Random things Friday.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post like this, but I think these posts are really good because they give you an accurate picture of what goes on inside my brain. Which is a LOT. And I don’t necessarily mean in the MENSA way, I mean in the ADD, pass the Adderall kind of way.

Onto the random things!

1. I wanted to run long on Thursday morning, but I fell asleep with a pretty severe headache and a touch of a sore throat. I almost NEVER get sick so it was sort of alarming. I woke up yesterday morning after some pretty fitful dreams, with an even bigger headache, and I spent most of the morning on the couch answering some emails and chugging coffee and water to try and get the headache to go away/flush some of that nasty stuff out of my body.

2.  I noticed some people who ran Tobacco Road had posted some of their times and photos from the race.  Check out this proof!

TBTR15BV02298

So I ran 13.1 miles after arriving at a race late, and since I was late I could not check a bag.  this means I had my jacket (that was wayyyy too expensive for me to ditch), my water, and my phone, all with me.  Oh well, race ended well despite some residual soreness from having to fight my way up from the back of the pack during the race.  Check out that lobster red face!

3.  I think I found some tickets in a really good section of Stevie Wonder in Newark in April to surprise my dad with.  For the most part I don’t think my dad reads this blog super often.  If he happens to be reading today my surprise is ruined.  Also, is there a reason why ticket scalpers need to make all of our lives extremely difficult by buying up all the tickets?  A lot of times they have to drop the price down in the final days before the concert.  That has to be stressful.  Is that worth it?  Can’t they be normal people and get a second job that requires not gumming up Ticketmaster for the rest of us?

4.  CamelBak Eddy

I drink out of this thing on the regs. All sorts of watery beverages. Water, sparkling water. You know, I get pretty crazy. Well I happened to be looking at the bite valve on this thing last week, and it was full of mold. Which is kind of terrifying. But also explains why ::knock on wood:: that I’ve not been really sick in a long time.  Like I don’t count a little sore throat that I’m dealing with now.  But I’ve been ingesting all sorts of disgustingness while I’ve been trying to stay hydrated for some time.  Gross.  Also intriguing.

5.  My performance appraisal is next week.  Eep.  I hope it goes well.  It kind of makes my stomach hurt to think about it.  I’ve done a good job at my job, and I love my job, but I know there are things I can improve on.  And I want to take the time between this PA and next years to kill it even harder.

Tell me one random thing!

Blogging the Bach.

Pretty sure that’s what bloggers say when they’re talking about blogging about the Bachelorette, but I’m literally talking about my bachelorette celebrations that I had all weekend in Charlotte.

I made it clear from the beginning of planning this shindig, that I wasn’t really the type of lady to want to go to a Chippendale’s Show.  I really don’t like the idea of a Magic Mike type gentleman rubbing all over me.  It’s not that nudity in itself offends me, but being touched and swung around by a random guy baby oiled up just doesn’t do it for me.

So after this perk of my job…

Snake Turtle

(This reptile lady came to the Y on Friday for the kids, and showed them slithery crawly things).

And this one….

Sno Cone

(I went for a run after work, and sort of stumbled on the campers eating shaved ice and running around in bounce houses).

I trekked down to Charlotte in the pouring rain for my bachlorette, and we started Friday off by going to the Harris Teeter for some food for dinner and Saturday morning’s breakfast.  What was really really neat was that my friend and bridesmaid, Melanie, opened up her family home to us in Charlotte and allowed us to stay there, so we wouldn’t have to spend a million dollars on a hotel and eat out for every meal, which is like my worst nightmare.  Not because it’s super unhealthy, it doesn’t have to be, but because with my gastritis, I really can’t take eating out left and right without being really uncomfortable and ill the next day.

So we cooked dinner, drank some wine, and caught up on friend things on Friday night and planned to get sweaty on Saturday.

Lucky for us North Carolinians, we have the White Water Center available to us, and after waiting for the rain to let up, all of us caravaned over the the Center.  I’ve been once before to actually do some rafting, but this time, we went and spent time on an obstacle course, walking around, eating at the little restaurant they had on campus, and my fave, ziplining!  The second we got there, I almost regretted not rafting, so we started talking about how we will be back to raft.  I’ve never considered myself much of a naturey outdoorsy person, but something about being at a place that let’s you get physical and push yourself will really bring it out of you.

Panorama

After almost a full day at the center, we headed home to freshen up, and officially got the party started, in the best way that a few 20-somethings with full-times jobs can.  It’s funny – had we been doing this four or five years ago, we would have TURNT UP no question, but the turnt level was pretty mild.  We drank, we danced, and generally just really enjoyed each other’s company.  It just felt good to get all the people I care about (minus some really important ones that couldn’t make it) in the same spot, and getting them to know each other.  It was really cool to see the ease with which these folks were able to get along with each other, and it makes you feel confident in your friendships.

Bach

Finally, on Sunday morning, we woke up, grabbed showers, and met with Austin’s mom and my mom for a kinda bridal shower thingie.  It was SO nice, and once again, having all that love in the same place was really trying to make my head explode.

photo 5 (2)

18 days and counting….!!!!

How was your weekend?

Full Circle.

A little over two years ago, I was desperately job searching.

I was not yet full time at Fleet Feet, and I had this complex where I felt like the loser in mine and Austin’s relationship.  I know that is imaginary, but once you’re told “no” so many times, your brain starts to play bizarre tricks on you.  You trick yourself into thinking that there’s something seriously the matter with you and your resume, and that the work that you are doing is unimportant.  That l-word starts creeping into your mind too, especially when you see how well friends seem to be doing through the lens of social media.  [Pro tip: No one ever puts the fact that they’re 3 months behind in their house payment on social media, so don’t sweat how amazing people’s lives may seem.]

So 2, nearly three years ago, I interviewed for a position at at my new job, that I felt like would be perfect for me.  So perfect.  I had one interview, then two interviews, and was in the process of setting up my third interview when they broke it off with me and told me that the job would not be mine.

I was heartbroken.  The news came through in an email, and as I received it, I began to dissolve into tears that didn’t stop for two days.  Poor Austin bought me smoothies, and did his best to calm the sobbing, which came in spurts.  I think he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for that.

So about a month or so ago, I interviewed, a very low-key interview for that same job, which had opened up.

One interview turned into two.

The second turned into a third.  And finally, I was offered the job.

I’m in shock.  It’s surreal.  I’m happy.  I’m visualizing all of the incredible things I want to do on the job.  And finally, I am grateful grateful that everything comes full circle, and will happen when it is supposed to.

photo (10)Grateful grateful grateful grateful.

What are you grateful for? 

 

 

Nasty LinkedIn Lady

You guys.

So I’m not sure if you heard about the Nasty LinkedIn Response, but here’s your rundown.

(Also this is not running related, but you will deal because you’ll like this 🙂 )

This subject is one that near and dear to me because I spent a good chunk of time after grad school job searching, starting out timidly at first and afraid to network, and eventually getting more and more bold.

The story: So 26-year-old Diana Mekota was planning on moving to Cleveland last summer, and from all accounts, it looks like she did the right thing. She reached out to Kelly Blazek, who runs an online Job Bank, by emailing her a short email detailing what it was that she was looking for, and basically asking for information, any information, or leads on job prospects. There was really nothing wrong with the email, and this is what she got in response.

Mekota
Peep that subject line. No honey….

Uhhhh. Jigga what? (Also, quite shocked by the response, Diana, our young, bright-eyed job hopeful, sent a very sweet email apologizing just in case she had somehow offended Kelly).

As someone who job searched for a hot second before she found her gig, I take some special friggin insult with this email.

So a few months ago, I had a heinous interview with Athleta with a woman named Mary, who treated me like dog crap, and acted like she didn’t want me there. I sent her an email later, and she claimed that she didn’t know what I was talking about, and she called it a “misunderstanding,” and that she had actually been impressed with my job presentation. Coulda fooled me by the way she told me to redo my résumé and from the way she told me, “well this went a lot better than I thought it would,” before she stared at me down her mean glasses. But it all brings me to this. I genuinely don’t understand why it is that people in positions of job power feel the need to abuse young hopefuls.

Grownups tell us to network, tell us to put ourselves out there, to email, to utilize our resources, but how can we feel comfortable doing so when people in power (admittedly occasionally) make us feel like garbage for doing so? The woman was in a teaching position, her job is to be a mentor, and yet, she felt it appropriate to berate and humiliate a job hopeful. And if she truly didn’t want to connect, she could have hit ignore. Her generation would know what an ignore button was if they took a second to stop calling us millenials entitled. (I kid, kinda).

On the real though, tell me guys. What are your thoughts on this nasty LinkedIn mess?

Job Search.

Running came to me at a really….tumultuous time in my life.

I graduated from NC State University in 2011 with my Masters.  I was a Social Worker!  Werk, right?  Wrong, kinda.

I spent the next like, year, searching high and low for a job that would apply, even vaguely, to what I’d spent years studying.  And thus, began the infamous job search, and by default, how I became a marathoner.  Running kept me from tearing all my hair out, one loc by one, each time I went through the following process, one that would take you from hopeful -> despondent in a matter of weeks.

The black hole.

I started, like any job-searching dumbass, by applying for jobs using those online forms.  Then I’d get really, really, really upset when I never heard anything for like 100 years from whatever agency it was.  It completely escapes me why any agency/company would utilize these forms when it’s pretty clear to me that a million people apply using these things, and not a single one of them gets a call back.  The key, I found, was filling into the form, exactly what the form wanted to hear.

The courtship. 

Once I started figuring out the system, there was these incredible awkward experience called “the phone interview” that would befall me.  Here’s how it would go down.  You schedule a time with an interviewer, usually over email, to do the interview.  Say it’s like at 8:30 am.  You’ll do what you’re supposed to, find a nice, quiet place, and sit with your phone, waiting on this call.  Usually the interviewer won’t bother to call until 8:36.  This means that you will have been staring at your phone, on high-alert, for 6 minutes.  The phone rings.  And your heart jumps out of your chest.  Usually, at this point, you’re all, how the eff am I going to answer this, and sound professional?  I know!  I’ll use my racially ambiguous voice for this one!

“This is Cheri!”

So I’d chirp through the entire phone interview.  I’d usually fly through this part.

Froyo

The in-person.

After I’d nail the phone interview, it was time for the in-person interview.  Stress city.  This was the tricky part.  What do I wear.  Ugh, is my natural hair a little too “ethnic” for the position?  Too late, it’s nearly 10 years in the making.   What if I don’t look like what my voice sounds like? Have I done enough research on the company?  What might they ask?  What do I say when they ask if I have any questions.

The Break-Up

This, by far, was one of the most emotionally damaging parts of the entire search process.  You’d do the interview.  And you never really know how you did.  There’s the wait.  And then you sense that you’re about to be broken up with. There’s the email break up, days after you’ve sent your stupid thank-you note.  And the email reads like this.

Cheri,

I wanted to let you know how AWESOME I think you are.  You’ve been such an asset to this company in the capacity that you work in, and you’re SO good at what you do, we want to KEEP YOU THERE!  That’s right, we went with this other guy for the position that you interviewed 3 times for! (Sorry about the humiliation!)

I know it seemed like the interview went really well, and we even showed you where your future office was going to be to tease you, but we really really, really wanted to fool with your emotions, that way, when you open this email, you’re absolutely sure to burst into tears.  Hope to embarrassingly see you around the office!

Awk

Oh. Gonna drink anything that’s a liquid now.

This happened to me really too many times for me to recount, and in the most painful, and humiliating off ways.  I’m not lying, once I was interviewed like three times for a position, and I didn’t get it.  Once, in a lunch interview, one of the guys interviewing me asked me how I do my hair when I run.  I believe he was just intrigued by my locs.  I didn’t get that job, and I found that out when I called the woman in the interview back after she’d left me a chirpy sounding email.  I was pumped! She’d called, all happy, to let me know that they’d given the job to some guy, who ended up resigning a few months later.

The Resolution

All of this was eased by a few things.  I never really accepted the situation, and it would be a lie to claim I had.  That might have made things a little easier, but my parents are successful, my friends are successful, and I compared myself to that.  Plus I have student loans to pay off.  But what did make it a little easier was Fleet Feet, running and generally working off the jobless anxiety, and eventually finding a job in my field.

I’ll leave you with the one and only Job Search Tip that you’ll need.

You guys know all the tips.  Your resume is top-notch, you have degrees, and you’re qualified,  In the time when you’re unemployed or underemployed, be good to yourself.  Work out.  You’ve got more time than most working people, so take advantage of it.  Go the the gym.   Do some yoga.  It’ll render you a little more ready to take on your situation, plus, you’ll have a 6-pack and look like a friggin supermodel when you actually do get an interview.  It’s tempting to sit around and gain 1000 lbs while going through this, but don’t let this process win.  And when you do experience rejection, and you will, chalk it up to another frustrating experience.  You know there are better things out there for you.