Please Choose Me

This is my unemployment journal. I have never been unemployed before - so, this is a new/frustrating experience for me and my Cleveland-based family. I will write -- not wallow.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Yeah, so about that Tri-C issue...

Had a really weird "get out the vote" call from an Issue 6 phone bank worker:
"Good evening, Mrs. blah-blah. I am calling to ask
you to vote for Tri-C."


"I am pleased to support Tri-C. What is the tax
millage for this issue?"


"Uhhhhhh....that's a good question."

"Oh. Okay. Well, which issue number is this? I will
look it up so I'm ready at the polls."


"Look lady - I don't know. I only say what they
tell me to say."


Whoa.

So finally, something to say

I've been working very hard to get things on track. My problem has been finding the track I am meant to pursue. I have been relentless in my pursuit of a corporate position but have come to the conclusion that a more entrepreneurial route will have to be my path from this point on because I will need to create a role for myself -- somewhere.

So I'm doing what many of my former colleagues are doing - consulting.

I've had a few immediate successes (read: paying assignments) and have a few big ideas in the hopper. But I've come to a strange crossroads on a particular pitch - how do I sell my services to an area corporation by pitching a HUGE idea that has the potential to put them on the map in a significant way without giving away the farm? Seriously, this is an organization missing out on a easy win opportunity but because they are not web-savvy and have missed out on tapping into an unserved customer base in a big way. I'd like to develop this market segment for them as a consultant or an employee but don't want to walk away empty-handed after my presentation.

Best of all: I know what their competition is doing and how to "un-do" the minor success they've had in the segment.

Everytime I work on this proposal I feel as if I'm telling them too much.

If you have any ideas I'd be grateful.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.*

*Thomas Jefferson


I ran into a friend a week ago who was shocked to hear that I've been unemployed for most of 2005. During the course of the conversation she told me not to worry, that I've led a "charmed life" and things would soon be back on track.

Charmed life? All I remember is the vast amount of time and energy I've invested to deliver the best possible work product, always do the right thing and to give my clients more than they expect. Yes, I strive to have fun/be happy while working because so much of life is spent on the job but - charmed? Now I wonder if that comes off as being lax because things appear to fall into place easily for me?

I've been working on a framework for my consulting practice as I continue to pound out 10-20 resumes a day. And, I have met with one person every day to bring this unnerving circumstance to a swift end. In scoping out my entrepreneurial concept I've had to come to terms with some very real personal limitations - I am not sure I can cold call. But I think I may have found a way to get around it.

My household is on a college campus tour schedule this month - trying to squeeze in as many before school starts as possible. And I'm painting, cleaning and trying to purge my household of unnecessary stuff. My brother gets married in two weeks. The kids return to school in one week.

Busy hands - happy heart.



Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I have good news and bad news...

The good news is I don't have to leave Cleveland anytime soon.

That because (now the bad news) after three months of courting a potential employer...they want to find (not someone who can re-brand their products-manage their press-redesign a clunky looking website with no end-user value) someone who is passionate about investing. Not marketing mind you. Investing. The headhunter was at a loss to explain the decision and was feeling quite guilty about contributing to my confidence. "I would never have told you that it was a done deal if the President hadn't told me directly." My presentations were apparently "intimidating" to the VP of Sales.

So this morning as I write this with puffy eyes and a mild headache after drinking one too many vodka tonics at the Rush Inn with my friend last night, I need to buck up and start from scratch.

I'm going to work on a business idea that has haunted me for years as I work on my job search.

And I'll feel sorry for the company in upstate New York instead of myself. Because they made a very bad business decision by choosing to neglect the good of the enterprise in favor of sparing the ego of one individual. And I probably wouldn't have gotten the support needed to drive change.

In retrospect I think I dodged a bullet.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Girls just want to have fun

Had to pick up my oldest from camp located on the outskirts of Dayton yesterday. My youngest and I left around 5:30am and decided we would turn it into an all-girl road trip. We sang along to what she deemed "girl music" and ate "girl food" and shopped at "girl stores" all the way and back.

Seven-year olds are cool that way - everything in life is an adventure/party.

Upon returning home, she ran into the house to fling herself at her Dad and cry "Daddy, I missed you soooo much. It feels like I haven't seen you for a week!" To which her sister (who hadn't seen him for a week) said, "Can I go out with my friends tonight?" without as much as a hug for her father.

Teenagers are infuriating that way - they take you from overwhelming pride to "I want to give you a lasting, swift kick in the butt" in nothing flat.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Why I would never survive below the Mason-Dixon line

I've just about had enough of ninety-plus degree temps with 10,000% humidity - thank you.

I can't stand moving from my semi-air conditioned house to my air conditioned car to my air conditioned destinations. This is not normal and we are consuming shameful amounts of energy just to sleep normally.

[Don't even get me started about the "dry heat" crap my friends in the southeast routinely dish up. I spent a week in Phoenix during October where the temps ranged from 98 to 115 degrees. It was unbearably hot. Uninhabitable. And, I still don't understand why people choose to live in Florida...]

A cashier in a local shop offered "well, it could be worse, at least it's not snowing" as she tallied my purchases today. I smiled politely, nodded and said "yeah..." as I waited for my order. But, inside I was screaming "are you kidding me??"

I've had enough of my makeup melting off my face every time I set foot outside. I'm tired of wearing my hair in a twist to keep it off my neck. I can't stand to carry tissues with me to blot "the dew" (aka sweat drops) off of my brow.

I've come to really love and appreciate winter. You can always add a layer to warm up. You can always brew a pot of tea or have extra coffee during the course of the day to warm up. I get to hold my family hostage in the winter with the fireplace blazing all weekend while we cook endless pots of chili, soup, stew and pasta sauce. I frequently don't even wear a top coat until around Christmas and shed it in late February!

Upon arriving home I went into my garage to lovingly gaze at my cross-country skis and dust off the blades to my really (freakishly) white figure skates.

I've been begging everyone to go to Canada where it's in the seventies for a week or two but no takers. Maybe they think I'm joking.

This heat sucks the life out of me.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Pardon My Dust

I haven't felt like writing much for the last week or so. I've chosen to be a lazy, unproductive slug. And, why not? It's not as if the local economy is behaving any better. So, for the moment I'm joining the club.

Still waiting for next step indicators from my second round of interviews from the far-off land of potential employers. Headhunters should accept that unemployed job seekers are very literal in processing any information that offers hope. If you say "I fully expect that we will be at the table by Wednesday of next week..." I will hear "I'll call you on Wednesday to hand you their offer and discuss your start date and color preferences for your new office."

Seriously. You don't tell your wife that you'll let her know how she looks in an outfit later because your hesitation just said she looks fat.

So now I sit here feeling fat.

In the meantime, some out-of-town consulting opportunities have popped up. Which figures because I couldn't possibly be an expert in my own hometown. I have to now consider part-time assignment offers in Albuquerque, Savannah and Paramus - all of which I am sure are wonderful places.

I've reread some of my posts and I'm disgusted that I sound like Debbie Downer. I'm really not depressed or bitter. Really. I've been enjoying my time off for the most part trying to remember that this is an opportunity to spend some rare quality time with my family - together and individually. A chance I may never have again once I return to work.

whenever that is.....wanck...wanck...WAHHHHHHk!

Monday, July 11, 2005

I have a false sense of security

We've been taking in the images and news from last week's events in London with great sadness and horror. Yesterday, in our usual flurry of Sunday long distance calls, I was eager to have my mom reassure me that all of our family in the southeast was safe after the hurricane only to learn that my cousin's husband David was a few cars behind the bombed double decker bus, He suffered minor lacerations to the face and hands from windshield glass and some schrapnel damage to his car. The chilling footnote to this event is that David typically takes the train to work.

I am ashamed of my knee-jerk reactions to these events. And, I hate that I can't offer my children confident reassurance in the aftermath.