Monday, May 12, 2014

Working for ghosts

I know, I know.  It's been a while since I had time to sit and write on Losing the Internets, frustrating my fan to no end.  I missed it too.  The writing; the lack of response; the endless criticism from my editor of my grammer and speling.  (Don't worry Queen, I misspelled those words on purpose for comedy's sake.  I know that grammer is really spelled with a o.)

The reason for my absence is that I've been busy with work.  In the last month, I created a database of over 5,000 grocery stores where I had to look each one up individually, and that takes an extraordinary amount of time banging away at a computer.  On top if that I had two conventions where I acted as a knowledgeable exhibitor and a 100-foot sandwich to promote.  By the time I have a chance to write, I'm so sick of the computer that I mostly just close my eyes and dream of bunnies.  Horrible, horrible bunnies.

Not that I'm complaining.  If there is one thing I really like, it's working.  And after I stepped down from being an unpaid Executive Director at a local non-profit, constant work has been spotty at best.  I have a few clients that I help with their social media outlets, but after the platforms are built, it's just a matter of keeping them updated.  That's enjoyable, but not always at the constant, unrelenting pace that I like.  I guess I could clean the house and teach the Princess some morals, but the house will just get dirty again and Princess keeps threatening to move out, get her navel pierced, and join an unregulated, underground circus specializing in monkey acrobats.

While I welcome this spike of activity, and anticipate it will continue to spike until August, I'm looking for a more constant state of employment.  I especially am targeting one organization in particular, even though I have a better shot at creating a cat out of spare hair found in couch cushions than landing an interview.  At least I probably won't get one by going through the traditional online portal.   

The problem: Five of my past jobs have been with companies that no longer exist.  Any HR director will tell you that having multiple positions in theoretical companies can hamper your employment opportunities because there isn't any way to corroborate that you actually worked there.  Having five on the resume isn't just a red flag, it's a red tapestry that covers the entire North wall -- the tallest of all the walls.

Here's what I'm talking about.  The names of the companies will be held private (but if you're curious, just look at my LinkedIn profile).
  • Job #1--Insurance advertising copywriter: Company merged with another local company and assumed their name.  The merged company was bought by a national conglomerate which renamed the entity again.  For the two phone numbers listed, one is disconnected and the other is for a Kosher deli.
  • Job #2 --Insurance advertising copywriter: Company decides to keep two sets of financial books, which as it turns out, is illegal.  Company folds and is broken up into different subsidiaries that all have different names.  Building I used to work at is now home to a college preparatory school.
  • Job #3--Middle School/high school teacher:  Private school closed down for various non-criminal reasons.  The website is still up if you want to enroll for the 2008-2009 school year.
  • Job #4--Middle School/high school teacher:  School shut down because of various non-academic scandals.  Their story becomes more sordid and unbelievable the more I read about it.
  • Job #5--Non-profit executive director: Don't start a non-profit during the worst recession since the Great Depression.  After grant money dried up, board didn't want to restart under new leadership.
I've been told that I'm the type of employee that sees his work as an extension of his life.  That no task is too large or too small to undertake.  I work hard and smart, and bring unbridled creativity and heart to the workplace.  Unfortunately, these organizations couldn't stick around, making me look like a confidence man trying to shake down old ladies for their Social Security checks.

Now, before this devolves into a pity party (one that serves pathetic punch and hopeless hors d'oeuvres), I understand this isn't the end of the world.  It isn't even the end of the city block.  I just now understand why it may be impossible to go the traditional wait and see route and find more unconventional in-roads to my dream job.  And if I never get there, so what.  I have a lovely wife, a great kid, a somewhat ok dog, and glitter all over my couch.

What more can a guy want.

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