Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Good Life

You haven’t heard from me for a while, probably because in the last few weeks I have been far too busy enjoying “the good life.” And by “the good life” I mean reading children’s books, going for long walks and watching “Scrubs.” So pretty fraking good. Maybe I haven’t written for a while because the title of my blog no longer makes sense; I am technically employed, after all, even if my job officially starts this coming Monday. A more apt title would be something along the lines of “Life After College in Manayunk” or “Employed at Three Part-Time Jobs in Manayunk.” Neither have quite the right pathos. Even if it is no longer particularly accurate, I’m sticking with the title because it’s gotten me this far. By “this far” I mean through the six or so posts I’ve actually put here. Through all my lazy days at home, I haven’t been able to find the time to update every once in a while, by which, of course, I mean I have watched way too many episodes of Scrubs. But I digress.
            The prospect of returning to work has got me thinking. Even though at times sitting at home I have been bored out of my mind, antsy, dissatisfied, felt useless and broke, worried about funny smells, wished I could be somewhere else, there are many things I’m going to miss about being unemployed (or occasionally employed as I am now). No more long walks every day that always seem to end up at the house up on Green Lane with the pot-bellied pig (it’s so ugly that it’s adorable). No more grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch every day (unless I bring a hot plate to work). No more sipping my absurdly large cup of coffee, leisurely eating my oatmeal and watching anywhere from three to five episodes of my Scrubs back to back. No more sitting down in the middle of the day and reading a book cover to cover. But to replace all those things I will have a steady source of income doing something that I’m pretty sure I’ll love. I’ll still be able to go on walks, even if they’re not as long. I’ll still read my books cover to cover, though it might take me an extra day. While I’ll miss tomato soup, there’s always the weekend, and I could certainly do with less TV in my life. Most of all, I am looking forward to that tired feeling I get after a day of work, the feeling that tells me I’ve done something productive and helps me fall asleep without tossing and turning for an hour. Through my time without a job, I’ve come to understand myself as a person who likes to do, to accomplish things, not to sit at home like a blob. I find this understanding immensely comforting, poised as I am at the brink of a lifetime of work to do.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

Some Good News...with a Caveat

This morning I got the good news that I’ve been waiting for: they’re hiring me at the children’s bookstore! But…there’s a catch. They won’t be taking me on until October 16th. That’s almost a month from now. How will I keep from dipping too far into my savings account as I wait for my life as an employed citizen? To begin, I already have a once or twice a month (or three times, as it’s turning out) gig working the front desk at the Schuylkill Center, which provides me with eight hours of sitting on my ass and getting paid to knit. Pretty sweet, but only covers my groceries and my fuel, if I’m careful. I’ve also been writing copy for websites, but that pays a stunning $.01 per word, so not going to get rich on that one any time soon. My other job at the Schuylkill Center as an educator starts next week, but again is super part time.

So…where then will I find the money to pay the approximately $150 a week that I need for utilities and rent?

I give you now, ladies and gentlemen, my grand plan for becoming wealthy in the next month (or at least, some ideas. I certainly have no shortage of time to scheme):

Idea Number One: I will find someone to sponsor my extensive walking trips around Manayunk. Maybe Nike would be willing to pay me $.01 a step. I could spray the bottom of my shoes with water (or paint) and leave little Nike prints all over the place. It would be fabulous advertising. If they don’t bite, I could always take my bid to Adidas or Puma. Perhaps I could even get a new pair of tennis shoes thrown into the bargain.

Idea Number Two: Using my fabulous knitting skills, I will start a business knitting custom sweaters for lap dogs. This is a perfect idea, since I can also sell my wares to the approximately 14 dog boutiques on Main Street.

Idea Number Three: Since my neighborhood is full of college students, I will start a paper writing service. For just $.10 a word, I will write you the A grade paper you have always dreamed of (provided it’s on something English-y). Then again, I think someone has already cornered the market on this one. 

Idea Number Four: With the power of only one 12-inch non-stick frying pan and a four burner gas stove, I will start a catering business specializing in fried rice and curry.

Idea Number Five: Become a psychic and make over my bedroom into a “den of truth” (or something to that effect). This course of action might require me to purchase a crystal ball and/or tarot cards, so it’s maybe not the most viable one right now.

With all these exciting options for the next month, how could I go wrong? Though, on second thought, maybe I should just try babysitting.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sound Advice for your Next Interview

Interviewing can be tough even if you’re not on the shy side of the social spectrum like me. But, you can succeed at any interview if you just follow these few simple steps:

1. Never, under any circumstances, eat anything that will make you fart excessively during your interview. Trying to smile while holding in copious amounts of gas is no one’s idea of a good time.

2. Wear a shirt that fits. Trust me on this one. You don’t want your future employer to think you are checking yourself out when really you are just worried about the continual descent of your neckline and the imminent exposure of your bra to the world (or your chest hair (?) if you are a guy—I really don’t know an equivalent. Do guys worry about exposing their chest hair?)

3. Go to the bathroom before your interview. Anything that will prevent you from doing the “my bladder is going to explode” dance in the interviewer’s office is probably worth your time. Unfortunately, I also know this one from experience.

4. Try not to eat a lot of garlic before your interview, especially if your future boss is a vampire. Or would the exception be if your future boss is a vampire? That needs more thought.

5. Make eye contact! But not the creepy “I am watching your every move and trying to understand the deepest secrets of your soul” kind of eye contact. Unless you are interviewing to be a psychic, in which case that kind of eye contact would be completely appropriate.

6. Smile, smile, smile, smile. And smile some more. And if you feel like not smiling anymore…smile! Seriously, it works miracles.

Most of all, try to have a good time. If you make a mistake, just remember it will make a good story to tell the grandkids. Which it probably won’t, but who says you can’t dream a little?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Just got my first call for a real, actual legit job that would help me with my future career plans: selling kids books! Given, I cited selling hot dogs at a garage sale as sales experience, but here's hoping.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Job Idea

Today I made a grand total of $8 writing copy for $8!

I gotta find me a real gig sometime soon.

Marketable Skills

I've been in school for the last nineteen years of my life, so this is the first time since I was three that I haven’t been getting ready to go to school at the end of August. All that schooling must account for something, right? Like these eleven reasons why any company should hire me instantly:

            1. I can knit as fast as your grandmother
            2. I can reach things on high shelves
            3. I can pick up things on the floor with my feet
            4. I can write a mean English essay in three hours or less
            5. I know enough camp songs to put a troll to sleep
            6. I can read cursive
            7. I can summarize the plots of at least twenty Grimms’ fairy tales
            8. I can and have used all the gadgets on my Swiss Army knife
9. I know the proper way to peel and chop an onion
            10. I can accurately identify almost all Flogging Molly songs within the first ten seconds
11. I once memorized the first twelve stanzas of Poe’s “The Raven”…and I’d do it again.

Now I just need to find a job that requires me to knit while reaching (with my feet) to a high place to chop onions with my Swiss Army knife, frantically writing an essay about Grimms’ tales in cursive, singing “The Raven” to the tune of “Barges” and simultaneously indentifying the names of a string of Flogging Molly songs to my stupefied audience.

I’ll let you know what I find.

Update: On second thought, maybe I should just drive a horse-drawn cab.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Facts and Figures

Number of months since I graduated from Bryn Mawr: 3
Number of weeks that summer camp kept me employed: 10
Number of viable jobs I currently have: 0
Number of job applications I have submitted so far: 6
Number of Craigslist ads I have looked at: approx. 1532098098
Number of jobs, out of those that I have been qualified for: maybe 2
Number of companies looking for someone with computer skills and/or retail experience: 392340
Number of companies looking for someone with awesome English skills: 0
Most interesting job I have found so far: Horse-drawn cab driver in Center City ( if you are interested)
Places where I have applied, in order of relevance to my overall life goals (most to least relevant):
Free Library of Philadelphia (homework helper)
Character Development Bookstore (sales associate)
The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (environmental educator)
Micheal’s Crafts (sales associate)
Starbucks (barista)
Top Tails Dog Walking Company (dog walker and slave)
Number of places that I have heard back from so far: 2
Of those, number who could only offer me about 4 hours a week: 1
Number that would TAKE OVER my life and not pay well: 1
Places that will be receiving a resume and cover letter from me in the next few days:
Learning by Grace (Christian homeschooling online teacher– more on this later)
Eastern State Penitentiary (tour guide)
Cupcakes Gourmet (sales person)
Hours that I just spent writing this blog that might have been better spent writing said cover letters: .75
Number of hurricanes that have hit Philadelphia since I started looking for a job: 1
If only I could use that as an excuse.