Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Finally- an offer

After two month's of searching, I finally got my first job offer. The Scott Greening Center offered me a position as a community support worker. I did accept it, but I plan to continue to search for another job. I like the location and what I'd be doing, but the pay sucks. If I stuck with it, it would definitely be an adjustment financially.
However, other places are coming around that would pay better. Today I interviewed at Crittion Hospital and drove out to a middle school in Raytown to interview for a school based position. She invited me to go out and visit the high school that I would be working at. The job begins real early in the morning (7 am) but would be off by 4pm. Another perk is that I would have the summers off with a option of working part time in one of their units.
I also interviewed for the state as a child abuse investigator, but I don't think that is going to work. First, the job requires a lot of traveling to all parts of the state and you are on call 24/7 (I don't think Wah-Wah would like that). The job is very challenging and I would take it, but I don't think the interview went that well. Lots of long silences between questions. The guy interviewing me was telling me how important grammar is on the job and then he pointed out an error I made on my resume. So I'm not expecting that one to work.
I did get a call back to Jewish Vocational Services to meet the staff, so I'm a little hopeful there. Tomorrow, I interview at Farmers Insurance. If I have to talk about all I know about insurance, it should be a short interview. Next week I interview at Comprehensive Mental Health. I know a few people there so I might have a chance.
The biggest surprise of all is that I actually received a call from Johnson County Mental Health wanting to set up a interview. I can't believe it. Johnson County is like the god of mental health centers. Their salaries can't be matched. I've been applying there for years, and I finally have a interview.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Not the best Thanksgiving

I'd like to say that I enjoyed my thanksgiving weekend, but I didn't. It started late Weds night when Woogy threw up at my parents house. I had the feeling that this wasn't going to be good. We then drove up to Cedar Rapids to spend Thanksgiving with Wah-Wah's parents. By the time we arrived, Woogy was pretty sick and throwing up and just wanted to lay down.
Dinner at Wah-Wah's family was pretty good. I enjoy the basic Thanksgiving foods, not the exotic ones that my mom makes. The next day, Woogy was feeling better, so we did some X-mas shopping in Cedar Rapids. By late afternoon Wah-Wah was feeling ill. At this point I realized that the bug Woogy got was pretty contagious. That evening, Wah-Wah was really sick. She had the shakes and chills (of course every virus seems to hit Wah-Wah harder than anyone else). It was pretty hard to feed Nibbles (I changed Pinky's name. Nibbles is more appropriate) since Wah Wah was so sick. Watching Wah- Wah be so sick made me pretty nervous that my time was coming.
On Saturday, Wah-Wah was feeling better, so we drove back to Des Moines to have Thanksgiving dinner with my family. Shortly after dinner with them, I got it. I threw up most of that night. By the morning, I felt so weak that I slept till 1 in the afternoon. Since Wah Wah has to sit in the back seat with the kids, it was up to me to drive back to KC. The drive was awful. Not only did I feel sick and weak, but we hit some pretty major storms.
Well I feel fine now and so does everyone else, which is good because I have a lot of interviews this week. I just did my interview with Jewish Vocational Services (no you don't need to be Jewish to work there). Basically the job is helping people in the area as well as refugees from other countries find a job. I thought the interview went well-but that doesn't mean anything. The cool thing about this place is that you get not only Christian holidays off, but Jewish holidays too. Anyway, the interviewer showed me around the office and said she would like to set up a second interview.
I have two important interviews tomorrow. The first one is for the state of Missouri investigating suspected child abuse(I've been involved in those investigations and they are not fun). The second interview is in Raytown High School as a school based CM. It sounds like something I'd like to do. Then on Thursday, I have a interview at Farmer's Insurance as a claims adjuster. Hopefully something will happen soon.

Monday, November 21, 2005

An Awkward moment

Last Saturday I took Woogy to the movie theater to see "Chicken Little". While waiting in line, behind me I noticed Randy, my former director was right behind me. What a small world this is. What are the odds of former boss standing right behind me in the line to see Chicken Little on a Saturday night at the same therater?
I figured it had to be astronomical. How come things like this happen? This isn't the first time that I've run into that one person I'm trying to avoid in a big public place. Back in Iowa, I must have run into 3 ex girlfriends (relationships that ended pretty badly).
Well anyway, I hate Randy. This is the guy that fired me only to later bring me back, then turn me down. I used to have a lot of respect for this guy, but now his "calm-therapeutic" voice makes me sick. He tried to talk to me and ask me about my son, but I just walked away. I don't think I've ever been that openly rude before, but oh well.

I don't expect much to happen this week as far as job hunting goes. Today I interviewed at the Scott Greening Center in downtown KC. I was real excited about this interview, but once the director showed me the salary, it became difficult to still smile. The interview went well, but it's not the end of the world if I don't get it.
After the interview, I drove out to Independence to the Comprehensive Mental Health Center and ran into some old co workers from Wyandotte. They couldn't believe that I had been fired. They said that Comprehensive was alright and it didn't have all the BS that Wyandotte has. I was applying for a different dept, so I don't know if they could get me a reference but they said that they would try.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Time for a update

I've begun to lose count of how many unemployment updates I've done, but I thought I would do a update anyway. Let's see, I had no real interviews last week except for the one at Kelly temp services. Last Friday, I wasted 3 hrs at Kelly temp. After taking three hours of test, I was offered a sweet job at the Encore call center- answering phone calls for a whopping $8 an hour. As tempting as that offer was, I decided to turn it down since I realized I could make more on unemployment and save more money staying home with the kids
Hopefully this week was more fruitful. I visited a small mental health center in downtown KC. I can't even recall the name, but the staff was very friendly and showed me around before I filled out an application. It looked like a place I would want to work, so we'll see what happens there. I also tried a different temp agency-Celebrity Staffing, and to my amazement passed all their test with the computer. Now I go back on Thursday for more testing. I hope it isn't another $8 job. I also was invited in for a interview at Farmer's Insurance (Shakedust referred me to this one). This means that I passed their phone interview I guess.
I would say I've had a streak of rotten luck lately, but I got a really nice surprise in the mail last Saturday. My grandmother (who I haven't talked to in 15 yrs) sent me a really nice generous check. She had sold her house in Florida, and moved in with my aunt (who won the Florida lottery). She decided to use some of that money to give to her grand children. She even sent a check for Woogy and Pinky. Well that prompted me to call her and talk to her for a while. She even talked to Woogy for the first time. She invited us to Florida sometime soon and go visit Disney. Woogy would really dig that.
I'm really going to make an effort to get down there sometime. 15 yrs is a long time. I love my Grandma, but she has always lived in a different time zone. My family also has never stayed close to one another.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The joke is on me

After meeting with my two former directors and listening to them praise me, there is no job offer after all. The joke is on me. I received a call from my director and he started saying "you know Brian, you have had a lot of good years at Wyandott Center, but it would be too awkward having you back". So why the hell did you call me back in the first place?
After my meeting, I remember I felt pretty good, like "they really listened" and "they are serious" and "I might actually go back to Wyandott Center". But as the weekend progressed I began to think more logically-"this is too good to be true" and "they aren't that cool. They are not going to toss me a bone"
So when the rejection came Monday morning, it really wasn't much of a surprise. What I regret (among many things) is not telling them off when I had the chance. Tim, the other guy who was fired with me said that when his opportunity came to meet with the directors (two hours before mine), he told them off and called them liars. I thought a different approach would be more useful so I went in and was as courteous as I could be. Big mistake. These were the people that screwed me over and they brought me back for more. I agree with Tim, that they were never serious about bringing us back anyway. They were just trying to appease us. I know it seems strange, but it feels like I've been fired twice, by the same people. I guess the joke is on me.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The difference in generations

Today I took two test for the state of Missouri for social worker positions. I had to go to a government building in downtown KC for the tests. During the break for lunch, I drove around the neighborhood looking for a place to eat. This neighborhood was the hood, I mean the really real hood. This is the neighborhood around Truman and the Paseo. I'm used to going to Quindaro and other ghettos in Wyandotte County, but this neighborhood took poverty to a new level.
I finally found a McDonald's (it was the only open building for miles). While I was standing in line, I noticed one guy accidentally cut in line of this other guy and he was pissed. The other guy apologized and said it was a mistake, but that wasn't good enough for the other guy (who was obviously a gang banger). This gang banger started raving about how he was disrespected and he was going to "Cap your ass". No matter how many times this poor guy apologized, this gang banger was making a scene. Everyone in the McDonald's was watching as the gang banger told this guy he was going to die because he disrespected him, but no one was saying anything.
I'd like to say that I took this opportunity to tell the gang banger about Jesus Christ and how He loves him, but I didn't. I was only white guy around for miles.
After the situation was resolved (the gang banger's quarter pounder was ready, so he left), I ordered and sat down to enjoy my McRib next to these older gentlemen. I over heard their conversation about Christ, Martin Luther King, and other men of peace. They were having a pleasant conversation about philosophy and the importance of loving one another.
I couldn't help but to notice the differences between the situation I had just watched and the conversation taking place. Here are two groups of people with similar socioeconomic situations but differ greatly in age and values. I then began to wonder were did the breakdown in values between generations begin? Why were these old guys talking about peace and love, and the other younger guy was going to "bust your ass" for accidentally cutting in line?

Crawling back to the Center

As previously mentioned, I finally received a long over due call from my old director who wanted to meet with me to discuss the possibility of me returning to the Center that I was abruptly fired from. On Thursday morning, I called the former co worker that was fired the same day I was under "weak circumstances" too. He had the same offer to come in and talk about coming back. He warned me that the dreaded assistant director was there too.
This former coworker said he went in there and told it to them like it is. He said he told them that it was unfair that he was fired and he didn't trust management anymore. I decided to try a different approach since I don't want to be unemployed any longer than I have to. I tried to be kind and courteous to the two people that fired me. Oddly, my director didn't want to talk about why I was fired. They eluded to it being my "judgment", (which I never heard before)and didn't give a specific example of when I used poor judgment. My director was more curious on how I would handle coming back. I told him the truth, that I would focus more on the clients (which I hadn't had since I was a case manager)and I would appreciate a change in departments if possible.
I'd like to say that it went well. I did get a number of comments about what a dedicated and hard worker I was as well as being told I was one of the best CMs. I left there feeling good, like I had done my best and if they didn't hire me back, then they were never serious about me coming back anyway. They were just trying to appease me. My director said he would call me on Monday and let me know.