Last night was fun. I met up with a friend who helped me find a sweater to wear to any job interviews or fairs that I might attend, then I went to the mall, walked around there for a while, and called an aunt of mine to see if she wanted to meet. Fortunately she was free, Wednesday happens to be her easy evening, we went to a coffee shop near her and sat there for a couple of hours. Unfortunately the only thing there that I could eat was a square of very rich dark chocolate, consequently I got almost no sleep last night and I'm paying for that today. After laying around and goofing off on Twitter for a while I decided to start cleaning up my place. I did some laundry, tidied up the kitchen, and then tried to lie down again. Two friends called, my one friend either calls or texts every day, but our call was short because she got interrupted. My other call was totally unexpected. A woman I work with was fired today which also happens to be her birthday. According to the assistant manager in her department she was rolling her eyes and throwing groceries. Let's just say that she was, this woman has to be at least in her sixties, and she's worked there for four years. Hardly a reason to fire someone in my opinion. I told her she was better off without them and she sounded optimistic as she told me about her upcoming interviews.

One of the reasons I wanted to get out of the house is I feel like I'm turning into a crazy person. It didn't take me long to restore a semblance of order to the place, at one point in time I felt as if I might be feverish, then I felt cold. I wondered if I was coming down with something, but I think I just need some sleep. I haven't been keeping up with my fiction, I need a job, sometimes the world of fantasy is a very attractive option when reality doesn't seem all that rosy. I decided to do some research and see if I was maybe having some sort of manic episode. Some of it fits, other parts of it doesn't really. I've been eating relatively well, I doubt that anyone would call a couple bars of chocolate in as many days a major eating disorder. I'm still following the Perfect Health Diet and have been sharing that with others, but I haven't been hard core about it or anything. I think I'm so fearful that even if I do get a job it won't be the right job, or it won't pay me enough money that I'm stalling which is never a very comforting thought. The library is nice and quiet tonight and I'm glad. Even though my place is quiet, it's a little too quiet when the girls aren't there. At least here there's some background noise to remind me that other people exist. 

Most of my tax forms have been released, I'm still waiting on a couple of them, it will be nice to get that out of the way once and for all until next year. I still haven't heard anything on my unemployment case which was a major bummer, but perhaps that's not a terrible sign since I would think a denial letter would go out fairly quickly. I'm not sure how long this process takes, but if I don't hear anything by Monday I'll start investigating. Jill will be coming to my place for another week, that feels like a victory and I'm going to celebrate it by buying her a game she wanted at Target. On one hand I could use the money for other things, on the other, a game is a chance for us to bond together. An aunt of mine sent me a check so I can use that money. This whole process has been super humbling and I'm just questioning anything and everything right now. I'm really tired so this won't be long. I never did get a chance to write anything yesterday because the library was closed after my conversation at the coffee shop and by the time I got home I just wanted to fall into bed which I did. I fell asleep for a couple hours, woke up, and then couldn't go back to sleep for several more. 

The other day Tom Peters sent out a tweet about the top two skills needed to succeed at any job. He says that listening and good manners are some of the most important criteria companies should be fostering and searching for in candidates, this was really apparent yesterday when I was out shopping and at the coffee shop. For once I sat down and really listened to what my aunt was saying. There were times when my mind wandered or I caught myself interrupting her, but I made a concerted effort to tune out the bustle of people making drinks and patrons walking by to listen to her and it was incredible what a difference it made in the quality of our conversation. We got to her issues and found some possible solutions for her. I brought up listening as a skill and wondered if she could give her students a brief demonstration and model it for them. People in my family do not tend to listen well. I never realized to what extent until I met the guy that I gave the poem to, he's still one of the best listeners I know if not the best listener, and I realized that since I had never had this behavior modeled for me, I didn't even know what it looked like in real life. One conversation in particular stuck in my mind, this is going back to the late summer I believe.

I was standing in his line behind a woman who was probably fifteen to twenty years older than I am. I believe that she mentioned being near retirement age or actually being retired. Anyways, she had a terrible experience with a local hospital and I was amazed that the topic of conversation was breast cancer because first of all that isn't really something that typically comes up while your groceries are being scanned, and secondly, one might think that a woman might feel awkward discussing something like that with a man (especially one that she probably doesn't really know unless they somehow knew each other previously which I guess is theoretically possible). From my point of view he made her feel as if what she was saying had value, I felt like he was authentically curious in a polite non-creepy way, and he seemed supportive and encouraging while she was telling her story. She was very worked up about it, I had chosen his line because I saw she only had a few things, and let's face it, I'm genetically programmed to find members of the opposite sex attractive so I'm sure that was a component as well. By the time she was done I felt as if she had received some emotional support and a mood boost she may not have gotten from someone else who didn't take the time to really listen to her. 

He modeled the behavior, first I needed awareness, I've known for a while that listening is a skill I need to work on and have read how to articles on it, but seeing it in action was a valuable experience for me. He has this way of making it seem as if the only thing that matters is what someone else is saying. I experienced it myself with him, it's very powerful and I wonder if he even knows how good he is at this, and how much it helps other people. My aunt noticed that I was listening to her and commented on it which made me feel better. I had a sudden insight about why I didn't get the airport job and wondered if listening played a role in that. When I was asked a question I answered it, and then asked the woman interviewing me one in return. I remember writing that I haven't ever had an interview like that before. It was as if she would not shut up about what the duties would be and I was really confused by that. I think what happened is she isn't used to having people actually listen to her, she's under a lot of stress, and she let the interview get away from her by essentially venting to me. Then the thing was over, she hadn't learned hardly a thing about me, and she had another appointment coming in not long afterward so it wasn't like she had more time to chat.

I tend to interview well, that interview did not go well, there could have been other reasons I wasn't hired, but I wonder if that played a role in it and that realization came to me after something my aunt said that I can no longer remember. We talked about respect and significance. I think she feels disrespected by her students and then has trouble being assertive with them. Both she and my uncle work for a local tech college, they came from a four year degree college, and now they both make more money, but academia and education are prone to some of the same issues regardless of where you go. She has students that are probably incapable of achieving competence, much less mastery, the enrollment process is very convoluted, but nobody addresses it and even staff members have had some of the very same issues students are reporting. It sounds like the registration process is very convoluted, but either people don't know how to go about fixing what is wrong, or they're stubbornly sticking to a program that has an extremely high rate of students not bothering to complete the application on their screens. We discussed several possible solutions, I like listening to her talk about her job and those types of brainstorming sessions. She doesn't tend to give herself a lot of credit and that always makes me a little sad because she's a very caring and concerned educator. 

The news is depressing enough so I won't get into that here. Jane is sick, but said she doesn't need anything. Jill finally has a phone again so I'm able to text her. I'm very tired tonight. I want someone to come over and just be with me for a while. That probably doesn't sound super exciting, but that's what I need. Someone to just sit there and remind me that I'm not alone, I have many friends, and maybe play a game, help me put together the puzzle that's been languishing, and remind me that very few situations are so grim that they don't have some laughter and light even when it seems hard to find. I read an article on how to tell if you have a bad manager, one of the things I thought was interesting was the section on them not wanting to hear the truth and hiring or preferring people who will nod yes to whatever they say. I saw that where I used to work and I don't think that's a sign of a very healthy company. It's been not quite a month, some days are better than others. There's nothing I can do anymore, the woman who called said that she will miss the people she worked with and I agreed that getting fired doesn't allow you much time to say goodbye to those you love.

Calling it an early night, supposed to get together with my neighbors, but haven't heard from anyone so I may just go back home and go to bed early. I need a really good night's sleep (and maybe a drink, but I'm not going there, hooray for self control).

Much love,


P.S. I know that I'll get through this, it's just hard at times. Having a cleaner place really made a difference. I felt less anxious and much calmer after that. Coming to the library did too. I really miss being able to paint, but I know I can go back to that when I get a job and have more disposable income. I haven't written a poem in ages, it feels like I've forgotten how...



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