Unemployed (Job Hunting World 2-1)

Dear Readership,

I am unemployed. You may remember the ecstasy and relief I felt after spending so much time looking for a job (i.e. the whole blog), and when we talked last, I was moving to Tokyo and all excited to begin my new life.

Which is still in some parts true. I am excited, I do love Tokyo, I am getting skinnier. However, the most important thing, the job thing, is not going as planned.

I started the job (8/22), and quit the job exactly one month later (9/22). Put simply, what I was asked to do was against my morals. In part, it was my fault. I felt at many times there was resistance in my conscience to doing it, but I thought through sheer willpower I could get over it and do it properly. It turns out my internal sense of right and wrong was more powerful than I thought.

It is certainly a black mark on my resume, and I have had to explain myself during every job interview since. However, in my defense, the company goes through a lot of people very quickly. In the month I was there, I saw someone get fired and saw two other people leave (one after two days), not including myself. And it's not a big company. At my recent job interviews, it seems like some of the HR staff are familiar with the practices of recruiting firms and have comforted me by saying many of the people who work at their company now come from the same background.

Losing a job puts a lot of things I had counted on in limbo, like my visa status, health insurance, and most importantly my salary. Where will rent come from? How will I pay the bills?

Where will I get the money to buy more video games? Books? Sheet music? Gym membership? 3-star Michelin restaurants?

However, losing a job also means I am a bum, and am entitled to all the privileges that come with being a bum, like sleeping whenever I want. Which was 9-5 today.

I think I know what I am good at. I might even have put in a little overtime!

So, in the spirit of before, here is what I have been doing this past first week of being unemployed.

a) I applied to around 6-10 jobs, I think. I lost count. I had three or four interviews this past week, I also lost count. I find that losing count is a great way of alleviating stress. It's the complete opposite of having all my eggs in one basket. You see, not just in two or three baskets, but like the bunny that hides them in every single conceivable place in April, I have launched my resume to the far reaches of the internet. Yes, most of them will rot, like that egg those kids forgot to look for under the bushes, but I have had good responses from a number of potential employers.

Back to the launching of resumes. This is how I see it. Imagine the mothership is the KJS (Kingdom of Jon Ship) The Ego, a sleek black vessel orbiting Jupiter...

Scratch that, you and I know that at this point it's a POS space-junker orbiting Jupiter, and out of the jankiest looking cannons you have ever seen are empty beer bottles filled with a cover letter and resume each, aimed for a planet far away. Planets called Linguistica, Translatia, Educatium IV, Instructica. The aim is accurate, but since the technology is quite low-tech, who knows where they will actually end up?

b) I also asked about a job at a bar, since they had signs up saying they were looking for staff. Pity though, they just hired someone earlier in the week so they weren't looking. But I really want to do it, since I get to dress up in some over-the-top shiny outfit while serving drinks, and it sounds like the perfect foot in the door to gogo boying. They told me to check back later, and I sure will.

The most promising jobs look to be as an instructor with a one-on-one English teaching corporation, or as a translator with a large pharmaceutical company. I've progressed in both of their interview series, but a final offer isn't there yet. However, on a side note, I also passed translating exams for two different companies, so I am also a freelance translator, mostly for Japanese to English.

But I'm still waiting for them to give me something to translate or proofread (-"-;)

So if you need anything translated, holla!

I also did the obligatory hour of daydreaming where I thought (as I stared at the jumble of wires that lead to and from my computer), if I could invent an economical form of wireless energy transfer, I would be set for the rest of my life. My research brought me to Nikola Tesla, and my adoration for him and his work continues. I mean, if the sun can do it, why can't we? But then I read about all the physics and unfortunately, electromagnetism was probably my weakest subject in physics. I do Newtonian much better.

My greatest fear is my bank account. I can last for awhile on my savings, but the bills must be paid, not to mention getting gouged for national health insurance. When it comes to being frugal, I have my ways to be the most miserly of us all. Yesterday, dinner was a hamburger from McDonald's, and it was the most delicious hamburger ever because it was free! I had a coupon.

But I have my limits, and after I left the McDonald's to go for a night stroll in the beautiful weather (because it's free), I found a woman closely tailing me as I left the store, who then promptly turned around and returned to her original spot 20 meters later. I passed by on the same strip as I was walking home, and, as I had guessed, that's where many prostitutes hang out. Which I did not know before. One of them tried to catch my attention with Chinese accented Japanese, and I quickly looked at her and she seemed quite wholesome, not what I envisioned a sex worker looked like in my mind's eye.

Of course, sex workers nowadays I suppose don't do the feather boa fishnet stocking thing anymore, unless they are drag queens, and thus probably not prostitutes.

I wonder what brought her there, I wonder if she enjoyed her line of work, and I wonder how often she found a client. If I had the money, I should like to ask an hour of her time to have those questions answered.

I also wonder if I'll ever need to stand on that same strip. Five dolla make you holla! I jest. Or do I...?

The response I give to everyone that asks about my current situation is, "Yes, it might be difficult, but it's exciting! Isn't this what youth is about? Not knowing the future? Wondering where it will all end up?"

Which is for the most part true. It is exciting, and I wonder what will happen. But most older adults ask these questions from the security of their own job security and assets and savings. And while they may have been in a similar position before, I wonder if they remember what it's like to live it.

If you remember, please let me know.

To be honest, I am scared. I don't know what will happen, and even though I know what I want to do, I lack direction and do not have the gift of sight to see what the proper steps I should be taking are. At this point, I should be considering a career, not just jobs. But I suppose the best I can do is keep applying and see what happens. I've come to realize that the things that are most worth having in life aren't given, but earned. I hold no hope that it'll all just magically work out.

But sometimes, I wish that that was all that it took, just a little hope and it will all be ok.

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