Thursday, July 24, 2008

Unemployment Chronicles: I need a job

I apologize for the radio silence the past few days. I don't have a particularly compelling reason WHY I was unable to post. I just sort of looked at the blogger editor and that flashing cursor, and, man, I had nothing to share.

Sometimes being jobless means there's very little going on. Then, last night, I was struggling with a post for Comic Fodder, and finally finished it up tonight. I feel the post is a little incoherent, as I had to give up several times and come back to the post, but hopefully I made my point.

Working out

I started working out this week for the first time in two years. I've made two jabs at running since I moved back, but I get bored running, so I'm trying some exercises that I can do in the house that I used to do at TKD. Unfortunately, this has meant that the past two days, my abs, neck and tri-ceps have hurt. Hurray, exercise.

Unemployment has meant that I'm buying cheaper food and getting out of the house less, which means I'm a bit concerned about atrophying into a person-blob. And while I know Jamie would still love me if I turned into Jabba the Hutt, I think I can do her a solid and not just merge with the couch (although Jeff the Cat would make a nifty Salacious Crumb analog).

I'm also getting tired a lot earlier at night, which I'm figuring has to be a good thing.

I dunno. I don't mind a certain panda bear shape, but when I start looking like "My Neighbor Totoro", it's time to start cutting back on the potato skin sour cream bombs.

Bat Commentary of the Day

I've also been pondering how to follow up on some of Steven's comments from a few days ago regarding his reading of The Dark Knight. By and large, I agree with him. I don't think it's unique to DC's pantheon of characters that their bigger characters and their conflicts can draw out these kinds of readings. Maybe Spidey or Cap could do the same at Marvel. But I do think that characters who've become modern myths, such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman (and even Flash and GL) lend themselves to working as both icon and character in a way that other superheroes may not.

I really, really want to see the movie again. And maybe that'll get me going on that second post on Dark Knight. We'll see. It's also in IMAX here in Austin, so I suspect that'll be my excuse for going back to see it.

I'm also enjoying seeing people actually take to Batman as I've known him since the mid-80's. Not all writers handle the character terribly well, or even seem to get the character entirely as he's been defined for the past 30 years. But it's gratifying to see a film maker who is seemingly unconcerned that someone might laugh if he takes the character seriously (and let's be honest, that's what happened with the Schumacher movies), and to see people discussing the movie the same way Bat-geeks have discussed Batman and his rogues gallery all their lives.

TV I've Been Watching

BBC America has been running episodes of "Spaced", the Simon Pegg sit-com from a few years back. Comic geeks have known about it for a while as Pegg's character is a comic artist/ asst. manager at a comic shop. So there's some reference to comics, etc... but mostly its just pretty funny, so far.

I've also been watching a LOT of "Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares". It's a weird show as I really know absolutely nothing about cooking, and I've never seen "Hell's Kitchen". But, I always end up watching shows about people in the workplace (I find the vocations of others endlessly entertaining in small bursts), and I think its interesting to watch people have to actually think about what they've been taking for granted as part of their process and go through the mental change required to keep their business from imploding. Food just happens to be something everyone touches to a degree, so you can keep up.

I don't know if I even recommend the show, because, seriously... its a show about restaurants being run into the ground. But its probably better for me than Jerry.

The Job Hunt

Here's my basic job hunt schedule:

Monday - Pretty much all day, on and off while I'm awake. This can go from 11:00 AM to 2:00 AM. A few hours for dinner.

Tuesday - Usually from 1:00 - 5 or 6:00. Usually again after 11:00 PM.

Wednesday - Maybe some in the morning.

Thursday - 1:00 - 4:00.

Friday - By the end of the week, you've seen the postings for the week and you're not seeing much new. I'll look again, maybe Sunday, but with how things seems to work, the posts mostly go up Monday and Tuesday, with a decreasing number of new listings after Tuesday, slowing down to nothing by the weekend.

Things that blow my mind:
-When employers won't let you just upload your resume and want you to fill out their weird form
-The Craigslist postings where they neglect to tell you how to contact them
-wonky websites that fail multiple times after you spent all the time filling out the weird form
-a list of skills and attributes, degrees etc... that anyone would be proud of, and then listing a salary somewhere near the poverty line (see: UT)
-filling out a job form, and then realizing you took the bait for some spammer before Craigslist flagged the post
-Jobs listed in Austin, which really aren't

Things that are nice:
-Sites where you can upload your resume and cover letter
-job descriptions that make sense
-job descriptions with a salary range listed
-Sites that have a follow up question or two to make sure you're the right candidate to begin with, and nobody is wasting anybody's time
-call backs

1 comment:

Steven G. Harms said...

Hey Ryan,

You could keep all your “here's what sucks about job sites observations” in a diary, turn it into a functional specification, and then pitch it to the job sites as a reason to hire you?

Or perhaps put said functional spec as a “sample of my work” to be submitted alongside the résumé and cover letter.

Such a thing would give you proof of:

1. I can analyze sites
2. I can put together project plans

and shows item 3, the Steans sense of humor but which also implies: “I've been looking for long enough to have put together this astounding analysis, think of what I can do for you if you put me on your team.”

Alternatively, put the spec together, outsource the work to eastern european guys via some outsourcing site, and try to sell it. Worse come to worse you add "president of a startup that failed" as you latest job endeavour and are out a few hundred dollars.

Just some thoughts, perhaps other commenters will tell you my comment is foolish.

Steven