Posts Tagged ‘Journalism’

Jobs, California Style

August 31, 2010 1 comment

Today is Aug. 31st, 2010, which means I’ve been unemployed for a week now. (Insert sarcastic gasp.) I’m aware that going jobless for a week isn’t a huge deal, but WOW has it felt like longer than seven days. I really believed I knew the true severity of this down economy back when I had a job, in Vermont. That reminds me, there’s some stuff I should fill you in on first …

It was three weeks ago Thursday that my girlfriend and I moved into our not-so-quaint San Diego apartment. We hadn’t lived in SoCal more than a few days before I was offered a “marketing” job with a kind-of-local company. Eager to get working right away, and at the same time feeling slightly holier-than-thou for getting a job so quickly in such a bad economy, I accepted a job that, at heart, I knew I was going to hate.

Here’s the thing I didn’t know about marketing (OK, there’s ALOT I didn’t know about marketing, but this was the biggy): apparently, “marketing” is actually a nice word for “sales,” which most of us can agree is sort of a sleazy word. And this job entailed door-to-door, cold-calling “marketing.” (i.e. sales) And once I learned that this job was solely commission-based, and that finding a buyer for our particular products (I won’t get specific but, think of The Office) was like pulling a stuffed animal out of one of those 50-cent machines at Friendly’s – basically a 1-in-100 chance, with no guarantees – well let’s just say I realized that this was NOT what I moved across the country for.

Wait a second, you mean marketing isn’t anything like ‘Mad Men?’ We’re not going to smoke and drink and commit adultery in expensive suits all day? Or come up with catchy slogans or groundbreaking advertising campaigns? Whhhaattt?

Yes, I was bummed. However, I am also stubborn, and can’t really remember quitting much of anything in my life (it’s a flaw of mine), so I gave it a week. And then, after completing training, and on the day when I was actually set up to potentially earn some money, I woke up, looked in the mirror, and decided there was no way in hell I was going to make it through one more full day of “marketing” door-to-door. So I quit. And that was a week ago today. And you’re not going to believe it (alright, you probably will), but I still haven’t found a replacement job.

You see, I always scoffed when people asked me what I was going to do with my English degree. I had a pretty clear picture, actually, and I didn’t find it remotely unreasonable – I wasn’t planning on winning a Pulitzer writing for the NYT like, tomorrow or anything like that. But I did imagine I could get in on the bottom of the totem pole at a small magazine or community newspaper, maybe write part-time and work my way up. And I knew I couldn’t realistically do this in Vermont, despite an editorial background (albeit it small) and the successful completion of a pair of journalism internships. So I took a risk and came to San Diego. And I can barely get a call back … Yikes.

So, with a long story to tell and no real outlet with which to tell it, I have started a blog. The subject will be sort of broad and obscure, but I promise to update my job search on a daily basis, and I also promise not to bitch and moan (and I apologize if parts of the narrative of this particular prose come off as such – I promise to do better!) about my not-quite-taking-off career. But dammit, I love to write, and write I will. Whether anybody intends to read it or not …

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