Saturday, April 19, 2008

Working With Bedbugs

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while...

I've been dedicating most of my time to job hunting, a daunting task given the current state of the U.S. economy. The bulk of my work experience has been journalism, clerical work and retail, in order of years of experience. I've been out of work since January, with little to no help from the help wanted ads in the newspaper or the New York State Department of Labor, who told me to try Craigslist, Monster.com, Yahoo! Hotjobs, and a slew of other employment-related web sites of whose existence I was already aware.

Why do I pay taxes? Oh yeah, because the government forces me to.

Lately, I've been perusing ads on Mediabistro.com, a classified ads website dedicated to media-related jobs. I found an awesome ad for a reporter/blogger for the online version of a major New York newspaper. I basically met all the qualifications, but I did have one problem.

I have two blogs, Bugged Out and I'm Not The Only One, which focuses more on politics and social commentary. That blog is a year and four months old, and Bugged Out is 2 years and four months long.

When I wrote about my blogging experience in my cover letter and resume, I only wrote that I'd been blogging for a little over a year. I was afraid that if my prospective employer knew that I was the blogger of a bed bug blog, they'd know I have, or have had a bed bug infestation and may be likely to not hire me. Workplaces can become infested just as easily as homes. As a matter of fact, I believe the Fox newsroom in New York City had become infested a while back. But having more blogging experience makes more qualified for the gig, so only claiming to have 1 year of experience instead of two put me at a disadvantage as well.

People talk about the stigma that comes with bed bugs, but no one ever talks about how it can affect someone's career. Would you tell your boss or co-workers that you have a bed bug problem at home? Would you even tell them you've had one in the past? I'd be afraid my supervisors would try to get rid of me.

If you've ever had colleagues find out about your bed bug problems, I'd love to hear your stories, and especially know what happened as a result of their discovery. I have had like four jobs in the last two years, and no one at work has ever found out my dirty little secret. I honestly don't know what I'd do if anyone found out. If anyone can offer some friendly advice on what to do in such a situation, I'd appreciate it.

Luckily, I have a job interview tomorrow at a music store in the Bronx, in M's mother's neighborhood. Keep me in your prayers, ok?

Thanks.

3 comments:

Steffie said...

Oohh man, do I have bedbugs too. I've got a pounding head from being up all night so far, reading up on research on bed bugs. the constant paranoia is menacning. I kill a live bed bug at least once an day. the bad days include killing multiple live blood sucking jerks ...heh, how are you handling it?
the mum and I are working on getting on out of here, but we're not sure where to move..and if there will too be bugs awaiting us there.

Anonymous said...

Just curious if anyone else has been thining they have lice or worried about getting lice after this experience. I mean taking transit and sitting next to the smelly person freaks me out even more noe than ever before!

BedBugVictim Perth Australia said...

I'm worried about people at work finding out.

I've been sleeping at work underneath my desk for the past week while I'm waiting for the landlord to spray my apartment. I can't deal with being there with so many bugs. My only consolation when I go down on that hard floor to sleep at night is knowing I'm going to take them to court over it and win a small portion of my rent back.

I'd rather never have had the problem though.

So at work I've only told one person because they noticed that something was up. I checked around the office to see if I'd spread them anywhere - I can't see any, but who can say for sure? Since I found out I've been doing my best to check my clothing and only wear it hot from the dryer and not sit anywhere.

If I see a bedbug at work, I'm going to die, then I'm going to tell my boss so the building can get exterminated. I'm not too worried about getting fired - it's not my fault! I've done my best.

I am very conscious that everyone I have told ("friends") think that I've done something to bring this upon myself, and also that it's not a big deal. Of course, offer to show them the bugs, and they FREAK OUT and flatly refuse. It's real hypocrisy in action.