Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hair-Mashing Elixir

When I was choosing between the two career consultants, I learned that one offered unlimited SkillSoft classes while the other offered only three. In all other respects, I preferred the latter, so I asked if they might also be able to offer unlimited classes, and Dwightly, my coach, was able to work that out.

Actually getting signed up for classes has proven to be frustratingly slow, so much so that I emailed my old company on Monday and asked if it was too late to switch consultants, which it was. The person who provided that answer offered to escalate the difficulty registering for classes, but I said no further action was needed.

Next thing I knew, a higher-up at the career consultants telephoned to make sure everything was all right! I was chagrined and embarrassed, because Dwightly might have gotten in trouble—I left her a very apologetic voice mail—but I was also kind of swooning over my ex-company’s chivalry—it’s like a hulking boyfriend or girlfriend who spends three hours a day at the gym and won’t let anyone kick sand in my eye.

That problem solved, I walked up 18th St. to get my hair trimmed. Before Max began to grapple with my coiffure, he asked, “What style?”

“Why does it have to have a style? OK. How about the style where it’s draping off my head in a lank manner?”

Or at least I thought later it would have been humorous if I had said that, or perhaps something about sprigs. In fact, I said I was torn between sort of a square shape and sort of a round shape, whereupon Max suggested I grow it out and then have it straightened, and subsequently mentioned the straightening of hair so many times that it dawned on me he must have just invested in a vat of hair-straightening chemicals, so it was more of a business need on his part than anything to do with my actual appearance. I told him I have cancer in my family, so I can’t put chemicals on my head.

While working, Max provided an analysis of the career paths of those who start out as go-go girls, dancing in the clubs: Many of them have fantastic-looking straightened hair, but many of them also end up as prostitutes.

On Tuesday I went to a group resume editing session led by Dwightly, where I learned that my resume still needs work. I’d noticed the word “optional” somewhere on the career consultants’ website and used it to excuse myself from writing a scope statement for any former position, this being the high-level description of responsibilities that precedes the bullet points listing accomplishments. Dwightly said scope statements are not so much “optional” as “highly recommended.”

In the afternoon, my friend who lined up the informational interview for next week spent an hour on the phone with me providing some background on the topic we’ll be discussing, which was wonderful of her, and after that, three meditation friends and I had dinner at Sunflower and went on to Howie’s.

Because of the informational interview next week, for which my interview outfit would be a little too fancy, it was time for clothing acquisition again yesterday. Judy and I went off to Goodwill and I tried on nine pairs of pants, every possibility from that section, and not one of them fit. But then Judy stumbled upon a rack of coats where someone had evidently refiled all the pants she didn’t want, and voila! Four pairs of awesome work pants and two blouses for a total of $24. Meanwhile, Judy, a ruthless and efficient shopper, managed to find about 20 garments that will support her objectives, career related and otherwise.

As we were leaving, the really nice employee who had let us into the changing rooms was getting off work and as we all headed for the bus stop, she asked, “Can I tell you guys something?” We stopped and she pointed out a mannequin in Goodwill’s window and said her boss had assigned her to dress it, which turned out to be much more difficult than she would have thought.

It proved to be larger than most human beings, and unwieldy, and its foot fell off, then its whole arm. Finally the task was done, and she said with contagious enthusiasm and wonder that ever since then, when she sees a mannequin in another store or even a model in a catalog, now that she herself has dressed a mannequin, she has a whole new perspective on the matter.

Judy and I went back to the Mission for lunch at Papalote and I walked up to Pete’s on 24th St. to drop my new togs off for environmentally friendly dry cleaning and minor alterations. It was a sunny afternoon and the stroll home from Pete’s was idyllic and blissful.

I got a call from C. in the evening proposing an outing to the main library to hear Kay Ryan read her poems, and since the largish lunch at Papalote meant dinner could be skipped, we BARTed downtown. I’ve never really warmed up to Kay Ryan’s poems, which seem to me to be missing something—I suppose she thinks the same of my blog—but it was fun to hear her read. She herself is dazzling, and was clearly having a great time. I don’t know if I like her poems more now, but I would like to marry her, which must count for something.
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