spew chunks.
Neglect the things you like, again, but this time with legitimate excuses (such as the schedule that has me running from 5 AM to 8-9 PM (which is usually when I finally make it back to basement)).
Get used to being abandoned by those whom once claimed they’d be by your side forever. Grow just callused enough to make it through the day, but sometimes still cry yourself to sleep at night. Whoops, that got dark. My bad.
What I meant to say was something along the lines of: being lonely as fuck. And also something else to do with that “fuck” word. I want a buddy, a companion, a partner-in-crime, a lover. I’m sick of waiting around for things that I thought were something they weren’t. And I refuse to join some dating service. So that leaves me…right here, bitching!
Hmm. I know there’s more, but I have to get back to work. I took a brief lunch break…a break from writing to write. Heh. Fuck, I’m braindead. I’ve written roughly fifty pages this week – stuff like newsletters, newspaper articles, ad blurbs, radio scripts, and now I’m about to start on blogging. I’ve helped perform interviews. I’ve assisted in ad-buying decisions and helped negotiate contract prices. I’ve improved departmental organization. And I’ve been here a week! I’m fucking tired! And pleased – with my job.
So yeah. Break’s over. Enough writing. I have writing to do!
So. Great progress in some ways. None at all in others. Let’s get to it, so I can get it off my chest. Kind of like the pain in the everything bra that hits the deck as soon as I get home every day. I can feel it there, driving me crazy, all fucking day. So maybe I can get some mental shit off my chest, and I’ll feel a bit of relief? Doubtful, but let’s try it anyway.
The house goes on the market tomorrow morning. Sign in the yard, MLS, Zillow, the whole nine. Well. She said Zillow usually takes three to five days to pick new listings up. But after that, it will be available for any google search. Sweet biscuits.
She said houses are selling fast in my neighborhood, but agreed with me that having only two bedrooms and one bathroom will make it harder than most to sell. That’s fine – I anticipated that from the moment I bought the place.
She offered me a full percent less on her commission than I anticipated, so I didn’t even negotiate that. I was gonna try to knock her down half a percent, but she did way better than that on her own.
She also named the exact list price I was going to suggest (I’ve been researching comps for weeks). We both know it probably won’t go for that, but it gives me room to negotiate without fearing dropping below my bottom line.
So tonight, I do the final touches: tucking stuff away in closets, mopping everything one more time, water the plants and put the hose away, clearing the back deck, tidying the storage room, etc. Then I’m gonna take a much needed superlong soak in the tub and hit the hay.
She’s meeting me at the house at 9:00 AM in the morning. She said we’ll do all the paperwork then, photograph and video everything, then go ahead and toss the sign up. Weeeeeeeee. Here we go!
Fucking sucks. Still no feedback from slowass corporate about the jobs I applied to in hopes of staying with my current company.
Still nothing but dead-ends on the couple hundred apps I’ve done thus far in my search. (That isn’t an exaggeration. If anything, it’s an underaggeration. Yeah. That’s a word now. Suck it.) Now and then, I get serious nibbles or even bites. A couple times, I’ve all but been offered jobs (talking only about ones that would pay enough to live there)…only for them to fall through at the last minute.
There’s time yet, as the house is only now being listed. But…I’m still nervous as fuck. I’m not sure what the hell I’m going to do if the house sells and I’m still stuck down here with the same shitty prospects. Do I gamble it all and drive my ass up there? Hoping employers will be far more amenable since I’m in situ? (And risk losing it ALL in the process?) Or do I sign a fucking six month lease on an apartment here and keep wiling my life away, waiting for change.
For now, I shall focus on the sale of the house, continue applying my ass off and bide my time.
Mental Health Stuff
I still wake up wishing I hadn’t. I struggle mightily with things I want and think I need, but feel they’re far from my grasp. Perhaps eternally so.
I’ve had some mopey days. I’ve had some weepy days. I’ve had times I’ve had to hide in the bathroom at work, so I could cry it out and compose myself.
I still think I’m a pointless waste of space, an inconsequential non-blip on the universe’s radar. I still wonder what the fuck the point of it all is.
I fight hard not to dwell on that, because I don’t have the answers. I know I have it better than so many do, but it doesn’t really help to know that. It doesn’t ease the pain in my soul. God, I sound like such a whiny little bitch. Yet, it’s how I feel.
I’m fighting. I’m not giving up. I’m not giving in. I’m not. But. Motherfuck, some days it all feels so fucking impossible.
So. Good things ahead. New things ahead. Things I’m nervous about. And things I’m still struggling with.
Overall. Trending upward. The trick is to keep it that way.
Breaking News Update: I’m full of shit and am not actually moving to Antarctica.
Dudes. So. The first half of my day was slow as fuck, so I made myself busy by slinging my resume at just about anything that would take it. Okay, that’s not exactly true. I’ve gotten pretty picky. Ish.
Today a few interesting things happened. Well, they were interesting to me.
One of the jobs I applied to – in the Greater Portland Area – got an instant nibble. The pay isn’t fantastic, but it’s good enough for me, for now. It’s comes fairly close to doubling what I’m making now (which is a below-market wage for what I do). So that’s pretty sweet, because I already know I can pay my bills on half that. Within minutes, homedude emailed me thanking me for my application, saying he was “impressed by [my] resume,” etc. He asked me a couple of questions, and I think I significantly erred with this one. You see, one of the questions was, “When are you planning to relocated to this area?” And I said, “August 1” (a date which is highly optimistic and contingent upon a very…very good opportunity). The fleshed out response included needing time to give my formal notice (though my current employer does know it’s coming soon), as well as needing time to actually get up there. I think that was a mistake. I think I should have said something a bit more hedgey. I like to be forthright, but there’s nothing wrong with hedging your bets a bit and letting the person know that “August 1” isn’t ironclad. I could be persuaded to move sooner. If I don’t hear from him in the next couple days, I’m planning to write to him again as a followup.
Next up – I applied for a gig in Antarctica. I shit you not, dudes. It’s some government gig, doing some research that you don’t get to know about unless you receive clearance and are accepted as a member of the team. I specifically applied to a human resources / research assistant position. It’s a year-long contract, and if you’re accepted you have to go through special psychological training in order to live in the extreme and isolated environment. Sounds fucking awesome. What an adventure, right? I could meet The Thing! Aliens! X-Files! The truth is out there! Dudes. I’ll never get it, because I’m a total long-shot. But I figured what the fuck and threw my resume at it, anyway. They wrote and asked me a couple questions, which I answered pretty much the same as the one I wrote about above.
Dudes. This one is fucking ridiculous. Right toward the end of the day, I receive an email from the top HR homie at corporate. Straight out offering me a job. Turns out he saw my resume on our intranet (it’s there, because I’m applying to other jobs with our company at locations in the PNW…which my intranet profile clearly states). Straight up offers me a job. Asks me to RELOCATE to this city for …. wait for it …. oh fuck it. For an ENTRY LEVEL accounting gig. That would have been fanfuckingtastic fifteen years ago. But this dude tells me he has an “excellent offer at our ______ office for this ______ position.” It’s entry-level, and he can see in our org chart that I’m beyond that now. He can also see in our org chart that I’m already here! And )(!*&#*$&)OIFJIOFJOI* I don’t know why, but that one really pissed me off. I think because when I first received the email, I thought it was gonna be in reference to one of the two I have my resume out on in the Portland/Vancouver area. No dice. Hmph.
Tomorrow, I will continue my quest. I’m not giving up on this. I’m not giving up on landing a gig with my company, either. That would be preferable, if the money and position were right. It’s beginning to look like I can get a higher paying gig with a better title at a different company. So long as I’m working in Corporate America, that’s the direction I need to go in to secure my future of selling all my shit and financing an adventure lifestyle. Fuckyeah.
I wasn’t gonna talk only about work. I had other stuff in mind, but it eludes me now. I have sleepy brain (YAYYYYY for sleepy!), and for some odd reason, I’m thinking about Japan. Specifically the Jigokudani Monkey Park…and the Shimanami Kaido. Yeah. Goodnight fuckers! I mean, friends! Friendly fuckers!
I just got home from sushi and sake with a colleague.
Our company outsources shit to her company.
She charged the ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE DOLLAR DINNER to her company credit card.
I want a company credit card.
What else can I tell you?
The first half of the day was shite on a cracker.
The second half of the day was more than mildly entertaining and also a little sad.
At some point in the middle of the afternoon, I received a text message from my mother.
I have no desire to reply to it.
She removed herself from my life a long time ago.
But I have guilt issues, so time will tell.
I’ll let it stew for a few days.
And then colleague messaged that she was in town and wanted to have a secret dinner.
You see, I’m basically a peon. And because of company politics, she can’t exactly explain taking me out to dinner without taking everyone else out.
She generally only takes out VIPs or entire departments.
Then I basically watched her get drunk off wine. (She got started on her own before we even met up.)
I had an entire bottle of sake to myself. She kept pouring and pouring and pouring..
But I sipped here and there and drank copious amounts of water.
Seeing as we were there for four hours, I wasn’t even buzzed when we left.
Dudes. (Yeah, I opened with that yesterday.) He fucking loved it. LOVED IT. My copy has been declared a rousing success – like three minor changes, and done. It’s finished now and has been sent back to creative for a full redesign around the new copy and ideas we bandied about in this morning’s meeting. It was fucking awesome.
Yes, I came here JUST to brag. I don’t brag in my day to day. But right here on this space…fuck it. I just bragged. I’m proud of what’s happening, and I couldn’t contain myself.
So I have a question for y’all. I can finally start building a professional writing portfolio. Do any of y’all have a favorite site or service that you use for that sort of thing? Or do you buy your own site? Don’t worry – I’m not getting too carried away here. I just want to use the brochure as a sample of my work. I figured it would be a good time to think about creating a portfolio.
Anyway. I hope to post something more interesting later, but for now…WOOHOO.
What? How did? I mean it’s not like I put it in the title. What? Fucking hell, I put it in the title, didn’t I? You people are supposed to keep me from doing shit like that. What am I paying you for?
Sigh. Well, since somebody (cough, cough) let the cat out of the bag, I may as well get to it. How about some background music first, shall we? Haven’t done that for a while.
Got music; let’s go. I am officially a copywriter now. It’s already on my resume as freelance work. But you know how some people fudge their resumes? I’ve never once lied on my resume, but I did use some creative word choices. Such as “freelance writing and copy-editing.” It’s not actually a lie: I’ve done a good bit of editing and writing for other people over the years, though it was largely unpaid work. Research papers, articles, book reviews, theses and dissertations, etc. That line on the resume did the trick, though. And it was a happy accident, really.
So. Local VIP who has contact with other company VIPs all over the country? The one who put in a good word for me in the Portland/Vancouver area? Yeah, that guy. I had to give him my resume so he could send it to his homegirl. Shortly after I emailed it to him, he stormed into my office and says, “Why didn’t you ever TELL anyone you’re a copywriter?” I’m surprised and say, well it was never in an official capacity, and I have told people. “Well you didn’t tell the RIGHT people. Didn’t you know we were looking for someone a while back? And that’s why (your dumbass supervisor) hired that giggling idiot in there!” Nope. I sure didn’t, VIP. You know damn well everything is a secret around here.
Long story short, the guy (just a year or so younger than I am) is being groomed for major leadership. Major. And he’s finally stepping up for real and actually getting involved. (I used to make fun of him. He’d come in the office to chat. “What’s going on in here!?” And I’d say, “Work. Ever heard of it?” Or I’d ask him if he learned a certain vocabulary word from a cracker jack box. I think that’s why he respects me, strangely enough. I’m one of the only people in the building who doesn’t lick his asshole for him.)
He asked me to give my opinion on some blog articles the new girl wrote, the one who was hired to be an in-house copywriter. I asked him how candid he wanted me to be, and he said “be the you I know and love to hate.” HA. So I ripped it to shreds. I didn’t rip her. This shit isn’t her fault. He said straight out that my super hired her because she’s cute and didn’t even bother to ask for writing samples. I feel bad for her, because no one is talking to her or trying to fix the situation. Anyway. So I do that, and he then asks me to comb our website for grammatical errors. I spent an entire day tearing it up, and then he had one of our web dev people fix it.
A week or two pass, and I hear nothing back from him – except that everyone is pleased with what I did. And my super calls me “our resident scholar” now. It’s…fucking lame. But it also feels good.
Yesterday, VIP emailed a document to me. He wanted my opinion. It was several pages long, fucking endless walls of text, so I just gave it a cursory reading and replied to him that I would suggest significant changes. We met for three hours yesterday afternoon to go over what those were, with the end result of him tasking me to rewrite the entire thing from top to bottom. He asked for design critique, too, but I could only give ideas – I don’t actually know design. (Oh. And to be fair, the meeting wouldn’t have been so long if we hadn’t been cracking so many jokes and laughing our asses off to the point that people came and griped at us to shut up. Put the two of us in a room together, and you have an HR nightmare. Alone, we behave. Together, we’re terrible.)
Anyway. I spent all day today rewriting the brochure copy and trying to adjust graphics and shit (that is once I got Archie to stop entertaining every fucking hen in the house – seriously, dating advice, recipe exchanges, cleaning tips – what the fuck, man). The fact that VIP is even allowing me to touch it is funny, really. He befriended me on FB just before asking me to do this…and he asked me anyway. My FB page is pretty much super tame – when I even bother to post anything. Park pictures, the occasional music video, cool art…shit like that. But I DO occasionally drop an f-bomb. And VIP, well, let’s just say his page is full of hunting videos, pictures of his children and bible verses.
Tomorrow, he and I are meeting with creative to look over the brochure, talk about design and layout changes and make sure the copy is cool. Once that’s done? We’re also gonna talk about completely overhauling the website. Those two will be responsible for design, the web dev department will handle coding, and I will do every single word of copy.
It’s daunting, but exciting.
If I have to work in corporate hell, I would rather do something that interests me or that I’m more suited to. I have to say that brochure was a pain in the ass, and I loved every minute of it – even when I was grumbling under my breath at how shit the original copy was. I’ve been wanting to transition in to some sort of writing job for a long ass time now…but it’s hard to do when your degree isn’t in communications or journalism. So this is a HUGE boost for my resume.
I’m officially a copywriter, y’all! That copy is gonna be off the fuckin’ hook. That was a lame attempt at a joke. I’m sorry. No, really. I’m sorry.
P.S. I’m not sorry. To make it up to you, here’s a pretty picture. Clicky.