Tuesday, October 26

I'll take STIGMA for $100, Alex.

It's been no secret that I'm utilizing employment agencies in my search for Employment '10 (along with other ways - not putting my eggs in one basket here).  I think agencies can be a valuable asset in furthering a network when trying to find elusive work in a county where 11.6% is the magic number.

The agency I used in Norfolk had me interview and working in less than 48 hours.  That's right.  4-8 hours.  And it wasn't for some telemarketing gig either.

And now I can't get the employees back in Virginia to forget about me.  I swear, they know one Ging and go bananas.  And I'd spell out the Gwen Stefani song for you...but I'm tired, my blood sugar is low, and I'm still in a suit.  So today I'll pass.  I hope you don't mind.

Anyways...back on track....

Last Thursday or Friday (I can't remember without looking at my planner) I'm in a pre-interview interview at an undisclosed agency before I go to the actual interview.  Essentially you meet with the person who has the connection to the company hiring.  They make sure you're not a bumbling idiot or dressed like Snooki, and then they give you Short Bus directions because no one has a GPS.

So this lady is looking at my file so she can fill me in on things to say when she mouths off this question, "And you said your husband is in the military?"

I confirm her question.  Yes, we're military.

Catch that?  Well..if people guess that we're married, I don't feel the need to correct them.  Besides, most people aren't well-versed in modernized relationships so I don't feel like putting them out when I say that the title of our relationship has no bearing on the actual relationship.  We're here.  We're queer.  Woops, wait, wrong meeting.

Anyways, people assume that all marriages are this strong, firmly founded relationship based on trust, love, and commitment.  And that there's no such thing as a 40% divorce rate.  So we just skip all that dropping $30,000 on a party with religious undertones and overpriced dresses, and let people believe what they believe.

"Okay, well don't say that.  There's a stigma.  Just say his company relocated him."

[screeching brakes]

So what you're saying is that you're feeding the stigma.  You're the kind that thinks we bounce here and there and everywhere (GummiBears anyone?).  We're after the money.  The healthcare.  (What else do people claim Navy Girls are after?  It's been awhile since I've been called out.)  Well, apparently according to Kanye...I'm a Gold Digger... way over town...

Thank you for tumbling me in to a seething, pissed-off state of mind.  Because that's what I need on my mind as I try to woo employers to think, This bitch is awesome!  And then when I'm hired, they'll find out Mr. Wookie is actually military, then they'll think I lied my way through the interview process.  Smooth, bitch, smooth.

I'm here to earn employment on my own terms.  Because of my experience.   My education.  My credit.  I should be judged on merit and achievement.  Not because I fell for a boy who wears a uniform to go to work.  And I don't rank drop, because it's none of your business whether he fixes the aircraft or flies them.  Because unbeknown to you, we already know it's hard to move then find work.  Because of people like you.  I don't want to lie.  I shouldn't have to lie.  There's nothing to be ashamed of because we agreed with the boy, now we agree with the military orders.

But the subject was quickly dropped as I agreed to lie about him if asked, because what's the point of raising a fuss when she clearly has a firm opinion on the matter.  It'd be like trying to persuade Sarah Palin to go vegetarian.

(Side note:  I'm not a huge fan of Sarah Palin, or Bristol Palin (I swear, I'll be a better virgin this time...hahah, sure!)...but I will say I kind of want to watch her Alaska show.  Because how can I not cheer on someone who indulges in her inner redneck! I feel ya, SP!  I'm from Oregon.  Where are my people at?  Oh wait, that's right.  They're addicted to meth.  Yay Oregon.)

So tell me your story?  Ever had someone tell you to lie being militarily affiliated?  Did you tell them to shove it?  Or tuck your tail?


  1. I didn't wear my wedding ring on interviews. Gulp. Although, it was painfully obvious I was a military wife. Why else would a Clemson University graduate from Philadelphia move to the economically depressed area surrounding Ft. Drum, New York (about 30 miles south of the Canadian border)?

  2. I did catch that you didn't correct her about your husband! And I went back and read it a couple times and thought, "Did they run off and get married?" The hubs and I got married by a judge, and then threw a party for our family and friends a few months later catered by a local BBQ restaurant with lots of booze. It only cost us about $400 ;)

    As for the other thing (the main point, if you will), nobody has ever asked me to lie. But I think that at this point, people assume that if you live in Augusta, you're affiliated with the military. Because no one would live here if they weren't being forced. And if they do they're obviously insane, so a milspouse looks good by comparison.

    My problem in interviews is explaining why I was only active duty in the military for a month... I really should work on that.

  3. Ugh... like job hunting isn't difficult enough. I've never had anyone question my military "connection" or urge me to lie, but I know it's an issue. Honestly, I don't think I would shout it from the rooftops in an interview, but if they point blank asked me that, I'd probably reply first with, "Does it matter?" or "Why do you want to know?" or something to put them on the spot... but yeah, I wouldn't lie. I'd be too terrified that I would get the job and then have to try and hide my real life.

    Have you been looking on craig's list? I know it can seem sketchy, but there might be a few gems.

  4. That's very unprofessional of her to suggest you lie. I suppose saying your husband was transfered wouldn't be a lie, exactly, but like you said if you were to get the job and they found out it would seem a little dishonest. I was very upfront about being a milspouse at an interview here, and when I went back for a second interview - I noticed 'milspouse' written on my file. It kind of made me wonder if I should have said something at all. But then again, why would someone who was born, raised, attended college, and started a career in NH move to Military City, USA? I didn't end up getting the job, but he did tell me I was his second choice. I guess all is weel, because right after that we found out we were expecting, but I still think that my 'milspouse status' had something to do with it.

  5. I wouldn't lie because I suck at it. I suppose saying he was "relocated" in response to why you moved, isn't a lie. But if they ask relocated for what kind of work, I would tell them. Honesty is the best policy, I don't care what that agency woman says.

  6. I'm glad that consensus has it where she's the bad guy, and I'm not. Where we're at, there's not a lot of military presence. It's like the complete opposite of Norfolk. So I understand that they don't have much exposure to this life, but still...they should learn. :D

    @NavyGirl, yes I peruse Craig'sList in hopes of finding one of those gems. There are lots of receptionist and lower-level gigs I don't want to jump on just yet. I'm holding out for the higher-level admin while my hope is still high. :)

    @Karen, I'd love to visit Canadia. Dang, so jealous. Too bad our dollar isn't as strong as it used to be. But you're moving soon, so I guess I can't plan a vacay anytime soon.

    @Sespi, I was curious who'd catch that or not. I'm a fan of those who just JOP it. We haven't attended a wedding since 2007 (thank goodness for guy friends who can't date to save their lives). And JOPing makes it quick and easy. And very private. Yay.

    @chacha and navynest, I agree. The more I think about it, the more I don't want to go back to her. But she has some connections. So we'll see if I have to go back to her...

    Then there's the explaining the jumping from the East to the West coast. Who just does that minus milspouses? Exactly. I don't want to lie and say I moved to take care of my great Aunt Milna...so at least throw me a bone here, lady.

    And of course I could have gone on a "freedom isn't free" rant, but I didn't, haha. Because I was dressed way to cute to get all red and puffy in the face. Pissed off and suits don't go together. Unless you're Barney Stinson.

  7. Oh, Mrs. Wookie I feel your pain. I got my masters degree and a great job in Chicago before I met OccDoc. After 2 years of dating, he graduated med school and we moved down to TX. It took 3 months to find a decent job, but I did take a 14,000 pay cut. Ouch.

    Then we moved to DC and I worked for a defense contractor making way, way too much money and it didn't matter OccDoc was in the Army. I was surrounded by prior service peeps and the fact I was a milspouse let me into their little club. I was like their little mascot. They'd bring me on speaking engagements and show me off. Then, the fun stopped again.

    I moved here and was told by 2 interviewers (off the record) that they were looking for someone 'longterm' and the fact was that I would be moving again because of the military. I told them I work twice as hard to make up for that fact and they could call any of my previous bosses to ask about that. I told them in fact all of my previous bosses extended an open invitation to come back and work for them if we ever go back to their neck of the woods.

    It took a long time to get to that point of getting an interview for a good job I actually wanted, and it broke my heart to be counted out because of my husband's job. I knew I'd always be playing second fiddle to him, but this was a real slap in the face.

    So, I went to massage school and started a new interim career as a massage therapist. You can be as flaky and job-hoppy as you want and no body cares. One day after the Army I'll probably go back to my real career, but right now it's just too painful.

  8. Gummi Bears. YES!!!!!!!

  9. 1) Mad props for the Barney Stinson reference.

    2) I am new to the military life, but I am already thanking God that I am able to work from home from just about anywhere, as long as there's an Internet connection. I don't know how I'd react to that! In an ideal world, I'd give the lady what-for, for in real life I'd probably just move on, since what's to be gained by THAT discussion with someone whose mind is obviously already made up? Ugh.

    3)So what if someone will be moving in the next 2 or 3 years? Virtually no one does the "stay with the same company for 20+ years" thing anymore (except people in the military...ha ha). In fact, I'd be willing to bet that the average amount of time an American stays at any given job would be less than 5 years. Maybe significantly less. Just sayin', employers.