Chief Reality Officer

September 17, 2009

So, I was Googling myself this morning – another thing to do while job-hunting, so you can see what prospective employers are learning about you – and something to do that feels like you’re working but isn’t really. You know, for those sluggish moments.

Well, Self-Googling (if not a term, it should be) always has struck me as a kind of surreal exercise – like peering into all of the alternate universes that could have been your life.

For instance, there’s the Amy Marshall Dance Company. I actually did spend most of my childhood dancing – so it’s always funny to think that that maybe could have really been me.

I try not to let the success of all the other Amy Marshalls out there get me down.

Today I saw a new Amy Marshall, and this just delights and flabbergasts me: her job title? Chief Reality Officer.


Taking a look at her bio, she’s a hot-shot marketing exec, but I’m wondering if I can steal and reinvent the position.

As Chief Reality Officer, I could really shake things up, on all sorts of levels!

  • I could tell politicians to Get Real about healthcare.
  • I could sanction magazines for publishing very un-real versions of real stars on their covers.
  • I could encourage policy makers to embrace the reality of climate change.
  • I could ticket superficial snots for their facades and lack of true decency.
  • And I could embark on a global campaign to get everyone dipping more into real reality with their relationships and communities instead of being so latched to virtual reality of the computer and television screens.

As Chief Reality Officer, I could really – really! – make a difference!

And that’s an alternate universe I’d love to see coming up on Google someday…

Anyone hiring?


The Kangaroo, the Job

September 15, 2009

Advantage #345 of being out of work: You can take time off from biting your nails in front of your empty email inbox to go stuffed-kangaroo hunting.

(Yes, I’m trying to look on the bright side of things, especially after a new acquaintance told me yesterday that The Secret really did work for her, and while I felt like saying that as far as I’m concerned The Secret is Money, Wealth, Power, and Connections – none of which I have – and to tell The Secret to go screw itself – I am not being my flippant, negative self but yes, trying to be positive. So. Not so secret but definitely better than being a bitter whine-o.)

Back to the story. I have no idea why I thought it was a good idea to let my almost four-year-old daughter take both mama and baby kangaroos with us on our trek to the downtown library, and then why I let the baby ride in my pocket, which it promptly fell out of on the way.

After many tears, I promised we would find the joey, and, on our way home, we did. My daughter scooped it up and fell asleep in her stroller, while I mulled over my joblessness.

Well, when we got home, the joey was gone again, and again, many tears and promises of finding it again.

But seriously, what was I thinking? The kangaroo is the same color of all the leaves that have just started falling from the trees along Locust Avenue, and just as small. I didn’t notice the darn thing falling out of her lap – obviously having the keen eyesight of an owl is not one of my strong points (though I have many – stay positive, Amy!) – how the heck was I going to find it AGAIN?

Today I ran and reran yesterday’s route, scouring the ivy and wincing at the drains, my heart aching for the poor kangaroo. The whole time I was searching, I kept trying to have hope; we found it once – certainly a miracle could happen again – right? Or is that kind of serendipity non-repeating?

I jogged along, feeling all the worry, anxiety, and fear focused on the stuffed animal that’s been plaguing me about not finding a job. I couldn’t find the kangaroo. I can’t find a job. My luck feels like it’s run out. Secret or no secret, having hope and enough energy to keep on looking feels not only hard but foolish. And it feels like if I were only better, if I’d been more prudent, if I’d done this or that, I wouldn’t be in this situation, letting everyone down…

I don’t know how I’m going to tell Jo about the kangaroo. We have plenty of little animals the mother kangaroo can adopt. I can invent a story about the Teeny Tiny Fairy finding the joey and taking her to a safe tree. I could go out and purchase a similar-enough looking toy to replace it. I could hope she forgets.

The thing is, I was so glad the first time we stumbled upon the lost kangaroo, because it felt like a lesson in trusting the universe, in finding what is lost, in hope. But not finding it a second time seems an equal lesson in the complete opposite direction – you can’t always get what you want. The universe is not always benevolent. Sometimes we lose things we love, despite all our best intentions and hard work. Despite all our hope and good energy.

The secret of happiness isn’t getting what you want. It’s following your bliss and learning to love what you have, let go of what you have not. I can’t control the job situation, but I can accept that it is what it is, and enjoy the ability to kangaroo-hunt in the meantime.

It’s not as easy an answer as I’d like to know for myself or teach my daughter. But probably, as the kangaroo’s disappearance proves, it is a more accurate description of the nature of things.

Goodbye, little joey. I hope you have found a happy home.

And hey, future job, I’m going to find you, someday…

Reaching Those Not Online?

September 3, 2009

I was chatting with friend and local business owner of Sugar Snap Consignment today, Vijay, about how g’s great to do all this online marketing and social media outreach, but there’s a whole demographic of people who don’t necessarily spend a lot of time online… and how do you reach them?

I know when we were first starting Cville Working Moms, I felt this sense that I was reaching out to folks on PNOC and other online groups, but that there’s plenty of working mothers in our community who may not have a computer or internet access at home, and maybe not a lot of opportunity to check email or sign up for a group, but who still need support.

But I didn’t know then and I’m not sure I know now how to break out of my cultural category – coffee houses, Facebook – so I welcome ideas… ?

Weelicious: Recipes for kids

September 2, 2009

This site rocks. I read about it in my daily Ideal Bite email newsletter, and clicked when I saw it featured ideas for sneaking in the healthy stuff.

I’m not really a sneaker. I out the broccoli, right in the open. I believe in getting kids used to a variety of tastes, and in my daughter’s case, colors.

But they don’t eat! I’m worried!

So I’m going to try one of these… just for my own conscience?

No Insurance, No Job, Just One of the Masses

September 2, 2009

So yesterday I lost my health insurance. The COBRA from my last job ran out. And I don’t have a new job to replace it.

The ironic thing is, the prospects for health insurance don’t look much better than just coughing it up at Prompt Care. I know at least two people with job-provided health insurance that has such high deductibles, it’s almost not worth it.

And another friend of mine was researching purchasing health insurance on his own, only to find – he’s one of those people who combs through all the tiny print – that every single one he investigated has a clause saying they won’t pay if you get sick.

Which, I thought, was the whole freaking point.

So, no health insurance, what do you do? Some ideas:

  • Take vitamins.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Cross the street carefully.
  • Ignore lumps and pains.
  • Turn into a Christian Scientist.

When I was a kid, my parents were impoverished missionaries by choice, but we lived in California in the 70s, and there were free clinics everywhere.

One of my exes took a lot of Niacin and Goldenseal to deal with tooth infections when he didn’t have dental insurance.

In my head, the line from that song: You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

I think I would like all politicians to experience this. And to know that not having health insurance – or a job – is not a function of choice or delinquency. It can happen to the most industrious and well-intentioned of persons… just like poverty, homelessness, cancer…

So, if you’re germy, stay away!

I’m off to do some tai chi, visualizing a robust immune system…