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Friday, September 29, 2017

In Which I Struggle NOT To Tell The Truth

I'll get the good news out of the way first:  I'm employed full-time again!  The employer which laid me off in June asked me to return, so I'm back at the same place!  I'm just hoping not to repeat the layoff experience again in a few months!

Since there was about three months between receiving my layoff notice and returning to my office, I have some thoughts on the job-search process.  Chief among those right now is that interviews are the pits.  Of course, when you're looking for work, you want to have them.  But really, they're bad on both sides.  If you're the one being interviewed, you're going to feel anxious and awkward, and then you're going to second guess everything you said as soon as the interview is done.  If you're doing the interviewing, you're trying desperately to fill a position with someone both competent and tolerable, and you have very limited means of determining whether your applicants are either of those.

Unfortunately, the very limited means of trying to learn about an applicant often mean asking questions that are nearly impossible for the applicant to answer truthfully.

I'm going to purposely leave out a lot of details here, but I had an interview for a position for which I felt qualified, but was different in many ways from other positions I had had.  I was surprised when I was contacted for an interview.  During the interview, one person asked me how this position fit into my career goals.  An honest response would have been something like this:

"I applied for this position shortly after being laid off with no warning.  At that time, my goal of having income and benefits overrode any loftier career goals I might have had.  As a plus, this position seemed like it might be pleasant, and the office is close enough to where I take evening classes that work shouldn't interfere too much with my studies.  Otherwise, though, this position has very little to do with my current career field, and probably even less to do with my planned future career."

Obviously, there was no part of this I could have shared with my interviewers.

I don't even remember how I answered the question, but I doubt I was either convincing or credible.  They say practice makes perfect, though, so for any future interviews for positions that are not obvious career fits for me, I'll have to be sure to get my lies straight ahead of time.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Case Of The Missing Mouse

Our resident mouse lover
I've written before about common ground between humans and cats, but I've discovered another similarity!  Much like human children, cats become very attached to certain toys.  And, when said toys go missing, the entire household looks for them.

Before we brought Laila home, I purchased a variety of cat toys including a pair of catnip mice.  These mice were identical, aside from one being beige and the other being gray.  Laila took a liking to these mice, but always seemed to like the gray one better.  (Why?  I thought cats didn't see colors very well).  Her preference for the gray one seemed to grow over time.  The gray one was the one she would pick up in her mouth and meow around when she wanted attention.  It was also the one we would find outside our bedroom door some mornings, when she evidently thought we had slept in too late, and came to meow at us through the door.

When last seen, the gray mouse's feather ears had long been chewed off.  Its fur had developed a coarse texture from repeatedly being held in a cat's mouth and chewed on.  The beige mouse looks quite pristine, by comparison.

However, yesterday afternoon, I realized I hadn't seen the gray mouse in a while.  Laila considers the couch her home, and usually, the gray mouse is right there with her, except when she's playing with it.  I noticed Laila walking around, looking up on the couch, and meowing, so I think she was looking for it.  I figured it had just gotten stuck in the couch cushions, but I've looked pretty carefully and haven't found it.  We've been trying to think of more places to look, but it's hard to imagine where it could have gone.  And we're in an apartment, so there's a limited area to search.  I feel pretty bad about it, considering that it's a well-loved gross cat toy we're talking about.

I'm kind of assuming at this point that it will turn up somewhere, but I'm curious where that will be.  I'm also curious how Laila will react to it.  Will it be a joyous reunion, or will she have moved on to one of the other of her many toy mice in the meantime?