April 10, 2000
Dream Job


There was one semi-decent, doesn't-completely-suck, may-or-may-not-be-applicable to *me* Help Wanted ad in the Sunday classifieds, yesterday.

(Not that I was looking, mind you.)

"SECRETARY/Executive Secretary," it reads. "Challenging work involving complex and confidential secretarial and administrative support for the General Manager. Minimum requirements: graduation from high school and six years of increasingly responsible secretarial experience. $37-$42 DOE. Submit a detailed resume with cover letter to ..."

And you know what? I'm actually toying with the idea of sending them my resume. Just for fun.

Just to see if I get a nibble.

Just to keep my toes in the water/my name in the game/my balls in the air. So to speak.

Mind you: this doesn't sound like my dream job. Not by any stretch of the imagination. It's another "transportation industry" job, for one thing  --  an industry I find only slightly less coma-inducing than "sport knife" manufacturing. (Or tuna labels.)  Plus, I know damn well that "challenging work involving complex and confidential secretarial and administrative support" loosely translates to "You might want to consider upping the dosage on the St. John's Wort, Secra."

But I'm going to send them the resume anyway. Because the important thing here, I believe, is that I stay proactive, and alert to opportunity, and optimistic, and that I constantly add new skills to the resume  ...

... and that I remember to switch on the *$#%! ANSWERING MACHINE in the mornings ...

... and -- most especially -- that I not allow myself to feel so absurdly grateful for a miniscule, ridiculously-overdue raise that I think I *owe* it to anybody to go down with a sinking Totem Pole.

Speaking of my "miniscule, ridiculously-overdue" raise ...

(and it seems to me that I've been speaking of little else, the past two or three journal entries: sorry 'bout that)

... there I was, shivering in front of my computer at 5:15 a.m. this morning, checking my account balance on the US Bank website. ("Did my raise show up yet? Did my raise show up yet?") Payday cruelly fell on a Sunday this particular accounting cycle, so I was delayed the *instant gratification* of seeing those new, enhanced numbers on my paycheck for an extra couple of days. Through the magic of direct deposit -- and the Internet -- this morning I was finally able to check on it. All I had to do was type in the US Bank URL, plug in my account numbers, and voila! ... I would finally be able to see exactly how much my big payraise translated to, in dollars and cents.

AND I could do it in my nightgown.

So ... how did it go, you ask?  I'll tell you.

Remember your very first paycheck? From your very first job?

Remember how excited you were when you tore open the envelope? How proud? How utterly full of yourself and your vast reserves of fabulousness?

How you were already spending that money in your head?

And remember that horrible, baseball-bat-to-the-back-of-the-skull feeling you got when you opened the envelope and pulled out the check and saw how little was actually there, once reality (and the government) got hold of it?

'Nuff said.

So do I actually have a Dream Job in mind?

Not exactly.

I mean, I don't have it written down somewhere in list form, the way I used to make lists of "Stuff I Want For Christmas" or "Top 5,000 Favorite Songs of All Time" or "My Ideal Boyfriend."

*Amusing Aside* *Amusing Aside* *Amusing Aside*

Not long after I moved to California, David and I actually found one of my dopey "Ideal Boyfriend" lists, tucked inside a stack of old Christmas cards ... written, obviously, during the Tree House days. ("No goatees/no camouflage pants/no 'separated' men.") How surprised are any of us to learn that David hit something like 99 out of 100 criteria points? Everything from "sings in the shower" to "composes a literate sentence" to "looks great in either a suit & tie or a Brownie uniform." I think the only point he missed on was the moustache ... and that's something I have since learned to live without quite handily, thankyouverymuch.

But anyway.

I do have a sort of vague sense of what I would or would not consider important in my next job ... wherever that may be.

For instance, I absolutely do not want to be a receptionist again. Been there/done that.  I volunteered to help watch the front desk for a few hours a couple of weeks ago, when our regular receptionist was on vacation. I thought it might be kinda fun to sit at my old desk and answer phones for a while, just like old times. Within forty minutes I was bored shidtless: I actually spent most of my time reading office supply catalogs. Plus I'd forgotten how invisible you feel sitting at the front desk ... how people manage to look right through you, as though you don't even exist. It was downright creepy.

I do want another private office with a door. And possibly an actual window, next time. View of the Tribune Tower is optional.

I don't want a job involving numbers, in any way, shape or form. All that counting is murder on my fingers.

I do want to continue doing what I'm doing now: the Executive Ass stuff. Working one-on-one for either the CEO or a senior manager.  I've discovered I have a flair for it. I would just like to feel more ... ohidunno ... equitably partnered with my boss next time, I think. I don't mind transcribing your eighteen bazillion voicemail messages every morning, as long as I know they'll actually be referred back to again, sometime before the end of mankind. I don't mind setting up all of your business meetings/conference calls/thyroid ultrasound appointments, as long as you don't routinely blow them off at the last minute. And I don't mind ordering flowers for your elderly mother's birthday -- I don't even mind signing the card for you -- as long as you don't expect *me* to call and tell her you can't make it for dinner.

I don't want to be on the tippy-top floor of an ancient skyscraper in the middle of downtown San Francisco.

I do want free Peet's Coffee in the lunchroom.

I don't want a huge commute. (Frankly, anything much beyond The Castle and my House of Blues T-shirt is a "huge commute," as far as I'm concerned. But until David and I win the lottery ... or until I inherit that vast Wrinkle-Resistant Travel Fashions fortune from my mom ... I'm gonna have to work for a living. And I would prefer to work in Oakland or Alameda.)

And finally ... I do want to work for a company in a field that interests me, for a change. What a new sensation that would be!! What a treat for someone who has always "settled" for the first job offer out of the chute!  I imagine that working at something you're passionate about must feel a lot like being madly in love with the person you're married to.


And what AM I interested in, you ask? I dunno. Computers? The Internet? Books? Newspapers? Magazines? Writing? Publishing? Editing? Groovy True Type fonts?

Virtually anything to do with wordswordswords?

The possibilities seem deliciously limitless ... as long as I don't get dispirited and exhausted and wind up settling again.

("Good morning, Bob's Borax-Mining-Equipment Company ... this is Secra. How may I direct your call?")

self-important blurb #1 will go HERE:
look! the *blurbs* are back!

special *howdy* [and thanks] to:
everybody who didn't write and ask me to "explain" that last journal entry.

fourteen years ago

here's where i'll ask a *relevant* question:
how much was *your* first paycheck?
if it was more than $37.80 ... i don't wanna hear about it.

amazingly profound thought of the day: "Make lots of money, enjoy the work, operate within the law: choose two." ~ Arnold Glasgow ~

throw a rock