Monday, October 12, 2009

Paving my way to a new job

I have discovered that after eight months of unemployment that I am now visualizing myself in a variety of different jobs. For example, they are paving the roadway in the park where I walk. It is now full of dump trucks, paver's and all sorts of heavy equipment. As I was walking past the workers, I looked at them and what they were doing - driving, guiding equipment to the right area, etc that I thought to myself - I could do that! I could wear a hard hat, jeans and look official most of the time. Of course, I couldn't do it - I oversimplified the whole job, but it struck me kinda funny that I would even think like that. See what happens when the interviews dry up and your enthusiasm for the job hunt starts to unravel? I have also pictured myself as a school bus driver, newspaper delivery person and substitute teacher. Some aren't so far-fetched (teacher) but to actually picture myself as part of a road crew leaves me shaking me head. It is time for me to go back to work - but where and when?

Monday, October 5, 2009

What's up with that?

I have been unemployed for eight months now. Even as I type that scary number, I am shocked it has been so long. Like most people, it takes a while to get over the shock of being laid off - the immediate rejection of your work, the loss of friends and co-workers, and, most importantly, a paycheck.I was fortunate enough to receive a severance package and I am still collecting unemployment. I have been on a few interviews but no offers. I work daily on trying to find something but it truly is tough out there- the latest figure for unemployment is 9.8% and six people apply for every one spot.

Last week I received a call from a recruiter - my previous manager had given her my name. We chatted for a while - she seemed interested - and I emailed her my resume. She followed up with another phone call and said another Human Resources person would contact me. This morning I received that call. Right from the start of the conversation, she seemed almost defensive and made me feel I should be honored that she was talking to me. We then discussed different roles I had held at my previous job and she decided that I was not qualified for the position she was looking to fill. Fair enough. Then she said - "when were you laid off?" When I said "February" - she replied "What's up with that?" Excuse me, it is not my choice to be unemployed this long. I think anyone who has been is already suffering from a bruised ego and a growing lack of self confidence in their skill set. To hear an impervious tone in her voice set my day off to an unhappy start.

I hung up the phone, laced up my sneakers and went for my walk. I re-ran the conversation through my mind a couple of times - the Irish-Catholic part of me berated myself - maybe she was right - what am I doing wrong? Am I not trying hard enough? Am I getting lazy? Then, I tried to reassure myself with the daunting unemployment figures - but the truth is that even with an unemployment rate of 9.8%, 90% of people are employed - under-employed in a lot of cases - so why haven't I been able to find something?

What's up with that?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My cat died this morning

My wonderful cat Murphy died this morning. He was 15 1/2 years old and a funny, playful cat - more like a dog then a cat. He came running when you called him and ate pizza and pasta (never poured him a glass of red wine though!). We had to put our dog to sleep about five years ago so I know the emotional tug you feel when you have to let go. We knew the end was near this week - he had stopped eating, and then stopped drinking water. Still, finding him on the floor this morning, turned on his side and looking out the window, was still a jolt.

We carefully wrapped him up in his favorite blanket, placed a catnip toy in the box with him and buried him in our backyard (probably illegally - but I am sure there are many other critters buried around my town).

To keep busy, I made a big pot of pasta sauce and meatballs - mixing, rolling, frying, dicing, kept me occupied for awhile. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw something move and I assumed it was Murphy begging for a scrap (don't let his Irish name fool you - he loved his Italian food!). I turned around and then it really hit me - no more sweet little meow's and purring in this house. Then the tears came again and I let them.

We all know the deal when you get a pet - sooner or later the time will come to say goodbye. It still hurts though. My husband said "no more pets - it's either me or them."


Thanks Murphy for your great companionship these last fifteen years. I hope you are chasing birds - but not eating them - and have a warm fire to curl up in front of and a big bowl of tuna to eat. You deserve it!