31 March 2009

Random Tidbits

Whew! Clearly wrote that last post in a bout of anger! Whoops...I usually try not to do that! While my feelings and frustrations are real, I want to stress how much I love my roomie. We've been friends for a very long time and while we've got our differences and are irritating the bleep our of each other, I'll always care about her. Here's hoping things get better and our lives start to feel more settled soon! Thanks for all of your encouraging words.

As I'm sure you know by now by my lack of posting about it, I did not get the job at the Marketing firm. I'm trying not to take it personally because the interview went well and my resume is in good shape. I know there are a lot of people out there competing for the same jobs so I'm just going to have to buckle down and try harder to find something! I'm still hoping to find something in Advertising/PR or Marketing, Event Planning or Communications. Keeping my fingers crossed and sending up some prayers!

Getting excited for spring in Chicago. Everyone keeps telling me how amazing it is here once it warms up. I'm really looking forward to busting out my bike and taking some rides lakeside. I'd also really like to get up to Michigan and Wisconsin to go for rides on some of their country trails. I've heard awesome things about them!

To my Chicago readers, do you have any suggestions for things I have to check out once Chicago thaws out?

22 March 2009

Exhausted but Happy

Goodness gracious, I'm one tired person. I had so much going on this last week. But it was nice to have something going on to occupy my time.

At the end of last week, I was offered a temp job for 5 days starting last Friday through this Thursday. Which was fantastic because I'm getting uber low on cash. I was excited to have a full week of work to get me off the couch, and to make it better, it was at a company downtown on Michigan Ave. I was so glad to be in a great location so I could go out and walk around at lunch and get the full experience of the commute downtown.

Lessons learned this week:
Working downtown would be really enjoyable
The commute downtown at 8am, is not so enjoyable
The downtown Red Line in the morning is my nemisis
I need to find some cute, comfy shoes that I can wear for walking

To make this week even busier, we had two sets of visitors in town. The first part of the week, my roomie M. and I's mutual friend from high school was in town during her spring break. She is recovering from a divorce and wanted to have a low-key, relaxing vacation. We didn't do too much, just went to church on Sunday, out for some deep dish pizza, dinner one night with friends from home, etc. I was sad to miss out while I was working, but it was good for my roomie to catch up with her best friend without me around. I tend to be the queen of giving advice (usually solicited, but sometimes not...) but I don't think that's what our friend wanted to hear right now.

M. also scored tickets to the Oprah show Thursday morning and I was overcome with jealousy that I couldn't go. Go figure that the one week that I was working, was the week that she managed to get tickets! Anyway, as soon as our friend left and after the taping of the show on Thursday morning, M.'s sister and niece, and her sister's boyfriend came for a visit.

Lucky for me, Thursday was the last day of the temp job, so I got to hang out with M. and her family. Her neice is four years old, so we had a bunch of kid friendly activities planned. We hit up Michigan Avenue for some shopping at the American Girl store (seriously still love that place!), Navy Pier, the Children's Museum, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and Millenium Park. It was fun to do a ton of touristy things and to see how amazing our city is through a child's eyes.

We sent them off early this morning. My roomie is out at a bar with some friends watching the KU game. But I chose to stay here and be a bit anti-social. I'm tired after a long week of talking, working, eating out and spending money and over stimulated from all of the sightseeing and activities.

On the job front, I had a phone interview for a marketing firm on Wednesday. I feel like it went well, and I know that my experience matches the job description pretty closely, so I'm really crossing my fingers that I'll get a second interview this week. Say a prayer and keep your fingers crossed for me!

06 March 2009

Working 9-5, but Just for Today

It’s Friday! For all of you busy employed workers, it’s the end of the week and you’re probably taking it easy, relaxing in your business casual, chatting with co-workers about the upcoming weekend. For me, it feels a bit like a Monday. Today is the Day of the Temp Job.

This morning did not start off well. First off, I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night. I’m not sure if I tried to go to bed too early (I’ve been staying up late and sleeping in a bit lately) and my body wasn’t used to it, or if I was nervous, or what the problem was. Whatever the case was, I felt like I was awake for pretty much the whole night. You know that feeling when you’re half asleep and half awake? That is the kind of sleeping I did last night. My alarm went off irritatingly early at 5:30am. Sadly, it takes about 45 minutes for me to get downtown, so I had to start about an hour earlier than I’m normally used to getting up for work. I remember in Dallas, when I was commuting out to the suburbs in the morning I used to look at the stand-still traffic in the inbound lanes and think “Haha, Suckers!” because it had to take at least an hour to get downtown. Today, that was me. Luckily, I got on the train far enough north that I was able to snag a seat but at each stop people kept jamming themselves in the car until there was barely any room to move. It was driving me crazy because the more people that jammed in there, the worse it started to smell. That gross I’ve been walking for a bit outside/wet woolen coat smell.
But lucky for me, I made it to the building on time, which made my morning quite a bit better. As a matter of fact, I was early. Score one for me. If I have one work related (more like life related, come to think about it) fault, it is that I tend to run a bit late. But not today! :)

So I’m here. And it feels nice to be working again. Granted, today I’m an all out corporate receptionist. I may have complained while working at the ad agency of being a glorified receptionist, but after working here for a bit, I’m realizing that I did A LOT more than just answer a few phones there. Because here, I’m legitimately just answering phones. And checking in guests. But that is it. Nothing else. Not making coffee or making copies (which is fine by me!) Not doing the grunt work for anyone else. Just answering a phone call or 10. And yes, I’m just a temp so they probably wouldn’t bring up anything for me to work on, but from what I can tell, this person’s normal job description is to be the general receptionist. Which is fine by me. It’s kind of nice to not be stressed with huge piles of work or profuse deadlines.

So this company is huge and very professional. I’m used to working for the ad agency and at a trendy boutique hotel, so I’m not quite accustomed to the system they’ve got going here. I’m out in a huge lobby by myself. The offices are closed off behind me. You have to have special clearance to even access the offices. Each department has their own admin that fields their calls, so I’m pretty much the general operator. It’s weird. I have zero supervision up here. Luckily, everyone has been really nice so far. But even still, temping is definitely going to be an interesting experience.

Working at this huge professional company downtown has me thinking about what type of job I’m looking for. I have been pretty much applying for any Marketing Associate/Ad Agency Account Assistant position that I can find, but I’m really starting to question whether or not I want to remain in business. I’m trying to think about what I really like about corporate or business related jobs. And so far, here’s what I can come up with:
· I love getting dressed up in business clothes
· I love commuting on the train
· I love coming downtown
· I love feeling “important” enough to get to wear cute business clothes and work downtown
· I love going out on lunch breaks with co-workers and complaining about annoying customers
· I love having a desk and/or a cubicle to decorate
· I love having business cards with my name on them

And what I hate:
· Being scared of screwing something up
· Being scared of/annoyed with/hating my boss
· Frustrating clients/customers that are so rude or just don’t get it
· Being stressed out about work outside of work (Or taking work home with me)
· Being micro-managed
· Staring at a computer all day
· Not being allowed to have a flexible schedule
· Anything related to sales or financial statements/budgets
· Feeling like my job has no more meaning than to make “The Company” rich.

So looking at both lists, I see that the stuff I love is just the silly small stuff that comes along with a corporate job. The other list is pretty much the job description.

This is frustrating because my degree is in Marketing. I’ve worked for an advertising agency and the hospitality industry for a few years. It seems financially daunting to go back to school considering I’ve got a gazillion dollars in student loans already and a few credit card bills rolling in. (Gulp!) But it seems just as daunting to have to work at something that I dislike for the rest of my life.

I’m probably just being cranky, and not working for about a month has made me soft and idealistic and full of dreams. Hopefully I’ll luck out and score a permanent position somewhere that has a fun, creative, relaxed vibe and I’ll be happy to continue working in business. But the job descriptions I’m reading now make my stomach hurt.

It’s only 11:30? Unbelievable. I don’t know if this day could go any slower. But yay! At least I’m working!

05 March 2009

I'm SO Over This

Ugh, I'm frustrated. No actually I'm pissed. On Monday, I applied for a job that I am perfect for. It was almost literally the same thing I was doing at the ad agency in Dallas. I have always been taught to follow up a few days later to confirm that the resume was recevieved and to make sure they didn't have any additional questions.

So today, I did just that. I called and asked to speak with the person that handled HR. I explained who I was and why I was calling. The receptionist transferred my call and a woman answered with "HELLO?" in a very aggressive tone. She did not identify herself in anyway. So I basically said "Hello, my name is ----- ------- and I'm calling to make sure the resume I submitted for the open position was received to see if there were any questions I could answer?" and she says: "No, not at all" and then silence...... Nothing. She did not ask my name for clarification purposes, did not ask me to confirm which position I was applying for, she literally had zero interest in why I was calling. So I quickly said "ok, thank you! Goodbye" and got off the phone.

And now I'm just annoyed. I was doing what you're supposed to do when you apply for jobs. You're supposed to call and follow up because otherwise your resume gets lost amonngst the thousands that are submitted. And that lady was flat out rude and uninterested. Uh, lady, why are you working in HR if you don't want to talk to job applicants? And if you don't want phone calls concerning open positions, then put that on the job posting!!!

What makes it worse, is that I feel like I am SO PERFECT for that job!

ARGH! This process is getting SO DAMN FRUSTRATING!!!! I just want a job already! (perferably one that I don't hate, but at this point I'd almost take whatever I can get....)

04 March 2009

A Teeny Paycheck Coming My Way!

Good News: I got a job! Ok, nothing to get excited about, it's just a temp job for 1 and a half days but thank the Lord, I get to leave my house in work clothes, go downtown and mingle amoungst the employed!! I'm excited about that. I'm slightly stressed about the awkwardness that is temping, being that I'll be the front receptionist at a HUGE, UBER-PROFESSIONAL company where I don't know a single person. But whatev, if I screw up, I guess I'll never see them again, right?!

More Good News: It's slightly warmer outside today. It gives me the hope of Spring approaching.

Bad News: Somehow the program that allows me to upload photos from my camera to my computer has uninstalled itself and I have no idea how to get it back since the disk that came with the camera is long gone. So no fun pics to share for a while....

02 March 2009


TAP TAP TAP! Is this thing on? Anyone left out there?

As it turns out, I haven't updated you in over a month. Whoopsie... Do forgive.

At first I was overwhelmed with the excitement of the move and of exploring my new home. Then I was furiously applying for jobs, getting my Illinois driver's license and trying to figure out how Chicago public transit worked. And now, for the past few weeks I've been moping around because I'm still unemployed, and my roommate and I spend all day everyday together, stuck in our house due to lack of funds and the cold, cold weather.


Ok, I guess I have to take full responsibility for that decision. And in my defense, the decision was made and the plan was in action before the economy took a nose dive and all decent job opportunities went with it. I'm going just a bit stir crazy here!!! I'm bored out of mind, and sick of cold weather, and really sick of being poor and not getting to properly explore the city. I've lost all motivation (clearly you've noticed by my lack of posting and my lack of commenting on your lovely blogs), and I'm slowly going insane.

The one bright shiny star in the cloudy cloudy sky that is my experience right now, has been finding an absolutely awesome and delightful church full of fun, friendly and normal young people who have welcomed us to Chicago with open arms. Thank goodness for that.

We did manage to have a really nice weekend, starting with a leisurely night in on Friday (ha....all of our nights are leisurely nights in...). Saturday morning (ok, well, more like around noon) had us out of bed and working to clean our house from top to bottom as we were having a bit of a partay at our place. And by partay, I mean, hardcore game night. (Because that my friends, is a completely free event that does not require us to purchase beer or wine to provide! No judgement, we're not barbarians, we provided tea and lemonade) We are soooo cool. Obviously. But for real, it was a good good time with really competitive game activities going until the early hours of the morning.

Today brought somewhat of a blizzard to Chicago, so I was forced to stay in my warm bed until around noon when I ventured from my bed to the couch to watch Miss Congeniality and eat a leftover bagel. (Unemployment=Some good fine eating). I did drag myself to the shower around 3 to clean up a bit to hit the evening service at church and boy am I glad I did. Because church tonight was phenom and I left feeling very refreshed and renewed and full hopefulness for my future here in this lovely city. Hope the feeling lasts until tomorrow so I can re-tackle job hunting with avengence.

Anywho ladies and gentlemen, that is my short and sweet catch up to my life here in Chi. SO very sorry I've been absent. I hope that I still have a friend or two left out there in the blog world. Oh, and for those of you who are readers at both of my blogs, do forgive me again, because I'm going to post this exact same message over at the other place. Eh, I'm feeling unmotivated again. Sorry dears! Leave me some love so I know you're still out there!

Soon to come: Hopefully a photo or two, a positive update (or maybe a cry for help) on the job search front, and my advice for how to live in Chicago on a shoestring budget. Stay tuned.