"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Back By Popular Demand

Just when I thought no one was reading my blog -- up pops Irma! God bless you, Irma. Your comments have inspired me to sit my butt down in my chair and type something -- anything. It has taken me an hour just to log on to the net -- thank you, local state-of-the-art utility company, for providing such wonderful service.


Just another day in Paradise... lost my month-long part-time, on-call-basis, political-calls-only telemarketing job, but being no stranger to the financial crapper, I was able to console dozens of other folks at the office that losing a job is not the end of the word. You CAN see it from there, however.

So what is wrong with this picture? I have a BS in magazine journalism , and 20 years of professional experience-- graduated cum laude to boot -- and I can't land a decent job.


So I went to fill out a job application at an employment agency and was asked to circle the types of training and experience that I have had. No, I am not a machine operator, although I did note I had about three years training as an amusement park ride operator. OK, so that was 30-plus years ago. Once a Sexy Slide Girl, always a Sexy Slide Girl. Or so I've been told. Like so many other aspects of my soon-to-be-elderly life, of course, giant slides as amusement park favorites are rather passe.

I've also worked as a church secretary, church custodian, switchboard operator, baker, day care provider, retail hardware sales clerk, baker, grocery bagger, and dental assistant (but that was only for one day -- there was just something about making impressions for dentures that left a bad taste in my mouth, so to speak). Oh, and I have 13 years' experience as a mom.

In between, I have written for four newspapers, written scads of human interest and investigative reporting pieces, humor columns, obituaries, interviewed motorcycle gang murder suspects, satanic worshipper freaks, and bulimic/anorexic teenagers, a dozen or so movie stars and political candidates -- and have written every other type of news story in between, I might add. I even owned my own renegade alternative newspaper for a brief time. I know how to write and write well. I am a slave to AP style. A good speller.

But stuck out in Podunk, Iowa, trying to land a freelance gig -- even with the beauty of cyberspace and telecommuting at my fingertips -- is nigh to impossible. Thus far, anyway.

Funny thing is, I was sorta kinda gettin' used to the telemarketing gig -- yes, it was mind-numbing and I was slammed with rejection at every turn..."I hope you burn in hell"..."Infidel!"..."Leave me the #$#$#$#$ alone!" and all because I simply -- and politely -- inquired which candidate they mght be voting for in the Republican congressional primary, or had they had a chance to vote yet that day? Geesh! A simple hang up in my ear would have sufficed, I think.

No stranger to rejection, however, the daily rude grind of the life of a telemarketer began to feel comfortable, actually. Familiar. I learned rather quickly what to expect, so the once-in-a-blue-moon nice person who willingly answered my political view inquiries or thanked me for calling was a welcomed surprise and a relief -- like seeing an old flame at a class reunion...you know...it's nice to see them but such a relief that you didn't marry them.

Alas, class reunions aren't designed to last forever (a little reminiscing, a little auld lang syne and then, BOOM, back to the present, back to reality)-- and neither, apparently, are telemarketing jobs. There's a bit of a revolving door atmosphere at those places. Like Dorothy exclaimed to the Munchkins after she offed the Wicked Witch of The East with her house and Glenda Goodwitch popped in on her bubble, "People come and go so quickly here!"

You know, it always bugged me that perky ol' Glenda didn't spill the beans to Dorothy just a wee bit earlier in the little girl's horrific tornadic aftermath that all she had to do was click the heels of those gosh darn ruby slippers, mumble "There's No Place Like Home" a couple of times, and voila! Back to Kansas she'd go. Furthermore, to add insult to injury, Dorothy never even asked to have those slippers in the first place. Glenda just zapped 'em, onto Dorothy's tired dogs, forcing her to incur the wrath of the dead witch's evil sister. At some point, before Dorothy clicked her heels back to Auntie Em, Dorothy should have pulled Glenda aside and said, "Hey, Sistah, thanks for terrifying me and the pooch with those oafish talking trees, those ugly, grunting flying monkeys, and setting fire to my pal, the Scarecrow. I get it, already. There's no place like home. So sue me for wanting to save my dog from that horrible Gulch woman."

I know, I know. It's called personal growth. Refining one's character. Live it and learn. Blah, blah, blah.

So here I am, a laid-off telemarketer with a BS in magazine journalism and two decades' worth of writing and editing experience, the tornado of life having once again hurled me hither and yon. Haven't see a flying monkey yet, but the wolf is definitely at the door. With any luck, the snarly pup will keep the Repo Man at bay a few more weeks...

Meanwhile, facing my old pal Rejection at every turn once again, I shoot by resume and writing samples out into cyberspace, rubbing my flip flops together and saying, "There's no job like a freelance writing job."

Hurry, Glenda! You can pop in any time now! Baby needs a new pair of football cleats!


Anonymous said...

Annie, I continue to be in absolute awe of your writing talent. You entertain me so much. I just know your ship is ready to dock and something will happen soon. Just remember 'ol Irma when you are rich and famous!

Ned Nick said...

A writer writes, always.

Keep up the good work.

You're insightful, clever, entertaining and always a hoot.

I love reading your words.