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Journal snowgirl's Journal: Life: Why so hard? 38

Why does it have to be so hard?

And finding a boyfriend? That, too.

WTF is finding anything important in life so freaking hard. I really hate that so much of my life has been handed to me on a silver platter, because I have no real sense of applying effort. Sometimes I have had such great luck, but luck is sporadic, and I'm in a giant dry spell right now.

I'm crazy intelligent, and I have had this independently recognized through various awards, but no one cares about how intelligent you are, because they only care about work experience. And right now, there's this wonderful question of "why haven't you worked in two years?" And it's like; honestly, I could answer that, but your HR department would pop an aneurysm over the answer.

I've managed to dig myself into a pretty crappy hole (more accurately, this hole kind of dug itself, I didn't really lift a finger at it) and I really don't know how to get out of it right now.

Have a "boyfriend" who is kind of an enabler of my laziness hasn't really helped either... I honestly think the guy would let me get away with murder...

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Life: Why so hard?

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  • you get a recruitment consultant say "You haven't worked in how long? There must be something wrong with you."

    Lucky it was over the phone or I probably would have punched her face in. And I am not normally violent at all. Still angry about. In worst job market in years saying that there must be something wrong with you as you haven't worked.

    The person who makes a device for slapping people in the head over the phone will make a fortune.

    • I had some recruiter tell me that they wanted someone with better C and debugging skills...

      I was so upset at that comment, that I basically told her off. I was like, you need to seriously reconsider declining me for the position then, because I'm guru level at both of those skills, and you're doing a complete disservice to the company you're hiring for if you're making such a claim.

      Of course, this was already after they had initially declined me just from my resume, but I got a message a few days later say

  • "Why" isn't important, simply because you can't change it. For 99+% of the world's population, life is a royal bitch. It has ALWAYS been this way, and I don't see it changing anytime in the near future. Short of joining a lowering your expectations to such a level you might as well join a convent and let others take care of you for the rest of your life, you're going to have to work for it. BTW, the convent thing would take care of the boyfriend issue. :-)

    On to real advice. Make of it what you will.


    • I am not looking for a new boyfriend "on the sly"... I've been in an open relationship this whole time with this "boyfriend", because he doesn't do anything intimate with me, because he's 25-ish years older than me, and having performance issues. Not like we even cuddle, which you know... doesn't exactly require the blue pill to do.

      So, I don't really have a boyfriend, I have kind of a caretaker/parent. It's also kind of hard to break up with such a person when you don't have anywhere to live. Sure I have

      • by chill ( 34294 )

        Ah, that clears some things up.

        I do understand the "hey, can I stay at your house..." bit. I ended up moving my entire family (wife, 4 kids) into my grandmother's 2-room basement for 4 months. NOT fun. Actually, just short of abject horror, but all that is now in the past.

        You neglected to mention what it is you do. What type of work are you looking for? More to the point, what type of work do you WANT to do?

        • I'm well-trained and extremely good at computer programming, however I'm also good, but not trained at, and have no experience at: cooking and paralegal stuff.

          I've mentioned in a few posts here and there about my utterly horrible experience at Microsoft, and this is the prime reason why I've been out of work for so long.

          So, while I'm extremely capable at computers, I'm also extremely apprehensive (PTSD-style) about going back into it. But recently, I've started getting through a lot of the issues. (Findin

          • by chill ( 34294 )

            not to denigrate you real programming skills...how about Perl/PHP/MySQL stuff? if yes, are you open to small projects?

            • All of my work at Microsoft was done in Perl. (I'm oddly not even joking.)

              PHP and MySQL, I have a good amount of experience with. I've worked on a medium scale project before.

              Also, I learn really really fast.

              • by chill ( 34294 )

                Hmmm...send me an e-mail so we can discuss offline. Nothing big. I'm needing something small and quick, so hopefully you'll be interested and we can come to some sort of agreement.

                  charles DOT e DOT hill AT gmail.com


          • Cooking is just chemistry done with edibles.

      • So, I don't really have a boyfriend, I have kind of a caretaker/parent. It's also kind of hard to break up with such a person when you don't have anywhere to live. Sure I have some friends, but "hey, can I stay at your house for potentially months while I search for a job" doesn't go over so well... they're struggling to pay rent themselves.

        Here's what I did when I wised up from a similar situation (no boyfriend/girlfriend crap- same sex and we were both hetero, but at one point he got drunk after

        • My parents split up recently, my dad is a horrible person, whom I never want to see again. My mother could probably use someone around to help take care of her, and I'll be visiting her shortly anyways, so... that's a maybe. (Especially if my cats die from rat poisoning.)

          But she also doesn't live anywhere that has a real good job market in computers... meanwhile, right now, I'm still in the Seattle area after Microsoft. So, this kind of has to deal with leaving ALL of my closest friends.

          But, sometimes a

          • Given the current unemployment rate in tech areas- being a big fish in a small pond might be a better strategy for finding work anyway. Especially the "why is my computer so slow" type work that we all seem forced to rely on from time to time even in the best markets.

            And "I've got to go home and take care of my mother" is a darned good excuse to get out of a non-relationship relationship as I've ever heard.

            • I've been thinking being a big fish period is bad in this economy, and in general at this point in how technology workers are thought of. So this last weekend, and with agreement from people close to me, I significantly dumbed-down my resume. I can't camouflage how long I've been out of college, or how long I've been jobless this time, or the depth of my knowledge in the main areas, but I can conceal some of the breadth of my skillset. That is, trying to make myself look the best I possibly can, hasn't been

              • I routinely tune my resume to the job I'm applying for- mentioning only the skills they mention in their job advert. Last I looked, I had 20 different versions of my resume on my hard drive, labeled by skillset.

                Having said that, if you're the only person who knows Crystal Reports in 80 miles, you're going to have an advantage over the guy who lives in the big city where there are 20 people going for that data reporting job.

  • ...but at least you're not a loser.

    • On a lighter side, since I'm a liberal, you already think I'm a loser, right? lol

      On a more serious note, I would find it difficult to object to a characterization of myself as a loser.

      • I'm not going to beat on you when you're down. I'm way too beat down myself for that anyways -- I've been unemployed for 20 months now. I got laid off at the earliest possible sign of an economic downturn. And when I was the most vulnerable, right before much-needed major rejuvination of my skillset. If the downturn had happened only one year later than it did, I'd have a bit of the experience I needed, and prolly would've been fine all this time. Career-wise, and also my health, which seems likely to have

  • Why does it have to be so hard?

    Easy is boring. We're all A types around here, right?
    • Oh, I never actually looked at Type A/B Personality theory. But I'm definitely Type B. Patient to a fault...

      • Ah well. Taking into account the definition for insanity, [brainyquote.com] maybe it's time to shake things up a bit, see what happens.

        You should know my motto by now: Bastards get results.
        • Ah well. Taking into account the definition for insanity, [brainyquote.com] maybe it's time to shake things up a bit, see what happens.

          You should know my motto by now: Bastards get results.

          Oh, I am a total bitch. I'm a pedantic bitch even. But it's not like I can go in and rewire my brain to be more Type A than the pathologically deep Type B that it currently is set for...

  • I'm crazy intelligent, and I have had this independently recognized through various awards, but no one cares about how intelligent you are, because they only care about work experience.

    It took me too long to realize that nobody actually cares how intelligent you are. They care about what you can do for them. And if you can apply your intelligence towards something of value to them, they'll pay handsomely for you to do so. That's why work experience is, in general, a good measure of your ability to perform. A potential employer can validate that someone else found value in your services for a few years and they can call your references to confirm it.

    If you don't have that to vouch for

    • This is absolutely true. I'm in the process of being laid off because I wasn't a good fit for my current project- and everybody who I worked with has asked to be on my references list ANYWAY, because they can vouch to my skillset.

      It's not what you know in this world, it is WHO you know, for the most part.

      • It's funny, but I kinda wish that I'd gone down. I've been through 14 rounds of layoffs. FOURTEEN, all in the last 4 years. My industry is a "lead economic indicator": we're the canary in the coal mine. AND I work for a corporation that was gearing up to be sold in 2005, so they were cutting even then.

        I was in a small department (12 people) supporting 1 business unit. Now I'm in a tiny department (3 people) supporting 2 business units: 23 people laid off over the course of four years (my department, and alm

        • Of course- you could follow Homer Simpson's advice:
          "If you hate your job, don't strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the AMERICAN way."

          Then when you get laid off, you can have a nice vacation putting out 3 resumes a week and living off savings and unemployment for a while.

  • Maybe a nice Guta, or perhaps some sharp cheddar, or maybe even a spicy jack cheese. Pick one, whichever one you think will go best with your whine.
  • The situation that you are in, or the behavior patterns that led to it - or both - fulfill some emotional need that you have. Probably not in the best way, or even completely, but enough so that you're caught in a local minimum (so to speak) without the motivational energy to change it. The same kind of thing kept me in a dysfunctional marriage for far too long. Until you understand why you are behaving as you are, it's likely that you will drift back into the same sort of pattern. It is not inevitable,

    • I actually have no problem with going to therapists. I've been seeing them on and off since I was at least about 10 or so... I've been on antidepressants on and off for about the same length of time. Dealing with "mental illness" is nothing that evokes negative connotations anymore. In fact, I know that alcoholic intoxication is listed in the DSM. No, I'm totally serious: DSM-IV 303.00 "Alcohol Intoxication" [psychtreatment.com].

      My mom has already given me her copy of Emotional Intelligence. I've kind of blown it off, but

  • I think it's good that your bf is accepting - as long as his acceptance isn't due to not giving a crap.

    As for the rest.. I know how you feel about the luck and lack of effort thing. My job came pretty easy as I worked for my uncle for the summers while I was at University, and after I finished Uni they took me on full time. It's a great environment, I get to use whatever programming languages/APIs I want to implement projects, and the pay has been slowly getting better since I graduated.

    It's kind of funny t

  • by Eivind ( 15695 )

    Two things are clear. First, you're not satisfied with the position you're in, and the direction your life has been taking the last year or two. Second, if you keep doing the same thing you have been doing, the results are likely to stay the same or similar too.

    Thus, if you want a different result, you need to do something different.

    We hire technical people all the time, but here's the thing: we don't actually care if you're intelligent. We care what you can (and will!) do for us. Sure, intelligence can be

    • Oh, I have Open Source experience, and it's directly what landed me my job at Microsoft.

      Which particularly confuses me why the one idiot recruiter mentioned somewhere above blew me off.

  • If an of us attained both intellectual and emotional fulfillment we wouldn't be here.

    It sucks. It's hard. Dating is a nightmare. Getting a job that fills your pockets and your soul is a nightmare.

    From my own perspective, lately, even getting out of bed is hard...Sure sign of clinical depression there.

    But you can't let it steal your momentum. Get out, meet new people, do new things, wow I'm a ficking hyppocrite.

    The point stands though. The worst thing you can do is sit still in a bad situation. You can't dep

    • Oddly, I'm not all that "depressed", I'm just dissatisfied.

      I guess it's the same difference between happy and content, but in the negation.

      I'm enjoying my life well enough. I'm just disappointed that I have so few options available.

      I cut out all the fat in life, and so I'm only left with doing and having what makes me happy, but I'm missing the full palette.

      • by MsWillow ( 17812 )

        Might I suggest that you use this time off to learn something? Quantum Physics, perhaps, or if you feel creative, lapidary? And I'm sure you've tried finding work at both icanhascheezburger.com and Amazon.com? I know Jeff, there, is also crazy smart, and might be willing to hire you just for that reason alone.

        Also, re your money woes, do you have a PayPal account? I live near Northgate, and I'd be willing to give you twenty bucks for use on your phone. Any yes, I AM that crazy.

        • I've been learning cooking and law actually. Doing reasonably well at both. (Being pedantic helps with being a perfectionist, which helps with both.)

          I've worked for Amazon on contract before, haven't applied for icanhascheezburger, although, I certainly wouldn't take offense to working there. But then it's a competition to get hired with these companies.

          No paypal, and I got someone to help me with the phone, but thanks. If you know someone with a restaurant, who could use an entry level cook, I'm down th

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