Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Job Search - Part Two

I've been holding onto this piece for awhile, not sure how to write it. While I'm not really paranoid - I don't lie awake at night worrying about suits with guns and unmarked black SUV's - I'm no dummy, and it's clear to anyone who cares at this point, the surveillance, police state is ratcheting up. It's not like I'm anything like a threat to my government - who's gonna rally behind that Goddess guy, in any kind of number? -  but I have said many a thing in this blog that could be triggers to some digital sweeper, leading to God knows what. All in all, I think my message is about peace. But then, when you think about it, the last thing the leadership of this empire, any empire wants, is peace. A compliant, apathetic, cynical consumer citizenry, passively in support of global military expansion and universal debt bondage, maybe, but certainly not peace. So if you will permit me to be a bit coy, I think it best perhaps not to advertise precisely where I might be working.

That said, after my brief tour through the rotten underbelly of the job market, I received a call about an interview downtown. They weren't very clear about the job, and I wasn't at first inclined to go to the interview. But it was downtown, there is a high concentration of attractive women and curious characters downtown, I can take the train, and as I'd skipped one interview already, it seemed like fulfilling a kind of commitment, if not to the interview as much to the idea of finding a job.

So I took the train downtown on a beautiful, sunny day, and rode the elevator to a very high floor in a prominent tower, and presented myself in my everycorporateman grey shirt, black pants and black shoes.

First thing was the assessment test. I was led to a back computer in a small room of ten computers lining two walls, I was asked to take a seat, given brief directions, before I was left alone in the room. Right off, first question on the screen, what is 10x12? No problem. Next, what is 314-76? Ok, thank the Goddess I brought a pen, and there's a pad of paper. Next, what is 765.1936-345.789. Oh shit. By this time, I am feeling somewhat clammy, not being conditioned to air conditioning, or lists of random math questions. I'm ok with basic math. No problem. Except I'm applying for a job, and there are 76 more questions on this first of four assessments. Breath. Relax. You can do this.

The math questions, um, mercifully ended after question 36 - after they had gotten progressively more complex. Then it was on to, "of these four sentences, which is grammatically incorrect?" And I'm looking at them, the sentences, and I'm like, they're all kind of stilted, kind of sloppy. I wouldn't write a sentence like that. What's the rule again about apostrophes? Oh shit, relax, breathe, think, intuit. Then it was about punctuation (except they're kind of the same thing), and then it was spelling, and sometimes, in a way, it was really about all three in the same word, except they weren't that specific. I was looking at some of those spelling words, and I was remembering Hemingway's A Movable Feast, and his assertion that F. Scott Fitzgerald was a terrible speller, and then I was thinking about how spell-check has made me a lazy speller (until recently, as my Linux Ubuntu spell check is a worse speller than I am), and then I was like, I don't think there's an extra g in Armageddon, but I'm pretty sure there's a second l in millennium.

The second assessment was the 10-key. Tap. Tap tap. Tap. The third assessment was Typing Speed and Accuracy. You'ld think after a million and a half words...peck, peck peck, backspace, peck. After that, was the Customer Service assessment. "If a customer is rude to you, is it ok to be rude back? A:Never, B:Almost Never, C:Sometimes, D:Yes." Etcetera, eighty times over. As a former manager of a retail establishment, I can assure you, whatever is said, the customer is not always right. The customer is at times delusional, occasionally sociopathic verging on the psychopathic, and potentially violent. As far as I'm concerned, I scored 100% on that test.

Back in the lobby, I was standing at the front desk filling out some paperwork, when I heard a voice next to me: "Hunter Duncan. William Hunter Duncan." I looked over, and there was Lorenzo M. who I haven't seen in maybe eight years. We had a little love fest, and in that moment, the entire mood in the room changed, and I went from random guy applying for a job, to part of the in-crowd, just like that.

In the official interview with Jackie, I was informed that I scored in the 96th percentile on the math/grammar/punctuation/spelling test; only the 90th percentile in accuracy on the 10-key and typing tests, but, um, slightly below average on speed. But not so slow as to disqualify me...whew. On the customer service assessment, I got a dozen questions wrong. Wrong? I told Jackie I didn't think it was possible to get a "wrong" answer unless you were a fool. She laughed and said the 83% percentile probably meant I was telling the truth. I told her I answered as a manager, and not a robot. She giggled.

Afterward I went to lunch with Lorenzo. He claims, that very morning he was looking at a database of potential hires, that he hasn't looked at in three months, and my name was second on the list.

The next day I was talking with a friend, one of the Halloween partners (of the retail store I managed), and he says, you're a prolific writer, go to this website and type in "writer." I did, and the first thing that popped up was my DREAM job. Not just my DREAM job, but the thing I was MADE TO DO. Except, I was in the middle of shooting off resume after resume, and I didn't realize it was my DREAM job that I was MADE TO DO. I filled out the necessary info, hopped up on coffee, sweating, and went to send it, and my Internet went down. That's weird. Restart. No Internet. Restart, Restart, freak out for no good reason, Restart. Internet! Yeah! Go to send, Internet goes down, Shit, WTF! Restart, Freak out for no reason. Restart. Restart.


It wasn't until I went back later and I really looked at the job description, and then even later as I was in bed, trying to get to sleep, that it hit me, that's my DREAM job! That's not just my DREAM job, that's MY JOB! That's what I've been working toward, without knowing that's what I've been working toward! And Oh MY GOD, I fucked it up, didn't I? Those weren't the writing samples I should have sent! That wasn't the cover letter. Idiot! And then I realized, or remembered, I sent that application thinking that I couldn't get that job, and I was only applying because I couldn't not. And then I rolled around in bed for another hour berating myself. Why didn't I just take the hint - the first or the second - and stop, and think about it?

Less than 48 hours later, I was rejected by HR. As expected. So I started calling everyone I knew who might have any connection to anyone who might be inside the office of my DREAM job. Call after call, and nothing, and then I called one of my childhood playmates, who used to come out to the lake and go swimming and paddle around in the paddle boat, and she was like, I know everybody in that office. And I was like WHOO-HOO, and dancing. And she dropped my name with half a dozen people, and I made contact by email, and spent five days re-writing everything, Resume, Cover Letter and Samples, recruiting some good advice from an HR friend. I reapplied, and that is still pending.

Yesterday, I got the call. I got that other job. Not the DREAM job, but the never-in-a-million-years-imagined-I-would-do job, the back into the belly of the behemoth job, doing something egregious (maybe*) for less money/hr than I make landscaping with my friend Organic Bob, less-than-half/hr I was making at that other behemoth doing something a hell of a lot easier, back in 2008 before the market collapsed, or was collapsed. (*I say egregious, but I don't really know for sure, and I may even like it and be good at it, and it might be a great opportunity, and eventually pay for all sorts of necessities. Stay tuned.)

That job doesn't start for three weeks. Meanwhile, there's still the possibility of the DREAM job. Except I have to get past HR, and they are humorless, and I don't necessarily have the credentials. If I'd gone and got that Masters and that Doctorate like my professors all wanted me to, instead of wandering in the wilderness, and learning how to build a house, and gardening and writing radical blogs and books, I'd be a shoo-in (and about $150,000 in debt.) Still, nobody in this city can do a better job at that job than I can.

I keep calling out, I am in service. My Goddess, my Goddess, my Goddess, my name is William Hunter Duncan, and I am in service to you. The path seems obvious to me, but that's not now in my control.


mwk said...

I hope you get that DREAM job.

Good luck!

John D. Wheeler said...

Congratulations on getting the corporate job! I hope you get your dream job. But, She knows what She is doing, so if you don't get it, don't sweat it. She has something better planned.

Believe you me, I'm there. I just found out a month ago I won't be teaching the course this fall on Energy and Society that I designed, because not enough people signed up. I just wish I knew what that better thing was.

William Hunter Duncan said...


I think you are about off on a great adventure. You haven't chickened out, have you? I think otherwise you have been enjoying this summer, like a kid? Thanks for checking in.


I follow the path as far as it goes. After that, I wait, and look for signs. If I don't get the dream job, as bad as that will SUCK :( I will assume there is work to be done where a door has opened, however potentially egregious.

Keep yourself open. I put an offer out on Craigslist, and flyers, about gardening work, and after a month - not one single response. You'ld think, given...

Whatever. Your skills and knowledge will carry you somewhere.

Martin said...

And once again the Great Trickster stalks across the land laughing and dumping hither and thither....

Congrats on being accepted into the belly of the beast - take the corp. job and quit when/if (I think 'when') opens up; the next robot in line will gladly take your place....

Good Luck!!

William Hunter Duncan said...


That's the thing, no machine can do that corp. job. Not ever, It must rile those executives, that they can't make a machine do it. But damn it, if they aren't going to treat the people like machines - or so I surmise. Perhaps I am being cynical. We might see.

The Great Trickster, you say. If that is the case, there is no discerning between the Trickster, or the God or Goddess. If I made a commitment to remain in this house and city, and called that out, and after only a week, I have two solid job opportunities, in a shitty economy - what am I to think? And if neither job works out, and I am left destitute going into the winter, then perhaps there is only a Trickster, and this life is a joke?

Luciddreams said...

I think Bill Hicks said it best with his "it's just a ride" bit. I'm glad to hear that you won't be destitute come winter time. I still have mixed feelings about corporate anything, but then we live in this corporatocracy don't we.

William Hunter Duncan said...


Indeed, "It's Just a Ride." If it turns out I'm exiled in purgatory for awhile, I'll be sure to make it as enjoyable for you as I can.

Martin said...

God, Goddess, Trickster, - different facets of the same energy, methinks. How it manifests in one's life depends, I suppose, on one's alignment at any particular time and how one 'handles' any 'tricks' that come one's way.

You aligned your energy with the idea of staying put, hence the job offers, perhaps. If neither one works out it may mean something better is on the way - or not. Unless you succumb to fear and freak out, which it seems (at least in my experience) brings on more tricks, you'll likely do well.

And yes, this life is just a joke - some of the time.

William Hunter Duncan said...


Life has a sense of humor, for sure, if one is in the right frame of mind to see it. And it circles and spirals, in a way, in the way of cycles. My attitude will largely define my experience, too. It is a mysterious thing, life, and it is good, perhaps paramount, to be suspicious of those who claim Authority about it.

Martin said...

@William Hunter Duncan/8/9/12/4:54

Indeed, sir, indeed!

Tim Gockel said...

Well I hope you get your DREAM job. Aren't you going to tell us what it is?

Jeff Z said...

I hope you get the dream, man. If anyone deserves it, you do. I can attest to the joys, or lack thereof of corporate slavery, so I hope you don't have to go that route- but it beats starvation.

Thanks for the comment at eighth acre farm by the way- very kind words and well said.

mwk said...

You know, it's been amazing, this summer. It took about 3 months after quitting my job for me to feel like myself again. I had honestly forgotten what that felt like. The other big change is that all this anxiety I felt about leaving the job, or making a horrible mistake has all vanished and instead has been replaced with a calm certainty that I am on the right path and that everything will work out.

Rest assured that there will be no 'chickening out' here. I systems are go for Peru, I fly out on Sept 10th, returning sometime in the new year.

After that, I am open to possibilities.

Anonymous said...

The Dream Job is yours, even if someone else gets it for now. I know lots of people who have quit jobs within weeks after being hired, for one reason or another. Corporate America is just for now, for money.

Anonymous said...

Hunter, Am back from a few days away, and just caught up with this. Great series of articles. Breathe. Believe. The Dream Job is yours.


IBĂ© said...

Hey! Good to meet you (at Nakomis Beach Coffee). Read couple of postings. Interesting. I like your writing and your philosophy. I will definitely be reading more...soon. Take care and good luck with the Dream Job. I hope it comes just in time to save you from A Job. But like others have said, if the Dream Job doesn't come today, rest assured it will come tomorrow. She works wonders, even if not always "on time" :)

William Hunter Duncan said...


It was good to meet you as well. I'll check in sometime soon. Blessings to you and yours, and safe travels.