0 comments Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Alright, I admit it! I could not hack that job. Yes, seriously, I quit the job I JUST got hired for.

While I have never quit a job so hastily, I knew I had to quit this one. Calling a couple hundred people in a day and getting hung-up on or ignored the majority of the time just did not work for me. And while I realize I was doing good work for a good cause, I simply dreaded another day of going through the lists.

The redundancy and un-engaging nature of the job ultimately got to me. It was so bad, in fact, that I had a horrid nightmare during my nap yesterday. I dreamt that a group of black phones were chasing me down, buzzing and zapping me as I screamed, "I am only doing this for GOOD!" They blocked me into a corner behind a desk and continued to buzz and zap me until I finally woke up in a light warm sweat.

Talk about a impetus for leaving!

On the positive side, though, I did learn something in this short-lived experience. While call center work is CLEARLY not for me, I have a new found respect for the people that can and do this in order to survive or make extra cash. Either they have nerves of steel and nothing truly phases them or they simply don't care what gets thrown their way.

I also learned that, in job selection scenarios, "when it rains, it pours." In other words, had I been more realistic with myself, I would've declined this job on the mere notion that I couldn't hack it. While I didn't feel like I couldn't manage the job during the interview and training, my perspective completely changed once I got into it on the first day. In retrospect, then, I would have taken the chance on waiting for the call from the other job I interviewed for and rolled with either accepting the position or not getting it and moving on.

In the end, I am thankful that my best friend was able to help me with this job, but I should've been more honest with her and told her that it wasn't me. I didn't know until I tried, though.

So, now I have to figure out how to get by for the next six to seven weeks. While I have enough money to tide me over until the end of July, it's going to be a penny-pinching stretch. My parents have offered to pay one month's rent, if needed, and a best friend has offered to help if I need anything; but I hope it doesn't come to that.

For now, though, I think I am going to have to sell myself as candidly as possible. The title "educated bum" was always a joke, but now it is my reality. Who knew!

1 comments Sunday, June 22, 2008

After two interviews and a lot of running around and applying for multiple jobs, I finally landed a job for the summer. The job isn't particularly glamourous, but it is worthwhile and manageable. I'll basically be on the phone all day from 9 to 5 sort of telemarketing, except that I am not selling anything. Instead, I'll be asking businesses to donate money to our non-profit organization.

I can already tell that I will do well with the job, but that it will require a great deal of disassociation on my part. In this light, it is going to be a challenge because I will have to avoid becoming too invested in the work that I do. However, given the nature of this job (mainly, the non-stop calling) and the fact that it is a temporary position, I should be able to slide on by for the next six weeks (or more, if I decide to stay a little longer). Plus, the job pays a great deal more than any of the other positions I applied to. It will give me the extra and necessary cashflow that I will need for the rest of the summer.

Aside from that, the next six weeks will also involve continued training for the 10K and half-marathon I plan to race in within the next two to four months. Although I thought I was improving on my time over the last few weeks, my Nike+ seems to think otherwise. Apparently the treadmill runs do not produce near the same mileage as they claim to. Either that, or my Nike+ calculates distance with pace and stride so precise that I am going to have to avoid the treadmill for my remaining runs. Either way, I was planning on kicking curbside over the next week anyway. Still, it is a little annoying to not know my exact pace. Also, I need to figure out how to stop my shin splints from flaring up. Although I do not run too intensely, I typically mange to upset my shins enough that I have to ice them down. It's painful and time consuming because it throws off my running schedule for at least two days. With any luck, though, my change of terrain will help me get stronger and run longer. Plus, my Lance Armstrong workout will totally help me kick my ass into shape.

So, six weeks (or seven) weeks to the finish. Think I can manage?

0 comments Friday, June 13, 2008

11.5 months. The items are in place and the reverse calendar is set. Each date is a milestone, a benchmark of completion that will will keep me going and push me further. My life is planned and I plan to stay organized and on task.

In a zen-like way, my life is balanced. Although it is far from certain, the balance will hopefully be maintained and I'll be able to enjoy whatever comes my way. My academic goals will run alongside my personal goals, each enriching the other. It's exciting and promising!

For now, I am continuing my work while enjoying my free time. In between my readings and writings (and applying for jobs), I have been training for a wicked 10K that will occur in a month! I am also getting geared up for my Ph.D. applications by finalizing my personal statements, CV, and resume. In the next three months, I'll be applying to schools all over the nation and, hopefully, getting accepted to many of them.

It seems like a long way from here, but competing in races and completing sections of my thesis will quickly turn into commencement. The applications will become letters of acceptance and rejection, and, in due time, I'll be in a new place. It is all in front of me and I am excited by what tomorrow brings.

0 comments Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I hate applying for jobs. You have to fill out so much information over and over again. Attach a resume. Attach references. Discuss why you left your other jobs. By the end of the application, I am usually so tired of the questions that I start questioning how bad I actually want the job.

Unfortunately, this summer I am in desperate need of a job. While I have enough money to hold me over for the next month, my funds will soon run out. Also, it would be nice to have some extra cash to save and spend. While I have applied to fourteen places total, I have only heard back from four. The first place called me and left a message, but when I called back and tried to get a hold of the employer he wasn't around. He also never called back. The second place called to setup a meeting where we would discuss job openings, but it turned out to be an information session on how to apply for a job (as if I don't know!). It was a waste of my time and it agitated me to be lectured on what to do and where to go. The third place set up an appointment for an interview almost immediately, but it isn't until next week. It pays well, but I don't know how crazy I am about doing call center-like work. The last place called and set up an interview with me for Monday next week. The hours and pay are a little less than the third place, but I could continue the job into the school year if I wanted to.

At least I sort of have some options. If the interviews go well, I'll have my pick of which job I want to do. If not, then I'll probably have to phone the parentals and ask them for cash. I hate having to do that, but I also do not want to continually struggle to get by everyday either.

Wish me luck!

1 comments Monday, June 09, 2008

Alright, I've been away for a little over two months and some of you (if anyone still reads this) are probably wondering what happened. The short of it is that graduate school took over my life once again. I know, I know: "Does he ever stop talking about graduate school?" and "Oh, it's always about how challenging graduate school is," and "You would think that either graduate school killed him. . .or he offed himself."

For the foremost item, I must apologize. I honestly dislike talking about graduate school so much because I know that when people talk about the same subject over and over again it becomes annoying. Therefore, part of the reason why I didn't write on here was because my blog was starting to become a "venting board" of sorts. Sure, it helped me relax through cathartic release, but it was probably boring and/or annoying to read. Not that that is bad, but, in truth, this blog was never intended to be a venting board. So, if you've been turned off by that, I am sorry. I am going to try my best to mix it up more with random thoughts and decrease the graduate school drama. This isn't Greek, after all!

For the second comment, I must extend my apologizes. Although, I must also qualify this by stating that graduate school has been exceptionally challenging for me because I've never had to take on and balance so much in my life. At the end of this year, though, I have learned that I am capable of doing all of the things that are required of me. I primarily thank "The Now Habit" by Neil Fiore, Ph.D. for this refreshing outlook. Still, as I said above, I will try not to detail the convoluted nature of my life in graduate school because, while some stories are interesting (and merit posting and discussion), a lot of them don't. Therefore, the intricate nature of my life as a graduate student need not be so exposed.

Finally, for the last comment, it is obvious graduate school has not killed me nor have I offed myself (although, due to my dark and often morbid sense of humor, I have joked about this). In truth, graduate school has not only helped me grow, but allowed me to truly question if what I am doing is what I want to do. Each day is a test, and each semester is a trial. Yet, at the end of it all, I am able to count my accomplishments and learn from my mistakes. It is this perspective, as well as the support of great friends, faculty members, and family, that has allowed me to solidify my resolve to become and educator. I know I will continue to question this, to continue to struggle with my decisions, but I will always affirm my decisions and continue forward. Graduate school certainly will not be the death of me; rather, it will be the transformation of who I am into who I am capable of being. So, please, quit keeping bets!

Now that that's settled, I'd like to list a few things I have accomplished, enjoyed, or partook in the last two months or so:

  • Niel Fiore, Ph.D. and author of "The Now Habit," changed my life! I feel revivified and ready to take on the next year.
  • I ran my first 5K in May and did well for timing. I ran the race in 24:37!
  • I survived my first year of graduate school and, therefore, I am half a Master of Communication (Ok, not really, but I like to think so)!
  • My advisor/chair has helped me figured out where I want to go for graduate school and is pushing me to crystalize my conference paper.
  • I visited with my best friends in Southern Idaho, met up with my awesome cousin, and went to a Margot & The Nuclear So and So's concert in Salt Lake City. The concert rocked, although the venue wasn't particularly amazing.
  • I found a new band I highly enjoy: Cameron McGill. Check him out, he's going to be big one day.
  • I drove 1,700 miles in a week (and, contrary to some unnamed individuals' opinions, I did not speed that bad [Also, who has a better driving record? That's what I thought!]).
  • My aunt, uncle, and cousins were fun to hang out with, even though the weather sucked.
  • My family in Colorado survived the tornados of doom!
  • I began studying for the GRE. . .again (even though I don't really need to).
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 (NWN2) took over my life for three days. I became a level 9 warrior with an awesome party that has yet to fight orcs. Yes, geekiness I am proud of! Haha!
  • I am training for a 10K in July and a half marathon in October!
  • I am still searching for a part-time/temporary job for the summer.

That has been my life in short. Since I do not have a job yet, my days are filled with running, reading, writing, studying, light cooking, and the occasional video game (when warranted). In truth, running has been the key to the balance in my life. I run to know that I can go that extra mile, literally, and to remind myself that I am strong, capable, and fallible, yet constantly improving. It has been the key to the balance and peace I have seen in the last month and a half. Although it was somewhat difficult to manage and grasp at first (in terms of scheduling time for recreation OVER my studies), I have become more comfortable and dependent on it. It keeps me focused, relaxed, and striving for more. With any luck, I'll become an elite athlete. . .at least, my cousin and I like to joke about that!

As I seek employment this summer, I keep pushing myself on every front I am capable of handling. Whether I am running, working on my paper or thesis, (hopefully) working, or playing that video game on the side, I am staying strong. Although I do not have full control, I am capable of doing enough with what I have and that is all I need.