Archive for December 7th, 2005

Ego Need Not Apply

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005

When I quit my job, sold the house and moved up here with Beau Hunk, the plan was that I would attend the local junior college to go through their paralegal degree program. Since that matriculation is set up for a fall start, I can’t really get started until next August.

Since I haven’t been to school in a very long time, we thought that it might be helpful for me to take some general ed classes in the spring to get me back in the swing of studying. I’ve started the process by applying, and am currently awaiting arrival of my transcripts and an appointment with a counsellor.

You know, one sure way to confirm that you are firmly ensconsced in middle age is to apply to college at nearly 38 years old. Any lingering illusions that I still posess a shred of youth have been soundly shattered. It occurs to me that a great number of people I will encounter on campus not only weren’t born the last time I attended college, but weren’t even a twinkle in their father’s eye. I do not find this comforting. In fact, this makes me want to curl up under my covers and mourn my misplaced youth until my gray hairs finally turn from middle-aged-old to “distinguished” in the eyes of the social realm. But ego to the wind, I’m moving forward.

Since the spring will be only general ed classes, I have been prowling around the local employment sites. Much to my surprise, I found a job that sounded like it was right up my alley. One of the local municipalities was looking for a web programmer, specifically someone versed in the languages of ASP and JavaScript. Huzzah!!

ASP is one of my favorite languages, I’ve been writing in it for around eight years, to the point that I believe I can be considered an expert programmer. Pardon me if I blow my own horn for a moment, but I did some pretty amazing things with ASP, including some really cool database interfaces and ground-up system programming. Same with JavaScript – I’ve been programming in that for eight or nine years, and can do all kinds of wonderful things. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m the hottest thing to hit the pavement, but I held my own in some fairly complicated the dot com situations. I thought I had a genuine shot at a becoming employed.

Apparently, thinking was my first mistake.

Imagine my surprise when I received a form letter from the municipality stating that I was not being considered for the position because I was not qualified. Huh? Since when does eight+ years of practical, real world, hands-on experience not qualify you for any position, much less that of a web programmer? It just boggles my mind.

It also bruises my ego. As I said, I thought I had a real shot at that job. I’ve seen what passes for web programming in this region, and it sucks. I would understand if my application got ignored in the Bay Area because that place is just crawling with webbies. But up here, not quite. And to be told that I’m not qualified made me want to go down to the Personnel office and ask if they even bothered to look at my resume, and if they did, did they do so with their eyes open?

So my ego has taken a few minor slaps this week. But that’s ok, because I’m a big girl and I can handle it. As I like to tell people, I earned these gray hairs, and distinguished or not, they’re mine. And I didn’t get them from letting a little ego bruising get me down. Onward and upward!