Tags: job

Medieval Lady

Planes, trains, and automobiles

Ok, I am facing a dilemma, and figured that asking the Internets might provide useful feedback.

(Side note: Wow, this low-budget vampire movie has a weird combination of really interesting costumes, and really, really bad ones. Plus, of course, the requisite bad acting and cheesy dialogue.)

The scenario: this coming year, I have a long commute. Not every day, but two to three times a week. Which works out to, well, a lot of driving. Good news: I have a new car (woot!). However, that doesn't mean that I want to, you know, spend a year really racking up the miles (plus spending all that time in traffic, etc.).

So..... the thing is, there is also a train station in the next town over from the town I'm commuting to. It's about... sixteen miles. Sadly, there is no bus service from there to the town I'm actually working in.

I believe that there is parking at the train station (the Internet claims there is, although that's something I would have to check). And I've been thinking, "OK, so, I could drive down the first day I need to be there, take the train back and forth, then drive back the last day I need to be there." Which would save, well, a lot of driving.

However, that would also mean that there would be the need to have La Roommate drive me to/pick me up from the train station.... as well as some days when I wouldn't have a car around, because it would be at the train station.

What I'm now considering-- and the question I'm tossing out there for opinions and/or suggestions-- is whether it makes sense to pick up a cheap used car (I mean REALLY cheap) that could be the "train station to job" car, while the new car could be the "local" car. I'm not looking for something that would be taking long trips, or something I would necessarily have for more than a year. That would mean that I was taking the train for the majority of my commute (giving me time when I could be working/reading/etc.), but wouldn't have to ask for rides to and from the station, and wouldn't have to leave a new car in another town for several days. Of course, it would also mean, well, searching out a cheap car that would in fact last for a year, paying the insurance on it, etc.

Thoughts on what makes the most sense (ie, commute with existing car, commute plus train, cheap car plus train...), suggestions on how to find a good cheap car, suggestions on what a reasonable budget for a cheap car would be...?
kidding, Ryuuki

Brain, you are Not Helping

There are many ways in which the job I'm going to have for the upcoming year is superior to the job I was really hoping to get. The main disadvantages, essentially, are that I had to take the ego hit of not getting re-hired by the people who I worked for last year, I have another one-year job rather than a multi-year job (which means that I get to spend next year frantically applying for jobs again), and that I had to figure out the "move or commute" issue. There are many ways in which the job I'm going to have will be a stronger position for job applications this coming year than the job I was really hoping to get.

So why exactly is my brain suddenly coming up with extremely detailed thoughts on exactly where I went wrong in the job interview for the job I was really hoping to get, and killer ideas on what I should have done to have knocked it out of the park?

Medieval Lady

Conferencey greetings!

Well, this hotel is in fact walking distance to the conference, it just takes a while. Which, you know, good exercise, the weather will hopefully stay decent for one more day, generally a nice walk down quiet streets, etc. The more expensive hotel I had a reservation at before is, indeed, both nicer and waaaaay closer. And it was still a better idea to find a cheaper hotel, so I don't mind. And the conference hotel itself, aside from being decorated... um... oddly... is just right out in terms of price, for a lot of people, apparently.

Had dinner last night with a friend who is also presenting a paper, and, of course, picked her brains about the whole "commuting" question (which I'm trying to pick as many people's brains about as possible, mostly because I want to make sure that my arguments make sense).

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In other news, I took the time today to accomplish the non-conference things I wanted to get done, including (but not limited to):

1) Strolling around the Old City and taking many photographs while attempting to avoid lurking plotbunnies.

2) Carrying out my clever plan of using a European post office to transfer a payment to a European account-- which was rendered slightly tricky by the post office guy not speaking English, and my French being so full of holes it could be mistaken for a colander.

3) Purchasing postcards. And stamps. Oddly enough, not at the post office, because I really just didn't want to bother the poor guy with another request.

4) Other necessary purchases.
Medieval Lady

If you should plan to motor west...

One of the things about the US is that it really is a driving-oriented country. Way more money has gone towards the highways than the railways, say, and there are more areas without well-developed public transportation systems than have them. I notice the difference whenever I'm in countries (or cities) where public transportation is the best way to get around-- and I notice even more when my automatic mental answer to "how to get from point A to point B" is "take the train" rather than "drive."

Frankly, I like driving-- I also like the train. Buses.... not so much, but they can still be a fine option. Airplanes are somewhere in the middle.

Been thinking about this recently because it looks like my options for next year will either involve moving (to a greater or lesser degree) or a really long commute two to three times a week. We're talking... oh, 10-15 hours on the road per week, from where I am right now.

Now, generally speaking, if this was more than a one-year position, then I would obviously need to move. For a year, though, it becomes a much trickier issue-- commuting versus moving expenses/time/hassle, what commuting distance is reasonable, what gas prices are likely to be, what the living expenses look like for the various options (which is a fancy way of saying, "Yeah, doubling my rent and utility bills by living alone is a dumb move when I know that student loan and car payments lurk in my future"), how annoying a two-and-a-half hour drive would really be on a regular basis versus how annoying moving this summer when I know I would have to do it all again next summer would be....

*mutter* And what I keep thinking is that this whole problem would be SO much simpler if there was just a nice set of trains that operated punctually between here and there.
kidding, Ryuuki

"It's what they make mock-candidate soup out of"

So, can somebody please explain why I am this nervous about a MOCK-interview? It's not like it is going to lead to getting mock-hired. It is with faculty who I know and work with (hmm... that may be a contributory factor, heh).

It is practice. It is something the department does to for hapless young grad students who are facing the prospect of actual interviews for actual jobs. It is thus intended to mitigate stress, not cause it.

And yet here I am, running around, made of frantic, misplacing important things (cell phone, antacids, earrings, brain...) and being generally wracked of nerves and ravel-sleeved of cares.

My suspicion is that it's connected to fear of looking like a moron in front of the people I work with, AND to the fact that I at this point still don't know if I am going to have an actual interview for the job I'm mock-interviewing for. Which means that the mock interview experience is attended by a host of "Gee, you still haven't heard back from the actual job committee people, and does that mean they don't like you and you're not getting even a preliminary interview and will end up lurking on a street corner with a sign saying, "Will Lecture on Anabaptist Communes for Food"?"-type gremlins.