I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 81 - Looking for Work (In All The Wrong Places)

I'm sticking my toes back in the pool of job search again. Today, I netted a couple of opportunities to be published and otherwise contribute as a member of society, though in a way that is more adding to my resume than remunerative. Well, gaining experience is valuable I guess.

I sat down yesterday to figure out what I accomplished in the last 80 days and came up with a list of completed projects that fill five pages singly spaced. I'm not sure whether I'm more dismayed that there was so much around here that needed doing or that I can't get paid for what has truly been an enormous effort.

If I can manage to perform an anti-rain dance tomorrow, it will be time to climb up on the roof and start repairs. The headline will read, "Local Woman Hangs from Gutter for Hours Before Rescue."

Of all the job search sites, the most diverse and ironically most satisfying is Craigslist. Perhaps it's that element of risk exposed by the knowledge that some small percentage of advertisers are at best scammers and at worst psychotic killers. Maybe that's true of Monster as well, but that may not be where the brand identity boys were headed when they designed the purple script M. ('Dial M for Murder'?)

There's something about the cheery way that CareerBuilder and Monster pop up and call you by name that sets my teeth on edge. Monster's color scheme is purple and olive green while CareerBuilder is bright orange and blue. Didn't anyone sit the website designers down and suggest that some calming but fresh colors would be better for the stressed potential audience? The jarring contrasts remind me of another past-life experience. Back at Porkus, I managed a sister warranty service company. Let's call it "Hexelus." The colors on the Hexelus site are rust orange and deep purple, correctly suggesting that something Halloween-y is about to happen. For years, I agitated to change to something less garish with no avail. But major job search sites should not have the same obstacles in understanding their audience, some of whom are probably one jarring event from singing to themselves while living under a bridge with a shopping cart.

Craigslist has no such problems. There are no fancy colors to speak of on the job search page, just an endless list of links in blue. And the range of oddball jobs is worth noting. I was intrigued with a job opportunity to participate in a study that pays $320 to test people with social anxiety disorder who also drink regularly. I don't drink regularly but I could learn to if given $320 and surrounded by a bunch of socially inept people. You won't see a job like that on Monster.

Today, CareerBuilder greeted me by name and suggested a job as a Restoration Consultant. I was thinking that this might be one of the guys who chase a shoplifter in the parking lot to 'restore' whatever was stolen, but it turns out to be an insurance coordinator who assesses storm damage and coordinates repair. The job pays quite well -- up to $125K -- and implies that you go on site and perhaps climb up on the roof. Which was what I was planning on doing tomorrow. For free.

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