Sunday, June 19, 2011

Installment Twelve

Has anyone ever had a nervous breakdown on a blog? Come to think of it, most blogs, at least like mine, are public meltdowns.

Worse, what if I am having one and no one has even noticed? Is that the same as the proverbial tree falling in the woods and no one hearing it? I might as well just throw my self-esteem under that metaphor and be done with it.

At the ripe old age of 53, I am having a bloody identity crisis. I feel totally undone, a tsunami of emotion.

I'm way over my cancelled date with AFG. I can just ignore him from now on. At least Facebook allows you to block people.

Now my spirits have been brought down now by one lousy, soul-destroying meeting yesterday with a stupid young cow, a career counselor recommended to me by Just-Call-Me-Larry, my shrink.

This piffle of a little girl, whose own career has to be five minutes old, if that, looked over my CV and then looked me over.

Okay, I admit to needing to buy some professional looking clothes sooner rather than later. The clothes I bought for a visit to an ashram in India don't quite work in a business setting. And I could lose the thousand jangling bracelets too.

"Let's talk about your 'skills', Mrs. Schuster. I see here that you claim to have writing 'skills'."

Claim? And can one actually hear quotation marks in a tone of voice? I thought you had to do something with your fingers too. I knew what I felt like doing with the middle finger on my right hand.

"Yes, I have done a lot of writing over the years. But I hope you noticed I also have a university degree in international development."

She ignored that. Before I could get her off the subject of writing which held little interest for me (or any employment prospects what with journalism and publishing both on the ropes these days) and onto the subject of international development, she persisted by asking me, and quite snarkily too:

"Do you think writing newsletters for women's clubs or school parent organizations should be considered 'writing skills'?"

Could you patronize me a bit more little girl? Did I say that out loud?

"Well, yes, since they involved a lot of 'writing'." Great, I'm beginning to mimic her.

Am I on hallucinogenic drugs? (It certainly wouldn't be for lack of trying, mind you, to find recreational ones. This is Canada after all.) More importantly, what has she been smoking?

"Yes, I did notice that community development was your major interest. Did you ever actually gain any work experience after your degree? Or did you just get married?"

At least I had a husband. Too bitchy.

"Are we going to count volunteer work in rural communities?" I asked nicely, trying to regain the moral high ground and be nice. "Or are you only going to measure paid work as true experience?"

"I'm not sure I understand your question."

"I agree. Our questions are entirely different. So I don't think you can possibly have any answers for me." I thanked her for her time and walked out with as much dignity as I could muster, jangling bracelets and all.

Closing the door to her office, I heard her mutter whatever as she noisily dropped my CV into the trash bin.

Now I really am garbage.


  1. Joelly you're touching some raw nerves for me with this post (repatriated woman, over 50, looking for work). There's a job out there for you somewhere, just hang in.

  2. I suppose I'm not that much different from a woman who has stayed out of the work force for a long time to raise her kids...but boy, nobody warned me how demoralizing an experience it would be looking for work again. I feel like I can't even get arrested!

  3. Last year, X's divorce lawyer required me to undergo three days of career testing. It was a humiliating experience. Results confirmed what I have always claimed...I'm a highly talented woman with no currently marketable skills. Too smart to be a receptionist, no documentation to qualify as a consultant. And not old enough to be a Walmart greeter!