Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Am Joan Holloway

Gentle readers, you've all seen that online quiz.  Which Mad Man are you?  Well, your MatchGirl has taken that quiz many a time.  And every time she is Joan Holloway.

Here's the thing, dear ones.  That is the case.  Your MatchGirl, when she was previously in the working world (and now that she is back in it - full force!) is Joan Holloway.  She is the one that gets things done.  She is the one that knows the in and outs of how the place works (OK, at my new job, I'm still sussing that out, but it will come to me sooner than later), whether it has anything to do with what is in her job description. 

The best thing about Joan Holloway is that she's entirely in control.

And that, dear readers, is the key to everything.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Gentle readers, your MatchGirl is a big fan of the gentler things in this life.  Politeness.  Concern.  Trust.  Respect.  It's something that I've been thinking a lot about lately, as my faithful readers know. 

Why is it, in this modern world, that people have such a hard time treating others the way that they, themselves, would like to be treated?

My new boss wrote an article for our company blog about doing business with a pinky swear fairly recently.  He is a big believer in trusting people until they give him reason not to.  I like this.  We all want to be trusted, but then we turn around and are so very distrustful of others.  Living in a city, one needs to walk a fine line, between trusting and naivete, but, to be generally trusting and trustful, to be respectful of others, that's not such a bad way to live your life.

Recently, dear ones, your MatchGirl was involved in the kind of display of disrespect that is usually reserved for 8th Grade girls and bored ladies who lunch.  I was on the receiving end of some very intense bitchiness.  I won't bore you with the details, it wouldn't make sense unless you knew all parties involved.  But it was pointed and mean and the only point of it was to hurt my feelings.  It's been a long time since i've been faced with that situation.

Sure, I've written here previously about people being disrespectful of others, of not valuing their time, either in the workplace or their personal lives.  Whether the people who had you in for two interviews and checked all your references and never even sent you an email to say you didn't get the job or the guy who you dated for three weeks who just stopped phoning, it just sucks to be treated rudely.  It sucks to have someone be an out and out bitch to your face.

I just want to remind you, dear readers, that we're only as good as we treat other people. 
So be nice to each other.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Adjustment Period

It should come as no surprise, gentle readers, that going back to work after a year and a half on the dole has been a bit of an adjustment. 

I was nervous about going back to work after being unemployed for only a couple of months, not because I felt like I wouldn't do a good job, I know I'm capable and know I can do a good job wherever I am (though I was a bit nervous about living up to expectations - everyone wants to shine, after all!).  But, after a long period of unemployment, I was mostly nervous about the adjustments. You get used to doing your own thing.  You get used to sleeping in if you feel like it and staying up till 3AM to get your work (blogging, sewing, writing, art-making, what-have-you) done and going out till all hours on a Tuesday just because you can.  Even if you, like me, are doing a million things and working on a thousand projects and going to loads of meetings - it's still, for the most part, on your own time.

When you get a job, suddenly, all the work your doing is according to someone else's schedule.  From commuting with the masses to being at your desk at a certain time to making sure to be available when your boss needs you, your time is no longer your own.  This is something to which your MatchGirl must adjust.  I still have lots of projects of my own happening - fun Work It Brooklyn events being planned for the next few months, a sewing party with me and the fabulous Hip Girl's Guide To Homemaking, a little blogging here and there - and while I have always been fairly good at managing my time, I need to relearn how to manage my personal time with my project time and my working time.  I need to get used to organizing my nights and weekends around things that I need to get done as well as things that are just fun.

This weekend was a prime example.  I had homework to do.  I had blogs I wanted to write.  I had reading and research that needed to get done.  But it was a beautiful weekend - so many interesting things to do, so many friends to run into while strolling through the neighborhood on the arm of my gentleman friend - your MatchGirl simply could not focus on blogging or homework or laundry.  It just seemed like it would be such a better idea to keep walking around, holding hands and soaking in the sunshine.  And it was a lovely weekend.  But Sunday night came too soon and I'd gotten very little done.  I wouldn't have spent my weekend any other way, not this particular one, dear readers, but I definitely didn't make the best use of a lot of my time.  No worries.  I was up early Monday morning to do a little yoga before getting ready for work.  And I was up late Monday night, finishing homework and writing blogs and making food for the week (or, at least for part of the week).

It's only the start of my fifth day of work.  I suppose a little period of adjustment in only natural.  I'll be glad, though, once a little time has passed and I've re-learned to juggle my time with a little more ease.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Working Girl

The day is here, gentle readers. Your MatchGirl is about to face her first morning commute to Manhattan in a very long time. Nerves? Yes. Deep breaths.

Thanks for all of your love and support - to those I know in real life, those I know via e-mail and those who simply read this small tome. I have much love for you all.

Next post, I promise, will let you all know how it goes!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What A Difference A Day Makes

For My Fallen Comrades

One by one, gentle readers, you are going out into the world. You are leaving this world of unemployment and entering the big, bad world of employment. And you are leaving your MatchGirl behind.

This is a post that your MatchGirl started on Thursday of last week. I'd had an interview on Wednesday morning, that I felt pretty good about. I'd had a productive day, with a Work It Brooklyn meeting in the afternoon and a photography reception and drinks with friends in the evening. Somewhere in there, however, I logged on to Facebook and saw that my dear friend Tony, one of my great allies and commiserators in this unemployed Brooklyn world, had gotten a job. Don't get me wrong, dear ones, your MatchGirl could not have been happier to see her friend employed. We've been jobless for about the same amount of time and have long discussions about how terrified we are of what will happen when those unemployment checks stop coming it.

I commented on his post: Yay! (But slightly sad to lose my neighborhood unemployed buddy)

And to me he commented: @unemployedbklyn - your time is coming soon!

Yeah yeah yeah. I woke up Thursday morning feeling bummed out and unmotivated. I followed up on Wednesday's interview. I sent out a few resumes. I started to write this blog post. But I put it aside. I kept thinking about how hard I had been looking for a job and how much I really wanted one. I kept thinking of all the hard work I have been doing in this past year to push myself forward and to advocate for the unemployed community and to form coalitions in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. I kept thinking of all the people I have connected for work and for social purposes and jobs I have referred people for. And I kept wondering when it would happen to me. When will it happen for me?

The answer, gentle readers, has come.

When would my time come? It came on Friday.

I was on the playground in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, waiting in line for the swing set with my charge. It was a little after 3PM. And, having a moment with Leo standing patiently at my side and not riding his scooter around in crazy circles, I had a moment to peek at my phone and check my email and my Twitter and Facebook feeds. And there it was. "Offer of employment..."

Oh. My. God.

This was something my four year old charge could not comprehend. But he knew, by the look on my face, that something amazing had happened. He asked me what was going on, giving me an incredulous look. My smile was huge and I said, "I got a job." I'm fairly certain it was a whisper. "I got a job."

Here's the thing, dear readers. This is not exciting news to a four year old. He said "oh" and ran to take his turn, Superman style, on the swing.

The details are still being ironed out. I'm still finding out about when I'll start and dress-code and all of those small yet very important things. It feels surreal and I don't really know how to tell you about it. Not yet.

Don't worry, though, my faithful friends and fans, I have no plans of abandoning you. I will try as hard as I can to keep this little blog going forward and chock-full of all the information you have found relevant over the year. It's because of you, after all, that I had the experiences that I need for the type of job I will be doing moving forward.

Thank you. For reading. For commenting. For lending me the kind of support that I didn't even know I could get via people I've never met before. Just thank you.