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Feeling sorry for myself

Yesterday I was sick. It hit me very suddenly at 10:30 in the morning. I spent the day in my pajamas on the couch, trying not to throw up. I feel marginally better today.

In the afternoon I got an email from that job I’ve been after – the one where I’ve been taking all those tests on writing and situational judgment and so on – with an attachment named failure.doc. I failed one of the last three tests I wrote. I got 72.5% on writing promotional materials, 91% on editing, and 57% on Planning, Organizing and Monitoring Results. A pass is 70%. I was pretty miserable for awhile after that. I’ve been in the process of trying to get that job since the springtime. I’m starting to wonder if I’m unemployable. I wish I could afford to retire.

On the bright side, I cranked out the last of my 50,000 words last night and hit my National Novel Writing Month target on November 17th, one day ahead of last year. I’m going to keep writing for the rest of the month.

In other news, remember last week I blogged about one-room schoolhouses? Well the editor of the book Perseverance, Pranks and Pride – Tales of the One-Room Schoolhouse, left a comment on that post, along with a link to the book’s website. So Deb, Bonnie, Grace, Mudmama and Techwood, and anybody else with an interest in the Ottawa Valley’s schoolhouses, check it out. (You can see a picture of the schoolhouse my family moved into when I was 10 years old here. We’re S.S. #5 Fitzroy.)

What else? The new parrot likes GC better than he likes me. But Sweet Little Oboe still loves me best. You can see little animated hearts bursting out of his chest when I walk into the room. Also, I’ve discovered that all the birds love pomegranate seeds, but somehow they get the juice on everything, including the walls. And it stains.

20 comments to Feeling sorry for myself

  • Oh dear, sorry about it all. I forget where I saw them, but you can buy hats and t-shirts that say “The dog likes me best” or “The cat likes me best”. I am glad Oboe likes you the best. Cartoon hearts indeed.

  • Aw, Zoom, I’m sorry about the job. That’s a terrible feeling.

    Just a couple weeks ago, I got turned down for a job with a form letter that read something like “Congratulations! You’ve been placed on the eligibility list. There are no further positions at this time.” It took me 20 minutes to figure out I hadn’t got the job, and then man, was I flattened.

    You’re totally not unemployable, I don’t believe that for a second.

  • Murt

    Poor sweet little Oboe!!

  • Julia, thanks. I’m glad the parrot likes GC. I think it’s because he’s more animated or something. Besides, all animals love him.

    Megan, thank you. I appreciate that very much. I felt better after reading about your congratulatory message informing you there were no jobs. My email didn’t even have any content in the body – just an attachment named failure.doc. Flattened is a good word.

    Murt – Oboe’s such a sweetie pie. We took a shower together for the first time today and he sat trustingly on my finger the whole time. He was totally drenched by the time we were done. I love that little guy.

  • mikatana

    Zoom, I am one of your lurkers. I have been extremely impressed with all of the hoops you have gone thru in the pursuit of a job. I am sorry you didn’t get it but I firmly believe that it is because something better is in the offing. Now is the roughest time since…o…i don’t know…forever, to be looking for a job.I am glad you have GC,Duncan and the birds to let you know you are wonderful.

  • deb

    I am so sorry about the job…it is their loss. Anyone that doesn’t hire you for a writing job is crazy.

    The schoolhouse looks like someone has put new windows in it and doors. Maybe it was finally bought and brought back to life since the last time I drove by (5 years ago).

  • deb

    I just did a little research on our schoolhouse…the last time it sold was in 1986 for $60,000

  • I’m sorry to hear about the job. You’re not unemployable, and wondering if you are is totally normal. I was unemployed for 7 months in 2007 and again for 7 months in 2009/2010, and it’s a cycle everyone goes through. For what it’s worth, I found the market picked up in December.

  • Very sorry to hear that you are under-the-weather. There’s a nasty flu going around that no one wants to endure.

    Sorry also for your disappointment in not getting the job. One wonders what paragons are out there that are perfect in every way to match the arbitrary requirements.

    Oboe sounds delightful!

    Hope you feel better tomorrow.


  • redfraggle

    Your writing skills and intelligence as demonstrated on the blog alone ( as I don’t see you in ” real life” ) show that you are more than employable. A friend of mine just got a job after 2 solid years of trying and he is no slouch either. It is just really hard, not always fair and the process can be dehumaniing at times. Failure.doc? Yeesh!

    You did get a column published y’know. Most people can’t say that!

  • Mikitana, thank you, that helped. I have a few other pokers in the fire…maybe one of them will pan out. And you’re right – GC, Duncan and the birds do think I’m pretty wonderful, and that makes me feel good. (I just wish they paid more, ha ha.)

    Deb, yeah, they’re CRAZY. :) As for the schoolhouse, the last time I went by it, it looked like a car graveyard. I thought it was kind of cool, in a derelict kind of way. If it sold for $60,000 in 86, what would it be worth now?

    Colette, thank you for sharing your experience. Feeling unemployable is a little scary, and it makes me feel better to hear that it’s just a normal part of the experience of being unemployed.

    Shannon, you’re right! I did well in six tests out of seven, and exceptionally well in some of them. So what if I’m not perfect in every way? (Besides, when I look at some of the people who work for the federal government, I find it hard to understand why I don’t measure up.)

    Redfraggle, thanks. That column is another thing. The editor approached me and asked me to write it and said there would be paid writing opportunities to follow if it went well. I wrote it, he liked it, they published it, it went well, and then there was complete radio silence from him. Yesterday I found out he got fired a couple of weeks ago, shortly after it was published.

  • Bonnie

    sorry about the job Zoom. Like Deb said, their loss.
    Thanks for the web link to the schoolhouse book. I think I’ll go to a book signing and get one for my Mom for Christmas. She’s actually in the picture of the kids skating at SS # 2 Torbolton. She is 3rd from the left and I’m pretty sure the boy on the left is my Uncle Bill.

  • deb

    It is probably worth about 180,000 now…

  • redfraggle

    I am sorry about the column :(.

  • Bonnie – if you can’t make it to one of the signings, just send Joy a message through her website. She’ll gladly sign a copy and post it to you.

    Zoom – I would love to be a writer. Follow your heart, and everything else will fall into place. Good luck with it all. (Tough email by the way: failure.doc?!. How thoughtful of them).

  • Joanna

    Getting a job in a federal government is like climbing an iced over mountain. You slide back and climb and slide back again. You grow to expect to find only gods, knights and princesses on the top. Then, you are lucky to reach the top, and find there lots of ordinary, if not mediocre folks.

    I was going over these hurdles for a year and a half before it materialized into a job. Couple days ago I got results of the interview which I had almost a year ago (sic!). I was told that I did not obtain passing mark on 4 of some 10 or so merit criteria, such as – for example – the ability to work in a team, initiative, ability to work under pressure and to communicate effectively orally.

    I found it amusing only because I already have this coveted job. Otherwise I would have been very frustrated. Keep on trying though, Zoom, half of the people there are retiring.

  • Diana

    I happened upon your website and followed the links to the One Room Schoolhouse website….and found that your school may be the one that my great-grandfather taught in! My grandfather, Doug Beach, was born in Kinburn in 1924, and his father was a school teacher in town. (He later became principal of the school in Cannington.) I sent the link to my mom – I think that she’ll have a wonderful time looking through all of these!

  • Diana – I don’t know if there’s any connection, but there was a Mr. Clifford Beach who taught S.S. No. 13 Lanark in Hopetown in the 1940s. He is in Mildred Stead Munro’s story on p.55. (Apparently not a punctual teacher, but very dedicated nonetheless).

  • Sorry about the job :(
    As others have said, those government job competitions are wacky. They take all reason and judgment out of the process so that it is so “fair” that it has become unfair. I have been through it myself, and it took me two years to get in. I hope this isn’t discouraging, it is meant to show that the process is terribly flawed.

  • Bonnie, I think that’s a brilliant idea for a Christmas gift for your mom.

    Deb, thanks.

    Redfraggle, thank you. It would have been funny in a way if it hadn’t been so disappointing.

    Will, I very much appreciate you stopping by and adding to the conversation. I didn’t get around to saying it on the original post, but thank you, for your comments and for the link to the book’s website.

    Joanna, thanks, that makes me feel better. And it’s true that the government is going to have to deal with its rapidly aging and retiring workforce soon. (Hopefully before *I* retire.) It must be awfully difficult to manage or stick handle anything in the government though, if it takes more than a year to fill a vacancy.

    Diana, that’s cool! It might not have been our schoolhouse though. One thing that surprised me when I looked at the book is that there were so many schoolhouses in and around Kinburn. I thought ours was the only one!

    Will – I always liked the not-very-punctual teachers myself.

    Thanks Finola – that helps too. Maybe it’s not me after all. :)