Melting

The Burly Man’s kids are here for the weekend. The younger one is having trouble with his multiplication tables, so I downloaded an app on the Nook for him to play with, and gave him some tips that help me still. After we were done, I went in to chat with the burly man, who said this:

“You’re a good Mommy. Thank you for waiting for us. I know it was hard for you, but I’m glad you did.”

Luke chapter 2 states that Mary took all the things surrounding Jesus’ birth – shepherds worshipping, singing angels – tresured them and pondered them in her heart. I’m not  comparing the Burly kids to Jesus, but I’ll treasure that comment and ponder it in my heart for a long time to come.

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Where Has the Time Gone?

I just looked at my list of postings, and I can’t believe the last one was in March! Holy Cow! Where did the time go?

Lemme see….since March, I’ve been: Working at Ryder first part time and then full time. Carpooling with Burly Man to save on gas. Working the “Total Money Makeover”. Being step-mom to Burly Man’s two boys. Keeping the grocery budget small – as of today I’ve saved almost $1500 at Harris Teeter. Being a slug. Battling my diabetes. My mother was diagnosed with dementia and put into assisted living. Finding a new doctor, well really I just switched doctor’s in the same practice. Learning to get along with, and being grateful for all the people that come with being Burly Man’s girl. Reading. Getting caught up in Game of Throne, Boardwalk Empire and Homeland on TV. Finding peace in my circumstances. Vanquishing those failures and dissapointments of yesteryear and lopping their heads off (figuratively, of course). (and speaking of which, why do those little niggling thoughts come at you at 2 a.m. as you’re rolling over into a more comfortable position? I dunno, I wish they’d stop.)

I’m looking forward to the new year. This is the year that the jobs are in line, the first baby step is conquered and we’ll make headway on getting out of debt. Also, this is the year of good health – 2011 was sickly; 2012 will be healthy.

So, to borrow from Benjamin Franklin, while I may not always be early to bed and early to rise, 2012 will be healthier, wealthier and hopefully Burly Man and I will be wiser, too.

Umemployment…

is for the birds. I’ve been unemployed now since February 17th. It’s been almost five weeks. I get interviews – the last company I interviewed with I had three interviews, meeting a broad sampling of employees, up to and including the CEO. The CEO thought, although I had many positive qualities, I would not be happy in a job with constant phone interruptions. He is probably correct.

I’m getting interviews and doing well with them, but the companies all are going along another path, to use the cliche.

I understand the times we live in, that the job market right now is a buyers market, that job seekers must be 100% on their game 100% of the time to land that job.

This post really isn’t about me, though. What I’m thinking, given the closeness to despair that I get at times, in just five weeks, is overwhelming. If that feeling is overwhelming to me in just five weeks, what on earth are those poor people who’ve been unemployed since the start of the recession feeling? I can’t comprehend the level of stress and despair they must be going through.

Burly Man has a friend who has been unemployed for that long. He is now facing the very real possibility of “living rough” as he calls it, the British term for being homeless/houseless. This man is erudite, charming, engaging, talented and hard working. He is not unemployed because he’s lazy. Why can’t he find a job?

I was reading one of my favorite blogs a couple of weeks ago with a post about either the unemployment rate or benefits extension. One of the commenters kept posting that the unemployed should volunteer, take any job out there, etc. because who wants to hire someone who has done nothing but sit at home doing nothing?

I immediately thought of Burly Man’s friend. He has not been sitting at home doing nothing. He has been pounding the pavement, applying for everything, and still no new job for him. He tried to go into another field, but he was under qualified for those types of jobs. He applied to McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, etc – the epitome of “take any job” – but was turned down for those positions because he was over qualified and the manager’s didn’t want to take the time to train him when the odds were he would leave as soon as something more suitable for him came along. His education, experience and skill-set placed him out of “just any job”.

This is the plight of today’s umemployed. I am sure there are some unemployed that delay finding a job until the benefits run out, but I think that’s a small minority. Most people I know want to work, are looking for work and are miserable sitting at home. I’m sure there are some that take advantage of the system. But they are the exception and not the rule.

I’m fairly conservative in my political outlook; I’m not for government programs to fix whatever plight someone may be in, mainly because I think the government should be the last option, not the first, and that local groups can better handle local needs. That said, I cannot buy the line my conservative brothers and sisters put out there that the unemployed are just lazy people scamming the system for that sweet, sweet unemployment benefits. Have they visited the unemployment office recently? No one in their right mind would be there if it wasn’t necessary.

There is dignity that comes in honest work. There is security and self esteem that comes in a paycheck. There is a longing for work, income, security in most of the unemployed. These people need a helping hand, not someone telling them to just “take any job”. There aren’t any “any jobs” out there.

Anticipation

My horoscope for today reads thusly:

You might feel as if you’re on a roll now. Or, perhaps, it seems like you should be getting ready for something really big. You can feel the changes coming, even if you’re still trying to hold yourself back. However, it’s not smart to focus on your worries or fears. Today’s thoughts shape tomorrow, so visualize the amazing opportunities in front of you. Tie up any loose ends from your past because you don’t want anything to get in the way of your future.

(Bolded for emphasis.)

I don’t usually pay a great deal of attention to the horoscope; most of the time, I think they’re generic with a little something that anyone could recognize as pertinent to them. Sometimes, however, the posting for the day for Gemini just seems to hit the proverbial nail on the head. Today is one such day.

I’m waiting to hear back from an interview I had on Tuesday. The Monday interview with another company went really well, so it’s nice to be in a position to choose – so many people aren’t. However, the anticipation of the response is starting to fray my nerves a bit. I really want this job. I want to be doing something new, with a learning curve, instead of doing what I’ve always been doing, in the same industry I’ve been in for years. I want my answer, and I want it now. (insert child stomping feet)

Yesterday, I checked my email much more frequently than normal. I’m fighting the urge right now to stop writing for  a second to refresh my email for news. I’ve also been worried that I didn’t answer a question right (What makes the difference between the excellent sales person and the not excellent… I went on and on about customer contact, but the obvious answer – five minutes after I left the office – is product knowledge plus customer contact) and I’ve been beating myself up for not throwing in the obvious component to the answer that I missed. Secretly, I think that answer blew my opportunity with this company.

So, I’m taking the advice of my horoscope and I’m going to visualize the answer I want. That’s seems pretty New Agey and non-Christian, but how different is that thought from the “name it and claim it” philosophy spouted by however many mainstream Christian churches? I’ll give it a whirl. I am also concentrating on the kitchen today, getting it clean, getting things where I want.

I may even bake.

Hope Springs Eternal, or Spring Hopes Eternally

My job at Verizon wrapped up sooner than I thought. I started looking for a new job on February 15th. The writing was on the wall – obviously the web portal for the iPhone sale worked better than anticipated and all the resources Verizon gathered to help weren’t needed. I think I might have taken two to three calls an hour that last week. People were going to have to go home.

All this time that my employment has been sporadic, it’s been hard, but we’re making it without too much pain. What we’ve needed, we’ve had on hand to supply. We’re amazingly blessed, during this recession, to have been able to get by with what we have.

So here we are, at the start of Spring. I know I will have a new job shortly. I don’t know where yet, although I do want to be the pick of the litter for PowerScore. (I go back for a third interview, with the CEO, on Tuesday. Keep your fingers crossed – I can’t say how much I’d like to work for this company.) It will come soon, and 2011 will end up being a better year than 2010.

I know it’s a cliche, that hope springs eternal. However, what do we have, if we don’t have hope? If we don’t have that something to look forward to, that things will get better, I’ll lose that 10 pounds, I’ll land that job, we’ll buy our dream house, and ultimately that Heaven awaits and at last we’ll see the Face of Love when we get there … then there’s nothing but turmoil, pain, struggle, loneliness, death.

Who wants to wake up every morning with that? Isn’t it better, even if the things we hope for (I’m not including Heaven in this statement) never come to fruition, to have that bright star to set our sites on, to reach for? To always be hoping, in staying optimistic, I think is the way to reach your best.

It’s springtime here in Charleston. The days are appreciably warmer. The sun shines more than it doesn’t. The camellias are in bloom and the azaleas are about to burst forth. There’s an anticipation in the air that is almost tangible. There is hope in the air… can’t you feel it?

Where Have I Been?

I don’t know! I can’t believe I haven’t posted since September 2010!

The company I worked for was sold last year. It took both parties from June until November to close the deal. Nobody could tell who would retain their positions and who would not. So, I found another job.

Great move? No, it was not. As it turned out, I would have kept my job at the old company, and the new company …. well, let’s just say (and I do) that it was not a good fit, and leave it at that. The owner of that small company let me go in less than a month, and by email, to boot. Two weeks before Christmas is not really a good time to be fired.

However, there were blessings and reasons for celebration, even while my stomach was in knots over my finances. The week of Christmas saw three interviews, one of which eventually led to a job offer. The week of New Years saw two more, one of which resulted in the temporary position I have now at Verizon Wireless. I was not expecting to have any interviews at all during the holidays, so I feel extremely grateful that I got those calls.

I’ve been working in the Internet Order Center at Verizon with a whole gaggle of temp workers brought on to assist with the release of the iPhone 4 at the beginning of February. This project has been fun, and I’ve enjoyed being in a corporate setting again after four years of car dealerships. Nothing wrong with dealerships, it’s just a different environment.

This project is wrapping up. I’m looking for work again. I’m hoping to transition from temp worker on a short term project to a permanent full time employee with Verizon.

Keep your fingers crossed. 😀