Sunday, March 27, 2011

In Limbo

I could describe life as a divine limbo, but that would be simplifying matters.

Hell is too strong. Limbo would be a better word to place where I am at present.

In Dante's Divine Comedy, Dante is taken through the nine levels of Hell by the poet Virgil. He wanders down and down and down meeting all sorts of characters. I've been pondering this a bit. If I were in Hell, just where would I sit? I know that the sixth circle is the place I would fit best, the zone equiped for heretics. This sixth circle of Hell is an interesting place as the portal to the future has been shut out. For a tarot reader, this place would be a true hell, for there are times where you do see the future, but they are pure, unexpected, momentary glances, where you do get a glimspe of the future.

In Dante's world, Limbo, or the first circle of Hell, is reserved for unbaptised babies and virtuous pagans. Well, I was baptised many years ago though I've given back my Christian ticket, and I'm sorta virtuous some of the time - depends how you define being virtuous.

Limbo is a great place. It's where I am at present - well, job wise any way.

I had four company interviews last week. All went well. I have another tomorrow afternoon.

Interview one at a consulting company - it was my second interview. Got on very well with the woman who interviewed me - no-nonsense and straight to the point. It appears I'm a bit pricy. The work looks interesting and varied. Was told I'd hear from them by the end of the week. It's now Sunday. Hmmm. Not holding out hope, but it could be that they are 1) haggling over money or 2) can't be asked to write the rejection letter.

This would be the preferred job - I like the people I met there. I also turned up to the first interview at this company thinking I was seeing an agency - so I didn't have a scrap of make up on my face, I had neat business casual on, my hair had not been tamed into a bun or straightened - it was out in it's rock star glory -  - and I was running 15 minutes late - though I blame the tram and I did call ahead. I gave my best agency schpeil. At agencies you get the following answers from me - among other technical things that they need to know:

Interviewer: What's the difference between telecommunications and banking for you?
Pandora: Telcos have guys in jeans who want to play with electrical things and drink beer. Banking has wankers in suits who appear to make far too much money and drink wine.

Interviewer: How do you deal with difficult people?
Pandora: Offer beer or chocolate - that normally fixes most things. I also do a good line in Buffy and have opinions on some of the Star Trek series.

Interviewer: What are your strengths?
Pandora: I can talk to anybody, I have no fear about asking questions and I have a finely atuned bullshit meter.

Interviewer: What are your weaknesses?
Pandora. I'm from Myponga, South Australia and I barrack for the Crows.  I'm not sure if this is a weakness or a liability. Oh, and I get bored easily. You have to keep my busy or I get destructive. Like a kitten.

Interviewer: What are your career aspirations?
Pandora: I want to be the next JK Rowling, but not so twee.

Interviewer: Why did you move from testing to business analysis?
Pandora: I'm a better fit as a BA - I'm not great at starting at a screen and grunting for ten hours a day.

Somehow, these answers got me a seat on a Business Analyst test (which I passed) and a second interview.

Interview number two on Tuesday was with another consulting company. 8.30 am interview. Also got on well with the fellow interviewing me. This, like the one the day before, was a second interview. This one I was in my best Jessica Rabbit's accountant sister's garb. Not a hair out of place. Was also told I'd hear by the end of the week. Considering that the last time this company told me this it took them nearly a month to get back to me I was not holding my breath. Probably not too expensive for this role, would still be nice to know where I stand. Mind you, having to dress in a suit daily - do I really want to do this? Can I do this? I wear stockings for NOBODY. And I look like a limping transvestite in heels over two inches....

Interview number three on Wednesday was for a contract role with a telco. Excellent interview, but was pipped at the post by somebody with a lot more experience. Was told that if there were two roles they would have taken me on in a heartbeat. Great feedback, and the interviewing PM will send round recommendations and see what goes. The agent was suitably impressed with the feedback so I know I have his attention.

Interview number four was at a mid-level superannuation company. Went back to the agency and said that if they wanted me it would be on a contract basis first up. Didn't get the feeling I wanted to be there - I think I'm a bit rowdy for them. Super companies appear to like their employees to be a bit staider. I'm not like that. No feedback yet. Joy.

There was also the obligatory pimp interviews, phone calls and trawling over looking for work.

As I've been off work for three months now, I'm at the stage where I'd be quite happy to go temping now while the right job comes up - answer phones, file, do computer stuff way below my abilities just to get some money in and my brain working. I have a few numbers to call. This is Plan C and will be put into effect before I'm on the bones of my bum financially - but hopefully it won't come to this.

I also have an interview tomorrow afternoon with a health fund for a nerd liaison role with them. (Nerd liaison is my true role in IT. If I'm asked what I do, I normally say "Something with computers," but nerd liaison is my real job description - I sit between the business and the nerds and translate. It's fun in a masochistic sort of way. My friend Mac recommended me for this role. It's also spitting distance from home, the gym. Walking to work would take ten minutes. There are good and bad things about this. I'd miss lunch with friends- but I believe there is a city office that needs regular visiting to see the business.

Something will turn up soon - looking at my cards, things are changing.

Just like me. I watch myself in interviews. Where did this confident, courageous, slightly wacky, rather intelligent woman sprout from? Why are her trousers falling off her hips? Why does she have the inner glow.

This three months "off" has really been a godsend.

Wish me luck the right thing comes soon.

Project Pandora Update: Day 35

Current weight: 86.5 kg

It's getting to the danger zone for me. Most of my posse mates are striking issues with their physical or mental well being. Thankfully most of these are temporary glitches and I'm watching as they battle out of the doldrums to get back on track. But I seem to be going great guns still.

This program is fantastic!

I did hit a wall on Thursday evening. Went to train with Pinochet, managed to do two bent over rows, felt ill - rather faint and dizzy - so I excused myself, went home and cuddled the cat in front of the telly. I reckon this was partly interview stress and partly exhaustion. Friday I had a quiet day. Went to lunchtime Pump and spent a day at home with Blarney's cat.

At the start of week six of the program, I'm now 5.5 kilograms lighter, a lot fitter and feeling great.

Every pair of jeans in my jeans drawer now fits me without having to lay in the bed and do them up with a coathanger. This is with the exception of the ones I have from when I'm 23 that I don't dare throw out - they're my super skinny jeans. They're allegedly size 16, but they are more like a size 12. They also have the waistband that goes up to my armpits and are in a fetching acid wash (that has never gone out of style in Adelaide).
But this is the real danger zone. In the past, I get to around this weight and everything comes to a grinding halt. Although I'm looking a lot better - but I have to go on. No amount of compliments will make me stop now. Besides, I'm loving the program and the exercise. Besides, I have an inherent curiousity to know what I look like slim. I have no photos of myself at anything under 80 kilos. I don't know what it is to be slender. I want to find out.

With a current BMI of 30 I'm nearly out of the obese zone - two more kilos and I can call myself chubby. My blood pressure is back in the realms of normal with only the stuff the naturopath gives me for support. My limbs are long and supple. I have visible cheekbones and collarbones once again. My tummy is shrinking to a point where I can imagine it flat - and that is something I haven't felt since I was about 23....

I have to keep going - employed or not.

I've also set myself a new carrot to keep going - If I can get my weight under 80 kilograms, or 20 kilograms loss by my birthday in August, I'm booking a trip to Sydney and going to do the Harbour Bridge climb.

It's been too long since I've been on a plane anyway.

I also want to be around 75 kgs when I renew my drivers licence and passport later in the year. My driver's licence shot has me with five chins and a scowl- I'm at my heaviest and I look miserable.  My passport shot is better, but I'm ten years younger, though from memory, I'm weighting in about 5 kilos heavier than I am now.

If there is one thing I want to get out of this. I want to be able to go through life and not remember significant occasions by what weight I was. This is a sad fact of my life that I no longer want a part of. I just want to be in a healthy weight range and happy with that - and not have to remember the numbers and the misery attached to those numbers.

Other than these minor glitches, I should achieve my goal of an eight kilo loss over twelve weeks easily. If I make ten kilos over this twelve week period - I'll be thrilled. However, I'm still managing the expectations very carefully and trying to keep it real.

My next exercise goals - make it up the 1000 steps in under 25 minutes from base to the top, run a kilometre under 5 minutes by the end of these twelve weeks and go on my first hike.These should be acheiveable.

Bring on week six.



Jackie K said...

Yes it's limbo - but as you say, it's been a good one. Look at everything you've done!
You will get a good job soon.
And you won't have to wear stockings.
Thus say I.

The Elephant's Child said...

Not baptised myself, variably virtuous. Ah well.
Lots of luck in your limbo - which will hopefully develop some solid strata soon.
WV: Pagonsin - surely the sins of a pagan

Kath Lockett said...

You've described your situation perfectly. It *is* limbo but one that you're creating to suit yourself - you're working as hard as you can in interviews, life, friendships and health so it can't be far.