Weird Wide Web

Since I’ve been more active with online networking and industry-related sites since looking for a job over the last few weeks, I decided to google myself to see what came up, just to see what a potential employer would come up with were they to do the same. Here’s what I found.

1. My favorite:

2. http://movies.nytimes.com/person/1544239/Janie-White  —  I don’t understand this one at all. It’s a New York Times movie listing for Janie White’s filmography. I’ve worked on a couple of small independents, so it’s not totally surprising. What is weird, though, is that when you click on the movie link, “The Prodigy,” and go to the complete cast and crew credits, I’m not listed! I figured I must be there somewhere or it wouldn’t have cross-referenced me with it, but I searched the list, and although an SMU classmate of mine is there, I am not. Hee, hee. I have a New York Times film person listing without knowing it! Forget the two Telly Awards – that PA work on the low-budget film shot in a crap-hole hotel in Denison, TX was clearly my finest hour.

3. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/dir/Janie/White?trk=ppro_find_others  —  All the Janie Whites on LinkedIn. I am either a Video Producer or a Senior Special Investigator.

4. http://www.pandora.com/people/janie.white  —  My potential employers can apparently check out my musical tastes before hiring me at my public Pandora profile page. I didn’t know Pandora published things online! I don’t know how I feel about that. Hope they’re Jeff Buckley fans.

5. http://shop.artispower.com/cgi-bin/shopping.cgi/tshirts/groovynetgear.71026944 — I think this one takes the cake. Please note ordering information on their website.

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Top Five Fabulous Things of the Week 9.26.08

1. I now have an excuse to watch silly movies, because they show them at the gym in the Cardio Cinema room. Lately, I’ve seen Hitch and Mission to Mars. I’m trying to decide if my expectations have really decreased THAT much since film school, or if I’m just thankful to have a distraction while exercising.

2. I drove to Austin last weekend to hang out with Jessica, and she sold her pottery at the Pecan Street Festival. I helped her and her sister-in-law run the booth, making change and arranging soaps. Elly, her sister-in-law, makes natural soaps, sugar scrubs, lip balms and other assorted body care products. Jess makes soap dishes, two-piece ones with decorative holes in the top layer where water can drain into the bottom, keeping the soap drier and making it last longer. She also makes oil burners, colanders (I bought one and I already love it!), cups, bowls, and neti pots. It was fun watching her sell things she made herself.

3. There’s a new iPhone application called iSlots! I can now never be without a slot machine, wherever I am. Especially helpful now that I have no money with which to gamble.

4. Jessica’s daughter Ava has just started talking in sentences, and I hadn’t seen her since that started. She’s always been good at getting her point across, even without words, but now she’s really speaking and making sense. She’s so much like Jessica, in looks and demeanor, and it’s so neat to watch her and her brother Jack have conversations. I’ve been waiting to talk to Jessica’s children since we were 15, so it’s really neat. 🙂

5. I listened to the newest Jason Mraz CD over and over on the way to Austin to prepare for the concert with Lindsey in a few weeks, and I think I like it the best of his albums since the early live CD. It’s going to be fun now that I know the songs!

Progress

A note on the unemployment situation: I’ve only missed 4 days of work since being laid off! A producer I worked with a while back has given me work producing and editing, and it’s been great. I’m still searching for full-time employment (freelancing can be stressful!), and I’m still nervous about the whole situation, but I feel a lot better about it all than I did a week ago.

Nothing is certain, but I’ve got several irons in the fire, and I have to say, job searching this time around has been a much more pleasant process than it was five years ago. It’s actually been fun this time, or at least as fun as unemployment can be. I’m learning new skills (like how to edit HD footage captured to a card, not a tape) and meeting some new people. And most of all, I’m getting to work with video again, which has been a welcome change from the last six months.

Now I just have to make it to when these invoices start getting paid! Ah, peanut butter and jelly days, I have not missed you.

Top Five Pluses to Unemployment

1. Not having to set the alarm…the overwhelming sense of worry wakes you right up as soon as you’re half-way cognizant.

2. I get to watch Rachael Ray’s daytime show and not feel bad about it.

3. I used to think people who were let go from my company who said they felt better when they no longer had to go there every day were just kidding themselves, trying to make it seem not as bad as it was. But I’ve discovered they were right! I want the steady paycheck back, and the opportunity to hone my skills, but honestly, not having to deal with all that crap that goes along with a job you no longer love is so liberating.

4. I get to talk to my ex-co-workers as people, not co-workers, with that ever-present propriety wall between us. We had a big dinner last night, and there was a marked difference in the way these relationships felt to me. It was mostly those of us who rode it out to the end, some who were let go earlier this year in the previous three lay-off waves, and some who pre-dated me. I know I worked with some fun, creative people, but I was reminded of who they are as people – not my manager or a fellow producer, but the person behind the job. I’ve always tried to keep a distance from most people at work, to keep those two parts of my life separate to a point. But this was nice – we wished each other well, gave tips on job searching and contacts, and chatted about life. It was nice to be able to really engage people I saw every day for a very long time, instead of being restricted to the topics of the election, the last episode of LOST, and the intricacies of Avid Media Composer.

5. Nope, just four.

Thanks

I just wanted to publicly thank Jon Noel for helping me this week in the wake of losing my job. He not only brought me food for dinner Wednesday, but he cooked it himself while I worked furiously at my computer, and he left me an entire chicken pot pie to eat so I didn’t have to spend time cooking the last few days. He’s researched everything I’ve asked myself about out loud – companies, technologies, anything. He brought me pretty orange flowers to cheer me up. I’ve been doing some freelance transcriptions, which he hates doing more than anything else he’s ever done for money, and when I found myself under a tight deadline that I’m struggling to meet because I’m so exhausted, he offered to come over and transcribe some of it for me. He has told me over and over again, when I get tired and emotional and worried, that I can and will find a great job very soon, that I am capable and skilled and can do this. And if that doesn’t work out, he says, there’s always exotic dancing. 😉

Thanks, Jon. I love you.

Unemployment

The company where I have been working for over 5 years filed for bankruptcy this Tuesday, and all the employees were let go. Well, more like kicked out on our butts, as it were! It was extremely sudden, and I’m not optimistic that we’ll even get our last paycheck. I saw the stock plummeting over the previous 48 hours and knew something was wrong, but then an hour later it was all over. Police at the exits, a few minutes to collect personal posessions, and that was it.

The last three days have been surreal. I knew the company was going downhill for a while now, and I had started the process of overhauling my resume and knew several places I wanted to apply for another job, but it all just went down so quickly that I find myself unprepared and extremely poor! I’ve been in serious debt-payoff mode the last several years, so I have nothing to live on but credit cards and a small loan from my parents. Oh, and unemployment checks (what a great system!). I’m quickly wrapping my mind around that and reverting to the way I lived after college, when I had no money, debt, and not even credit cards to lean on. It’s a big overhaul, and it’s taking a lot of effort. I’m exhausted. To quote Cher in “Clueless,” “I have an overwhelming sense of ickiness.”

I’m not saying this to whine. I promised when I started this blog that I would not devolve into emotional self-involvement. I’m saying this to urge you all to prepare yourselves for big changes in your life. I have a friend who grew up with divorced parents and was raised mostly by a single mom. She watched her mother struggle after her father left, and she decided never to let that happen to herself. When I lived with her, she got a fantabulous job with a great company right out of college and worked hard to get her career underway. She lived frugally, saved, fought for pay raises as soon as she could get them, and made sure she could provide for herself. She had big supplies of household items stored in her closet – enough for several months at a time. I asked her about it once (because at that time, I could barely afford the single box of Kleenex or toilet paper, much less the giant, economy Sam’s package), and she said that she wanted to make sure she didn’t end up like her mother did – alone with two children and no money to support them and herself. She remains one of the best examples I know of a young, professional woman who knows how to take care of herself. She’s not selfish with it, either. She volunteers with several organizations, is heavily involved in her church, and she truly cares about people. She’s married now, but she has remained strong in the way she takes care of herself. I’m sure they’ll be happily married for the rest of their lives, but in case they aren’t, she will be fine. She owns rental properties, investments, and knows how to get the best deal.

I had a very specific goal these last years of paying off school debt, which she did not have to deal with, and I’m working in a decidedly-lower-paying industry by choice, but I still wish my financial life looked a little more like hers. And I’m angry with myself for letting myself end up at this place, being dumped by a company I knew was failing. I should have done a better job of taking care of myself, no matter how much I loved the job. I was too slow taking my head out of the sand, and it was the wrong choice. So to all you women out there, single and otherwise, please take some advice learned the hard way. Make sure you’re prepared for unemployment, for divorce, for a large disruption in your way of life. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself!

(Also, a side note to those of you who have been very kind in helping and checking on me the last few days – thank you so much…you have no idea what it means to me.)