Friday, April 29, 2005

anxiety

my job has been consuming most of my time and is the blame for my lack of blogging. I am still learning about where the balance is, right now I'm all business and no slack. Plenty of other people slack, that's for sure. Friday at 3:45 PM it's like a ghost town in there, with tumble weeds all blowing down the cube corridors, the dusty file cabinets glowing in a haze as the afternoon sun filters through a high window, casting long shadows over empty chairs and silent fax machines.

the actual work that I do usually takes me out of the office, and I have learned a bit about what would make me successful at my job and have been setting up presentations and job fairs. Job fairs are fun because I get to put together a big NASA looking display with velcro pictures of happy people assembling boxes of something shiny and gold or call center people.

I was one of those people. I worked at a plastic factory when I was 18 and lived in FL and I happily made $4.85 an hour. I stood in a 3 x 3 area, in front of a hot machine producing 100 plastic nubs on a large "H" shaped plastic thing every 23 seconds. I had to open the door every 23 seconds and remove the plastic "H" thingy and pull off all the plastic nubs and put them in a bin before the 23 seconds passed and another "H" thingy was ready to be de-nubbed. I worked the 10 PM to 6 AM, got 2 15 minute breaks and a lunch somewhere around 2 AM. I remember doing that for a couple of months, and I got some of my friends to work there. All I remember about that job is that it was hot, loud, I wasn't given any earplugs, and that plastic smell made me want to vomit around 4:45 AM.

--I digress--

The presentation part of my job is calling various organizations that provide services to unemployed disadvantaged people and setting up presentations with job seekers or job coaches or career specialists or whatever gets the word out and bring a powerpoint presentation, or some flyers and business cards and just talk. The great part is, is that if I get stuck, I just say "Any questions?" and someone always has one. Sometimes I get hecklers that are bitter, cynical and sarcastic. Hey, it's not my fault they're unemployed.

The roughest crowd I've pitched to was the men's drug recovery and very recently released from prison groups. The funniest was at this place I go to a couple of times a week called Goalpost One Stop (
http://wfn.pcc.edu/). They offer classes to job seekers that help them learn how to fill out an application, create a resume and interviewing practice. I come in towards the end of the class and talk about my company and what we do (temporary staffing). I give a 15 minute quick summary and instructions about how to contact me. The groups there can be very mixed--one day you'll have awesome candidates with skills or the eagerness to learn or turn their life around. Other days you have total a-holes, communicating that with body language and rude comments during the instructor's invaluable advice and knowledge.

Last week, I had an eager but unrestrained group of young men in a class. They were all very interactive and interested in pursuing employment through my company. One guy, who seemed especially interested asked, "Where is your office? Is it up on MLK by Alberta?"

"Why yes, yes it is," I replied. "Please don't drop by though, I'd prefer if you called for an appointment because we have a high volume of people and work going on there. "
"Are you going there after you leave here?" The guy asked.
"uh, I guess so," I answered, confused, "but you don't have to talk to specifically me, there is a whole team of people I work with who's job is to set appointments."
"Well, I live up over there, can I get a ride from you?" This guy boldly asked. The whole room erupted in laughter, and barely audible comments such as "You can't ask that, you could be an axe murderer. She don't know you!"

That was pretty funny. I think we hired that guy, and I think I see people that we hire all over town, and all these people know me and I have no f-ing clue who they are sometimes. Some people are actually hurt, and in parking lots pleading to me "Awww, c'mon, you really don't remember me?"

I do feel like a rock star of the human services industry, I get these calls "Hi, Heather you don't know me but I saw your presentation, and I was wondering if you would want to come to and talk about what you do to .

It's so much to talk about. I've decided to start writing about it because so much happens so fast. Marcus is demanding attention, and he's been sick lately so it's good to see him responsive. He has a vet appointment tomorrow morning (heh like I can afford it). I do hope he is okay, he is my buddy and hasn't been himself for the past couple of days. He is currently trying to jump over my scrap glass buckets, with hundreds of pointy shards, to get to an exposed pipe in the ceiling that he may or may not be able to balance on.

And I'm tired it's 8 PM and I feel like going to bed.

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