The job search chronicles, part II
Last night I dreamed I had a job. I never really have ‘good’ dreams.
I was back in the hospital lab on the university campus I worked in before devoting my life to laundry folding, et al. Initially, things were going ok, but then I realized the method I was using to test cyclosporine levels was the very same one I’d used 15 years ago. Problem is, right as I was in the process of leaving that job, a new test method was being developed for testing cyclosporine levels. For better or worse, my OB decided to induce labor before I had a chance to be instructed on the new protocol.
My supervisor was gently reminding me I had been using the outdated method, and then she said, let’s go to coffee; we can sort all this out when we get back. Way, way WAY back when I worked the day shift, going to coffee was a thing; so it seemed like a good idea. I thought I might even get one of those tasty egg and cheese on an English muffin sammies I used to enjoy on occasion.
I don’t know if I ever got a sandwich. Or coffee. Next thing I remember, I was headed back into the lab; but when I opened the door it wasn’t the right room. So I opened a few more doors, and none of them were where I was supposed to be.
If you’re wondering what happened to the supervisor I’d gone to coffee with, join the club.
I wandered and wandered and wandered, and somewhere along the line I realized I had no idea where I was. Nothing looked familiar. I couldn’t even find the building I was supposed to be in. I started getting nervous. My surroundings were becoming more and more unfamiliar. Hours were passing by. I REALLY needed to get back to work and figure out the damn cyclosporine levels.
I was so rattled I called Chris to come and help me. And bless his heart, he tried. But I was too lost. I fell into a sobbing heap and asked him to simply take me home. I called the lab and talked to my co-worker Kathie from many, many moons ago. I was trying to explain it to her, but I was bawling. And it made no sense anyway.
Also, at some point I was riding in a helicopter. Don’t ask me. No idea. I’ve written about my dreams before. Rationality has little to no role in them.
Unrelated to anything occurring in my deep REM states, I currently have a rash on various parts of my neck and chest. And the left side of my neck is hella stiff. Which is fine, so long as I limit myself to staring straight ahead.
Needless to say, the job search continues. And apparently I’m in a super healthy mental and physical state about my re-entry to real life. Anxiety-riddled dreams, rashes, stiff necks- these are all signs my attitude is right where it needs to be, dontcha think?
Last week I did four interviews/phone screens. This week I have three scheduled. One of which will be broken into two sections and last 75 minutes. One of those sections is a ‘behavioral interview,’ where I’m told I’ll be asked questions like, “Describe a time when…”.
I think I’d rather have my wisdom teeth removed. I can’t, because I’ve already done that and it was awful (dry sockets and a solid week of misery). And yet, I’m thinking it sounds better than having more interviews.
And honestly, if I’m applying for jobs that require jumping through so many hoops; I can’t help but believe I’m aiming a bit high. It’s so nice that my old buddy, crippling self doubt, is walking this job search with me.
It is, of course, not that bad. And I believe it’s all going like it’s supposed to. But it is tedious and exhausting. And I cannot help but question whether or not there couldn’t be a more efficient means of staffing the world.
I also cannot help but be bitter about how hard it is to be a new mom in the work world in this country. What if, just what if, quality childcare was affordable? And what if I could have had six months of maternity leave instead of six weeks? That question could be hyperbolic. I don’t remember how many weeks of leave I had. All I know is that when it was time to put the scrubs back on, there were very few nights where eight hours of uninterrupted sleep happened. I was tired. My boobs often leaked. The pumping room, once I finally got ahold of the person in charge of it (at least 10 phone calls, I kid you not), was a five minute walk from the lab I worked in.
Of course, all this was manageable (and likely would’ve been more so had I been taking care of my undiagnosed anxiety at the time, but who’s got time to go into that?). But I was in a place where I could quit my job, and it just seemed so much easier. And then I blinked twice and 15 years had passed.
There is, of course, no way to know if things could’ve played out differently. I am where I am. It is what it is. And all that other nonsense. My less than pleasant memories about being a working mom to young children could very well just be me wanting to blame my current discomfort on something. In fact, I’m certain that’s what’s happening here. Because I had exactly zero intentions of writing about maternity leave when I sat down here.