2017… I Resolve to Stay Exactly as I Am

Good Morning! And welcome to 2017! 

Here’s hoping you are waking up with a skip in your step and a smile on your face, because the tragedy that was 2016 is gone!

OK, honestly, I was not so adverse towards 2016. Did it have its challenges? Certainly. We lost some great minds and gained some ones that were DOA to begin with (here’s looking at you incoming cabinet! God help us all!). Terror and violence seemed to be on the rise, going hand in hand with the decline of race and religious relations. And Shonda Rhimes continued to kill off our most beloved TV show characters (RIP Wes!). 

But for me, overall, 2016 really didn’t phase me. Nothing much has changed. Which brings me to the topic that we are all so focused on this time of year, resolutions. 

Every year people are goaded into setting such high standards for themselves. While most of this is well intended, it can leave some of us feeling rather deflated when the next New Year’s Eve comes around. For example, I did not lose 10 pounds, move out of my parent’s house, find my prince charming, or write an award winning novel (OK, so I knew that last one was a stretch from the get go). Not a single  resolution accomplished; What an epic fail! I put this in italics as it is the voice my ice cream carton whispers to me every night when I walk by the freezer.

So was there anything that can define my 2016? Was there any meaning to it at all? Lucky for me, I do not define my year, my success, and my meaning in life by the exceptions of my imagination or the expectations of others, and neither should you! Here’s my reasons why.

In 2016 I got to be a part of my best friend marrying the love of her life. Similarly, I got to see my brother get engaged to the love of his. I got to see my first Broadway show and bravely take my first Uber. I crossed seeing Paul McCartney in concert off my Bucket List. And I got to celebrate one year of coming home to the sweetest fur baby, who’s wiggly butt can warm my heart just as fast as a hug from his fluffy fur.

I measured the success of this past year in moments. This measurement of success may not be easily acknowledged by others, and they may all still be wondering what the heck I am doing with my life, but to me, 2016 was a good year. Do I still want to lose 10 pounds, move out of my parent’s house, meet prince charming, and write an awarding winning novel? Of course, but maybe it won’t happen in 2017 either, and that’s OK with me. The most important resolution for me in this new year, is to continue defining my success on my own terms, and not letting the chaos of the world take my own inner triumphs away from me.

So happy New Year everyone! May you create moments and memories that define you…especially adopting a fluffy dog. Everyone should adopt a fluffy dog. 

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My Jam Monday

Its that time again, for New Year’s resolutions. Since I have never been successful at keeping them, I suppose my first resolution this year would be to keep my New Year’s resolutions! I mean I don’t understand why I shouldn’t. Its not like I resolve to do things that are horrible or torturous (Besides burpees, but they are  unfortunately a necessary evil).  At the top of my list this year as always are to read more, get back in shape after eating one too many holiday cookies, and to write more. I decided to get a head start on the last goal. In order to do this I am here by instating: My Jam Monday. Formally known as Oh Hot Damn, This is My Jam…, I will be using Monday to bring you some of my current favorite songs. I’m hoping that they will be ones you have not heard before, from a new artist, but I cannot make any promises, as you will see by tonight’s installment. Sometimes it will just be whatever is stuck in my head.

I am also hoping to bring back Throwback Thursday Vinyl with  a vengeance! This may be mostly in part to that the fact that if I don’t do something with the records I keep hoarding, my mother might use them for kindling. But I digress, I really enjoy sharing my vintage gems with you, so stay tuned because I have some great ones coming up.

I am also hoping to start some new segments and topics, as well as continue writing book reviews and other random reviews of pop culture. I’m sure the 2016 election will be a bubbling font of writing prompt wonders!

So here’s hoping you had a very warm and wondrous Chrismakwannaukh and here’s to a vibrant New Year!

Oh and for your listening pleasure the song that is eating wormholes into my brain at the moment (happens to also fittingly apologize for my absence!) *shamefully looks away as she is silently judged*

Back to the Future

Have you ever wondered what your life will be like in the future? Ok, who am I kidding? We all anxiously wait on edge for what our future will bring because we just know it will hold the next big thing; the moment that will change our lives forever. But, have you ever put all your big dreams aside and thought what your every day life in the future will be like? Like in 25 years? In 25 years I will be sitting on the edge of 50 and I hope it reads something like this:

Hilary is rushing around upstairs. I can hear the uneven click of mismatched high heeled shoes on the hardwoods above me, as she tries to decide what shoes to wear. Thankfully she  already bought a new dress months ago and will not have to decide what to wear. This was a vital decision despite the fact that no one will even see the dress under her robe, but like mother like daughter, and really, you only graduate high school once, right? The door handle turns as I continue to sip my tea and read the paper.

Rise and shine and give God the glory glory, rise and shine and give God the glory glory!” my husband playfully booms as he comes through the kitchen with an athletic bag and our 12 year old in tow.

“Well good morning to you too!” I say as I stand to give him a hug and a kiss, “Judging by that kind of enthusiasm, I can only guess the game went well?” They are just coming in from an early morning soccer game, which I was able to excuse myself from as i had to stay home and make sure the girls didn’t kill each other in their preparations for the big day. In reality I slept in, blatantly shirking my “Soccer Mom” duties. I love my little Lennon, but 7am soccer on a Saturday is really a rough go, even for the players.

“We won 6-2!” Lennon announces proudly, pulling a Gatorade from the fridge.

“Lennon really hustled today. No goals scored, but he is really holding his own as a defenseman,” my husband boasts.

“Well I’m happy to hear it. Now would you boys like me to make you some eggs while you go clean up? We have a pretty full day ahead of us.”

“Do I really need to wear a suit? Lennon whines, “It’s so hot today!”

“You’re just sweaty from the game. Plus, the ceremony is indoors where there will be air conditioning. And I would stop whining if you are still counting on getting some eggs. And, just a warning, I would choose the downstairs bathroom to shower in if I were you. Otherwise you will probably encounter WWIII if you go upstairs right now.”

Seriously? They have been up there since we left this morning.”

“Patience my son. Someday you will be a wise man and appreciate the care taken to produce a beautiful rose,” my husband says in his best Mr. Miyagi voice. I laugh as he steals my paper and sits down across from me. The random bursts of singing, the goofy voices; my husband remind me so much of my dad sometimes. I suppose it is why I married him.

Lennon heads off to shower as I get up to cook eggs.

“Can you believe our baby girl is 18 and graduating from high school?” I say nostalgically.

It’s hard to believe none of our babies are babies anymore,” my husband says.

You’re telling me. Aubrey is up there probably creating a beauty product tornado, and you want to know why? She has her eye on one of the boys in Hilary’s class!”

“As in her senior graduating class? She is 14, what does she think an 18 year old boy with one foot out the door  on his way to college wants with a girl not even in high school yet?”

I shake my head. I am as puzzled as he is. Aubrey is definitely going to be the child that ruffles our feathers in her teen years. We had gotten through virtually unscathed with Hilary. She has a passion for playing the piano and writing music that has kept her fairly occupied throughout high school.  It is too soon to tell with Lennon, but right now he remains sweet, fun-loving, and too interested in building with Legos to concern himself with trouble.

But Aubrey is a feisty one. She seems to enjoy turning everything into a debate, especially when it comes to her curfew and where she is allowed to go after school. She likes trying to debate that it is perfectly normal for her to “just chill” with her friends at the 7-11. I’m not buying it.

I hear footsteps coming down the stairs and I pray it is one of the girls dressed and ready to go. It is already 10:15 and we need to be at the school at 12:00.

“Mom, which shoes?”

It is Hilary, but unfortunately her hair is still in a towel and her makeup is only done on one side of her face.

“I like the silver ones, sweetie.”

” Are you just saying that because they have a lower heel?”

“No!” Yes.

“Thanks. Are those eggs I smell?”

“Sorry no eggs for anyone until they are properly styled. Go fix your hair and then we’ll talk eggs. And, how is your sister doing?”

“Well, she stole my blue dress and she is hogging the curling iron. But, she does seem to be in a chippier mood since she got a text from Morgan, whose brother is on the football team with Nico, who is this kid in her Physics class that she has a crush on, and Morgan said that  her brother said, that Nico said he thinks she is cute. But then she OMG’d and knock over her nail polish onto the rug which totally set her off. So all things considered, I think we are looking at a B- kind of mood from her today.”

My head is spinning as my husband looks up from the newspaper and declares, “Uh-uh! B- isn’t going to cut it today. Please excuse me while I go iron my suit and swiftly kick our daughter in the ass.”

“Thank you!” I smile sweetly.

“Also, I expect us all back here in 20 minutes ready to eat our eggs and go,” he announces.

“Not a problem!” Lennon pipes in. He has returned, suited up, with not a grass stain in sight.

“Well don’t you look handsome! Let me take a picture!” He waves me off as he starts to dig in to the first order of eggs.

It is still so hard to believe that I have reached this moment in my life. It seems like just yesterday I was in my 20’s grumbling about the “hardships of adult life.” Who would have thought I would actually make it to this joyful, fulfilling, happy time in my life.

The the girls are finally entering the kitchen with their father following behind making trumpet sounds to the tune of pomp and circumstance. Hilary is fully decked out in her graduation gear beaming from ear to ear. I can’t help but do the same as I thankfully look at the wonderful present that I could never have dreamed of when thinking about the future.

What’s the Deal with That? : Greek Life in the Media

What is Greek Life?

For me, Greek Life was an amazing opportunity for my introverted self to immerse myself into a group that prided itself as being outwardly social, always being present in the college community through fundraisers, charity events, and other social activities. It was a way to form bonds with other girls that will last way beyond our college years. Most importantly, it was a way to discover what I valued in myself and others and how I wanted to adapt myself and my environment to fit these values as I began to look past graduation.

Unfortunately the media is not willing to share with you my perspective of Greek Life, or that of the other millions of Greeks who are just as sentimental towards their organizations. No, instead the media prefers to highlight just how demonizing the Greek community is to society. Not once have they shown you images of Greeks coming together to raise money for charity, or giving up their time to provide service to their community.

No, the media would rather display images of drunken orgies, sexual assault, racism, and heinous hazing instead, because it isn’t a good news day unless there is some hate to spew.

I am not saying that the aforementioned acts are not occurring within Greek Life. But are they not occurring on college campuses outside of Greek Life? No, all of these acts are just as prevalent, in fact possibly more so, outside of Greek Row. That is because most Greek Life does not live up to your Animal House ideas. Each fraternity and sorority, whether national or local, has standards to uphold in the form of a GPA requirement, a community service requirement, a duty to represent their alumni positively, etc. While Greeks tend to know how to have a good time, we also have other priorities that usually take precedent, and none of them include lewd, immoral, or illegal behavior.

While you cannot deny the stories of racism and sexual assault that have been brought to light in some Greek organizations, i.e. University of Oklahoma’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon, or Penn State’s Kappa Delta Rho, one might question if these should be national new stories. While these are horrible acts, the sad truth is that they are horrible acts that are happening every day in various communities, whether it be on a college campus, or in a local neighborhood. These acts should never be taken lightly, as awareness is a powerful thing, but the crimes in the local neighborhoods, or behind the closed doors of an office, etc. do not make the national headlines. No, apparently it is the Greek community’s job to be made an example of. And I for one am fed up.

The latest headline involving Greeks is not even close to being illicit, lewd, or illegal, but yet, here we are, damned to Hell again. This time the story involves the University of Alabama’s Alpha Phi sorority.

With the start of classes right around the corner for most colleges, Greeks around the country will be kicking of recruitment/rush. This is a time for those interested in Greek Life to get to know the various organizations and get a feel for which one they may like to join. For campuses with a large Greek community, usually with national organizations, this can be quite an elaborate process, as each organization strives to recruit the students that best fit their organization’s philosophies and life style (Don’t forget many Greek organizations require members to all live together!).

With that being said, it is not uncommon in the age of social media, to see Greeks put out recruitment videos. These videos are meant to be a representation of each particular organization and why they are unique in comparison to another. They may often times spoof a popular music video or dance craze, or simply show photos of its members participating in various events around campus. This is exactly what the ladies of Alpha Phi intended when they released the following video:

Apparently this was offensive to half the nation. This video was taken as racist, demeaning towards women, and even was stated as being, “the worst thing to happen to women since Donald Trump.”  These statements left me puzzled as what I see is a group of girls hanging out, having fun, being girly, and showing potential  sisters that there organization is playful, carefree, and spirited.  Obviously America felt otherwise. Lets talk about some of the points that were made against it.

The first is racism/lack of diversity. Were the girls in the video mainly white? Yes. Is there a definitive answer as to why? No. Diversity is a struggle that all clubs, organizations, and even the college admissions department struggle with. Perhaps there is a smaller minority pool within the school in general.  Also, no matter if race is taken into account or not, we need not forget that, yes,  Greek organizations are based off of exclusivity. They only take a certain number of individuals based on a variety of factors. They may have a limited amount of spots within their house. They may have particular “legacies” in mind (a legacy is a family member, usually a daughter or son, of an alumni member). There are so many other factors taken into account when choosing potential members, primarily personality and cohesion with the active members.

The other point made against this video is that it is demeaning to women, and sets them back years.  This is something that I still seriously need explained to me. How does dancing and smiling and tossing a little glitter, reverse women’s rights? And if it did, why is this the first time anyone has gotten upset about it? Here are some other recruitment videos that never set off any firestorms:

 

The only thing these videos prove is that Greeks need to get more creative with their music choices, but really? What is the big deal. In fact the last video is another Greek organization from the University of Alabama as well!  Hrrrm… Oh and please also take note of the lack of diversity in each of these videos as well!

Sorry folks, but no one is looking to join Greek life after watching a recruitment video about studying in the library. They want to see people having fun, bonding with one another, and over all just living the carefree life that comes along with attending college, whether you are a part of Greek Life or not.

The media has tried once again to make an example of Greeks by portraying the ladies of Alpha Phi in a negative light.  They want to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find just one more story they could try and demonize Greek life with. I mean really, there are hundreds of these recruitment videos out there and somehow this one became the poster child for immorality and race issues?

I think it is about time that the media stops projecting the world’s issues onto mundane stories that  never should even make it past the editing room floor.  Lets stop making mountains out of molehills and maybe focus on building up those who have been torn down by social issues such as racism, sexual assault, and violence, instead of trying to continuously tear down others because we need one more person to point the finger at.  In conclusion,

What’s the deal with that?

P.S.  These are the real faces of Greek Life today. PDB~GOTN~<3 ~ 198

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Is Everyone Eating Pizza Without Me?

Congrats! You made it to Friday, the most wonderful day of the week… well, not quite wonderful until you get through what is always guaranteed to be the most miserable 8 hours of your week. You probably had to go in early in order to make sure you meet all your deadlines before you leave for a 2 day reprieve. To make matters worse, every underdeveloped Cro-Magnon left on the Earth (sooo about 85% of the population!) decides that they need to call and bother you with every ridiculous, irrelevant question they can fit in before they too join in on the aforementioned reprieve. Add in the fact that your executives are out for a round of golf, so your workload just doubled. By hour 6 you start to go cross-eyed from incessant scrolling and clicking that has consumed most of your day. So, by the time your sacred moment of escape arrives, you are in no mood to celebrate. No, No! You are tired, angry at the world, and most definitely hungry. Food! Yes, Food! That will fix it! Food fixes everything.

“Hey Mom, just leaving the office. What’s for dinner?”
Yes, you are still making that phone call, because you are 24 and no one respects you, and remember those executives of yours? Well, they sign your check and right now, they have decided that another round of beers at the clubhouse is more important than the dignity you would gain by being paid more than an illegal immigrant.
“Your Dad and I got home early and ordered pizza.”
Ugh, well that sucks. But, don’t fret! You over heard your co-workers saying they were going to grab a quick bite before heading home.
“Hey Hannah, you and the HR crew still up for some noms?”

“Of course! Any preference on toppings? We’re all pitching in for pizza.”
UGH! IS EVERYONE EATING PIZZA WITHOUT ME?
Yes, yes they are. And, they are probably topping it off with a pitcher of pale ale and a trip to the Cupcake Cubby. Why is this the most aggravating, nerve-bending offense that could ever cross your path? Because you my friend, are gluten intolerant.

Ok, so you’re probably not gluten-intolerant. In that case, let me hold the door for you while you enter into the theatre for a dramatic portrayal of a little show called “Scenes from My Life.” This particular snippet, has become all too familiar for me over the past 2 years. Now I know what you may be thinking, #1stWorldProblem. So what? I have a food allergy. NBD. And, it’s not like I have Celiac Disease or something. I probably even sneak in a few cheat days…WRONGO! Nope, that’s like thinking a Diabetic would be just fine if they only spent a few hours in Willy Wonka’s factory. Without subjecting you to too much of the gory details, let’s just say that even the slightest hint of soy sauce has had me running from the table faster than you can say, “Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto.”
The true irony in all this is that before being diagnosed, my life was one big pile of dough (sadly not the crisp, green kind). Dough, batter, cake, crumbs. If it had gluten in it, I was probably elbow deep in it, as I had big dreams of becoming the next Ace of Cakes. Now, by all means, a baker can be gluten-intolerant, I just happened to lack talent, but I still find it silly how much my life revolved around the one thing (well, actually one of 2. I’m also lactose intolerant) that for me is now forbidden.

Most days I am not affected. I have no problem eating my turkey sandwich on gluten-free bread, and they make a fairly decent gluten-free Oreo substitute. But let me tell you, when the weekend rolls around and everyone’s knee jerk reaction is to hit speed dial for Dominos, no amount of deep cleansing yoga breathes can soothe my aching heart (but also who am I kidding, I don’t do yoga. Let’s get real; I’m losing my shit over not being able to eat pizza.).
And then, there is Mac and Cheese. Don’t even get me started on Mac and Cheese. I mean, that one is more just a me problem I suppose, as they do make gluten-free Mac and Cheese. But try and find a lactose-free, gluten-free Mac and Cheese…you might have better luck just eating the cardboard box it comes in. The biggest nail in the coffin comes with dining out. Today, roughly 3 million Americans have Celiac Disease, with another 18 million living with non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, or gluten intolerance. Many larger chain restaurants have adapted a few items to accommodate these growing numbers (you can still rule out fast food, but really, who wants to eat that even if they are eating gluten?). But, try and go somewhere a little more upscale? Well…
“Look Honey! If you or anyone in your party has a food allergy, please let your server know and we will be happy to accommodate. There in the fine print.”
“Hi folks, my name is Ari I will be your waiter tonight. Are there any questions about the menu.”
“Well my daughter here has some food allergies. Gluten and dairy free. What can you suggest?”
“Of course! Might I suggest one of our fresh, garden salads!”
That, that moment right there… UGGGH! The last thing a person with food allergies wants to here is that the only allergen-friendly item on your menu is garden salad, not to mention a garden salad that you will probably still charge as much for as one of your fancy entrees. And forget the dessert menu. Nope! Just chuck that out the window. You may be able to find something either gluten-free or dairy-free, but certainly not both. As a former baker/pastry chef-in-training I totally get it, because really, what is left that doesn’t compromise the integrity of the food you want to put out? But, for someone with food allergies, this fact doesn’t bring much comfort. Of course, as a waiter, the best and most sure fire way to not be left a tip is to ask the question, “Would you like your meal gluten-free due to an allergy or a lifestyle choice?” I’m sorry, how is that relevant? If it is merely a lifestyle choice do you plan on throwing a little gluten in there for good measure? Like, if it’s only a lifestyle choice then you can be sure to let the cooks known it’s OK to cross contaminate? WTF. Seriously WTF.
*Sigh* Oh gluten, why must we be mortal enemies! This is the sad question I have to forlornly ask myself some days, especially when the Girl Scouts start hawking their Caramel Delights. But, overall it’s really not that bad. Sometimes it even works in my favor, like at holiday parties, or Free Donut Day. I can totally make a healthy choice and not look like a Dieting Debbie Downer. But it’s the pizza. That damn Papa John’s and their garlic sauce. Boy, how I miss that!

What’s The Deal With That?: Nudity in the Name of Female Empowerment

Ok, so I’m sure there will be plenty of you who disagree with the opinions I am about to put forth, but I think it is about time we have a discussion about some of the nonsense that is being endorsed and supported, with the justification that it is “a woman’s right.”

Another day has dawned and so dawns yet another ad campaign/promotional photo featuring a brazenly, naked woman. In fact, today I was subjected to not one, but two incidences of this. First was that of Madonna with her breasts out and about with not a care in the world, as she poses for Interview Magazine. As I sat their watching E! News I couldn’t help but notice Jason Kennedy, who is very openly Christian, as he fumbled over how to respond to the image. I was glad someone on the panel was at a loss for words, because the ladies of the panel, were more than happy to support Madonna, touting that she is empowering woman, because she is 56 years old and not afraid to show off her body. They also threw in that it was the magazine’s art issue, and that the photo was a work of art…. Really? Here is a link to the photo, so feel free to discern its artistic quality (it is censored, but view with caution). http://www.eonline.com/news/602298/madonna-poses-topless-for-interview-see-the-pics

Then there was the second run in I had with unnecessary nudity. There I was scrolling through pinterest, and wham! completely naked woman! This was shared by Instyle magazine, stating “He’s Bringing Sexy Back!”, in reference to Alexander Wang, as the photo is in fact an ad for the designer’s new line of jeans.  Hrrmm.. if one is to sell jeans wouldn’t it be more effective to show how they fit on a woman’s body rather than have them crumpled around her ankles? There is a second photo where  it is simply a crotch shot of the model touching herself; not sure which one is more “sexy”. Again here is the link (viewer discretion  advised). http://news.instyle.com/2014/12/03/hes-bringing-sexy-back-alexander-wang-announces-denim-line-with-a-steamy-ad-campaign/

And then of course last, but never ever least (*sarcastic eye roll*), there are those oh so morally sound Kardashians. By now we probably have all seen Kim’s oiled up derriere on the cover of Paper magazine, seeing as national news stations even felt it appropriate to share her nudity with the masses. She also posed full frontal for the magazine, but thankfully that was considered less acceptable and was not promoted as much, however with the simplest of search cues, the photo is easily found on the internet.  Not to be out done, Kourtney Kardashian recently posed completely naked for DuJour magazine, condoning it acceptable due to her being pregnant.

Day after day celebrities and fashion designers, news outlets and mass media, are telling people that brazen nudity is not only acceptable, but also a form of empowerment. I am not saying that feeling womanly and sexy is not empowering. Every woman should be able to feel good about their bodies and they are also entitled to express that as they wish. That being said, woman have been posing nude for years. Marylin Monroe did, and she is recognized as one of the most confident, sexy women of all time. The difference is that Marylin’s nudity was saved for Playboy and other adult material. It was not widely accepted and blasted on national news stations or newspapers, being touted as art and an image of female empowerment. Just as these women have the right to express themselves in this manner, so should the national audience have the choice whether they choose to view it or not. And this does not mean showing the photo with little blurred out patches; we all know what is under there.

As a young adult these images make me uncomfortable, so I cannot imagine how it makes parents feel when they have to explain it to there children, as it is popping up during the nightly news, on their computer homepages, and of course on their social media (not condoning children on social media either, but that is a different problem all together).  The more uncomfortable part is trying to raise these children with morals when all of this nudity is floating around and being praised.

Lately people have been up in arms about the number of physical as well as verbal sexual assaults against women. A lot of people suggest that boys/men need to learn how to treat and respect women. Well, when we are praising nudity and the female body as “no big deal” and telling everyone that these naked women feel “empowered”, teaching boys/men to respect women becomes a bit hard, don’t you think? Is it not a wonder why more and more sexting scandals are occurring with teens? They are only looking for the same “respect” as Kim Kardashian and Madonna, no?

Reversely, how are we suppose to encourage young woman to respect themselves, stay innocent, think for themselves, and don’t let men take advantage of them? With images like those mentioned above being considered as art, girls and young woman are at a disadvantage when it comes to deciphering how they are to portray themselves.

Of course there are a lot more issues out there that are the cause for many of the problems with assault and with body image issue among girls, but those are just some of the plausible side effects of allowing these images to become part of the norm. The bigger gripe? Even as a grown adult with no children to rear,  I do not care to see a woman or man’s naked body splayed out everywhere I turn with out any form of discretion. And please don’t try and butter it up by telling me they feel “empowered” or “sexy”. Nudity is nudity. It is tasteless and inappropriate no matter what glossy magazine title or designer name you slap on it. If I want to appreciate the human form as art, I will view it on my own time at a museum.

So I have to say, nudity in the the name of female empowerment? What’s the deal with that?

What’s The Deal With That? : Job Hunting

Do you watch Scandal? If you do, you will be familiar with B6-13. For those of you that don’t, B6-13 is a special-ops group of assassins trained by the government to protect the country from domestic threats. They are a twisted bunch, with torture methods not for the faint of heart. Well, last week as I sat there watching my beloved Scandal, one of the characters began to reminisce about a time when she not so gently had her tooth extracted by one of these said B6-13 members. It was then that it dawned on me that the torture of job hunting is probably similar.

As of just last month it was reported that 9.3 million Americans are unemployed. People like to blame this on a poor economy and outsourcing of jobs. I beg to differ. I would guess that about 25% of those that are unemployed are not so because of lack of effort. There are plenty of jobs out there, I see pages and pages of openings on job boards every day. The problem lies in the fact that whoever comes up with these online application services that most jobs use must be criminally insane.  Gone are the days where you create a bold resume that will catch the eye of a worn out HR rep, who has been flipping through resume after resume, bleary eyed, for weeks. Instead, it is highly likely that your resume or application will not even be read by a human. That is if you can even figure out how to apply for the position. Let me explain…

So you get on Monster.com or Indeed.com or whatever mass job posting site you may use. You find a position you want to apply for. Great! You click apply now, and start typing in all your personal information, you may even upload a resume. You click submit crossing your fingers for good luck as you shoot your credentials into the hands of your future employer… Wrong! No, instead you will probably get a message similar to Thank you for creating an account with Monster! Start applying for jobs now! Wait? Weren’t you just applying for a job? Ugh. Ok, so now your registered, great! Back to the search page, find the position, let’s try this again! This time you do get to the actual company website and begin the application process. Step one usually asks you to upload a resume. Great! You’ve worked very hard perfecting a wonderful resume! One look at that and you’ll be hired. You upload and hit continue. DUN DUN DUN! You have reached the agonizing part of the application where even though they now have a copy of your resume, you have to retype all that information (work history, education, skills), into little tiny boxes that may or may not have a character limit. So you start typing “asst. mngr.”, “morn.rest. Sup.” and a bunch of other jumbled up abbreviations you hope they don’t mistake as Morse code. You regurgitate all the tasks that you have done at those previous positions, wondering if you should use full sentences and correct grammar or just bullet points. You go to enter you educational information and they only give you a drop down menu of choices for where you may have gone to school. You end up having to select “other” which makes you feel like your education wasn’t good enough. You hit submit.

Great! All that typing is out of the way. But what’s this? Job specific questionnaire. Ok, fair enough. Please set aside 30-45 minutes to answer this required questionnaire. Huh? 30-45 minutes? Don’t they realize you are applying to this position on the sly on your work computer while your current boss isn’t looking? Whatever, bring it on! First question:How many years job related experience do you have? Well does that included classes taken at school or just hands on experience? And does it count if you gained knowledge about a position you are applying for by working near others who did that position? Hrumph! If you are lucky you get yourself through the questionnaire without your brain circuits frying. You hit continue and feel that this must be it. The end is here…

You fool! No, no, no! Now it is time for comprehensive assessment!

Remember the part where I said I would rather have my teeth pulled out by a trained assassin than apply for jobs? Well, most of that angst comes from having to complete the comprehensive assessment. This titillating tactic of torture can come in a variety of forms. First their is the psych test.  Agree, Disagree, Strongly Agree, Neutral, Strongly Disagree.. Sound familiar? Hundreds of little bubbles that must be clicked in an effort to judge your sanity and personality type before you can even get a call back, never mind a sit down interview. But the psych test is the mildest form. The most pain inducing of them all is the SAT Retake Test (at least that is what I am calling it). The SAT Retake Test is so cringe worthy I have done all the aforementioned steps and refused to continue the application because they require one of these. This type of assessment is timed and literally doles out SAT worthy questions. Name the next number in the sequence, ___ is to ___ as ___ is to __, If Liza has 18 red apples and 44 blue apples and she is driving a green car, how many apple pies can she make? WHHHHATTT! Nope not happening. You have already (semi) passed the SATs and have gotten a degree. You have worked tirelessly at jobs that you hated just to prove yourself. So why on earth are you required to be berated by these crazy questions?

It has now been approximately 3 hours and you have managed to  apply for 1 job.

This my friends, is why 9.3 million Americans are unemployed. Not because they are lazy, they don’t have the skills, there are no jobs, there are better candidates. No, it is because for some reason companies are making it impossible to fill out an application. An application that will be spit into a computer algorithm which will spit you back out as soon as you agreed instead of strongly agreed.  Turn around on applications can be less than 24 hours with nothing more than an automated rejection email, if you are lucky. Other times there is complete silence, leaving you wondering if you even succeed in submitting your application correctly. *Sigh*

Overall, job hunting becomes your full time job, leaving you just as tired and confused as a double shift without your double latte.

So really, What’s the deal with that?