Sarah-er Than You

Sarah-er, More Sarah, More of the Time

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Archive for the ‘Unemployment’ Category

In Defense of Gift Cards

Posted by saraherthanyou on December 3, 2009

When did everyone decide to hate on gift cards? People think that they are tacky, show no thought, etc. But here’s my argument in favor of gift cards.

Jim and I live in a 530 square foot apartment. There is not a lot of room for stuff, so it’s difficult to brainstorm a list of appropriate gift ideas. Also, I am unemployed. (You’d never guess from my blog, right?) So I haven’t exactly been making lists of things I want. Right now I’m focusing on the bare necessities (anytime I use that phrase, the song from The Jungle Book pops into my head).

For me, a gift card gives me the opportunity to go into a store and not feel guilty about buying some makeup, a fancy shampoo or a shirt I don’t really need. Or, if I get one of those credit card-type gift cards, I can use it for a dinner out at a restaurant I wouldn’t consider going to while unemployed.

Why are gift cards so wrong? When pressed for what I want this season, I’m asking for gift cards. I don’t think that’s unreasonable.


Posted in Holidays, Unemployment | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

If I Ran HR

Posted by saraherthanyou on November 16, 2009

I am very aware that the economy is bad and HR is receiving hundreds (or thousands) of applications for every job posting. But clearly HRs are falling into bad habits that will really hurt them when applicants have more leverage. I will not talk about any particular company, but I’ve been applying for jobs for about 3 months, so I think I can speak generally. Here’s my code of conduct/courtesy for HRs.

1) If you bring me in for an interview, you are required to call and give an update whether you offer me the job or not. I had to get my suit dry cleaned, shower and try to sound intelligent for at least an hour, you can spare 5 minutes to call me and tell me I didn’t get the job. Believe me, I won’t want to chatty after that.

2) If we have a phone interview, do not say that you will follow up with me regardless of the outcome if you will not, in fact, follow up with me regardless. This phenomenon makes me think of the Friends episode where Chandler goes on the bad date with Rachel’s boss and can’t stop himself from saying, “well this was great, I’ll give you a call, we should do it again sometime.”

It’s ok if you don’t want to call me unless I’m a candidate, but then say that you’ll call me if you’d like to bring me in for an interview. I’m a big girl, I can handle it.

3) If you broke rules 1 and 2, or if I’m really interested in the job and I follow up with a phone call or email, RESPOND! You’re busy, I get that. But when I am really excited about a position or have spoken with you and you said you’d follow up and didn’t, I want to know where I stand. It’s not that hard to shoot me an email thanking me for my time and telling me that a) I’m not a fit, b) you won’t be interviewing me or c) you’ve already selected your interview candidates.

Job candidates, for the most part, don’t want to be obnoxious. But it’s extremely hard to apply for jobs and hear nothing for days or weeks. I had one job that I applied for and 10 weeks went by before they contacted me for an interview. At that point, I assumed I had no shot. So cut us some slack and we won’t assume that you’ll get back to us within 24 hours. Deal?

Posted in Unemployment | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

All Consuming

Posted by saraherthanyou on November 2, 2009

I can’t think of anything except an upcoming interview, so this is all you get. If I don’t blow it, it’ll be back to the regularly scheduled blog program. If I do implode, well, at least you’ll get an amusing story and my continued unemployment.

Posted in Unemployment | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by saraherthanyou on October 26, 2009

I’m going to jinx myself here. I’m finally getting responses to jobs I’ve applied for. And that FEELS HUGE after 2 months of unemployment. Having a company even want to talk to me makes me hopeful. So don’t hold your breath, or cross you fingers or any of that supersticious jazz. I’m just taking a moment and putting it out there that I’m ready for a job and if one of these fine folks that I’m talking to wants to make that happen, all the better.

Posted in Luck, Unemployment | Leave a Comment »

Kicking Into High Gear

Posted by saraherthanyou on October 20, 2009

I’ll just say it. The Great Job Search of 2009 hasn’t been going so well. It’s not for lack of effort, I imagine competition is fierce. So I’m kicking it into high gear. I’ve retooled my resume and I’m getting it out to more place with better cover letters. I’ll let the universe do the rest.

On another front, I rolled over my 401k to an IRA and need to decide where to put the money. I need to totally rebalance my portfolio anyway, which is probably true for 99% of the population after the year we’ve had. I’m going to ruminate a bit more on my asset allocation before diving in.

Finally, I’ve turned into the craft queen over here. I’ve got the knitting thing down and now I’m working on a bunch of projects, I’m making window pillows to keep the cold air out (and boy did DC turn cold in the last week) and I’ve got some sewing to do to finish up my Halloween costume! And this year, my costume is cold-weather appropriate! Post-25-year common sense is kicking in too!

Posted in Unemployment | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Shopping Trip

Posted by saraherthanyou on October 7, 2009

Checking my Law & Order Episode count is enough to bring you back here each day? I’m shocked.

Not nearly as exciting, Jim and I made a trip to the ‘burbs (I know, I was horrified too) to hit Walmart. We tried to take my car, but the battery is dead. (Hey! It’s not my fault. No lights were left on or door open. The battery is simply 5+ years old and Jim assured me that was an appropriate amount of time to elapse before the battery died.) (Oh yeah and buying a new battery. Couldn’t have happened when I had A JOB!) Anyway, Walmart trip. We went to buy fabric and filling to make window pillows. In the winter, you can feel the cold air coming right in, so these pillows will help insulate.

Yummy pumpkin candleI got a new pillow and we got some Halloween candy and 2 yummy candles. Pumpkin spice, which I’ve lit already smells divine!

Don’t mind the candy wrappers. Someone got into the Halloween candy. It absolutely, positively, wasn’t me.

Also, ignore the dust on our table. The building next door is doing the equivalent of sanding down their bricks (they called it brickpointing?) and there is dust everywhere.

Posted in Home Ownership, Unemployment | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Happy Unemployment to You Too

Posted by saraherthanyou on September 23, 2009

So last week, as I was lamenting my first full month of unemployment, I also had my HVAC unit serviced. The two events weren’t related. So the service company comes out to do my fall servicing (that’s what she said) and I was relieved because it was covered under the cost of a yearly contract, which I had already paid.

Except it’s never that easy. See, while I replaced the HVAC unit in my apartment about 2 years ago, the rooftop unit is about as old as me. You can see where this is going. The service dude finds problems. The short of it is, we can either replace the rooftop unit now (and pay $2400) or pay a couple hundred to patch it up and wait for it to die. Knowing my luck, it’ll die in the middle of winter and we’d freeze for a few days before it could be replaced.

So I’m sucking it up and replacing it now. Not the best time for it and certainly not an expense I had budgeted for, but I might not be better off if it dies in a few months and I’m still unemployed.

Ah, the joys of home ownership.

Posted in Home Ownership, Luck, Unemployment | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

I’m Getting My Learning On

Posted by saraherthanyou on September 22, 2009

I had my first language class last night. In my copious amounts of time, now is probably the best time to learn a new language. I have the time to spend to really learn. I took 4 years of a language in middle and high school and remember virtually nothing. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t take it seriously.

So now, I’m starting over to learn everything. If I’m ever going to learn a language, this is my chance.

What are you doing during your unemployment to better yourself?

Posted in Classes, Unemployment | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Let’s Get This Party Started

Posted by saraherthanyou on September 18, 2009

28 days of unemployment. Wow. And I’m bored, folks. I am continually sending resumes and cover letters into the abyss.

How else do I fill my time? Well, let’s see. Law & Order is probably on somewhere around 130 hours a week, so that helps pass the time. And I go to the gym because that’s free. Then there’s Twitter and my Google Reader.

But probably more constructive (or self-indulgent) would be a blog of my very own. So here we go, folks. I’m Sarah-er than you.

Posted in Unemployment | Tagged: | 1 Comment »