A place where I can share interesting ideas and maybe get a few things off my chest

Archive for the ‘jobhunting’ Category


Since moving to Tampa in Fall 2007, I have yet to be fully, happily employed.

I have worked at a “medspa” where clients came for botox, laser rejuvenation and the like. Every time someone walked through the door, I wanted to hug her (it was usually a her) and tell her that she looked just fine! I also started looking way to closely and worrying way to much about my own signs of aging. It was not a good fit for a feminist social-worker type.

I not-briefly-enough did bookkeeping for a paranoid-schizophrenic who was suspicious of my motives in asking him about the charges on the credit card bill (so I could code them properly for the general ledger entries).

I worked several months at a local bowling alley. It was actually pretty fun, except my number of scheduled hours varied widely so I never knew what my check would look like, and I sometimes had to work as late as 3:00 a.m. Even though I’m a night owl, I’m not THAT much of a night owl.

My last job was at a call center, verifying information for private colleges on people who had expressed an interest in pursuing their education. This sounds great, right? Except that most of the people “expressed their interest” through pop-ups on job boards that they thought were part of the application process, or because they thought they were submitting their information to win a new computer, video game console, Wal-Mart gift card, etc., etc., etc. So what I initially suspected was a phone sales job, but was assured that it wasn’t, turned out to be a phone sales job. I did finally get past that, and didn’t mind the job so much, as it was only about a mile from the house, but it was less that 30 hours per week – and, oh yeah – I’m not really a sales person. It finally became apparent to both me and my employers that it was unlikely that I would be able to make their expected quotas.

So, here I am, once again job-searching. My panic has been only slightly delayed by my small tax refund. I’m trying something different, though. I’ve signed up for the volunteer training class this Saturday with Suncoast Hospice. I have applied for a couple of positions with them since I’ve moved here, but even though I have ten years social service experience, I don’t have any specific hospice experience. I thought that it would be a positive use of my time and also might segue into something more.

Tangentially, my son had a singing valentine delivered to his wife by four tuxedo-clad members of Dallas’ Vocal Majority, a very talented men’s chorus. He sent me a video, and it was wonderful. I’ve thought about doing something like that from time to time, so I searched for a Tampa women’s chorus and found Toast of Tampa, an affiliate of Sweet Adelines International. I went last night as a visitor, was voice-placed as a baritone (upper alto) and paired with a Buddy who, if I pass my audition, will be a mentor to me for the next year or so. It was wonderful to be a in group of over 100 women singing 4-part harmony and really enjoying what they were doing. The director was great, and every person I met there was very nice and very friendly. I believe I have fallen in love.

Oh – and my buddy, Liz? Turns out she’s a nurse for Suncoast Hospice.

First Official Florida Blog

We have officially landed in Oldsmar, Florida. The house we’ve rented was built around 1958, and while it feels quite spacious, the closets are pretty small, which means I have difficult clothing choices to make. *sigh* The kitchen, however, was recently redone and has great countertops, plenty of cabinets, a ceramic stovetop and a built-in microwave/convection oven, which I have become quite fond of in the past couple of weeks.

In the photos above, you can see the front of the house as we rented it, and then again after we spent this past weekend trimming back plants that had not had attention for at least a couple of years. It gives the front yard that awkward got-a-haircut-today look, but that will remedy itself in short order, and it has vastly improved our view through the dining room window.

There are many, many, many lizards in Florida. And many of them live in our yard.

I am currently job-hunting. I have had a couple of interviews, and the last one is quite promising, but I haven’t heard back from them yet, so I am still hitting the employment websites daily and sending my resume’ on ones that sound like a good fit and aren’t too far away.

Mom seems to be settling in nicely. We have cable that includes the Encore Westerns channel, and this is the one she watches most of the time. We had the movers put the comfy couch from Kerrville in the den, back by her bedroom and the office, but she prefers being in the living room, which is airier, has more light and windows from which she can watch for the mail carrier. So, we may be rethinking the use of half the rooms in the house, which will necessitate major furniture moving. Wheee!

Whichever of us gets up first gets the coffee pot started. If she gets up first, she lets me continue to sleep and does not turn on the LOUD TV until I am up. (Thank you, Mom.) If I get up first, I get the coffee started and when it is ready, I wake her up (at her standing request) for us to have coffee and read the newspaper together. By which I mean, we drink coffee, I read the newspaper, and she eats six to eight cookies and sometimes glances at the headlines of the newspaper before going into the living room to turn on the Western channel. At which point, I usually retreat to the office in the back of the house to play on the computer. The television is barely audible from back there, and if I shut the office door, I can’t hear it at all!

I have found a program here similar to the Dietert Center’s Take Five Club, but it is a little longer and costs $65 per day, so until I am working, I am reluctant to even introduce her to it, as I can’t take her now, and if she knows it costs anything, she will refuse to go at all.

So, she gets dressed so she can get the mail from the streetside mailbox, and we go grocery shopping on the weekend. She has a sandwich and chips for lunch after the noon news, and I have whatever sounds interesting whenever I finally get hungry sometime later in the afternoon. I cook dinner, either for Mother, Steve, and myself or for just Mother and me on the days he is busy with Scouting activities.

I am gradually getting the last of the boxes unpacked and things put away as I continue to wait for my new employer to call, whomever that might eventually prove to be. I know my perfect job is out there – I just hate this darned waiting part.

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