Monday, March 03, 2014
When Will There Be Good News?
Because people care about us and they know it's been more than 6 months since Fixit's retrenchment, I've recently been fielding questions about Fixit's job-hunting a LOT. And whilst I absolutely appreciate that these questions come from love and concern for us, I can't give a good answer to the question, so I am starting to find dealing with it (a) depressing, and (b) slightly annoying, because it keeps bringing up how anxious and frustrated I'm feeling about it all: primarily because nothing has changed and nothing appears to be about to change and the longer this goes on the more likely it feels that nothing will ever change.
Current employment climate aside, some of the no-change-in-the-situation status is because Fixit is dragging his heels on applying for jobs, initially because he wasn't sure what he should pursue, then because he decided to do the re-training at TAFE (part 2 of which is in hiatus while the TAFE get their act together) and recently, I think, because he is intimidated by the nature of job applications; the fact that he has to sit on the computer and find sites, and register, and then tweak and submit cover letters and resumes, and worst of all promote himself, is deeply off-putting for him, and he keeps finding all these very important tasks he needs to do in the shed instead. Well, the man is a mechanic, not a desk-jockey. Computers are not his thing. I have put it to him that he really needs to start casting his net wide in the current job market, and that maybe he could delay shed-gratification until after he's spent a portion of his day at the computer looking at job sites and sending emails. And in theory he agrees. But then there'll be a snippet of paid handyman work to pursue, or an important thing needed on his or a friend's motorbike and, well.... The other reason I'm finding it too-depressing-to-think-about is my lack of faith in the hiring process, probably due to the experience we had when he applied for work at Qantas all those years ago. There are just so many hoops to jump through these days - a veritable rigmarole of submissions and tests and phone interviews and day workshops and only then a face-to-face interview - and at the end of it I'm not sure I have any confidence in the HR people to know a good worker when they see one, specifically in something like mechanical engineering which doesn't necessarily need a sparkly go-getter person who can talk the talk in an interview. My feeling is that his best chance to find a new job will be through someone he knows, but he can't sit round indefinitely waiting for that to happen.
So yes. That's where we stand, and as I say, the longer it goes on, the more depressing and uncomfortable I find it. We're still okay money-wise, provided nothing goes pear-shaped in our lives, and the rest of our life is chugging along really well, so meantime I may have to redirect all queries to the man himself. Otherwise kind and concerned friends and family might find themselves on the receiving end of me-in-a-state saying he hasn't got a job, he doesn't seem to be looking particularly hard and I'm starting to worry he'll never get one now, which will inevitably end with people trying to offer me helpful solutions and actually, although we've all done it, that's never really as helpful as people think.
(Having said that, if you have asked me recently how it was going please don't feel like you've done wrong. This is about how I'm feeling, and I do appreciate the concern. But I am starting to feel like the best approach is for everyone to trust that if we get good news I will broadcast it far and wide immediately.)
To counterbalance all this stress, there have been lots of nice things happening around here.
Astrid, Jenny and I celebrated 13 years of motherhood and friendship together by taking our teenage firstborns out for a lovely meal.
Cherub's school has introduced a new music program and Cherub, having watched his big brother learn flute, was keen as mustard to join. He has now had 3 lessons on the clarinet, knows how to play 6 notes and is less squeaky every time he shows us.
He was very proud to show his notes to Grandma when she came to visit, and even set up a music stand with his music book on it, despite not yet being able to read music.
When Mum was here, we took her to see my sister's new house, which was fun.
Cherub came second in the breaststroke at his school swimming carnival, which meant he got to compete in the District Carnival where he came a very creditable 4th in his heat.
And we had a fun night out celebrating Jen's birthday,
Plenty of good times, then, just no news as yet. I'll tell you when there is.