The Unbearable Banishment: I get knocked down

Friday, November 19, 2010

I get knocked down

While I’ve been gainfully employed all year, it has been as a consultant. The hourly rate is quite generous, but when you factor in the out-of-pocket expense for medical insurance and not getting paid vacation or sick days, it’s not such a great deal. Plus, they can pull the plug on me at any moment.

Early last week, out of the clear blue heavens, within an hour of each other, I received phone calls from two separate headhunters asking if I was still looking for permanent work. Hell, yes, I am. Last Thursday I called in sick (*kak* *kak* I can’t make it in), put on my best suit and went on two interviews. Months of silence and all of a sudden, two in one day.

Here’s the view out of the conference room window of my first interview. That big green patch is Central Park. The offices are on the 57th floor of Rockefeller Center.

Both interviews could not have gone any better. Both are great companies. On Tuesday, company #1 phoned and said that all hirings have been frozen until after the first of the year. Company #2 phoned yesterday and they went with another candidate. I have a colleague who works at Company #2 and he called to say they interviewed “dozens” of people and it was between me and another guy. Cold comfort.

Two years of this shit! I’m sick of it. I’m not interested in a winning lottery ticket. I just want a solid position with benefits. It that so much?

Yesterday, I received this email from one of these stupid, useless job posting sights I registered with:

Afghanistan Jobs - Plumber, HVAC, Carpenter HOT HOT HOT!

Has it come to that?

After the first interview I had some time to kill so I walked across the street to Christie's. They were in the middle of an auction; Post War and Contemporary Art (morning session). If you ever get a chance to attend one of these I highly recommend it. They’re open to the public and very exciting!

While I was standing there with my resumes, polished dress shoes, portfolio, hopeful intent and mournful look on my face, I watched someone pay $675,000 (est. $300,000 - $500,000) for one of Albers’ Homage to the Square and $480,000 (est. $150,000 - $200,000) for Warhol’s Campbell’s Tomato Juice Box which is, unbelievably, shockingly, a goddamn cardboard box that once held cans of tomato juice. I could support my family for years on $480,000. What happens when you acquire great wealth? Do you take leave of your senses or become mentally incapacitated?

I just got angry all over again while typing this out.


Blogger Kono said...

Somehow yes, i think when you acquire great wealth you lose IQ points and any sense of taste, gotta hand it to Andy though, his art may not have been great but as a businessman he was the greatest artist of all time. And good luck with the job hunting.

November 19, 2010 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Kono: The funny thing is that I quite like Warhol's work. I suppose I was in no mood to see that go down, though.

November 19, 2010 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Everyday Goddess said...

Wealth is wasted on the wealthy.

Hopefully co. #1 will snap you up in Jan.

November 19, 2010 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Not a fan of Warhol, but yeah, for some reason, he figured out how to get people to buy just about anything. A box!!!! It's obscene what rich people pay for stuff...

It's frustrating, I know. But January isn't very far away... and there's Thanksgiving and Christmas in between to break things up. And if you are still working as a consultant, at least there's food on the table and bills paid, right?

I'll cross all my crossable bits for you on that other job!!!

November 19, 2010 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

EG: That is entirely possible. We'll see. Thanks for the good wishes.

Ponita: Thank you, dear. Yes, the consulting gig seems to be an ongoing affair. At least I don't have to stress about being unemployed. Yet.

November 19, 2010 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Eryl said...

Is the box really nothing but a cardboard box that once held cans of juice? I've only seen a few original pieces of Warhol's work and I liked them all, they were actually work though, not just empty cartons.

Bummer about the jobs. We're in the same position: both husband and me working freelance where we can, while trying to make the paintball site earn, since the crash made him redundant in 2008.

I hope your current employer doesn't read this blog.

November 19, 2010 at 5:23 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

hard to reconcile the extremes of your day... seeing the luxury yachts docked outside million dollar homes when i visited my sister in Miami, i just kept asking "WHAT do these people DO?"

tis a mystery. but you got called. and you rocked it. and the sun will rise tomorrow, and you will outlast this period of instability...

November 19, 2010 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

What Ponita said. And give yourself some credit. You did jolly well. Chins up!

November 19, 2010 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Earl: My current employer can kiss my rear end. I've practically begged them to take me on board but they know my options are limited and it would be expensive to take me on staff so they don't

Daisy: I *do* get some solace from the fact that I didn't tank my interviews. I don't have a degree on my resume but I can talk a pretty good game.

Pat: Thank you. You're in a lot tougher spot than I am. I'll keep that in mind and not whine so much.

November 19, 2010 at 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I guess this means you won't be going to Afghanistan to be a porn star?

November 20, 2010 at 1:47 AM  
Blogger ~E said...

I heard that someone once paid $250,000 for a tube of Marilyn Monroe's lipstick.

A tube of USED, 50+ year old lipstick.

I wonder if the person who bought it tried some on, got a horribly infectious disease off of it and died a slow painful death.

*sigh* one can only hope.

November 20, 2010 at 3:28 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

kykn: I don't know about that. What does it pay?

E: I don't hate those idiots or wish them ill health. I suppose a lot of it is just envy. But it IS fun to ridicule them!

November 20, 2010 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger CiCi said...

Well that would be discouraging if you did not have any work at all right now. I do hope the head hunter finds more companies that you would fit with and maybe the job freeze will turn out in your favor after the first of the year.

November 20, 2010 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post

November 21, 2010 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

The process of looking for a job - whether gainfully employed or not - is soul destroying. Best of luck. x

November 21, 2010 at 7:41 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

TB: This is true and thank you for point it out. At least I still have money coming in. I know some people who aren't that lucky.

Ian: Thanks. There's plenty more where that came from.

Ellie: The problem with job hunting is that you hear "no" a hell of a lot more than you hear "yes."


November 21, 2010 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

I have a dear friend who is newly unemployed in a field where jobs are few and far between. I watched her slowly cause this action for the past two years and tried time and again to keep her from firing off inappropriate emails. She got 6months severance, including paid insurance and she's complaining that she hasn't been treated with dignity. I'm ready to strangle her.

November 21, 2010 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger healingmagichands said...

I feel that way every time I watch a car auction on the TV and people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for an old muscle car. The total yearly household income for us here is about $45,000 and we manage to pay all our bills, build equity in a property we are paying for and put some stuff into IRAs as well.

Good luck in your job hunt. I feel certain that the right place is there for you. somewhere.

December 5, 2010 at 6:38 PM  

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