History Class

job hunt

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Return of the Jedi

You know how Star Wars started off brilliantly, sucked for a bit in the Empire Strikes Back, and then nailed it again in the final film? Because that’s been my past few months.

Wait– you’re not a 40 year old nerd-virgin [nerdgin?] reading this at 4 a.m. in your parent’s basement between Halo games? My bad; I’ll explain.

Fuck. King. Adorable.

So Star Wars is hands down one of the greatest stories of all time. [Just accept this as fact and continue.] I’m not talking about those new-fangled crap ones with Hayden Christiansen and CGI with speech impediments, which are not recognized in my world. I mean the original three. I grew up fighting with my siblings over whether to watch the one where the guys have to slice open and climb inside an unlucky animal in order to survive arctic weather, or to watch the one with those fucking adorable ewoks.

Y’know which one typically won out? The one with fucking adorable ewoks. Because Return of the Jedi is the best of the trilogy, and Empire Strikes back is just a heap of daddy issues and really weird incestuous undertones. Can’t beat ewoks.

So my past year’s been stellar. It had it’s ups and downs, sure, but it’s overall been pretty on par with A New Hope [the lesser-known but actual title of the first Star Wars film]:

Pretty sure this scene is actually a DC documentary; see end of article

1: I moved away from my childhood home [which was considerably cooler than Luke’s, despite our lack of robots].

2: I’ve met a bunch of charismatic, attractive new friends who are equal parts totally awesome and complete trouble: check.

3: I’ve even hung out in bars with aliens to drink questionable cocktails and listen to funky jazz. Done and done.

Conclusion: I am Luke Skywalker.

Which brings me to the Empire Strikes Back– the second movie, and my past few months.

I switched restaurants to one in my actual neighborhood, with the added bonus of live music three nights a week. The food is great, drinks even better, and staff rocks my socks. My coworkers are a great [yes, and dysfunctional] family. I’ve mostly worked five or six shifts a week, have added ‘Bartender’ to my growing list of titles, and remembered just how much I genuinely enjoy serving. [Much better than hosting.] It’s been a lot of hard work, harder hours, and working to properly balance the ‘party hard’ end of that equation. I struggled with my identity as a college graduate working in underemployment. Never thought I would identify with something as dorky as Luke Skywalker, but I was definitely feeling his level of angst at my current state.

After two months of that, I received a call from my former Middle East policy internship. They needed a new, part-time coordinator during the week, and wanted me. Oh, happy day! So now I’m working at the office during the day, fending off pushy calls from diplomats and journalists, and nights and the bar, indulging my smartass social side. It’s a fair balance. There are even ewoks. [In the form of cute, nerdy hipsters; working our Trivia Night every week has been fun.] I’m still mid-movie and have yet to do final battle with Darth Job-Market to triumph for a full-time, stable, field-appropriate job…. But I’m definitely enjoying the plot for right now.

And, folks… there are even some dating shenanigans afoot. I happen to be a bit sweet on a certain cute nerd from one of my bar’s regular trivia teams, and just might do something about it. He’s no Han Solo, but his dimples and stellar trivia scores make up for it. And to throw family back into the mix, Jules Junior is coming to visit this weekend… I’m sure THAT will stir up enough trouble for our next chapter….

Signing off to return to top secret Dating-Jedi business [until I tell you about it next time],

-Jules

p.s. I would like to conclude that this has, without a doubt, been the dweebiest thing I’ve ever written– but hey, since I wrote it, it’s now geek chic. And if you’ve read this far, it looks like I’m in good company.

Timing’s a Bitch in Limbo

DC in a nutshell: The Waiting Place. Where people are waiting for things like a Yes or No, the fish to bite, a Better Break, or Another Chance.

No, seriously: she really is.

In love, as much as the rest of life, Timing is a bitch. Nothing fun happens when she isn’t there, it’s all about her, and we all love to hate her. But we also need her. Because, without Timing, your efforts are futile and will likely land you in some sort of purgatory.

If you had sent in your resume right at 9am Monday, instead of dicking around with the semantics of your cover letter, then you might have had a chance to be in the first 50 applicants for that new job in a Hill office. Instead, you agonized over the perfect wording to properly present just how fantastic you would be for the grunt-position of constituent correspondent, or whatever dirt-level job is open. Congratulations, you are the 300th applicant! As a wonderful prize, you will receive an automated rejection e-mail in 2-6 weeks, long after you have forgotten you even applied, and will only serve to remind you about just how pointless job hunting is! [Related: job hunting is also a bitch.]

Correction: This is a gender-neutral message, my Brobi-Wan Kenobi. Evidence: Ted and Robin. #HIMYM

If you had leaned in to kiss the girl even an hour earlier in the night, she would have realized it wasn’t just a late-night decision based on alcohol and hormones, but something you’d wanted to do the entire day you spent with her. But instead, because you waited until too late (and we all know nothing good happens after 2am), your night ended with a “we should probably go sleep it off” tragic dive-bomb into the Friend Zone.

This is not a discussion of the Friend Zone– that will have to do for another day. But I will say this: I don’t do well with ambiguity. I strive for a fair equilibrium in my life, and manage to juggle pretty well on my own two feet. I prefer knowing where I stand in the world, so I’m intensely unsettled when outcomes hang in the balance. Uncertainty is a part of life, and I accept it, but the whole point of life is to take change and push that uncertainty in a specific direction. Namely: forward. Only you can decide which way is the right forward for you, but don’t be a wishy-washy bitch about it, Charlie Brown. [More on Charlie Brown and life in the Friend Zone in my next article.]

So for me, those are the moments when Timing is the Ultimate Bitch. We’ve all been there. [If you haven’t, then you clearly haven’t lived, possess all the luck stolen from Ireland, or are possibly a-sexual.] Timing blows enough as it is for those of us on the job hunt, but being the bitchy busybody she is, she has to go and stick her nose into our love lives as well. And here in DC? People rarely give the Time of Day, let alone giving away their Free Time, because Time is Money. And there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so the same goes for Time. Right? That seems to be the attitude here, myself included.

I’m nowhere close to an exception to the rule. I use the excuse “I just don’t have the time” for everything from dates I’m just not feeling or parties too far out in suburbia to visiting family and friends or going to job fairs. Sure, sometimes we really are too busy– but most of the time we’re just posturing. Whether it’s for propriety’s sake or procrastination, Timing is the butt-end of countless excuses. So is she really a bitch, or simply the universe’s scapegoat?

In this case, I’d say Timing’s being more than just a scapegoat– she’s a Grade-A Bitch.

If you need good timing to find a job or date, why not adopt a make-your-own-destiny mentality? Yes, both the professional and romantic worlds have a multitude of levels, each with their own factors influencing the outcome. But at least with this mindset, you can eliminate a few of them. Don’t go for the guy/girl who is clearly recently single and burdened with baggage, or contact HR for a company that is downsizing and obviously not hiring. Timing gets blamed for what are actually a lot of failures in common sense. The true Timing situations, like  crushing on your roommate/boss/best friend/etc are genuinely sticky situations. More than Timing, those are issues of social taboo. We have protocols to follow, and most people toe the company line. But it isn’t Timing’s fault, it’s your decision. So fess up and take responsibility for your life; and if you want to change it, take charge.

At the end of the day, you can cave to the concept of fate and surrender. Or you can woman-[or man]-up and show Timing who’s boss. If she’s going to be a bitch either way, scapegoat or not, then I’m going out to make Timing my bitch, and use her help any way I can.

DC and Me: Our 1st Anniversary

It has been a full year since I moved here to the day, and this is now officially the longest relationship I’ve been in– way to break my record! Honestly, if anyone could do it, it would be Washington. This city has stamina.

And it seems like, for anniversary presents, DC is sending a bunch of changes and exciting things my way. Hooray! I love surprises!

Double Trouble

I swear, she even does the bouncy-walk Ducky does.

First and foremost, my sister has come to stay for the summer! The lucky little genius is interning at one of those extra-important buildings downtown, which security measures prevent me from naming at this time [though I’m told I’ll be allowed to divulge this after her program is over]. So this means we’re time-travelling back to the good ol’ days when we shared a room way back in the 90’s. [She will hereafter be known as Jules Jr., Junior, JJ, or any other inanity that strikes my fancy. Especially Ducky, her character from Land Before Time when we were kids.] Yessirree, it’s going to be a summer-long slumber party, backyard potluck, and city life sisterhood– with the added big-kid-bonus of [mostly-] legally-obtained adult beverages.

Everyone’s response to the news seems to be a cautiously probing, “So… is this a good thing?” And my answer is always an ecstatic “YES!” Junior and I are perfectly alike and wonderfully different in all those fun, symbiotic ways that make sisters awesome. I’d say it’s worth giving up some privacy [and yes, certain adult uses of the bedroom] to share an epic summer with my Second in Command. Call it the honeymoon phase, but it’s been a week, and we’re having a blast. We will be hosting our first shared soiree this Saturday, and it’s sure to be full of memorable, wodkamelon-induced shenanigans.


Hmm… tempting addition.

Pending Professionalism

That’s right, there have been some moves on the job-front. Last week, I found a wonderfully enthusiastic staffing agency that’s excited to help, and within 24 hours, secured me an interview. I ran over to the development firm interested in meeting me and had a fantastic interview; unfortunately, they went with someone more qualified.

In an effort for full honesty, I was a bit broken-hearted after the news yesterday. I called my mom, reached out to some friends, had a therapeutic cry, then went to the restaurant for work. At work, everyone seemed to pick up on the mood and were extra-adorable in playing around with me. It turned into a pretty zen night, despite the chaos of a surprisingly hectic turnout for a Monday night. I think I find my inner balance way easier when surrounded by chaos– my place in hospitality and politics should be no surprise.

C’est la vie, right? At least they wanted to meet me in the first place! Now waiting for the next interview to be lined up, so fingers crossed that big changes come my way.

Heatin’ Up for the Summer

And I’m not just talking about the weather… That’s right, I’m rather taken with a guy. Next post will cough up the dirt, I promise, but I’ll just say this: the Classicist is absolutely fascinating. It was out of nowhere, and is still surprising me, but I’m loving it. No, I’m still stuck in my monoga-me lifestyle, so no domestication is in sight. But now I can explore the new concept of ‘affair’ I’ve been toying with. More to come [pun intended?].

What now?

I’m recommitting to writing here. After recent advice [of both the maternal and friendly varieties], I’ve accepted that I can only keep truckin’ to fight the job market. But until then… I should try to figure out what it is I genuinely enjoy doing, and maybe find a way to make a living with it. I know I deeply love growing this site and expanding its possibilities, so that’s my mission for the summer. Take Dating the District to a new level, and see where it in turn takes me– are you ready, DC?

And the ultimate summer feel-good tunes:

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