November 21, 2003

Job Hunting

I know I should take it easy but I simply cannot function without having a job. I am so stressed about money that I almost don't want to buy food, but I know I am being a bit uptight, seeing as how I get paid until mid-May. That and I think Partner Unit would prefer not to starve.

I have already applied for about 7 or 8 jobs and log on to Monster, Jobbline, and a few more several times a day. Prospects in Sweden are very dim indeed but I will keep trying (mostly because I want to give the finger to Company X and take a massive payoff. Am I bitter? Oh yeah, baby. Do I hate Company X with a fiery vengeance? Yes again, even though Partner Unit, Dear Mate, and Best Friend all work there).

I came up with a new term with Partner Unit and Best Friend that you may freely steal. The term is "fucknuts", and it's a state of mind. It's the state of being beyond stressy/angry, to the point where the little things are pushing you over the edge of flipping out.

Example: If I have one more anxiety dream about the evil bitches that are likely crowing at my job loss, I will go fucknuts.

Example: Give Swedes the finger while you are driving, and they go fucknuts. Back in Texas, it sometimes was the demonstrative symbol for "left turn", but whatever.

You get the picture.

It's interesting being in the job hunting world (ok, that's just me being cheerful. It actually sucks a clown's ass, but I assumed you knew that I was just putting up a front). Since I was 15 I have been employed (hey-being a lifeguard counts as a job!) I am now facing a very large chasm in which it's true-I have to start my life all over again.

The truth is (and someone did say it in my comments) I guess a part of me did know I would be losing my job sometime. And you know what? In some ways, I am actually relieved. Two years ago I loved my job. Loved it, loved it, loved it. The past year and a half though, I have hated it. It's so much bureaucracy, politics, and all we talked about was processes and handling until I wanted to scream and rip the conference table apart with my hands.

Suck suck suck.

At the same time, if I am going to be falling off a cliff I would prefer to jump, rather than be pushed. So now I am free-falling and trying to figure out what to do next. Problem is my qualifications are all over the board.

Yes, I know the saying-whenever a door closes, a window opens. I find fault with this saying in the following ways:

- How do you know it's not a window-less room?
- If a door closes, you are Stuck. In. A. Room.
- I am not crawling out of a damn window.
- Does the room have a bathroom? Cause I have a small bladder.

It's stupid, I follow up job ads and get all the way to the end and then they fuck with me. Like: Communications Manager-must have 5-10 years experience, speak English and Swedish, and enjoy challenging environment. And then it says at the very end, in very small letters: must be willing to relocate to Cork (Ireland).


I was filling in my details in a job page yesterday and realized the weirdness that is me. An example:

Education: Bachelor of Arts in biological anthropology, with double minor in French and English Lit and the University of Texas at Arlington.

Translation: I had a lot of sex in college, wanted to be a doctor but found biochemistry to be something I couldn't be bothered with. So I chose something that interested me and made me think (while at the same time being very easy) and now I am qualified for any job that has the phrase "Would you like fries with that?"

Higher Education: 50% through my studies in a Master's Degree in the History of Ideas at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Translation: I moved to Sweden before I finished, and the only thing that this degree qualifies me for is a smack upside the head, followed by a "What the HELL were you going to do with a useless degree like that?"

Career History: Started out as a technical writer, then progressed to a technical trainer, which then led me to be a project manager. Then I made the big step to product manager, and finally a release responsbile.

Translation: I tripped and fell and wound up in telecom. I have no idea how I got there. But now I can choose to continue in telecom (since I have a 5 year background in it) or get the hell out (since although I learn very, very quickly, I am not an engineer.)

Reason for searching for a new position: It's time I broadened my horizons and explored my options in new market opportunities.

Translation: I lost my fucking job, what the hell else do you think happened? Sheesh. Stupid question.

Qualifications: Energetic, team-leader, enjoys strict deadlines and excellent and multi-tasking large projects. Extensive background in 2G and 3G mobile technology. Able to make fast decisions and tuned in to the demands to the market. Very comfortable and skilled as a public speaker and enjoys working in an international environment.

Translation: Yes I really can do all that. Plus I swallow. And am double-jointed. It tends to impress.

I hate this.


PS- I am home alone this weekend, since Partner Unit is off to China Saturday evening. The last time I was home alone for a weekend, I managed 5 rounds of self-relations. Jean has advised that I go to bed with a bottle of wine and my electric toybox. Well, my sex drive has somewhat dried up (my sex drive has dried up. Not my beaver. Please don't think like that.) but I plan on giving it a go. Will report fully on Monday.

PPS- If you don't hear from me this weekend, then I am curled up in my bed in the same pajamas I have been wearing since Wednesday, clutching a bottle and crying in a fetal position. But let's try to remain optimistic, shall we?

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Posted by: Natalia Ricea at December 19, 2003 12:29 PM

"Broaden my horizns... " -- "Explore diverse career options..."

As to writing a cover letter, essentially rewrite their ad, with an opening paragraph saying you're responding to their ad, and a closing paragraph saying something relevent you've researched about their CO. for which you'd be beneficial. (Have I done this before? Naaaaah.)

Posted by: jean at November 23, 2003 12:03 AM


What ever you do, do not go into health care. Everyone I know who is in it, hates it... Stay far far far far far away from it...

Posted by: Wired Nerve at November 22, 2003 05:38 PM

Oh, and James-that's next on my to-do list!

Posted by: Helen at November 22, 2003 04:12 PM

Rob-my pleasure. Let me know if you're bored again anytime in the near future :) (and by the way, I was taking a shower earlier today and thought of your comment "pasty North Dakotan in the shower". Just so you know, a chick in Sweden was showering and thought of you. You can die happy now! :))

Serenity-I agree on the broadened horizons bit, but I ABSOLUTELY can't think of what to say. Ideas?

Johnny Huh-ok, you can use fucknuts too, but let's pretend I made it up. Come on, throw me a bone here. And you must post baby pics when Huh Jr. arrives. Must!

Courtney-I suck a clown's ass at resume writing. I am even worse at cover letters. I WELCOME any help you can give me, seriously. I am going to go check out your resume in just a sec!

Posted by: Helen at November 22, 2003 03:58 PM

I'm just gonna go ahead and think of you in bed with your electric toybox having self-relations like a fiend.

Posted by: James at November 22, 2003 11:33 AM

Dear Helen,

I am sooo not smarter than you - I have not accomplished nearly as much as you have. Besides, I have not half your courage - I've never been anywhere, much less up and moved away to a different country. Lend me some of that courage?

OTOH, I've had many, many classes in resume writing (isn't that weird?) and would gladly help you with yours if it made you feel any better. I'm not sure I could double-speak better than you, but just say the word, and I'll do my humble best. My resume is here, if you want to look:

(btw, world, this is not an invitation to make fun of my poor webdesign skills ;)

*hugs* I envy you your quiet, your bottle of wine, and your books. :) (and the toy collection - my S.O. frowns on them) tee-hee!

Posted by: Courtney at November 22, 2003 04:40 AM

Ok...don't shoot the messenger but everyone says, "...broaden my horizons..." You're a clever and intelligent girl...I know you can come up with something better.

And it doesn't matter what the translations mean, it's all in how you write it out. Trust me, many, MANY in corporate, are dazzled by big words and corporate speak. The funny thing is, half of them have no idea what any of it means.

I say, instead of curling up in your pajamas, take that enormous creative gift you have and spice that resume up.

Or you can just tell me to quit acting like a fucknut and drink yourself silly.

Posted by: Serenity at November 22, 2003 02:09 AM

Hate to break it to you, Helen, but fucknuts has been a part of my lexicon for many years now. Its a strong term, generally reserved for Hummer driving idiots who put the emphasis on sport in sport utility vehicle and weave across lanes with reckless abandon.

As for the job hunt, it does suck and I hope you find something appropriate quickly.

And the fact that you swallow has made me half fall in love with you already. The double jointed just about seals the deal, if only I weren't already married, expecting my first child and lived closer than 8000 miles away. Damn the luck!

Posted by: Johnny Huh? at November 22, 2003 12:32 AM

I'm a rock?

When I first read that I jumped up out of my chair and danced around my office a little bit. Alarmed by this disply, my dad came bolting out of his office and the following exchange ensued:

Dad: "What the hell?"

Me: "This chick said I rock."

Dad: Reading this posts comments, "She said you're "a rock."

Me: "Oh."

Dad: "Don't you have work to do?"

Me: "Kinda..."

Thanks Helen, I now have enough work for 3 people.


Posted by: Rob at November 21, 2003 11:23 PM

Ah Zen-we could've been neighbors! :)

Oh Kev-I am so sorry.

Courtney-please write my CV for me. You are very clever and just now I am very hopeless.

Rob Port-as always, you continue to be a rock.

MJ-it's my dream now to sit at a table across from Company X and tell them to JUST FUCK OFF. So I know where your drive comes from.

I am down a bottle of red wine and more to go. Yes, I am feeling good:)

Posted by: Helen at November 21, 2003 08:11 PM

I was laid off from my job several months ago when the company decided to consolidate operations at the companies HQ location.....Orebro Sweden.
I didn't work there very long buy my mother who also worked there for 27 years was laid off just two years short of retirement.
Good luck on the job hunting.

Posted by: zenwanderer at November 21, 2003 07:12 PM

My thoughts on education and employment -

Since you're already well educated by some standards, here are the areas of study that I think are most practical:

engineering (civil, mechanical, computer)
computer programming
database administration
physical therapy
occupational therapy
RN level nursing
speech pathologist
teaching (K-12 level)
drafting (auto-CAD, etc)
fine carpentry

Posted by: Courtney at November 21, 2003 06:50 PM

Helen all you can do is look at this as a "Blessing in Disguise" Mine was, and trust me they will eat crow when you find the better JOB. Speaking of, that bitch that fired my ass ran into me in a grocery store last night, and was like, " Hi Michael " I looked at her like why the fuck are you breathing my air, you fat bitch, well I gave her the look like eat my peanut filled shit (you would never tell how much animosity I have against her, would you) and ways I saw her car in the parking lot of the store and I am not one to return my cart, but she seems to be parked next to the cart return, so I had to return it, well too bad the cart return was not a little wider, otherwise the cart would not have hit her over priced SUV, ha ha, I know it is childish, but it made me feel good! Keep your chin up babe!

Posted by: MJ at November 21, 2003 06:26 PM

Don't get down because of lost employment. Corporations do not care about it's employees and will do massive layoffs just to save management's ass. Don't love your company or job, consider them as a income and nothing more. I was let go after 9/11 from a insurance company as a network engineer with over 12 years on the job. I had to travel to the home office and as soon as got in, about 6:30 am, they told me and escorted me out of the office. I was unemployed for 8 months until I could find a contract job for six months. After the contract was over, I was unemployed for four more months before I found a permanent position. My current job is below the level that I was in, less money and responsibilities. I went from working 7 days a week for 12 hours a day to a standard 8 hours 5 day a week. Less money is worth not having to give up much of your life. I thought about suicide after three months of unemployment, I thought of ways to make it look like an accident so that my family could get my insurance benefits. Then I remember what happen to my mother when she attempted suicide when I was 12. She could not do that right and ended up being a vegetable from the neck down for a year before death finally came. I could not put my family through that nightmare that I had to endure during my high school years. So before you think that all is lost, give yourself a good look in the mirror and think about everyone else.
Finding work is a full time job, keep at it, but take Fridays off because the lack of interest.
Never give up and open your mind. Good luck.

Posted by: Kevin at November 21, 2003 06:04 PM

Fucknuts, huh? We call the same situation/feeling "bugfuck".

Posted by: LeeAnn at November 21, 2003 06:03 PM

Sounds good. I always think of the movie cocktail when I think Bermudia for some reason.

Posted by: Drew at November 21, 2003 05:47 PM

Drew, let's go open a bar in Bermuda.

Posted by: Helen at November 21, 2003 05:10 PM

I hate being dependant on my Job and having to work. Something unnatural about being forced to do something to be able to afford to live. Sigh...

Is being a consultant a possibility?


Posted by: Drew at November 21, 2003 04:21 PM

seems like you should get paid for blogging, you're so good at writing! i hope you'll have some time to work on that book you were talking about.

i can understand wanting to start job-hunting right away. but maybe schedule some time to relax too. x0xxoxo

Posted by: kat at November 21, 2003 03:56 PM

The term "fucknut" has been around North Dakota for some time, but we use it differently:

"Hey, look at that fucknut's hat!"

"At leat I'm not dumb, like that fucknut there."

To get the full weight of those comments you then have to imagine a table of drunken Norskies nodding their heads and saying "Yah, you betcha."

By the way, I could hire you into my company. We're looking for someone who has lots of patience and can think on their feet....

And can relocate to North Dakota.


Posted by: Rob Port at November 21, 2003 03:38 PM

It is really, really cool to read such a delightful and light-hearted post. Glad to see you seem to be a bit more OK today.

Oh, and I have my own little term like "fucknuts." When something drive me absolutely batty, I say it's driving me "nucking futs." Think I like "fucknuts" better, though.

Enjoy your weekend. You deserve it.

Posted by: Joey at November 21, 2003 03:29 PM

I am thinking of studying once I find a job. I am thinking either nursing (since it's about damn time I did something useful) or psychology (if you can't beat the nuts, join them!)

And Ilyka, yes, I did go to UTA. You did too? Small world, ma'am! GO...uh...volleyball team! Ugh. Their architecture building was ugly, but then so was the whole damn campus!

Posted by: Helen at November 21, 2003 03:16 PM

Thats why I think you're the tops: This post. H! maybe you could study further while looking for a new job?

Posted by: Melodrama at November 21, 2003 02:33 PM

This post was so full of hilarity I don't really know where to begin. Helen, no one can say you aren't handling this with your usual grace and style.

So you went to UT-A too? Tell me, do they or do they not have the most hideous building for the School of Architecture? That thing is a monstrosity. I wanted to switch majors to that from CSE, but I could not bear the thought of walking into that building day in and day out.

Finally, this:

Back in Texas, it sometimes was the demonstrative symbol for "left turn", but whatever.

Oh, how true it is. And actually, whenever I get that, my reaction is, "Hey, look! A Texan signaled!"

Posted by: ilyka at November 21, 2003 11:37 AM

Thanks, Jean-and actually, I have two books lined up!

And Simon, thanks for the laugh and the boost as "Helen for CEO of the world". And good thing you are speaking for the masses who come to this site for a literary orgasm, instead of a regular one :)

Posted by: Helen at November 21, 2003 10:05 AM

Forget the CV. Once they meet you they'll realise quality and hire you as CEO.

And most importantly you won Survivor immunity. Forget about the sex this weekend and do what Jean is suggesting. There's a lot of people who read this who are not looking for vicarious sexual pleasure. I'm not saying me, that's all I'm here for, I'm just saying I'm sure there must be some. :-)

Posted by: Simon at November 21, 2003 09:56 AM

OH! I almost forgot. Congrats for winning Survivor immunity this week! ;)

Posted by: jean at November 21, 2003 08:53 AM

Sweetie, if you have no interest in the toys right now, ah well. A weekend to yourself -- load up the stove, pile the bed with pillows, get that bottle of wine, and read "that book" you've been meaning to read forever. You know the one: the biography or history or philosophy or mystery or trashy-romance-novel. Get lost in it.

Or just give yourself permission to do nothing at all. Or whatever. You know what I'm saying?

Posted by: jean at November 21, 2003 08:52 AM
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