My life three years ago is sometimes incomprehensible to me. Retrospectively, it’s so absurd that it’s hard to believe that the things that happened happened, or that I tolerated some of the things that happened, or that I actively participated in some of the things that happened.
Enough mystery. When Jessica’s article about the time her husband spent unemployed went live, I told her about my experiences on both sides of the unemployment-in-a-relationship fence. I spent three years with an unemployed (former) spouse, and then became unemployed myself last year, during the course of the relationship I’m in with my boyfriend now. Jessica recounted beautifully the anxiety of watching a partner she loves undergoing the stress of unemployment and job-searching. Keep reading »
This January, I had a bad job interview. I performed the best I could, but they’d kept me in a room, coming in groups of two or three at a time, grilling me on why I wanted and was qualified for an entry-level customer service job for two straight hours. I’ve been employed in some way or another for the last ten years, and I graduated with honors last year. I couldn’t just say, “I need a better job than I have now, and frankly this is going to be a cakewalk for me.” Some of them said I was underqualified; some of them said I was overqualified. No one really seemed to have a real sense of what they were doing; HR was out for the day, so it was all sales managers. I was so upset and confused afterward that I sat in Merchandise Mart crying for a half hour before working up the courage to get on the train. Keep reading »
Ah, the life of a bartender. It’s a job that requires endless patience, a sharp memory, and a great sense of humor, not to mention serious crowd control skills. Slinging coffee drinks is hard enough; but when alcohol is involved? Every shift is an unpredictable rollercoaster ride. Whenever I’m crammed into a crowded bar like a thirsty sardine, watching people wave dollars in the air, I always wonder what it’s like for the person on the other side of the bar. What can customers do to make their job easier? What drinks do they secretly think are a ripoff? What is the final word on what constitutes a good tip? To quell my curiosity, I rounded up as many bartenders as I could find and asked them one question: what would you really like your customers to know? Here’s what they said, in their own words:
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Now that your undergraduate days are over, it’s time to step out into the big, bad world of adulthood. Jobs! Money! Real Men Who Don’t Smell Like Stale Beer and Frat Houses! But before you slip on your grown up panties and make them dollars, there are some things you should probably know about navigating the rough waters of the real world. After all, every situation is less scary when you’re prepared, so consider these 10 tidbits of wisdom our graduation gift to you (because we can’t afford to get you anything else). Keep reading »
I got fired on a Friday, just before lunchtime. No one stood over me as I gathered my coffee mug and my photos, I wasn’t escorted out of the door. I said two goodbyes, covertly, outside the office building. The actual firing was all done over the phone and they told me I didn’t have to finish the day, as though they were doing me a favor. A quiet rage made my hands shake as I said “Thank you for your time” and put down the receiver.
To say I was miserable at that last job would be would be an understatement at best, a goddamn lie at worst. My alarm would go off and I would start dreaming up excuses for skipping work, but most weren’t good enough. Sometimes during lunch I called my dad crying; I almost always left with my shoulders tight and my jaw clenched. So getting fired brought relief tempered with nastier things I didn’t quite expect. Keep reading »