Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year In Review

Ah, gentle readers, it's that time of year when people list their favorites and their best and worsts of the previous year. This December 31st there's even more lists as we are embarking on a new decade. There has also been a lot of talk about how much 2009 truly sucked and how excited people are for 2010.

Here's the thing, dear ones, I enjoyed 2009. A lot. Sure, I'm unemployed. And sure I'm ending the year with about $50 in my bank account. And sure I'm heading solo to a New Year's Eve Party (though with dear dear friends). But 2009 has far surpassed 2008. The previous year, I can honestly say, sucked. Sure, a few good things happened (notably the birth of my pal Dash), but mostly it sucked. In 2008 I got dumped, my grandfather died, I cried myself to sleep on my birthday and I got laid off. In 2009, however, things looked up. Don't laugh.

One February morning in 2009, I woke up and decided that Iw as going to write a blog abut my life as a single and unemployed person in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I didn't really expect that anyone would read it. I just wanted to put it out there and feel less alone in my unemployment. Then one summer day in 2009, a reporter from NY1 emailed me and things took off from there.

In 2009 I lived off my unemployment check. I sent out resumes to which no one responded. I stayed home while my friends went on fabulous vacations as I barely had the cash to take Greyhound to visit friends in Boston. But, in 2009, I started organizing meet-ups for my fellow un(der)employed in North Brooklyn. And through those meet-ups, I met a few of you - some of whom have turned into very close friends and collaborators. I had the opportunity to really spend time in my community, in my neighborhood, and I feel more a part of it than ever before.

I have high hopes for 2010, dear readers. I have exciting opportunities I'm looking forward to sharing with you. But for now, my gentle ones, I simply want to thank you for reading and sharing in my little world and to wish you happiness and health and employment in the new year.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves

Now, there was a time when they used to say
that behind ev'ry great man, there had to be a great woman.
But oh, in these times of change,
you know that it's no longer true.
So we're comin' out of the kitchen,
'cause there's something we forgot to say to you.
We say, Sisters are doin' it for themselves,
standin' on their own two feet and ringin' on their own bells.
We say, Sisters are doin' it for themselves.

Ah, gentle readers, it comes as no surprise to any of you that your MatchGirl is a single gal. Despite her best efforts to find that special someone, it seems that not one has singled himself out (quite yet. It's possible that there is a contender, or two). And, dear ones, your MatchGirl has gotten quite used to being an independent lady.

There are times, of course, that I wish I had a hunny (a lot of times, actually). It's been so long, though, that I'm not sure I would know what to do with one. For instance, this being the holiday season, when it came time to get a tree, I did it by myself. It's not that there weren't people who could help me. Not at all. There were male friends that offered. There were male friends who were offended I didn't ask. But, dear ones, I am not that good at asking for help. Sometimes, I need it. But I feel like I should be able to do most things on my own.

Perhaps this is what makes my dating life problematic. I'm not good at sitting quietly. I'm not good at waiting for Prince Charming to call. I'm not good at letting others do for me. Perhaps that's why I'm having a hard time with the fellas.

I dunno. I do know that my arms still hurt from carrying my tree home all alone.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Talking To Strangers

The other day, gentle readers, your MatchGirl was perusing her Twitter feed and saw this reposted by friend of Unemployed Brooklyn Jewliweb:
Love it! RT @agartka Networking is about doing what your mother told you to never do . . .talk to strangers. 12:33 PM Dec 10th from web

How very true.

So many things in our lives these day hinge on that, no? Looking for a job, these days, is so much more than replying to posts on Craigslist and Monster and whatever other job boards you are perusing for your particular industry. It's talking to people and meeting new people and, most importantly, talking to people who you don't know at all. And being clear about what you are looking for. You never know when a friend of a friend is going to know someone. And you need to shake that fear of speaking up and saying what you want. It's the only way to get anywhere.

So, dear ones, I don't know about you, but I am gonna start talking to a lot more strangers.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More Fun With Craigslist

Read on, gentle readers:
Most important asset will be an attractive, positive attitude.
Varied duties:
- Reception, Phones, Filing, Printing Emails, Shipping Domestic, and International - will train
- Keeping Showroom Tidy
- Photograph Samples and Email to Appropriate Persons
- Assist with production Follow-up - will train
- Sales, Marketing - will train
- MS Office, Gmail, Outlook

If you do not know the word 'INITIATIVE' and how to practice it, DO NOT APPLY!!

Friendly, Cheerful, Willing, Open to Learning
Personal Texting, Emailing, Not Well Tolerated Unless an Emergency
No arguing about being asked to do something

We have had a run of people with poor attitudes, that disappear to text or phone someone, spend too much time on personal emails, sullen attitudes.

This is a relaxed, yet hardworking office, and we need a happy, willing, dependable, reliable, good person. Lots of room for growth.

Please tell me why we ought consider you for an interview.


* Compensation: 10 - 12 per hour, 3 month review
* Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
* Please, no phone calls about this job!
* Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

All I have to say, dear ones, is that perhaps they have had "a run of people with poor attitudes, that disappear to text or phone someone, spend too much time on personal emails, sullen attitudes" because they are not willing to pay a professional wage. Or, you know, even a living one. I know that when I have been in a similar position, working my ass off for basically no money, my attitude might border on sullen, too.

I keep seeing jobs posted where the employer is looking for a top of the line employee, but not willing (or perhaps able) to pay what that person is worth. I'm not saying times aren't tough out there, but if you are asking a lot of an employee, you need to pay them more than you would an intern!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Toby Project: Greenpoint

Check out my post on the Toby Project on Greepointers.

Many thanks to Miss Heather for alerting me to this cool (and very necessary) event coming to Greenpoint this Thursday at 8am!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hire Me Martha: Craft-acular

A new post on crafting in Hire Me Martha! Check it out and follow me there as well!
Hire Me Martha: Craft-acular

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The French Chef

Recently, gentle readers, your MatchGirl has been reading "My Life In France" by Julia Child.  In the memoir, Ms. Child recounts moving to France (*sigh* Paris) with her husband Paul in the late 1940s and her discovery of - what became her life long passion - French cuisine.

What inspires me, in these tough times, about this, dear ones, is that Julia Child was in her mid 30s when she met the man of her dreams, her late 30s when she moved to France and her early 40s when she actually started her career as, what we might call now, a professional foodie.  Sure, she had other jobs in her life, she had a good New England liberal arts education, she had a good life - but it was in her 30s that she discovered what would be the passion that drove her for the rest of her life.

This give me hope.

Your MatchGirl, as you may know, has had a few different jobs throughout her "career".  But not one of them was something that she was passionate about.  Of course, the type of person I am, I threw myself into each and every job I have had - long hours, low pay, nightmares about shoes in the rickety stockroom falling on my head... - but none of these places ever drove me.  None of these jobs inspired me to do better, to learn more, to grow grow grow in a very personal way - the way that her discovery of French food drove Julia Child.  But, the more I think about it, the more I know what I do want to do - or, more to the point, where I want to work.   And the type of work that I want to do.

I used to feel crazy (and jealous) that so many of my friends seemed to find their passion - and careers that they wanted to pursue - early in life.  I cannot even count how many friends I have who are passionate doctors and lawyers and teachers - who knew that they wanted to do this by their Freshman year at college.  Not me.  I knew what I enjoyed, and it was varied, but I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life.  The question, "what do you want to do when you grow up?" could be answered differently depending on the day, or hour, that you asked me for most of my life.  In reality, I just want to be happy.  I want to want to go to work because I enjoy what I am doing, or why I am doing it.

But Julia Child didn't figure any of it out - man, marriage, career - until she was just older than I am now.  And that, my dear readers, gives me hope.

(image via The New York Times)