The Job Search: Day XX

A ByJane post

I like the way the news people give us the daily countdown: “It’s Day xx of the BP Oil Spill, and oil is still spilling at alarming rates into the here-to-fore pristine Gulf waters.”  Actually, they prefer the word spew because it enables the razzledazzle of onomatoepia to attach to the pronouncement.  I have no such razzledazzle accompanying my daily countdown.  It has been 90-odd days since I first looked at my bank balance and said “Holy expletive-deleted! I’m almost out of money.”

The first job I went for was one near and dear to my over-educated little heart: a Clinique representative at Ulta, the cosmetics superstore.  You didn’t know that about me, did you, that I’m a makeup hussy?  This was a part-time position that seemed perfect for me–and them, I thought, as well.  It was close by, I could indulge my lust for all things skin care, and as a bonus, I could impart to other women the secrets that I have accrued over a life lived in cosmetics.  I had the first interview, a sit down face-to-face in a tiny back office at the store.  It went well.  I liked them.  They liked me.  We liked each other.  Now it was up to Clinique.  Evidently the cosmetics company keeps a firm grip on who represents them.  They have an image to uphold, a brand to foster and they have devised ways to determine who fits the mold and who doesn’t.

It’s called the the Talent Plus interview, conducted on the phone with a warmly welcoming voice from somewhere in Clinique’s America.  I was prepped by the women at Ulta to expect anything and everything and be specific. But I’m good on the phone, particularly if I’m hooked up with my iPhone and can wave my hands a lot as I talk. I was told the interview would take anywhere from 15-45 minutes; I think it went an hour.  Here’s a sample question: “tell us something that you feel so strongly about that you could stand up and talk about it.”  Well, that’s a no-brainer: if I feel strongly–which I do often about a myriad of topics–I can stand up and talk.  And probably will.  If you let me.  The interviewer and I had a nice time together; in fact, she said it was the first time she had done a Talent Plus interview when she had laughed.  Yeah, I’m good that way.  Funny.  She told me I would be hearing from Clinique soon.  And from Ulta, as well.

That was in March, and I’m still waiting.

I really wanted that job.  I really thought I had it.  That I didn’t–it’s confusing.  Everything that was said to me in both interviews led me to believe I should be ready to start work immediately.  After a month or so of waiting by the phone, I called Ulta.  The manager was very nice, very warm and said she hadn’t heard anything from Clinique yet, and the whole matter was still in process.  After another several weeks of waiting by the phone, I called Clinique.  Same story: matter was still in process; decisions hadn’t been made.  By the end of May, I decided it was a dead horse, and aside from the fact that I didn’t get a job that (1) I need! and (2) I wanted–I’m more than mildly annoyed at the silence that followed the interview process.  In my book, it’s rude to spend several hours interviewing a person and then not even send her a xeroxed Thanks, but no thanks letter.

I finally went into Ulta the other day; it used to be a favorite place to wander and decompress.  I sidestepped the Clinique area, but I saw the salesperson they had there: a messy, post-adolescent boy with bad skin and a light-in-the-loafers air.  Oh well, their loss.

  • Joanna Jenkins

    Back to LA?!?!? Yikes. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

    But let me know if you make the move. I’ll bring you coffee and cookies to help with the unpacking!


  • Joanna Jenkins

    A makeup hussy! I learned something new about you Jane. And it really is the Clinique’s loss. I only approach make-up counters with staff old enough to know who the Beatles were– and that is not easy to do.

    My sister has been looking for a healthcare job for 18 months and has sent out literally 100+ resumes and had dozens of really great interviews. She’s over qualified too. And rarely gets the courtesy of the xeroxed “thanks but no thanks” letter. Grrrrr. That’s just wrong.

    Hope things pick up for you Jane.


    PS Midlife Bloggers finally updated on my sidebar again! Yeah.

    • byjane

      @Joanna Jenkins,

      It’s looking more and more like I’ll have to move back to LA. Oh, god, the packing….the unpacking….woe is me.

  • Walker

    Ah yes, the job situation. What a crap shoot that is! I’ve decided to give it up and try and make my way selling my words. The skinny, pimply guys are underbidding me there as well. Oh Well!

    • byjane

      There has to be a better way!

  • Barbara

    The world continues to amaze me, and not in a good way. It’s obviously their loss and I agree it was rude for them to not even send you a follow-up letter. If I bought Clinique, I’d stop right now!
    I love that you’re a make-up hussy! I wear make-up every day, even though I work with only two people who I’m sure could care less and I’m even more sure don’t notice. I do it for me because I enjoy it!
    Good luck on the job search!

    • byjane

      I wear it for me too. Sometimes before I go to bed at night–when I’m brushing my teeth, actually–I get the idea to try something new. So I’ll make up one eye, decide if I like it–and then get in the shower and wash my face. It’s just fun, the makeup thing. And if it’s not, don’t do it.

  • Duchess

    Just spell out overqualified. Or in your case O-V-E-R overqualified.

    • byjane

      @Duchess, Here’s another one of my England stories: I always had a hankering to be a model, but I was too ethnic-looking (i.e., not a blue eyed blonde). A modeling agency opened in London that was specializing in normal looking people. I thought, “aha! that was made for me.” I trotted over to their offices only to hear that I was too good-looking. It seems like I’m always either O-V-E-R or U-N-D-E-R something.

  • Jennifer

    I’m heading into the deep, dark job hunting waters, too. It would be so much more convenient if they knew about me and would seek me out. I hear it doesn’t work that way, though. Darn it.

    Good luck to you, Jane. Can’t wait to hear you tell us about your great new job when you land it soon.

    • byjane

      @Jennifer, It doesn’t work that way? Ya mean I have to ‘splain myself. No wonder I’m unemployable. Btw, how ARE you???? I miss you!

  • Dorothy

    I love your makeup hussiness! It matches my own. And I will boycott Clinique in your honor, those nitwits!

    • byjane

      Thanks, Your Hussiness–and oh, by the way, I used you as a reference today. Those letters after your name look so good!

      • Dorothy


        Oh, excellent. Hey, have you considered teaching full-online? I can’t really recommend it, because I think it is a horrific travesty of education, but it is convenient, and you are mighty savvy with the tech stuff. I applied to U of Phoenix, who turned me turned me down flat (their pay is so so so bad, it’s really excrutiatingly awful), so I wouldn’t bother with those assholes, but most schools now have online programs and thus need adjuncts willing to do the full online thang. I have a friend who “teaches” for Kaplan…I use the “” because they aren’t even called teachers; they are called “facilitators,” and the whole thing is a scam-sham, but it may be worth a look.

        • byjane

          As saavy as I am about social media and stuff, it never occurred to me that the online “teaching” was done out of house, so to speak. I’ll look into it, Do, and thanks.

Previous post:

Next post: