Archive for category Unemployment

JobWatch Days 4-6: Okay, Now What?

Posted by on Monday, 23 November, 2009

Yes, I took the weekend off from blogging. Sorry if that caught anyone by surprise, but this weekend I was pretty caught up getting ready to host my youngest brother and his wife for Thanksgiving. These are plans we set in motion months ago, and Emily and I are both really excited to see them. So, no time for blogging what with all the cleaning, grocery shopping, and menu-planning.

This morning found me at the doctor’s office, attempting to avoid the various black clouds of death circling the room as I asked for a new prescription for my allergy meds. If you don’t have allergies but always wondered what it’d be like, you should visit Florida sometime. It’s kind of like those 747’s they take people up in so they can see what it’s like to be in space, in a weightless environment…except, instead of getting to know what it’s like to be a cool astronaut, you’d find out what it’s like to see the world through watery eyes and a congested brain. It seems like just about everyone I know here has some sort of allergy. Yet another sign that Florida was never designed for human habitation, in my opinion. Anyway, back to the story. While I was talking to the doctor this morning, it came out that I’d been laid off recently. I never would have guessed, but I think people’s worries on my behalf are worse than my own worries for the situation. It’s kind of like having a very distant relative die, then having that fact come up in conversation over and over (say, because of your absence to attend the funeral). People’s sympathy is very nice, and I do appreciate it; but I don’t feel deserving of this much pity. I know unemployment is a nasty, desperate situation for many people, but I’m still hoping to land on my feet. Any day now. :-)

Which actually brings up another point, in a seemingly contradictory way. I entered this process feeling like it was simply time to roll up my sleeves and get about the business of becoming re-employed. I still feel that way…mostly. But while I do still feel hopeful that this will end well and relatively soon for me, I’ve started to notice something slightly predatory lurking in the back of my mind. Stalking me. I’m getting whiffs of its scent, and it smells like fear. Last week it was no big deal to stay upbeat about my prospects, and I think it was largely because I had a lot to do. I got in up to the elbows, started talking to people, writing my resume, and looking around to see the lay of the land employment-wise. Things were – and are (did you see that shadow?) – going well. But this weekend, things changed subtly. I finished my resume, insofar as you can finish a thing like that, and ran out of people to talk to. I had hit the first interval of waiting since last Tuesday, and I’ll admit to feeling a little helpless about it at the time. I’m unsure about putting this in a blog post, but I can definitely see that, if this process were to drag out for months and months (or, for some, more than a year), it could turn pretty damned depressing.

Today, I also learned that keeping busy isn’t the same thing as staying productive. I have plenty of coding ideas I’ve been meaning to work on for some time now, and I took some time today to explore DNS SRV records, CouchDB, and some other fun stuff. And, while my explorations are actually done with a goal in mind, it is a personal goal, not something with which I’ll be reversing the recent financial tides. The last time I had this sort of time to spend exploring ideas, I was fresh out of school and looking for a job. I was in no particular hurry then to get started with working life, so I suppose this nagging drive to be productive wasn’t quite as well developed then. I expect retirement to be like this in some ways…

Well, I guess that’s enough semi-philosophical blathering for one night. I’m still determined not to fall through the cracks here, and there are still a lot of moves I can make. My approach here so far is still self-directed and voluntary, to a large degree. So, if you’re thinking of offering condolences like you would for a recently deceased fifth cousin, twice removed…don’t worry, I’m still fighting.