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Archive for April, 2009

Unemployed, Day 15

Just dropped my wife off at the airport. She’s headed to Atlanta for a few days to visit friends. I thought it was rough being here by myself during the day. Now I have to deal with it at night, too. Not a big deal – I’m a big boy and can handle myself just fine. I do, however, have a feeling that I’ll be spending at least 12 hours each day refreshing CareerBuilder and Craigslist just to see if any new (legitimate) jobs ads pop up.
My wife and I had a pretty deep conversation last night about where we’re going to be this time next month if I don’t find something soon. The answer: living with her parents. The fact of the matter is we just can’t pay rent. There is just not enough money coming in. It’s scary. The bright side is that we have people who care about us and are willing to take us in until I find something.
Do you remember that interview I had last week? Well, I got a response yesterday. Obviously, it wasn’t a good one or else I wouldn’t be writing this right now. I have another interview next Wednesday, but it sounds like a shady sales job. Not like it really matters at this point – I’ll take what I can get. I just hope that it isn’t 100% commission based. Again, if it means that some money is coming in, I’ll take it.
I applied for some part-time work at the local malls. Retail. Minimum wage. I’ll spend more in gas getting to the mall than I’ll be making in a paycheck, but at least it will get me out of the house. Right? …Right?
I knew full well that the economy was in a nasty state when I lost my job, but I really didn’t think it would be this hard to find work. The horrible truth is that there are thousands… millions… of people out there, just like me, who have skills and are willing to work hard and can’t get a job to save their life. It’s discouraging. I’m just another unemployed guy. What makes me stand out from Joe Schmo? I think my resumé speaks loudly about my past accomplishments, but I feel like there’s more to me than what’s on that paper. There’s a lot of potential inside me – someone just has to give me the chance to prove it.
This is Day 15, folks. All alone for the next few days. Unless you count the dog. But even he can’t hide his disappointment in me.
Just dropped my wife off at the airport. She’s headed to Atlanta for a few days to visit friends. I thought it was rough being here by myself during the day. Now I have to deal with it at night, too. Not a big deal – I’m a big boy and can handle myself just fine. I do, however, have a feeling that I’ll be spending at least 12 hours each day refreshing CareerBuilder and Craigslist just to see if any new (legitimate) jobs ads pop up.
My wife and I had a pretty deep conversation last night about where we’re going to be this time next month if I don’t find something soon. The answer: living with her parents. The fact of the matter is we just can’t pay rent. There is just not enough money coming in. It’s scary. The bright side is that we have people who care about us and are willing to take us in until I find something.
Do you remember that interview I had last week? Well, I got a response yesterday. Obviously, it wasn’t a good one or else I wouldn’t be writing this right now. I have another interview next Wednesday, but it sounds like a shady sales job. Not like it really matters at this point – I’ll take what I can get. I just hope that it isn’t 100% commission based. Again, if it means that some money is coming in, I’ll take it.
I applied for some part-time work at the local malls. Retail. Minimum wage. I’ll spend more in gas getting to the mall than I’ll be making in a paycheck, but at least it will get me out of the house. Right? …Right?
I knew full well that the economy was in a nasty state when I lost my job, but I really didn’t think it would be this hard to find work. The horrible truth is that there are thousands… millions… of people out there, just like me, who have skills and are willing to work hard and can’t get a job to save their life. It’s discouraging. I’m just another unemployed guy. What makes me stand out from Joe Schmo? I think my resumé speaks loudly about my past accomplishments, but I feel like there’s more to me than what’s on that paper. There’s a lot of potential inside me – someone just has to give me the chance to prove it.
This is Day 15, folks. All alone for the next few days. Unless you count the dog. But even he can’t hide his disappointment in me.
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Unemployed, Day 14

I’m going to make this one quick. Actually, I didn’t even want to write one of these today. Mostly because I know how irritating it is to hear a Debbie Downer drivel on, day after day, about being unemployed and how their life sucks and can’t find a job and no one calls me and my wife wants to punch me in the breadbasket and I’m eating condensed soup and spent the last two days filling out applications for mall jobs and blah blah blah. So I won’t waste your precious time talking about interviews or call-backs or resumés.  Not today, my friends. Not today.
So, go back to your Gratuitous Pictures of Yourself Giving Hi-Fives to Statues and your hipster art and your photos of 1960’s actresses and your “Hey, Zolora’s got a date!” and your posts that are sooo NSFW, but it doesn’t matter because I’m not at work and can look at them all day.
Kisses.
This is Day 14, folks. Feelin’ salty.
I’m going to make this one quick. Actually, I didn’t even want to write one of these today. Mostly because I know how irritating it is to hear a Debbie Downer drivel on, day after day, about being unemployed and how their life sucks and can’t find a job and no one calls me and my wife wants to punch me in the breadbasket and I’m eating condensed soup and spent the last two days filling out applications for mall jobs and blah blah blah. So I won’t waste your precious time talking about interviews or call-backs or resumés.  Not today, my friends. Not today.
So, go back to your Gratuitous Pictures of Yourself Giving Hi-Fives to Statues and your hipster art and your photos of 1960’s actresses and your “Hey, Zolora’s got a date!” and your posts that are sooo NSFW, but it doesn’t matter because I’m not at work and can look at them all day.
Kisses.
This is Day 14, folks. Feelin’ salty.

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Unemployed, Day 13

Being unemployed is hard work. The waking up early. The hunt. The immobility. The stress. I’m doing more emailing and office chair sitting than I have in my whole professional career.
It’s a 24/7 job. Always on call. Always ready to go. Whenever the opportunity arises. Hoping for the big payoff – when I’m finally recognized for all the hard work and rewarded with employment.
In this job, I don’t watch TV. I don’t play my bass. I don’t take lunch breaks. I don’t have water cooler conversations about your daughters piano recital. I can’t even bring myself to listen to music. I’m focused. I’m driven. Don’t call me unless you have a job to offer. I haven’t the time nor the inclination to hear your well-meaning, but ineffective, words of encouragement. Just. Stop.
Shock has turned to guilt. Guilt has turned to depression. Depression has turned to anger. Anger has turned to motivation. I’ve never been more motivated to accomplish a goal than I am right now, in this moment. I am sacrificing all personal pleasures in order to find a job. And I won’t quit until I reach that goal.
Somebody out there needs me. I’m going to find them. And this little rough patch will all become a distant memory.
One day, I’ll look back on it. Sitting on a porch swing in the twilight of our years, I’ll whisper to my wife, “It almost broke me, you know”.
This is Day 13, folks. And that’s all I’m going to say today.
Being unemployed is hard work. The waking up early. The hunt. The immobility. The stress. I’m doing more emailing and office chair sitting than I have in my whole professional career.
It’s a 24/7 job. Always on call. Always ready to go. Whenever the opportunity arises. Hoping for the big payoff – when I’m finally recognized for all the hard work and rewarded with employment.
In this job, I don’t watch TV. I don’t play my bass. I don’t take lunch breaks. I don’t have water cooler conversations about your daughters piano recital. I can’t even bring myself to listen to music. I’m focused. I’m driven. Don’t call me unless you have a job to offer. I haven’t the time nor the inclination to hear your well-meaning, but ineffective, words of encouragement. Just. Stop.
Shock has turned to guilt. Guilt has turned to depression. Depression has turned to anger. Anger has turned to motivation. I’ve never been more motivated to accomplish a goal than I am right now, in this moment. I am sacrificing all personal pleasures in order to find a job. And I won’t quit until I reach that goal.
Somebody out there needs me. I’m going to find them. And this little rough patch will all become a distant memory.
One day, I’ll look back on it. Sitting on a porch swing in the twilight of our years, I’ll whisper to my wife, “It almost broke me, you know”.
This is Day 13, folks. And that’s all I’m going to say today.

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Unemployed, Day 12

Wow. It’s serious business when you pay your monthly bills with the last of the money in your bank account. Talk about a wake-up call.   There’s nothing left, and not a whole heck of a lot coming in.  Serious business, indeed.
Okay, so what’s the next step? I can’t just sit here staring at my computer, waiting for the offers to come rolling in. And I’m pretty sure I’ve applied to every available job in the United States. What am I supposed to do now? I’m restless.
To make matters worse, It’s 96° and my Air Conditioner is broken. The landlord’s office isn’t answering the phone, and even if they did, they’d charge me at least $60 to fix it because they’re greedy trolls who want to suck every penny out of me.  True story: the refrigerator that came with the house is from 1979 and on it’s last leg. If it breaks down, I’m out a fridge. They won’t replace it because appliances are “a privilege”. Remind me not to rent from these clowns ever again.
Where was I? Oh, yes – the restlessness. I think I’m starting to go a little stir crazy. I’m talking to myself more. I do a lot of staring out the front window. In fact, I just gave an informative presentation to my dog on the proper way to make a tuna sandwich. I need to get out of the house and into a job. Unless that job involved me working from my house – then I’d stay in my house. Bottom line:  I need to be doing something that generates income.
This is Day 12, folks. It’s frickin’ hot in here. Talking to the walls. Staring out windows. Eating the last of the tuna.
Wow. It’s serious business when you pay your monthly bills with the last of the money in your bank account. Talk about a wake-up call.   There’s nothing left, and not a whole heck of a lot coming in.  Serious business, indeed.
Okay, so what’s the next step? I can’t just sit here staring at my computer, waiting for the offers to come rolling in. And I’m pretty sure I’ve applied to every available job in the United States. What am I supposed to do now? I’m restless.
To make matters worse, It’s 96° and my Air Conditioner is broken. The landlord’s office isn’t answering the phone, and even if they did, they’d charge me at least $60 to fix it because they’re greedy trolls who want to suck every penny out of me.  True story: the refrigerator that came with the house is from 1979 and on it’s last leg. If it breaks down, I’m out a fridge. They won’t replace it because appliances are “a privilege”. Remind me not to rent from these clowns ever again.
Where was I? Oh, yes – the restlessness. I think I’m starting to go a little stir crazy. I’m talking to myself more. I do a lot of staring out the front window. In fact, I just gave an informative presentation to my dog on the proper way to make a tuna sandwich. I need to get out of the house and into a job. Unless that job involved me working from my house – then I’d stay in my house. Bottom line:  I need to be doing something that generates income.
This is Day 12, folks. It’s frickin’ hot in here. Talking to the walls. Staring out windows. Eating the last of the tuna.

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Unemployed, Day 11

Traditionally, the Sunday newspaper has the largest Help Wanted section. In the old days, job seekers would get out their red pen and circle the ads for which they wanted to apply come Monday. The applicant would walk into the business, paper in hand, and walk out with a job.  It went a little something like this:
“Look here, see.  Says here you need a haberdasher. Well, I’m not skilled in haberdashery, see, but I’m a hard worker and a quick learner. I’d very much like the job.”
The employer would take the help wanted sign out of the window, shake your hand and BAM – before you know it, you’re making men’s clothing (that’s what a haberdasher does. You should’ve known that).
I’ve seen movies.  I’m pretty sure that’s how they did it. Also, they said “see” a lot back then after every other sentence. But I digress.
In the world of today, a Sunday job search is pretty much the same in that you scour the job listings, either by the local newspaper or the broader internet listings, and have to wait until Monday to actually make contact with the employer. The only difference being that email never takes Sunday off, thereby putting your credentials in the employer’s inbox for their immediate review on Monday morning.
Maybe I’m romanticizing the old way of just walking into a business and walking out with a job, but I wish it were that easy today.  I mean, people used to just walk into a company, uninvited and unannounced, and ask to speak to a manager.  You just can’t do that now. People don’t like to be caught of guard, and they certainly don’t enjoy taking a meeting that wasn’t previously scheduled.
When I was home from college in the summers, my mother would urge me to “just go in there and fill out an application.”  That strategy works for finding a job at Wal-Mart or McDonald’s.  But at a company that can actually pay you a livable wage and provide benefits? Nope. Ambition is one thing, desperation is another.
I’ll save my desperation for my walk-in application at KFC.
This is Day 11, folks.  Sunday job search. Monday call backs? Think I’ll take the dog for a walk.

Traditionally, the Sunday newspaper has the largest Help Wanted section. In the old days, job seekers would get out their red pen and circle the ads for which they wanted to apply come Monday. The applicant would walk into the business, paper in hand, and walk out with a job.  It went a little something like this:

“Look here, see.  Says here you need a haberdasher. Well, I’m not skilled in haberdashery, see, but I’m a hard worker and a quick learner. I’d very much like the job.”

The employer would take the help wanted sign out of the window, shake your hand and BAM – before you know it, you’re making men’s clothing (that’s what a haberdasher does. You should’ve known that).

I’ve seen movies.  I’m pretty sure that’s how they did it. Also, they said “see” a lot back then after every other sentence. But I digress.

In the world of today, a Sunday job search is pretty much the same in that you scour the job listings, either by the local newspaper or the broader internet listings, and have to wait until Monday to actually make contact with the employer. The only difference being that email never takes Sunday off, thereby putting your credentials in the employer’s inbox for their immediate review on Monday morning.

Maybe I’m romanticizing the old way of just walking into a business and walking out with a job, but I wish it were that easy today.  I mean, people used to just walk into a company, uninvited and unannounced, and ask to speak to a manager.  You just can’t do that now. People don’t like to be caught of guard, and they certainly don’t enjoy taking a meeting that wasn’t previously scheduled.

When I was home from college in the summers, my mother would urge me to “just go in there and fill out an application.”  That strategy works for finding a job at Wal-Mart or McDonald’s.  But at a company that can actually pay you a livable wage and provide benefits? Nope. Ambition is one thing, desperation is another.

I’ll save my desperation for my walk-in application at KFC.

This is Day 11, folks.  Sunday job search. Monday call backs? Think I’ll take the dog for a walk.

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Unemployed, Day 9

I was mid-sentence into telling my wife how I just KNEW someone would be calling me for an interview when the phone rang.  Perfect timing.

I don’t want to go into too much detail, but today I had my first interview.  You know, a face to face chat with a person about a job opportunity.  If you read yesterday’s post, you know that the stresses of an uncertain future have started to weigh me down. After getting the phone call and some positive in-person feedback, I feel I’m back on top of my game.

Long story short – I’ll hopefully hear something back by Tuesday.  I’ll leave it at that and, if things work out, fill you in on the details later.  But I will say this – part of the reason I was asked to come in for an interview was because of my Virtual Interview video. Crazy, right?

In other news – I spent $75 of money I shouldn’t spend on a new shirt, tie and pants.

And hey, it’s Friday, right?  Let’s hang out tonight. Oh, wait.  I have to pick up my friend Steve from the airport.  You probably don’t want to hang out with him, do you?  Didn’t think so.  Maybe we’ll hang out next Friday.

This is Day 9, folks.  Good day.  Fingers crossed.  Going to a wedding in Fredericksburg tomorrow.

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Unemployed, Day 8

Woke up this morning with an empty feeling in my gut.  Not so much because I was hungry, rather it was due to my lack of purpose.  It’s becoming physically painful to not be able to put forth my energy and focus into a broader, more lucrative goal.
For the past week, I’ve been telling myself that my job is to find a job.  This mantra has seemed to help, in that my approach to the daily task of sending out resumés is done with the same vigor as if I were working on an important project for a company.  I’m expecting a payoff soon, but honestly, I’m starting to feel like I’m being ignored. Unwanted. Unqualified. Just another fish in the sea of unemployed.
I don’t want to become discouraged, but let’s be frank: I’m scared. I need more money than what unemployment can give or else I’ll lose my house. I cannot, under any circumstances, allow that to happen – my wife is counting on me. I’m counting on me. I haven’t been eating normally (which is probably a good thing. If you’ve seen my Virtual Interview video, you know I could stand to stay away from the sandwiches), and I haven’t been able to leave the house without feeling guilty for not scouring the want ads. When I shower, my phone is next to the tub just in case a potential employer calls.
I’m nervous.  Like my dog in a thunderstorm.  Just waiting for that loud clap of thunder to scare me out of my socks.  I know it’s coming, but that doesn’t mean I don’t jump every time.  It’s the anticipation of that loud BOOM that presently has me on edge.
If you read yesterday’s blog, you know that I was contacted by a company and asked to take a personality assessment test.  I took the test this morning, with a not-so-surprising result:  I’m best suited for a career in public relations/marketing/media. Basically, and I’m paraphrasing a few paragraphs here, the test told me that whatever the next step in my career is, it has to involve socialization, creativity and independence. I’m not sure if the company for which I took the test is looking for my type of personality, but at least it gave me a little perspective on the type of job I need to be putting my efforts toward finding.
This is Day 8, folks.  I made a video. I took a test. Showering with my phone.

Woke up this morning with an empty feeling in my gut.  Not so much because I was hungry, rather it was due to my lack of purpose.  It’s becoming physically painful to not be able to put forth my energy and focus into a broader, more lucrative goal.

For the past week, I’ve been telling myself that my job is to find a job.  This mantra has seemed to help, in that my approach to the daily task of sending out resumés is done with the same vigor as if I were working on an important project for a company.  I’m expecting a payoff soon, but honestly, I’m starting to feel like I’m being ignored. Unwanted. Unqualified. Just another fish in the sea of unemployed.

I don’t want to become discouraged, but let’s be frank: I’m scared. I need more money than what unemployment can give or else I’ll lose my house. I cannot, under any circumstances, allow that to happen – my wife is counting on me. I’m counting on me. I haven’t been eating normally (which is probably a good thing. If you’ve seen my Virtual Interview video, you know I could stand to stay away from the sandwiches), and I haven’t been able to leave the house without feeling guilty for not scouring the want ads. When I shower, my phone is next to the tub just in case a potential employer calls.

I’m nervous.  Like my dog in a thunderstorm.  Just waiting for that loud clap of thunder to scare me out of my socks.  I know it’s coming, but that doesn’t mean I don’t jump every time.  It’s the anticipation of that loud BOOM that presently has me on edge.

If you read yesterday’s blog, you know that I was contacted by a company and asked to take a personality assessment test.  I took the test this morning, with a not-so-surprising result:  I’m best suited for a career in public relations/marketing/media. Basically, and I’m paraphrasing a few paragraphs here, the test told me that whatever the next step in my career is, it has to involve socialization, creativity and independence. I’m not sure if the company for which I took the test is looking for my type of personality, but at least it gave me a little perspective on the type of job I need to be putting my efforts toward finding.

This is Day 8, folks.  I made a video. I took a test. Showering with my phone.

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