No, I’m not talking about my experience at InEight, the company with the handsy and mouthy CEO that purchased et alia and then fired me. That company spelled their name with the number eight.
They held a “convention” the year they purchased et alia called The InEight Experience. “Experiment” is a better word for what they attempted; an illegal one at that.
It's ok to be nervous. That's natural. It's innate. It takes a key wit to make people nervous. That's what's in my DNA.
This is a separate experience altogether. No one is safe; not from this.
Any resemblance to real life is purely coincidental. Besides, it doesn’t matter. I never signed anything (or received money) that said I couldn’t talk.
That's all I need to sleep well at night.
My Innate Experience
Something happened along the way to my happy ending; a detour of sorts.
The train left the station before the people on board realized it was moving.
That’s an easy feat to manage in a windowless getaway car – the inconvenient car equipped with a bootlegger bar.
Is it possible to be nothing and everything all at once?
Up, up, and away! From experiment to life altering experience.
What’s a first time unemployed person to do? Look for a job, right? Seems logical. So I did. To no avail.
In the beginning of unemployed status, I met with a placement company who wanted me to pay them to find me a job.
They told me I was an ENTJ. I had a couple interviews on my own.
I failed some kind of test during my interview with State Farm.
Also, I have 15 years executive HR experience and Zenefits (an HR services company) didn’t want to talk to me. I was overqualified for an HR company.
I abandoned my focused job search by the end of 2015. All signs in my daily life pointed in the direction to give writing a shot.
Lord knows, I've said I should be a writer enough times throughout my life.
There comes a time when you need to either put up, or shut up.
I had whatever retirement I had, and a house. I reeled in my job search while I figured out what I wanted to do with Devilish Smirk.
I've not been paid for anything I've written. Monetizing words is not an easy order to fill. That requires a lot of energy, along with a solid foundation of content.
My eyes are on content, 100% of the time. Eyes. Plural. Both of them.
All About the Story
I came out swinging.
It’s not always easy to express what’s going on inside one’s head.
Being a writer means you’ll piss someone off along the way. Some say you haven’t made it as a writer until you’ve done so. If that’s the case, then mission accomplished.
I don't think anyone makes it as a writer until their banks and credit cards are pulling them into court. Even then, there are no guarantees.
I’ve been blessed with the attitude and enough conviction where I have no qualms sharing the things I’ve witnessed in life. Especially things I continue learning. I’m 44, I’ve learned a lot, and have a lot of things to say, across the board.
No topic is off limits, especially my own shortcomings. Try putting a label on that. Let’s be honest, we all have stories. Dark ones. Tell me I’m wrong.
This is our world. Join me while I play in it.
This is the only way I can make sense of the world in which I live.
I have a friend. His name is Brandon, but I call him Brand. Much like Darby, Brand’s unemployed. He’s looking for a job, and has a long story of his own.
In case you missed who Darby is, she's the fulltime, unemployed acronym, Dreams Are Realized By You. Here's her history.
Brand hasn’t worked in a while; it’s been about four years. He just turned 48.
The major difference between Darby and Brand is that he's not an acronym. Not yet.
Brand has his own experience with job search chronologies, rescinded offers, and other bizarre shit.
He has ideas about what he wants to do, and has vivid specifics of everything he won’t.
Brand was fucked with from all sides, and then forced to fire his best friend, who became some sort of smirking writer.
Brand isn't one to be fucked with. Why? That will become more clear in future stories about him.
That’s just part of him that people have to accept.
Brand is a Dreamer and, like Darby, his Dream is a Grower
All about the story.
Brand’s been on the job hunt. Unlike Darby, who’s stuck in dreamland, dreams aren’t good enough for Brand. Especially if all they ever amount to are dreams.
Darby's there by choice, by the way.
But Brand doesn’t have dreams anymore. He has nightmares, and Brand’s nightmares are creeping into his reality.
He was applying for what felt like every job under the sun, but nobody was biting.
You're overqualified! I'm sorry, Brand. The offer we extended you 12 hours ago - that's no longer valid. Best of luck, hopefully we can stay in touch. We've opted to pursue other candidates.
Only offer parts of you that you’re willing to give.
If Brand had his druthers, he’d be on some sort of stage, singing. If there’s a constant beat to Brand’s life, it’s that of his voice.
Brand can sing like no other. His talent was apparent early on, but there are reasons for Brand's detour.
A hard stop was thrown in Brand’s path whose tracks took off in another direction.
Denied Days of Disney, Purdue, NASA, Madison, MCAT, Chemical Engineering, SAP, Tellabs, DUCT, ZIM, RAC, Turner, Churchill, Kiewit, InEight, Medical Records, Scottsdale.
The stuff of dreams...
Meanwhile, back in Brand’s reality…25 years later, the U.S.A. is still on that downward detour.
It’s so bad, that Donald J. Trump is the president of the forsaken country.
A Change of Heart
“What the fuck is wrong with me?” Brand wondered to himself.
Oops, we made a mistake, when can you come in for an interview?
Before he had a chance, that last part happened.
Brand applied for five positions at a prominent local grocer. He received eight confusing, seemingly replicated, but differently worded rejection emails.
That company called him.
Two hiring managers, both of them, left Brand voicemails stamped 2:01 PM on the same day. Both locations consecutively changed their minds, simultaneously realizing their previous mistake.
What are the odds? *ahem*
Illumiti and Kiewit
Long story short, Brand met with one of them. Don’t interrupt Brand. Bagging groceries *enter sarcasm* is his passion.
Everyone Deserves a Chance
Brand’s life is a real-time saga playing out daily. He wakes up, every day without answers to many of life’s glaring questions.
Just give me a chance! Yes, I may seem overqualified or not fitting exactly into your idea for the role but if you give me a chance what is the worst that could happen? And the best is a big upside! *Fun Fact: Brand has a degree in Chemical Engineering as well as an MBA.*
Brand accepted a position at a local grocery store just blocks from where he lives. He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but he’s grateful for the step in the right direction. It’s a job and more than anyone else has offered him.
Onward and upward!
Dumb Myself Down? Never!
Dumb it down is a contradiction to every sign along your path to become your best self.
A friend recently muttered these words as advice – some iteration of dumb it down. Why? Because experience excludes me from contention? I don’t know. I guess certain experience can appear intimidating, but nobody should have to lie about who they are.
It wasn't the first time I've heard this regarding a later life job search.
Dumb it down? No. Misinformation about me by my own making? Which version of you is true? Thank you, but no. That’s just bad advice.
People are people and people talk. It's in their DNA.
What happened to being better?
Just because you were a CEO, doesn't mean you weren't one when it comes to getting a job.
It’s beat into our subconscious minds to feel like we have to adapt our persona to fit a situation.
Don’t beat yourself into submission. It’s up to you to not erase your past.
We are our own worst enemies, but we’re also our only advocates.
What’s worse than a kid without talent?
Leashed potential. The unrealized dreams of a dream-filled kid, and the kid always told no.
You have exactly one advocate you can count on.
I’m Leveling Up
I want to live up to my own expectation of me, myself and I. It’s something I have to do for my own sanity. Always (or try to) be the best version of yourself, even when you’re knocked down.
It’s still a version.
Our ability to do good is only as powerful as the bad we've embraced about ourselves.
None of us are dealt things we’re incapable of handling.
If you want a life of candy, you must crush it.
I write like words spill out of my mouth. Editing is all the reason for me to write; it allows me to enhance, retract, rearrange and otherwise present my thoughts an organized flow.
The impact of story time on a child’s developing mind is immeasurable. Read storybooks to your kids or the kids in your life. Behind every storyteller is an active listener.
That’s a good first step.
*No clowns or elephants were harmed in the production of this story.