We have a cherry tree outside our place. Last year it was just a tree. No cherries. Naturally, I’ve been going around bragging about my new cherry tree even though I wouldn’t touch the cherries. The tree has some sort of infestation of the insect variety. A friend told me yesterday, “It’s a bad year for Gypsy Moths.”
I think she meant good: they’re clearly well-fed. Apparently, I have a friend who is an authority on Gypsy moths. Meanwhile, I can barely identify trees.
Unlike me, small critters are finding the cherries to be edible, so the tree has been attracting House Finches (I’m not good at identifying birds either: I had to google) and squirrels to ogle at. Squirrels are among the cutest animals to watch eat. This cherry tree may not provide me with fruit; instead, it provides me with entertainment.
I’ve now been separated from the outside world for a month. I started quarantining a week before most stores in Victoria–including my now-former workplace–closed for the pandemic.
In that time, I’ve come to realize that for the past few years, I’ve been a dialed-back version of myself. I’ve trained myself to not do anything too far off from social norms as to not further alienate myself. My deafness already makes people uncomfortable, so I can’t afford to be weird on top of that! But, after a month without outside exposure, I feel the eccentricity creeping back into me.
I had an interview last Thursday. It was for the same job I’ve had for the past year. The exact same job. This is what the job market has come to.
In the 70s, employers had to beg for workers.
In the 80s, I don’t know, because I don’t appear to have a family member who tried to break into the job market that decade. I assume it was the same as the 70s, but with more hairspray and shoulder pads.
In the 90s, you needed a resume, but you were able to list “married” as one of your qualifications as my mom did.
In the 00s, this Millennial had an argument with her mother about whether “married” and “non-smoker” were descriptors appropriate for a resume. Jobs in the 00s required that you include a cover letter and fill out an application form, AND thank a potential employer for taking the time to even consider you.
2010? You definitely need connections.
Now that we’re at the beginning of the third decade of the millennium, we need to convince our employers to keep us on. I’m not opposed to this idea, though, as there are definitely people who have flown under the radar doing the bare minimum without making a sack-worthy misstep. I’m tired of picking up the slack. Too bad I’m only mostly sure that my employer doesn’t see me that way, which stresses me out. I should have brought snacks to the interview.
If I don’t get the job I already have, it’s because I didn’t bring donuts. No donuts, no job.
I am five years older than Yann, which isn’t a significant difference. It’s not exactly an insignificant difference either, as proven by our discussion the other night. I was explaining to him how I had spent part of my day indulging in nostalgia by browsing the old internet. I did this by Wayback Machine-ing a few of my old favorites.
The internet used to be uglier, but it was also a lot more fun. Right now, it’s so consumer-driven. Once pop-up blockers got effective, the internet had to get creative with advertising which is now disguised as social media apps or sponsored blog posts.
Splash pages are dead. Guestbooks are no more. Chat rooms are obscure. Even webcams have disappeared, and they were a prerequisite for personal websites of the late 90s/early 00s, usually appearing in the sidebar. The chosen photo would be the webmaster/webmistress’ (two of the most short-lived terms to ever exist) pick of the day.
Sometimes, the webcam would be live, refreshing at a rate of once every five seconds or slower. I had to stop there and further explain live cams to Yann.
“Streaming camera, you mean?” he asked.
“Oh, no. Those were the days of dial-up internet.” I paused to fix my glasses and brush a wisp of grey hair out of my face, “We didn’t have streaming media.”
“So, it’s like video chat?”
“No, you just let people watch you in total anonymity,” I continued as I leaned back in the rocking chair, preparing to school my young boyfriend on the golden age of the web.
1. I’m exceptionally fast at throwing words up on the screen. My average is over 100 words per minute, and I can type in bursts of 130wpm, which puts me in the top 1%. This is almost meaningless, especially as I’m prone to repetitive strain injuries. At best, it allows me to make Boomers feel inadequate.
2. I have excellent circadian rhythm. Ask me what time it is, and I’m usually able to correctly guess within a 15-minute range. I don’t need an alarm clock to wake up (many deaf people use either a flashing or a vibrating alarm clock). Jet lag doesn’t seem to affect my internal clock: I can still get up at 5am Japan Standard Time if needed, and I have!
3. I have the world’s most airtight asshole. Of course, I fart, but I do so within the confines of a washroom, or when I’m alone. I never fart in public. The ex with whom I lived for more than five years can vouch for this, as can Yann, my co-habitator of three years. This is a skill I’ve developed out of what I believe to be basic decency.
But enough about me. Please now direct your attention to…