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.

Day 32: February, how did you get here so quickly?

Today is not going well for me. My anxiety is skyrocketing to the point where I’m struggling to catch my breath. What’s triggering it? It would be nice to know. How is it February already? Where is the time going and why does it feel like it’s slipping away from me faster than sand running through my fingertips?

More questions. Every time I get anxious it seems as though all I am filled with is questions. Questions, questions, questions. It’d be nice to have some answers for a change.

I don’t tell people about my anxiety. I haven’t really ever. I’m not ashamed of it, I just don’t know how to explain it. Talking about anxiety to someone who doesn’t suffer from it really doesn’t understand. Trying to answer their questions just seems like an arduous feat I’m not capable of at this stage in my life.

We’re a month into the year and all I can feel is that I don’t have my shit together.

My mom starts chemotherapy on the 7th and though I know they caught her cancer early and I know they’re incredibly optimistic she will come out of this clear and healthy, I’m still scared.

The job hunt has become more frustrating by the day. Step 1 – Upload your resume. Step 2 – Rewrite everything that is listed on your resume in our form. Step 3 – Answer a bunch of questions that we should be asking you in an interview but don’t because we’re not going to interview you. Step 4 – Waste a lot of your time.

And, for the interviews that I have had, I’m now playing the waiting game. And the waiting game sucks. Everything feels unsettled. Everything feels out of place. It’s as though the world is off-kilter and I just can’t keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. Life happens.

Waiting for this to pass. Hoping it passes soon.

I really need to stop pouring my thoughts out to the internet.

Late night thoughts: My mind won’t shut off.

It’s easier to do math with a calculator than it is to try and do it in your head. It’s easier to listen to audiobooks on your electronic device than it is to actually sit and read a book. It’s easier to drive to the store than it is to walk. It’s easier to assume the worst than to put your trust in someone, even if that someone is someone that you love. It’s easier to judge someone for who they ‘appear’ to be rather than who they actually are. It’s easier to go along with everything then it is to stand up for something you believe, even if it isn’t something most people do. 

Society chooses to do a lot of things the easier way. Why? Laziness? Or convenience, I guess. It’s convenient to bust out the calculator rather than trying to multiple 70×70 for most people on their own. So, if you don’t have to then why would you?

I’ll tell you what though, this restless mind of mine cant ever accept anything as is. I can’t help but believe there’s a time when convenience crosses into an inability to do anything for ourselves. Sure, technology is great. GPS relieves a lot of headaches. But there are people in this world who are driving that still can’t read road signs. Calculators are great; they’ve given us the assistance to solve many of the universe’s greatest questions, but the amount of people in this world who can’t do simple math in their head is alarming. Just about a week ago now I had a cashier whose register was broken and she needed to pull out a calculator to do $3.00 – .32 cents. 68 cents lady. It’s $2.68.

There’s a lot of talk. Everybody’s got words. But the lack of actions, that’s something that bothers me. So many are so quick to judge the homeless man as a ‘dirty rotten scoundrel’ who is clearly unintelligent and brought his situation on himself. Because believing that what is expected, what is believed of him to be, that is far easier than actually getting to know that he’s a war veteran with a masters degree who, thanks to situations beyond his control, lost a whole lot more than his belief that people will see the better in him. Believing the dirty rotten scoundrel of it all is so much easier than actually having to care… to take notice, and to be forced to think about what actually happens in this world.

All I’m saying is that sometimes a little math is good for the mind, and, a little truth is good for the soul. Reading books is not for punishment, but rather for expanding your horizons of what you ever believed possible. Questioning is never a negative, and getting to know someone is always a positive. Even if it’s just to learn who you don’t want as a part of your life, everyone’s got a story to tell. Convenience is great but sometimes it’s nice to take the road less traveled. 

You don’t always have to take the easy way out.

Day 20: When can I stop counting the days?

If ever there was a day, a moment, a time in which the steps could be taken – in which I could run away and leave everyone and everything behind, this is it.

That’s the dream, though. Right? Leaving the world you know behind in search of a beach town somewhere that you can sell fruit to tourists and live out your days worry free? Perhaps travel the world and never look back. That was always my dream.

With each passing day I get closer and closer to the move-out date for this apartment. The idea of moving out of this apartment excites me but also scares me. Not having a solidified place to move to is worrisome. Where will I go? How will I support myself? I don’t have answers. The only thing I do have is more and more questions.

Yes, it will feel exceptionally good to leave these weathered walls in my rear-view and truthfully, it’s a tad exhilarating to not know where I’m headed next. But, the sensible side of me is tapping at my cerebral cortex and politely saying “Make a plan! Make a plan!” At any given moment it’s difficult to decide which of my two seemingly-opposite viewpoints are winning.

I wish I had answers. Do I need a job to be happy? Is there more out there for me?

I wish I knew more.

My resolution for 2019 was to make sure that each day was better than the last. So far, I think that I have accomplished that. Everyone has their ups and downs, yes. But, the exhilaration of giving away all of my things and leaving this life is far more appealing then any down I am feeling at the moment.

Maybe I’ll travel the world. I’d like to start in Cambodia. How fantastic would that be to just get on a plane next month and say goodbye to comfort zones? Here I go again with more questions.

I am finding though that some questions are better than others. Some questions leave more room for the future than others. Some questions leave more peace of mind than others. Perhaps that’s the balance of life… knowing what to ask yourself and what to leave unanswered.

-V