To die on Mars

Blood pooled around my feet as the hull metal popped and pinged, quickly cooling off. The Martian atmosphere is vanishingly thin, but that was by far the least of my problems.

The blood is from a structural member of my ship currently piercing my thigh. Not arterial, but I certainly wasn’t going to survive this, no chance, not out here alone. My ship’s atmosphere was leaking out through a massive hole and I watched the porthole frosting over as the temperature dropped.

I started to laugh when I saw the light shining through the frosted glass. Maybe I was mistaken.

parkinkspot sq logo

I would like to die on Mars. Just not on impact.“–Elon Musk

Inspired by this photo prompt:

Photo Credit: John Pierre Candelier

Take a chance on me…or I will.

Tell us about the object of your dejection — something you made, a masterpiece unfinished, or some sort of project that failed to meet your expectations. What did you learn from the experience? How would you do things differently next time?

Daily Prompt is placing much emphasis on “objects” this week, it seems. Very well, I’ll forge on.

Well, I spent a year trying to convince various HR personnel not to reject my resume instantly. That involved a lot of time spent on portfolio projects, classes, trying a lot of different things; none of which worked.

That “object of my dejection”, I suppose, might be the resume.

You see, one of my most marketable skills involves the creation of artwork for packaging. I found a company willing to risk hiring me on the basis of general computer skills (programmer, a little dbase, etc.) and give me a crack in the artwork chair.

^ Key words: willing to take a risk.

Packaging falls under the heading of “graphic design”. There isn’t anything terribly exotic or difficult to understand about Adobe’s software suite, and after a dozen years I was pretty well-versed. Even dusted off that graphic arts (related, not the same) degree and put it to use. I grokked Separations and Masking and Layouts and Paste-ups and such…I already knew Photoshop, Illustrator didn’t take long to learn…

Self-taught? On a resume that makes HR people cower in fear and immediately hit the “delete” key. Same for “No B.A.?” (Zomg! >delete<) I didn’t come up through the Mac world, I learned on PCs (zomg! Delete!) And he’s over 50? (zomg! Delete!) And he got paid how much> (zomg! Delete!)

While I was working and actually doing art production for that dozen years, the world marched on. General computer skills weren’t rare any more, an entire generation of kids followed me out of college. My feeble HTML and website skills weren’t enough to land a web design job (guess what nearly all of the new design jobs are?)

Most of my work was in Photoshop and Illustrator, most of the jobs were in InDesign (which I could do, just my least-often-used of Abobe’s Big Three).

Actual working experience in the 00s and 10s, less valuable than a degree from the 80s? There are parts of this HR mystery that still baffle me to this day. How’s that again?

I started taking courses to update my existing skills, maybe someone will see that as a positive sign? Some design classes, some typography? I did get in some work on Macs, which I suppose might be useful for something, some day. Other than that, I didn’t learn much that I did not already know. And they didn’t seem to help the job search.

So (I found, after wasting a year seeking), there wasn’t anybody willing me to hire me, at least not in this neck of the woods. Reasonable I suppose. HR people are not risk-takers, they only back a sure bet.

I don’t have any conclusions. Obviously, there must’ve been something else to try?

Eventually, I had to get back to work doing something, anything.

So here I am doing my “anything” job, and trying to become a writer. Maybe I can figure out a way to make a dime at it. Maybe just I’ll do it anyway, for the joy of it.

RecDave Seal