Don't Mince Words



My workplace sabbatical – Week 5 0

Posted on September 21, 2009 by Marna

As I continue to network and build my LinkedIn empire, there is an undercurrent of panic. I know I have about 45 days to find a job before everything stalls until 1Q10.

I had four dates with my Outtie friends this week. Three of them aren’t even looking. They are enjoying their sabbatical away from tools, underachievers, fakers, and other corporate frustrations. I understand that, but I guess I’m so used to getting laid off that I tolerate and even embrace my workplace (hello characters for writing material), no matter how awful, because odds are I won’t be there long or the business won’t last.

While checking in with a headhunter, I asked her to give me her brutal opinion of the marketplace. “Honestly, for people like you with an advertising or marcom background, it is no different than the dotcom crash or 9/11. It’s just not that bad. People are talking because what we live with all the time other industries are now experiencing,” she said. I think I have to agree with her. I’m finding jobs, even at my level, and I’m getting calls, and this week I had another phone screen. Hell, I even had an acquaintance re-emerge via LinkedIn requesting ghostwriting services.

IMHO, things are looking up. Who knows, maybe I’ll have a job by Halloween. That didn’t stop me this week from telling the bartender at the Daily Pint I’d work under the table for him. Girl’s gotta have a backup plan, even if it involves IPA.

So, while my friends continue to take it easy, I’m still operating under the assumption that looking for a job is a full-time job. I’m working hard to get out of the apartment so that Tex can resume his regularly scheduled programming: full-time, uninterrupted napping.

My workplace sabbatical – Week 4 1

Posted on September 14, 2009 by Marna

OK, where has the time gone? It has really been a month since I’ve lost my job? Really. If I were to describe this week I’d have to say “socially bananas.”

It was Labor Day week, so there were a few cookouts. In between all that, the boyfriend decided to infuse some music in my life. I can honestly say in one week’s time, I have seen Cheap Trick, Poison, Def Leppard, AC/DC, Fishbone, The Donnas, The Pricks, Shiny Toy Guns, Korn, and Nico Vega. It is the distraction from reality I need to get through the week.

Of course the week ended on 9/11. I went with a fellow Outtie to Pepperdine to see the flags they put out for all the victims. It was a spectacular site up against the Pacific Ocean. It almost felt like the rows and rows of white tombstones you see at Arlington National Cemetery. Afterwards, my friend and I recounted our downtown/Brooklyn memories and the months of aftermath. I got a sweet email request from a girlfriend who now teaches high school. She read my 9/11 account to her class as an example of personal essay. Very flattering and hopefully it puts a first person perspective on an event high school kids barely understand. We finished the day with drinks at Dukes because it seemed like the right thing to do. Early in the evening I had a PTSD-induced scare when the Space Shuttle re-entered the atmosphere and created a sonic boom. Tex barked and I was sure a plane had hit somewhere nearby.

On the professional side, I had a nice interview with a pr agency downtown. On the drive home, I got slightly depressed when I realized I’ve had one interview in a month. One. I was averaging better than that first quarter. What can I do? Nothing but cash my first unemployment check which finally arrived.

My workplace sabbatical – Week 3 0

Posted on September 07, 2009 by Marna

I have to get a job soon, if only to rest. My availability is creating severe social distractions while my tan fades.

My week started out of town. The boyfriend took Tex and I to Vegas and then up to UT to check on a condo he’s trying to sell. My excitement was centered around Tex’ first real road trip. Vegas baby. We stayed in a four-star, dog-friendly hotel where the dood was treated like a king.

When I got back, I had accomplished my short-term goal of getting my LinkedIn contacts to surpass my Facebook friends. Not only that, I reconnected with a recruiter and scheduled and interview. So, hooray for the power of social networking.

I saw two friends this week who told me that unemployment was agreeing with me – I appeared very relaxed and refreshed. Makes me wonder what I’ll “look” like when I go back to work. I continued to discover more hardship hours with my Outties and was reminded by a writer friend that I’m making more money on unemployment than she is with three published books – so I should continue the quest for another day job.

My first unemployment claim form FINALLY arrived, a week late. Let’s see if the check is in the mail soon. I’m considering reviving the concept of pink slip parties like we used to have in NY after the dotbomb. With all the cheap happy hours I’m finding, it seems like sensible idea to connect Outties with booze and networking. Of course, all of this is selfish. It just gets me out of the house so Tex can nap in peace.

  • 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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