Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Systemic Failure -OR- Lost at Sea

This is my midweek Regulus blog update, except I really don't have anything positive to say.

The University of Maryland, College Park campus grounds looking toward the UM Memorial Chapel (taken with my crummy cell phone camera), 5:03PM, May 12, 2009


The remainder of the pictures in this entry are a few random ones from my old Arcturus blog that I (should not have) deleted.

I'm having an extra crummy week thanks to the fact that I have been rejected on 9 of the 11 jobs for which I have submitted applications, and it's only a matter of time with the other two.

The rejections include two at Booz Allen and five research positions at ICF International -- probably because of being "over qualified").

There is another sure-to-be rejected job I want to apply for by Friday. GOD, am I sick of writing stupid cover letters and giving writing samples.

I am of the opinion that not only does this say something about failing me ...

... but this also provides for an interesting observ- ation about "the business world" of the United States:

In a place where everyone supposedly has boundless opportunities, where everyone can do anything, yet where every institutional arrangement is so complex, convoluted, and constraining, the result is that most people will never succeed simply because too many others and the System itself are in the way.

The result is that ANYTHING can work against you, both actively (for me it would be so many masters degrees and so little professional achievement at nearly 40) and passively (such as lacking certain desirable traits, or in the case of low to mid level Federal Government work, not being a veteran, a minority, or disabled).

A picture of my mom and me taken in front of Notre Dame Cathedral on a rainy day in Paris, Aug. 18, 1979

And it should be obvious that the only person who excels either has an established network arrangement (which I most certainly do not) or is somehow the perfect candidate who effectively did the exact job being advertised for the previous ten years.

A meteorology grad school former friend of mine was hired on as a GS-15 at NASA as soon as he completed his Ph.D. This is a person whose path was made smooth from the very beginning through a variety of means. Of course, it helped that he had a much more stable personality than I and actually had a Ph.D. and was smart in the field. He no longer talks to me.

Me and the North Cornerstone of the District of Columbia, July 15, 2007

As for my immediate course of action, I'm going to take an incomplete in my PUAF699Z class (which I am assuming the professor will give me) since it does not matter if I finish the class and I've been so depressed and just not at all motivated to finish that course, which I don't even need.

The intermittent consulting job is more of a joke than anything else. I've yet to make that connection through NEI with a former head of INPO for an interview as part of a $300 assignment. And my boss is absolutely no help whatsoever. You either get it done or you don't and she just expects the result, end of story. I still don't regret leaving that place as a full-time worker, although the promised 20 to 25 hours a week of work never materialized.

I know have to make my own way in this world, but I simply don't know how to do it. I've no idea where to begin. It might all be a lie, anyway, or maybe all my assumptions are wrong. I realize I'm not the center of the Universe.

This would be a good time to link to the late David Foster Wallace's stunning 2005 Kenyon College commencement address -- a speech made all the more powerful by the fact he killed himself in Sept. 2008. Not many commencement speeches include a mention of suicide, as his did.

Cobalt bartender Chris emailed me it earlier this week. I was previously unaware of it.

I believe this speech, which has become quite popular on the internet passing from one site to another, is now simply known as "This is Water" because of the allegory he gives at the start of it.


I guess that's about all now. I have been invited along to celebrate C/T's birthday, which was yesterday (May 12) at Daily Grill on Connecticut Ave. Gerry is supposed to go, too. Today (May 13) is his birthday. Needless to say, I can't afford a Daily Grill dinner but Phil offered to pay for me.



Oh, by the way, below is the image that I wanted to post in my April 26, 2009 "Remembering Bea Arthur" blog entry.

It is a very blurry cell phone image of a Jan. 1973 framed edition of old (long defunct) Washington Star newspaper that I took at some point 18 months to 2 years ago. This framed front page hung in the foyer of the old (now gone) Yenching Palace Chinese restaurant here in D.C., not because of the Bea Arthur article but rather because the restaurant itself happened to be mentioned in an unrelated article about a visiting Chinese delegation back then.

If you're interested, please read the relevant portion of that entry as it would take too long to explain now.


Lastly, just because I always loved this ocean sailing picture ...

It is from a photo I got off the internet a few years ago and that I have posted a few times.



krzysztof said...

Job search can be a bitch indeed

Regulus said...

So is life in general.

Sorry about your situation with Kuba (is that his name?). It sounds like he was raised traditionally Polish with its traditional views about history and who is responsible for what, and so you should take that into account.

fifi said...

I'm going to say this but you probably don't want to hear it, but your immense negativity is what has prevented you from getting interview. It's so palpable that I can feel it from here. Whatever you fear, you will attract, and you consistently surmise over all the awful things about both yourself and the world.

When you stand up tall and at least acknowledge your own worth, the world will respond. Till then, you will stay on the spiral of misery that you are on now.

Decide what it is that you would like, and then ask for it, with hands out and open to receive it. And before you say to yourself "oh, it's alright for HER..." you really don't know what I have come up against in life, and I also know only too well what it is like on that spiral.

I am far less intelligent and educated than you, however, I am very determined. Summon up your stubborness and take what you want from life. See the joy in the weather rather than the misery. Be happy you can walk across a room unassisted, see the sun come up, look at the sky. Not everyone can do that. Choose joy.

You have much to offer the world. The world has much to offer you. Take a big breath: today is the day. Look up, walk out the door, you are wonderful. love yourself.

Thus endeth the rant.

krzysztof said...

Yes, Reg. Over the past 11 years I might have idealized Poland a little. But there's this Polish small town mentality that hasn't gone away. I just expected more from a gay guy i.e. someone who is himself a minority and one that's not looked upon too kindly, especially in small towns. I guess my outlook here is somewhat schematic and I don't take into account the complexity of life, the fact that people, as a rule, are not logical (recall the immortal Vulcan "it's illogical":-)) Things are different in big cities like Gdansk and Warsaw. Right now I'm enjoying a beer in an outdoor "drinkery" in Gdansk and I have already heard like three foreign languages around me. It's just gives a different perspective. Still, I'm angry and utterly appalled by THAT situation.

Apologies to all the readers who don't know what we're talking about. Let's keep it that way. It's embarrassing for me

krzysztof said...

Fifi said what I was afraid to say. And she put it in the right words. Reg, I think she might have put her finger on it:-)

Rita said...

Regulus... Congrats!!! Celebrate what you know as your own accomplishments.
I will go out on a limb, be trite & redundant & say, "Each person's journey is their own making."

I miss our buddy Bryan.

Regulus said...

Thanks, Rita.

I enjoyed talking to you on the phone last night.

Yes, I miss Bryan, too.