So very True - Image by Anne Taintor

So very True - Image by Anne Taintor
I would like this on my very own business cards

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Gottcha Where I Wantcha....

On Friday, while working at my condo-stripping job I was reminded of a series of horribly stupid, long-winded jokes that we used to tell as children.  Maybe you remember them.  The jokes all center around people staying in a hotel and checking out early based on scary voices they hear chanting mantras such as "Gottcha Where I Wantcha, Now I'm Gonna Eatcha," or "When the log rolls over we will die, we will die."  Usually a brave person tracks down the source which ends up to be an old women in a closet holding a bloody booger on her finger or a bunch of talking flies sitting on a turd that was left in the toilet.  Not the best jokes but they were funny to a 7 year old.  The funniest part is why my temporary job on Fridays cleaning hotel rooms would remind me of fodder that is embedded in my mind from almost 30 years ago.  Any guesses as to why??  Honestly, the truth would make you barf.....No pictures associated with this post.  I am still too busy trying not to vomit little bits in my mouth in order to draw what I have witnessed.

Note to Self:  While staying at hotels or resort, be sure to bring ample kleenex and not to use the bed sheets as tissue paper especially while suffering from bloody sinus pressure.  *Barf*  Don't get me started on the toilets again....  

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hungry for Money????? This job is for you.

I saw an interesting post on Craigslist for a job that was titled Financial Sales.  When I clicked on the posting I was not really surprised to see what I consider most likely a scam type job.  There seems to be quite a few scam jobs listed at any one time.  The dead give-aways for scam jobs almost always utilize the word "self-starter" and/or "motivated."  This job didn't require motivation just a self-starter for selling something to public companies as opposed to private companies.  Not sure of the difference.  The other interesting thing about this particular post is they only want to hire a hungry person.  I am unclear whether they are referring to hungry for knowledge, work, money or food or if they mean all of those.... Hungry is not typically a word used in job postings unless the position is for a professional eater, food taster or restaurant mystery shopper.   For some reason it reminds of "Angry for Coins" with Coinbird  (which I still think is the most brilliant piece of crapanimation on the web--shout out to Will Smith, one of the funniest people I have ever met).  Also,  if they want hungry people I would recommend tacking the posting up on the bulletin boards at Weight Watchers meetings or churches where they have those TOPS meetings as well.   There are probably many hungry people at those diet meeting centers.....

Overall, this job posting does include the usual descriptive terminology one would list in a legitimate advertisement--yet it still reeks of direct sales such as Amway, Quixstar, Avon or Tupperware.  I am not clear which of those direct sales companies would be marketing public companies so maybe there is a new one that sells pens and pencils, printers, paper or other happy and interesting office supplies that will make your life that much easier with things you didn't know you needed before you purchased them.  The posting also uses double spacing between sentences which is a plus.  It lacked commas and hyphens where I feel they should be included.  The posting also leaves out pertinent information for contacting the poster other than the blind email and omits hours of operation or status as full-time or part-time.  I would grade this posting as a "B".  Good job poster.  This is a better than average scam job posting.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jedi Knight or Knight of the Sith?

Every once in a while you come to a fork in the road and you must choose the path you will take: the high road, the low road, the one less traveled, blah, blah, blah....I arrived at that fork today and I am still not sure which way I will go.  If anyone pulls up behind me, please just honk and I will pull over to the side so you can go around me.

I went out to lunch with some friends.  While we were leaving I saw an acquaintance who works in the real estate business.  We chit-chatted for a moment about my lack of gainful unemployment and my side jobs as a pizza delivery driver and stripper (aka housekeeper).  She began to quiz me in my computer application skills and experience with office skills, accounting, etc.  She then said they were possibly going to hire an assistant for her and I should bring by a resume.  Now this woman is super nice, super smart and actually super cool.  Not such a bad gig actually.  The quandary revolves around the profession of  real estate.    

In this world there are two types of people:  Planners (me and my kind) and Real Estate Agents (them).  Planners and real estate agents interact for a handful of reasons including arguing about allowed land uses and the impact of the zoning on the value; arguing about building codes and the impacts on the value; and discussing the specifics of planning/zoning/building law which apply to properties they are trying to sell and make a butt-load of money on for commission without typically doing any of the footwork or research (that is what planners do).   

My planning friends and I refer to the real estate industry as "The Dark Side."  I believe it may be a planning-wide joke as well because I have heard it at conferences too.  They are dark--we are light (or so I thought).  Now that the planning world has been reduced to nothing by the failing real estate market (much like the planet Alderaan was destroyed by the Death Star) I must decide which force is stronger inside of me:  the planning side that is unemployed or the side that would really like a job to earn some money.  I wish I had Yoda nearby to help point me in the right direction.  
PS.  I know that Star Wars did not involve any zombies chanting something from the movie "Freaks" but I threw it in anyway.....

Monday, May 24, 2010

Yellow River.....

There are certain jobs that I just won't do regardless if turning them down would disqualify me from collecting unemployment each week.  Those jobs as we have come to know most likely involve animals, poop and blood.  I suppose I had left out urine.  Here is an announcement from good ol' Careerbuilder about a job in my area--even though it was categorized as not a good match they sent it to me anyway.  I have posted it below as proof. I am not a doctor.  I will never be a doctor.  I have not ever been a doctor nor a urologist.  I don't work with the yellow kind of pee-pee and I don't work with men's pee-pees or women's hootchies.   This job is definitely not for me although it would be a good match for any urologists you may know looking for work especially if they are trained in the computer program listed.  

BTW--I used to have a job that worked with urine.  Not a fun thing to do.  I worked in a probation office and one of those "other duties as assigned" included watching females urinate in cups and verifying that they had not tampered with the urine about to be sampled.  Two people were required to do this for safety and liability--as you might suppose, it would be rather easy for a person to say someone acted inappropriately while watching them pee.  Strength in numbers.  In addition to watching a person pee or watching the person watch the person pee (I preferred to watch the watcher), I was lucky enough to be the one who packaged the urine samples and sent them off via Fed-ex.  This duty as assigned involved wrapping the pee in ultra-absorbent barriers so as not to leak about the box should the lid come dislodged.  The worst part was that while I waited for the Fed-Ex carrier to arrive, the pee samples sat on my desk.  Yep.  Right next to my coffee.  Good times.  I will divulge that the whole reason I went back to university was because of this job.  I wanted a job where I NEVER had to deal with pee again.  Now I just deal with the crap that comes along with unemployment.  Aargh!

In Which I Cry in my Car

Soooo, there was this really appealing job advertised.  It was with a company that manufactures mobile command units for emergencies.  They integrate GIS and GPS.  Perfect match for moi.  Here is when I mention my degree is in Cartography (map making) with my emphasis in GIS and plenty of GPS and remote sensing crap involved while I was in college.  As Ace Venture would say this job would fit me "like a glove."

This employer required Proveit! tests from Job Service. If you are not familiar with Proveit! tests they are tests that were most likely created by the devil and are typically utilized by companies who beat their employees or expect them to perform at a high level of efficiency with little compensation (same thing in my book).  Proveit! tests do not allow you to go back and change an answer.  You can not review anything.  If the little pop-up window comes up unexpectedly in the middle of clicking something else and you click the next question button, you are screwed.  You just answered a question and got it wrong.  These tests suck.  Bad.  You aren't allowed to repeat them.  Even the No Child Left Behind Act allows schools to retest where there were obvious errors.  That is a Bush-era mandate.  Even that administration saw the value of retesting....  Rant Finished****

There were tests for business English (in which I did not score so well...hmmmm), grammar, etiquette, ethics, Word, Excel, Outlook and typing.  They were obviously serious about who they hired as the only thing the company didn't require was a criminal background test, fingerprints, credit report, medical history, a copy of the book of poetry I wrote for the 1987 Young Authors Conference and my report on France that I wrote in the 4th grade.  Assholes.... 

Day 1: I go in and take two hours of tests and have to leave because I have an appointment.  Day 2:  I go in again and take another hour of tests and then in the middle of it....the power goes out.  Twenty minutes later the computers are up and running again but it messed up the test I was on.  As mentioned previously, Proveit! tests don't allow you to repeat or go back to questions so basically it screwed me on that test.  Oh well...Anyway, I finish the round of testing finally (another hour more) and go up to the help desk to retrieve my results and put in the formal application (as I was awaiting the required tests).  I have 4 hours vested into this job and I don't even know how much it pays...Out of the blue, a woman says to the guy that is helping me, "They closed that job early.  It was filled yesterday."  WTF!!!!!!!!!!  He was like "????" and I was like "????!!!!????!!!!!"  He says "I am so sorry. That job was posted to be open until June 6th."  "Yes," I reply "that is what I thought too. " *sobbing on the inside*

Side note:  The man was nice.  He praised my test results.  He said my typing was blazing fast.  I did 70 words a minute with 0 errors for 3 minutes.  Woot!  Woot!  I guess I can type.  :)  

Regressing a bit, after the initial let down I retrieved the phone number of the company who hired someone even though it said the job was still open.  I then went to my car and I called the company and informed them that the job was still listed as open and I had spent 4 hours taking the tests and they needed to fix it so it didn't happen to other people.  Honestly, the woman I spoke with was an unsympathetic beeeaaatch.  Not nice.  Not caring.  Probably because she has a job and doesn't know what it to be fricking desperate for a job.  I hope she gets laid off someday and learns what it feels like.  Maybe then she can be a bit nicer to the general public and at least pretend to care when she speaks to people via telephone.  After all of this was over that is when I shed a few tears out of frustration--I suppose desperation too, as some days I feel like I shall never ever find a real job again.  That is the central idea I refer to where I made an A.A. Milne-type reference in my grammatic pattern and entitled this "In Which I Cry in my Car."  

After a minute or two, I wiped my eyes, smiled at myself in the rear view mirror and went to Shopko to use a gift card I had been saving for some retail therapy.  It helped.  I felt much better and now I have two adorable black wrought iron lamps with micro-suede shades flanking the nightstands on either side of my bed. 

Follow-up:  The day after the incident in which I write about, I received a call from an employee at Workforce who had heard about what had transpired.  She apologized profusely for how it had occurred.  She also said that she had contacted the company with the job posting and read them the riot act as well about how it had happened.  She said it should not happen again.  There was one other person who also completed the tests the same day and suffered through the same hell.  *To whomever you are, we are united.  I feel your pain.  Good luck in your job search*  The good news is that whenever the offending company posts job openings Workforce will be overseeing them and will track it better so this will not happen again.  Hot damn!  Also, this lady said I should submit my materials anyway as I had completed all the requirements and they may have openings again in the next 6 months.  Blah.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


In all my years I never once thought that I would ever utter the words "I have been working part-time as a stripper."  To clarify the aforementioned statement one should realize that by stripper I do not mean I have been baring my naked body while dancing on-stage to Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and performing acrobatic stunts while attached to a stripper pole.  I am referring to stripper in the form of the action verb for a job which entails removing the sheets and towels from resort- or hotel rooms in order to prepare the room for the housekeeper to clean.  It is a good stripper--not a bad stripper.  

Unlike the other type of stripping where you are paid to remove your clothes, I am paid to remove toiletries, linen and foods left in the refrigerator--most likely from Canadians as they seem to be the only tourists still visiting this town with money.  I do not receive tips like the other kind of stripper either.  The tips that were left in the rooms go to the housekeepers who following my stripping the room of the nasties and unmentionables that guests leave behind.  I also get to restock the rooms with linens and towels to replace the ones that were used and change out toilet paper, paper towels, soaps, candles, dish washing tablets and other assorted niceties that one would expect in a fully furnished condominium unit that is rented weekly.

Luckily, I have not been stationed in the laundry room as I had expected.  That is good because I do not fold symmetrically very well.  In fact, I can't even draw a decently round circle (it usually looks more lopsided like almost an oval or a badly shaped cookie).   Assigning me as a stripper was a much more logical approach.  My initial feedback after my stint as a stripper on Fridays is that I am the best stripper they have ever trained.  I asked questions that no one had ever asked before and it made the head stripper pleased as I could understand the logic of why things were performed in a particular manner and therefore wouldn't make mistakes like other strippers.  I am still unsure of what mistakes others would make besides not being able to count.  It is a rather basic process to determine if you need flat and fitted sheets for twin and queen beds and how many replacement towels would be needed to restock a room.  There is even an inventory sheet that shows how many of each item are required to be in a room.  (Example:  A room requires 6 striped pool towels.  I count the towels that are still folded in closet.  There are 4 so I go to the supply van and retrieve 2 more towels to bring that number back to 6.  See.  Easy as pie.)  I suppose the compliment was also related to the foresight that we were low on pillow cases so I restocked the supply vehicle without being asked.  I was particularly pleased with the compliment about being the best stripper that had ever been trained.  I was also told that I learn quickly.  Yeah!  :)  That actually did make me feel happy inside.  The best part is since the head of housekeeping is a friend of ours she told my husband what an excellent stripper I am!  She also said this in front of others who may not have understood the context for which it was intended to be referenced and that made it all the better......

Being a stripper has also taught me that from now on whenever I stay at a hotel, I shall ALWAYS leave my towels and washrags in the bathtub so the housekeeper or stripper doesn't have to walk all over looking for them.  I will remove the sheets and pillow cases from the beds and place those in a pile that is also easily accessible.  Finally, I shall verify that all toilets are flushed and that I haven't left pubic hairs all over the rim of the toilet like I shaved standing over it.  YUCK!!!!  (I am very serious about that last sentence.  There were 3 units where the toilet rim had more hair than a 20 year old man.  Frickin' disgusting.  Who would do that?  What is wrong with them anyway and is genital hair loss really an actual reality or are these sickos actually shaving their junk over the toilet?)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shoulda been a Cowgirl

Yee-haw Buckaroo.  Ain't much goin' on in the job market here.  Ain't much of nothin' nowhere it seems.  Only promisin' jobs are for a phlebotomist (works with blood - yuck), attorney (which I ain't), pediatrician (which I ain't for sure and won't never be since I hate blood and don't really like sick lil' ones), hotel workers (I am only doin' that as a fill-in--don't wanna do it full-time) and line cooks (not into that neither).  It's enough to git a girls saddle bags in a bunch.

Although, there was one job I saw posted at Job Service no less.  I ain't lying neither.  It was for a range rider.   This is Montana ya know.   No shit.  Someone to watch over the cows on the open range.  $1,600 a month.  Cabin provided.  You gotta cook yer own tender vittlens and pay fer em too.  Didn't say if there were a stove or a fire pit.  Did say preferred to bring yer own horse and tack.  Wish I had my own horse and tack.  Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, that ain't true.  I hate poop.  I like long showers, doin my hair,  smellin' purty, and sleepin' indoors under clean sheets.  Don't think I would do so great on the open range. It was a nice idea while it lasted.  

Too bad this job wasn't posted back in 1937.  My grandfather wouldda loved it.  Matter of fact, he had a job similar in Oregon territory (actually it was a state by then).  Only difference is there was no cabin and he slept outside and sometimes they ran out of food and he had to eat rodents like squirrels.  He loved riding his horse though.  See--don't think I'm cut out to be a cowgirl or at least not a real one. I do have some very nice and slick lookin' Ariats.  I am in LOVE with my boots.  I guess I am more of a poser or a city slicker since as I said before I hate poop and don't like bein' dirty.  I would like the range rider job if I could dress like Dale Evans and get pampered too (see kick ass image below.  Note: My mom was named after Dale Evans).  That would make it all worth it.  Happy Trails and happy job huntin....

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Things I Now Realize About Future Jobs

The last few days have been of tumultuous activities as I have had to sort through my life and earthly possessions while relocating them approximately 4 blocks away.  While it doesn't seem far to move, after 3 1/2 years in one place I have accumulated enough random crap to qualify for an early intervention on the A&E show "Hoarders." The big stuff is done.  The incidentals are scattered about.  I approached this move differently as it was not across 300 miles.  This time I had the ability to move room by room, cupboard by cupboard and sift through the treasures untold stuffed into the nooks and crannies of a house that I thought I would live in for the rest of my days.  Alas, it was not to be.  Losing your job can put a damper on many an aspect of one's life.  Dammit.  Oh well.  I have learned or realized more about myself in the process.

1.  I do not want to work anywhere where I have to keep track of crap at home for that job.  This means certification paperwork or copies of this test or that test or books or trade magazines.  I would rather have it all at an office not in my home.  A job that I can leave when I am not at my job.  This is perhaps the single most important aspect of my former profession which, although I am no longer practicing, I still carry around many tools of the trade.  

2.  I would prefer a job has nothing to do with the area where I live.  I do not want to look out the window and ask or be asked if my neighbor's have a permit for that....  Fill in the blank with fire pit, home based business, building permits, electrical permits, variance from setbacks, etc....It is all bullshit that I really don't care about any longer. 

3.  Jobs don't define people.  People define the jobs.  I guess I never really realized it until I stopped being a planner.  Since I no longer need/have a requirement to attend city council meetings, I don't pay as much attention to the daily bureaucratic BS of municipalities unless I notice something that isn't being done correctly.    

4.  I DO NOT WANT TO WORK WITH ANIMALS!  On this I shall elaborate a bit and regress some in order to provide a little bit of insight.  In Idaho we had some feral cats that lived on our rural property in order to reduce the seasonal influx of the common rodents.  When we moved to Montana, it was undeniable that we could not abandon these felines so we packed them up and moved them with us.  Upon our arrival we opened the cages and released them into the garage to move around as they had been caged for 9 hours.  The next day, once they were released into the outdoors, Beyonce ran away.  We never saw her again.  George Michael stayed around for a good year until Brittany Spears ran him off.  The only one we had managed to keep around was Brittany Spears.  She is an orange and white devil.  If she is not the devil, then she is possessed by the devil.  

   I decided that today would be the day to acclimate her to the new residence.  So while the cat was purring and rubbing against my leg this afternoon, I bent down and picked her up.  I walked her to my fully loaded Durango and proceeded to place her in the vehicle.  I then got inside the vehicle and shut the door.  That is when all hell broke loose.  As soon as I turned the key in the ignition switch, the frickin' cat had a major freak out.  Quickly, I came to realize that, maybe, it was not the best decision I had made.  I apparently should have thought this portion of the move out with a bit more thought such as borrowing a pet carrier or a box that I could use to safely transport her the 4 blocks (since walking the distance with a feral cat is not really an option).  I came to this conclusion due in part the reaction of the cat.  

   She began to scurry about the vehicle: jumping to and fro amongst the boxes in the back of the vehicle, to and fro about the front seats (one of which I mentioned I was already sitting in), and lunging for the openness of the free world via the windows (which were all closed therefore she really just jumped into the glass and landed back into the leather seats).  The whole time I was trying to keep my cool and spoke to her like I was Dr. Doolittle in my modest attempt to calm her fears.  It didn't really have much of an impact.  I also did not scream as she gouged all four paws and the dagger-like claws into the top of my thighs.  I also maintained my cool as she dug those knife-like claws into my breasts.  Out of options, I decided to gun it--like a bat out of hell I began driving down the street praying that I would not have to pull over and roll down the window so she could flee out of it never to be seen again.  Remarkably, she ceased the jumping about with her claws digging into whatever she landed on and she crouched in the passenger seat, back arched, tail drawn back, eyes wild, teeth showing and let out a god-awful hiss/scream that did not, in any sense, sound like the typical Meow or the even "feed-me meow" or "Let me inside Meow."  Nope.  It was more like "Damn" or "Die" over and over for those 4 blocks.  This odd cat sound did not even start with the letter "M" as most cat sounds begin. The sound channeled Beelzebub himself and it began with the letter "D".  It was a rumbling sound that would have made Jesus afraid.  I honestly don't know how I made it to the new house.  

   Once I was in the driveway, I turned off the engine and picked the cat up and tried to pet her as she hissed over and over again.  Once she stopped I held her in front of myself and exited the vehicle.  The plan was to walk her to the house and to her waiting food.  I made it about 6 feet before the assault with her claws began again and I just let go.  There was no fighting it.  She ran across the yard and within about one second was safely underneath the neighbor's deck (or I think that is where she went since it was kind of a blur).  I have not yet seen her again.  I am not too worried.  If she turns up at the old house then I will use a wild animal trap to capture her as I am sure she will not willingly allow me to pick her up for quite some time.  She will reemerge.  She always does.  She is a feral cat.  She does what she wants.

I have since applied neosporin to all of my cuts and scratches.  I hope I don't get cat scratch fever.  I also hope that I never have a job with feral cats.  I have also expanded that to include all animals as I can't get along with my cat, how could I do that for the pet of some stranger???

*****UPDATE******The cat ran away and showed up at the old house again.  I stealthily grabbed her and put her in a box with a laundry basket over the top of it (It was the best I could do at the time).  I again drove her to the new house and released her into the backyard. She ran away to the neighbor's again.  We could hear her moaning her evil "damn" or "die" or whatever the hell it was the entire night.  The next evening she emerged when my husband was outside.  She runs if she sees me.  Apparently, she has some sort of a trust issue with me now...

Monday, May 3, 2010


Temp Job....

Since I haven't found a job yet--this week marks the first week that I will be helping out a friend at a resort. My friend is the head of housekeeping so I will be in the laundry room.  Not much different than what I do at home on a daily basis. Honestly, I don't mind because I will be out of the house for a few hours.  I have never been in an industrial laundry room so this will be a new endeavor.  Also, the perk to helping my friend is maybe I can finally learn how to fold fitted sheets really well.  I've got towels and flat sheets down pat but fitted sheets always look a tad rounded and funky when they are stashed on a shelf next to their neatly squared-cornered sheet mate.  

The sad part is that I am helping a friend in the laundry room because I don't have a job anymore.  All those stupid diplomas and certifications don't mean anything right now.  Who am I going to impress with them?  "Look towels, I am going to fold you and you are going to like it.  You are going to listen to me and be folded nicely.  Sheets, you too!! You will respect my authority!  You will obey as I try to fold you into squares.  None of this balling up as I fold you, dammit! I graduated high school early. I went to college. I am a certified floodplain manager; certified planner; have my cpr certification and in the 8th grade I took boaters safety and got a certificate for that too.  You, laundry, shall do as I say because I know what I am talking about!"  For some reason I don't think it will matter what I have behind me or on the walls in the office (or in a box right now since I am in the process of moving).  Laundry probably won't care and neither will the people who use that laundry.  Do you think the tourists that stay at the resort will have remarks like "Look Honey!!! This towel was folded neatly into and "E" shape.  The folder is obviously an AICP."  "Oh my, these sheets have been arranged so nicely.  Obviously this was prepared by a college graduate."  Um....No.  Not going to happen.  In the meantime, I will have to forget my pity party as I am moving and will be busy folding laundry. 

Here is a picture of me folding towels.  I am not much of an artist so you will have to pretend those are towels.  Also, I will not be folding towels and sheets in the office as it will be at the resort my friend works at and I will not post all my certificates on the wall.  My picture is not an accurate portrayal of what it will really look like. I assume my hair will be messier and their will be lots of washers and dryers.