Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Job Search

So I've been applying and applying for administrative support jobs and I'm getting very little feedback. What do you think of this explanation that I got from a friend of mine:

A man who hired and fired people at Illinois Masonic (a hospital) for over 30 years says most employers don't hire between Halloween and New Years. He says that most quality people aren't looking during that time. His feeling is that because the holidays are so busy, people generally stick with their jobs through November/December and only desperate people are looking for work then. He feels that after January, a lot of people decide to turn over a new leaf and the pool of quality workers opens
wide up. There are companies who hire during that time, but they often look to hire within, but are required by law to advertise outside the company.

This explanation is so discouraging to me. Am I making myself look like a big loser just by sending resumes to all these places? Should I stop the job hunt until January? Can it be true that employers avoid any applicant who's looking for work during the holidays?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back to the CTA...

I crashed the car and am now afraid to drive. I'd only been driving regularly since last spring and now I've had a $4200 accident. The last time I owned a car was fifteen years ago and I totalled the car back then. I obviously don't belong on the road.

So a month after triumphantly cancelling my monthly CTA pass, I'm getting a new one. I'm stuck with public transit and that's just how it is. I just wish I didn't feel like such a loser.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


So I cut back to four shifts a week because my body can't take the physical pain of waitressing full-time and I'm driving more because the Chicago Transit Authority train line that I take is getting worse every week. These changes mean I'm not using my monthly CTA pass subscription enough to make it cost effective (it gives me unlimited rides for $75 a month), so I cancelled it.

Of course, a week and a half after cancelling it, I smashed the car. In fact, it was the day of my last post, November 3rd. I left for work at 2:30 pm, joined the extremely busy and congested Saturday afternoon roads going into downtown Chicago and never made it to the restaurant.

Was it because I was in a hurry? No. I leave plenty of time to drive to work and usually arrive 30 minutes early. In fact, I'm a total granny driver. On the highway, I don't like going faster than 55 miles an hour. On roads, I rarely inch up past the speed limit, I don't mind when people cut me off and I cruise calmly along while others frantically change lanes to shave a few minutes off their commute. I actually don't like changing lanes at all and will actually stay behind the slow-moving bus or wait behind the driver who's waiting to take a left turn. I'll just sit and sit or crawl along because I don't like changing lanes (it requires too much aggression) and I always have plenty of time.

So I put-putted along, with thousands of other cars, trying to reach downtown Chicago on a Saturday afternoon. I had just manuvered around a stalled car with its hazard lights on. I was glancing in the rearview mirror at it, thinking how much it must suck to be in that position -- and I was going maybe 25 miles an hour -- when I looked at the car immediately in front of me and saw that it had stopped. And I was still going 25 miles an hour.

Hitting the brakes slowed me a little, but the crash was enough to totally dent the front of my boyfriend's car, crack the transmission and drain all the fluid so that the car immediately lost its power steering. Un-drive-able. Then I became the car with the hazards flashing.

The SUV-jeep-car thing I hit showed no physical damage. Do you think I can tell you what kind of car I hit? I don't remember cars when I'm NOT in shock from a collision, so, no, I can't.

No injuries, a tow truck, about three thousand dollars of repairs, blah blah blah (we're fully covered so we don't have to pay the whole thing). And I'm through with driving. I'll just have to get used to the suckiness of the train and getting home at 2:00 a.m. It'll be my punishment for managing to get into a car accident at 25 miles an hour, even with my granny driving. I plan to pick up the car when it's repaired (I haven't even called to check on it. I don't care when I get it back), put it in the garage and go back to the sucky CTA.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


I'm going through job ads, I'm applying, I'm interviewing, I'm trying to gauge the damage I'm doing to my feet each restaurant shift I work. I'm trying to decide if I should give my two weeks notice when I find a new job or when my feet reach a certain level of pain. It might have to be the pain. It is not worth it to me to develop a chronic condition just to keep working for another couple of months. I can always temp.

I've worked in six industries now and it seems to me that people in the restaurant industry work the hardest, and not for much money at all. It's really amazing. It's great if you're a nightowl/people person who wants a more flexible schedule and has no nerve endings in your lower body. I'm just about done. By the absolute latest, even if I haven't found another job and my feet are doing fine, I'm leaving the restaurant by February. I will NOT work another Chinese New Year. It was a nightmare last year and I'll quit before I'll do it again.

I'm looking for:
1. Office job (I want to SIT DOWN).
2. Part of a team of people.
3. 25-30 hours a week.
4. On the northside of Chicago or in Evanston (no more 75-minute commutes for me)
5. Non-profit organization or at least a company with a goal that feels meaningful to me.

I really hope it doesn't take more than a few months to find this.