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About shaeon

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  • Birthday 06/06/1973

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    Birmingham, AL
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  1. My nerve conduction study went well. My nerves are fine. My doctor seems to fully agree with me that this problem really was just a medication side effect. So hopefully that's it for tests for a while. I also got contacted by one of the jobs that I applied for early on in my job search, in Atlanta. It seems that in general, some of the earlier applications I submitted are now getting follow up. This one has been pretty weird, though. First of all, he asked if I realized the job was in Atlanta, and if that meant I wanted to relocate. I could see asking that in a phone interview, but it seemed like an odd question when emailing me. I was a little surprised because he also requested a sample of my writing. In my experience so far, that's a bit unusual for tech writing. For one thing, often your writing is secure and cannot be publicly shared (this is definitely the case with mine, since I work for a banking software company). But also, simply being able to write is only one part of tech writing. The focus I've tended to see in interviews is on familiarity with the tools of the trade, sometimes specific writing style guides, types of development that you're familiar with, etc. So that seemed odd, particularly considering how many years of experience I have. Then he asked if I could come to Atlanta for an interview. I feel like that's a lot to ask for a first interview. Here in my own city, first interviews are almost always by phone. Interviewing in person in Atlanta would require me to take an entire day off of work, and of course there's the cost of travel as well. If it were for a second interview, especially at a job where I knew the salary was desirable, I would gladly do it. But at this point, I started to get a nagging feeling that this guy just wants me to prove I really want this job by jumping through a lot of hoops. And frankly, I don't feel like that's a great way to start a business relationship. I looked up the company on glassdoor.com to see if there were any reviews of it. It doesn't even show up on that site, which also makes me feel funny about it. So I've decided to politely decline and move on. Early on in my job search, I was desperate and I would apply for pretty much anything. Now, I don't feel that way. I feel like it's important that I switch to a good job. If I end up moving to Atlanta, I feel like I should take a pay increase as well (after all, Atlanta has a higher cost of living and also far more opportunities). Meanwhile, I feel like what I'm learning from this is that I actually need to make my job search more slow and targeted. I need to seek out good places that I want to work. I also want to learn to write a query letter and start pitching articles to magazines that are within my interest. So the job search is still going. Just changing.
  2. shaeon

    Shaeon Focuses

    Since I'm not doing goals this month, but tending to my Battle Log instead, you can follow my Battle Log here, if you want to.
  3. Oh man. This week has been killing me. Training on a new product at work, and the training has just involved handling tons of bugs. Repetitive, mind numbing work. I can get a lot done once I get into the flow of it, but I'm having to work hard to get into that flow. Just completely boring work. Fortunately, it also doesn't require a whole lot of thinking (I guess? Is that fortunate, really??), so today when I felt like I couldn't hold it together for much longer, I just streamed YouTube videos in my laptop monitor while working in the main monitor. Do whatever it takes, I guess. So yeah. There are benefits to learning something new, like that changing things up does make things different, at the very lease. I don't get to get comfortable and lazy. But good god, this has been mind-numbing. Meanwhile, a friend of mine is kind of where I was in March when I suddenly realized that I need to get out. She's not in trouble like I was, but she's in a situation where she's so done with her job that she's genuinely concerned about getting fired. So she's talking a lot about how she can't stand it anymore, which of course I totally understand. I know what it's like to be at the can't take it anymore point and beyond that, but I'm not really sure what I can tell her other than "just keep applying." Tomorrow is my nerve conduction study at the hospital. If you generally follow my challenges and my updates and forgot that this was a thing, that's because it's been scheduled for more than a month. This is a follow up on that thing with my leg that hasn't even been a problem for a month now. But I figure it's worth it to go forward with the study, and so does my doctor. Hooray.
  4. Oh yeah, I know what you mean. When I got the callback from that one job I had an interview with, I realized that during the time between applying and the callback, my standards had changed. They were no longer a place I would normally have applied with. I started off the job hunt just desperate to get out. Now I'm in less of a hurry, because I don't want to get a job just to begin hunting again immediately. That's also why I turned down the contract work in Montgomery. I agree with your sister that the only real guarantee is a paycheck and a place not full of sewage. But there are certainly things we can do to ensure that it's most likely better than that.
  5. shaeon

    Shaeon Focuses

    Being more willing to change the goals would probably serve my needs much better. That's a good recommendation.
  6. Good work on this challenge, Hari. I'm sure you will find a great job soon.
  7. shaeon

    Shaeon Focuses

    I'm still getting used to these 4 week challenges. The end always sneaks up on me! Well, overall I guess I did a little better than average on this one. I applied for more than 20 jobs this month. That was my main accomplishment. I meditated almost every day. That was my second most successful goal. I was mostly consistent with the food journal, with a few skipped days here and there, and yoga was the biggest fail. Doing yoga even only 3 days a week proved difficult. I think in May, I'm skipping the monthly challenge. I'll probably take up my battle log again for a bit. Right now I've just got so many things going on, and at times during April, I questioned my goals. Specifically with yoga, I questioned whether it was the best goal for me. There were times I felt like going for a walk was a better choice for moving my body while also letting go of stress, so I did. There were times I felt like setting aside time at night to read, or time in the morning to leatherwork were the best ways to relax, so I did. This is an issue I have with goals - I am doing something measurable (yoga, 3 times a week) in order to accomplish something somewhat less measurable (relax; move body). I also sometimes have the problem that with goals, the purpose of the goal gets lost in place of simply being able to check off the accomplishment of that goal for the day. I had that issue with my food journal. I kept failing to record my feelings about what I was eating. And if I was happy, I would forget to food journal all day. So I need to think about this and how I should manage future goals. It's rare that the point of what I do is just to make a check mark next to an accomplishment. Other than that, things are going fairly well. A friend was recommending a job to me this weekend and at some point I asked her to look at my resume, and she gave me some really great advice on changes to make. That was helpful especially because she's been in a position to review resumes of applicants in the tech industry. She's the first person I've talked to that had advice very specific to my needs with resumes. I've also started using a time clock app so I can track my time when starting a new leatherworking project. Since I sell my stuff (currently, I'm actually in the early stages of making a few journal covers to put up in my Etsy store), it's useful to me to know how long it takes me to complete a project, because that informs my pricing. Also, sometimes I get custom orders and people ask how long it will take. It will be nice to have a good tool for estimating that.
  8. Just when I think the forums problems might be showing some progress, I try to like one of your status updates and it informs me that I'm not allowed to. Argh. I'm glad that the person is ok. What a wild way to start the morning!
  9. shaeon

    Shaeon Focuses

    Thanks Rogue. I appreciate it.
  10. I'll usually make myself go for a long walk on day 2 of the soreness. Definitely helps.
  11. shaeon

    Shaeon Focuses

    It's all good, Harihead. Things have just been insanely busy, is all. My days at work are kind of non-stop now, because I'm training an employee on my old products and getting trained on products I've never written for before (part of my punishment is being forced to leave my old products behind and acquire new ones. Ugh. It's a lot to do in the space of 3 months). And clearly, last weekend was kind of all over the place. So yeah. I'm on the roller coaster right now - both emotionally, and with my schedule as well. I saw that things seemed to not be working out with the job you were being interviewed for. I have high hopes that these are just the first-comers that just don't appreciate the value of the work that you and I can do. The better offers are on the horizon. Sorry to all, by the way, if I'm not on the forums as much this week. This week and last, I had time off scheduled and that makes my week a little crazier while trying to accomplish all these things. Added to that, the forums are so messed up that earlier today I couldn't even comment on anything. Rawr. Getting impatient with the broken forum.
  12. shaeon

    Shaeon Focuses

    I meant to say something about this before: Well, yes. It was difficult. That was an issue I had in that relationship - she tended to expect me to accept and never criticize her own problems (like in the case of travel; she could never leave on time, and she needed to stop repeatedly, but it wasn't worth it to me to complain because she would react by yelling at me for criticizing her). A thing I frequently said in the last few years of that relationship is that when we argued, I was always the bad guy no matter what was actually happening. Because no matter what she did and how wrong it might be, her reaction was something along the lines of "I can't handle being criticized". There was no good way to address things she did that annoyed me or hurt me or whatever, because regardless of my approach, she would get very defensive. She also couldn't handle anger very well. It freaked her out if someone got angry. So I was basically asked not to have one entire human emotion, and if I got angry at absolutely anything, she felt personally hurt by it. She had a lot of problems, and I know they all relate to her being raised by alcoholics. Which, of course, is awful. But also, none of that is my fault. So yeah. It's been quite a while since the breakup. I'm past being angry about any of this stuff anymore. I still loved her very much when she left, and that was hard. But looking back on the problems we had, it's pretty clear she needs to be with the kind of person who pretty much never gets angry, and with someone who is patient without feeling like it takes an effort. I pretty clearly need to be with someone who is able to talk things out better, and who doesn't have a knee-jerk reaction to blame everyone else for their issues. I actually talked to her recently (we usually see each other at DragonCon, but always in the presence of mutual friends, so it's not like we are able to talk about anything deep at all), and it was nice to just acknowledge that I miss her, and that I know why things ended now. When it comes down to it, I didn't just love her, I LIKED her. Clearly we had some fights and some problems, but we also just really enjoyed each others' company, and made each other laugh a lot. Had things gone differently, we'd probably have been perfectly happy to just be friends. You know. Assuming we never went on road trips together.
  13. shaeon

    Shaeon Focuses

    Oh man, I love traveling alone. For some reason, when I am alone, I tend to meet people, and when I'm with someone I don't. Maybe I'm just more open to it when I'm alone. So on that note, on Friday night after the Night Vale live show, I went to the pub next to my hotel for dinner. The hotel I was staying at was the Westin, which is also where I stay for DragonCon. I know the area really well, and I knew the pub next door had good food. So I went and sat at the bar, and right away when getting a bar seat I asked a woman if the seat next to her was taken, and in a British accent she said her husband was sitting there, but "I'm sure we can fit you in!" and then grabbed a bar stool from one of the bar tables nearby and made everyone move over for me. So right away, I knew I was going to enjoy sitting next to her - she was immediately welcoming me into their space and didn't seem to feel like there was anything wrong with doing that. She and her husband were wonderful and hilarious to talk with. Turns out they are visiting this part of the country for a week, and will be in Birmingham later this week. They asked me what Birmingham had that nowhere else has, and I told them that we have a haunted steel mill and a naked god on a mountain. They thought that was hilarious and she told me it was adorable the way I say "Birmingham" (we pronounce the H. She informed me that the British Birmingham is pronounced "Birmingum"). They really wanted me to spend more time with them and kept trying to buy me a second drink, but I was tired, and my new blood pressure has me on a one drink minimum. For some reason, if I have two drinks, I get red like I'm sunburned and it lasts for an entire day. As I was leaving, she told me I should visit England and stay with them because they had spare rooms, and she gave me her phone number. I'm not really sure that she would have offered to let a random American stay with her if she were sober. But for some reason, this is the kind of thing that happens when I travel alone. I meet people and end up having a really great time, and they offer to let me stay with them. The live show was great, by the way. If you're a fan of Night Vale, go see it. It's the best one I've seen. Other than that, my weekend was pretty full. Came home on Saturday and went to dinner with my sister that night, which was great. We haven't caught up with each other for a while. I went out to a local big art show downtown the next day, and ended up buying art from Skullgarden. This was the first time I'd ever seen it, and I fell in love with this guy's work. Monday I had to go to a funeral, and I had the day off for that. My step-grandmother passed away last week. We knew it was coming. She's been on hospice for over a month. It was still sad. She was a really great lady. It was kind of an emotional roller-coaster of a weekend. And as I write that, I think it may be that all this, combined with last week just being incredibly busy, contributed to the kind of week I was having. I meditated 4 days only. I basically forgot to all weekend. I skipped my food journal or didn't complete it basically every day last week. I only did yoga once. I did still get my 5 job applications in, though. I also heard back from the job I applied with. They decided to go with someone else. I'm kind of not surprised. One of the many things that made me feel wary about this company is that the woman who interviewed me said she would definitely call me in for a second interview while we were talking, and then the very next day she had an excuse as to why that probably wouldn't happen very soon. Honestly, at the time it felt like a polite lie. Like the kind of lie you tell when you realize that you shouldn't have promised something that you may not be able to do. I also got the feeling that they couldn't afford me. When we discussed salary during the phone interview, it was pretty clear that what I currently make (and I would expect AT LEAST that much) was pushing the upper range of what she can offer. And honestly, they expect a tech writer to come in there and do an awful lot considering the amount that they seem willing (and unwilling) to pay. Anyway. It resolves the ongoing dilemma I was having about whether this job was right for me. As it is, I was already concerned that they don't have an equal opportunity employer statement anywhere on their website, and I was also concerned about overwork and also requiring employees to take on duties way outside of the job description.
  14. I agree that it's not very likely they'd make an appointment just to dismiss you. Dismissals are usually in email. And just keep in mind that if they don't want you, it's likely that you don't want them either. I definitely know the need to get out fast, but ultimately it's worth the wait if the next job is a good fit. You've got a lot going for you and you're clearly an attractive candidate.
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