Finding Translatable “Luck”

I haven’t posted in a while.  I’ve been busy, but that’s not the real reason. This move has been more difficult than I thought it would be.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s been great being closer to my family for the holidays, and I can only imagine how upset I’d have been if I’d been in Tampa when my sister’s dog had had puppies I couldn’t have played with as frequently as I did.  And being in a healthy, thriving relationship is absolutely fabulous (and I still feel like I’m living someone else’s life).

But the relocation has also been very hard.

The winter, you see, wore on my mood.  I wasn’t surprised when that happened.  It had always done that in the past.  And while that was not the only reason I moved to the land of eternal sunshine and traffic, it certainly played a part in my decision-making process. At first it wasn’t TOO bad… the early part of the winter was very mild.  But in March, after several feet of snowfall, shitting my pants in a car, and experiencing cabin fever, I began questioning my sanity when I realized that if I had stayed in Tampa, it would have been 80 degrees already.  Granted, now it is warmer here, that problem is behind me, and no matter how cold it gets in the winter, I know that one will always be fairly temporary.

But it’s really the job search that’s been killing me.  When I lived here before, finding a job wasn’t easy… but I found one eventually.  And since I’d had no work experience, really, beyond school, I was happy to find what I found: a low-paying, uncomplicated clerical-type job that had some accounting duties worked into it.  When I moved to Tampa, I took something similar, but that soon spun into a Technical training position.  I didn’t make much at it at first – which I thought was fair, because I’d had no idea what I was doing at the time and was sort of “learning as I went”.  But after two years of that, I was comfortable in it.  I could do it in my sleep And when I transferred to an even bigger company (one that gave me a fifty percent raise and a ten thousand dollar signing and retention package) where I was still training but also doing technical writing, I thought I’d made it.

I didn’t think I’d have any issues finding a job when I came back to Louisville.  I mean I was educated.  I had work experience.  Wasn’t that what I hadn’t had during my 2010 job search?  Sort of.  But not really.  Apparently my education (a degree in History which, admittedly, is more akin to a degree in Trivia) is not the CORRECT education for doing technical writing and learning and development.  I find myself not only overeducated in useless information but also overqualified to hold even the clerical type jobs I had when I lived here before.

It’s been frustrating.  No.  That isn’t the correct word.  Let’s try that again.  It’s been depressing.  It’s depressing to go into interviews for things I’m overqualified for, but still not get the job because they’re afraid (and probably rightly so) that I wouldn’t be satisfied in a lower position (and before you ask, yes, they’ve said this to me – and while I try to argue to the contrary, I suppose my arguments aren’t as persuasive as they should be, but then why would they be? When I say I’d be satisfied with clerical work, I’m blatantly lying.).  And while I  love being here with Lord Ormsby, and while I am, for once, very happy with the relationship aspect of my life, I can’t help but feel a little jilted. Because in order to have happiness here, I had to give away the level of financial and professional comfort I had there.  I have been unemployed now for almost six months.  My savings are completely depleted.  And I’ve started to wonder whether I’m meant, always, to have one thing I want, but not the other.  I know you aren’t supposed to have it all, but seriously… throw me a bone here.

I ended up finding a job that I’ve held before.  A temporary, seasonal position scoring tests for a company called Measured Progress.  When I called about it at first, I got the job right away.  It was a relief.  I was beginning to wonder how I was going to pay my storage bill, credit cards, everything.  This wouldn’t have fixed the long term picture, but it would have given me enough to live off of for four more months while I continued my search.  Things started to get shaky though.  The start dates changed.  My hours got cut.  And finally, for absolutely no reason, Kelly Services (the temp agency that found me the job to begin with) called me to tell me that I was no longer eligible to return.  When I called to ask why, I was simply sent to voicemail. This happened TWO WEEKS before the assignment was scheduled to begin. TWO FUCKING WEEKS.

I was fucked.  Seriously.  And I did what I do when I’m fucked.  I started looking at the shit I’d had in Tampa and wondered if I was out of my mind to leave it in the first place.  Probably not the most constructive thing to do, but I’m not at my most constructive when I’m fucked and severely depressed about being fucked.  I also did the other thing I do when I’m fucked (and depressed): I ran a lot.  The weather here has improved.  Getting outside, if it doesn’t help my mood, at least gives me a change of scenery.  And running helps me think.

Here’s what I’ve figured out:  The work experience that I have was something I acquired largely by luck – not personal or educational merit.  I was literally in the right place at the right time.  The company I worked for first in Tampa needed a trainer.  I was there, smart enough to figure it out, and I handled it (because that’s what badasses do).  The second Tampa employer needed someone who could train on the program they’d newly purchased.  That was me.  And only me.  And they took me because of that reason.  If I’d simply applied to their Learning and Development department in Chicago, I doubt they’d have ever called me for the same reason the companies here don’t call me: I’m not educated or trained in the areas I need to be trained in.  Luck, as I’m finding (albeit painfully), is not a translatable skill.

And so I’ve gone back to the University of Louisville – not as a student (yet) but on some recon trips to advising, financial aid, places and people I need to see to find out just exactly how much another degree would cost, how feasible it would be to get it, how long it would take.  The advising answers were satisfactory… the jury is still out on the financial aid part. I don’t qualify for grants anymore, since I already have one degree, but the picture of my financial situation on my taxes is not an accurate representation of my situation now… where I was making $45k before, I’m making absolutely nothing at the moment.  I don’t know how to report that on my FAFSA.

And of course I still have bills to pay.  Storage.  Car insurance.  Cell phones.  Credit cards.  A part time job will take care of that, and that’s even feasible with a part time school schedule.  But I have to figure all of that out now.  And I have to get my own head out of my ass and out of this funk long enough to do it and to do it correctly.

Because that’s what badasses do.  I just have to remember that I am one.

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