Friday, July 8, 2011

5 Most Common Phrases a (Recent) Graduate Student Does Not Want to Hear

Let me just preface this post with a) I haven't blogged in about a year (oops), and b) if you are one of my friends and/or family members who have used one of these following phrases, do not fear. I know you are asking in my best interest and you want to know how things are going. Plus, most of these questions are from acquaintances, friends of friends, etc. Either way, I will not come at you like a spider monkey--I have just simply noticed a common trend in the kinds of questions I have received in the last 2 months since I was released into the wild world of post-academic life.

That having been said, here are the 5 most common phrases (or questions), in descending order, that I have encountered over and over again. Most Importantly I don't want this to be a post that makes you scared to ask me how things are going, it is supposed to be funny (I hope) and I've found that other graduates have experienced similar situations, and I promise I'm not actually getting upset! If anything I'm thankful to have friends and family who are checking up on me, so take this with a grain of salt :)

5. "Oh my gosh CONGRATULATIONS! So where are you living now?"

Here is the exact moment where I fight to completely steal Nick Swardson's "well I live with my roommates" schtick from Grandma's Boy. Instead, I swallow a little bit of my pride, and say "Well, I've moved back home and I'm living with my mom for the time being." Hey, times are tough and I have graduate school loans coming back to me. Unfortunately, I'm starting to think that "moving back home" in this generation tends to connote ideas of Will Ferrell or John C. Reilly in "Stepbrothers," where these fine gentlemen, well, never really leave the nest.

Yes, I am living with my mom. But at least I don't have to share my fancy sauce.

Trust me, I've left the nest-- about three times since I was 14. Instead of the baby-turned-big-bird that never leaves the nest, I like to think I'm more like a full-sized falcon that just migrates for a couple of years at a time, and happens to fly back to home base.

"I'm just brushing up on my interview techniques"

4. "So what's next? Are you going to be like that guy on CSI, or that little Asian guy on Law and Order: SVU that analyzes criminal behavior?"  
In short:     


And nope. 

Trust me, there's a reason they're TV shows. But after awhile, I've just stopped saying "nah B.D. Wong is a Forensic Psychiatrist who works for the FBI. I haven't gone to med school, and I only have my Bachelor's in Psychology." 

Now I just say, "Exactly, and I work with Benson and Stabler."

*I only use that one if I don't think I'll ever see that person again, or at least within a time frame where I'll actually have a job and we can laugh about it in the future. That is, if they don't think it's an awful joke/think I'm living in a fantasy land where I report to Captain Cragen every morning and have coffee with Detective Munch. 

3. "Oh, well have you sent out any resume's?"

Nope, I'm just waiting for my awesome, dream job to fall into my lap. I go to career fairs and resume-builder workshops just to pass the time and enjoy the free punch and delicious pecan sandies. I don't know if anyone reading this is currently in the process of the job-search, but sending out resumes is kinda like throwing an old-school boomerang. I have yet to meet a person who can legitimately throw a boomerang and have it come back to them in a perfect U-shape the way it does in cartoons. My depth perception, (in combination with my awesome dexterity), would usually result in the boomerang just flying in some awkward direction, or getting caught in a tree, never to be seen again. If anyone has seen me attempt to throw a frisbee, it's kind of the same deal.

I'm pretty sure this is where my resume's go^
(The caption on google images was literally "the boomerang eating tree")

Trust me, the resume's have gone out. Sometimes I am just curious if they are actually reaching the employer, or if they are just getting sucked into a black hole somewhere in the universe-- possibly to the same place where my missing socks that I thought the dryer ate seem to go.

2. "Don't worry! The economy will turn around. If anything, there's probably MORE crime now since the economy is so bad."

This gem usually comes after the awkward back-and-forth where you explain you don't have a job yet. At this point the poor soul asking me about said job has probably noticed the beads of sweat rolling down the sides of my face, the fact that my mouth is as dry as a bowl full of cotton that's made out of hay, and they are trying to pacify me after they've realized that 5 previous people have asked me the exact same question in the last 20 minutes. I've heard this one so many times I think my mom my roommate is going to start following me with a poster-sized board that just simply says: "CHANGE THE SUBJECT!" Either that, or maybe she'll just start breaking into cars around the neighborhood with a crowbar to make me feel a little better. Sometimes you just need a little visible evidence that there is indeed crime.

"Don't worry honey, there's a TON of crime in this neighborhood! just look out your window at your car!"

1. "How is the job-search going?"

This is usually the first question. This one is also the doozie. Chances are if you're talking to me on the phone on a Tuesday at around 2 pm, I'm still searching. Asking someone without a job how the job search is going is kind of like asking a guy in a sinking canoe without paddles if he has installed his twin 165 Evinrude motors yet.

"Where's that woman with the crowbar? we could use that as a paddle, right?"

Ok, so that's a little dramatic. I am not sinking. But I think anyone who has been in the job-market recently can tell you--this economy stinks a little right now. I scoffed when one of my graduate professors snickered at the idea that I didn't want to stay for a doctorate. He rolled his eyes, laughed, and simply said "Wow, well let's hope this economy turns around for you." Well, I'm staying optimistic and keeping my head up. The hard work will pay off. But if you happen to notice a woman in your driveway who resembles my mom, breaking into your car with a crowbar and knocking out your headlights--don't fret. She's just simply trying to keep her daughter's roommate's career full of promise.

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