Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Take That Job

Seconds Before Wipe Out
Seconds Before Wipe Out
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.
My husband and I have been singularly fortunate in our employment timing. We left the United States just as the economy began to unravel, and we have largely been able to avoid the very real angst and frustration that resulted. Friends and family struggled to keep it together, find work, pay the mortgage, keep going, adjust to the new conditions, while we cruised in our bubble of semi-retired self-indulgence. So it is with a wry understanding of how lucky we've been to date that I begin my whine about getting a job in New Zealand.

Let us first state the obvious -- I am not whinging about getting a job. I am obviously whinging about not getting a job. Here is Toast pitching a tantrum and stamping her feet because nobody wants to fork over large amounts of money for the privilege of hiring an immigrant, female Yank with weak recent employment history in a difficult, tight market. Stamp stamp stamp…. why not?! Stamp stamp stamp…. really… why not?! Of course, the obvious answer to that question is that I'm an immigrant, female Yank with weak recent employment history in a country which doesn't have an enormous technology sector to start and which is further beaten down by the global economic melt down. Moreover, I know not a single soul locally who can, in a feat of professional nepotism, leap me over otherwise qualified Kiwis to pull me into the fold.

Even if I could find a sugar daddy with the perfect job, the family engages in a collective gasp of horror at the thought of mommy leaving the house at 6:00 AM every morning to shlep for an hour into the central business district, returning at approximately lights out. Let me give you an example of how spoiled the family has become. In a fit of frustration last week, I walked into a local Curves franchise and applied as a coach. I didn't even ask what it paid. I'm just so sick of sitting in Chicken House emailing resumes into /dev/null I was ready to do anything. I was hired right there on the spot. Four days a week, 2 to 6.

DrC and the girls pitched a fit. "No. You can't do that, Mum!" cried the girls. "Really, Toast. The hours are just not going to work," said DrC.

Oh for cripies sakes, people. Cut me a break… So back to Curves I went and reluctantly told the owner that the family had vetoed the job. She was surprisingly gracious and put me on the short list to receive a call when a morning shift opens up… though I got the impression that would be at approximately the same moment as pigs flew out of the prime minister's ass. So now in addition to: not in the central business district, part time, and not involving medical experimentation, I have to add the restriction "only between the hours of 8 AM and 3 PM." At this rate, I will absolutely never find work in New Zealand.

"Do you think I'll ever get a job?" I moan to DrC.

"Well…," he temporizes. This question probably bears a strong similarity to the perennial minefield surrounding, "Do I look fat in this?"

The difference between positivism and optimism is as follows: Optimists assume that good things will happen. Positivists assume they always know what is going to happen. "I am positive I am not going to find a job." I'm stepping to the plate, accepting reality, skipping the grief and denial phases entirely, and getting into mad and whatever the hell happens next. "This just isn't going to work. Or I'm not going to work. Whatever."

"Um…" DrC's waxing particularly articulate this morning.

"I'm done with this shit," I declare with another vicious wave of positivist thinking. "Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse means we are flexible!" DrC winces. "Adaptable!" I'm getting louder. "Ready to do whatever it takes!!"

DrC covers his ear with one hand to protect it from my strongly positive thinking, "So…"
Always Helpful
Always Helpful
Originally uploaded by toastfloats.

"So I'm done. I'm going to get a job answering phones four hours a day so I don't go out of my flippin' mind stuck in Chicken House, and I'll spend the rest of my time working on that d* book."

"What d* book?"

"The d* book everyone keeps telling me to write." With this declaration, I spin the van into a parking spot and practically push him out the door, "Go to work. I've got stuff to do."

Bemused, DrC climbs out of the van, his parting blessing, "You know I'll love you no matter what you decide."

Muttering, I zoom off, "You're d* right you love me no matter what, or I wouldn't be here in the Antipodes baking cookies and dropping my man off at the Kiss and Ride…"


El JoPe Magnifico said...

If I pre-order the book now, do I get a steep discount? *ducks*

inklenaomi said...

Book? Does this mean you need your bookmark? :o)

G said...

what about applying at the kids school for teachers assistant? You have lots of experience teaching kids......

Toast said...

@glowgirl NZ has VERY strict rules regarding education. Don't even get me started on how difficult it is to get "permission" to homeschool your own kids. It is a good idea for the States, however, and something I would seriously consider if we ever go back.

Mama Worker Bee said...

Thank god! I'm ready to read the book NOW (stomp feet). How long will it take you toast assuming you keep to your 9-3 schedule? ; )

Anonymous said...

Does NZ have the equivalent of Power & Sail? You are certainly able to give a course on offshore, provisioning etc. (it probably would be at night though). Or do the club, boat show, circuit giving presentations.
To be honest, the first thought that came to my mind was that you could start your own business. In whatever... You are the right person for it.

best of luck

liz (from Caps and Ads many moons ago)