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Mama’s going back to work (maybe)

  • November 9, 2008

I’m thinking about getting a job”, I told Dave.
“Why do you want to get a job?” he asked.
“Uh, because we keep discussing how thanks to this shitty economy you may lose yours. And because they’ve already laid off 45 people in your department. And they’ve taken away your holiday gift boxes, summer ticket to fun, and no one will get a merit raise in 2009. Ringin’ a bell yet?”
“Well at least I have 6 months of severance. We’ll be OK for a while.”
“Yeah I know, I just thought I’d get my resume out there so if something happens, I’ll be prepared.”

Once upon a time, before babies started coming out of me, I used to work as a headhunter/IT recruiter. For the most part I enjoyed it. I’ll be honest though, I’m not (gasp!) very career driven. I always had to stop myself from rolling my eyes in meetings when someone would get all passionate about whatever lame thing we were there to discuss. I almost always doodled or daydreamed during these meetings. I think it’s safe to say that being a stay at home mom was something I liked a whole lot better than corporate America.

But last spring I thought it would be a good idea to start doing some freelance headhunting for no other reason than I could work from home and the potential income is pretty lucrative. I designed some cute little business cards on the Internet and bam! I was in business. It went OK for a while but then school let out and I got tired of making marketing calls in the bathroom because it was the only place I could sort of guarantee whoever I was calling wouldn’t hear my offspring trying to kill each other in the next room. I decided it was better for everyone, and certainly for the kids’ safety if I just tabled everything until school started.

But when school started I didn’t really have the drive I had before. For the first time in 9 years I could do whatever I wanted. And apparently I wanted to do, well, anything other than work. Plus, when I started making a few calls again I found I was treated slightly worse than your average telemarketer. Even though I’ve always felt I have a pretty thick skin, I really hated how bitchy they were to me.

So I decided to visit a headhunter (which was really weird because my business cards say I AM A HEADHUNTER) to see if there might be a contract IT Recruiter position available and I could work during the hours the kids are at school. And I read somewhere, or made it up, that former stay at home moms who wanted to return to the work force were a very valuable part of a previously untapped labor pool. Just like senior citizens! Remember those McDonald’s commercials that used to air a long time ago where they tried to convince senior citizens that retirement sucked and they should really work part time at McDonald’s? And they showed this nice little old man and he was all smiley about getting the chance to work there? However I feel it necessary to mention that my husband, my sister, and my BFF Amy all worked at McDonald’s and all three of them will tell you it was the worst job they’ve ever had. In fact, 2 of the 3 of them may have stormed out in a big hissy fit (one was Dave) while wearing their fugly polyester uniform. ***As a side note I did not work at McDonald’s. I chose instead to work at the cool Scoops Ice Cream and Potato Bar (preen). My only uniform was a stupid hat that I refused to wear. I may or may not have gotten some of my hair into your food. I am not sorry.

Oh Christ what the hell was my point and what was I talking about? Possibly I have housewife ADD from being forced to multitask endlessly over the last 9 years.

So I made an appointment with the headhunter, shoved my resume into an old portfolio, and went off to see what my options were.

She kept me waiting for a good 20 minutes in the lobby. When she finally came out she introduced herself and took me back to a conference room. She then tried to tell me again about a job she already told me about on the phone when I called to make the appointment. I had to tell her again that I was probably not qualified for the position considering I didn’t have the amount of experience they were looking for. Which, since I had already e-mailed her my resume I thought she might have figured out.

I told her that I didn’t really want to go downtown (because of the longer commute and the fact that Dave already drives downtown every day and it would be nice not to give all our money to the oil companies) and I hoped to find a contract position that would allow me to start early enough so that I could be done in time to beat the school bus back home. She asked if she should still call me if she had an opening that was downtown and didn’t have flexible hours and I said “sure.” Because frankly, you just never know.

So one day this week it was brought to my attention (by my friend Paige) that my headhunter’s firm had an opening on their web site for a contract recruiter. Right away I e-mailed my headhunter to see if I was qualified for this position and if so, to let her know that I’d like to hear more about it. Four days went by and since she still hadn’t responded to my e-mail I called her office and asked to speak with her. I got her voice mail, told her I was calling to follow up on my e-mail, and asked her to call me at home or on my cell phone. I called first thing in the morning and waited all day for her to call me back, and so far I haven’t heard from her. I called again the following week and she still hasn’t found it necessary to call me back. And P.S.? That pisses me off. Maybe I’m just flat out not qualified for the position (but, seriously, just call me and tell me) or maybe my headhunter has bad time management skills and she’s planning on calling me back around the 12th of never. Whatever. But when she does call me back? I’ll tell her McDonald’s was hiring.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

  • November 8, 2008

During yesterday’s sloth fest I had the opportunity to watch one of my very favorite reality shows that I DVR’d on Tuesday, The Real Housewives of Atlanta or as I like to call that whole franchise, The Real Housewives of Crack Whore County.

I don’t even know where to start. And I beg of you, if you’re not already watching this train wreck of a show set those Tivo’s NOW!

First of all, I have never seen this level of vapidity and narcissism, even on the show that started it all, The Real Housewives of Orange County or it’s spin-off The Real Housewives of New York City, AKA, let’s ratchet this shit up a notch so we’re the only franchise being discussed around the water cooler.

Anyway, Tuesday’s episode was Kim centric which pleased me greatly because she is the bobble head with the bad weave that I most enjoy watching right now. When she announced the other day that she was 29 and looked “damn good” I actually snorted. She has celebrated her 29th birthday about 7 times. And for the record, Dave has been sucked into the vortex of this show with me but will probably vehemently deny it if anyone should ask.

Kim lives with a sugar daddy she affectionately refers to as Big Poppa. Big Poppa refuses to appear on camera and Dave and I have a few theories about that. Dave thinks Big Poppa is a huge, black, possibly retired, professional athlete. I think it’s Ted Turner. Oh come on, he lives in Atlanta, he’s rich, and he looks mean. And the reason I think it’s necessary to point out that he looks mean is because whoever Big Poppa is, he certainly is not going to win boyfriend of the year. If he were a nice guy, and really loved bobble head Kim with the bad weave, he would never, ever have agreed to bankroll her dream of becoming a country singer. BECAUSE SHE CAN’T SING. Surely he has heard her humming along with the radio. What kind of diabolical person would go as far as to contact a well-known producer and get them to let Kim go to their recording studio? And sing! Had Big Poppa not one inkling of how that would turn out? Does he not care? Are record producers in fact miracle workers? Big Poppa I think all of America and I feel you have some ‘splainin to do.

Then, and I crack up just thinking about it, there was a part in the episode when bobble head Kim with the bad weave meets with a vocal coach. She has trouble matching her voice to the notes the coach plays on the piano. She is obviously frustrated at having to do this and wants to know how it, like, comes into play when recording in the studio. Um, bobble head Kim with the bad weave, it’s VERY IMPORTANT because without that ability, your voice will sound like shit.

When she starts singing it is so cringe-worthy I actually want to mute it and run out of the room screaming. No one can be this clueless about their singing ability, or lack thereof.

I hope that by next week bobble head Kim has pulled her bad weave out of her ass and waved the white flag on a singing career. I’m pretty sure I will be disappointed.

My Funky Toenail, Part I

  • November 7, 2008

“I think there’s something wrong with my toenail,” I whisper to Dave. I’m sitting on the couch 17 months pregnant contemplating my horrendous lack of pedicure ( which is second only to my overgrown bikini area that resulted in Dave pointing and shouting “oh my God!” when I was walking around in my maternity underwear).

“Why do you think there’s something wrong with your toenail?” he asks.

“Because both the OB/GYN and my regular doctor say I have the fungus, you know the one where in that commercial that I can’t ever watch now those little monster guys pry up the toenail and jump in?” (Whisper) “I have that.”

Between the bitchiness, the bikini line, and now fungus, I would not hold it against my husband if he CUT AND RAN right now. The fact that he didn’t is either a testament to his love and loyalty or his laziness. Either way, I’m pretty sure I don’t deserve him.

“So what are you going to do”, he asks.

“Well, apparently I have to wait until this kid finally decides to come out and I’m done breastfeeding. The drug I’ll have to take to get rid of it has some pretty bad side effects like growing a third eyeball or something. But I really wanted to get a pedicure so that my 9 other beautiful toes can distract the medical staff from the horror going on down in cooterland.”

“Then just go get a pedicure, for God’s sake. You know they’ve seen it all”, Dave says.

“Yes, but this time I will be bringing some of the “seen it all” with me because it’s actually on MY TOE.”

“Do you really care what they think at the nail place? You know they don’t speak English anyway.”

“No (yes) I don’t care. And besides, if they don’t speak English they can RIDICULE me the whole time I’m there and I won’t even know if they’re talking smack about me.”

“I’m sure they won’t even notice.”

“Yeah, you’re right. I’m just going to go get it over with.”

I sail (waddle) in to Top Nails as if I haven’t a care in the world. I decide to get the whole shebang and notify the 9-year-old girl behind the counter that I’d like a manicure and pedicure. A voice at the back of the salon starts screaming, “pick color, pick color! She truly must have bionic ears because I can’t even believe she heard me from way back there. I pick out a dark color I will later decide I hate and sit down to wait my turn.

The only fat Asian woman I have ever seen (although in my pregnant glory I am still fatter) motions me over to her station and begins making small talk. Even though I am often guilty of total verbal diarrhea, this woman speaks more in the first five minutes than I have ever heard any of the employees speak ALL TOGETHER in the year I have been coming here.

Her: “So, how much weight you gain?”
Me: “What????”
Her: “What your husband do”
Me: “What????”
Her: “You want me to keep pinky finger long to pick booger???”
Me: (Thinking) where the eff are the Candid Camera people because
Her: “He, he, yeah I wonder who will do your pedicure – I saw your feet when you came in.”
Me: Looking around for cameras, wondering if anyone else will notice the hell I’m in and come replace this psycho broad with a normal employee. Bring on the 9-year-old girl, she can do my feet.
Her: “All done. Oops. Looks like everyone is busy. I do your feet now.”
Me: “Of course.”

Maybe she won’t say anything about my toe, maybe she won’t say anything about my toe, maybe she won’t say anything about my toe…..

Her: “Ooooooh, you got that fungus don’t you.”
Me: (Whimpering) “Yes.”
Her: “Yeah, we see all the time.”
Me: (LIGHTBULB) “Really? You see this all time huh? Then it’s quite possible I now know where I got it!”

She finished, I paid, and then I made as dignified an exit as I could while 17 months pregnant wearing flimsy (probably pre-used) nail salon flip-flops.

I’m not sure but I think there might have been some cackling going on when I left and that’s something that sounds the same now matter what your native tongue.

Don’t hate me because I’m lazy

  • November 7, 2008

My motivation and efficiency is at an all time low. How is it that I get less done now, with both kids in school, then I did when I had a toddler and a newborn clinging to me for the better part of a day? I could nurse my daughter on my left boob, turn the pages of my son’s book with my right hand, get dinner on the table, pay the bills, pick up the dry cleaning, buy the groceries, work out, and shower but I cannot accomplish even half that now? It just goes to show that if you want something done you need to ask a busy person. And right now? That person is not me.

Lately my slovenly habits include blowing off the gym and settling in on the couch after I put the kids on the bus to read magazines, newspapers, and books while simultaneously watching DVR’d episodes of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I’ve started jumping off the couch after an hour or two looking around in a panic wondering if Dave’s installed a housewife – cam and is in fact watching streaming video of me sitting on my ass.

However this morning I got all “efficienty” and announced I’d take Matthew’s bike to the bike shop for repair and would replace the water filter on our refrigerator. But sadly there’s not enough meth in Iowa to get me to hustle right out for those errands.

So, finally, at noon I decided to shower and get going. First things first, I need to get Matthew’s bike off the hook thingy it’s hanging on in the garage. I lift it up and promptly get smacked in the face with the tire. An F bomb may or may not have been dropped. I manhandle the bike into the back of my mommy – mobile (SUV not minivan) and off I go.

When I reach the bike place I inexplicably morph into one of those women I hate. I start talking to the bike guy and I’m using phrases like “the gear dealio isn’t working because something might have poked through that spoke right there and done something bad.” I tell him I don’t know for sure because it was my husband on the bike ride with Matthew and not me (so now he also knows I’m lazy). Then, for the piece de résistance as he’s trying to decipher my psychobabble I triumphantly pull my cell phone out and announce “I can call my husband at work if you want me to.” Luckily he was a very nice senior citizen bike shop owner and he sent me on my way with promises to call very soon and let us know about the bike. And I’m thinking he’ll probably ask to speak with DAVE and not me.

So, off to Lowe’s for the other exciting errand on my list. I find a really close parking spot so God forbid I don’t even have to accidentally exercise today and head in. I congratulate myself on finding the right department without having to ask someone and I march up and interrupt the conversation of the three Lowe’s employees who are standing around chatting.

I pull the old filter (which I’ve intelligently stuck inside a big Ziploc bag so as not to get the inside of my purse icky) out and tell the Lowe’s employee (who obviously got the short straw) that I need one JUST LIKE THIS. I figure they will totally appreciate my visual aid and will not have to listen to me blather on about serial or model numbers.

He immediately takes me to the display where I question him briefly about the fact that this filter does not look EXACTLY like my filter and in return have to hear some drivel about Kitchen Aid and Whirlpool. When he’s convinced me I have the right filter I head to one of the only two checkout lanes with their lights on at Lowe’s.

Ahead of me is a very senior citizen (what, is Tuesday senior citizen day or something? I actually think it might be) with a big old flatbed full of shit. He’s really old and looks like he might have trouble with the checkout process so I’m all (sigh) this is going to take forever (sigh). Now I know what you’re thinking. Why in the world am I complaining when I clearly have all day? But that’s where you’d be wrong because instead of leaving the house right after my shower I sat down on the couch to read some more and now mama’s on a deadline to make it home before the school bus.

I cleverly and efficiently leave the checkout lane to go to the one next to me, figuring this one will move along faster. I am wrong. The senior citizen in this lane has bought something that has “Kathy” the cashier in a big lather because she keeps scanning his shit and making big old sour lemon faces. She also has a huge rose tattoo on her neck that I CANNOT STOP LOOKING AT especially because Kathy is at least 55 years old and didn’t anyone warn her when she was 19 how stupid that would look in her middle age? And even though this is Iowa our turtleneck season is still not that long.

So anyway, I decide to dash back to my original lane where yet another senior citizen is writing a check. Who writes checks anymore? Oh yeah, all the senior citizens. So I stand there, foot a – tapping, waiting for him and the equally s-l-o-w Lowe’s employee to complete the transaction.

As my business is finally completed and I’m getting ready to grab my stupid filter it occurs to me that the real dumbass here is me. Not only would I have been out of Lowe’s days ago if I’d stayed in my original lane, if I was really smart I’d have bought two filters so that I wouldn’t have to repeat this shitty errand again for 6 months instead of 3.

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