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Open Thread for Personal Stuff, 5/16 Bearcat Edition

catbear
Best Friends 4 Ever

A long overdue Open Thread for Personal Stuff. (There’s also one for non-personal stuff.)

As always, no trolls or MRAs. Let me know if any show up.

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guy
guy
5 years ago

@pitshade

I wouldn’t worry about it; human memory is notoriously incomplete and unreliable in general. It actually gets live-edited every time you remember something, apparently, so most of your memories are full of holes papered over with what seems to fit. Most likely you’re missing a lot of memories that don’t contradict your depression but haven’t followed the chains of what you do remember to realize it. It’s also not exactly easily searched; memories tend to be easiest to recall in situations related to how they were formed and even important information can be hard to recall in other circumstances. As anyone who has taken a math test could tell you.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ kat

Your post set off a real déjà vu thing for me! It triggered some memory but I couldn’t think what; but anyway some pacing outside in the sunshine and smoking roll ups has brought it back (and my cough)

There was a marketing thing I came across somewhere and one of the examples was a proof reader exactly in your position. Apparently (you’ll know better than I) it’s a highly competitive field.

What this person did was pick a particular niche, not so obscure there was no work but specialised enough to stand out (Can’t remember what it was but let’s pretend it was books/articles about agriculture).

They then set up a website along the lines of ‘Agricultural Proof Reader’ and targeted related websites, social media groups and did a bit of search engine optimisation. They also directly contacted relevant publishers and agents.

They then found that they quickly picked up just about all the work going in that area (if you’ve written a book about harvesting and you google for a proof reader, then you can see how you’ll be drawn to one particular result, especially if you assume such a person will know the difference between a tractor and a crop-row)

Their original plan had been to pick a few fields and create separate profiles and websites for each one, but they found they got all the work they needed just from the original choice.

Is there a subject you’re especially fond off? Maybe create a boutique service just for that?

Anyway, just an idea (and not even mine 🙂 )

Axecalibur
Axecalibur
5 years ago

@Kat

but knows no other computer programs

comment image

But forreal, your market value goes up exponentially for every program you know. And by ‘know’, I don’t mean ‘I messed around with PowerPoint in highschool’. For example, even if the job doesn’t actually require it, mastery of Excel (basically a mini operating system unto itself) is an espresso shot on a resume or in an interview. Professional types perk up quick
Other than that, try diversifying. How extensive/varied is that “and so on” really? Couldn’t hurt to send out feelers (I’ve heard that phrase before) for other things what might need editing
That’s all I got, good luck 🙂

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Alan

That’s a very interesting suggestion. I’ll definitely give it some thought.

Yeah, the field is competitive.

Many thanks!

guy
guy
5 years ago

You can get professionally certified in Microsoft Office and put that on your resume. If you haven’t studied for it, it’s pretty likely there are some spectacularly useful features you aren’t using, and if you do know about them then the professional certification tells potential employers that.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Axecalibur
Thanks so much for that advice! I will give it consideration.

And you’re right: I do need to learn more computer programs. I’ve put some energy into classes but haven’t gotten too far, as I find the subject less than fascinating. I’ll probably fling myself back into community college this summer.

@Guy
Hmm. I’ll check into that. Thanks!

****

Imma get back to my editing now. But I’ll be happy to read more advice later if anyone else cares to advise me.

Falconer
Falconer
5 years ago

I am sorry to say that Beloved’s grandmother passed away last night. She developed an infection in her lungs Monday before last, and that grew into pneumonia. She was pretty much unresponsive since this past Tuesday.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ falconer

Oh sorry mate. Words are always a bit inadequate at times like this, but you and your beloved have my sympathies.

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@Brony
You’re very good at researching and finding patterns. I’ve seen a number of your threads where you lay into bigots and they’re always well-reasoned. I was under the impression that you probably did some kind of scientific research based on your posts.

@Falconer
Sorry to hear that.

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@Kat
You could try Edx for learning about other software. It’s college courses offered for free online. You also have the option to pay for certification for cheaper than a community college course. https://www.edx.org

I took a food science course through Harvard on there and it was very good.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

@ kupo

I took a food science course through Harvard

Finally, a Harvard alumni who learned something useful 😉

EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

My deepest sympathies, Falconer.

@Kat:
How are your maths skills? Your web design skills? Your research skills? I’ve found that there is a huge shortage for people who can write well and who understand enough of another field to be able to communicate meaningfully with the people in it. Technical people are often extremely bad at anything outside of their field and so there’s real value in being able to act as a “translator.”

If you’re good at maths, Excel or SQL aren’t hard to learn, as Axecalibur said. I don’t know about other skillsets but I imagine that the same is true of them.

kupo
kupo
5 years ago

@Alan
My sister learned all the best arguing-with-people skills there. Although she does have a natural gift for it. 😉

Skiriki
Skiriki
5 years ago

My condolences, Falconer. 🙁

chesselwitt
chesselwitt
5 years ago

I mostly lurk here, but figured this was as good a place to jump in as any. I have two fur babies, one of which is pictured here with his very dapper bow tie (bow ties are cool! (I miss Eleven)) that I made him wear for Christmas last year.

I’m also looking at trying to change jobs. I kinda hate my job right now and there’s talk of discontinuing the one part of the job I actually like in the future. The problem is that I live in the country and if I’m able to find anything else it most likely will come with a 70 mile per day round trip drive, which wouldn’t be fun on a good day and will really suck in the winter.

Ideally I’d get paid to sit at home and pet my cats, but I haven’t figured out how to make that work yet 🙂

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

Thank you everyone for the advice.

@Kat

Also, there’s something about the energy you pick up from your work colleagues that can be really energizing.

That seems to be particularly beneficial to people with ADHD like me.

Have you considered talking about this with a therapist? A career counselor? Maybe both?

I have done both.

The specific problems that I am facing a career counselor can’t seem to help me with. I think that somehow my Tourette’s Syndrome is effecting how I present myself and when I try to do informational interviews with people I have interviewed with (that’s 3 interviews over six years) to talk about it they pretty much shut down when I mention the TS. On top of that the TS has had a very bad effect on my ability to network and it has taken me until about a year ago to understand how that works. I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with that.

My resume looks bad due to things that I had little control over. I graduated with an MA in Cell and Molecular biology in 2009 during the economic slump and could not find work in my field. I had to do something so I tried training to be a public school science teacher while I worked as a substitute teacher (part of this decision was the fact that I accepted an MA instead of going on to a PhD because of my ADHD and TS diagnosis, I did not think I would be competitive). The public school environment actually ended up making me clinically depressed and I had symptoms of PTSD. Recovering from that took time, and during that time I tried retraining for something else and then my wife and therapist convinced me to try to go back to science in some form because I really loved it (and sunk over a decade of effort into it). So I never used my degree, I tried to switch to a career very different from it and had long term unemployment while recovering that has probably contributed to the unemployment getting longer.

@Nikki

The only advice I can give is keep looking, keep talking to anyone you think might be able to help you find a job, and try to find ways to find money in the meantime.

I’ve expanded things out to other kinds of jobs, but I either lack experience for lots of “regular jobs”, or the social anxiety and social sensitivity makes other ones a problem. In fact I’ve learned that my natural aptitudes (even stuff the TS and ADHD contributes to) have to do with things I have no employment experience in, and given the current form of academic/industry science I’m don’t think they help there and may even be problems.

As for the networking, I’m trying to figure that angle out now. I effectively don’t have a professional network.

@Alan
I mentioned what I’m doing about any job above.

I have considered volunteer work. I’ve contacted one organization (NAMI, mental health related) but they don’t have anything that I’m suited for at the moment. I’m in the process of looking at other places, but similarly to thinking creatively when it comes to transferrable skills and experiences, my mental state is making that difficult as well.

The only think that I seem to do well is argue with people

As a lawyer I can say that’s a great thing to have on a CV, if you phrase it right. Just call it advocacy or negotiation skills. There are lots of people with problems who would love someone like you taking up their cause and acting on their behalf. Do you for instance have the equivalent of Citizens Advice Bureaux near you?

The thing is, it’s nearly all in what I do in comment sections and I don’t know how I can demonstrate it to a potential employer or even how to line it up as a transferrable skill yet. I’ve only been trying to work on the “TS gives me enhancements in argument” angle for a couple of years. I’m certain it exists now and I have some scattered drafts, notes and copy/paste of other things that I seem to have been able to intuitively put together (complex analyses of troll/social predator behavior) in different places. But my recent downturn has really killed my ability to put them together into something organized and, polished? Useful maybe? I’m sort of on my own when it comes to mental condition based skill development.

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

@kat (but quoting ej)

Technical people are often extremely bad at anything outside of their field and so there’s real value in being able to act as a “translator.”

People who do this are often called technical writers. If what EJ is suggesting is applicable to you, that might be a phrase you’ll want to add to your resume/freelance profile/etc. 🙂

@Brony, I can’t imagine how tough it must be to have been unable to find work for so long. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I do hope something comes up.

@Falconer, I’m sorry for your and your beloved’s loss.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Kupo
Sorry! I missed this one.

You’re very good at researching and finding patterns. I’ve seen a number of your threads where you lay into bigots and they’re always well-reasoned. I was under the impression that you probably did some kind of scientific research based on your posts.

I have 11 years of experience as a technician in labs cover a lot of subjects. Entomology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Plant Genetics, Molecular Genetics…

Unfortunately it looks like my pattern detection skills have to do with the emotional content of symbolism. If I were to appeal to a higher power it would be some sort of trickster because apparently fate is fucking with me 😛

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

On a more sanguine note, got Office 2016 installed, and now I can actually see my fonts’ cool OpenType features. So I am glomming onto all the Baudelaire right now, because I have A Plan.

Viscaria
Viscaria
5 years ago

I want to give more than I take from this open thread (I’m well overdue) but as I’ve had quite a bit to complain about in the last few open threads, I want to briefly say that I’m doing a bit better, generally. Better medicated, slightly better (though still not phenomenal) job performance, etc. I’ve switched doctors since I last spoke up in one of these and my new one is much more knowledgeable about ADD – and in general, really.

Freemage
Freemage
5 years ago

Brony:

On volunteering as an option to having something solid to put on the resume:

With your skillset, may I suggest contacting your local library district? Most public libraries make at least some use of volunteers; having someone who is adept at academic research and scientific information could be a real boost. It’s not glamorous work, but it fulfills a real need in the community, can be fairly rewarding in its own right, and would be the thing that ‘shows willing’ on a resume.

As always, free advice is worth what you pay for it.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@pitchade

With the number of people here who suffer from depression, I have a question. I’ve been managing my own for a long time and it requires a lot of introspection. There are certain holes in my memory where facts should be, facts that would contradict the depression vreated narrative of my life. Specifically I’m thinking of a friend whose existence in my mind seems to be erased, except for the fact that another train of thought allows me to remember a conversation that I had with him. I know I have issues beyond just the depression, so I’m wondering if others have had similar experiences.

I can try to do a little sleuthing around if you want. From my memory, depression does not cause you to lose memory, rather it changes how you access it. Long term changes to mood act as biasing agents in terms of what we recall, how we “weight”* it in relating it to what we perceive, and how we react to what we perceive. It’s not all bad in the case of depression because it makes you “get more serious” in some respects, but that is hard to appreciate next to how the rest of it feels in today’s world.

A big part of this is anhedonia (loss of feeling of pleasure in activities one once enjoyed). You still remember what you enjoyed and remember enjoying it, but now when you try to enjoy it it’s like someone cut through the cables that apply the pleasure to that experience. I suspect that the loss of cells in the hippocampus (sort of a read/write for explicit, consciously accessed memory) is involved. My own anhedonia has has cut me off from most of my old hobbies. I used to be a big gamer but now the only thing I enjoy is playing minecraft with my wife on the xbox360.

I don’t know as much as I wish I did when it comes to recovering from this. Brains do grow new cells and connections with new learning/experiences, but I’ve even has issues reading new journal articles. I think I read about a dozen the last year and before that I would do that in a week. I need a process to try to rebuild how I emotionally access and experience things but I have not quite mastered CBT/DBT beyond getting rid of my anxiety attacks.

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@Viscaria
Thank you.

@Freemage
I’ll take a look. There are two public libraries within walking distance. Thank you.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
5 years ago

@Kat

He’s quite tech savvy!

@Brony

I’ve been unemployed for about three years now, and that is not from lack of effort. The continual lack of response from people I send resumes to or ask for advice from, it’s like something in me has dried up and dropped off. My motivation is evaporating, I can’t seem to move forward on anything that I’ve been working on that is not job related. It’s getting harder and harder to be positive about anything.

I’m very much in the same boat. 🙁 Being unemployed sucks. I don’t deal well with the constant rejection.

Imaginary Petal
Imaginary Petal
5 years ago

Hey everyone. Do you have strange/creepy/scary/weird stories from your lives? I’ve been in that kind of mood lately. Anyone?

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