Qualified Professional Midwestern Woman Discovers Startling News: “The economy is terrible for job-seekers”

This will be my Christmas card picture...

I’ve been meaning to update every day, and I almost did it yesterday…but I am glad that I didn’t.

You see, I was having an awful time trying to get to sleep last night. I dutifully stepped away from the glowing screen at 1:15 am (although there were about a thousand “just1morething’s” I wanted to do — among them, writing a post) and crawled into bed, next to my blissfully sleeping husband and opened a book. I read for a while, and turned on the humidifier, trying to battle the persistent cough that’s been plaguing my sleep for the last week or two since my awful cold, and turned off the light.

D. is a human furnace. My toes and fingers were warm within five minutes. But my brain was, as usual, doing its nightly rat-in-a-cage routine, and I proceeded to flip and flop, and fulminate.

The day began not as I planned, and that threw me off for the rest of the day. I’d planned on waking at 10:30 so I could send out a few resumes before I went to babysit for a few hours for a friend. (Listen, waking up at 10:30 sounds blissful, but I would trade it in a hot second for a steady paycheck. I have chronic insomnia and it’s deeply exacerbated by not having had a teaching gig since June, or a full-time job since October 2009. And no, I don’t collect unemployment. I bloody wish. I force myself into bed most nights at 2 pm, when I am without my prescribed sleep medications, where, if Thanatos is happy, I fall into a weedy, interrupted sleep at about 4 or 5 am.) I must have slapped the alarm into submission, because I stretched and looked at the clock.

“Oh, good,” thinks me. “It’s 10:07!” Then I rub my eyes and focus, and it’s 12:37 and my friend is supposed to pick me up at 1. FUCK.  Coffee is clearly the first priority; I make a cup and hope I have time to slurp it down. I allow myself  ONE precious cup of strong cappuccino per day (D. thinks the flat-screen we got for our wedding the coolest by-product of our nuptials; while it is clearly awesome, I vote for the cappuccino machine.)

Well, I make a crappy, weak cup, because I’m in a hurry, and I pull on velour lounge pants that were popular around the time J-Lo’s ass was still culturally relevant. (And what a sad, sad, statement on our society, that Ms. Lopez’ buttocks were a societal milestone.) I am happy my hair is finally long enough to pull back into two pigtails, but I am aware at 38, I look slightly ridiculous. But I don’t care, because, hey, I am 38 and have 3 degrees and am babysitting to make a buck. (Although I tell myself it’s because I am doing a friend a favor. Not that I am pathetically desperate. Can it be both? Please?)

I have time to check me email, which does not contain anything with the subject line “HIRED,” although there are quite a few people who want to give me money, and I really wish they were real. I do not have time to comb through the many, many links to job sites I have bookmarked. J’s running a little late, she texts; she’s picking me up because my tags are expired, and I can’t afford insurance, so since July, I have been driving my husband’s car to the store and library and interviews (the 2 I have gotten, that is.)

Do you see my travails? Is it understandable that my chronic insomnia, horrid when my life is sweet and happy and controlled only by a strict set of rules about caffeine and exercise, and by judiciously applied sleep medications prescribed by a thoughtful doctor (and oh, I have more stories about not-so-thoughtful doctors, but this grows Dickensian in length, so I’ll thrill you with those another day), this insomnia has decided to rare up its evil, beady-eyed head last night?

The babysitting went well, as my friend’s child seems to like me and behaves marvelously whenever I sit with him. We read several books, and talk about animal noises, and I discover he very much wants a pair of bunny slippers. I send voice messages to both parents to drive home this fact. He is adamant, and hey, I think it’s good to have goals, even at two.

I manage to get on-line and browse about 40 jobs, none of which look especially appealing, none of which are in my areas of expertise and interest, which would be writing and literature. Anything connected to that would be peachy, although I am really hoping for some adjunct English teacher gigs. Nada. And the two voice mail’s I had when I got up were both from area colleges: Nope, sorry, already booked for spring, but send your resume in for the summer, or maybe fall…

I mark three admin assistant/receptionist jobs that don’t look too awful.

J. gets home and we chat for a bit, and my dad calls. My bank account, which he is on (this is from before I got married, and I needed to have someone to collect the $11.87 from my account should I die in some awful toaster/fork accident) called him and my account was overdrawn by a significant amount of money. For a couple of months. Lest you think I was out buying Louboutins whilst I was sleeping til noon in my hedonistic unemployed lifestyle, this was from a an automatic payment set up with a hospital for a large, unpleasant bill I am paying from last year, when I had an extremely necessary, albeit painful, surgery. Yes, I had insurance. The bill left over was still enough to make me faint a little every time I think about it.

Now I had been adding dribs and drabs from little freelancing gigs, and selling unneeded appliances, but the fees, they BREED. Like bunnies on Cialis. And then another payment hit,  the DAY I called the place to stop payment, and then all was doom.

So Dad. Not Happy. He yells at me, and then offers me a loan after I melt down into a sobbing puddle of goo, because this is it, the LAST straw, I have been sending out resume after resume, calling places, networking, trying to get freelance gigs…I am just a mess.

I go home to my lovely husband (who yes, works hard at a good job in his field, but we have financial considerations that do not render his paycheck enough to cover them, the house and me, which is absolutely fine, and just as it should be, and we would be well able to live a decent life IF I COULD GET A FUCKING JOB.)


And yes, I have applied for retail. And holiday positions. I am not picky at this point.

I am (I would say “in a word” but that is patently false as I have written a tome) frustrated.

I have 3 degrees in my field. I have experience, in some quite good positions. I have some excellent references. I don’t smell bad, and people, generally, like me. I do good work.

Friends, neighbors, enemies — the economy does truly suck for the job-seeker right now.

So, I am glad that I didn’t update yesterday, because I would have given in to the insomnia and written this post at 3:30 am, after an evening of sobbing on my husband’s shoulder when I walked in the door, and then spent from 5 pm to 1am, looking up positions, tweaking cover letters and resumes for  3 administrative assistant jobs, and two adjunct positions that probably will garner 200 applications from Ph.D’s who have taught Comp I for 2o years, and updating my LinkedIn profile within an inch of its life.

Although I did land a freelance gig. I am writing 12 articles on scabies for $50. And I am fucking grateful.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. D. Lightfullydroll
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 18:08:36

    I bet some employee’s mom is going to see that sign and be like “finally, they’ve learned to clean up after themselves in there!”


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