Hermits Rock

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A conversation

Laundry sucked. However, K and I did finally discuss a weird conversation I had today. It went like this:

Setting: the posh location of the temp job where I’m doing some hardcore editorial assistanting, which in this case is basically editing, only without the promise of more work after the work’s done. I was in a meeting to discuss document formatting. I’ve been on this job since Tuesday.

“So you’re leaving town this weekend. Where are you going?”


“Pittsburgh? I hope you’re flying! Driving? How far is it?”

The boss of both of us walked in. We repeated the conversation above.

“Why are you going to Pittsburgh?”

“We’re moving there.”

“Really? When?”

“At the end of the summer.”

“Why? Do you have family there?”

I explained how we decided to move after my most recent of job application woes.1 I mentioned Montana and explained that it’s been very difficult. The boss replied,

“I hope none of your woes was here.”

“Actually, one of them was.”

Everyone shook his head. The boss said, “I’m sure you’d be able to get an editorial position here!”

“Right! You’ve already got your foot in the door!” someone else said.

“I’ve tried. No response.”

The boss continued, “After seeing what you’ve already done for us, we’d love to have you,” and concluded, “I hope you don’t have your bags packed yet.”

To that, I waffled, and the conversation shifted to the meeting at hand.

I consider it idle flattery.

1 The word I actually used was fiascoes, but K reminds me that fiasco is too extravagant a word to describe what I’ve actually been through. As usual, she’s right.



yeah, it was anything but a fiasco… all that montana really said was that you were not as experienced as the other guy… that you were dang near close to being the perfect candidate… but that the other guy had pulled down a grant… that you were really what they wanted, until they sat down and weighed whether they could afford a lag time while they trained you or hopefully hit the ground running with someone who has experience bringing in money. no, montana said that you are good at what you do… after all, the wanted a writer and it was your writing that flew you up there.

so, do you think this is just idle chatter? or are you going to postpone weekend plans until next wednesday… would you pursue a job there? or has the hurricane soured you?

I call idle chatter until I’m made aware othewise. I don’t think this department, specifically, has a job to offer. Any other department would probably feel obligated to go through a search—and this place in general lusts for chances to underpay PhDs. As I see it, my foot in the door doesn’t mean much: it’s too easily stomped on. In other words, no, this is not enough to make us change our weekend plans. Even an offer might not get us to change our ultimate plans, for K’s sake— although to be sure we’d have to consider it carefully.

so, what have you done to make him like you so…

i mean, you’re just a temp hire anyway… aren’t you supposed to spend all your time conniving for more cig breaks than they want you to take?

The only thing I’ve done is think about the documents they’re writing as if they’re going to be published in less than two months—what I was asked to do, in other words. It’s about 200 pps of stuff, half of it needing significant line edits, the other half needing direction in terms of its presentation. I’ve spent 1/4 of my time there in meetings talking about organization and font sizes, and I probably ought to have spent as much time talking about jargon… but there’s time for that yet.

Get this: last night K discovered that a job I applied for last October is open again. Turns out the Emmy quit. How serendipitous is it that it’s in Pittsburgh?

I reopened my app today, and fortunately I have a few better additions to my res. Fingers crossed they don’t let a shiny trophy blind them this time….

AAAARRRRGGGHHH!!!! Immediate boss came by just now and dropped the following in my lap:

“You know there are three editorial positions being advertised. And one’s a senior!”

I replied, “I don’t know that I would have a shot at that.”

With a knowing look, she said, “I think you would.”

This is all nerve wracking!

so apply, should you get the steel mill go to the steel mill, should you not, take the corn shucking job, get some experience and then you’ll have more of a resume than temping it and you’ll be able to click your ruby slippers and not be in kansas anymore

We took a lease in Pitt this weekend. We’d be out $$$ if we didn’t show up. That said, a job’s worth more than what we could lose…

when are you slated to show up and when would you theoretically hear from the love me / love me not employer?

1) August 1.

2) Loves me/Loves me not hires on its own sweet time.

Big Boss just made a special trip to say that this department, which I’m working for now, has a position open, and they really want me to apply for it.

Will I get a 3rd visit today?

maybe they want you so badly that they will eat the cost of the good-faith payment?

and, they are probably monitoring everything you are writing.

Oh, probably so, which is why I ask, would they eat that cost every month? If so, I’ll take it!

I’m going to apply. I was told today (in so many words) that the job’s mine if I want it. Stability (and insurance) is nice after 18 months without either.

We might not move to Pitt after all.

but, you are gonna keep flirting with things you think more sexy… no?

eventually, yes. this (industry) is not what I want most to work in, though the type of work is very close. Sexy things are more easily sought by the experienced, however, and biding some time in good work and targeted volunteering (tho prolly not in gw) seems to me wise.

I should revise that: “the young or the experienced.” People forgive youth for talent; others respect experience and pay for talent on top of it.