I'm currently on what's called a "job hunt", although that may overstating things a bit because my hunt is half-hearted at best.
When I think of a hunt, I think of stalking something with hungry fervor. The deer hunter likes the taste of venison and will literally devour its prey (after proper processing procedures take place, of course) and mount the inedible parts to his rec room walls as trophy. The lady on a man hunt (believe me, she's no lady...) will stop at nothing to track all males with naked left ring fingers until the day she finds a large diamond hanging off her own. A treasure hunt is a thrilling search for riches. A witch hunt, a manic quest to rid the world of impurity.
So, I find it extremely hard to apply the term "hunt" to something that nobody really wants to discover: Work.
My hunt is not predatory, my hunt is not zealous, my hunt is not even worthy of camouflage fatigues. I can't even find the appropriate word to describe feverishly chasing after something you don't even desire. But, whatever that word is, in whichever dialect it exists, that's what I've been doing.
I don't really even know what it is that I want to "do". But, twenty years in the working world has told me what I don't:
- Talking. Nothing drains an introvert more than having to yap eight hours a day. It's the way we're programmed and there's no way around it. And, it's probably the one thing every extroverted boss will never understand. Our energy levels drain around people and social interaction. Our energy is restored with quiet time. So, just toss the likes of me into an office with a pile of paperwork, close the door and watch us emerge eight hours later with ten hour's worth of work completed. Just unplug the phone first. We prefer emails. Jobs on the no-list: Telemarketing, customer service call center representative, sales, public relations, teaching.
- Corporate Environments: Now this is probably stretching it considering the white-collaredness of today's America, but I can not stand corporate phoniness. Yes, I worked a desk job for the past eleven years and enjoyed it for the early eight or nine. But, I was fortunate enough to work in a small, fifteen-person, satellite branch of a major company. Billion-dollar backing, zero corporate stooges on site. That's the only white collar way to go! The minute any higher-ups from larger offices would brave to don their winter coats and fly up to the Michigan branch for a visit, the mood would suddenly turn Stepford. Too much small talk. Too much smoke blown up the nether regions. Too many fake laughs and phony smiles. I don't do small talk well. I always get hung up on the weather and circle around that topic for as long as the listener can bear. And, the closest I can mimic a fake smile, is constipation. It's just not me. Jobs on the no-list: Anything with the word "executive" in its title.
- Lying to my face or being forced to lie myself: If you have to lie to me to "get the job done", it's not a job worth doing. If you expect me to lie for you, you've hired the wrong person. I also do not tolerate being screamed at. If you're hiring me to have someone to shout at, just do me a favor and leave me unemployed. Been there, done that, got a headache from it. Jobs on the no-list: Anything with the words "legal" or "political" in its title. And, if I notice red ears, sweaty foreheads, flaring nostrils or smoke emitting from ears during an interview, I will take these as signs of a screamer and I will run... run the other way.
- Overwhelming sounds or smells: I'm not the type to handle over-stimulation well. I prefer sight and the touch of my typing fingers to be the senses I use on the job. Which eliminates taste, hearing and smell. Jobs on the no-list: Food industry, noisy environments such as casinos, schools and the Wall Street Stock Exchange floor, and anything within a 50 foot radius of a Perfumania store. Sadly, my allergies also eliminate any job where I'd be working with and/or smelling animals.
- Germs: This goes without saying. Jobs on the no-list: Any place I'm likely to be sneezed at or on.
- Grave danger: I'm no super hero. I don't want to be shot at, swung at, cussed out or robbed on the job. Jobs on the no-list: Police officer, rent-a-cop, bill collector, meter maid, process server, bank teller.
Don't get me wrong. I am a very hard worker once I find work and have been put to it. But, just take a moment to dream with me of the perfect work situation.
Does your check list also include?
- Part-time hours for full-time pay.
- Happy faces that ease into a genuine smile at your presence. No shouting, no cattiness, no gossip behind anyone's back.
- Extra money added to pay for every laugh provoked. Money taken away for every complaint.
- Pats on the head at the most-needed times. (Not literal pats though... please don't touch me.)
- Make your own hours, just get the job done.
- Feel free to take your work outside, if it's nice out and will make you perform better.
- Colors everywhere! No beige. Pleasant colors, not blinding ones.
- Quietness, whenever you want it.
- Background music, when you don't want quiet.
- Laugh and laugh and laugh all you want. You won't get scolded for it!
- Don't bother judging others, because they won't be judging you.
- A short-haired office cat that won't make you sneeze.
- Read a book or a magazine for as long as you'd like. You need to escape and be entertained.
- No dress code. Wear whatever you please.
- Two final words: Nap. Room.
Well, I'm not sure if the perfect work situation exists for anyone... but it sure is nice to dream. Judging from my check-list I'd be best suited for work as a golden retriever or Dr. Suess illustration.
Then again, those Dr. Suess drawings seem awfully noisy!