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  1. 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



  2. 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.

  3. Can You Change a Toxic Work Environment?

    April 8, 2016 by Lady Unemployed

    Does your work environment need this sign like mine does? : (license)

    Does your work environment need this sign like mine does? : (license)

    It’s been a long time since I posted here, hasn’t it? Not much has changed. I’m still at the job that I started a few years ago and I’m sort of in the waiting game on when to make the next move. I’m also unsure of what that will be.

    But I had a few observations of my work environment that I wanted to write about. It was inspired by a Google search that resulted in me finding my own blog post. (Do You Enjoy Seeing Coworkers Get in Trouble? circa 2013)

    To give you some background, it is in regards to a woman I worked with only once. It was my turn to prepare for these Friday meetings (a temporary job duty that rotated every few months). She stepped in when it was my turn (after I had done it several times) and gave me a list of things that I needed to improve on (delivery is everything and she did it in an underhanded way that was very mean). It turned my liking of her very sour and when I see her I don’t smile and neither does she back at me. We coexist without conflict mostly because we only had to work with each other on a temporary thing.

    Well, lately, I overheard this same person getting in trouble over something she had done wrong that incidentally ended up rubbing a supervisor from my department the wrong way. I would be lying if I said that I felt bad for this person I didn’t like. In fact, I was even mildly relieved. Relieved, because it was nice to see that just because this woman I didn’t like is inherently catty acting, doesn’t mean she will be able to get away from the cattiness of other people. Does that make sense?

    I did feel bad though that I took a secret enjoyment out of this woman getting in trouble. It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been working in a toxic environment for too long. I do make a point to NOT repeat the same behavior that has not only hurt people I didn’t like, but also has hurt me and others that I wished it hadn’t happened to.

    I’m not sure the take away from this except to say that I think I need a change.

  4. What I Learned About Unemployment During My Travels [A Guest Post]

    October 31, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

    To paraphrase Tolstoy, “All employed people are alike; each unemployed person is unemployed in its own way.” To expand on this rather clumsy piece of paraphrasing, employed people of all nations and cultures are the same – happy to be working and getting paid for their work. However, unemployed people differ greatly from one part of the world to another. Or at least that is what I found out during my years in the trade show industry.

    But, I wander. I hate it when people do that and expect their readers (or listeners) to understand what they are talking about without any useful info.

    So, let me start again.

    An Overlong Introduction

    My name is James (not that it really matters) and I have spent more than a decade in the trade show industry. However, the type of service that my colleagues and myself provided were somewhat different from those you normally see in this industry. Namely, we provided something of a liaison services for Australian-based companies that wished to exhibit in markets that are considered to be less-traditional such as Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

    Why those parts of the world?

    Well, for one, these parts of the world provide certain challenges to “outsiders”, challenges that have to do with the history of these parts, the world views people in those areas often share and certain practices that are considered less-than-businesslike in Western cultures. For more on these, check here and here.

    The other reason was that I had been in a relationship with a woman from Eastern Europe (more precisely Serbia) since high school (she is now my wife) and that my colleagues hailed from Central Asia before moving to Australia.

    We were young, we were foolish and we were fearless in that stupid way only 20-something people can be. But this is not a story about the insane situations we found ourselves in regularly and the reasons why we stopped doing what we did.

    This is a story that is more in the line with the theme of the LadyUnemployed site, i.e. the unemployment. More precisely, this is a story about how different cultures we had been in contact with see unemployment and how people of those cultures approach not having employment.

    The Communism Heritage and Apathy

    There is one thing that most of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia have in common – communist past.

    In some places it was full-on communism, like in the better part of Central Asia which was once part of the Soviet Union and in others it was some sort of a “progressive but still quite nearsighted” socialism like in the countries which used to make up Yugoslavia.

    The reason I am mentioning this is that in the “good old days” the governments provided jobs. These jobs may not have been perfect and many people were unhappy, but they were jobs. They knew they will have jobs. Jobs which paid enough for a normal life.

    When the countries were awakened from their communist dreams, in many parts that certain security disappeared as well. In the Balkans, for instance, the replacement has been the most brutal, corrupt form of wild capitalism you can imagine. The jobs are still scarce and most countries yelp under the burden of unemployment.

    In such circumstances, a certain form of apathy can be observed. People with college education cannot hope to get employment in their fields without serious connections and they resort to two solutions – they go west or they try and find employment well below their qualifications.

    Younger generations are often trying to do something about it, improving their knowledge, expanding their skill set, but they are often disheartened by the lack of results. It does not take them long to become as apathetic as the older generations.

    In the end, they accept being officially unemployed, trying to make a living for themselves off the books and off the radar.

    How We Do It In Australia

    I haven’t lived anywhere but in Australia in what we like to call the developed world, so I can only compare this with the unemployment experience Down Under. Which I intend to do.

    For one, that feeling of apathy is virtually unknown in Australia, even among people who come from those parts of the world I have talked about. It has to do with the fact that the sense of meritocracy is much more pronounced and that corruption is not rampant here (at least not to the extent it is in Eastern Europe and Central Asia).

    People know that if they make an effort, they will actually increase their chances of finding employment.

    Moreover, the government itself does everything in its power to help people improve their chances through various government-funded opportunities and courses that are aimed at creating skilled employees. If you want, you can find out more.

    I am not saying that it is all milk and honey in Australia. I have seen plenty of people with incredible skills and more than respectable education fail to find work for a number of reasons. But the biggest difference is that there is always hope and something to strive for.

    Sometimes we need a bit of perspective here in the “west” and I only hope that I have provided at least an iota of insight to help find that perspective. Also, I hope my ramblings haven’t bored you to death.

    AUTHOR: James D. Burbank is a happily married Aussie who is currently on hiatus and blogging about what he’s learned about business on the ground. He is also a big Utah Jazz fan.

  5. Applying into the Abyss [An Unemployment Story]

    October 22, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

    Anyone hiring? How much time have you spent applying for jobs? Not just any random job but a career that you know in your heart you can fill? During this online age it seems the ability to present yourself outside of a resume seems dismal at best. Hundreds of resumes sent out into the ether.

    The question that comes after months of this process is natural.

    Is it me?

    In short yes. You do not have 6 years of experience, 4 Olympic gold medals, 2 tours of military duty and at least 1 trip to the international space station. Your credentials do not match the job posting. Why? Because the job posting is put together by people who do not believe in investing in people.

    We hear all the time that people are coming out of school without the skills to join the workforce. But since when did employers feel entitled that every employee that they hire be perfect? While the millennial generation be labeled as lazy or looking for quick fixes, we find quick solutions on job boards every day. Companies are always in flux, but I can see a direct correlation between lack of investment in people and struggles in growth.

    When you hire only engineers with 10 years of experience you definitely have the ability to do the work. But what happens when you need to communicate your value to the world? You hire an agency who isn’t a part of you to explain it to the world. There is room for us all. While companies complain that the workforce isn’t prepared you forget that most of us learn the most on the job. Remember that the person you invest in today can keep the engine running far longer than picking up random mechanics along the way. Make people stakeholders rather than temp workers waiting for their contract to end.

    All it takes is a little vision. In this abyss that we all keep applying to, is a wealth of talent that is ready to make a lasting impact. All it takes is a chance. Stop touting all you do for your customers. Create space in your organization for your customers and watch your product thrive. Hard times are just that, hard. But lasting changes can be made if a few insightful managers realize that people have value. May take a little more time. May take interviewing a few candidates who aren’t perfect. But those who put in that extra work are sure to find that extra reward.

    We are tired of being overlooked.

  6. An Update from Lady Unemployed (And My End of Summer Blues)

    September 1, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

    Although I am happy to see the summer time come to an end, especially since it’s been a really hot summer, but something about seeing things get darker at night leaves me a feeling a little blue. It isn’t like I’m seeing my summer vacation come to an end or anything, but once September hits I notice that the year goes faster and faster.

    I also notice there aren’t as many job opportunities opening up these days. And despite my family and my desire to move out of the state we’re living in now, it’s getting even harder to find the right opportunity to get us up and out of here.

    Things at work are going okay, although I have a sneaking suspicion another round of lay offs may be around the corner. They are losing clients and that monthly bonus that each employee gets keeps getting smaller and smaller. What doesn’t help is that management doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge the struggle (what’s the old Dr. Phil adage? You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge?)

    One thing I did conquer this summer was the company party. I did manage to attend one and I can tell you what helped me get props from my boss yet still avoid people all together is to volunteer to help out. THAT was my ticket to survival.

    More new people keep getting hired and somehow I feel it’s in anticipation for the next round of employees who are trying to quit before the company lays anyone else off. Which I’m hoping will be me.

    And yet a sneaking suspicion is irking me about a change coming around the bend for me and my family. I just can’t pinpoint what it is.

    We’ll see.

    How are things going for you lately?

  7. “One year and counting” – An Unemployment Story

    July 30, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

    I lost my job one year ago.  Before that, I worked temporary jobs between the economic bust and starting my last job.  Temp workers are treated with a great deal of disrespect.  It doesn’t matter your education level, what you did before, or what they know you are most likely capable of doing, you are a temp and will be treated as a non-entity.  Then, I finally won the lottery and got a permanent job.  Then, I lost that job after almost a year.  They moved it to another state.  Tried to prevent me from getting unemployment by firing me first and saying I couldn’t do the job.  State agency investigated, determined they were full of it, and gave me some months of unemployment which ran out quite some time ago.

    I have been helped by family and the church and this month there is no one and no money for rent, utilities, and food.  I just got out to a stint at the hospital for breathing problems, was told I could have died if I hadn’t gotten there when I did.  If I had died, I wouldn’t have to worry about homelessness and hunger.

    I think about all of the jobs I have applied to and/or interviewed for.  I was qualified for each and everyone and over qualified for most of them.  I am over 50 with a doctorate degree.  I have been told by a Priest that my worry is killing me and I have to cut it out.  I was getting better.  Then, I realized I will be out of food by Monday.  Guess what?  I am feeling pretty weak again.

    Don’t folks that refuse to give older Americans a chance to get back to the world of productivity realize that their refusal to give us a chance just might cost us our lives?  It could be a matter of days now and, while I love the idea of showing myself I can overcome this, that God will be there with money, a job, or something to sustain me (hey who doesn’t love a miracle?), I don’t know if I want that kind of hope any more.  Hope makes you hold on.  Hope makes you feel you are valuable.  Hope makes you believe in the world and yourself.  I am afraid to try to hope any more.  So, now I feel quite willing to let my mind kill me.  Anyone out there listening?

  8. “This was my third time being laid off in my career.” – An Unemployment Story

    July 27, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

    I am in my early 5o’s and I got laid off from my job in Sept of 2014.  I live in the state of Florida. This was my third time being laid off in my career.  The first was in my early 30s and the second was in my late 40s. At this time, I was living in the state of Georgia.  I got laid off twice from the same company.  The first time it happen, I was shock, surprise, and just outright scare.  At that time in my life, my kids were young and my spouse was unemployed.  I was able to obtain contract work to sustain to keep us afloat financially.  I was successful at getting another job only after a few months of being laid-off.  I worked for 10 years until another laid off in 2009.  It took me 6 months before I got another job.  Then I worked for five years and the current laid off happen in 2014.  I work in accounting in positions as investment accountant, staff accountant, and Senior Financial Analyst.

    I have a Masters in Accounting and Finance which I received in 2012, with over 20 years of Financial accounting experience which spams more in insurance investment accounting but also with other industries as well.

    Now you will think with those credentials, I should not have an issue finding a job.  I knew that finding employment was not going to be a piece of cake, but I did not think that it would take me this long to find employment.  I have been on more interviews for the first time in my career, but no offers.  I have asked for feedback thinking that I did something or said something wrong, but I always hear that I interview very well, there is nothing wrong, or did not like about me, but I was told many times that I was not the “Right Fit”.  When I ask what they mean by that, I get the hmm… and odds….  I wonder if it must be my age, my race, and on and on.

    Since graduating from college, I have always worked.  When you are unemployed, especially, as many of times this has happen to me, it does something to your mental stay.  You start asking yourself questions all of the time, not some of the time.  Just to name a few questions that you ask yourself such as: Why did I get laid off? What did I do wrong? Why did they not like me?  and on …. I have always put over 100% in to my work at all of my jobs.  I got excellent reviews.  As in any job, you have your haters; but I always obtain my integrity.  Maybe it was some of the haters were the management.

    When you loose your lively hood. What does society expect for you to do?  Without a ways and means of have a financial lively hood, how do you suppose to survive; especially with the way that society is designed.

    It’s not that I don’t want to work, I just need someone to give me a chance so that I can get my life moving again.

    My unemployment has run out, my savings have run out.  I have applied to jobs in other states, but no hits.  I can’t afford to move without having a job to move to.  What is a girl to do??

  9. “6 Months Later…I’m Still Unemployed” – An Unemployment Story by Deanne

    July 25, 2015 by Lady Unemployed

    I was fired. There I said it. I don’t like it at all. When I was fired in Dec 2014 after having a 3 mos PIP…which in itself was an invitation to leave – I stated with confidence I might add “I’ll be fine.”

    Well it is now 6 mos and one 9 week stint of contract work later and I’m still UNEMPLOYED and hating every minute! It’s funny how when we have jobs…maybe like our health we take them for granted. We say things like…’Man, wish I didn’t have to work today!’ or ‘Wow, wish I was unemployed so I could have nice days off!’ Well I am here to say that I will do my best to not say those things when I do get another job. I miss the work-a-day life…the grind…the very thing that kept me getting up in the morning.

    These days I am doing all I can to not cry (yes cry) continually and hide under the covers hoping someone will take pity on me and simply offer me a job…unbidden by the way! I read the woman from Georgia’s post and agree with her, I am grateful for all that I have otherwise and happy about my life outside of a job, but feel pretty low about not getting a job after 70+ applications, several phone interviews and face-to-face interviews too and still no offer. It has lead me to continually ask…”what do they have I don’t?”

    The general answer is experience; either too much or too little? My last boss was under 30 and was given the job of being my manager with maybe 9 mos experience, I had 4 at the time…yep…I’m a bit angry with that but it seems even though I have done everything I was supposed to for my career path…gotten my degree in the field, obtained not one but 2 certifications and joined groups and attend meetings and keep my skills up-to-date I have not yet been hired. I think maybe my anger, my sadness, my now lack of confidence is leaking into my otherwise happy disposition and infecting me keeping me from truly enjoying my life! I try to enjoy my life otherwise but feel happiest on weekends when all those working are not just like me. Short lived but a reprieve from my day-to-day.

    Well on to more job submissions…darn electronic things…no personal touches anymore…sad but true.

  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?