Thursday, November 18, 2004

Aha it worked! (just not for me yet)

A few days ago, I wrote a post about my life philosophy of how to get a job by not looking for one.

Since then a younger female relative of mine, fairly close, has gotten a job in just that manner! Her and her husband had just moved to a big city this year. They'd started a small business making PR marketing materials based on his webpage design and her artwork and management skills. Then they had a baby. Cute little bugger. However things had been kind of tough for them.

I'd been worried about them and had helped out and was going to help out more. However it things have completely turned around for them! As it turns out, someone saw her artwork and decided to hire her as a senior marketing manager. She's got six people working for her and she's getting paid very well, though not six figures (yet). This is definitely a step up for her in the world, and if she follows along with this she'll easily make VP of marketing division before age forty. This is marvelous news for them.

I shall have to congratulate them when I see their little tyke over Thanksgiving.

I should emphasize that only having had the baby a few months ago, she hadn't been looking for work at all. Completely out of the blue, they called her up to ask her to submit her portfolio. Less than three days later they had her come in for an interview. After a perfunctory pro forma interview she's been hired to start very soon.

This is excellent for her since she is really not the type to be cut out for being a housewife if you know what I mean, and her husband prefers to take care of their baby himself. A rather ideal arrangement don't you think? So this is good news for them. It is also yet again more vindication of my theory of the unplanned yet destined life.

Such an approach is no substitute for hard work it must be emphasized. The theory is to seek to improve one's self and then let the work find you. Other ways work of course, and this method is a little nail-biting but I've seen it work many times. Those that seek work often turn out unhappy, while those that take the work that finds them are generally much more self-fulfilled.

This is not to say they are all rich. One of the interesting lessons of life is learning to be content with what makes you happy rather than chasing after that which you imagine you ought to have. The happy life for a person could be a quite modest one. However some people aren't willing to settle for that. On the other hand, the happy life could be a high-powered career tight-rope walking act. That's the whole point, you should let your bliss guide you rather than rely on conventional thinking.

Now if I could only get it to work for me! To be fair I choose to follow my head over my heart a long time ago and have paid for it for a long time ever since. I just hope that my long exile from my own "destined" life is coming to an end and I can "get on with it". I just wish my long wait would finally be over.


At November 18, 2004 at 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"she is really not the type to be cut out for being a housewife if you know what I mean"

No, I don't. But given your wording I cannot help suspecting it is the less favorable of the two interpretations I can think of right now ...


At November 19, 2004 at 9:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I may be wrong, but I believe you are trying to do a literal translation for an English idiom - "not cut out to be a housewife". Though, as you have noted, there are several interpretations of this, and that's true even as an idiom. In liberal circles it is usually viewed as a positive statement about a woman with a lot of drive who has no interest in being bored to death sitting at home taking care of the children, cleaning house, cooking dinner (and, based on the stereotype, watching soap operas). It refers to a woman that wants and expects a career.

Of course, there are other less favorable interpretations, depending upon one's frame of reference. However, given that this is a relative that Oldman clearly likes and respects, I doubt he meant any of these 'lesser' interpretations.

At November 19, 2004 at 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Oldman,

I do welcome your pause for analysis but encourage you to refocus on praxis. Often we cannot be certain where a particular course of action will lead, but this does not have to prevent us from making a start.

Although we may have considerable experience with attempting to assess the impact of external factors on our decisions, a more subtle and refined approach puts equal or greater emphasis on awareness of our own thoughts and emotions and those of others (But speaking personally and at some risk , a coin easily acquired is often not wisely spent).

The decision to develop this knowledge lets us take into account the consequences of each word, gesture, or action. It reveals a hidden dimension to our actions and our communications: a layer of intentionality and reactivity that has a profound impact on whether our choices will lead to success or failure.



At November 20, 2004 at 12:16 AM, Blogger Oldman said...


Despite your fine words you have made a fundamental reading comprehension error and the error has exposed your analytical assumptions.

You have confused looking for work as action. I have come to realize that look for a job is the ultimate distraction from real work, because the process of trying to manufacture a career replaces the effort of actual accomplishment.

My younger female relative spent many years honing her art, working on small paid projects, and generally immersing herself in her craft. Eventually the career and the work came looking for her, and she got a nice family out of the process too.

Hence her not looking for the big break was the surest way to get it, because it allowed her to focus in on making herself the best she could be.

So it is that many fine words like yours don't measure up to a small stinking pile of horse manure.

Being the best you can be is the ultimate definition of doing the work without demanding where it leads you.

As for me, I've been setting back up shop once more after my long retirement from the biz as an information broker and organizer and have been regularly scooping both American and European agencies for the better part of a year and half now. Even though all my old contacts are gone, I'm sure sooner or later somebody will want to hire somebody who can actually fucking do collection and analysis work and run a network without a pacifier or a leash.

At this point I really don't care who hires me whether it's Vinell or Soros. When somebody wants me bad enough they'll trip over me and hire me. And then I'll be their hired gun and gunslinger just like days of old when I buried better men than you on spec. for looking at me the wrong way. It's not as if I've gone out of my way to be inconspicuous.

As the movie says "Build it and they will come." As far as I can determine outside the Chinese and maybe the Nipponese corps and a few ex-shop freelancers I've got the best network - no money or docu trails - around. Whether people want to grow silicon chips, derivative portfolios, or gravestones I'm their man. I do all about equally as well.

So why don't you shut the hell up and consider once that maybe somebody actually knew what they were talking about.

And btw, gnosis is more important than praxis dipshit because gnosis is what gives you experience and experiene is what gives you expertise. A fucking schoolbody can get praxis, which is about what you rate in my world - a schoolboy just slick enough with his own school arrogance to get buried by a field expert.

So kiss off.

At November 20, 2004 at 12:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 11/19/2004 09:41:32 PM:

Thanks for pointing it out, and I was well aware that it can be assigned this meaning. (And this was the "more favorable" version in my reference, and the default I would assign to it.)

While my remark was not wholly serious to begin with, I pretty much discarded aforementioned meaning based on the phrase "if you know what I mean", which usually means not to interpret the qualified phrase literally (or rather by its "usual" meaning), right?

So to some extent it is a you-know-that-I-know-you-know type of reasoning. Let me also point out that at least the "less favorable" interpretation I was thinking of (not housewife material) is not contradictory to the above, and in fact more often than not they go together; the general subtlety of what is the difference between incompetence, lack of inclination, and preference of other inclinations, and how to spot it.

I'm sure I would make a pretty good housekeeper, as evidenced by my cleaning & handyman performance when I'm inclined or the need is urgent, but most of the time I'm not, and the place is a mess.

Anyway, semantic hair-splitting (hopefully not too boring), and we don't want to put words into our host's mouth here.


At November 20, 2004 at 1:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gnosis is a fine thing...

Oldman I seem to have misjudged your seniority if the details I'm gleaning of your CV you're dropping here and there are accurately received. My confusion is that you seem to be experiencing that moment of self-doubt that most I have known experience around the early 30. Does this in fact recur at intervals that I'm not aware? It seems for everyone that whatever we are doing at these moments isn't enough, maybe it's moments like those that gnosis can be discovered.

Bona fortuna,

a Fool

At November 20, 2004 at 9:34 AM, Blogger Oldman said...


Self-doubt unfortunately is not something that I have. It would help me not to be so damned certain that I can do things so often. As they say however, age is a state of mind. If being a senior is what doing what senior does then I've had seniority for a very long time. As for a CV I don't have one really. All my best work has been by definition been covered by confidentiality clauses, very discrete confidentiality clauses, so discrete they weren't written down.

You're welcome to continue here Fool or to try to go to the higher level, but don't treat me like a fool and don't expect to treat me like a slut with the notion if I get offended you'll offer me the consolation of being a whore. I'm a free man now and if someone wants to deal me they'll look me in the eye and shake my hand square like a man.

I don't like pacifiers or leashes and I never make deals with lackeys.

I'm sure you think you know a lot, but unless you've got Hannibal Lecter on your time you don't have what it takes to crawl inside my head and understand what makes me tick. Whatever you think you know, it's only going to get you buried. That's the way it happens you know. Somebody thinks they know me, but it turns out sadly they don't.

No more foolishness. If this is just a dance, then dance. If you want to deal then deal. If it's a game, kiss off because you're not good enough to play.

And I don't have to be all that old to figure that one out.

At November 20, 2004 at 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


My comments do seem to have rather lost the point don't they?

Your questions about life at this stage are widely shared, and it is wise to temper the taste for certainty as you are. I don't presume to speak for your motivations, it would be consistent to believe that your motivations are often unclear to even yourself. Otherwise all of this handwringing now about career path would be unnecessary.

Your thinking is compelling to me but not in the hard and fast terms terms that are offered here. What you describe as the world of power often strikes me as a Miltonian melodrama. Is it indeed that you must choose a role: whore, Christian hero, knave, peasant, King?

I do apologize for enflaming your natural sense of wary, it has served you well, but I don't believe I am alone here when I say I'm more interested in understanding your interests than enflaming any human passions.

A handshake at this point is in order, there are indeed no knives up my sleeve. Your original point about Jung is one that is perfectly true, and I do feel contrite about this. The point that Jung was making is one I feel is also true, that to be whole one to accept the messy totality of one's experience and move past these easy ideals of goodness or virtue.


a Fool

At November 20, 2004 at 1:35 PM, Blogger Oldman said...


Of course, I do not know what I really want. If I knew, I would simply take it. Hence the whole Nosce te ipsum discussion. I know facts, but facts are not life. I know deeds, but deeds are not soul.

As for my wariness, many have tried to use me or to kill me. It is dangerous to know too many secrets.

If you wish to follow along in my my journey be welcome. But even as I know not myself, be aware that many wise and some good men have been undone by presuming to know me. It is not as if I do not know myself but others do. Alas like Nemo no one knows me and that is the heart of my struggle. No one knows me and therefore trust is hard, for no one knows what exactly I may do even I.

My greatest struggle is to know myself. That is my quest. Knowing things is simple compared to that for me.

At November 28, 2004 at 5:57 AM, Blogger J Thomas said...

Oldman, at first sight your threats make you look weak. It's like, when a dog gets threatened by another dog that looks like it's within shouting distance of winning, the threatened dog makes big threat displays. But when a puppy or a clearly-outmatched dog tries a threat, the strong dog can just look at him and not make any big deal of it, and the weak dog slinks away. You make a great big deal of silly blog postings that are posing as attacks. That makes it look superficially like you're unsure of yourself.

But then, maybe you're used to organisations where it's traditional to slap down underlings who make any tiny signs of independence or aggression. That still looks like a weakness, but an institutional one. A stagnant group can't groom underlings for leadership; unless it stunts them they will outgrow their roles and leave.

A slightly deeper read is that you aren't making threats but warnings. You don't understand yourself and you're dangerous; you might damage people unpredictably for reasons you don't understand yourself. So you warn people to be cautious.

Oh well. For what it's worth, I've known many people who were good at understanding me to the point they could say things that collapsed my sense of self. Particularly ex-girlfriends, I seem to be particularly attracted to women who tend to have those skills. Each time I rebuilt myself stronger and still open. So your guilt might be somewhat mitigated -- sometimes in the long run you're doing people a favor that way.

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