11 October 2011

TSwizzle, ATL, and Craigslist ads

The first weekend in October was chock-full of fun activities. As I shared before, we'd been anxiously awaiting the Taylor Swift concert, as well as a trip to the zoo and a night away in Atlanta. While these kinds of activities cost way more than they should these days, it was a great getaway and well worth it.

The show was quite amazing; much more like a Broadway show than a concert, complete with sets and people and instruments popping out of the floor at various points (including Usher!). The music was great and the opening band didn't disappoint, either. What a load of screaming girls there were there, though! I think Michael and I agreed we'd never seen to many prematurely made-up, cowboy-boot touting people in one place. That being said, it was definitely a fun experience.

This photo is of her performance of "Back to December". That white piano came up out of the stage...

Earlier in the day before the concert, we enjoyed touring the zoo and seeing many baby animals (giraffe, panda, and kangaroo-in-pouch) as well as some of the "old standbys" (some of those monkeys are older than we are!). The lunch we ate at the food court was much less than great, but in a pinch it got the job done, especially since my plan to bring sandwiches didn't pan out, given the bare fridge and breadbox at our apartment...

The momma and baby panda trundling around part of their outdoor habitat.

The red panda is possibly my favorite zoo animal, though she tends to be asleep at any and all times of day. So little and cute.

The morning after the concert, we headed over to the neighborhood by Piedmont Park for a delicious brunch at the Five Napkin burger joint. It was an amazing banana French toast, including Corn Flakes as part of the batter! After that, we had a nice leisurely walk around the park, which was packed with runners, picnickers, and dog owners. We always love to walk to the gazebo where we got engaged, and this time the pool across the lake from it was full of even more dogs! Apparently the following day, they were cleaning it, so they let owners bring their canines in for a little weekend frolic. Pretty entertaining!

This morning, Michael headed out to the field for a week. He just switched to a new unit (or company, I get all the terms mixed up, all the time!), and has loved it so far. This makes me a very, very happy person, since previously he was really struggling. It's such a shame that the majority of soldiers seem to have such a sub-par experience, because I feel that it would take little to no extra effort for the Army to make it at least bearable across the board. But that would require people to put aside power trips, pointless yelling and/or ranting, and needless punishment of people who didn't actually do anything wrong. Therefore, nothing will change anytime soon... so the best one can hope for is to land in a unit that has their head on straight!

Michael's trips to the field are always interesting for me, because, still without a job, it's really a whole new experience for me to literally have no schedule. In Chicago, it was easy to find things to do, since I could walk, metro, or bus virtually anywhere in town and there was an abundance of great parks and recreation available year-round. Here, it's definitely a different story! The TV is, of course, a constant temptation that I do all I can to avoid sitting in front of for hours on-end. I tend to spend a lot of time cleaning, hanging with the cats, and working out at the gym or outdoors. Until recently, the pool was a constant in my daily routine as well, but the past weeks and a half have seen a much milder weather pattern, even including some refreshing rain showers and temperatures the past few days. Unfortunately, I've gotten so used to the sunny weather that it will probably take me a few spouts like this to get up the snuff to get out and run outside in it! Sad day for a girl raised in the Pacific Northwest!

Yesterday, Michael finally convinced me to get the Craigslist app for my phone, since I haven't even gotten a call back for any of the applications I've submitted or jobs I've pursued. It was really hard when I didn't hear back after the group interview a couple weeks ago, and I think I had somewhat given up without realizing it even though it was only the first "rejection". The thing that is so frustrating (hopefully I'm not turning into a broken record here) is the lack of response if you DON'T get hired/called for a second round of interviews. I just think it's common courtesy, and would probably make a huge impact on job seekers' self-confidence regardless of it being a yes or a no. It just feels as though one isn't even important enough of acknowledgement if they aren't "chosen", and that isn't something that only happens in a job search. It happens all through life in various forms, and to have it hit you in this arena feels pretty dang low. We all know the economy is floundering, but we could all use at least one person to tell us, "You know, you aren't the right person for us right now, but keep looking!" Pipe dreams of compassion seem to let us down a lot.

Anyway, Craigslist. Since yesterday, I've sent nearly 20 emails regarding various receptionist/front desk positions (since there are none actually pertaining to what I've studied and worked on the past 6 years) and have only gotten one answer. That answer was informing me that the ad was apparently for a sort of "middle man" who companies hire when they have had complaints or think their customer service needs improvement. Hmm. Not really a legitimate ad then, is it, lady?? My goodness. And no you may not have all of my personal information so that you can "figure out what site is closest for me and/or best for my personal schedule"! So, so far, not too promising. However, yesterday was a holiday so I won't give up yet and will continue to send out emails as new ads go up. One of the hard things with Craigslist is that people repost ads constantly, so it's hard to tell sometimes if you've already responded to one if it's relatively general. Ugh.

So, the ups and downs continue. For now, it makes me very happy that Michael is so much happier at work, and we're hoping for a quick promotion as soon as he's [finally!] enrolled in some courses to get closer to the points requirement.

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