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March, 2014

  1. I Really Hate When People Go Poop at Work

    March 26, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    First, let’s set the scenario.

    At my job they only have single toilet bathrooms. You know, it’s the type of bathroom where you walk in and you close and lock the door behind you and you have the toilet and sink and all the other bathroom stuff. So, it’s sort of like at home ­ you don’t have any nearby stalls around you and it’s more like a large closet­sized bathroom space.

    Also, I’m on the top floor (the third floor) of my building and there is only one other women’s only bathroom in the whole building, then one unisex bathroom, and two men’s bathrooms. This is for a company of about 100 people (yes, this also means you have to time your bathroom trips very carefully and don’t wait until you have to go really bad).

    Okay, I also want to mention there isn’t any vent in this bathroom. Just a tiny little air freshener on a timer.

    So I walk into work and go through my usual routine of putting my lunch away, getting coffee, and going for a quick trip to the bathroom before settling into my desk.

    And this morning, I walked into the bathroom and you know what?

    It was warm and smelled like a fresh poop (why is it always warm and smells like poop? You rarely get cold air and poop smell at the same time).

    I know I’m supposed to be a mature adult about this and silently not recognize the waft of poop smell, but I can’t help it. And seriously people, there should be a rule about this at work.

    If there is already a small selection of toilets in an office building, please save the bowell movement for another time. In fact, there’s a rinky dink bookstore around the corner that has a bathroom, so polute THOSE toilets.

    Also, I really hate coming out of that bathroom and hoping someone doesn’t blame ME for it (as I blamed the woman who came out when I headed into the bathroom).

    So this is my public service announcement, everyone:


  2. Do Job Ad Physical Requirements Need to be This Specific?

    March 22, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    So I’ve been job hunting lately and I’m used to the usual “physical requirements” for job listings. Most of them say things like “must be able to sit or stand for lengthy periods of time” or “lift 20 lbs” or something along those lines.

    But today I found the most ridiculous list of job physical requirements that I’ve ever seen in my life. Although I know sight is necessary, I’ve never seen it described in such a way:

    Adjustment of lens of eye to bring an object into sharp focus. This item is especially important when doing near-point work at varying distances from eye.

    As a woman with horrid vision, let’s hope they are okay with glasses. Oh, and it doesn’t stop there.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, the fingers are an extension of the hand. See? They even clarify it for you.

    Seizing, holding, grasping, turning, or otherwise working with hands. Fingers are involved only to the extent that they are an extension of the hand.

    Picking, pinching, or otherwise working with fingers primarily (rather than with whole hand or arm as in handling).

    Pinching? Really? Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

    And then here’s where it gets even weirder –

    Expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word. Talking is important for those activities in which workers must impart oral information to clients or to the public, and in those activities in which they must convey detailed or important spoken instructions to other workers accurately, loudly, or quickly.

    Really, talking is important? If it were up to me, I’d never talk to my coworkers.  Or the public. Just me and my bubble.

    Perceiving the nature of sounds. Hearing is important for those activities which require ability to receive detailed information through oral communication, and to make fine discriminations in sound, such as when making fine adjustments on running engines.

    I’ve never seen a job posting define what hearing is and isn’t this a lovely, roundabout, way of them asking for someone who doesn’t have any disabilities?

    And if they need to be this specific, who did they hire before? And who the hell wrote this ad?


  3. More Hiring, Less Work ­ Does That Make Sense?

    March 21, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    Lately at work there has been quite a lot of hiring done!

    Usually when it comes to hiring more people, it’s directly related to there being a lot of work to do.
    Let me tell you this that I could easily leave my job at four o’clock instead of six if I could leave based on when my work was done.

    So why are they hiring new people?

    In all honesty? I have no idea. The management didn’t even speak to the entry level people to find out if they need help and after speaking with a few of my coworkers, no one knows why this was done.

    On another note, I’m getting a lot done when it comes to writing and blogging these days. You gotta love a job with downtime, I guess.

  4. Company with Bullet Proof Windows: A Bad Interview

    March 13, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    dangerous, bad interview

    I won’t take any credit for this bad interview, actually. This was an interview described to me by my mom who was interviewing for a job at a law office.

    dangerous, bad interview,

    Well, when she finally found the building, she walked into the office and found bullet proof windows surrounding the reception desk. Needless to stay, she didn’t stick around to see what would go down in this interview.

    Shouldn’t there be a warning and bullet proof vests provided if there is potential for danger in an interview?

    I think if your company has gotten to the point that you need to worry about bullets flying through, you need to rethink your business plan.

  5. Interview Questions I Wished I Asked (And One I Wished They Answered Honestly)

    March 12, 2014 by Lady Unemployed


    I’ve been at my job for over a year now and while it may sound like I’m oversimplifying a bit, all I do during the day is data entry. I can’t imagine much changing either – at least not any time soon.

    The nice thing about having a job that I don’t like is that it sharpens the job qualities I am looking for. The thing is when I first interviewed for this job, there are certain interview questions I wished I had asked based on the values that I know mean more to me than they ever had before.

    Here’s a couple of questions –

    1) Is there any variety to my job duties?

    I would have learned that, no, there isn’t any variety to my job duties at present. I wished I had asked this because at this point, I am very aware of how much I need variety to my day. Montonous work makes me want to run screaming from the building.

    2) What is the management style of the department?

    This would have been a fantastic question because when I interviewed I was in front of three levels of management. Their answers would have brought out the true colors of the micromanaging quality of some and the “invisible” “non-management” style of others. This has made for a toxic, untrustworthy work environment.

    If I had asked those questions, I think I would have a unique perspective on the work environment that would have helped me figure out whether I really wanted to take the job or not.

    The question I wished had been answered honestly was why the job was available. They told me the reason was someone moved onto another job. The truth is the person I would have been helping was difficult and had gone through three people AFTER that person had left.

    What questions do you ask during interviews? Are there questions you wish you COULD ask but don’t?


  6. I’m Not Moving Up at Work (And Why)

    March 10, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    Lately at work I seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. The rock represents my desire to move up but the hard place represents the fact that I don’t want to move up in my department. The bottom line is – I’m not moving up at work and it’s (partially) my own fault.

    This has resulted in a laborious feeling of continue to try and do a good job yet feeling stuck at the same time. I’ve already expressed to my boss(es) that I don’t want to advance in the career track my role represents, but I don’t want to stay in my current position. I’ve been in this role about a year and a half now and I am not learning anything new nor am I taking on new responsibility. I’m restless and unhappy with what I do.

    What do I want to do instead, though?

    I want to work with social media, blogging, and writing. Tragically, social media jobs right now pay minimum wage (a sign of their value, I think). And the only well paying job that deals with this type of work has a title of “management” slapped to it with the requirement you need five to ten years experience or more (has social media been around ten years by the way?).

    I do look around, but I’m not finding anything. Plus, I’m left with this awful feeling of being disappointed I’m not getting recognized at work and yet hoping I can move on into a better suitable position, more than likely outside of this company.

    And yes, I have told them the areas I want to work in – and it wouldn’t be that far off the company would have work in those three areas – but they stare at me with a blank look like I’ve asked to lick their shoes clean. It obviously won’t happen and I’ve told them twice now the areas I want to move into and how I feel about this current job.

    so, I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I know I’m not alone and a lot of people are stuck these days – this blog is proof of that – but I just needed to vent about it.

  7. “I no longer want to simply work in a job because the pay is good or because it impresses people” [An Unemployment Story]

    March 5, 2014 by Lady Unemployed

    I am so happy to share this story written by an anonymous submitter with the initials JW. This story sounds do familiar to me as I am on my own journey to seek a career that suits me best.

    I wish I could remember what I wanted to be growing up when I was five. I have no recollection. I know that I’ve wanted to be about a million different things including but not limited to a doctor, an FBI agent, an opera singer, and a forensic pathologist. Mind you, I contemplated each of these before I was 12. I was kind of a weird kid.

    ​Doctor was the profession that stuck however, and eventually morphed into veterinarian once I got to high school and spent some time shadowing a local vet. But veterinary medicine is a really challenging area of study that requires a level of dedication that I just didn’t have at age 18. In my college years, I was more devoted to the social arena. I struggled in general chemistry but exceled in Greek life. Realizing this quite early on, I changed my major to sociology, with an eye on law school. I figured I’d be a good lawyer given my love of both reading and arguing.

    ​But after four years, I wasn’t really feeling law school either. My grades weren’t good enough to get in to a decent school for starters. I also had very little interest in three more years of classes, textbooks, and exams. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I landed ass-backwards into a career in finance.

    I had been working part-time at a huge international investment bank as a sort of paid intern since the middle of my junior year. I had a nightly batch processing job and would pick up extra hours in accounting and documentation as often as possible. To my immense surprise, I loved working at an investment bank. I didn’t really understand any of what was going on in terms of the proprietary trading business of which I was a part, but I could run the necessary computer programs and perform basic ledger accounting. I liked the office environment. I really liked the money. So I thought, why not get a banking job?

    And now, nearly nine years later, I am holed up in the sitting room of a French café in Hoboken, NJ, unemployed and somewhat adrift. I was laid off from my last financial services job eight months ago, my second layoff in less than two years. My unemployment benefits ran out two months ago. My fiancé and I had planned to be married this coming fall but as of two days ago, the wedding is on hold since just finding a way to pay the rent has become an increasingly creative process. It’s an interesting time to say the least.
    I am trying to find things to be grateful for and to be clear, there is no shortage. My fiancé and I are thankfully healthy. So far, we’ve been able to pay our rent, utilities, and car expenses. We do not have children that we have to fret over. We are very lucky and I know this. That being said, it still totally sucks to be out of work and financially flailing.

    Being unemployed allows a lot of time for reflection. I sometimes want to kick myself for leaving my original firm, where I had security if not a lot of upward mobility, for a French firm that was offering me a fat 20% raise and more exposure. That French firm laid me off after 15 months, albeit with a pretty good separation package, after it took some heavy losses in a trading scandal. I know that if I had not left my original bank, I would never have been laid off but I also don’t think I would have made much progress in the way of career advancement if I had stayed either. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have met my fiancé, for whom I am beyond grateful to have in my life.

    After experiencing my first layoff in my career at the hands of the French in December 2011, I spent five long months searching for a new job. At the time, the financial industry was still smarting and though recovery seemed imminent, budgets and headcounts had not caught up to the optimism. I did eventually land a spot at European investment bank through a friend. I spent the next 14 months commuting over four hours daily for that job, working for a person that I can only describe as a verbally abusive psychological terrorist. In that time, besides losing all time to work out and take care of myself, I became anxiety ridden and prone to panic attacks, both of which I had to eventually be medicated for. On the day that I returned from the vacation during which I had gotten engaged, I was unceremoniously given the boot. I had six weeks to find a new internal or external role before I would be dismissed with the biggest joke of a severance allowance I’ve ever heard of.
    Despite the fact that this second layoff could not really have come at a more inopportune time, it was almost merciful. That job was killing my spirit and I was going to leave it for the first thing that came along, anyway. I will say that this firm was very generous in allowing me to interview all over Creation during my redundancy, and interview I did. I must have visited 5 or 6 different firms over that period of time, making it through three rounds of interviews on more than one occasion, only to be ultimately passed over. Once I got to the fall, I knew that the odds of landing a new job before January were slim to none since financial institutions usually freeze hiring in the last quarter of the year.
    Out of a combination of desperation and boredom, I decided to put out a flyer on Facebook to see if anyone was looking for a nanny. A sorority sister of mine got in touch and introduced me to a former colleague of hers that was looking for an after school sitter for his plucky six year old daughter. I eagerly leapt at the opportunity and after a few tentative meetings, the little girl warmed to me. We developed a playful and loving rapport. I picked up another gig as a mother’s helper for a friend of a friend with two small children under two. I looked forward to every meeting that I had scheduled with each of the families. For the first time in many years, I had a job that I truly loved.

    I guess that my gigs as a nanny drop me more in the ‘underemployed’ bucket than the ‘unemployed’ bucket. I feel unemployed only in the sense that I don’t go to an office for 50 hours a week. I feel underemployed only in the sense that I am making a small fraction of what I was bringing home when I was working full-time in finance. However, my work with these families is so much more important. I feel far more satisfied and fulfilled with them than I think I ever did in banking. I’ve bonded with these children. I not only adore spending time with them, I truly love them. The aforementioned plucky six year old is going to be a flower girl in my wedding, whenever it actually takes place. The baby boy that I watch is now affectionately known as my ‘boyfriend’ and I, his ‘baby whisperer’, being that he instantly quiets in my arms. I have more pictures of these kids on my phone than I do of my own family. These people need me and I need them.

    So, what now? On one hand, I do miss working in an office, getting dressed up in a suit and heels to speak to clients or colleagues about subjects in which I am an expert. I also sorely miss and definitely could use that comfy salary that I would likely be making again should I find a new role in finance.

    But on the other hand, what if that is really not what I’m meant to do? I was able to use spare time on my days off from nannying to consult on a writing project as a freelancer and I absolutely loved it. It reignited my passion for writing, something I had always enjoyed doing but never thought I could really turn into a career. I had also started crafting a lot to pass the time (thanks Pinterest) and have made a sort of tradition out of sending a custom made onesie to every friend of mine that has had a baby. Maybe I’m meant to be a nanny-slash-writer with an Etsy onesie business on the side? I am at a strange impasse.

    So now I’m continuing to nanny as much as I can while simultaneously job-hunting, writing, and crafting in my free time. I am trying to find my true life’s work. I no longer want to simply work in a job because the pay is good or because it impresses people when I tell them about it over cocktails (which if I’m honest, was a major point of pride for me pre-layoffs). Perhaps it’s that I’m growing up and my priorities are shifting. I don’t know. I just know that I want to live a life that feels good. I want a job that allows me to contribute in a real way to the improvement or enrichment of others while still eking out a decent enough living to have a family of my own.

    Where this path will lead me, I do not know. All I know is that I am looking forward to finding out. And also, I might have to up the dosage on my anti-anxiety meds. But in the long run, I think that’s a worthwhile price to pay.