18. July 2005 · Comments Off on The Ongoing Quest for Meaningful Employment: Part the 3rd · Categories: Domestic, General, Working In A Salt Mine...

Well, as far as the continuing search for a means of affording luxury goods such as books and DVDs from Amazon, a new central heating plant and repair and repainting of the house exterior goes, this weekend defiantly saw things looking a little rosier. A bidding war for the services of your humble and obedient correspondent may be shaping up. No less than three local temp services are in play. Two of them seem to have a sideline specialty in placing very high-end and experienced executive support staff. This is not a commodity for which there is a very broad market— rather like original Chippendale furniture, Revere silver and Renoir paintings— but when one does come onto the market, those few who have the yearning need and the lucre are most desperately keen to acquire, assuming they are informed of the availability. As the staffing counselor at the first agency remarked,
“He’s terribly busy, but you’d be perfect… I am trying to get an interview set up before someone else hires you away.”

That’s a boost to the ego, anyhow you slice it. I have an interview on Thursday afternoon… I will go past the bank afterwards and deposit the paycheck from the previous employer. The fact that I closed out that office halfway through June, and yet my salary will be paid (although at a slightly diminished rate) until the end of August may be the strongest affirmation of my value, over and above said previous employer’s affirmation that I am worth my weight in gold, and my ability to find old files and seek out obscure information approaches black magic. The second agency called me in last Thursday; the senior counselor wanted me to re-write my resume, and do some re-training on various commonly used office software programs. I re-wrote on Friday, and spent this morning at their local office, running through the refresher courses, familiarizing myself with the newest versions and re-testing. Up to par after four hours in front of a computer, in a chair not nearly as comfortable as the one I had at the previous place (why didn’t I snag the chair, that last day— I could have, the boss let me take my computer!), with a slight stress headache— the senior counselor wished to put my re-written resume before a large manufacturing concern which has— with a great deal of pomp and ceremony—consented to open an operating location in San Antonio. (No, I am not going to name the company, but anyone who has followed local business news will be able to guess at it.) A position as an executive assistant/secretary would be a breathtaking leap, about as high as I would be able to go, in this sort of thing, locally. A bitch of a commute… but a hell of an opportunity… and the employee discount would be absolutely awesome.

The third agency is having me come in tomorrow, to test for computer skills, all over again. They have me in mind for a position at a local accounting firm, supporting a number of senior executives and coordinating the other staff… but of course, they want some test scores, first. (Never mind that the skills you need for this sort of thing— the ability to accurately judge people and situations, comfort in exercising authority, an encyclopedic memory and a facility with making logical connections, and the trust of those you work for— there is no real test for that kind of thing, only the hard experience.)

I would like so much to have the freedom to choose thoughtfully among available options, to be able to think about which position would be the one which would be the best match for my skills, interests and needs. More than anything else, I don’t want to have to feel rushed into accepting the first position offered, just because the bills need to be paid, and the cats’ dishes must be filled with high-quality kibble. It strikes me now, that may be the rarest freedom of all, to honestly be able to chose for whom you will work, and what are the terms of your employment.

I do need to get to work, though. The house is very clean… and I am hanging around in the neighborhood altogether too much.

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