Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Anniversary: It's Been Five Years...

...and four of them a long long struggle to recover, but still...

Yeah, back on Dec. 17 2008 I lost my employment with Pasco County Libraries.

Between then and now was a long struggle: filing for unemployment, filing for WIA re-training funds, taking more computer classes, job-hunting, tweaking resumes, job-hunting, not getting interviewed, never getting interviewed, not even getting looked at by the retailers for part-time (the sins of getting a Masters degree education, you make yourself overqualified for a sh-tload of part-time jobs) work...

It was hard as hell on my family, especially my parents who helped out financially as best they could, and they couldn't understand why no one would even interview me for office work or anything like that.  My twin brother once chewed me out (on our birthday no less), accusing me of being a lazy-ass living off our parents' largess.  They couldn't understand I was up against 60, 100, 150 (!) applicants for every job opening (it wasn't just the unemployed I was competing with, it was employed people looking for something stable during uncertain times), and that I was going up against HR departments being finicky with who they interviewed (younger and cheaper were better, less educated and less prone to look elsewhere were better, etc.).

I found a part-time job in 2009, but it was will-call... By 2010 I put in for the Census work, but that turned out to be shorter than I expected... 2011, nothing, not a peep.  Things picked up by 2012 with 5 different libraries and computer-oriented workplaces interviewing, but I ended up not making the cut...  I finally got a part-time with a tech firm doing contractual installs for offices, but that was will-call as well... by Christmas 2012 Dad threatened and began plans to ship me up to my older brother's in Maryland (WINTER?!) to look for work in what he felt was a better employment environment.

Thank God this January I had three libraries interview me one right after the other... with Bartow, GOD BLESS THEM, offering me a job as their Reference and Computer training librarian.

I'd like to think I'm doing well here, that I'm fitting in (truth be told, my struggles losing a job and then trying to find one has left me with a bad case of "Oh GOD Don't Let Me Eff Up" that's got me more jumpy about how I'm doing than usual).

But in the meantime, while I've gotten out of unemployment purgatory, there's still Seven percent of Americans (and that's just the official numbers, the real numbers are far worse) stuck in unemployment, with clear evidence that the long-term unemployed (those out of work for more than six months) are really screwed by HR offices and companies who won't take in experienced older workers or anyone viewed as a hire risk.

We need a Jobs bill in this country.  We need to force companies to turn their record profits into more jobs or at least better wages for existing employees.  We need to make the economy based on employment, not stock options.

To everyone out there still looking for work, I hope and pray the best for you.  If you need help looking, check at your libraries for job-hunting help and resume tips.  Stay active in politics to vote the right people - the ones pushing for REAL JOBS, not tax cuts for companies already rolling in profits - into office at the state and federal level.  Hell, GO to the local political (okay, go Democrat, because I honestly think the Republicans would ignore this issue or defame it) offices and sign up to run for state office on a Jobs-Jobs-Jobs platform.  The more candidates we've got out there pushing for real job creation, the better our chances.

Good luck.  Here's hoping your anniversaries for firing fade quick and for hiring come quick.

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