Tag Archives: unemployment

Better off?

I’ve heard it said that most people are better off after a layoff.  They’re happier, they have a better job, and they’re richer, if not in monetary terms then in life.

While I was upset I was laid off, I was also excited.  It was a kick to the butt.  It was the shoehorn needed to get me out of the company I was at for seven years.  I was going to write a book, find a better job, make more money.

Well, I did get some writing done, but not as much as I wanted.  I found a job, but is it better?  I’m not getting paid more, and in fact, considering the lack of benefits, am being paid less.  And it’s a contract job, so I have, essentially, more guaranteed unemployment to look forward to at the end of the contract term.

I don’t love this job or this company more than my old one at this point.  Did I love my old job?  No, but I did enjoy most of it, and there were still things I felt I could learn.  I knew the company wasn’t the best, but leaving means taking your chances on another, unknown entity.

The company I’m with now is a great company, and if I were full time permanent I would be ecstatic.  But I’m not.  I am, regardless of anything else, a second-class citizen.

It’s what you make of it, I know.  And I’m trying to make the best of it.  But right now?  No, I don’t feel that I’m better off.

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Another day, another…unemployment check

Well, I’m officially dipping into savings.  I went almost four months without having to do it, so I guess I did pretty well.  Doesn’t mean I’m happy about it.  And I’m afraid it won’t last long.

Of course, in the meantime I’ve also put about $800 on my credit card – Christmas stuff, health insurance, groupon deals, the dinner or two out when I suddenly realized I may not have enough in my account to cover it.

I’ve been fairly good about living on budget – even this month, which was a surprise.  Other than my bills, I’m living on $15/day.  That’s groceries, gas for the car, and “extras.”  I’m going to see if I can go down to $14/day in February.

I’m sure you’re thinking – $15/day?  That’s easy!  I only spend $7 on lunch each day.  But think about how much it takes to fill up the car – that’s several days worth of budget there.  And the grocery store – that’s a couple of days.  I should be spending less than that, but, hey, I was at $25/day a year ago, so I’d say I’m doing pretty well.

It sucks, though.  I’m in one of those vicious cycles, where I know I need to get out of the house more, but getting out of the house means spending money, even if it’s $2.50 for a cup of tea at Panera.  So, I stay home all day, and I’m slowly driving myself crazy.

Okay, not completely crazy.  Some days are better than others.  But I’ve had more than my fair share of alone time at this point.  If you read my How to Be Happy post, you know that the happiest people get 8 hours of social interaction a day.  On a good day, I get about two.  And that’s about once a week.  So, yeah, there are days where I can barely move I’m so depressed.  I’m working on that, though.

I know I need to start volunteering, but most places I’ve looked want a 6 month commitment, and I can’t give that.  I hope to have a job soon, in which case I won’t be available during the week.  I’ve had “Go to Humane Society” written on my to do list for several weeks now – I just can’t pull myself out of my fog to do it.  But I’ve got a volunteer thing tonight, and I’m going to start helping my friend out with her non-profit, so hopefully that will help.

In the meantime, I’m trying to get the book revised and edited.  It’s slow going, because I’m having to go back and do a lot of research.  And I’m still not sure how I want to work the ending.  But I’ll get there.  And I have another book idea in my head, and I’m dying to start that, but…one thing at a time.  I’ll never get the first one done if I start on another. I’ve done that before, and currently have two half-finished novels (not including the current one) that are just sitting there…waiting for some TLC.

I’ll get there…

In the meantime, I feel like I’m ready to start doing match.com again, to finish up my subscription, but then I worry about the money I’ll spend on going out.  It’s great if the guy pays, and a lot of the time he does, but can I afford to take the chance?  We’ll see.  And then, of course, there’s that fun “So what do you do?” question.  I hate saying I’m unemployed.  I think my new answer will be, “I’m writing a book.”

Wham!

It’s hitting me today.  I knew it would happen sooner or later.  Over the last 5 days, I’ve had brief freak-outs, but it hadn’t really hit me.  Now’s the time for that, evidently.

I paid bills this morning.  And I looked at what’s left.  And I thought, “This is it, this is all I have.”  Of course that’s not exactly true.  I still have my severance check coming, and unemployment, so I know that’s not really it.  But it feels that way.

(Side note – while writing, WordPress suggests tags for the post based on keywords.  My recommended tags are:  University of Oklahoma, Landry Jones, Colleges and Universities.  Now, why on earth would they recommend those tags?  Do you see anything in what I’ve written so far to suggest I tag this post that way?)

Back to my freak out.

Holy crap, I don’t have paid health insurance!  Not that I’m a sickly individual, but do you know how much COBRA costs?  Anyone want to get married and add me to their health insurance?

On the bright side, I did start writing last night.  I have a story idea, and I wrote down some plot points, lines of dialogue, scene ideas, etc.  Did some research.  I think it’s a pretty cool idea – we’ll see how the final product turns out.

Still working on bulldozing my place.  I wasn’t quite as diligent last week as I intended, since I ended up with far more time on my hands than I thought I would.  I need to buckle down and get it done, though.  Clear out the clutter so I can breathe.

I think I’m going to go take some happy pills now.  I think I need them.  (Don’t worry, it’s just Evening Primrose Oil.)

And then, before publishing this, I went to check my email and got some bad news about a friend.  Breakdown complete.  Going to go take a shower so I can cry as much as I want.  I’m sure to feel better after that, right?

The first day of the rest of my life

This year has really been shit all around.  And I feel bad saying that, because part of this year hasn’t been all that bad.  The first two months were, obviously, difficult.  March and April were…okay.  Most of the summer was pretty good, actually – really not a lot to complain about.

But yesterday.  Yesterday was…well, I don’t want to say bad.  It could be really great, I don’t know yet.  The world is wide open at this point.

Yesterday we had our third (or is it fourth?) layoff this year at work.  And this time I got hit.  After seven years with the company.  Seems sales are low, so they’ve decided to lay off roughly 15-20 support staff.  While they’re hiring approximately 20 new salespeople.

My question, of course, is who the hell is going to do all the work once these people actually start selling?  And if the current 60 sales people can’t sell anything, what makes you think the new 20 will?

Well, I don’t have to worry about that anymore.

I’m okay.  Really.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself right now.

Ask me again later.

I know that this may get me out of my rut.  That it may lead to something truly amazing.  I get that, I’m all over that.  But in the meantime, I have the worry of being a single-income household, with no one else to help cover..mortgage…power…gas…food…

But I’m not thinking about that today.  I’m doing what I planned on doing today anyway.  I had already planned on taking today, tomorrow, and Friday off to essentially bulldoze my house.  So that’s what I’m doing.  I’m thinking only about what to keep and what to send to Goodwill.  I’m not thinking about next week.  Or next month.

Just today.

In the meantime, I have some really great friends.  I called my friend geauxgirl when I left work yesterday, about 10:45.  “How do you feel about having a drink before 11am?” I asked.

She instantly knew something was up, agreed to a drink without hesitation, then I told her I had been laid off.  She left work and was at my side immediately, and all day.  She and her husband have been there for me more than once, and I appreciate them more than they know.  I don’t know what I did to deserve such solid friends! (Love you guys!)

And now, how about a little joke?

This is the first time I’ve been laid all year!  🙂

Groan away.