More sudden realizations

Everybody’s all excited about working remotely right now, and while I’ve temporarily hit pause on the job search for another couple of weeks, the large majority of the positions I applied to were remote jobs. Some were in easily-reached locations like Indianapolis and Chicago, where if there were occasional days I needed to be in the office it wouldn’t represent a massive hardship, but the rest of those could be, well, anywhere. I didn’t apply to anything literally outside the country but I pretty much spanned the full width of it in those first few weeks.

So far I’ve been called for zero (0) interviews, which is … a little discouraging! One site let me know a human being had looked at my profile a couple of times, and I had somewhat high hopes for that, and LinkedIn has connected me to a couple of headhunter types who sent me messages about stuff I was either wildly unqualified for in one case or not interested in in another, but there have been no callbacks for anything. And it literally just hit me today: the disadvantage to the job searcher who is looking for remote work is that every remote job is a de facto nationwide search. I still have vestiges of that former honors kid’s confidence, right, that I’m good at a lot of things, better than most people, and that therefore I should just naturally float to the top of any applicant pool. But when you’re getting 5-600 applicants for a job (and I’ve seen jobs with way more than that) and they could come from anywhere? I have really nothing that’s going to stand out against that type of a search. Sure, I’m good, and I’ll be good at whatever job I happen to be applying for, but what I’m not is especially unique. There’s lots of middle-aged white dudes with a couple of Master’s degrees and an award or two. And even if I want to be super arrogant and say that I’m more qualified for Position X than 90% of humanity (or even if that’s an accurate assessment of my abilities!) when you’re looking at the entire country as your potential applicant pool that 10% is a lot of Goddamned people.

I may need to shift my focus here a bit, is what I’m saying. There’s no reason not to apply for these jobs, but I can’t count on finding something just by throwing a lot of CVs at remote jobs, and I may want someone with a little more experience in this to look at my résumé. I have a job this fall regardless, but I don’t want it, and it would be better for everyone involved if I was able to get something else. But I need to find a way to tighten up the pool of folk I’m competing with for these jobs, or I need to find a way to stand out against the big searches, or preferably both. I think I’m going to turn my personal website back on and see if that helps; maybe I’ll work on it tonight in between Elden Ring, grading, and planning for next week. Ten school days to Spring Break. I can do this.

Okay, that’s a plan

I think– I think— I may have a plan for next year that improves my current job situation in certain ways without upending every single thing I’m trying to do with my life. Some dominos have to fall into place– namely, getting hired for a couple of things– but I have reason to believe my chances for said things are at least higher than average and therefore I ought to be okay, and at any rate I’m going to find out pretty soon, which is better than every other job opportunity I have going right now. If this doesn’t pan out, I go back to full-scale job hunting over Spring Break. Let’s hope.

…and I’ve been sitting here staring at the screen for twenty minutes, so apparently that’s all I’ve got for today? I mean, it’s a plan. That’s something, right?

Free day off!

I was supposed to have jury duty today, and as of last night it hadn’t cancelled, so I was hoping that this would actually be the time that I get to serve on a jury– and yes, I mean get to, because I’ve never done it before and I wouldn’t mind the experience. I got the notification that my service was cancelled as I was getting into the car to head to the courtroom– which, on one hand, yay, because I’d already gotten the day off and it wasn’t like I was going back in, and on the other hand boo, because I’d gotten the day off so I could go do my Civic Duty as an American and that clearly wasn’t happening.

It’s not like there’s any chance I’m ever going to be allowed on a jury in the first place, unless the prosecutor isn’t paying attention and just assumes that since I’m a fat bald white guy with a beard I’m going to assume that whoever they put in front of me is guilty. I was kinda looking forward to declaring that all cops were bastards in my jury questionnaire. Alas, ’tis not to be, at least not this time.

So I came back inside and started job-hunting. Someone asked yesterday what sorts of jobs I was looking for. There’s a spreadsheet, because of course there is:

The blacked-out one is my kid’s school; they don’t actually have any openings right now but I sent in an application anyway just in case somebody resigns anytime soon. I’m not holding my breath over that one, but it’s pretty much the only way I’m in a classroom next year, since it’s a private school, which I’m pretty sure means that HB 1134 can’t touch it. If I find out otherwise I will probably mark them off the list. Nearly all of the rest of them are remote.

The interesting thing: I’ve been complaining about the quality of the jobs that the various search sites have been returning, but it turns out that once you start telling them what you’re applying for they start figuring out how to dial you in. I’m still getting the occasional blip where I search for education-related jobs in my area that pay $65K or more and get something in Fiji that pays $2 an hour to masturbate musk oxen, but … well, it’s getting better.

Anybody have any contacts at Edmentum, by any chance?

In which I’m still alive

I managed to make it back to work today for the first time since, well, last Thursday, and the first two adults to lay eyes on me both told me to take my ass back home again. I failed to take that advice; one of the most confounding things about this recent bout of being sick is that it’s consistently over by noon each day, only to resurge again the next morning, and I figured that since I made it to work without throwing up I could probably make it through the day.

Correct, as it turns out, and I know you all finished that last paragraph thinking “of course he didn’t,” because that’s how these posts almost always go. But no! I not only made it through the day, it was a pretty decent day, all told. I will likely do a Math Teacher Statistics Nerd post about my NWEA scores as soon as the last couple show up for me tomorrow; I have tested all but four of my students, and as none of the four have been to school at any point in the last two weeks I strongly suspect they’re not going to be in tomorrow, which is the last Friday of the semester and the end of the testing window. I want to wait until I have all the numbers I’m going to get before I start geeking out about them, but the early version is this: the good numbers appear to have held or in some cases actually gotten better, with my first and second hour doing particularly well.

… and I’ve spent twenty minutes staring at the screen and idly websurfing, so I guess I’ve said what I have to say for tonight? We’ll see if I make it through tomorrow. I’d like yesterday to have been my last sick day of 2021 but who the hell knows.

In which I cannot brain

The following are somehow both true:

  • That I have had, all told, a spectacularly productive Wednesday thus far, having accomplished a number of both work-related and non-work-related tasks that needed doing (and I could get really fuckin’ used to this idea of teaching four days a week and having one day for, effectively, administrative tasks)
  • That there has not been a single second yet today where I have felt like I had a good grip on what I was supposed to be doing at that time, or what I should be doing next.

Executive disfunction for the win, I guess. I’ve spent all day convinced I’m forgetting the important thing I’m supposed to be doing and going “Okay, I’ll get <insert minor thing done here> while I think about it and eventually I’ll remember what I’m supposed to be working on right now.”

Has my cellphone destroyed my short-term memory over the years, or can I blame this on advanced age?