Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Jesus and his lawyers are coming back

(Title not related to anything in the entry; I've just been listening to The Eels lately.)

I’m about to tell you all something which may cause you to angrily partake of Haterade, but please refrain, for once I have finished my tale, you will instead pity me.

Anyway, as I believe I’ve mentioned before, my department at work is going to be shut down at the end of June, and we’ve spent the last several months clearing out as many files as possible. By the middle of December, most of my coworkers had gotten other jobs within the company, and the ones who were planning to retire were sent to understaffed departments to help out. This left me, my boss T, one lone claim rep, and the secretary…and there was literally nothing to do. I asked T what I should be doing, and he said, “Well, there’s always Spider Solitaire.”

And o, didst I frolic! My workdays consisted of surfing the Internet, reading, composing lengthy personal e-mails, and jotting down notes for my novel. Occasionally, I would get up to visit K, enjoy a snack, or take a whiz. During my legally mandated morning and afternoon breaks, I’d put on my sneakers, grab my iPod and my sunglasses, and head out into the lovely California sunshine to take a nice long walk. Sure, I had to go upstairs and drop off/pick up the mail a couple of times a day, and there was the occasional phone call, but other than that, it was 7.45 hours of pure slackerdom.

This was, of course, my dream job.

Oh, I knew it wouldn’t last, of course, and that the gravy (mmmm…gravy) train would eventually screech to a halt and disgorge me at Unemployment Station. So I applied for a job in the Special Investigative Unit (not as exciting as it sounds; this is an insurance company, after all), only to have the offer rescinded when the person who was supposed to be leaving decided they’d stick around after all.

Okay then.

The next job I applied for was in fire claims. I went out and, at great personal expense and annoyance, purchased a business suit. I actually set aside a couple of hours in the day to read job hunting manuals and bone up (uh huh huh huh) on perfect answers to the toughest interview questions. I had an interview, thought I did pretty well, and found out that they gave the job to someone who not only has 25 years seniority to me, but is married to a team manager.

Okay then.

Ah well, so back to the reading and the surfing. I figured that I’d keep checking the job postings, apply when possible, and start worrying about finding something else in, oh, let’s say April.

But noooooooooooooooooooo! No, T had to offer my services to a needy department. Now I sit in a drab cubicle facing a break room, and I have to file.


Let’s see which happens first: I get another job, or the last gossamer strand of my sanity snaps.

How much do you love that one of the Oscar-nominated songs is called “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp”?

And last but not remotely least...

G’s been trying to convince me to audition for Jeopardy for months now. I just kind of laughed him off---what the hell do I know about nuclear physics and Mexican history?---but he insisted that I had the chops, not to mention the perfect “buzzer” finger, conditioned as my hands and reflexes are by years and years of avid gaming.

Anyway, I was watching Jeopardy by myself a couple of weeks ago, and they mentioned that for the first time, they were going to do a preliminary online audition for Southern California residents. I thought that sounded fun, so I registered.

On the night of the audition, I went over to C and M’s, hopped online, signed in, and scrolled through the rules. They’d give 50 questions in 10 minutes. We had 15 seconds to answer each one…no backtracking, no second chances, and no indication whether our answer was correct or not, nor would we receive a final score at the end. Fortunately, we didn’t have to phrase our answer in the form of a question; I mean, I type fast, but not that friggin’ fast. The test started, I answered what I could, got help from C, M, and G on the others, and when the test was done, I got a screen that said (I’m paraphrasing) “Thank you for participating! If you wish to be considered for a personal audition at our studio, please click here. If you only did the test for fun, and do NOT wish to be considered for a personal audition, please click here.”

My cursor hovered over the last choice, and then I thought What the hell, I’m sure I bombed but what could it hurt? and clicked the first choice.

Today I got an e-mail telling me that I’d passed the online audition, and they want me to come to Culver City next week to audition for real.

Holy fucking SHIT, y’all.