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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.


1 Comment »

  1. Julie says:

    I stumbled on this blog post and I’m surprised nobody has commented on it. Maybe it’s because people don’t know what to say or do pin this situation. Prior to 2008 I had 3 great employees and business was booming. I had to let them all go because there wasn’t enough work for even one of them. I hope Chrissie has found something better, though I know things are still brutal out there. It is for small business owners too. Stay tough, Chrissie. You’re doing everything right.

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