Friday, January 4, 2008

Searching in the wilderness..

In the words of The Kids in the Hall, the only thing worse than having a job is looking for one. I got the pretty much official word yesterday that my last shift for my seasonal job is going to be on Monday... and so it's time to kick the job search into high gear. I still have my part time gig, which pretty much as been a couple of hours a week, and I really want to keep that one that way, a few hours here, a few hours there, it's the kind of job that once I have found full time employment is going to be a nice part time thing to make some extra cash... anyway, cause I live in Michigan (which by all accounts has the worse job market in the country right now) and more specifically I live in Ann Arbor, the best bet for stable employment is the University of Michigan. I have worked for them before and left on good terms. I have kept an eye on their employment website (which you can all find at ) and have applied for several jobs there in the last year or so. Why not, the pay is just ok, but the benefits are solid and if you are going to be here in town, why not work for them? At the very least I am going to drop an app with their temp agency, ( and see if they can find something for me in their system, something that will allow me to get my foot back in the door and let me show the University what I have to offer them.

The other thing that I have done to start my job search is make a list of local places that I would like to explore working. I am starting the way that you would start any search, in slow outward circles from the place where you are standing. In this case, I am using my residence as the starting point. Looking at what is in walking distance from my apartment, what is on the bus line and finally what I can drive to easily. Looking around I see a couple of places that I want to explore. My list looks like this

Plum Market- this is at the top of the list and I have already submitted a resume, they are a upscale grocery store opening a new location on the west side of Ann Arbor, near where I live.

Arbor Farms- A long established heath food store also on the west side of Ann Arbor
K Mart
Hollywood Video
Blockbuster video
Bank of Ann Arbor

all have locations in the walking distance...

Speaking of distance, the other part of this blog is to be focused on travel and the places that I want to see or revisit. When I started The Restless Kind blog I was thinking that it was going to be part of a series of blogs each dedicated to a different interest, the first about the job search, and then the second about travel and the third to catch all the other stuff... anyway, one of the things that I had been daydreaming about was spending a year on the road. I was thinking of what would it be like if I could get a free: car, hotels, food, gas, and benefits to spend a year on the road, traveling the country seeing the sites, visiting places, meeting people and checking in with people and places. In this day dream I would have kept a travel blog letting people know about cool places and sites, about events and encounters... but alas, I really have no idea where to start with a project like that, at least not in the physical world, but here in cyberblog land I can daydream and share everything and anything that I would like with pictures and words.

So if I was setting out to start a year on the road, I think that I would liked to have gotten all the last minute arrangements set up, gotten a doctor check up, checked in with my dentist (The best I have ever visited is Quinn Dental 3930 Cedar Grove Pkwy Saint Paul, MN 55122 (651) 452-9660 by the way), taken the car/truck in for a check up/oil change and all of that, and generally spent this week looking over all of the arrangements for my first couple of weeks on the road.

In terms of a car, I would love to have a solid mid sized 4 door, something with good gas mileage, something that is low key, I am thinking a Crown Vic. Of course in my daydream part of the way to get the free car is to use it for advertising, so there would have to be some kind of logos, or website info on the car. I would want it to be tasteful, you know something with the address of this blog on it, and maybe bumper stickers from the companies that provide tires or gas for the car... all of which would of course have sponsor links from this blog. A toyota CRV would also be a potential choice, as the one that I drove at a previous job I thought was pretty nice.

So with everything read to go, everything set up, I would plan the first part of the trip, and this being winter I think that I would head south to start. The temptation for would to be just start south and keep going until I hit someplace kind of warm. Now I am not a huge fan of the heat, and part of my desire to see the south in the winter is more to avoid the summer heat rather than avoid the winter cold. So the destinations to the south that I would most like to see at this point are in the Carolinas and Georgia. I think that starting out by visiting my cousin on the border of Florida and Georgia visiting my cousin and her family, and from there working my way north along the cost.

I think that Jacksonville, FL would be a natural starting point. Maybe checking out the Coast where Florida and Georgia meet. To be honest I haven't been all that impressed with what I saw of Florida, most of which was more tourist and retirement areas of the state. I wonder if it would be different though the eyes of my 35 year old self rather than as a teenager (which was when I last made a visit to Florida).

Is should say a few words at this point about what I look for in a visit to anyplace, Coffee, Beer, Music, Food, Historical Places and museum, are all on the list... but I don't always check all of those out. I also like to check out the local grocery stores, just to see how different they can be, and also to see how they can be the same. I also like to find locals to show me around or point me in the right direction as much as possible.

Starting the trip out this way, a long haul drive south, would also serve as a first run with everything to make sure that the car works out right, to make sure that what ever system or arrangements that have been made were going to work out. By not venturing all that far from the east coast corridor I think that I would be able to work out any of the kinks in my plans. Speaking of plans, at this point I think I would have two choices facing me, go north (which was my first impulse) or go west.... I guess I need a couple of days to think about where I would go next..

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