Thursday, September 8, 2011

Planet Janet

When I’m not engaged in blogging, gardening, cooking, eating figs or a host of other seemingly routine activities, I volunteer.
Since leaving my (detestable) job in 2009, I've been working two days a week as a job seekers’ writing specialist at a local one-stop career center.
About 99½ percent of the time I love what I do. Then there are those moments when I think that it’s fortunate I have really thick hair, ‘cause that way no one will notice if I rip some of it out. Today was one of those days.
Meet Janet – a middle-aged woman with a master’s degree who held a job as a clown. That just about says it all, doesn't it? As such, Janet’s reputation precedes her.
Today Janet asked for my input on a resume. After looking it over, I concluded that what she thought she’d written and what, in fact, she had written were two different entities.
During the discussion that ensued, she got visibly upset. When I asked why, she said I’d been needlessly abrasive 90 minutes earlier. It seems it takes a while for things to register with her….
I conceded that I had been snippy adding, “But, I confess, I was confused. Why ask me to review your work and then, in the next breath, say that you don’t want to use it? That’s not an effective use of my time.”
Forget the fact that she wanted to use the same resume for two jobs: (1) a social worker and (2) a meter maid. Yeah, they use a lot of the same skills….
So, after sorting things out, we went on to discuss resume formats and what would work best. 
Now, my “best practices” MO is to ask lots of questions. I admit I don’t remember what I asked, but at some point, Janet said, “I’m applying for government positions because I want a job that’s not stressful.”
Wow. A government job with no stress. A social work position, no less, with no stress. 
No comment. 
I’m pretty sure the waterworks would have begun again, if I’d articulated what I was thinking: “Tell me, please, what color is the sky on Planet Janet?”

Written for BFF inspiration 120, Theme: “You Color my World."


  1. Some days you are the diamond and some days you are the coal.....good job!

  2. LOL... I had a 36 year career in Human Resources, so it was not a stretch of imagination for me to see exactly what you went through with this lady. Love the Planet Janet comment!

  3. LOL...hey, at least you got a funny story out of it, even if it was frustrating at the time! Too funny. :)-Katwin2010

  4. LMBO!! Oh dear Daphne! Planet Janet--with a master's degree and a career as a clown. I almost fell out of my chair over that one!! HA HA!! And she wants a job as a social worker to avoid stress? That's like saying I want to stick my hand in the fire because I want it to freeze!! Well--it takes all kinds to make the world go around. This was too funny!! Cheers, Jenn.