Monday, October 1, 2007

This is a test

Not much new news to report on the job front. I'd say the enemy is weakening, but their resolve is strong in ignoring my resume submissions and follow-up emails. I'll have to employ some new techniques. I've checked out The Art of War to mine it for new tactics. I mistakenly took French not Chinese in high school and college so I am dependent on the Wikipedia translation for guidance.

So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you win one and lose the next. If you do not know yourself or your enemy, you will always lose.

That's what I like to call concise writing. Based on my success rate in the job hunt I don't know myself or my enemy. Subsequently, I've purchased a mirror and How to find yourself. Who knew finding a job would be so expensive?

A growing trend that I have discovered (Vasco Da Gama has nothing on me) is the proliferation of pre-interview screening. Some employ phone interviews. Others have doled out tests. In the past two weeks I've taken two tests. One was a writing exercise for a part-time job in Evanston to summarize stories off of newswires. The other exam was for a photo production assistant, which required a high school diploma. That test was a little more enjoyable than the writing test. I had to say what was wrong with pictures or say what I would change. They also worked in a riddle section. I swear I didn't take as many tests when I was in college.

Here is my gripe with the testing: the companies don't respond after you submit their test. I'm starting to wonder if it's some sick social experiment or research project for a dissertation. Whatever it is, it is cruel and unusual.

This job hunt has become a childhood game of hide-and-seek. But the other people playing aren't well versed on the rules of the game. They are playing like the kids who returned to their house down the block while you clamped your eyes shut and counted, then search the closets and crevices of your house. Frankly, I don't care for it. It's bad form.

I'm growing tired of looking for a job. No one tells you how frustrating it is. Ninety-five percent of the people you contact won't respond. After enough rejection and being ignored you start to take it personally. My latest desire is to fuel up my beast of a vehicle and drive away. There are a few problems with this revolutionary idea.
  1. My iPod battery only lasts an hour.
  2. I tire quickly from driving.
  3. Unless I get a different class of drivers license, driving isn't going to land me a job.
  4. Even with no intended destination I would get lost.
Still, the thought of running away has its appeals. I've always had that wanderlust. Whenever I drive by the airport and see a plane taking off I wish I were on it. I watch travel shows and wish I were there even when there is the south. But whenever I do travel it takes about a day before I miss the comforts of home.

One final thought. A few alumni have suggested I read What Color is your Parachute? As someone who is on the edge of being sent to a room where the walls are softer than the bed, who cares what color it is, does it work?

Listening to: Antonio Carlos Jobim - Children's Games
via FoxyTunes