My friends, this is is the truth and nothing but the truth. This happened to me about a week ago, and I'm still a little shocked. Not in a bad way, more like "I'm going to laugh because you all are so ridiculous" way.
Here's the story:
Monday, 6:30pm - A call from THE JOB. Can you come in for an interview TOMORROW or at the butt crack of dawn on Wednesday?
TSN: Um, hello! I applied for your job NINE weeks ago. [I said this in my head of course.] "Sure I'll come in on Wednesday at 8am."
Wednesday, 8:30am- [Middle of the Interview] Insert any ridiculously hard substantive question that you can think of for which I have absolutely NO ANSWER. Thinking I have bombed the interview, which I have to admit I almost never do (I think pretty well on my feet), I treat myself to a Starbucks. I'm also a little anoyed because I felt like I was getting a lot of substantive questions when I kept getting assured that I didn't need to have background knowledge in this particular subject area. Um...they lied.
Thursday, 6:35pm - Email from THE JOB. Please send your references. Whoa! Really? Either I'm a great bullshit artist (Thank you, expensive law degree!), or you all are a little crazy. In a few days, I will learn that it is the latter.
Friday, all day - Email THE JOB that I will send a list of references ASAP. Scramble to get references together. I didn't think I'd need them at this point, which was a bad move on my part. Have your references ready or at least have THOUGHT about them before you need them. I learned this lesson, and I am not afraid to admit it!
Monday, 9am - Send references.
Monday 11:55am - I get an email from THE JOB that essentially said this:
Thanks for your references. We've actually offered the job to someone else, and they have accepted. Would you like us to pass on your resume to another group here which does work that you are not interested in? Thanks again."
Serious paraphrase here, but you get the picture.
1) I think I didn't really want the job anyway; and
2) WHAT THE HECK?!! I don't even know where to begin.
If you were willing and able to make a decision WITHOUT speaking to my references, then why bother to ask me for them? I never expressed that I DID NOT want the job. If you were in such a rush to fill the position, and I wasn't providing information in a timely manner, TELL ME!
By my timeline, the person to whom they offered the job, either accepted on the spot or got the offer on Friday and accepted Monday morning. I would not have accepted on the spot so......
Anyway, when I got that e-mail all I could do was laugh. I mean what else was I supposed to do? In my own sick twisted little Thirty-Something Nothing way, I'm kinda GLAD I did not have to mull over whether or not to accept this job. It's a little bit far away from many of the things I'm thinking about doing next in terms of topic area (not job function though), so I am not sure I would have wanted to go in that direction. Plus, if they handled the hiring process like this, imagine what the actual job would be like. While it would be nice to say that I have a job right now, I may just have dodged a bullet. :) PHEW!!
Has anyone had any crazy situations come up during thea hiring process for a job? Did it leave you slapping or scratching your head? I'd love to hear about them!
I never thought this would happen to me, but since September I swear the whole world has decided to have babies. There have even been a few weeks where two or more babies of friends/acquaintances/random Facebook friends have been born. In addition to inducing the usual fright, hemming and hawing and my own personal inner turmoil, my personal Baby Boom has also made me think about how having children dovetails with me examining where I am in my career exploration.
I'll let you in on a secret about me: I'm pretty ambivalent about having children. Yes...I know. I feel like at "pushing 33" I should be shouting my desire from the rooftops for a baby. I'm not. In some ways, it makes me feel less womanly or like a freak, especially when I see women five to ten years younger than me proclaiming their desire to be pregnant. Part of me wishes I could be like that, but I'm not. At this point, I'm not sure if that will ever be me, and on many levels I feel like that's a bit scary. Anyhoo, I'm not getting any younger, babies are popping up everywhere in my life, and they are not going away.
I know that I'd prefer not to wait too long from now before we take the family jump. I know that there are wonderful medical advancements out there that can help alleviate fertility problems due to age or otherwise, but I don't know how I feel about those either (i.e., time, money, emotional toil vs. why not adopt a child who needs a good home?). Are you seeing a pattern of total confusion here? By the way, there are many women who conceive healthy children out there naturally or otherwise well into their forties. Jim, my husband (not his real name), has already informed me that he doesn't want to be the old man on the playground. Luckily, we live in New York City where someone who is clearly in their 40's gets called Daddy on the street pretty regularly by young children. Even knowing that I have the option to stall starting a family, I've been told that you are never really ready to have children. Apparently we're just going to have to take the plunge at some point.
Except where does this put my careers prospects? From what I am observe children are not for the faint of heart.
HOLD UP! WAIT MINUTE! Some caveats: Just to let you know, I'm going to be looking at this issue from the perspective of being a woman since, well, because I am a woman. As much as we have come far as a society, I don't still see many men struggling with whether to opt out of the workforce at some point after having children. It's not to say that there aren't men thinking about these issues, but I find them to be rare. Also I acknowledge that this is also an issue of class. Based on Jim's salary, which is sustaining us right now, we could deal with me not working BUT that presupposes that he chooses to continue with this line of work. This is not an option for many women and their families out there who are barely to make ends meet on two salaries. I just want to make sure that I acknowledge them too.
Anyway, enter the Mommy Wars which seem to be pitting women against each other based on their choices about work. It seems like a complete and total minefield: Nannies; not being able to reenter the workforce after too much time off; the costs of childcare; crappy maternity leave policies; not feeling valued because you don't work outside of the home....ACCCKKKK!!!! I'm emotionally exhausted by all of this already, and I'm not even close to being a mother!
I'm not really sure that I want to stop working after we've started a family (of course assuming we even start one, which we will...most likely). I worry about having Jim be the sole bread winner and the pressure that it could place on him. If he wants to stop his very demanding relatively lucrative job, we'll definitely need to make changes. We don't really live somewhere cheap. I hear the antidote to this to change your lifestyle or where you live. Fair enough, but we've got student loans and a mortgage and those don't go away so easily. Plus, I already lean towards the frugal side as it is. Could I be thriftier? Sure, but not by much. I've already told you that I feel kind of uncomfortable not working now. I don't see that changing too much.
I also firmly believe that I went into all of this debt and cried a few nights during law school for a reason. I know I should value education for education sake, but much of my motivation for trying to get the best education I could was to better my financial situation. Full stop. I know it doesn't sound romantic, but it's the truth. I grew up in a marginal neighborhood with a single immigrant mother. I grew up with barely just enough, and while I don't need to live a lavish life, I want to give my children a few things I didn't have and feel comfortable doing so. My mother sacrificed a lot for us to come here, and so that I could have certain opportunities. It's not to say that I can't honor and cherish that in some other ways, but I know that I am where I am because of what she did for me.
I also know that I'm contemplating a career change...umm...duh! What happens if I decide to do something that is totally brand new to me? Can I put in the man hours needed with a small child? Should I? Slogging away at a the bottom of the totem pole at a new job doesn't sound so much fun to me...period. Add a small child and OMG! Having the emotional capacity to deal with two life changes at the same time if I had to is pretty darn intimidating.
By the way, remember that job that Jim has that allows us to live comfortably? Well it requires long hours from him. Someone's gotta hold down the fort at home, and it's looking like it will be me.
Of course all of this makes me sound like the biggest narcissist that ever walked the face of the earth, but this blog is totally narcissistic anyway, right? ;)
I say this all now, but I know that it all changes when your child arrives. Maybe I'll look down at little Thirty-Something Nothing, Jr. and throw everything out of the window. I also know that this isn't an all-or-nothing zero sum game. There are many women who work out great arrangements with their jobs allowing them to have flexible schedules and lighter workloads. That being said, from what I've seen many workplaces also are NOT flexible or don't provide the opportunities to advance and take on interesting work. It seems that flexibility is a sacrifice for other things. Sigh....for such an apparently family-friendly society that we claim to be, do we really have the ability to make choices?
Anyway, this is just me rambling about babies and career stuff. I'll leave you with the trailer for the new movie "Babies", which made me melt. The four baby star/subjects are all so cute! Maybe I DO have the Mommy gene. :)