Category Archives: Work/Job Search

Reckless Abandon

So, let’s talk about why I’ve been incredibly and increasingly absent as of late.

I’ve been focused on getting back to Lexington. I’ve applied for more than a few jobs, and I’m waiting to hear back. This blog post? Merely procrastinating before finishing up an application. I’ve been busy. I left the law office about a month ago, thinking I’d get to Lexington sooner.

Truth is, I’ve been torn about leaving. You see, I met CCG (that’s Cute Cashier Girl for the unfamiliar) and we really hit it off. We became official (read: changed our Facebook status) on our second date, and by the end of the week, I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my time than being with her.

So I asked her to marry me, and she said yes without hesitation.

I want to leave Pikeville—aside from family and a few friends, it has nothing for me. CCG is here, but she will be joining me in Lexington in two to six months, and we’ll be making trips to visit each other in the meantime. Truth be told, I probably would have been a bit more gung-ho about leaving had I not met CCG. I was miserable here, and was kicking myself in the teeth everyday for coming back. My intentions were good when I left Lexington, but the reality of home life sank in incredibly quick, forcing me to realize that my childhood home isn’t my current home. Meeting her made everything better, and we’re both very excited about the move (and life and all that other good stuff).

At just a little over three hundred words, I know this blog post isn’t going to satisfy those of you who are used to longer tirades, not will it appease those of you who have missed my writing and want to read more. It’s half past one in the morning, I have to be at school by 8 AM, and directly after teaching I’m taking the lovely lady to Lexington so she can meet our future roomies. It should be fun. Very tiring, but fun.

I’ll try to blog more often, if only to update you on the plans/job hunt/move/love situations. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to email me at mr.lydian@gmail.com.

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Why a Degree, a Beard, & a Humanist Viewpoint are Excellent Tools for the Substitute Teacher

Hell of a title, isn’t it? I’ll try not to let the tail wag the dog.

This week marks my return to substitute teaching [I’m also reviewing portfolio pieces on days that they don’t need me in a classroom, which is neat]. For those curious, I’m teaching high-school aged kids in various subjects, and I actually enjoy it. Sure, every now and then you get the problem kids, but if you can gain and keep control of the classroom, and keep all eyes and ears on you for most of the lecture period, you’re gonna be fine. The trick is doing it, all damn day. So, every day, when I go to teach, I keep three things in mind to help me talk to and deal with the kids.

My degree. That’s right, babies, my degree. I introduce myself to each class, and then I give a quick bio, which usually consists of my name, the year I graduated from the very same high school, the college I attended and date of graduation, and a fun fact (usually, my shoe size, because this causes all the kids to look at my feet and say things like, “Woooooow….”). Usually, after the kids do their intros (name and fun fact) I’ll get a couple of questions about the college I attended—basic stuff like “Did you like it?” and “How big is the campus?” to more detailed stuff like “How did you decide what you wanted to study?” and “Could you recommend any professors?” This allows me to talk about something I know, and give the kids a bit of real information. They get so much state-issued bullshit, I feel bad if I can’t be real with them.

My beard. Okay, so not all substitutes can get away with this one. I’ll admit, all this really does is give me an excuse to throw one of my nicknames out there, “Treebeard.” Inevitably, I’ll have a student who knows the LotR reference and wants to know the connection, and off I go. I talk to them about getting the nickname during my tenure with a local summer program, and encourage them to apply for it. The program did wonders for me, so I feel the need to give back. The beard, it helps me.

My humanist viewpoint. [For the sake of this post, we’ll stick with the “be good to others” definition of humanism, not the “there isn’t necessarily a god” definition.] I believe that everyone deserves a fair shake. As such, I go into each class assuming, for better or worse, that the kids are going to behave. I know this is unrealistic, and often there are classes that do get incredibly noisy, but I’d rather go in with a positive mindset than to assume I’ll be locked in a room with devil children for an hour. When some classes get noisy, I simply ask them to be quiet, then inform them of the difference between ignorance and stupidity—the point being that, as nobody likes to be called stupid, they’re more likely to keep the noise level down after this initial request (EDIT: I realize I’ll probably have to clarify this at some point, maybe another post).

I also don’t tolerate racial, gender, or any other sort of slurs in my classes. It’s the thing that gets me boiling quicker than anything else a child could do. Why? Because it further displays the ignorance of some of the people in this area. Hate (and that’s what this language is, folks) is not an inate behavior, in my opinion. I refuse to believe that we come out of the womb hating people simply because they aren’t like us. That being said, when a student says that another student is “gay” in a derogatory manner, I jump their ass. I make sure the entire class can hear me, and I begin to give a short lecture on why people who are different aren’t bad, and how no matter your belief system tells you to think (it’s really hard not to go off on the religious right here, but I contain myself) all people are created equal, and treated fairly.
And there you have it. Sure, there are other things to consider when teaching a large group of students, but for my purposes, these three things are always at the forefront. Any other twenty-somethings have experience with substitute teaching, or more broadly, with speaking in public? If so, what tricks do you find to be most helpful?

At A Loss

I’m not sorry at all that I haven’t blogged regularly for the last little bit.

Yesterday was my last day at the law office. I kind of expected that they would want to end my two-week period early because of the way the paydays are structured. I wanted to turn in a notice for yesterday, but I felt shitty turning in a notice for just over a week. Regardless, everything’s cool there. Left on good terms and whatnot. I’m a little worried about the upcoming “what the fuck” period where I struggle to move, pay bills, save money, and relocate, but I’ll make it. I always do.

Also, me and Cute Cashier Girl have been hanging out. A lot. Like, every day this week except for Wednesday, when some horrible tummy issues crept up. But we even made up for that shit. Some of you are probably saying, “Dude, you just got out of a relationship, AND you’re moving—is this the thing to do?” I have to respond with a Family Guy reference, and be like Dick Cheney if he were a door-greeter at a big chain store—“Go fuck yourself.” Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but we each enjoy the company of the other, and that’s what counts.

So, between hanging out with CCG, planning out how I’m going to make it, and daily life-type things, you’ve been put on the back burner. But, you didn’t really want that sort of attention ALL the time, did you? You were dying for a smoke break, for a chance to walk around a bit, get a breath of fresh air. Or maybe you’ve been anxiously awaiting the post that wouldn’t come.

Well, here it is. Enjoy it. Also, enjoy this video.

Jeez oh pete, I love Paul Gilbert.

Wednesday Bloody Wednesday

As you’re reading this, I’m turning in my two-week notice at my law office job. Well, maybe not at the exact time you’re reading this, but it’s happening today, that should be good enough.

Why am I leaving my job, you might be asking. Commendable question, really. Long story short, I’m unhappy with where I am right now, both personally and professionally. I need more out of life then the 8-5 job, followed by going home and either napping or surfing the internet. I occasionally break out my guitar, but sometimes I don’t feel good enough to do that (!!!).

I need a better work environment, and it’d be great to get better pay, too—a college degree should mean something (like, I have some loans I want to pay back, so you should pay me more, kthxbye).  Unfortunately, the work environment in my small town isn’t that great—no real advances available. Something I’ve realized the hard way—I need my friends. More than I realized. I have one hell of a support network, and I can’t have them long-distance anymore.

I’ve thought about this move for a while, but I let my family situation get in the way. I’ve written about this before (link to come). I moved home to save money, reconnect with friends who lived here, and spend time with my family.  I’ve been able save an okay amount, but most of the friends who were here aren’t here anymore. Bummer.

And, as much as I love my family, I’ve already learned how to make it on my own. Moving away doesn’t mean I’ll never come back—I’m only a three-hour drive away. But, while I’m young, and while I have this weird spirit about me that says I really can do anything, I need to figure out what that anything is. To do that, I have to be on my own, not in some situation that makes me part-adult, part-high-schooler.

So, I’m looking for a job in Lexington, working out a place to stay, and am hoping for the best. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right?

Also, I’m sorry I didn’t do 20Sb Vlog Day. I’m thinking I may post one soon, provided I can figure out how to work my new camera’s video function, and successfully upload to “The Youtubes.”

Snippets of Insanity

The past week has gone like this:

  • Was told on Monday that time was up on a case on Tuesday. I’d been trying to get records for said case for three weeks, and the office which was to supply the records was being shitty about it. Long story short: the miscommunication of my superiors and the non-compliance of another office worker caused me 1.5 days of stress and anger. 
  • Had a client come in to start a file with our office. Usually, this takes me 30-45 minutes. My boss decided to come in and talk with the client. Took me 90 minutes. And it was not fun.
  • The day after the high-pressure records situation, my computer decided to shut down. And not come back up. The whole day. Turns out, the tech guy who came over installed the wrong damn network card. Hardware issue. Easy as hell to solve, and he pushed the card in anyway. What a dick. 
  • Because the two supervisors in the office focus on…well, we’ll say they don’t focus on what should be focused on, all of the preceding events are being viewed as my fault, even though I’ve put in my best effort despite having little notice (and, I don’t mess with the insides of work computers).

Even though I fixed everything (regardless of whose fault it was) I really thought I was going to lose my job. It was nuts. I heard myself say, “But what would I do without it? Where would I go?” I’ve never thought that about any job. Ever. Suddenly, I had a thought:

Fuck you, economy.

I will not, at the age of 23, be chained down by any job. I’m young, which means I’m mobile, agile, and worthwhile (yeah, I just did that). I’m not quitting, but until I’m grey-headed or bald (it’s up in the air right now) I will never view my self-worth through the lens of a shitty job.

Thanks, reality check—you did your job last night.

 

In other, less crazy news, I’m headed to Lexington after work today. I have a birthday drink to buy, a computer to build, a haircut to get, and some drinks to down. I’ll try to post with a wrap up on Monday or Tuesday (probably Tuesday, as I’ll have a shit-ton of photos if I do this right). 

Any plans for the weekend, kids?

P.S. Alec Baldwin made my life last night on 30 Rock.

Super Delegator

NOTE: I just lost this post. Why the hell did WordPress log me out?

Don’t know what happened, but I managed to delegate responsibility…to my direct supervisor. GTD FTW!

Actually, I’m well aware of what happened. I was feeling overloaded, and not because I’m unorganized. I was given way more work than I could do in forty hours a week. Writing all the briefs in my department, plus the normal mundane paperwork. Not a great thing, especially when you find out on Wendesday that you have one due Thursday and two due Friday. Luckily, I was able to get an attorney to write one of the briefs (it was their case, so I didn’t feel bad) and the other case settled, rendering moot the submission of a brief.

What did I learn from that experience? That, if I thought I was being given an unfair workload, I could talk to the higher-ups and work out a solution. At least, that’s what I thought would happen, until I realized the true issue—I wasn’t understanding my job duties clearly. So, I went to The Boss (not the same guy who did a crotch slide into the camera during the Super Bowl halftime show) for clarification. Turns out, I’m not supposed be doing all the briefs after all. Which is awesome. If I had been assigned all the briefs, I would have had to ask to have a lightened paperwork load.

All this may sound like I’m bitching about work, but I’m not. Just relaying a tale of how one determined, hairy cube-type decided to take a stand and say, “Hey, tell me what the fuck I’m supposed to be doing!”

How about you? We all feel overloaded with work at some point. What did you do to handle the situation? Did you ask for clarification of your job duties? Did you decide that you needed to be better organized (and if so, how did you organize yourself)? Did you crawl under your desk and wait for 5 PM to roll around? Sharing is caring, leave comment love.

Happy Monday to all my fellow office/cube slaves.

Because It’s Wednesday…

I’ll write a snippet or two. Can you write two snippets? Wouldn’t that just be an elongated snippet? And wouldn’t that, in turn, no longer be a snippet, but something greater—like, a tidbit? An excerpt? Definitely not a morsel, a morsel is smaller than a snippet.

I’m back at work today. Monday I was under the weather (figuratively) and Tuesday I was under the weather (literally). I’d hoped to get into work as a form of distraction, but I’d forgotten that, in a mad rush to get out the door, I did most of my work on Friday. I still have stuff to do, but not as much as I’d thought. I know better than to space it out throughout the day, though—as soon as I do, the mail will come, and I’ll have a shit-ton of work on my shoulders.

I just finalized the details of a very important guest post, by the way. It took me a while to get the guest blogger to agree to do some work on my blog, but I can be persuasive (read: I begged GB to write about a topic that I just can’t). As it happens, though, Guest Blogger requires that I put up their post by the end of the week. Which is funny, as I can’t do much about it until I get the writing from them. Oh well, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the post. Look for it by the end of the week.

Wait, no hint?

Right, a hint. Okay, fine. Here you go: readers who make astute observations, or have kept up with my blog for a while, already know GB. That’s all you get.

EDIT: So, on my way to the kitchen here at work, someone decided it would be a good idea to pull my chest hair (no, I’m not wearing a disco shirt, I just have the top button of a polo undone and I’m secretly Bigfoot). Pulling my chest hair hurts, so I let loose with a semi-loud “goddamn!” and continued on my way. The woman who pulled my chest hair said “Hey,” followed me, and….

Chest Hair Puller: You…you said a bad word.
Me:  Huh?
CHP: You said it, “God…”
Me: I don’t see that as bad, really, and I’m not entirely sure I believe in God.

[CHP exits, flabbergasted and confused]

I didn’t say what I said to hurt or offend anyone, just being honest. I know one thing though—my chest hair won’t get pulled at work again.