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‘How Unemployment Feels’ Category

  1. Underemployed and Barely Getting By – An Unemployment Story

    May 24, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    I received this unemployment story a couple of days ago and I know it will strike a chord with many of you. Our unemployment story today is by Chrissie, who continues to work paycheck  to paycheck, living without health benefits, and continues to get hit regularly with less and less hours at work. She lives in Colorado, where it’s illegal to panhandle and the homeless get fined $1500, if they get caught. I find this horrifying and hits close to home. The rest of this post is written by Chrissie.

    I worked as a CNA for a well known home health agency from 2005-2010 making 15 an hr. In 2007 they dropped my hours from 54hrs a week to 11hrs a week. I lived in fear daily I would end up on the streets. I begged for more hours although this did me no good… no one cared.

    I eventually found a different job at a major hospital and was offered a NA position for 10.67 an hr. This is a HUGE pay cut for someone living pay check to pay check. I accepted it out of fear I would find nothing else. I worked there for 4 years and the first 2 years I worked both jobs (home health and hospital).

    I was promoted to the Unit Secretary in 2009 and was given a pay increase to 13.70 although my hours stayed part time 24hrs a week. I did this for 2 1/2 years until I was informed my hours would be cut again. There were meetings every month explaining we needed to not offer patients shampoo or tooth brushes in order to lower cost. I was horrified that a multimillion dollar hospital would care that much about money over patients. Just horrifying for sure.

    Once again I searched for another job. I was optimistic I would find a full time job within the hospital I worked at; although every interview I went on I was told I was over-qualified or under-qualified and suggested I go to school. I signed up for the tuition assistance and was offered 500 dollars to go to school- what a joke. Nothing was more of a slap in the face from this hospital than that move. I put in my 2 week notice shortly after that.

    I spent the next few months looking for anything I could get my hands on. I was suppose to get a bonus from the hospital but since I put my 2 week notice in before the bonus was announced I didn’t receive it when they handed it out 1 week later. I finally was offered a job at the same place my mother in law worked at. It was over night work watching an elderly man with dementia.

    Since then I’ve applied for well over 2,000 jobs. I’ve attended every interview I was ever called for. I’ve applied for city jobs, government jobs, McDonalds jobs, Wal-mart jobs, Walgreens, Taco Bell, retail stores and all of the above and am either told I am under qualified or over qualified. At this point, I feel helpless as though I will never work full time and the bills keep piling up and up.

    I am so angry about our economic state. I feel as though things are never going to get better. We just need jobs!!! The new VA bill that was passed has put more people out of jobs then has helped. People are laying off employees to make room for these VA people so they can get the right offs. How is this fair?

    I attended art school when I was younger and have artistic skills in which I have put towards creating coloring books for children.  I have sent many submissions out only to be rejected.  I don’t understand how to get my foot in the door with any job.  I feel very lost.  I know what I want to do with my life and what I would enjoy but no one is giving me a chance.  No one cares.  I was told I needed surgery to remove a polyp and yet, I have no insurance and was billed for the post-op visits which amount to well over 600 dollars.  They refuse to do the surgery until I have insurance and I can’t get insurance without a job.  How exactly is this obama health care act helping us?  I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Though I am not unemployed and I thank God daily I’m not’; I am still vastly under-employed. I currently get 18 hrs a week at my job making 11-13 an hr (depending on if I am working nights or days). When hired on I was asked what schedule I was looking for and I told them days and was laughed at as those positions were already filled with individuals that do not have any medical skills (they’re just average folks).

    Obviously this upsets me as I have my CNA, BLS and medical terminology and yet I get less hours then they get. They are getting rid of CNAs in medical fields aside from nursing homes and I don’t understand why? Nurses don’t want to shower patients nor do Doctors. Today I applied for a government job as a medical assistant. I have lost my optimistic mind set and no longer think I will get any job I apply for. At this point I think I have a better chance at winning the Powerball lottery jackpot then I do at finding a full time job, how sad.

     


  2. Is There a Bias Against the Long Term Unemployed?

    March 9, 2013 by Lady Unemployed

    Help wanted sign

    February of 2012, a week before Valentine’s Day to be exact, I got laid off. This was a month after my older brother lost his job at a company that got bought out (therefore, everyone at the corporate office lost their job).

    In August of 2012, only 6 months unemployed (the longest I’ve ever been out of work, to be honest), I found a job. It’s a job I’ve struggled with, but it was a job.

    And according to an article I found on the Daily Beast, that’s all that matters these days to future employers. The Daily Beast goes onto explain that those who are unemployed for the long term don’t find their way back to work as easy as those who find a job a lot quicker.

    This left me to wonder – is there a bias against the long term unemployed?

    My brother has not found a job yet and it has now been over a year. I’m not sure what to say and while my blog has talked a lot about job searching, working through office politics, and the ups and downs of job searching and networking – my brother’s unemployment is a subject I’ve avoided talking about. Mostly because I’m worried – and a little scared – for him. Weeks have gone by without calls. Employers who have interviewed him – and even if the interview has gone well – never call him back.

    Some time last year I was on Google Plus, and I found someone’s post that had been forwarded along to hundreds. She had requested that her profile be passed along to everyone that we knew. She said she would move anywhere and do anything as long as she could have a job. She had been unemployed over a year as well.

    NYC Council has also just this past month banned the bias against the unemployed that was happening in their city.

    Business Week is also talking about the subject. Those who have been out longer than 6 months are not getting responses to their resume. And apparently, it isn’t even illegal to look at employment status when considering a resume.

    My brother is not the only one facing this bias. Neither is this woman I saw online.

    Something is wrong with our society that employers don’t want to hire someone just because they are out of work.

    Here is one idea that I have – money talks, right? So, how about giving a tax benefit or something to employers who hire the unemployed. (Apparently, I googled this idea and the American Jobs Act matched my requested. Yet, for some reason it got shot down).

    But I’m open to ideas. I know a lot of us are. But the status quo is not acceptable.

    At least, it shouldn’t be.

    What do you think? Is there a bias against the unemployed? Do you have first hand experience with this bias?


  3. A Relocation and Unemployment Story – An Anonymous Guest Post

    December 7, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    When I first started this blog, I wanted to give job seekers the chance to share their story, just like I was able to share mine. So when I got this email the other day from someone sharing their unemployment story, I knew that this was something you all should read. A special thank you to them for letting me publish their story. At their request , I will not disclose their name.

    I used to live in New Hampshire, born, raised, and spent 29 years of my life there. The company I worked for (an affiliate [of a major web store]) decided to move to Kentucky, just outside of Cincinnati. Come to find out, they decided I could be one of the lucky ones that could keep their job if I moved with them. So, three months ago, I headed down to Kentucky to do just that; the new job would be a pay raise ($17/hr isn’t too bad for someone without a college degree, especially with how the economy is). It was different, adjusting to the culture of this place versus that of the Northeast, but hey, it was the company I have been working with for almost two years. Featured in Inc. Magazine’s Top 500 two years straight, such incredible potential!

    …then they decided to re-structure. This was early November of 2012. Filing for unemployment has lead me nowhere, as I’ve not lived in Kentucky long enough to receive it (or so the woman said, though I’m not entirely sure that’s factual). Multiple staffing agencies, a myriad of applications, and countless companies I’ve sent my resume to have yielded nothing.

    Nothing.

    At my wit’s end, with a total of $37 to my name now, having the make the hard choice of food or gas to find a job. Never once in my life would I have expected such a promising opportunity to end up like this. Facing potential eviction and repossession of my car in addition to an overall lack of, well, anything, is frightening.

    That’s my story, in a nutshell. But for now, time to see if The Salvation Army down here has any canned goods or if not, to see where the local soup kitchen is. Hopefully in walking distance.

    Please click the link above if you want to share your unemployment story or click the contact page link to reach out to me if you think you can give a helping hand to this job seeker.


  4. My New Use for the Phone Book

    July 26, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    No, I know what you’re thinking. I won’t be using it for this purpose:

    White Toilet Bowl in Malaysia

    Phone book as toilet paper anyone? Anyone?

    I’ve considered it, though, when money is tight, but the whole newsprint thing stops me.

    Anyways…

    This week I’ve gotten into the panic mode thing that causes me to feel like this:

    panic

    This isn’t me. But this is how I’m feeling.

    And when I’m in that mood, I need to do something productive very quick. So, I grabbed the first thing in site.

    Yes, the phone book.

    People, we under estimate the phone book. It serves great many purposes besides being a door stop or bird cage liner.

    I started with the letter “A,” flipped to “C” for “Computer – Software,” and then to “E” for “Education.” I plan on going back to the letter “B” this weekend. What I do is Google each company listed and find out if they have a website. If they have website, I look for a “jobs”, or “careers” tab and I find out if they have any openings. The next stage in this process is sending them an email with an employment inquiry. I may actually call these places if I get really desperate.

    So, you see? There we have it. I am being very resourceful, aren’t I?

    The fascinating lives of the broke and unemployed continues next week…tune in!


  5. Unemployment and Feeling Like I’m Doing My Best

    July 19, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    hope

    Apparently hope is that way. So, that’s where I’m going.

    Overall this has not been an easy week. I had several ups and downs and two days in a row so  far I ended up in tears, I snapped at family members, and remained too long in my “Eoyore” mood.

    But instead of writing about all of that, I decided to write about something positive for once (I know, weird huh?).

    Today,  I feel like I have truly done my best (hush to the person in the back that is about to say otherwise).

    I’ll say it again: I have done my best today to find a job.

    Now, someone can say that unless I am applying to every job I see, even if includes licking the floor clean, it obviously isn’t enough, but today I am standing up to say otherwise.

    did do my best today. Some days I feel otherwise. But today? I do feel pretty good.

    Here’s why:

    1) I looked for (and applied to) any job I was qualified for.

    I am not the type to just look for jobs that would give me a high paying salary. I am looking at all possibilities. And today, I did just that. And you know what? That isn’t any different on the other days I’m looking for a job. I’m  not being picky.

     2) Networking, networking, networking.

    I followed up on my networking people and reached out to some new people. I even followed up on an offer for job search help from someone I’m following on Twitter.

    3) Placement Agencies

    I also contacted the placement agency I spoke with a few weeks ago again. I resent my resume and I waiting to find out about job leads.

    …..still waiting. Yup, still……..waiting. Oh, right, the blog post.

    4) Reached out to talk shows.

    Alright you may think I’m kidding about this one, but didn’t I say I was trying anything? I am literally trying anything. And I did just that. I submitted a video to Dr. Phil about helping me find a job. Don’t think I’m kidding about that one, either.

    And if I end up on television, you guys will be the first to know.

    5) Um…not sure about number five.

    Okay I didn’t want to end this with a four, because no one makes a list with just four points. But aside from following through with my temptation to leave my resume in Barnes and Noble (I’m close though), and holding a sign board as I walk through the mall asking, “Are you hiring?” I am doing everything I can.

    And if I can say that statement every day and mean it, than I am feeling pretty damn good about myself.


  6. The Ups and Downs of Unemployment

    June 30, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    Alright, so I know I’ve been a bad blogger. Rule # 1 for the Blogosphere is to not drop off the face of the planet without notice.

    And this week has been one hell of a roller coaster.

    Just yesterday I prepared in my head and extremely cynical posts about how much I hate being unemployed and how I’ll probably never work again.

    And on top of that, on my way home yesterday I realized that the unemployment department sent me yet another form to respond to and how I need to report my activities since being unemployed. Basically, they just wanted me to give over a quart of blood and promise my future first born child.

    So, yesterday, my mood was like this:

    Crying

    This is me yesterday.

     

    And I woke up so stressed and freaking out. I wanted to just to pout, cry and throw a fit.  I also worried a lot too. I kept worrying that I would have to pay back my unemployment checks for some reason and maybe I’d be put in jail…

    Meanwhile my mom kept trying to convince me that I have nothing to worry about and that I had done nothing wrong.

    But still.

    I wondered.

    Prisoner 625385 Mugshot

    My worst fear – me behind bars. Except I hope I pose this well for my mug shot.

    And so with all of that going through my mind, I did the deed

    I called the unemployment department and expected to get this person on the phone, of course —

     

    Cave troll as corporate bully

    The person from the unemployment department (well, what I expected).

    And when I called, the issue wasn’t so bad after all.

    I was shocked! I was on the phone less than a half hour (much better than the last time).  And the overall experience was pleasant. I’m actually not in fear anymore.

    Now, about the job prospects.

    I have an interview on Monday! I’m really excited. The last job I talked about didn’t pan out, tragically (no, no interesting post for that one…sigh)  And I feel like the interview I have Monday will turn into…gasp…an actual job.

    So this week was a major roller coaster for me, as you can tell. My ups and downs. And now I feel like this –

    Happy 042

    Yay! Happy!

    And also, like this –

    mishima:alguna cosa em diu que sí

    I need a nap.

    Have a great weekend everyone! And next week I’ll be back posting on Tuesday and Thursday as usual! Also, let me know how things are going in your lives as well, I want to know!


  7. A Week Without a Phone Call

    June 12, 2012 by Lady Unemployed

    Telephone

    The enemy

     
    Ladies and Gentleman, meet the enemy.
     
    The telephone.
     
    Also, email.
     
    But mostly – the telephone.
     
    And another week has gone by without receiving one. phone. call. Not one.
     
    How is that possible? At this point, I’m certain I’ve sent out nearly 100 resumes. Or at least, I’m pretty close. And it’s getting to that point where I’m kind of freaking out. I’ve never been out of work this long. Four months? At the most it’s been two months. But never this long.
     
    So, what does my week look like without a phone call?
     
    Well, let’s take a look. Here is a play-by-play layout of Monday through Friday, waiting for my phone call.
     
    Monday
     
    “I’m feeling really good! I’m certain I’ll get a call this week. Probably have an interview by Friday, maybe even start my new job by next Monday.”
     
    Overall Feeling: positive, hopeful
     
    Tuesday
     
    “That’s okay. No one really calls on a Monday anyways. Employers probably like to wait on a Tuesday, because…they just do. Yup, I’m definitely going to get a call today.”
     
    Overall Feeling: somewhat positive, hope wavering
     
    Wednesday
     
    “I wonder if they get my emails? I should probably start a new email account.” (opens up 15th email account) “…There at least I know they will get my email. I wonder if I should start listing a different number, though. Maybe I’m not getting the calls that do come in. Oh well, I’m certain I’ll get one by tomorrow. Someone is bound to call.”
     
    Overall Feeling: positivity nearly gone, hope definitely fading, paranoia increasing drastically
     
    Thursday
     
    “What if I never get a job again? Is that possible? I read online people are sometimes unemployed for years. How does that happen? That won’t happen to me. Will it? It can’t happen to me. No, it won’t happen to me.  Can it happen to me? Maybe I should change my number. Someone probably hacked into the phone line and are preventing calls from coming in. I should definitelychangemynumberormaybeIshouldn’tbecausewhatwillthe othersdothathavetheothernumberand….” (and so on, and so on)
     
    Overall Feeling: positivity gone, hope definitely gone, paranoia through the roof, temper increasing
     
    Friday
     
    “…………………………………………………………………Oh my God, I’ll never work again.”
     
    Overall Feeling: panicked, paranoid, and a short fuse. All signs point to stay the hell away from me.