Tag Archives: unemployment

well hello there 2008!!

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2007 was interesting.  But not in a good way.  Well… I guess there were lots of good things about it, but there were also several not so great things.  The good stuff, like opening my Etsy shop, finishing my BA degree, and snagging my first (of hopefully MANY) freelance job, was often overshadowed by the unemployment, issues with my teenaged daughter, and the seemingly endless whispers of self-doubt brought on by those two challenges… And then there’s the cracked heels that require regular scraping.  (I turned 42… these things happen.)

But here I am staring down another 364 days with an actual job, a semi-organized craft area to enjoy during my non-working hours, a daughter that – although she drives me crazy, is not in jail or pregnant – and the incredibly supported feeling that I’ve enjoyed over and over again that comes from being married to the most amazing man in the world.  No, really.  You don’t want to be bored with the details, just trust me. 

So, I’m tugging my newsboy hat onto my head, smirking in that cute way that I have, and heading into the new year with all the assurance I need that 2008 will be MY year.  I will be published this spring in a local poetry journal, am preparing to send more things out to be considered, and will receive my diploma.  Even with the extra pounds and the cracked heels I know that my motivation level is up and my frustration level is subsiding. 

Welcome 2008.  You’d better be ready for me!!

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Life at home

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How ironic it is that during the last week of my unemployment I’ve started feeling really good about being at home?  I have always appreciated the time I have with my son, and to do things that are hard to do when working, but this week  I’ve really enjoyed doing some cleaning, getting some Christmas presents made, and just hanging out with the boy.

Okay, yesterday he wasn’t so enjoyable… but he’s three.  It’s a given that some days will cause me to question my desire to procreate.

I think it’s just that I no longer have the scattered, frustrated feeling I had before that stemmed from being a little bit directionless.  I couldn’t even bring myself to write much – even though I should have been taking total advantage of the time I had to do that.  I guess I get things done more efficiently when I have a schedule of some kind.  Or deadlines.  Or something.  Now that I have only a short time left at home, it’s somehow easier to be motivated.

So, I’m off to get some things done…

The bad has a little good attached.

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The good: The newspaper did finally call, and I had a great interview, and I think I would have had the job.

The bad: Unfortunately, it was only part-time and paid less than it would have been worth since I have to pay for daycare. *sigh* 

The other good: She did say she wanted to contact me after the first of the year to talk about possible freelance opportunities. Yay!

Today I interviewed for another job with the paper as a fundraiser for a program called Newspapers in Education. It’s also part-time, 25-30 hours a week, and pays minimum wage + commission. The woman who had the position before made $22K last year. So, for part-time that’s not too bad…

The great interview with the art center hasn’t amounted to anything yet. Figures, right? Meanwhile Christmas is around the corner.

More good: I have sold 7 of my Snowfolk!!! I sold the last three I posted within a few days to a woman in the UK. I’m really happy that they are finally selling – it’s a nice validation.

More bad: The payments for my Snowfolk are coming through paypal, and since hubby has already associated our bank account with his paypal account, I can’t retrieve my payments for my items. Good grief.

It’s only Monday, right? The week could get better.

Some job interviews and a nasty case of croup

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Last weeek I was all jazzed up about hearing from the local news daily and being told I’m on their list of candidates for an entry-level feature writing positions there.  Typically, though, I haven’t heard a thing since.  However, in an interesting change of fortune (knock, knock) I heard from a local arts center that is going to be hiring a development/fundraising position in the near future. I set an appointment to visit with the administrative director this week and promptly came down with some kind of mean-spirited nastiness that has wreaked havoc on my chest and throat.

At first, I thought I’d have to cancel the interview, but I toughed it out and got dressed and croaked though it anyway.  I think it went well, and am really excited about the possibility.  It would be an opportunity to get back into the field that I have said for years I wanted to be in after I finished my degree, and it’s only a few minutes from home.  Also, it’s a small enough organization that I think I could do the work and learn as I went along in some respects.

At the interview the woman asked me if I had a tight timeline, indicating that she wanted me to meet with another person (a board member) who is currently out of the country. (Ahh, the life of a board member, right?)  This was Tuesday, and I said I didn’t have any kind of time issues to deal with.  Certainly, I didn’t have anything else pressing on the horizon.

Then, yesterday, I got a call asking me to interview for a position on campus I had applied for a few weeks ago.  That interview was today.  Although the position is “only” an administrative assistant role, and it pays less than I am assuming the other one would, there are pros to getting a job back at the UofA.  They have good benefits and retirement account options, there would be opportunities to move into other roles more befitting my experience and skill level at some point, and I would be able to pursue additional educational credits for WAY cheap.  Hubby could too, if he wanted.  The folks I talked to today said they’re hoping to make a decision tomorrow afternoon.

So, the delimma is obvious, right?  If offered the lower-paying, non-“professional” position do I wait to see what happens with the other or just take the “bird in hand”?  Do I contact the arts center and tell them I have a potential offer before hearing about the UofA and see if they can give me any indication of my true likelihood of securing that job?  Hmmm….

So… at least the possibility of having a job at all is a good thing.

And the antibiotic seems to be helping… *hack hack… cough*

Yep, still unemployed

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Just in case you wondered, since the last time I wrote about it was over a month ago: I’m still a drain on the family income.

Oh, I do my part and all. I’ve had a couple of substitute teaching jobs, have temped some, even had second interviews with a great non-profit organization I was REALLY excited about talking to. But nothing came of it. AND, I got yet another letter from the university (where I spent seven years as a secretary getting excellent annual reviews) telling me that they chose someone else for the position I applied for without even wanting to talk to me.

If I had a soundtrack board, like they use in radio shows, at this moment I would insert someone with a lovely British accent screaming “BUGGER!!”  Hugh Grant perhaps, or Michael Palin….

Last Friday I sent out another half-dozen or so resumes. Maybe one of them will actually catch someone’s attention. For now, though, I need to vacuum and fold some laundry. I guess I do contribute – I do the things we’d like to pay someone to do if I had a job.

Bargain shopping

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This week I was forced to take a daughter shopping for a dress she could wear to her school’s homecoming dance.  There is a level of stupid about the fact that they have to wear semi-formal attire for homecoming, in my opinion, but I won’t go on long about that.  Suffice to say that I don’t believe it necessary to require a dress that would usually cost upwards of $100 (depending on the store) for a dance in the courtyard of the school that will only last three hours.  And of course, if you buy a dress you need shoes, jewelry, a little bag for the cell phone and lipgloss… it can add up pretty quickly.  Frankly, I feel that it’s a bit exclusionary, since I’m sure some kids’ parents won’t be able to purchase the required ensemble.

So I put off going to find a dress because the depressed side of me was not interested in spending the money and I really didn’t look forward to the pursed lips and wrinkled brow that my daughter would display when I took her to resale shops and thrift stores to see what they had.  My kids have a weird aversion to buying clothes previously worn by others.  Nevermind that they have probably been laundered, and the ones you try on brand new have been tried on by others and remain unwashed!  Some of my coolest clothes in high school came from the local AmVets… ah, memories…

But on Wednesday a friend of the daughter’s mom gave her a ride home from school and she suggested to Delaney that we try a store nearby that has great deals on clothes.  It’s Name Brand Clothing, and they are having a “1/2 of 1/2” sale.  So we ran over there to see what was available. 

When we entered the store it was immediately obvious that we would be required to do some digging to find what we were looking for.  The racks were crammed, there is nothing displayed… we should have taken snacks and water to keep our energy up.  But I, for one, am willing to dig for a bargain, so we plowed into the formal dress section and went to it.

Fortunately, the dresses were organized fairly well – no issue with finding all the sizes mixed up, which always makes me crazy.  Instead, the challenge we faced was the condition of the dresses on the racks.  This place has tons of merchandise, a lot of it high end designer names, but most of it has some sort of damage.  There were dresses with missing or unsewn straps, stains, holes, busted zippers, missing buttons, ripped seams… you name it.  But we did, in the end, find a very cute babydoll-style dress with cap sleeves that looks adorable.  It has the rock-n-roll vibe that I think she wears well. 

How much did we pay for this brilliant find?  This is the best part.  You won’t believe it.

$3.00!!!

My daughter is happy, and my unemployed budget is happy.

Shite happens!

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Today the road I was on, the path that I thought was the perfect one for me, suddenly had big orange cones stacked across it and a DETOUR sign smacked me on the head.

The job I was anticipating keeping for several years… that was a perfect opportunity for me to hone some writing and marketing skills and that also only required me to work part-time – leaving me time to do some freelancing and be a mom… it is no longer my job.

There have been other times in my life where I have had things happen to me, either personally or professionally, and I’ve looked around and thought, “what the hell is this all about??”  Those times are usually precursors to a new opportunity, or a brand new idea or direction that comes along and make me realize that if I hadn’t stepped in the shite, I wouldn’t have had to step off the path to clean it off and I wouldn’t have noticed a new and better opportunity. I’m confident this is one of those times. I’m just going to have to be patient until the better opportunity presents itself.

I’m fairly well set with friends and contacts who can keep their ears open for me. I’ve just completed my first freelance job and hope to get more offers of that kind of work. I am also incredibly lucky to be married to Hubby. He didn’t greet my news with anger, or blame, or even a sigh of supressed irritation. He told me he was sorry, that they’re crazy to let me go, and that he knows this is just a sign that there’s something better out there for me. And he hugged me a lot and let me cry.

 I’m really a very lucky woman, shite and all.