So that was . . . interesting.

This is, for Eleven’s benefit, me putting down that woman. 😉

Yeah, so apparently Career Exploration was a cover for MCC’s career counseling services instead of, oh, actual career counseling. Dude, that two hours could’ve been useful. At the very least I’d have slept.

I felt as if I didn’t matter. That being twenty-three and a little farther along the exploration road meant they couldn’t help me. For me, then, it was a two-hour infomercial with repeated stories by the two suburbanites at the front of the room (and “suburbanite” is the kindest word I can find at the mo’). Their lecture was so nuclear-family centric that I wondered if they’d heard of any other sort. When they were talking about security, for example, as a job value, they harped on the concept of needing it when one is older and has a family — what if one’s husband should die?

What is so wrong with wanting that security as a single childfree woman?

I could almost hear the “You’ll change your mind!” ringing forth from their twisted little psyches.

They handed out some useful stuff, which I would have liked to get through in that two hours as a job-seeker. That list of adjectives? As someone who struggles with those on a resume, that’s useful. Help me best describe me as I go forward! All that stuff about coping with job loss? Not only was I waiting to talk about my own experiences as a displaced worker, I was also curious about the others’ stories and how they had coped.

At several points, I wanted to get up and either walk out or tell the Verkakte Girls to sit the frak down and let me teach this. No more positive thinking slogans, girls. No more heartwarming family shit. Let’s be real about unemployment. Let’s look at why we’re in this room. Let’s look at where we might’ve gone wrong before so we can not do that again. Let’s set some goals: tomorrow, next week, next month, next year. Elephant toes. If you don’t know what careers you want, let me run a quick inventory with you — I’ll take it too; we’re all in this together — maybe a short MBTI, and no rigging it, ’cause I do that myself, so if I have to answer honestly, so do you. Jesus, have these women never gone on Google?

Let’s talk honestly about the good and the bad. Let’s talk about why you’re in jeans and I’m in professional clothes, even though we’re in the same place. Let’s talk about why you’re still expected to mind the kids and be a full-time job seeker, and how you can budget your time accordingly. With only fifteen people in the class (if that), two hours would’ve been plenty.

In ten minutes, I just came up with a more coherent counseling/lesson plan than either of them had… and I’m the one looking for work?

Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot.

That is part of the struggle when you’re unemployed and looking. Unemployed and on sabbatical for my health? Didn’t care. But forced to yield my time to the DOL and then having that time wasted? I might as well have sat with an individual counselor, because my situation was apparently too unique to take into account. It’s probably not, for the record, but until I have a doctor who can tell them all to bugger off — or tell me how to fix me — I’m a little stuck where I am, moving forward with the resources I’ve got.

I did not feel as if they accounted for anything resembling me — or anyone not resembling themselves. That is what angers me. We are all different. We are not all fifty and on our second long-term career. We are twenty-three, and thirty, and forty. We are poly, and queer, and straight but unpartnered. We are overeducated for the market; we are experienced but in desperate need of certifications proving that.

I’m a lost lamb all on my own. Don’t find me just to pitch me out of the flock.


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