I actually had something on the schedule today (and I managed to fit it in between my blog posting-I am prolific today). It was an appointment for my job placement service. My company paid for 3 months of this service, which is really pretty generous, considering I was only with them for 6 months. The HR director wanted me to go and let her know how it went, "especially the resume class." The office isn't too far from my house, so it works out pretty well.

Today's meeting was an orientation. There was only one other person besides the instructor (facilitator? leader?). We had to fill out forms about ourselves, to include salary amount (which was noted to remain confidential). But then we're all sitting out in the open, so how in the heck is that "confidential?" (Yes, I peeked at the other person's amount, even though it has zero relevancy since she had a different job, in a different industry, in a different job market, and so on. What can I say? I'm nosy, petty, and *ahem* competitive).

We went through the slide briefing. We paused for questions. It was almost like a real business meeting, except a whole lot shorter. I got laid off and then it felt like I needed some time to decompress and process everything. Then I felt like I needed to jump into getting a job, so I worked on that. Now that I am getting interviews and possibly an offer, I might not get to use the three months I'm allotted because my time is short (so I spend it blogging, go figure).

We discussed other classes available. We discussed negotiation techniques. The other person got on my nerves a little, but i guess I just feel like I'm the type who says as little as necessary. Sometimes that's good and sometimes you come off cold, but I try to keep personal things personal. This woman was an open book. I knew she had an iPad, her husband was an apple geek, she was with two different companies for 8 years, they had moved from Pennsylvania, she's been jobhunting for 2 months and so on. I mean it went on and on, and some things were mentioned several times, as if we had missed the first pass, but it wasn't just that. Some of it seemed like bragging. As in, the instructor (Facilitator? leader?) saying, "We have a website which we'll log in to later on..." and her throwing in, "Oh, I should have brought my iPad™! I could be logging in right now!" (insert eyeroll from me)

Or, when we did log in, and she had problems, she piped in with, "Oh! Well, it's a Dell. I'm used to Apples." The instructor-facilitator-leader replied, "Really? Is that what you used at work, then?"

"Well, no, but..."

(insert eyeroll with a side of Schadenfreude from me)

"...my husband's an Apple geek and we have an iPad, iPhones, a MacBook..."

(insert twirling index finger from me)

I didn't say, "Oh yeah? Huh. So do we, but somehow I don't feel compelled to mention it every five minutes. Or at all, really. Huh." I did, however, brag that my last company provided me with a MacBook. Ha! I win. Well, not really because (as evidenced by my presence at the job placement assistance meeting) I don't work there anymore. It's not like they let me keep it as a parting gift.

I know, I know, I'm being mean. Maybe she felt comfortable. I just didn't feel like I was there to share and commiserate. I was asked about my class ring. I know it is kind of ostentatious (and the men's version is even more so). So I had to admit it was a West Point ring (and I even threw in the bit that we were the first school to start the ring tradition). The instructor-facilitator-leader just gushed on and on. "What a great school! Where did you serve?" "Korea," I said, "Oh, thank you." He replied, in a completely solemn tone. But wait, I wanted to say, the Korea where I served is a whole lot different than the one that was in place fifty years ago. We had our own rooms and cable TV. It wasn't like we were camped out on some mountain in the cold. It's embarrassing when people thank you for your service when you have only served in peacetime. It was a minor hardship in some areas but overall it was a great deal. When there is a war you're not in, you appreciate that even more. What I did then doesn't even compare to what my serving classmates and other servicemembers are dealing with now.

The service was helpful. I wish I had a little more time or I had started the process sooner, but I will try to make the most out of it.

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