Recent futilities

There's no knowing why, but from Saturday night to Sunday morning, I slept 16 hours straight.

Or at least, 'straight' by my definition, which means waking up every 45-90 minutes, and then falling asleep again. That's how I've slept every night for fifty years, but usually the cycle of wake-up-and-go-back-to-sleep happens 2-3 times in a night. Saturday night to Sunday morning and into Sunday afternoon, atypical and backasswards but in a good way, the cycle repeated and repeated.

Hope that's not an early symptom of some exotic cancer.

Of course, come Sunday night I was insomniac again, wide awake until 6AM Monday morning. Then I squeezed out about three hours of sleep, and here we are.

Good morning, and jeez I'm tired, like always.

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My bank account is low like an ant's knuckles, so the credit union emails a helpful reminder every morning at 4AM: "Low Balance Alert for account# blah blah." There's not a fee for having a low balance; they send the reminders only to humiliate me.

For a week, every morning's email told me I was worth $88.91, until the auto-pay for the phone bill knocked it down to $74 and change. But I'm perversely proud that, other than auto-pay, I haven't spent a penny since paying the rent.

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I'm still waiting to hear about maybe working at Walgreens, though it seems less and less likely. And I'm still filling out applications and more applications. I'm about 1/3rd of the way to my goal of applying for every job in King County.

Recent futilities include applications to drive for Greyhound, deliver for Amazon, box for UHaul, cook for Jack-In-the-Box, sell shoes for JCPenney, and mop for Goodwill. I've also written hello-please-hire-me letters to virtually every local mom&pop business where I've been a customer. And of course, I'm still applying for office jobs, the only work I'm good at.

But there are no interviews on my empty calendar, and the rent is due in 19 days, so I'm cleaning my room, anticipating a move off the edge of the earth at the end of the month.

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What a mess this room was, and still is. I've never been neat and tidy, but over recent months as job-hunting has led to nothing, I'd wandered farther from cleanliness and godliness. Depression, maybe. I'd rather call it the blues, or 'Nothing really matters, anyone can see, nothing really matters to me'.

The litter and laundry had grown deep and precarious, with only a turn-slightly-sideways path to the door, which, when the cleanup started, could only be opened part-way. Now the door opens wide, yielding a panoramic view of the mountains of clutter that remain.

There's an advantage to being so messy, though. Under dirty clothes and dirty dishes, old papers and empty Little Debbie and potato chip bags blowing around, I discovered a sack of groceries, bought months ago but never put away.

It was like Grocery Christmas, and none of it had rotted, because I rarely eat actual food. Cans of sardines and olives and pineapple chunks have gone into me, along with little bags of pepperoni and craisins and sugar-free hard candy, and a plastic jug of diet root beer. And that's not even counting the case of 24 ramen, and a forgotten Amazon shipment of three jars of mayonnaise, delivered in February and buried by March.

There've been no discoveries in the past week, though. My shelf in the kitchen is on its way to empty, and eating is a habit that's hard to break, so today I'll make my first visit to a food bank as a 'customer', not a donor.

The website promises that they're welcoming and inclusive and friendly as fuckall, but humiliation and forms to fill out is probably on the agenda.

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There's a better entry than this, written and ready to publish, all about my flatmate Dean. Yes, it's yet another story about his obnoxious niceness, and how he never stops yakking and leaves his stuff all around the kitchen. Despite being all-new material, it reads like a rerun. What can I say that I haven't already said about how I hate the guy?

The writing on this page will soon improve, though. I'll be working or homeless, and either way there'll be plenty of new annoyances to write about.

Meanwhile, I'll publish this annoyance, and then file another dozen applications...


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  1. "Hope that's not an early symptom of some exotic cancer."

    Literally me every day. Right now I've moved on from thinking I was detecting an early sign of heart failure to thinking about other more esoteric "early signs." The modern age is full of anxiety for introverts with access to Google.

    My friend last summer who is probably 20 years younger reported that AI was being used mostly to filter incoming applications ("discard all that don't include KEYWORD, producer summary of all the rest.") Despite being younger and imminently qualified, she just started having to lie to get KEYWORD into the application just to try to increase the odds of it being seen by a real person. But whether it works or not, I don't know, it's one of those things where the plural of anecdote is actually data because there's nothing better, she's never going to tell an employer she lied and they're never going to admit they put out ads for non-existent positions and use AI to data-mine everything that comes in.

  2. Yeah, the AI & KEYWORD thing is, in my opinion, what's snagged me, but I don't know what the missing KEYWORD might be. Guess I'm supposed to pay $75 to have an AI inspect and "improve" my résumé, but being stubborn I like my résumé the way it is. Kinda folksy and 'me', which gets me shot down by software quicker than Wyatt Earp.

    Hope that crack about "early signs" is a joke from you, like it was from me when I wrote it. I'll give to the American mantra for good heath: "Take care of yourself if you can afford to."

    1. I was a hiring manager for a decade or so (still pretty low on the totem pole) and I asked HR to send me any offbeat resumes they received. I liked the eccentric ones and actually hired a couple of people because they didn't follow all the resume "rules". For the most part, they worked out well. This was well before AI or even keyword searches.

      I wish you well. Try to have a good time.

      as always,


    2. Exacatactly — you're the boss at the job I'm looking for. It makes no sense to present yourself exactly the same as everyone else presents themselves. My resume has had the same quirkiness for decades and served me well. I'm not interested in rejiggering it to match what AI expects of everyone.

  3. Oh yeah, access to information I'm in no way qualified to evaluate has turned me into a hypochondriac.

    1. Nothing's wrong with hypochondria as a hobby, but here's hoping all your suspicions are mistaken.


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