The desire for something different

Humans need variety. If we didn’t need variety, we wouldn’t need our eyes or our hearing or our touch, not in a modern sense anyway. Those things, the things that push us in modern life to find something that sparks the new in our souls, would simply become useless tools. Without the desire to have difference, we could devolve into slugs that consumed on the way to the grave, knowing where we needed to go to eat, to sleep, to heal. We do need variety, we need it bad, because we have the plague of boredom, an affliction that simply will not disappear.

I need variety, but I do not like seeking variety, or at least I don’t think I like to. I like my routine. It’s comfortable, and when I leave the house, I know it will be there when I return. A standby in the clearest sense of the word. I have sought out difference, but only to be something different, not to fill the need to be entertained. One of these quests has been to find a different job. I have never liked to work; I think I am above it because I can see myself not having money and being able to provide for myself. I am not above it because I am royalty or anything.

To get a job, to seek this difference in my life, I did like everyone else did. I took the bus into some sort of retail sector and walked store to store, gathering applications. Some were like others, some were just stock that you buy from the human resources store, some actually had thought put into them because they wanted someone that put thought into what they did. I suspect that most of the places I was applying to didn’t want thinking at all, they wanted a body. This, I have come to realize later in life, is the difference between a job and a career, but even that can be argued. They all seemed the same to me as I sat and filled them out.

If for some reason you looked good on paper, you would get a telephone call from the manager and they would want to chat. This first call makes sense. If you don’t know how to talk to strangers, they you are probably no good for business. If you have a desirable skill, then people seek you out and you never fill out those stupid applications. The first conversation is important. You can’t say anything stupid, and you have to slow down your words so you can think about each answer, each joke, each reference. I was sitting in a face to face interview once and I kept lying about this and that (you have to lie in order to impress, it is just the rule), and I was asked about some book that I had mentioned. The woman interviewing me seemed abnormally crafty, so I could tell she was grilling me to see if I was bullshitting her. I made up a title, she wrote it down and they gave the job to someone else.

Face to face interviews are more of a gauntlet to run than a conversation about the job. In the telephone portion, you can chat, you can joke, and there is no love lost if nothing comes of the conversation. You hang up the phone and wait. When you go in, you are on the next step, but you have to do so much more. You have to dress up. This is where I feel like I have lost jobs. I have a fucking power suit or whatever, but no one has a power face. If you have acne or are months from your last haircut, the impression you make might be the nail in your coffin, placed there by you alone. You also have to act natural, or act naturally in a way that makes you seem normal. If you shaken by lack of money because you have no job, you might slip and say something out of the ordinary and then lose the job. You might swear like you normally do, you might use blue humor. These are all ways to do something stupid and continue on the quest for work.

Some of the best job interviews I have been on have been for jobs that I didn’t want/need. This is where I was out seeking difference. I would spread the net and when a fish came back, then I would have my fun before throwing it back. My current position was a great interview. I even flirted with my future boss a tiny bit, just to see if I could get away with subtleness and manipulation. She asked me questions and I was attentive and polite, and maybe a bit dashing with my smile. When I walked out of the job, I grinned, feeling that I had lost nothing. I ended up with the job.

Other job interviews I have been on have been bizarre. I was looking for a job, which pushed me past the anxiety and panic of just not showing up somewhere. This was for the need of money, and I still feel personally attacked when I go to job interviews out of need. Sometimes it is just my sensitivity to the situation, and sometimes the interviewers feel a certain liberty with desperate people. I had one interview with some very nice people at a software company, an interview that I felt comfortable in. The people that I was to be working with were talkative and receptive to my jokes, but when they brought in an executive member of the company for additional time, I felt attacked. This executive started to ask me what my trajectory through life was, beginning with my pre-college years. He wrote everything down, as if somehow my narrative would disqualify me for a position I was overqualified for.

Either way, finding a way to support yourself in this society is difficult. I listen to people opine on why certain types of people just don’t go out and get jobs. Getting a job is the problem, not having a job and working and supporting yourself. It’s all a potful game that is horrible to play. Yet, food doesn’t fall from the skys.

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