Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Spreadsheet and Folio: Part One

B*sigh* This past week has felt really long, really short, and really busy.  A week ago, I got back from California where I spent time with my mom, stepdad, stepbrothers, and the cutest, sweetest nephews a girl could ask for.  While this is a tangent from my original train of thought, I definitely contemplated taking some stowaways on to my plane.  I miss those little guys, but I digress.  Between traveling, getting back to work, job interviews, and helping out friends with their kids here at home in the evenings, I'm a little tired this week.

At work, I came back to a boatload of newly closed case files that all need to get scanned into the system.  It wouldn't be so bad if one of them alone didn't have six boxes...but I'll get a lot of it done before the new girl starts.  I don't want to leave her with as big of a mess that I was left with.  It'll probably be a manageable mess :)

You probably read "job interviews" in the first paragraph and are wondering why I haven't talked about them yet.  Since I got back to Houston, I have known that I was not going to be staying at Irelan Hargis forever.  I was either moving to wherever Andrew got a job once that happened or getting a permanent, full-time job in Houston if Andrew moved here.  Because I hate not having a plan, I started looking for jobs right away at the beginning of the summer.  I poured over Craigslist, Monster, Indeed, and CareerBuilder.  I made a spreadsheet of all the jobs I applied to.  Forty made it on the list and at least 10-20 others did not because of applying through Craigslist.  Needless to say, I applied for a few jobs in the past few months.  You're probably asking yourself, "Lizzy, what do you want to do with your life?" and "What sort of jobs did you apply for?" In response to those questions, I say, "STOP PRESSURING ME!" and "Clerical type jobs."Out of all of those, I got 3-4 confirmed denials.  Straight-up "thank you for applying, but no thank you."  I wish I had gotten more of those.  Knowing those said "no" meant I didn't have to wonder and could just move on to the next one.

A turning point came at the beginning of July.  The day before I left for my 4th of July weekend vacation in Austin with Andrew I did my daily ritual of perusing the job sites and applying for applicable jobs that I had a chance at getting.  I don't remember all of the jobs I applied for that day, but the two that stand out are the ones I got contacted for interviews! Insert "Muppet Flail" here!  I finally had good news!  They didn't think I was some pathetic applicant that had her sorority leadership experience on her resume so it wouldn't look empty.  (Turned out, it helped in my interview, but more on that later.)

I had two phone interviews scheduled for the week after I got back from Austin.  I was super nervous. Pit in my stomach, chest wrenching anxiety-type nervous. I really wanted to impress and dazzle them with my fantastic personality and charm over the phone so I could get a face-to-face interview.   Well, actually having the phone interviews took way more effort than I originally thought it would.  The first day of attempts started with one woman not answering when I called so I had to leave a voicemail with my info.  Not the end of the world.  Nothing was planned yet for a conversation, but I had been really hoping to get that one out of the way.  No dice.  After that call, I was supposed to have the other potential job call me.  Well...that didn't happen that day.  She never called.  I was discouraged, but wouldn't let it get me down.  That afternoon, I emailed the woman who was supposed to call me, asking politely "WTF?"  That evening, before I went to bed, I heard from the other job (the one where I left a vmail) and set up an actual phone interview for the next day! Squee! I was so excited because that was the job I really wanted (descriptions to come later, I promise).

That morning when I got to work, I was super excited because I heard from the one job the night before and got an email from the other one apologizing for calendaring the wrong time for our call and rescheduled for two days later.  Understandable.  She was calling from a different time zone.  Lunchtime rolled around and I got myself all set up in an empty office to take my incoming call.  Ten minutes later (ten minutes after she was supposed to call), there was nothing coming from my phone besides frustration and Candy Crush.  I went back to work but had my cell next to me for the next two hours.  Nothing :(  I WAS SO SAD.  That phone interview was the one I was really looking forward to.  That afternoon, I emailed this lady with a polite "WTF?" email as well, but added in this one how much I liked the position and how I thought I would be great fit and since her schedule seemed crazy she could call me at any time that she was free.  If the position had been filled, so be it.  I would move on, but I wasn't giving up until I heard something concrete.

The next day was the phone interview for the other job that I was less enthused about.  The reason I was less enthused about it was a sales position.  For anyone who has met me, I probably don't seem like much of a sales person.  I sure as hell know I don't think of myself as one, but regardless, I applied for the position because it said no prior experience necessary and it would come with a lot of training.  Once I heard from them through email, I figured I would do the phone interview and see what I thought after that.  If I got an in-person interview, sweet! I'd go to it and go from there.  Surprise surprise, she ACTUALLY called! I was nervous, but once I started talking to her, it was very easy and I calmed down.  The job was very sales-y and sooooo not me, but I was offered an in-person interview. Score!  Since I was going to Cali the next week, I set it up for the next Tuesday the week I got back.  It gave me time to prepare and hopefully hear from the other place.

I was riding high.  I had this surge of self-esteem and was just generally happy after the call.  Afterwards, I set my phone down to charge at my desk and went to get my lunch together.  It took about 5 minutes or less, but in that f**king five minutes, THE OTHER JOB CALLED ME.  She left a voicemail, THANK GOD, but seriously?!?!? I MISSED IT?!? UGH.  Luckily, the voicemail essentially said, "sorry, call me at this number 555-555-5555, and we can do your interview. kthxbai."  I pressed pause on my lunch, and scurried back into the empty office for the call.  I gathered all my notes, made sure I had a pen to write with, took a deep breath and plunged into it.  It went really really well.  I really liked how the job sounded.  The original job title was "Project Administrative Assistant," but had been changed to "Asset Integrity Technician." Identical job, just different job title.  We talked for about 20 minutes or so, and at the end of it, she asked me to come in for a face-to-face interview! YAY!  I set it up for the morning of the same day as my other interview.  No sense in missing too much of my current job if I could avoid it.

And that's where I leave you. Yes, I know, it's a cliff-hanger, but FFS, this post is long.*  Stay tuned kids for the next episode of "The Spreadsheet and Folio."  How will the job interviews go?  Will I get any job offers? Will I remember to actually write the part 2 of this story? Tune in, next week? Eh, just check Facebook/Twitter and I'll let you know when it's up. <3

*"FFS" is an acronym where the middle "f" is a curse word. Related to, "For Goodness Sake." *The More You Know*

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's Been A While

It's been a little while since I've posted anything.  The past several months, since December really, have been quite tumultuous, but everything is falling into place...kind of.

First off, I need to change the title and name of my blog since I'm not in Aggieland anymore.  I made the very difficult, but ultimately the best for me, decision to leave Texas A&M without my Masters.  I have been dealing with depression and anxiety for a while, but it has always been relatively manageable and never got in the way of school or any responsibilities I had, like work.  This past spring, however, it manifested in my school work, or lack thereof, I guess.  I physically couldn't work on my thesis.  I had an office with all of my stuff set up, but every time I thought about going in to work, I would get nauseous, my chest would get tight, and I would start having a mini-freakout.  I thought that if I switched from a thesis to a non-thesis, it would help solve my problems, but it didn't.  It affected all of my schoolwork.  After I switched my degree path, I started going to counseling at A&M.  For all of my friends that are still at TAMU and for my friends elsewhere, go talk to someone if you need to.  Don't be afraid.  It really helped me.

Through counseling, I had to come to the extremely hard conclusion that my choices had to be what was best for me, and stop worrying about the "what ifs." What if I disappoint everyone?  What if I let everyone down?  What if I fail?  What if I regret it?  What if, what if, what if.  They plagued me, but through the counseling and my awesome counselor, I was able to get to the place I needed to be: the place where I had to do what was best for ME.  Not my parents, not my friends, not my family, not even my boyfriend.  I had to take care of myself for once, and not worry about everyone else.  It was hard.  My boyfriend is the most supportive person on the planet, so he was behind me 100% no matter what I decided.  I was most worried about letting my parents down, but they love me and support me no matter what as well.

I was miserable, depressed, stressed, and anxious and had to make the decision, and I did.  I left A&M.  I'm back in Kingwood for the time being, working downtown for a while, while I look for a permanent, full-time job.  I eventually want to go and get a business certificate, but I have to know where we'll end up first and still unknown.

Andrew and I are still figuring out where we are going to end up and what we're going to be doing.  The only definite we have going for us is that we're together and love each other.  Where we end up is completely up in the air.  If Andrew doesn't hear from any jobs he's applied to by August 1st, then he's moving to Houston with me and we're going from there.  I'm pretty stressed that we don't have a definite plan yet, but I haven't let it consume me.  I can't.  I don't ever want to feel like that again.

So, there you have it.  Most people knew, but not everyone.  I'm still running into people that I haven't told yet, so hopefully, this post helps.

Also, if you can think of any good blog names/titles, please let me know :)