We now interrupt this blog for a panic attack.

Hi there. What are you guys doing? I’m sitting here trying very hard not to think about the fact that I’m still unemployed and the two possible jobs I’ve talked to folks about recently are ridiculous long shots that I probably have no chance of landing. I’m a week into being off unemployment and things are looking grim. Anne and I have been studying our bank account and trying to decide which bills we’re going to pay or if rent will be a priority. We’ve got enough left to cover some of it, but not all of it and now that she’s working again we can’t defer her college loans any longer so those are going to start coming in again soon. We’ve tried just about every trick we can think of to keep our heads above water and we’ve made it almost 8 months so far, but I’m at a loss on what to do next now. I sent out another half dozen or so inquiries today as well as applied with Blockbuster Video, Best Buy, and Wide Open West (my cable company) in hopes of landing something. I’ve also asked the SEB regular who’s company is contracting folks to do Katrina/Rita hurricane cleanup to submit my resume for consideration. Did a search for all available jobs in my area and there’s quite a bit, but it’s all stuff I have no qualifications for. Still submitted a few inquiries just the same to see what happens. Contacted old friends who have contacts in the IT industry to see what they might track down, but none of them have replied so far. I’ve covered all the bases I can think to cover with the exception of signing up for the military which I really don’t want to do.

This is just so frustrating. I just want to make a decent wage so I can afford to pay my bills and occasionally splurge a little. Especially with the holidays just around the corner. Grrrrr….

Update: Just heard back from one of the two jobs I was hoping for, the one I thought I might have a decent chance at, and they’ve picked three people for face-to-face interviews none of which are me. There’s still a chance that they’ll revisit the rest of us who applied for the job if the three they are interviewing don’t pan out, but I’m not going to get my hopes up. This leaves the long shot to go. *Sigh*

9 thoughts on “We now interrupt this blog for a panic attack.

  1. Mr. Jenkins,
    Excellent efforts so far. Keep them up and you will have made your own luck.
    Take care,
    Donald.

  2. “You live in a desert!…Why don’t you move to where the food is!?”

    —Sam Kinison

    I still say pick the point in the US with the hottest job market and pack your bags.  Possibly easier said than done, but worst case scenarios have a tendency of making crazy things happen.

  3. Hey Les,

    What can I say. I feel guilty for just having landed my second job offer in as may days while people like you – or my best friend – are searching in vain.

    All I can suggest is (for you probably a *very* long shot as well) to look into moving to New Zealand as I am just doing now from Germany.

    There’s heaps of jobs here, and the unemployment is at a 30 year low. IT people get preferential visa-treatment BTW.

  4. I’ve been unemployed for a while. It’s hardly the same thing though, because I’m only nineteen and don’t have a family to support. But it’s sad when someone as obviously well qualified as yourself can’t find work.

    First thing I’m doing in November is going down to Gundagai to start work on the orchards again. Best job I ever had.

  5. Hey,

    Shame you don’t live in the UK as the company I work for are currently employing loads of new people in tech support roles. :o(

    Why not start doing some freelance blog creation/hosting for people?

    You could always try doing a SEB-million-dollar-homepage (see here if you don’t know what I’m talking about)

    Remember les, if you ever need donations just say the word, you know we’ll do whatever we can to help.

    :o)

  6. I feel for you, Les . . . I was unemployed for 3 years, so I can empathize with that sinking feeling when the unemployment runs out and it’s obvious that the $10-an-hour jobs ain’t gonna cut it when you’ve got a mortgage or rent to pay and kids who need things for school and car payments, etc – to say nothing of FOOD. I dug ditches (literally!) for many months and installed solar panels on steep roofs, and at my advanced age (43 at the time) it’s really not something I’d recommend. 

    I also remember becoming frustrated and confused when I didn’t get picked for jobs that looked like the company had copied my resume word for word from Monster or Career Builder . . . if I wound up hearing back from them at *all*.

    Here’s some advice you didn’t ask for: FUCK the credit card and store card bills. Let them slip. They’ll get in touch with you when they’re ready, and believe it or not, YOU hold the cards – not THEM. You don’t even have to talk to them on the phone if you don’t want to, and there are ways to get them to leave you alone until YOU’RE ready to deal with them. I re-negotiated all my credit card debt and wound up paying less than 1/3 of the *thousands* that I owed.  AND I negotiated my credit rating (even what would appear on my credit report); after all was said and done, I still had a credit rating of 721 – good enough to get a loan (or new credit cards! HA!). Also, by moving all the debt over to *my* side and leaving my wife’s obligations separate, her credit is pristine, so we’re still able to apply for loans if the need should arise.

    All your money needs to go to keeping a roof over your head and food in your family’s stomachs.  Owing money is NOT a crime, and you’re not gonna go to jail for being in debt – despite what the credit companies would have us think. You can negotiate with the utilities, most of whom were more than willing to negotiate affordable (or deferred) payment schedules. By law, each local utility company is required to maintain a Customer Assistance Program – you need to apply, and if you’re eligible, you can receive electric or gas service for rates that are significantly discounted.

    Stay away from bankruptcy proceedings – you’ll be in a much better position if you can avoid it.

    Eventually, the Luck Plane(tm) will tilt in a positive direction for you – I’m *convinced* of this.  I had to wait for 2 people to quit and one person to have a serious car accident to get my current subcontracting gig, and even though I’m earning what I made 10 years ago, it’s keeping me in my house, and I’m thankful for the work – and I get to work from home, to boot, so I’m not spending money on gas or transportation, and I can pretty much work when *I* want to work. 

    What Andy said – if you need donations, don’t be afraid to ask.

  7. Thanks for the encouragement folks. I really shouldn’t have posted this entry, but I needed to vent and I was the only one home at the time. I’m really trying hard not to put my hand out again. I asked once at the start and you guys came through in a big way and there are other people in much worse straits than I’m in right now (Rita/Katrina one-two punch) who need it more than I do.

    AndyK, that’s an interesting idea, but someone’s already done it to some success. I’d just be a copycat. If I were to do something like that I’d need to come up with something original.

    I think today I’ll be combing local stores looking for places that have help wanted signs up. Gotta be someone out there willing to hire me to stock shelves or something.

  8. Vent, man, vent.  It’s okay.  The one thing we *can* do for you right now is be an open ear (or shoulder). 

    I don’t have anything profound or inspirational to say that won’t come across as trite.  I’ll just keep   … well, being that ear/shoulder/whatever.

  9. Years ago when I had hit a rough patch, the Salvation Army paid my electric bill. It was a little over $100. It was a one-time-only payment, for people in financial hardship only, and it won’t solve all your problems. However, it will solve one. (Wait a few months, let the bill build up – and who knows, maybe while you’re waiting, you’ll get a job and be able to pay it yourself. If you’re like me, having to ask someone else to shoulder your responsibilities is -=really=- difficult.)

    If you haven’t already, call the phone company about their assistance program. It lasts for one year, even if you do become employed – lets you dig yourself out of the hole, so to speak.

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