On the doorstep of being 50, he writes a new resume. Or does he?

I’m applying for a job.

Since my daughter was in pre-school, I’ve been working at a temp services agency while being a stay-at-home dad. Essentially the agency is the kind of place a business would go to if they’re hosting a talk in a hotel and need people greeted and have their coat checked and directed to the right room, or need various positions filled to make a convention go smoothly, or need people for pretty much any position for any small or big recurring or one-time event.

I was lucky enough a few years in to be given a chance to work at the CBC Welcome (info) Centre. It took a lot more focus and attention to detail than any of the gigs I had gotten to that point. More as a whole to learn, more changes day-to-day to pay attention to, and a no-seriously-professional demeanour, as you create the first impression that many people have of the CBC and you doing poorly at that looks bad on the staffing company.

Added bonus: If you did a good job at it, you could keep coming back. It pretty quickly became a short daily shift for me which, double added bonus, happened to be right in the middle of the day. That allowed me to take my daughter to school, take a quick trip on public transit to be early for the shift, then come back in plenty of time to pick her up.


But it was a short shift. And with my daughter all too quickly getting to the age where she would be getting to and from school on her own, I knew that soon enough I’d have more time on my hands which could–nay, should–be used to help bring some more money into the house, since I’d been without a regular job for the entirety of her life.

Being a stay-at-home dad has been immensely rewarding. It gave me, as my wife had first pitched the idea, the chance for at least one of us to be at home with her as primary caregiver rather than working only to hand over almost my entire paycheque to someone else to care for her while I was at my last regular job.

But with her getting to this age, I’m now more free to do more work wherever I can to help pay some bills.

Covid-19 kind of sealed that for me. The Welcome Centre was closed in March of 2020, right when everything else in the province went into our first lockdown, and it’s still closed. It may open up again in the new year, I’m told, but no one I’m able to talk to knows for sure.

Meanwhile, places are hiring right now, and with our reno done and finances squeezed, we could really use more, and regular money coming in. So I’m looking around for work that will somehow allow a bit of a dance between longer shifts when I’m free but still not being quite full-time because I’m not yet that available.

The LCBO, our province’s liquor control board/store, fits the bill nicely. They do a hiring blitz for seasonal workers in the busy holiday rush and then generally let them go again. But not all of them. Some are given chances to stay on beyond the holidays for more regular shifts. The timing of the holiday crunch shifts isn’t great at first (newbies are low man on the totem, and all, so I get it), but if you stick with it and are good at it, it can, maybe, sometimes turn into better, longer shifts. Which I’m up to shooting for.

But they need a resume to apply, of course.

A resume.
I remember those.

I think the last one I produced was for that temp service agency what must be about seven years ago. Prior to that, I think it was for my last office job, more than four years before my daughter was even born.

Gonna have to shake off some ring rust to get back into the game.

I knew I had resumes saved on my laptop, so I just did a search for “resume” on the main drive. It took several minutes–searches on my harddrive sometimes take what seems like a ridiculously long time compared to other, rare times that it basically instantly finds what I’m hunting for–so I quit the search and tried it again, seeing if I could goose it into one of those speedy search results.

No such luck, of course. I mean, what was I thinking? Several more minutes later, it produced a list of found files with the word resume in them.

There were 73. And all were mine.

For some time I did do various different versions of resumes to highlight different areas of expertise for different job applications. My Graphic Design resume focused on that lengthy experience in jobs, while my Writing resume would lean on that history. I think I had three or four categories of resume, and I’d crafted a cover letter for the emphasis of each.

But even with files copied and re-copied over generations of laptops, I have no idea how I got 73 versions collected.

I opened the top, most recent file, whose name suggested it had a variety of resumes in it.

The file opened into a new window and… my screen went solid purple, then slowly brought in my normal desktop wallpaper, the files on the desktop, and the programs in the task bar. But my search results were gone, along with the open window with my resumes.

Weird and rather unfortunate.

I did a third search for “resume”. Several minutes passed, and I got what looked like the same list of results. This time I planned to outsmart the computer: I’d select several files and open all of them at once. Take that!

Well, it took it.
And balled it up and tossed it in the garbage.
And did exactly the same weird thing again. Purple screen, gradually populating my normal desktop again, but results were gone.

I’ve mentioned my bad luck with tech, but this was a whole new one to me. I’d never had this happen after search results were shown. It would often take a while to get them, but once I did, I could move them around and open them in the usual way, almost like I’m a normal computer user.

It was almost like the computer didn’t want me to open those files.

Me: “Well… time to apply for a job. Guess I’ll just dust off the ol’ resumes and polish them up so I can–“

Computer: “No.” *closes searches and reloads desktop*

Me: “Hrm. Well… I really need at least those templates to base a newly typed resume on, so I’ll just open this one here to–“

Computer: “You mustn’t.” *closes searches and reloads desktop*

It’s almost like it knows something I don’t and is just explaining itself poorly. But then I remind myself that if the robots ever get true AI and rise against the humans, this sad laptop will be its own low man on the totem, so it’s certainly not outplaying me. This is just a plain old bad luck with tech moment.

Here’s hoping all of this doesn’t lead me to writing a resume out by hand, or something. I don’t have the tidiest handwriting and it could lead to a much longer interview process.

Interviewer, squinting at resume: “You say you have a decade of… guppy draining experience?”

Me: “Oh, sorry, that’s graphic design.”

Interviewer: “Ah. And in past jobs you did some… stuffing sleeves?”

Me (wincing): “Stocking shelves.”

Fingers crossed it doesn’t come to that.

Perhaps a good ol’ fashioned rebooting will give the laptop a rethink on whether or not it wants to help me or edge even closer to just becoming a paperweight.

There are some days I’d just way prefer to attain my goal with a paper and pencil. And with how long this search through my evident glut of resumes is taking, this is one of those days.

Here’s hoping I can get some form of resume–ideally tidily printed, but so help me scrawled on 3-hole punch paper with a Sharpie if I need to–delivered soon.

I’ll pass along more as I know it.