Bitter Betty

I’ve come to realize that I have serious issues with trusting anyone. Sadly, though I think I’ve been this way for a while, it’s only recently that I’ve realized the extent to which it affects my life.

I don’t trust people. I don’t. When people speak to me, I hear the words they’re saying and I don’t accept them. Why? Because they don’t mean anything to me. Call that jaded, call that whatever you please, but the truth is that everybody lies. They lie, misinform, mishandle the truth, and they expect you to believe it.

I don’t know why it is that so many people lie to me. Perhaps they think I’m incredibly naive, or perhaps they just don’t care about me at all… whatever it is, I seem to walk around with a ‘Lie to Me’ stamp on my forehead.

There comes a certain point in life that you’ve been lied to so many times, it won’t matter if someone speaks the truth. It just won’t matter anymore.


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Adventures in job hunting

Shortly after I was fired from my last position I applied for a relatively large position within a relatively large company that’s head offices are in Canada but operates in 80 different countries.

In late January they contacted me to let me know they were considering me for the position and would like to have a phone interview. I know, amazing! Right?

I said Yes. We set a date for a phone interview, which happened to be the next day. I chatted with the HR Manager, and wowed him (or at least I thought that I did) so much so that he was talking about plane tickets to come for an interview and asked me if I could do a skype call with the Department head.

I said sure!

Another HR Manager contacted me one hour later. She wanted to set up a meeting via skype with the department head. I said ‘I am free, WHENEVER!’ Well, I said it with pizzazz, but without desperation. I was excited. The prospect of landing a job like this made me feel as though I’d be on an upward swing.

I had the Skype Meeting with the department head and I thought that it went really great. We chatted for quite a long time and she asked me everything under the sun. I thought I rocked it.

Given how good my chat with the HR Manager went in the morning, I thought they were, for sure, going to invite me out for an in-person interview.

The second HR Manager, the one who set up the meeting with the department head, told me ‘we’ll be in touch’.

A week went by, heard nothing. I sent a nice, polite, email asking if they wanted references. The second HR Manager said ‘we’ll be in touch’.

Another week went by. At this point I thought ‘I obviously am no longer being considered.’ I was bummed, but, the thing about job hunting is that you get used to rejection for no reason, and to companies unwilling to communicate with you about it.

Finally, three and a half weeks after my phone and skype interviews, I got an email from the second HR Manager that said ‘Thanks for your time Victoria, we’ve already hired for this position’.

I asked for some feedback of what I could do better next time around and I got nothing from her. I wasn’t surprised by this, but I had to try.

Naturally I was disappointed. This was going to be my upward swing. That being said, I needed to continue with my drawing board. For this whole three and a half week period I was applying for other jobs so I just told myself that I needed to continue that.

Last week, for shits and giggles, I submitted my resume to the “General Submission of Resume” section of their website.

I didn’t expect anything to come from it. I more-so just wanted to remind them of who they passed up.

Last night I got an email from the second HR Manager. The one who didn’t communicate with me for three weeks on end. She said ‘Thanks for applying for ‘said position I applied for in January’, we’d like to know if you’d be available for an interview next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Confused, because I’d already been passed up for this position and, this time around, submitted my resume to general submission, I immediately thought ‘They don’t remember interviewing me!’

I emailed her back and said ‘Just to clarify, because I submitted my resume to the general submision section, is this the position that I was interviewed for in late January/early February?’

I got an email back this morning that says ‘Right, Victoria! I will remind the department head that they’ve already interviewed you and ask if they’d like to do a second interview and that we can skip the first.”

THEY TOTALLY DIDN’T REMEMBER THEY’D INTERVIEWED ME.

THEY ALSO TOLD ME THEY’D HIRED FOR A POSITION THEY NEVER HIRED FOR.

WHY?

WHY?

WHY?

WHAT’S THE POINT IN LYING? You could have just told me the truth… you weren’t hiring.

Also, if I wasn’t qualified for this job (in your opinion) for you a month and a half ago, why would you consider me qualified now?

Ups and downs of anxiety

Out of nowhere last night a massive anxiety attack took over and I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I started wiping away little tears quickly to try and not let anyone notice that I was crying, though I felt that at any second I could burst out into full on tears, bawling my eyes out. The worst part of the situation was that I had no idea why.

Things were great yesterday! I had a really, really nice day. Right around the time we started making dinner though, I started feeling uneasy. Something just felt off. I think a part of me started fearing that something bad was about to happen – but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

That’s where I struggle with anxiety most. There are times when I get anxious and I have a clear, concise indication of what is making me anxious. Then, there are times that I get anxious where I really don’t understand what is wrong. Yes, I do have a few more stresses in my life right now than I would like, but we all have to play the cards we’re dealt in life. I just wish when things like this happened that I knew what was the cause. Because at least, if I knew what the cause was, I could take steps to try and fix it.

So many people in this world suffer from anxiety, and I know that. Last night though, last night was one of those nights where I just felt as though I was alone in the universe. I guess that’s how it goes, though. There’s ups and downs and you just have to roll with the punches.

Do not let your fire go out.

A lonely, naive, younger version of myself once read a quote in a book that has been turning over in my mind ever since.

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”

Les Brown

If ever there were motivation to lead a full life, to not question your capabilities and to chase your dreams, this is it. Reading this was just so sad. It’s absolutely true, which I think is why it’s so sad.

So many people don’t go after what they want in life because they’re conditioned to a life of security and conformity. They believe that what they have is all they will ever get. At the same time so many people don’t go after what they want in life because they’re afraid of the uncertain, the unknown and believe that all that could be out there for them is pain.

When I think of all of the reasons to not try – things that aren’t always within someone’s control, I can’t help but think there are so many more reasons to try.

There are days when my anxiety is absolutely debilitating, and I know I am not the only one to feel that way. And there are people in this world who are really suffering horrendous situations that I could not fathom, nor understand. But, they’re still trying. And me, I’m going to keep going. Even when my anxiety is telling me to not get out of bed. I don’t want to be one of those lost souls in the graveyard with the unwritten book. And I don’t want to think about all of the unmet potential laying in graveyards around the world. I want to be known for encouraging my friends and family to go after what they want in life.

So, to follow up one sad but true quote with a powerful and true quote, the moral of this story is:

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours.

Ayn Rand

Anxious, uneasy and frustrated.

I’m anxious.

My mind won’t calm down, no matter what I do. I start by asking myself questions about what arrangement is correct for my cover-letter and my thoughts quickly spiral into asking what happens if my mom’s treatments don’t take. To say it’s out of control would be an understatement and there’s really nothing that I can do about it.

I’m uneasy.

It’s difficult trying to play-the-game in a world that seems anything but fair or realistic. What’s really easy for me these days is feeling like I am the problem. Feeling like there is something wrong with me, that is something that I can’t shake.

I’m frustrated.

This situation that I’m presently in is weighing on my heart. I want my own space. I want to know that the future is going to be positive. I want a sign of when this is all going to be over and when I can breathe easy again. There’s this weight that’s permanently hanging over me, the weight of depression, slowly eating away at my happy moments each and every day. I don’t want to continue like this because I don’t know how long it’s going to be before my happiness disappears all together.

I realize this sounds exceptionally dramatic. I’m not even trying to be that way, it’s just how today is happening for me. Nothing seems like a small deal and everything feels as though I need to conquer the world to make it through.

Maybe I am the problem. Maybe I am not supposed to be happy. Maybe this is as good as it gets. It sucks that I’m really starting to believe myself when I say that.

Applying for jobs is a frustrating process.

I miss the days when you could walk into a place of employment and ask for an application. The wonderful soul working there would hand you a piece of paper and you could fill it out. That’s it, that’s all. And then, your ability to get an interview was measured based off what was listed on your application.

Those were the good ole days.

Yesterday I spent one hour and fourteen minutes submitting an application for ONE PLACE. ONE PLACE. They had my resume and cover letter submitted through LinkedIn. Once that was submitted I was sent an email exclaiming that I needed to “apply” and that those who applied had a 60% higher chance of getting an interview.

I thought that I had applied – silly me.

Nevertheless, I bit the bullet, clicked the link and started to ‘apply’. What followed was more than thirty minutes of every question that could, and should, actually be asked during a job interview. What would you bring to our team culture? If we have a staff game night, what game are you bringing? What is your biggest weakeness? And on, and on, and on.

This got me thinking… if you’re asking these questions to candidates during the application process, what do you actually ask during a job interview? Or do you even host an interview? Maybe you just make candidates jump through so many hoops that whoever is left standing at the end, you think ‘yeah, they put up with all that shit, we better hire them’.

Following the thirty minutes of job interview questions that I had to fill out, I thought ‘I’m done. Thank goodness’. I went on to researching more positions I’m qualified for and just a few short minutes later heard my phone beep with the email noise.

It was this company, again.

‘Please complete the pre-interview cognitive assessment test’, the email read. ‘Candidates who complete this test prove they’re intelligence and ability to work and therefore have advantages over candidates who don’t complete this assessment.’

Well, shit. I don’t want to have gotten this far into it and not completed the application now. So, I caved… clicked the link and started the test.

What I got was thirty minutes of infuriating math and pattern questions that have nothing to do with marketing, communications or public relations. My ability to determine what symbol comes next after a row of 20 symbols, that’s going to make me a better public relations specialist? My ability to remember the ‘FOIL’ technique to do timed math equations, that is going to make me a better marketer?

I don’t understand this company. I don’t. An ability to answer math questions or complete pattern recognition does not measure my culpability in an office environment. It does not tell you if I can write press releases, it does not explain whether or not I can handle stress. It tells you that I paid attention in math class when I was in school.

Job hunting is infuriating. When did it get this why? Why did it get this way? What is the point of even having a resume and cover letter anymore if all that really matters is how well you can jump through these hoops for a potential employer? What is my actual education and experience worth right now if pattern recognition is what makes me a beneficial employee to an organization?

I’m ranting. I know that. I know that I just need to suck it up and deal with it. I swear though, I swear right now that if I ever become a hiring manager or have a role that involves being a part of the hiring process in an organization EVER, I will make it simple. It will be basic. We will measure candidates for their qualifications and their education and we will be efficient. I’m not going to waste the time of job hunters. That pisses me off. I will do it better.

Okay, I better go back to my job hunting now. Crossing my fingers that it’s a little less infuriating today.

Side note – is instagram down right now? I can’t get on mine at all today. Or perhaps, maybe my account got blacklisted? I don’t know.

Okay, bye.