Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Floating Oil Spill of Indifference

Monday means going downstairs to the parking lot in front of my house and seeing the empty parking spaces of my neighbors who have left for work. Then there's my car.  So why is this a big thing?  Because I'm at home as scores of people brave the highway and use mass transportation to begin their week at work.

Monday also means I need to organize my game plan, to come to terms with this week's quota of phone calls and meetings. To network is a thing to be wished for, but according to the English version of the Job Seeker's Bible, remaining in front of the computer all day completing online resumes is not a productive use of time.  These last few days I've sworn off the computer and decided to enjoy the pleasures of house cleaning, discovering dirt where I never looked before, repotting plants, washing linens, and remembering to eat carrots every single time I reopen the refrigerator--to find something.   

So today I want to write an open letter to the kindness of strangers. It seems as good a place as any to start. I'm convinced there are many out there because as hard as I am looking to find work, surely they are working equally hard to keep their jobs. Possibly, they have a family member who like me is unemployed. We're expressions of the same economy, Jacks and Jills sitting on either edge of a see-saw. And even as this fact seeps into my brain, I become less fearful of reaching out into that undifferentiated miasma, want to break it down one email at a time. So...

Let me take a moment to thank a speaker at a forum for saying that when your company has an opening you will consider hiring me, even if you didn't mean it and your only motive was in having me scratch your name off my contact list. Your kind gesture offered a brief ray of hope on an otherwise uneventful day. Likewise, many virtual hugs to a woman whom I contacted after hearing a presentation by the San Francisco Business Times about reaching people who are leaders in their field, for distributing my resume throughout her organization, and emailing it to someone who was recruiting for a particular job.  She took a moment to believe in me in this vast floating oil spill of indifference.

A shout out to an instructor of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques who is connected to everyone there is to know on LinkedIn, who allowed me to attend his class for free and blog about it, a magnanimous gesture that provided me with my most successful headline to date: "Beer, Wine, and SEO Techniques." And also to the hiring managers who wrote to tell me that I was carefully considered, but did not get the job. It means a great deal to know where I stand.

I will get through my Monday, which will undoubtedly become the weekend, not because there's no work for me to go to, but because that's when I get to stay home like everyone else.

Can-do Salmon Croquettes
One can of salmon that you bought six months ago in an effort to change-up from tuna fish.
One onion grated
2 T fresh (or not) lemon juice
One scallion diced (if you have any)
One grated carrot (if you have one)
One clove of garlic diced
2T Parsley (if you have any)
One egg
1 T Mustard
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper
Pinch of Paprika
Any combination of capers, pickle relish, or pimento olives (if you use olives, dice 'em.)
Breading ingredients: Seasoned bread crumbs, oatmeal, flour or cornmeal (about 1/3 to 1/2 cup)
Olive or canola oil

Leftover Chef recipes are always flexible.  Mix some combination of the above ingredients with the canned salmon.  Form into approximately six patties.  Coat with cornmeal or any combination of the breading ingredients.

Heat pan. Heat oil.  Cook on medium heat until brown, approximately 5 minutes on each side. Have a tomato around? Slice and serve on the side over a leaf of lettuce.

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