I was digging through some papers this week and found a poem that I wrote back in 1996. It’s on a torn piece of notebook paper. Just something I scribbled down one night following a frustrating day of looking for a job. I’ve kept it tucked inside my green folder with some of my other “thoughts” and stories. I’m not sure why I still have it. I just don’t throw that kinda stuff away. (not a pack rat, just sentimental)
The “thought” or poem really gives one a sense of my “broke girl” frame of mind. I was just moving along in slow motion, trying to keep a positive attitude. But it was hard. I was failing miserably at being a “success” and accomplishing simple tasks. Even brushing my teeth felt like a major chore.
I was just tired of searching for a job. Tired of having all of the wrong qualifications. Tired of being jerked around.
I’m pretty sure this was around the time I answered an ad for a “public relations” position. I was excited to get an interview. I went into the office and discovered over 50 other people in the room.
Great! A group interview. I hate these. But I’ve been through them before. Better shine!
No such luck. Turned out they wanted me to sell vitamins, water filters and other health crap that nobody wants.
Whoa! Pyramid scheme. I gotta get out of here.
I rushed to the door and was stopped by a very tall guy who refused to let me out. The conversation, to the best of my recollection, went down like this.
“You can’t leave in the middle of the presentation”
“I’m not doing a pyramid scheme. I thought this was a PR job.”
“No but it’s a great opportunity. Really you should sit back down. You’re really not allowed to leave.”
“Either you let me out of here or I’m calling the police and telling them that you are holding me hostage.”
He got out of my way and I went home and sobbed.
So why share this now? Especially when it was so long ago. It just feels right. I GET IT! It’s not easy searching for a job or learning a new skill in a crap economy. Once you’ve been in this position, you can never forget.
I don’t have any great “Dear Abby” advice or pearls of wisdom here. All I know is that when you’re on the bottom there’s no place to go but up. That’s what always kept me going when the going got tough. You’ll be reminiscing about the “bad times” soon enough. Now I’m going to torture you with one of mine.
Shoestring remedies and dime store anecdotes
A handful of full of change and a hole in your pocket.
Telephone rings and you wish you hadn’t answered
One more letter and it won’t ring at all.
Looking at the want ads cuddled up in a blanket
Turned on the heat, but it only blows cold.
One more day and you’re back where you started
Two more days and your start is long gone.
Deep dark thoughts, scratch it down on some paper
A whole idea once was great now it’s gone.
Brush in time with your voice a humming
Head down lights out you’re dreaming perfect songs.