Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hi, I'm...


1. A month ago I got married, anticipating my new identity as "Regina Rodriguez-Martin."
2. This week I began a new temporary FULL-TIME job (yay!!) and am reminded that until I have a new social security card and driver's license, I am legally still "Regina Rodriguez."

So which one do I go by? Should I change my email and signature back to "Rodriguez" while I wait for the government to process my paperwork? Or am I allowed to go ahead and be "Regina Rodriguez-Martin" even though my drivers license and social security card indicate that I'm lying?

When do married women start using their husband's name? After they get their new driver's licenses, however many months that takes?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Take five minutes to KNOW you're a good person

It turns out that having my friends sign the back of my driver's license four years ago, to witness that I want to be an organ donor, is now worthless. If I want to at least be useful AFTER my death, I have to re-register online. As an Illinois resident, you now need to RE-REGISTER in Illinois' NEW organ/tissue donor registry, established by the Illinois Secretary of State's office last year.

In 2007, the national donor waiting list surpassed 100,000 people. I don't know how many people die every day, but surely it wouldn't take long to work through the donor list if everyone were willing to be used for parts. Why would you NOT register at I think each state has their own list, so if you don't live in Illinois, you'll have to research the website for your state.

Just think: if you died tomorrow, you'd leave hundreds of things undone. You can at least try to save a life (literally, seriously) in about five minutes. Illinois people, I know our website takes about two minutes.

I just wanted to pass this along. It's got to be the easiest way imaginable to think of yourself as a giving person: "Hey, you can have everything! Just wait til I'm dead."

Monday, April 21, 2008

How to Get Job Help from Your Friends

The text of an email I sent to most of the people for whom I have email addresses:

Hey, everyone -

After launching a job search in October, leaving the waitressing job in January, taking a long-term temporary assignment in February and becoming very discouraged and lax in my job searching, it's time to get busy again. Bob and I have been trying our best to live on his salary (my very-underpaid-earnings go straight into savings) but two people need two incomes. I have GOT to find a job.

Does anyone have any contacts at non-profits such as the American Dental Association, American Student Dental Association, MacArthur Foundation, Dermatology Foundation, Posse Chicago, etc.? Or contacts at any colleges or universities such as Northwestern, Loyola, DePaul or any of the city colleges?

My new job criteria:

Executive assistant or general office administrative position (corporate, academic or non-profit)
With writing and editing tasks (please)
Salary in the 32-40K range
Downtown, northside, southside, I don't care anymore. I'll commute anywhere (but for no longer than an hour one-way).

I'm also open to teaching jobs (adult ed), entry-level publishing jobs, other writing/editing jobs and anything that requires strong Internet, communication and interpersonal skills.

My resume is attached. I'm open to feedback, including plain old hang-in-there encouragement. Thank you, all!


Friday, April 18, 2008


I feel stressed out by my continuing unemployed state. I'm still temping, but there's only a month left of that job. I've been in and out of unemployment my whole life and have never had such a hard time finding a job. It might seem good that I just got married because at least I'm not sweating the rent, but it turns out that my feelings of guilt and failure to my new husband more than take the place of the old sweating-the-rent fears. Which is worse for me: being unemployed and having no one else to lean on financially or being unemployed and dragging someone else down by my lack of earnings? I don't know. My capacity for guilt is huge. My new husband, of course, says not to worry, it's all right, everything will be fine, but my capacity for guilt is huge.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tough times

I guess it's just really tough times for people right now because the morning of March 25th we sent out 75 mailed announcements to let friends and family know that we just got married and we've heard from a surprisingly low number of people. We did get a couple of gifts and a few emails and phone calls and I was delighted to receive them. But I expected a few more responses from 75 friends and family members.

I know we did this very non-traditionally and it might be the height of tackiness to include online registry information when we didn't even have a proper wedding at which we fed our guests. But I really just hoped our announcement would feel like good news to people and they might send an email or a card. Maybe I didn't do things right or maybe getting married just isn't that big a deal to people when you're doing it so late in life. I don't know. I'm chalking it up to the crappy economy.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Okay, hospitality it is.

Now that I'm past the initial flush of wifehood (wifedom? wifitude?), I'm turning my attention back to my job situation. For five weeks now I've been working at a temporary job, cleaning up the frequent diner membership database at a restaurant company. Yes, I was trying to move from the restaurant industry into publishing or any position that would use my writing skills, but so far it hasn't happened. I'm still ensconced in hospitality.

Not that I've give up (yet). I've been in contact with the communications group that still might use me as a contracted proofreader. They just haven't had work for me. And I've continued an unenthusiastic job search, but it's hard when an enthusiastic job search yielded nothing. Why waste time on a failing job search in an increasingly suckifying economy? I know people have successfully found new jobs in the past few months, but I'm not one of them. I'm discouraged.

Today I'm figuring that if I'm going to stay in the restaurant industry, I might as well find the best job possible there. With this goal in mind, I'm submitting my resume to the company I just came from. It's startling to find myself re-applying to the corporation I waited tables for, but they're a good company with plenty of desk jobs for which I might qualify. I like their corporate culture. I like rules and procedures. I also know how good the management, benefits and working conditions are.

As I've worked this temporary job for the past five weeks, I've also realized that I have some expertise in the restaurant industry. It's a good thing for the people pushing papers around a desk to know what the staff on the front lines are going through. I have valuable experience for this work. I've also really liked the people I've worked with in this field. It's a fun environment. (Heck, I married one of them.)

If I'd realized how hard it would be to change industries at this time, maybe I never would have left my previous employer. I could have seamlessly shifted from waitress to administrative worker with no break in income, health insurance, etc. How I wish I'd known.