Monday, September 19, 2005

Not my idea of "perfect"

Tonight, instead of going to my Interpreting I class, I will be taking a pre-employment test for the U.S. Postal Service along with probably 300-400 other people. There are three types of positions they're hiring for, and my hope is to bypass the data conversion operator positions and get in as a clerk-stenographer, if I get a job there at all.

After the test, I'll have to wait probably two weeks for my results. At that time, I will probably be asked if I wish to be considered for a position, and I'll have to go through a number of screenings, a personal interview and a medical assessment. For the stenographer position, they only require a typing speed of 45 wpm. While at the Wichita Eagle, I'll bet my typing speed got up to about 65 or 70. I could type about 60 wpm before.

The benefits that the U.S. Postal Service offers are really good. I mean, it's the federal government! Maybe if I get in, eventually they can help me become an interpreter with the federal government. I know. I'm reaching. I've got to a little bit. I don't want to be unemployed for another two years, even if that's how long it might take me to finish my interpreter training.

The reason I titled this post "Not my idea of 'perfect'" is because I've never wanted to work for the Postal Service. I've always, until recently, considered myself a journalist. I've got a bachelor's degree, nine credit hours toward a master's, and am going through interpreter training to receive an associate's degree. I want a job where the people around me are educated beyond high school not just because they want to be, but because they have to be in order to have the job they do.

I've had jobs before where I was the only one with a college education. I was educated beyond the level of my bosses. That was not pleasant. I don't like to have more education than my boss, because then my boss is jealous of me and doesn't treat me the same as everyone else, and my co-workers are jealous of me, so they don't like me. They think I'm there to show them up or something, when all I want is a way to make money until I can get a job somewhere that I really want to be.

All the benefits in the world can't make you want to go to work if the environment is unpleasant all the time. I've been there. In fact, I blame one of those experiences for my problems with acid reflux. It was either I quit or end up in the hospital with stress-related stomach issues, maybe even an ulcer. I just hope that if I get a job as a result of this test that it's something I can live with for as long as I have to.

Plus, if I get a job, Ron and I can move out of this puny 400-square-foot apartment that we've been living in the whole three years we've been married. I'll just have to do everything I can to remain employed, even if it means shutting up about unfair treatment, I'm afraid. That's what got me fired from the Eagle: complaining about unfair treatment.

Anyway, I've got lots to do before my test tonight. One of my action items: trying to get my lazy landlord to replace the compressor in our air conditioning unit. It broke down last night, and now it's 81 degrees in here, and it's not even 7 a.m. Should have slept outside. Would have been cooler.

Pray for me that I get a job, and that it's one I can live with. I don't need luck for the test. It's going to be a dummy's test. It's composed of simple math, filing skills, spelling, enumeration, that sort of thing. I'll let you know whatever comes of this test.


Nick said...

Life's a bitch. Being probably the only plumber in Wichita with a Bachelor's degree is not one of my career goals, but you gotta pay the bills somehow.

The Terrible Swede said...

Yes, Nick, life's not fair. We sympathize with your current job and education and yes bills have to be met.

BUT your termination was entirely different from Erica's, wasn't it, Nick?