Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Looking for Jobs

Periodically I have a conversation with B.A. about my off-and-on job search.

"In Toronto," I say, "we find jobs through our friends and acquaintances."

"That's not how it works here," replies B.A.

"I think that's how it works everywhere," I say.

B.A. is not convinced, as he got his job fair-and-square by answering a job ad twelve years ago. However, in that same twelve year period, I got every writing assignment and every editing job through people-I-know, friends-of-friends, and students-of-former-profs-or-former-clients. Alas, the editing jobs have dried up, probably because of this. At the time I was so furious on Ross Douthat's behalf, I didn't notice the bridge burning behind me.

(That said, Ross linked to the piece from The New York Times, which was one of those thrills that money just can't buy.)

I hate looking for jobs because I don't deal well with disappointment and rejection and never have. When Victorian gentlemen waffled about women needed to be protected at home from the horrors of the workplace, they were talking about women like me. I was made for knitting socks for soldiers, sending little parcels to the needy and, once in a blue moon, being dragged out to dinner parties to make conversation with Sir Magnus Lumpengent, my husband's superior at work. Naturally I would have left the housework to my staff of two, as this is 1910 we're talking about. My parents raised their daughters to be ornaments in 1910 society and even bragged about this from the front seats of their Toyota Corolla as behind them I fumed.

Little Women and the Anne novels were my guides to life. Is it any wonder that when I looked at the Scottish job ads yesterday morning I had shrieking hysterics? I mean, look at this. What does it even mean?

Enhancement Themes Project Officer (Part-Time)

Role Purpose

This post will support the requirements of the college's Enhancement Theme work and support the ET institutional team in evidencing outcome of enhancement activities.
As a matter of fact, there is one sort of work I am very good at---besides giving my opinion in various Catholic publications---and it is teaching adults how to write and speak good English. In Warsaw I covered for a pal's vacationing employee and spent an agreeable hour-and-a-half making an executive repeat "should", "would" and "could" in conversation. It was great fun.

Although I have no ESL (or EFL) certificate, I did teach English writing skills at an Ontario post-secondary institution for three years and I did set up a writing clinic at my theological alma mater and toil away in it for two years. Helping adults make their writing efforts better and their ideas clearer is truly a source of joy.

The fact is that I would have made a super prof, were it not for the wickedness of academic politics,  the current state of the American Theological Academy, and my thin-skinned inability to cope with rejection and disappointment. Polish Pretend Son, who goes out of his way to annoy his colleagues by plastering his cubicle with Trump propaganda, will doubtlessly shoot to the top.

For some reason, this reminds me of a poster I saw in a Warsaw shop, which was supposed to be in English, but charmingly illustrates the Polish double negative:


  1. Editor . . . my wife is actually looking for an editor for her young adult sci-fi vaguely Catholic book. It has robots in space and rosaries both. A job you might be interested in?

    1. That sounds very interesting! My email is

    2. Excellent! I'll have her get in touch with you.

  2. The job add means the college has way too much money. ;-)

    Are there writing tutor jobs? That would seem like a good fit.