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‘Big Picture’ Category

  1. Will the Mall Survive?

    April 8, 2017 by Lady Unemployed

    photo credit: Nicholas Eckhart The Old Mall via photopin (license)

    For those who haven’t heard Macy’s is closing 68 stores this year.  Sears and Kmart are closing 150 stores. I pass a Macy’s department store enroute home and the images of clearance posters are haunting. And now Payless Shoes has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  It seems like the mall as we know may be dying.

    All of this has made me nostalgic. I think back to my childhood and teen years and think about how much fun I had going to the mall. Even if all the mall had was a few discount outlets, a coffee or ice cream shop, and some benches, you could still have a nice time. A few years ago, I visited a Barnes and Noble that I grew up near. I had spent my pre-teen years all the way to my early college years at this store. I even remember the day it opened. It was ironic and haunting when I heard recently it had closed. This was the bookstore I visited to find my 5th grade science experiment idea. It was the same one I sat in while writing short stories and poetry while I waited for my mom to pick me up when I was in high school. It was also the same one I met several first dates for coffee during my brief attempts at online dating in college. Not to mention, this was the place I bought all those countless books, journals, bookmarks, and coffees over the years.

    I’m not sure what this now closed Barnes and Noble is now. Maybe it’s become an outlet store. Maybe it’s a series of holiday shops that change every season. However, it’s part of a bigger picture. It’s attached to a modest tiny mall that never really got bigger than having a Target and a Nordstrom Rack. I haven’t been back in a few years, but I can’t imagine it could take more closing stores for it to stay afloat.

    Hearing all these major stores close down – ones that usually occupy the malls of the suburbs – reminds me that the mall as we know it has changed and may longer part of our future. To be honest, I can’t afford to shop anymore. I would love to support the place of my nostalgia, but I’m barely making ends meet as it is.

    In fact, quickly Google search abandoned malls and you will find a creepy walk down suburbia lane. In fact, there’s a whole website revolved around it. 


    According to NPR, many malls have returned from their watery retail grave as churches, medical centers, schools and disaster recovery centers.  About a year ago when I was venturing down the path of my obsession about abandoned malls, I found an CBS article about how one mall became “Plaza Fiesta” which had everything the local Hispanic neighborhood needed.

    I feel a tad worried about what this means for neighborhoods surrounding closing malls or malls down to minimal stores. I recall one mall I used to go to that had an amazing arcade, some cool stores, good food shops and now is down to a theater and an empty retail walk through experience. I read recently it may be revived thanks to a developer that purchased it, but I’ve seen it go down that path before and I have little hope for that actually happening.

    What do you think can be done about the malls of the past that seem to be going by the way of the dinosaurs? Do you work at a near empty mall? Do you live near one? Have you seen a mall return from its retail grave? I want to think that some innovative person will come along and revive these old relics the same way you will see old furniture piece turned into something new. Or maybe that’s just the nostalgia talking.

    UPDATE: Yesterday I watched a TED video that talked about America’s “Dead Malls” and the guy makes short films based on the dead malls of America. Well, I highly recommend you watch this but you know he made an interesting point. Late in the video he wonders why malls don’t just build a bar and add a ton of seating and then the stores will come. I was thinking that same thing. Maybe add a space for food carts, healthy options, and add a TON of better seating and I think the stores will return. Maybe the malls are going away because they aren’t advancing with the times and the interests of people anymore.

  2. 5 Grown Up Things I Dread Doing

    April 3, 2017 by Lady Unemployed

    via GIPHY

    Would it surprise you if the majority of what was on this list was money related? Probably not. So, here’s the start of a new day with So, there’s a few things I need to do and some things I’ve done that I am just not a fan of. It just makes me wish this was automatically done for me and that I could just press a button and WOOSH it’s complete.

    1. Shaving my legs.

    I can’t be the only one. In reality, I hate shaving my legs. More specifically, I hate shaving my legs after the winter season is over. So, it’s spring time, a razor hasn’t touched that skin for a while and it just sucks. I can’t imagine waxing and that Nair stuff is like waiting for water to boil. I just have no patience for it. So I shaved my legs over the weekend and it was just, yuck.

    2. Doing my taxes.

    Oh yes and that deadline is just around the corner. I will likely worry about this when I know it’s the due date. It’s getting later and later for me every year too. It’s annoying and I’m always disappointed by the refund I am getting. It’s also a process for me, because there are a million forms.

    3. Paying student loans.

    I’ve exhausted the ability to put things off for my student loans and in comparison to other people, it really isn’t that bad. I pay twice a month and for the most part it isn’t breaking the bank (yet). But it sucks. It’s like when you go out to dinner and they give you a check at the end and you think to yourself, “What am I buying this for now? I’m not even hungry!”

    4. Drinking water.

    It’s one of those have to things that I do, but seriously unless I have chocolate or I’ve just gone to exercise or I’m’ hot and I need iced water, it’s a hassle. Maybe not a hassle. But I’m not a fan of the taste. I know I should appreciate that I even HAVE clean water to drink. So I do know that my appreciation level for water really isn’t as high as it should be.

    5. Commuting.

    You know I wonder if about 100 years ago if they thought we would have teleportation available by this point. In about 45 minutes, I will venture off to my commute home. And I just wish there was like a tub I could step into and ZAP I’m home in 5 minutes. I’ve looked into the whole teleportation thing though and I think the risk is far too high to ever feel comfortable doing.



  3. An Update from Lady Unemployed

    September 8, 2016 by Lady Unemployed

    It’s been a while hasn’t it? Well, things have been up and down this year, lots of down. I feel weird posting about this, but I filed bankruptcy a couple of months ago. It’s made the last couple of months very hard and it will be hard untl at least mid-October until I pay down court fees.

    I have mixed feelings about the process and the results. I understand why the debt happened and I plan on never letting it happen again. That’s the major takeaway.

    I’m still at the job I have before, still struggling with my new seating arrangement (ha), and still hoping I can one day get enough creative energy to get myself published.

    But enough of that. How are you?

    I do have one thing to share though that more posts will be coming. I realized that many submitted posts were pending and I apologize about that for anyone who have submitted to my blog. I have them scheduled through now until the end of September.

    I’ve gone back to the old system of people emailing me their posts. The reason for this is that I feel like it’s less impersonal for me to see the posts in the submitted area. I do like talking to people who share me their story. I hope you don’t mind the change.

    Where will this blog go? Not sure exactly. It’s still here and so am I. Funny thing is, as long as I get unemployment stories. I will feel the need to leave the site up. Until then, I’m hoping that I will have more for you soon.

  4. They Moved My Desk at Work (And Why I Don’t Like It)

    May 31, 2016 by Lady Unemployed


    So last week, my boss moved my desk to closer to the center of the room. And I’m not happy about this.

    Before I was at a desk tucked in the far corner where I could comfortably play online and mess around on my blogs with an early warning of who was coming so I could flip to a work screen. Yes, I know this isn’t very mature. I should be working. In the three years I sat at that desk, never had a problem.

    Now I am sitting where not only can my boss see my computer, so can everyone else walking by.

    Total bummer.

    Things could be worse. This is major first world problem scenario.

    But there we have it folks.

    I just hope they don’t take my swing line red stapler (hehe).


  5. The Homelessness Discussion I Overheard at Work

    May 26, 2016 by Lady Unemployed


    I found this photo above five years ago. Seems more fitting for me now than five years ago.

    The thing is there is a homelessness problem near my job. Homeless camps, drug users, people have been photographed shooting up and having sex on sidewalks, people have had tents and camps on sidewalks in front of my building.

    So it isn’t great. And it makes me uncomfortable enough I did buy pepper spray to carry with me when I walked to my bus. And I would be a liar if I didn’t say I wish this crowd was somewhere else.

    But as I hear the owner of my company plead with city officials to fix the problem and groups organize to document the footage of what goes on around us, sometimes I feel sad about what all this sounds like.

    What made it worse and what made me want to blog about it was a discussion I overheard in the break room.

    I walked in to get coffee and I overheard with tones of disgust two coworkers talking about the surrounding problem.

    And I can’t remember the conversation verbatim but it left me feeling like we could apply that same discussion to a pest control discussion.

    “Some even have cell phones!” One woman said with disgust.

    I turned and said, “Oh I think shelters give those out or so I’ve heard.”

    The conversation died. But I thought…

    The homelessness we see are people just like us. Kids who have become adults who once had dreams and desires to become something that surely didn’t include shooting up on the street and digging through garbage cans. And I know it’s not as simple as that. Nothing is.

    I learned in college we are people first. These are people.

    And from what I’ve learned in my own situation of barely making ends meet things can go off track so badly. So I think as I walk down the street trying to get to work and ignore the obvious pain all around me….there but for the grace of God go I.

    I don’t want to judge my coworkers too harshly. I am not exactly striving to be part of the solution. I cross the street when I see tents surrounding the city block, look away when I see signs begging for money, shake my head sadly when I hear people asking for me change and I don’t exactly volunteer either.

    But I just wonder if we started talking about this problem differently what would change. If we started thinking of those who we see struggling the most as people first instead of as an insect infestation that must be gotten rid of.

    Just a thought I wanted to share.

  6. I Now Feel Better About Worrying

    May 12, 2016 by Lady Unemployed

    Today I was worrying about my worrying. I feel like I worry WAY too much and I’m not entirely sure it’s all that good for me anymore.  But then I came upon this article with PureWow that talked about how worrying can actually be good for you – or at least be a sign that you are a smart person. Something like that. Anyways, you can read about it here.

    I don’t know how true this is entirely, but I’m feeling pretty good about it. So as I worry about things related to my job, or my finances, or the future, or family stuff, I’ll feel good in knowing that I’m making myself smarter in the process. Who needs to do crossword puzzles when you can worry your way to a higher IQ?

  7. Yes, People Still Text and Drive

    May 10, 2016 by Lady Unemployed

    Here’s my observation of the day!

    Take a public bus for a while and it gives you a unique vantage point of people driving in cars. I’m curious and nosy by nature so I usually look into the car driving past (does that make me look like a creeper?) and twice this morning I saw two people texting as they drove.

    I think all the laws and all the warnings of the dangers of texting while driving made people more cautious of cops around them.

  8. My Random Post [An Update from Lady Unemployed]

    May 4, 2016 by Lady Unemployed

    So it’s been a while since I’ve posted. How have you all been? It’s been a long time since I’ve had much activity on this blog, and to be honest, I thought maybe for a while it would grow to be a place where people can talk about their work woes and their unemployment stories. This is definitely the reason I started this blog.

    But why continue it? I have a feeling I’ve lost the handful of dedicated readers I did use to have – I don’t take it personally though.

    I am paying for the site though and my website is coming up to be renewed. And I feel like I want to make something more of it. On the personal side of things, I’m already writing a review blog under my real name, I have a book and creative writing based blog so that takes care of my reading and writing loves. So where can I take that she hasn’t been before?

    Should I discuss my work life? Not much is happening there except an onslaught of unhappy people are surrounding me and I have a gut feeling that many people are trying to get out of this place. As am I, really. But I’m not interviewing quite yet. I’m working some other things out.

    Financially though, I need to get myself out of a hole (notice that previous post I wrote up? That disclaimer at the bottom? Yes, times are that hard).

    We’ll see. I’ll try a few posts out and see where I can take this blog. My blog will forever be entitled and so I do need to keep that in mind.

    Where are you on your journey? Any ideas for me on where I can take



  9. Why Are There More Drivers on the Road and What Does It Mean for Truckers?

    May 4, 2016 by Lady Unemployed

    Commute times and local traffic patterns can play a big role in the stress levels experienced by truckers, especially since it seems like there are more drivers on the road in general. There are several factors that contribute to how much traffic is on the road. Do you live in a city or a rural area? Do you travel on highways or take local roads? Are there major trucking lanes that pass through or near your starting and ending points?

    All of these factors can contribute to the amount of traffic truck drivers face day-in and day-out as they make their short-distance and long-distance deliveries at their trucking jobs.

    According to data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, the average travel time for workers 16 and over is 25.4 minutes. As that number grows, commuters are becoming more impatient with their long commute times and this leads to more issues for truck drivers.

    Irritated drivers are more prone to road rage, and more likely to try to multitask by talking on their cell phone or even texting while driving. This can lead to more accidents and more congested roads for drivers trying to do their jobs.

    Freeways, where truckers spend most of their time, are getting more congested. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute predicts that by 2020 the annual delay per commuter will grow from 42 hours to 47 hours. This in turn will impact how long it takes truck drivers to complete their routes and could cost them money in wasted fuel sitting in traffic.

    So when you are looking at trucking jobs, be sure to take a few minutes and consider how traffic for the areas you will be operating in can impact your travel times!

    This is a sponsored guest post.

  10. Have You Ever Been Guided by Intuition

    May 30, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

    The strangest feeling came over me tonight that stopped me in my tracks. Instead of going to the grocery store, we ordered pizza. We need stuff tomorrow, of course, but tonight just didn’t feel right.

    Maybe it was the change in weather? Maybe it was the result of a feeling a bit off this week in general?

    Who knows…

    But I answered the call of intuition. I couldn’t bring myself to go to the store. I embraced my inner hermit and stayed inside all day.

    It’s not like this is the first time I’ve listened to my gut feeling. Usually when you do, at least in my experience, you don’t often get this big resounding reason why you were right to do so. But the times I haven’t listened…that’s when I realize I should have.

    It led me to wondering…when was the last time you went against your instinct? What happened? When was the last time you listened?

    For a long time I’ve talked about not looking for a new job (even though I have had reasons why I really should). It hadn’t felt right to look yet. For some unknown reason, that feeling to not look has faded and I’m looking again. I applied to two jobs this weekend. I would have applied to a third, but the idea of collecting money on past due water bills wasn’t appealing (no matter how much the pay).

    Strange experiences never are far away from me. But I do want to know….what do you think about intuition?