From time to time, Baby Jane Hudson appears here with her question and answer column, But You Are In That Chair: Baby Janeâ€™s Advice For the Confused, Depressed and Clueless. Todayâ€™s special focus is Career Advice for the Confused, Depressed and Financially Dependent because, even though Baby Jane hasn’t worked since she was 12, she has a lot to say about the subject.
Dear Baby Jane,
I’ve been looking for a job since July 2009 and I’ve only managed to get two interviews during that time. This leads me to believe that maybe my resume isn’t very good. Any advice for what makes a strong resume?
Will Work For Food, Little Rock, Arkansas
I’m proud to say I’ve never had a resume in my life and look how far I got! Forget the resume and send sugar cookies to every prospective employer. Someone is looking for a marketing director; send sugar cookies. Someone is looking for an administrative assistant? Send sugar cookies! Because a cookie, unlike a resume, says, “Hey, look what I can do! I can make sugar cookies!” If someone sent me a sugar cookie I would at least give ’em a call, see what was what. A cookie is something you can use. You can’t do much with a resume – just a bunch of words all jumbly-mumbly on the page.
Dear Baby Jane,
Although I’ve given it a solid go for the past three years, I can’t seem to get along with my immediate supervisor and constantly feel belittled. I’ve read all the self-help books – Dealing With Assholes at Work, What To Say When You’re Rendered Speechless, How To Handle Sociopaths – but none of the tactics I’ve employed have helped my relationship with this person. I’m wondering if it’s time for me to move on?
Give Me Something To Believe In, Belmont, KY
Leave? Never! I think Corey Hart said it best when he sang, “Never surrender!” It’s probably time for a dead rodent to make an appearance on this person’s desk. Or a threatening letter to arrive in the mail. Something to knock them off their game. Then get in there and fight! My most difficult relationship was with my sister. After she was confined to a wheelchair, things got a lot better for me. After she was confined to her room, things really started to look up. After she was tied up, I had a new lease on life. And you’re ready to simply walk away from what’s yours? Don’t be such a wimp.
Dear Baby Jane,
I’m 54 years old and about a year ago I lost the job I held for 21 years. Now I can’t find another one because, it seems, no one wants to hire an “older” worker. I had dreams of retiring early but now I’m holding on by a thread as my unemployment benefits come to an end. What can I do?
Eggs + One Basket = Doom, Milwaukee, WI
Don’t be a sad sack. There’s plenty to do! You can pursue that interest in doll house furniture. Or start your cabaret act. And there’s always drinking. Why, drinking can make entire days go by without you even noticing. Here’s the main problem, as I see it – you’re addicted to money. I know what I’m talking about – I was addicted to fame AND money. Do you really need to retire? Don’t you see? It’s much easier to scrape by and keep doing odd jobs. Live on store credit. Just call down to the corner store, tell ’em you need some bread and milk and some smokes (another great way to pass the time!) and that you’d like to start a tab. Well, don’t tell them that until they bring the stuff to your house. Then tell them you’d like to start a tab and if they give you any crap, shut the door on them. Because the truth is that you’re old and no one is going to give you one of them fancy jobs anymore. But raking leaves, that’s not such a bad thing to do for $5. Going to the library to pick up books for a shut-in (for $5) -Â that’s not so bad. You might even like it. Hell, even the occupation of shut-in doesn’t get the respect it deserves anymore. Or maybe you’ll become a bonafide hobo, living on the rails. I know that’s what I would have done if it hadn’t been for the burden of my glorious voice.
Dear Baby Jane,
I’m starting a new job next week and I’m really excited! This job is everything I’ve ever wanted and, OMG, I’m making double what I made at my last position. Any tips for how not to screw this up and to make a good impression?
Bubbly Goodness, Tempe, AZ
I hope you have your best pinafore and patent leather shoes ready for your first day because you need to “dress to impress.” Another suggestion, sleep with your hair curled around soup cans for that extra bounce. Put on lots of pancake make-up. Not the kind you can get at Target, I’m talking the thick stuff. You might need to make a quick trip to a stage make-up supply outlet. Add some heavy eyebrow pencil, red lipstick and, voila! You’re dressed for your first big day! Don’t skip breakfast on this important morning – have a glass of Scotch and a raw egg. Then scoot out the door.
I suggest being twenty minutes late. ThatÂ way you can make an entrance. “Where’s the new girl?” they’ll say. Then – ta-da! – you come waltzing in. And I do mean waltz. Don’t walk. If you’re feeling at all insecure, bring your favorite doll with you and have her sit next to you at your desk. She can help guide you through some decision making. Make sure you go out for a long lunch (you don’t want to seem too available to your co-workers or they’re going to ask you to all kindsÂ of shit for them) and take seven smoke breaks per day. Trust me – you need to set the tone. As for the work itself, anytime someone has a good idea, take credit for it. Anytime a project goes down in flames, blame someone else. You’d be surprised how far just those two bits of advice will take you!
Dear Baby Jane,
I’m going from being a middle manager to being the head of my department. I want the job but I’m having doubts about becoming the boss of most of my co-workers. Will they respect me? Will they still like me? Will they follow myÂ lead? Help!
Filled With Doubt, New York, NY
Will they respect you? No. Will they like you? No. Will they follow your lead? They’ll make you think they are and then they’ll do whatever the hell they want. The only thing you can do is take them to the beach once a year and have them take turns burying each other in the sand. They’ll enjoy it and it will prevent a coup or a mutiny – no one is going to overthrow the boss who takes everyone to the beach on a hot day in August and doesn’t even make ’em put on sunscreen. Make sure you spring for ice cream, too. And it never hurts to stop off and buy bagels every now and then, but make sure you expense them back to the company. And, finally, my fail-safe advice for getting people to kind of like you – make sure you start the day telling them about your dreams the night before. People enjoy dream analysis, especially when its someone else’s dreams.
Baby Jane Recommends
If you’ve been looking for a job, suffering at your job, unemployed, down, out, ordered to counseling, etc., etc., take heart! Here’s just what Dr. Baby Jane prescribes: something to express your needs, whether those needs are for uppers or downers.
It’s the Rx Necklace! I own the ritalin, percocet and vicodin necklaces and wear them all together, kind of like how I take them all together. Better living through chemistry, I always say.