Sunday, July 18, 2010


Currently, I am dealing with a few issues that have far-reaching implications -- well, in my life, anyway. I'll begin with my employment troubles.

I was "downsized" on 5/25/09 by Company A, exactly 27 years after I was hired by a previous incarnation of said company. I had begun in the receiving and warehouse department, moved on to one of the processes, then the lab, then back to another process, helped the company put down a union uprising in 1993 (an effort for which I will forever feel an enigmatic guilt), wrote the operation manual for one of the processes, went back to the lab several years ago, then got axed last year.

I have since worked off and on as a temp at Company B in Knoxville, where I have done a little of everything, including teaching some of the employees how to better watch after themselves (safety issues, or the lack thereof). I have also learned from the employees there, especially Jeff, Jerry and Mikey, the 13-year-old welder. But Company B is never going to hire me, because I cost too much.

Company C, for whom I would really like to work (it's only a 25-minute drive, and the pay is better than most, hereabouts), has -- thus far -- put me through their idiot testing and their group exercises, and I feel I did very well in both. My problem with Company C started when the Operations Coordinator called me for a telephone interview. I don't feel that the interview went well. Honestly, I was totally off my game, and was dealing with the fact that my first-born had moved out of my house only two days before, which tossed me for a bigger loop than I had expected. But I'm dealing with it.

I still have not received a rejection from Company C, so I hold out hope.

Company D granted me an interview after I had invested 36 hours and countless road mileage taking their "classes" (pronounced "indoctrination"). I felt that the interviews went fairly well, and believed that Company D would offer me a job, but was unsure of the money, as their pay scale is fairly low. My, how stupid I can be, sometimes.

I learned through a third party that one of the interviewers at Company D completely misinterpreted one of my attempts at humor. When she requested that I tell her a little about myself, I said "I have been married for 23 years to my 'trophy wife,' and we have two children." What the interviewer heard was, "I married my first wife, she produced me some kids, then I dumped her for a bracelet charm."

Let's get this cleared up, now. A looooong time ago, I was married for about four years. That union produced no children. I have not seen my first wife (for whom I have no negative energy) since 1986. My "trophy wife" and I have been married forever, and she is well aware that my first wife and I correspond on Facebook. She is fine with it, because there is no negative energy being produced.

I imagine that the interviewer for Company D may be the victim of an ugly split for a bracelet charm, and after the term "trophy wife" was introduced, she stopped listening. I probably can't afford to drive the distance for the remunerative compensation, but I want them to want to hire me. It's a principle thing.

Which brings me to Company E. Last week, I got a call from yet another temp agency, which provides labor with a certain degree of technical expertise for companies in the area. Company E needs an analytical chemist who has experience with liquid and gas chromatographs. Now, I did not attend an institute of higher learning for long enough to attain any kind of degree. But I have between eight and nine years of QA lab experience, and I was the only person in my lab who did not have a degree; yet I did the same work.

I believe I have convinced Company Es manager to give me a shot at this position through e-mail. And, apparently, I am much more eloquent with written words than with spoken ones, as I have demonstrated in the above text.

I always believed that I was as smooth with verbal communication as I was with written, but I am being forced to re-evaluate that judgment. Honestly, I have held my own in conversations with people of various backgrounds -- be they ditch-diggers or Doctors of Philosophy -- and I normally felt that I did okay. However, my recent struggles say otherwise, and I must learn to relax more, and think before I speak.

Let me also say this: I have been without a full-time job for nearly fourteen months, now -- but I'm dealing with it. It has been a struggle and we have adjusted things right, left, and up and down. Everyone in my house has done without many luxuries that we had learned to consider "normal." And yet, here is my trophy wife, who blames anyone but me for all of the problems we have experienced. She is hardly a simple bracelet charm, and I would challenge many life-mates to be as supportive as she has been for me in the last year.

Take that and grind it for brewing, Company D.


  1. Company D makes instant crap. I would have been embarrassed to tell anyone if you had been hired there. I think you made a Freudian slip so you wouldn't have to turn down a job offer. Good riddance, Company D!

    Also, you rock. The last 14 months have been a lovely opportunity to get to spend more time with you!

    I just know our respite together is coming to an end. Sniffle!