Don't Mince Words



Out with a … fire 5

Posted on September 28, 2010 by Marna

You know you are leaving Los Angeles when you can comfortably throw out your Thomas Guide, the non-GPS bible to getting around.  I knew I was leaving when the fire trucks arrived.

Your layoff lady of leisure is discontinuing her 61-week underemployment lifestyle.  My nationwide job search finds me relocating to Santa Barbara, California for a marketing position with a consumer electronics company. My seven years and a couple odd months in Los Angeles has been plagued with the usual California cliches:  low-speed chases in the neighborhood, workplace drug deals, and who-do-you-know business card trading.  Between the odd work experiences and the tragic dating scene, I would of smoked a 45cal if it weren’t for my friends.

Those same friends turned out to wish me well with martinis at Lola’s on a record-breaking 112-degree day in West Hollywood.  We were enjoying the nice central air when the electricity went out.  We assumed the production company in the back bar blew a circuit while filming.  We continued to drink by candlelight only to discover that the transformer behind the restaurant blew and was on fire.  In typical LA-fashion, we ignored the drama and continued to drink until we were asked to leave an hour later.

That’s the sum total metaphor of my Los Angeles experience:  with shit swirling everywhere, I chose to focus on my career and my love life.  I got no where.

It is time to evacuate.

My workplace sabbatical – Week 6 2

Posted on September 28, 2009 by Marna

This is going to be my last unemployment summary because not much changes from week-to-week.  I meet unemployed friends for drinks, I make calls, I send resumes, and I have interviews.

One thing that was reinforced this week was how much interviews are like dates.  And selecting a job is like choosing a husband – you really don’t want a beater.

I had an interview with a Fortune 200 company.  I had heard mixed reviews through the years from friends and acquaintances who have worked there.  I accepted the interview out of curiosity.  I had no idea it would be a source of material.

I realized was the last interview of the day.  Not a good position to be in when you find out it was a sausage factory interview process.  All my interviewers were tired.  Two out of three had not seen my resume before I handed it to them.

The HR bitch set me up.

Interviewer #1 had been on staff for three weeks.  He was from a similar background and took the job because he wanted a more stable environment and was tired of ad agencies.  He warned me about long hours and a lack of process.  He was still trying to figure out what the job was.

Interviewer #2 had a year on the first guy.  He spoke of long hours and couldn’t really describe the job except that he needed a sales brochure developed.

Interviewer #3 was tired and frustrated because it appeared the HR bitch didn’t describe the position to any of the applicants.  She went on to tell me there would be long hours, there were opportunities for process improvement, and there have been two people in this position in the last year.  In addition, when I asked if if there was head count to bring a designer on staff, she said, “No, and it doesn’t matter.  The economy is so bad that these contractors are thankful to be here.”

It took me a few years of online dating to figure out some of the code in people’s ads.  Now I know when a decades-established company advertises for someone with a start-up background, that means the division is unorganized and probably in need of better operational management.  In addition, when interviewers really can’t sell you on the company or the position, it probably isn’t going to be a good long-term relationship.  I don’t really need that and a job with no career path.  That recipe will never provide me with success and results.

I sent the HR bitch a thank you email and continued my search.

Wrap your big foam finger around this 0

Posted on April 12, 2007 by Marna

I’m number one. I don’t usually consider Spring my season. I’m more of a fourth quarter girl; however, the tides are changing. Two very unusual things happened to me recently. I got a full-time, permanent job and a boyfriend within the same 30 days.

Nearly all my jobs have been fourth quarter hires where I’m part of the end of the year “use it or you’ll lose it” budget spending frenzy. The MAN grants FTEs and that same man shall take-ith away positions unfilled. I get hired and do a few things right around the same time the old timers are burning up their time off before the end of the year.

Romance cycles always peak in early November. If you don’t find someone before winter, you are usually screwed until after Valentine’s day. RC and I met at the end of February. Perfect timing.

Now I’m faced with an even more unusual dilemma. Or as a friend put it, “Now that you aren’t trolling Monster.com for jobs and match.com for men, what will you do with your free time?”

I spent my first week home revising my resume after work. Anyone who has been laid off one, two or a bazillion times like me knows, it has to be fresh and up-to-date. The second week I found myself spending a lot of my free evenings with my boyfriend and making lists of things I need to do.

I asked my friend what employed, attached people do in the evenings. “Marna, they watch American Idol.”

Oh yeah, I forgot. I think I’ll log on to my bank account and wait for my direct deposit to hit, that is until my boyfriend gets here to entertain me further. Or, I could do something really novel and get back to. . . writing.

  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

    Stats: 369 Posts, 128 Comments

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