Tandem Post: Missing

This month marks the first year of unemployment. If I wasn’t a statistic before, I sure am now. I’ll let you wonder about which statistic I am because, in life, whether we do or don’t do we’ll always be a statistic. So here are the options: Unemployed, Housewife, Job Seeker, Entrepreneur….

A whole bunch of feelings have hit me since the beginning of the month but I won’t bore you with all of that so it’s safe to keep reading. The predominant feeling I have is the one of longing and missing my old life. Maybe not the early morning commute and being stuck in traffic on the N2 when two raindrops fall from the sky. I still can’t figure out why Capetonians forget how to drive at the first hint of rain, but it happens. *sighs*

I miss interacting with people and sharing laughs. Don’t get me wrong I laugh and talk to the hubster and kids everyday. We always have something to talk about. Singles reading this take note: When they say you should marry someone you can laugh and talk to, it’s for real and not just nice words but very sound advice. Although my family provides conversation and entertainment, it’s the office antics and silly moments with my bus buddies I miss.

Yesterday when I took a break from work (my office of one) I read The Types of Colleagues. As I read I was ‘back’ at my old job and could identify each one listed. My Feature Mogger (Mom Blogger) for this month wrote a similar post on Office Politics. Yet again I could see those colleagues and it made the longing to be part of society even stronger even if I don’t have much patience for the ‘all sorts’ in the work environment.

Here are some of the things I’m missing:

    Seeing Table Mountain in all its majestic glory early in the morning. Sometimes it felt like if I reached my hand out that I’d be able to touch it. No amount of pictures will ever do it justice.

    The wind in Cape Town. There’s an old folklore that says that it’s all the souls roaming the streets that causes it to be so windy. I remember how gullible some colleagues were when they heard the tale.

    That same gusty winds that would make my walk to the office a mission and would blow me all the way to the bus stop in the afternoon. Having to hold on to poles and fences to stay in place is for real guys.

    A younger colleague who would bug me every so often by tossing me with a paper ball when I was so engrossed in my work.

    That same colleague who would disgust me sometimes with random things guys do. He once plucked a hair from his nose and put it on my desk. Gross much?

    Listening to everyone getting all excited about a soapy and I’d have no idea what they’re on about but being forced to listening to it.

    Ignoring my phone when the caller identity indicated it was my team leader. I was Cape Town based and he was in Jozi. Long distance relationships don’t work by the way. Both at work and play.

    Month end. The rush of getting reports in on time and balancing the numbers.

    The fact that the numbers didn’t talk back to me.

    Surprising a random person in the office with a cup of coffee on Wednesdays. It was Spar’s buy one get one free and my paying it forward days.

    Being put on hold by the call centre staff when I spoke to them (face to face at that) and they’d have to cut me short when their phones rang.

    The mall. There was always people selling items and the ‘mall’ was usually right next to my desk. You’ll get some great finds there.

    Most of all I’m missing not cooking and cleaning. Guys, I used to be one of those spoilt wives who just had to show up. These days the husband is on the receiving end unless I’m on strike, which happens from time to time.

On days when I feel like I’m losing touch on reality I’m glad for my online community and fellow bloggers. It may not be the same as having a conversation in person but it does make me feel better and not dwell too much on what I think I’m missing. Besides, from what I hear, the world hasn’t changed that much without my presence in the working sphere.

This was part of a tandem series between 2 of those bloggers and I. Check out their posts @ Chevs Life and The Deal Is


No News is… No News

Job hunting is turning out to be as frustrating as trying to soothe newborn babies cries when you’ve tried everything to make it stop. When I started this mission I was pretty specific about the job I want and also where I want to be located. Location is top of my list. Problem with being too specific is that I’m running into many dead ends.

Some people may say that I’m too fussy and that I’ll never get exactly what I want and they would probably be right. I take comfort in knowing that when my youngest sister bought her first car she was just as specific and everyone told her to get something else instead but didn’t get it right to change her mind. She ended up getting the exact car she wanted even if she waited for what seemed like forever.

Today many thoughts are running through my mind because I haven’t found ‘The One’ yet. Am I too fussy and should I expand my horizons and take any job that comes along? Do I really want to leave home before 6am in the mornings again and get home 12 hours later? Do I want to go back to missing out on seeing my kids before they wake up in the morning? Am I willing to sacrifice such a lot of my time and end up being miserable everyday in a job that I probably won’t like either? Ok, I’m not a miserable person by nature and will most likely love the challenge of a new job and being surrounded by other adults. Lots of people do it on a daily basis so I’m probably on the ‘wishful thinking’ train, going nowhere s-l-o-… Nope… Just nowhere.

Thinking about commuting to work makes my stomach churn. I’ve done it in the past so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem right. Yet I find myself thinking about those times I nearly went off my rocker as I felt trapped in either a bus or a train. Those moments when I found it difficult to breath. You’d think that I’d be fine in a car but being stuck in traffic is not mere frustration. It’s anxiety filled occasions when my brain does not think logically and my instincts to fight or flight kicks in. Those moments when I’m paralyzed by fear (totally unwarranted, but hey I don’t choose what my brain trips on) and I can’t breath. When everything shuts down and I’m not even a slight version of myself. It’s called Agoraphobia. A chemical imbalance in my brain. Aaaaaargh! Stupid phobia. I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if I took meds for it but I’ve made the choice not to. My decision regarding meds is not based on the stigma attached to mental illnesses. It’s got more to do with the fact that I like to be conscious when I can be and allowing myself to feel. I’ve tried meds before and when I take it I purely exist and don’t really live. If you know what I mean. Although I must say the trips it put me on was something I could live with every now and then. The slight case of this brain of mine sending mixed signals can’t really be classed as a mental illness but a phobia. But enough about that for now.

I know that salaries aren’t that great in the areas that I want to work so I’m definitely selling myself short. My priorities have changed so much over the past few months that I am willing to work for less than what I was used to as a salaried employee. Obviously not too little but I’ve got my ‘benchmark’ amount. But enough about that too.

What I really want to talk about is this:

I’ve been for quite a few interviews already and am at the point where I feel like the girl waiting by the phone because some loser said he’d call. The losers in my case happen to be the powers that be at the companies who has interviewed me. Seriously people I’m tempted to say WTF? But because I’m not really a fan of profanity I’ll say: Thank you for wasting my time and not even having the courtesy to tell me that I’ve been unsuccessful. How difficult can it be? An email would do just fine actually. I’m not going to do something crazy like slit my wrists over it. You thought I was good enough when you invited me for the interview so why can’t I be good enough for a rejection letter? I honestly don’t care how busy you are, I made time to come see you so the least you can do is send some form of correspondence. It really won’t even take you 1 minute to do. Don’t worry I’m not about to get all pissy and confront you to give you the opportunity to pass the buck. I know all about passing the buck. I’m a big girl and big girls get mad but we move on. Or in my case, I first complain to the hubster and anyone else who really cares then, shed a tear (because my hormones are in overdrive) and blog about it. I’m pretty sure the moving on bit will come along as soon as I publish this post.

Most of all I’d like to let you know that it’s disrespectful. Plain rude, I tell you. If you were just a guy who promised to call, I’d let it slide. I think. No matter how positive anyone is, there comes a point when you lose hope. When faith in humanity is destroyed. For some it can be a life altering situation and for others, like me, it is getting to grips with the fact that no news is no news. Seriously people have you ever considered that you are what’s wrong with society? That even though you hide behind the mask of a company, your actions as mere mortals help to shape our already messed up country. Ever consider that your actions or lack thereof contributes to the low morale that instigates criminal activity? I don’t consider myself a victim here nor do I even consider committing crime but being on the receiving end of disrespect by default gives me insight to how the many unemployed South Africans, who are desperate for jobs and have no food on their tables, may feel even though I may not experience what they are experiencing. There’s always a bigger picture.

If you don’t know how to type a rejection letter, allow me to help. Here goes:

“Dear Celeste (I’m including my name because this is the rejection letter I’ve been using to console myself)

Thank you for taking the time to speak to us about the (enter position here) position.

We regret to inform you that (your company name) will not be pursuing your candidacy for this position. We have decided to move forward with a candidate whose qualifications better meet our needs at this time. We thank you for your interest in (organization) and wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

Regards (PS: DON’T say Kind Regards because it’s unprofessional. I learnt that in a business writing course a few years ago.)


XYZ Company”

Now to get over myself and go for yet another interview tomorrow. My hope is not all lost just yet. 99% of the companies I’ve interviewed at are just monkeys and I’m bound to get a yes sometime soon from a company. My first formal NO will be great too. I’ve had it with no news!