Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My first San Diego job rejection

I applied for my first job in San Diego a few weeks ago. It was a Federal job, doing something with processing medical claims for some Navy legal outfit. I figured I might be a decent fit as I, 1.) have a legal background, and 2.) I've worked in a hospital laboratory entering billing information for tests, so I have a least some familiarity with insurances and medical terminology. There aren't many jobs that I think I qualify for, so I was rather excited to see this one posted.

The joy of applying for jobs in the 21st century, especially through usajobs.com, is that you almost always have to apply electronically, meaning that your application goes off into the ether, perhaps never knowing if anyone received it or looked at it. I've applied for at least six or seven Federal jobs out here in Hawaii and aside from the "we received your application" e-mail, which is at least some sort of welcome communication, I haven't heard anything back from any of them. Not even rejections. I know the great machine of bureaucracy moves slowly, but I'm assuming that I didn't get those jobs.

So it was much to my frustration, and bizarre pleasure, that I got a rejection e-mail this morning. I didn't get the job, but at least I heard back from them within a month(!!!) and don't have to sit around wondering what became of the application.

With the economy and job market as they are right now, I know I'm going to face an uphill battle finding employment in San Diego. With the number of people that apply for any given vacancy, I have to believe that employers are probably able to pick people who have exactly the job experience and skill set needed for a particular opening. For example, the job I just applied for: I'm guessing there were at least a few people that applied for that job who have specifically processed medical claims before. Employers are going to go with a known product that is almost a sure bet of a fit -- they're not going to take the time to pour over resumes, evaluating them, looking for people that they think might be able to do the job based on other job experience.

I'm still working as a contractor for a legal publisher, so I'm not too freaked out about employment until maybe the end of the year, but it would be nice to get back into an office-type setting working 40hrs/week. I miss having coworkers and it's been three years since I've worn some of the items in my closet since working from my living room doesn't require "work casual".

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Getting the band back together

I'm tired from cleaning the house and chasing Zoe through the neighborhood, so I think I'll take a few moments to churn out a post.

On the baby front - no, not pregnant. Truthfully, I can't remember when I last mentioned the whole infertility-thing, so forgive me if I end up repeating myself. After doing six or seven months of fertility drugs with no success, my doctor gave me a referral to a fertility specialist out in town. ("Out in town" means a non-military provider.) We met with him a few months back and, after reviewing my medical record, he had Zac and me submit to a few more tests. Of course, all of the tests that I have to take require specific timing, so it took us a couple of months to get the tests run. Of course, everything came back normal.

The fertility doctor prescribed me a drug called Follistim. Short version: another fertility drug. We would use it in conjunction with IUI, which most people refer to as "artificial insemination". The process is I have to wait for the right time in a cycle, notify the doctor, go to his office, and learn how to inject myself with the drug. Then, when the stars align, Zac and I would go back to the clinic, he'd give his sample, they'd put it in me and we'd cross our fingers. Sounds like a grand ol' time.

Honestly, we still haven't decided if we're going to go through with this or not. It's pretty taxing emotionally. Not just the strain of not getting pregnant, but the strain of, "Is this really what we want? Why are we putting ourselves through all this when we're not even sure if we want to be parents? Are we questioning whether to be parents because we really don't want kids, or is it just the stress talking? How can we be sure?" We've got a few weeks until we'd need to decide whether or not we want to proceed. After talking in circles for a couple of weeks, Zac and I have decided to just let the situation be for awhile. When the time comes, we'll see where we're at.

Since I've started going through all this infertility stuff I've become much more aware of other people's struggles with it. Facebook, in particular, has been valuable in giving me some insight to what friends of mine, both male and female, are going through/have gone through. Some friends have adopted (both locally and abroad), some friends were successful with their treatments. I'm sure others are still struggling with it and choose not to share. I can't say I blame them. There's hardly any middle ground when it comes to disclosing your reproductive life to family, friends and strangers. Either you don't share anything with anyone - e.g. that you're trying, that you're not trying, that you do/don't want kids - or you have to share everything. Because once you disclose the fact that you're even considering having kids, people ask and ask and ask and ask and ask and ask and ask and ask . . . . People are genuinely curious and supportive, I get that, but still, it gets a little tiresome explaining intimate details of my health, my husband's health, and our sex life. (Really, how would you feel if people asked you about what you and your spouse do in the bedroom?)

Wow, that's starting to sound a little rant-like. It's not meant to be venomous, just exasperated. I guess I would just this advice to people out there: Even though you're curious, try to refrain from asking and wait until information is shared. If people want to tell you, they will. Also, as a pseudo-Public Service Announcement, please refrain from using the statements, "It will happen when you least expect it," "It will happen if you just relax/don't think about it," "As soon as you stop trying, it will happen," or any variation thereof. It gets old and, honestly, those statements are not necessarily true. Instead, try something like, "That must be incredibly frustrating. I hope everything works out for you."

So while the above paragraphs make it sound like I'm upset, I'm actually not. June has been an awesome month so far. Two of Zac's former ATG co-workers are back in town and it's been a lot of fun spending time with them. One of the guys is here on leave because his wife, a good friend of mine, is expecting their first child any day now. (Actually, she's a couple of days overdue, much to her frustration.) The other guy is here because his ship is in port for a few weeks. It's been great having them back around. Zac's office hasn't been the same since they left. We've spent a lot time the last couple of weeks, sitting around, having a few beers, talking, laughing, eating and having a great time. We're excited that both of these guys and their wives are going to be in San Diego with us come fall and winter.

Today we're having a BBQ at our house. We weren't sure if we were going to have it or not, since my friend hasn't had her baby yet, but since she's not in labor we're having a party. It should be a good-sized group. Maybe a dozen people. That meant Zac and I spent most of the morning cleaning the house. Zac was outside, cleaning off the lanai when he popped his head in to ask for the car keys. Apparently he had left the gate open while he was working back there and Zoe slipped out. Usually she sticks around, too chicken to get very far from Toivo, but this time she was AWOL.

I let Zac drive around looking for her and when I finished mopping I joined in the search. I found her not too far away, but across the main street in our neighborhood. I managed to get her to follow me home, so no harm, no foul. I think Zac was relieved, knowing that I would have been pretty pissed off at him if we hadn't found her. (He claims that he wouldn't have missed her. I think he's lying. This is the guy who lets her curl up in his lap on the couch.)

Anyhow, time to start prepping some food. Zac's got the smoker going and some racks of ribs are going on in a few minutes. Just another beautiful afternoon in paradise with friends!