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posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 08:10am on 24/02/2011 under , , ,
I have been unemployed for more than 6 months now. Only a few weeks of that was ... relaxed. The truth is, the state of employment in the US, and Oregon specifically, is bad. An example of a response I received from one of the few places I was called in to interview:

Thank you for your time for the interview. You were one of the top 4 candidates out of 325
candidates for the position. However, we have selected a candidate that did have the most
skills that matched our needs.

Good luck to you on your job search.

That position was for a receptionist at a music corporation who would double in some website maintenance and customer service needs. It was ~ 40 minute commute /without/ an option for public transportation (in a very industrial part of NE Portland/Gresham) and the offering pay was $10/hr. To give you an idea, Oregon's minimum wage is currently $8.50/hr. One of the requirements of the position was a college degree.

I had applied to a veterinary rehabilitation clinic, who was offering $12/hr for an experienced CVT (which is actually the starting wage for a CVT right out of school). The hiring manager was interested in the rehabilitation experience I had at Kirkwood (our class was involved in a surgery rehabilitation for a 6-month-old Great Pyranese puppy). She was impressed because she told me most candidates have no experience with rehabilitation at *all*. Attempts to negotiate a higher (you know, fair) salary lost me any possible consideration by the hiring manager. When I called to ask on the status of my application (she said she was going to call me 2 weeks prior for a working interview), I was told, and I quote: "We haven't decided yet if we want you or not." I saw the same position posted no less than 3 times over the course of the next month. I informed them I was still interested (despite misgivings by how uncommunicative and unreliable the hiring manager was starting to seem), and was told (aka: insulted AGAIN):

While you are a very qualified vet tech, I have had and continue to receive
resumes from candidates with more extensive experience in working with animals
in need of rehabilitation. I still have your resume and will consider your
application should an opening occur that is more appropriate to your skills.
Thank you for contacting us again.

I applied, and was subsequently rejected, for so many positions that I began dreading opening any unread emails in Evolution, just *knowing* it was going to be another "You're not qualified enough to answer phones." response. And, invariably, it was.

Meanwhile, my hearing issues were causing direct difficulties in interviewing (I was having difficulties hearing some of the interviewers) and any appointments with an audiologist to discuss hearing aids were at *least* a month out, with another at *least* 2 week waiting period for hearing aids to arrive. Acupuncture and chinese herbs failed me. I tortured myself with a dairy elimination diet and showed no improvement with the tinnitus/hearing loss, though I found when I *reduced* dairy intake, I felt *better* physically. (As a side note, I've decided to reduce my dairy intake because that's apparently what my body requests.) Western medicine can't explain what's going on (other than it's an abnormal hearing loss pattern). I'm running out of options to figure out how to resolve the tinnitus and hearing loss, so now, I am trying to reconcile myself with compensating.

Then, I received a call to interview for a position with VetSource as an inside sales person. The position requires customer service skills, technical skills, and technical support skills all within a web environment (and on the phone). The position isn't to necessarily *sell* products, but to support the outside sales people when customers/clients need assistance, training, information and follow-up. Having a good background in veterinary medicine was a requirement. I adored the two people I interviewed with. While Kim was bouncy, high-energy, enthusiastic, honest and open, Essa was laid back, calm and inviting. Having experience in open source (I kid you not) *impressed* both of them to no end and is what made my resume stand out (aside from being a CVT). It felt like they were going to offer me the job before I left the building.

The next morning, I received a call from Kim asking for references. I provided them, but she had difficulty reaching 2 of them, so everything was put on hold until earlier this week. She provisionally offered me the position *very near* my asking wage (which was near the wage I was making at my last general hospital, which is MUCH higher than $12/hr) pending background check and drug screen. That makes sense. It's more or less a pharmaceutical company. If they *didn't* do background check and drug screen, I likely would've recommended it for any other incoming personnel. I also came to find out that the first reference she got ahold of didn't give me the glowing review the contact suggested to me that she gave me. So, lesson learned in that is to ensure you know *exactly* what your references are saying about you before having a potential employer call them.

As of yesterday, I have hearing aids. They're... weird. And with my itchy/irritable ears, sometimes weird isn't good. The nice thing is, I can hear pretty much everything. The bad thing is, everything is amplified sound. Most voices sound like they're being piped through a microphone/speaker (or, as I explained yesterday, like they are being heard through a stethoscope). Noises that didn't seem that bad before are now overwhelming (the garbage disposal, the toilet flushing, Steve yelling at other drivers). I was told that as a new user with an abnormal hearing loss pattern and a musician to boot, it's going to be very difficult to adjust the programming to fit my needs and make me feel... comfortable. I found that listening to conversations in a pub is *still* difficult, and I couldn't determine if I could hear people better or not with them in last night while at pub quiz.

So, apparently, I'm going into March and the promises of spring with changes of my own.

  1. Amplified hearing adjustment.

  2. New job, in the veterinary community, but not in a hospital, and still using my license.

  3. Slight diet changes that make my body feel better, including more vegetables in my diet, less dairy in my diet and reduced sweets intake (this one is hard).



And I need to make decisions on trips to Europe. I think a friend's wedding in Cambridge is the highest priority, and from there, we'll see if I can swing any others.
Mood:: 'hopeful' hopeful
There are 3 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
noodles: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] noodles at 05:57am on 28/02/2011
Excellent. Well done you.

I too need to make decisions on Europe, but American amounts of vacation are a real pain. I've not had an invite to the wedding, but that's ok because I think I probably couldn't make it anyway.

You should come visit SF (or I'll happily come back to Portland if that's easier).
harmoney: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 06:33am on 28/02/2011
Hmmm. I haven't received an invite yet, either, but Sledge prodded me when I saw him in Dallas last month making sure I was still intending to come, and even helping me come up with plans on how I get can get to Ireland and make an entire vacation out of the deal. (Yes, I'm sure you're rolling your eyes over that, but Steve's going back to Dublin this year without me, and there was poutage and, well, well ... !!!!)

I keep commenting that I need to go down to SF, too. Now, though, I'm going to have a M-F job at early morning hours, so I'm trying to figure out how to make that work. You're /ALWAYS/ welcome in Portland, and that's /ALWAYS/ going to be easier (I would only have to pick you up at the airport and drop you off, and from there, well, force you to eat and walk and generally have fun), but I *do* need to get down there and visit.

I'm not sure if I'm even going to be able to make it to DebConf at this point. I feel uncomfortable asking for that much time off right as I got hired and also having been unemployed for 6 months, I'm not sure I want that much unpaid time off. I'm also grumbly that I'm missing out on Budapest (and Dublin. Goddamnit.). Decisions! I think this year I need to stop stressing about those decisions and focus on me, though (as selfish as that sounds). Maybe a trip or two to SFO and the trip to Cambridge (assuming I don't need a paper invite - I /SWORE/ you were expected to be there). Maybe plan for Memorial Day weekend? Then I can fly out there Friday evening and fly back sometime Monday afternoon, and have the entire weekend to be made fun of and get boozed up. =D
harmoney: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] harmoney at 06:33am on 28/02/2011
P.S.

I'm rambly.

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