I meet with a group of people from my job counseling firm every week. We update each other on our progress and discuss issues, setbacks, good news etc… Lately we’ve been practicing networking. There’s one lady who is recovering from an illness and I’ve met with her separately a few times. She does very well on her practice interviews but she feels very insecure. She provides good advice to everyone but tells us she wishes she can follow her own advice.
But … she lavishes praise over me for spending extra time with her and credits me with helping her a lot. She’s done this several times to our group. To be honest, I was just there to listen and prod her here and there. Yesterday we were working on practice networking meetings. When she gave her feedback to our group, she told everyone we were like dance partners moving in sync. She said she wished it had gone on longer than our 10 minute time limit because it felt so natural. The other 2 people looked at me. I looked at my notebook. She kept going on about how wonderful it felt and how strong of a connection we had. When one person asked a question about how we connected, she became like a mama bear defending “us”.
This is getting very awkward for me.
I just got off the phone with an ex-colleague. It was a very long call – over 90 minutes. She called me earlier in the day while I was walking home but I missed it. The odd thing is that I was thinking of her yesterday. She called again when I got home. We always got along very well at work but we have never met each other. We did eventually meet for lunch and had a wonderful time.
She asked me how I was doing and I gave her a quick update. Her voice though sounded a bit slurred. Was she drinking? Then she told me that when she went in to check on her migraines, they told her she has an unruptured brain aneurysm. Because of where it is in her brain, it is very difficult, if not impossible to treat. The doctors said it could rupture in a week or a year, there’s just no way to tell. So she’s been running around trying to settle her affairs. I listened as she calmly went on talking about the doctors, the insurance forms, work, her family, her funeral plans and her dog. She spoke about her life, her parents, her brother who passed away at 18 in a car accident and all the questions she still had about life.
She told me while she was doing all of this, she heard her guardian angel reminding her to connect with old friends. So I was one of the people she called. As we were winding down, I asked if there was anything I could do for her. She asked to have lunch with her and so that’s what we’re gonna do in a couple of weeks.
I just submitted a job application and won’t you know it, I goofed up. I did a bit of digging and figured out the name of the hiring manager. But the job posting on LinkedIn didn’t have the hiring manager’s name or title. In various drafts, I had the name in but I finally took it out at the end just in case I was wrong. So I used the dreaded “Dear Hiring Manager”.
After I submitted it on the company’s website, I noticed who the job reported to. It didn’t have the name but her title. Of course, the title was for that person’s name that I had. I had even gone on her LinkedIn. What ticked me off was that I went through the posting a few times but missed this. I’m just kicking myself now.
The job is at one of my target companies but it’s only a 1 year contract. And the salary is a lot lower than what I used to make. But I need to get my foot in the door.
Here are 2 simple things that has make me feel better during this long job search.
- I make my bed in the morning.
- I wash and clear the sink of any dirty dishes and cutlery before I go to sleep.
I don’t remember where I first read about this. At the end of a long day when things haven’t gone your way, you need a good night sleep. It just feels better to get into a bed that’s been made. You don’t want the unmade and messy bed to remind you of chores you should have done. Making your bed in the morning is also a very simple way of crossing a task of your to do list.
When you wake up, you also don’t want to face a sink full of dirty dishes. It’s easier to get on with your day without first doing dishes. I just want my coffee and breakfast.
Now I have to admit, I don’t do this all the time. But I always come back to these 2 things and it seems to put me in the right frame of mind.
I had lunch with Gary and his friend Will when they were visiting Toronto this past week. Gary used to blog on Xanga (CurryPuffy). I don’t remember exactly when I subscribed to him on Xanga – likely late 2000s. His blogs were usually a lot of travel and food posts. He would usually start each paragraph with a small Snoopy GIF. I always had the impression he was a classy, soft spoken kinda guy. He was always helpful and polite when I emailed him looking for travel tips.
We met at the lobby of the hotel where he was staying. He still looks the same as his Xanga profile pic from years ago. We walked to a nearby restaurant. I usually worry about what to talk about or if I talk too much or too little. Chatting with both of them was easy even if I did blabber on a bit too much. We chatted about the people we knew on Xanga, where they visited, who picks the places to eat (for this trip – Will picked the restaurants), what’s going on in our lives and traveling in general. Both of them were very easy to talk to. It’s interesting when you “know” someone but haven’t met them in person. After lunch we walked back to their hotel and got some pics of each other. I hope to see them again. Both Gary and Will are really nice gentlemen.
Here’s what I ate.
The lunch was pretty good. The restaurant (Luma) was offering a fixed priced lunch menu as part of Summerlicious.
Strawberry feta salad (romaine, toasted almonds and champagne vinaigrette)
Peameal Bacon BLT (vine-ripened tomatoes, basil aïoli, arugula, kettle chips). The bacon was nice and I was so stuffed I couldn’t finish all the chips.
Coconut cream + pineapple tart – this was very nice.
I was sitting at a bench near the entrance of the library while waiting for a colleague. Standing near me was a well dressed and good looking Asian boy (14 or 15?) with a “Samurai pony tail”. He looked stylish and poised. His black rim glasses added a touch of maturity. He had an iced coffee in his hand and and was looking at his phone. I was a bit early so I got my notebook out to make some notes for my meeting.
When I looked up again, I saw the boy looking towards the front door with a big smile on his face. I looked over and there was another Asian boy who looked like a member of a Korean boy band. They both had the biggest smiles as they walked towards each other. It was quite cute to watch. The first boy gave the second one the ice coffee drink. The second boy looked surprised and smiled even more. There was just a hint of a blush and also a very discreet nod of the head from the second boy.
It was neat to see what looked like a genuine, open friendship. But it also reminded me that I didn’t have that when I was their age.