For all the fuss and mess we humans like to create in the name of ‘meaning’, ‘mattering’, and ‘maturing’, it seems life, itself, is remarkably simple as a pattern; begin, breathe, move, feed, rest, mate, end.

I find that my perspective has shifted over time; many things I once thought of critical import have proven otherwise. Some by my own decision, others by repeated demonstration otherwise, and still others by acquiescence to the probability that attainment is unlikely/improbable enough to make it seem effectively futile.

Of course, that is more a statement of where I am than where the world is, and I acknowledge it as such. Admittedly, it’s a bit disheartening to think that, having passed some invisible line of chronology has seemingly marked me “disqualified” for the work I love most to do.

I was just telling my friend (C) today that, sure, I could go spend a bunch of money getting pretty pieces of paper with all manner of fancy acronyms that indicate some third party has received money from me and vetted my knowledge to their satisfaction.

But I thought that was what references and a portfolio was for…. of course, this was a pretty good look into the reality of my own failure to understand that people no longer are inclined to want to know me (for all they insist on having their HR pages look like Barney’s summer tech camp); they just want the right keywords to pop the “best” resumes (at using the right keywords) to the top.

It never occurs to anyone to consider that maybe, being a great keyword user isn’t the purpose of a resume (or of the goal, frankly). All companies say they want the best talent, but does the best talent train up in SEO and marketing if that’s not their competency?

How I wish for the days when you knew that the person (or system) reviewing your resume had a baseline understanding of:

  • technology taxonomy and relationships between concepts
  • industry specific business semantics
  • segment specific business semantics
  • brand or company specific business semantics
  • federal job system classifications and definitions (as they relate to a given client’s request/requisition)

That’s hardly a complete list, but it does comprise the significant majority of topicality.

But who am I fooling? They aren’t rejecting me for lack of experience. They’re rejecting me because they know I have already been through n rounds of this meat-grinder, so the likelihood they can get “full use” of me before I become too ill to continue working has fallen beneath the fold, just like me.

Mind you, “this meat-grinder” isn’t the work I love to do, it’s the arbitrary and oft retaliatory behavior of the staffing folk, regardless internal or external. When fully automated scoring arrives, I’ll likely not fare much better because I spent my life getting things done rather than self-promoting or playing social, political, and interpersonal politics, AND companies are discriminating against people on the daily with little to no real consequence.

I was rejected by a certain airline because I smoked. (Could have quit. They never asked. Actually AM quit today.)

I was “asked to quit” by a certain “transformation” company for bringing active racism and gender/age discrimination to their attention.

I was laid off by a different airline because I found and reported an ACF2 security issue (they preferred to accuse me of trying to hack them).

I had an engagement terminated because I wasn’t willing to lie to both company client executives and their customers.

I was laid off by an entertainment company because their parent wanted me to be a formal liaison and my Sr. VP decided he wanted that role for himself.

The tales go on and on and on… and I wish I could say those are the only ones…. they’re just the “recent” ones.

There was my trip through “Rejection Alley” over nearly 2 years as I tried to get that “forever” job that I’ve been chasing all my adult life.

Now, of course, this period I call “The Great Quiet”, wherein there is no response at all.

I don’t know what you do when it’s clear no one wants you, but me?

Well, ok, I get just as bitter, frustrated, and salty as the next person, but I’m not willing to be quiet about it. Which would be fine except we are (and have been) living in a culture that tends to ignore and deride change on any of these vectors.

I can’t make the world change for me. But I can change my world to not require them… So, I’m changing it. Because what else do you do (and expect to actually work for you)?

I’d just as soon be someone’s admin, secretary, or purchasing manager. I’m fine with register work or even fast food service. But it seems all those online tests they make you take don’t like me, either. A spot of research indicates it’s because I’m too independent and have leaned quite heavily of late into antisocial posture.

Personally, I think they confuse who I am with who I can pretend to be; I find this ironic because, even after all this time, the elephant in the room about bias and critically complicated culture (that effective shores it up) is hale and hearty.

So now what? I’m not a salesperson (nor do I want to be), and I’m too damn autistic to just bend to the preferences of others when it hurts the goal/outcome… I’m best with advocacy or animals… so perhaps advocating for animals? No… too much conflict. Grooming animals? Hard work, but I think I might enjoy it. Cats in particular… since everyone seems to think they’re so difficult and well, that’s just not my experience with them.

It’s all still swirling, since J is looking too, and our lease is up in November.

I’m not sure where we will land but I know this, we’ll land well, if not extravagantly. There’s a lot to be said for appreciating the effect of simplification on the tempests of life…. we have one another, and a few amazing friends… the rest is just flotsam; occasionally we must engage it but the trend is falling and it turns out I’m perfectly alright with it (intellectually; emotionally, I’m still chasing things around the room).


the waste of these years
an outcome I must not take
my worth is my own