You might be wondering how I found myself, broke, living in my parent’s basement, with a college degree freshly arrived in the mail and five different loan companies sending me love notes/hate mail.
Well, I suppose when you add that “Bachelor of Arts” then “English” are the words on that degree, I become somewhat of a cliche. Oh, and the words “Montana State University” don’t exactly make the prestigious folk of the world come a-knocking.
But I am really okay with all of this, because upon the completion of said degree in August, I hit the skies and spent almost three months in Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and even several layovers in Seoul, South Korea. Hence the now-I’m-broke conundrum.
It seems a small price to pay to now be jobless and back at the ‘rents to have been given all those sights and stories to add to my life-experience arsenal.
Of course, prior to embarking on this trip, I figured I would come back, find a job, and begin my career, or at least my starter career. I didn’t bank on the terrible economy awaiting me upon my return, that was, ironically, terrible before I left too. (I hear that all over the country, many bright young things like myself are facing this same issue, and my mother assures me that I’m overqualified for all of these positions…who knew I would sometimes wish to be merely qualified?).
Instead of my grand post-travel plan working out nicely (I still have never learned that my plans have a way of falling apart and laughing at me), I’ve spent months on countless interviews, filling out application after application only to be denied an interview or, as often the case in online applications, I don’t even pass their endless, annoying surveys filled with questions like: “When growing up, you never lied to your parents. Answers as follows: Strongly Disagree, Slightly Disagree, Neutral/Not Sure, Slightly Agree, Strongly Agree.”
Well, I answered “Neutral/Not Sure” and that’s probably why I failed the job questionnaire. (I was a good kid—I didn’t drink, I barely dated, and I didn’t smoke in the backyard with the dog like my brother–but even I, model Girl Scout and competitive swimmer, snuck out at least once. Although compared to my sister I’m quite the rebel).
It gets me wondering about the future of America. If I, a fairly well-educated, well-traveled and intelligent young woman fail the questionnaire at the Hilton Family Jobs website (desperate), a bright girl without any felonies or any other kind of criminal record rather than several parking tickets, who exactly are they hiring?
Although, they also included some math questions on the thing, so that could have been my downfall as well.
(As I write this, this-one-guy who is a friend-of-a-friend wanders by and informs me all of the jobs are going to the minorities. While this may be true in the “big cities,” and I refuse to discuss this with said fellow, I’m a woman in Bozeman, Montana, where the population is about 95% white farmers and professors and “diversity” means hiring ranch kids from tiny rural towns. Hence, I prefer to blame it on the math/economy. Also, this is one of the reasons I’m desperately attempting to bid adieu to my lovely albeit slightly unexciting hometown).