Tag Archives: life after lay off

One Full Year of Living Life Laid Off

By Mariam Williams

“This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

one year anniversary calendarfree-printable-calendars.com

It’s not a happy anniversary, but I’m alive, and there’s still hope.  I’m thankful today for the writing opportunities God has given me in the past year.  I’ve gone from having a grand total of zero bylines to having 18 articles published in various print publications and having a regular column. By the end of the year, my publications list will include at least 25 entries.  I’ve put the name “Research Works” on my writing, editing and market research skills, and I’ve managed to convince a few people to let me put those skills to use and write their organization’s newsletters and press releases, come up with a slogan for their business or edit their regular business correspondence.  (I’m a little bitter that growing that into a viable business has been impossible given unemployment compensation’s requirement that I report any money I earn, even if it’s only a few dollars for a few hours in one week, but I’m trying to prove that honesty will get me somewhere.)

I’m thankful and more hopeful than I have been over the past few days, but I’m also admittedly confused as to why God has made so many opportunities for me in a dying field.  Let’s just be honest: print journalism is on life support.  Obviously, I can transfer my skills to online journalism, but the blogosphere is already heavily saturated, and people with more experience than I have get laid off every day.

It’s that looming uncertainty that makes me wonder if I missed something when I decided earlier this year that I wouldn’t take just any job that came along.  Was I supposed to humble myself, go to a temp agency or the Census Bureau and make less than I did at my last job and less than I do on unemployment?  At the eight-month mark, was I supposed to humble myself a little further and apply for a minimum wage job at the Target that’s now reopened right behind my apartment building?  Or was I right to wait?  A year later, is God saying to me, “Wait just a little bit more”?  Or is it time to do something entirely different from the path that I was on even before I began living life laid off?

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© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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Filed under faith, Lifestyles, Unemployment

Living life laid off six months and counting

calendars

by Mariam Williams

Monday was my anniversary.  Six months unemployed, six months to the day.  Monday, October 13, 2008; Monday April 13, 2009.

I almost glazed over it without realizing it.  I didn’t notice the date at all until I wrote it out, “Monday, April 13, 2009,” in the notebook that holds my notes from various sermons and bible studies.  I had been too busy rewriting an essay to be submitted for publication, chasing down another freelance assignment, trying to figure out a balance between making a profit from writing and pricing myself out of the market, and trying to craft my resume to fit the description of yet another job that doesn’t quite fit me but that will do if this goes on much longer.  Thanks to a couple of freelance writing assignments and that severance pay that the state Unemployment Insurance Benefits Department determined was really wages in lieu of notice, I haven’t run out of benefit money yet, but the balance is quite low.  The extension application process is probably next.

I don’t fear the process, though.  My insatiable craving for information and the writing that pours forth from the information I gather occupies so much of my time that I feel busier now than I felt for most of the time that I was working.  The rejection letters don’t sting as much any more.  I can laugh away the sympathetic looks I get from family and friends who remember that I’m on an employment hiatus just after they complain that they dread Mondays, and I might just smile a little bit every time I hear a prayer request for God to deliver someone from the gossip, tattling, backstabbing, politicking, and concrete ceilings on the job.  I’m fine with dining out maybe once a month, when all the food in the house suddenly repulses me, no matter what it is.  Being alone most of the time has never bothered me very much, although I know that’s not good.  I’ve managed to keep myself entertained by seeing 14 plays just since October, and I saw 13 for free.  I ushered at ten of them, and my mom or a friend provided tickets to three others.  Insufficient healthcare coverage still concerns me, but over all, things aren’t so bad.

I didn’t think I would be unemployed for this long.  I hear that the average time for unemployment these days is eight months, but I was sure my situation would be different.  I’m sure that if I went to Starbucks or Wal-Mart or Six Flags it would be, but I still can’t see going for the survival job yet.  I waited so long to get a job in my field, tried so hard to convince an employer that the one consistent trend in the randomness of my resume was the adept use of my written and oral communications skills, that to risk deviating from the path for only God knows how long, putting an even larger gap in my years of direct experience, and possibly getting stuck in something else is too large of a white flag to drape across my back for the moment.

As I write this, I’m looking at the sermon notes from Monday, April 13, 2009 and trying to capture the spirit of the message, but it’s impossible.  There was too much life in the sanctuary that night for pen and paper, or keyboard and monitor.  I remember the preacher describing my very situation: applying for positions you just know are for you and getting turned down; having doors close; following up on leads and connections that go nowhere; getting your hopes up only to be disappointed again and again and again.  I knew he was talking to me, but I didn’t emote the way the rest of the church did when the preacher said that when God moves, he will compensate you for all the suffering you’ve been through.  Nor did I dance or shout when he said that God makes concluding moves–moves that that will end your situation in a way that will never allow you to return to it again.  Nothing really hit me Monday night.  Instead, I woke up with those words in my spirit Tuesday morning and smiled as I thought of how wonderful it would be to be compensated for this blog and to make so much money writing that I never have to return to the unemployment line again.

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© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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Unemployment 1 America 0

My story, and the stories of others affected by the dismal labor numbers, are featured in the latest issue of FLYP Magazine (www.flypmedia.com).  Click here to check me out on video in “Unemployment 1 America 0.”

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Filed under Economy, Layoffs, Me in other media, Unemployment

Where did the silver lining to living life laid off go?

by Mariam Williams

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

This is my favorite verse from “My Favorite Things,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that helps to seal Maria’s bond with the captain’s children in The Sound of Music.  Girls and snowflakes don’t do much for me; I don’t like children (although I could see how a white dress with a blue satin sash could make a girl happy), and I hate snow.  The “silver white winters that melt into springs” make this verse my favorite.  The winters are melting, meaning there’s a process, and it could take all season, but there’s something happening, and the bitter cold will turn into a season I enjoy.

When the dog bites

Between the headache that made me feel as though a power tool was drilling through the back of my head and into my eyes, and all the depressing economic news I read this weekend, it’s becoming more difficult to remember that a new season is coming.   The front page of Sunday’s Couier-Journal pictured a sheriff’s deputy and members of his eviction crew emptying the contents of a home.  The story encouraged readers with news of an increase in evictions – from two a month to two a day – a struggling charity that serves the homeless debating whether or not to close on weekends; an appraiser willing to travel up to 150 miles to appraise homes for bankruptcy instead of for refinancing; a man forced to seek help from a food bank for the first time; and a couple of the kinds of lesser-known stories that make newspapers so great, like one about a couple living in their barn due to the delay in the building of their houseboat and one about plastic surgeons seeing a decline in elective surgeries.  That last one is a pretty big deal for one of America’s vainest cities.

When the bee stings

When I turned to the features section of the C-J, I read about an Atlanta man who had moved to Louisville for work; got laid off from each job he found here; couldn’t draw unemployment because he hadn’t worked long enough; and is currently three months behind on his rent and passing out hand-made business cards to seek out construction work.

When I’m feeling sad

Monday morning, I read an op-ed piece in the New York Times that noted that not only is this recession worse in shear numbers than the one that hit in 1981-82, but it’s worse for me, one of the 2.2 million people ages 16 to 29 who have lost their jobs in this recession.  And “this follows an already steep decline in employment opportunities for young workers over the past several years.”  Guess I should be more excited to have only one more year in my 20s.

Then I read in Ad Age that ad spending in traditional media will continue to decline into 2013.  So much for trying to stay in my field.

I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

A stockpile of soup and cereal purchased on sale and with coupons

Sleep

Rent paid consistently and on time

The fact that I still have more than I need and more than most of the world

My mom taking care of my gym membership

Benefits of exercise

A supportive boyfriend who truly believes that I have enough gifts to seriously change my life

The escapism of “24” and “Heroes”

hulu.com, which allows me to watch both of those shows, despite their competing time slots

Cathartic writing sessions

Random and interesting things my friends have posted on Facebook, like this video snagged from youtube:

My CeCe Winans cd (yes, a cd!)

The song “Praise Is What I Do” by Shekinah Glory Ministry

Ecclesiastes 3:1.  The translation I currently like best reads, “There is an appointed time for everything.”

Silver white winters that melt into springs …

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Go ahead: make a comment.  What are few of your favorite things, or anything that’s making you not feel so bad?

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© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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Filed under Economy, Layoffs, Mental & Emotional Health, Recession, Unemployment

Are you really that happy living life laid off?

by Mariam Williams

I’ve remained unusually positive for the past several months, but this week, I’ve had a few meltdowns.

The first occurred Tuesday morning as I prepared for a meeting scheduled for the following day with a small marketing company.  I’ve been trying to freelance my copywriting and research skills – essentially the same thing I was doing for a full-time job before I was laid off – since October, but so far, none of the leads have panned out.  At my most optimistic moment, I knew I would have a fully-functioning freelance business by now, but I don’t even have a fully-functioning website.  As I talked to my boyfriend about that website, my responses to his questions about the specifics of it grew shorter and shorter until my temper fuse blew and I was screaming at him over the leads that had fizzled out, the approaching six-month cut-off date for receiving unemployment benefits, the design concept that wasn’t clear over the phone, the computer problems that prevented him from seeing the examples I had expected him to look at the previous night, and anything else I could think of that he couldn’t control.  He’s endured a lot with me and really didn’t deserve that.

The second wasn’t a meltdown, just a wave of sadness when I should’ve gone the congratulatory route.  It occurred Tuesday night via text with one of my best friends.  This incident deserves a little bit of background info: Fortune graces this friend of mine in every facet of her life.  She seems to walk around with her own personal little sunbeam above her head. She wanted to attend a graduate school that accepts about 3% of applicants; she got in. She moved to one of the most expensive cities on the planet; she arrived just when a friend of a friend desperately needed to unload his spacious condo, and would rent it out at about 75% off the going rate. She sacrificed potential job opportunities for the sake of a long-term relationship that ended; she relocated to a city with an endless supply of openings in her field. She has chronic health issues; the debt is canceled on most of the medical bills. If someone tripped her, she would fall into a bottomless pit of blessings.

So of course, in this text conversation, she told me about a new job offer.  This was an offer the company had previously extended to someone else, but for whatever reason, that person didn’t work out.  This was in addition to the potential job she had told me about on Saturday. That day, she said she had been redefining her goals and, lo and behold, someone thinking of bringing the same type of organization to her city that she was thinking of starting contacted her and wanted to talk about a paid position. On Saturday, I was happy for her, but I couldn’t help thinking, “Why not me?” Or more like, “When will it happen for me?” On Tuesday, I couldn’t make it to happiness.  I offered a simple “congrats” and changed the subject to the reason I had initiated the text conversation.

The final meltdown was Wednesday, when the “when” question became “what if …”  I ran into someone who had been laid off at the same time that I was.  She had found a new job.  When she described the job she would be doing, it sounded very similar to one I had heard about but didn’t go after.  I can’t be sure; my requests for more information about the job were always met with vague replies, which was the main reason why I didn’t apply.  Another reason was not wanting to stray too far away from the fields of writing, marketing, and communications.  I’m fairly sure the job didn’t involve any of the above.  The salary she revealed was also much higher than I had assumed the vague job would offer, but still, what if I had passed on a good opportunity?  What if I had applied and been interviewed and offered the job and I had accepted?  What if I could have found interesting stories to chronicle in a future stage play or blockbuster?  What if nothing else comes along soon?

My boyfriend had a great answer for me: “You don’t know, and even if you did, you can’t change it.  All you can do is move forward.  … Things will work out; they always do.”

He’s right, of course, although I sometimes think I put myself in too passive a role.  Waiting on the things to happen instead of making them happen implies some sort of cosmic intervention, as though the stars must perfectly align at the moment the gods wake up in a good mood.  While I wouldn’t go to that extreme, I would say that timing is important.  Had my friend moved to the big city one week later, her rent would have been as overpriced as everyone else’s.  Had I been more consistent with and passionate about my current style of writing before the advertising and media industry cut over 65,000 jobs and newspaper subscriptions declined, I would probably still be jobless, but I might have more freelance doors open to me now.

This morning, at the end of my first yoga practice in months, I meditated on some of my pastor’s observations from Wednesday’s bible study.  Moses was passionate enough to kill for a cause.  He had misdirected passion, but his passion made him highly usable.  He fled after the crime and then spent forty years in the wilderness with sheep, learning how to care for them and for himself in such conditions, not knowing that he would spend forty years leading people through the wilderness and caring for them, but being prepared for the experience all the same.

I’m pretty sure I have usable passion.  I just hope I’m a faster learner than Moses.

© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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From Living Life Laid Off to Working Artist?

by Mariam Williams

I recently learned that a friend of a friend has joined the self-reinvention effort in the face of the national economic freefall. She’s decided to go back to school to study fashion design. With her engineering career taking a hard hit, the friend of a friend figures that if she’s going to have to go back to school and reinvent herself, she might as well study something for which she has a passion.

I understand her logic, encourage her efforts, and even applaud her zeal, but something concerns me about all of us who have decided to use our country’s present catastrophe as an opportunity to pursue our artistic passions: where will we find jobs in our new respective fields?

As a life-long artist, I’ve confronted this conundrum many times, and it has undoubtedly contributed to why I’m not further along as a dancer, writer, painter, playwright, screenwriter, or actress. (Yes, I’ve dreamed about, thrown money at, and at some point received formal instruction in all of those areas.) I want to follow my passion(s), but I want to get paid for it (them) too. I believe I should do what I’ve been designed to do and use the gifts I’ve been blessed with, but I also want to satiate, or at least periodically feed, that side of my personality that craves the material things that only about 1% or so of those whose only full-time job is to do what I like to do, can afford to buy. I would rather get paid to do what I love than to, as another friend and artist put it, “work full-time to support my theater habit.”

“Making it” as an artist is difficult in large part because art is subjective, and not just in terms of whether it is good or bad, pretty or ugly, or liked or disliked. What constitutes an artist as one who has “made it”? Fame? Money? Mainstream acceptance? Staying true to your art even though it will cost you more than you make for the rest of your life and only your close inner circle knows your name?

Art is even subjective in terms of whether or not it’s a necessity, especially in a society whose economy is eroding. When President Obama was still the President Elect, my mother sent me an online petition to support the formation of a new cabinet post: Secretary of the Arts. Legendary music mogul Quincy Jones, quoted as saying he plans to “beg” President Obama to establish the post, is among major supporters who also include the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and arts advocacy group Americans for the Arts. Over 200,000 people have signed the petition so far.

NPR’s story on the possibility of the cabinet position also included the dissenting voice of David Smith, a professor of American history and the author of Money for Art: The Tangled Web of Art and Politics in American Democracy. His concern, and that of at least one blogger, is that art and government beget censorship and jeopardize artistic freedom. Many who commented on the NPR story had another concern: the cabinet position would be a waste of taxpayers’ money because we just don’t need it.

The latter concern is one reason the major supporters would argue the opposite. From what I gather (see links at the end), their focus seems to be three-fold:

  1. Increase cohesiveness. The Secretary of the Arts or Department of Culture would connect the State Department, Department of Education, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities, the Library of Congress, and the Institute of Museums and Library Services.
  2. Increase the U.S.’s visibility on the world arts stage.
  3. Educate the U.S. masses about the value of art and artists in American society.

The focus is on arts organizations and the public, but the educational aspect may be paramount to individual artists. Supporters of a senior-level culture official are looking for someone to tell the public that “nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences generate $166.2 billion in economic activity every year; support 5.7 million jobs; and return nearly $30 billion in local, state, and federal government revenue every year” (Americans for the Arts). They want the public to know that the U.S. had arts ambassadors during the Cold War, and to see, as Quincy Jones does, that “the arts have a spiritual benefit that Americans need,” and that our “emotional defense is just as important” as our military defense.

I want someone who can do number three AND create jobs for artists. If you’re not an artist, you may not know this, but art, in all its forms, is a fiercely competitive field. A 2008 report from the NEA found that about 2 million Americans identify themselves as working artists. The total number of active duty and reserve U.S. military personnel at the time of the NEA’s report was 2.2 million. Because I know that our “emotional defense” will never be seen as important as our military defense, I won’t address the difference in federal funding between the two groups.

I will, however, address federal funding of the arts in the recently-signed stimulus bill, AKA the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Here’s the good news for arts organizations, according to a press release from Americans for the Arts: “The National Endowment for the Arts will distribute $50 million of the stimulus funds to arts projects in all 50 states which specifically preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector that have been most hurt by the economic downturn. … Additionally … the final version removes the Senate ban on state and local governments from using any of the recovery funds to benefit museums, theaters, and art centers.”

Here’s the bad news: I didn’t see anything about art or artists on Congressman John Yarmuth’s (D-KY, 3rd District) link showing highlights of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for Louisville and the state of Kentucky. (I guess that since Louisville’s Fund for the Arts exceeded its 2008 campaign goals by 13.8%, we’re doing okay without federal money. On the other hand, 26,000 of the Fund’s donors gave from their workplace, and unemployment is up to almost 8% now.) Also, typing “art” in the search box on recovery.gov yielded no results. Neither did “national endowment arts,” which means that if any money for the arts is in there, it’s not highlighted among the details most people want to know, and if it’s not highlighted, it’s not that important to American society right now.*

That’s unfortunate because the NEA’s study also found that there are about 300,000 part time or seasonal artists in the U.S., and they didn’t count adults who love their art, but very rarely get paid for it. Artists who don’t work full-time as artists compete for many of the same federal, state, and local grants as full-time artists do. That money – plus the public’s disposable income and wealthy art lovers’ charitable contributions – is how the Louisville Metro Area supports over 30 community theaters while the producers, directors, performers, and crew members go to work at their “real” jobs each day. A grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women is how I paid my own artist fees to adapt a screenplay into a stage play while I worked two part-time jobs in 2007. And keep in mind that the jobs in the non-profit art sector and at museums, theaters, and art centers that will get funding could just as well be administrative staff positions as they could be artists. A well-known, well-endowed theater here in Louisville has 18 people on its artistic staff roster, 58 crew members, and 49 administrative staff members. That doesn’t count interns who do the work for college credit.

We live in a society in which art is undervalued. Even as I write with new fervor, launch a freelance writing service, and hope that the 65,000+ media and advertising jobs that have disappeared since the beginning of the recession return, I think about how so many new artists will support themselves, and I wonder if a Secretary of the Arts could save me from living life laid off.

Links:

http://yarmuth.house.gov/?sectionid=111&parentid=63&sectiontree=3,63,111&itemid=452

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/entertainment/Does-Nation-Need-Secretary-of-the-Arts.html

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/storyComments.php?storyId=99450228

http://blogs.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-healing-arts/200901/secretary-the-arts-q-needs-you

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/13/AR2009011303264_2.html

http://www.florida-arts.org/resources/economicimpactofthearts.htm

http://www.artsusa.org/information_services/recovery/default.asp#stateofarts

http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/27828/study-finds-two-million-artists-in-the-us/

http://articles.latimes.com/2008/jun/12/entertainment/et-nea12

*To see provisions for the arts, go to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h1enr.pdf and see pages 57-58 of the entire ARRA bill.

© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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Filed under Arts and Culture, Economy, Health, Layoffs, Lifestyles, Mental & Emotional Health, money, Recession, stimulus bill, Unemployment

A Monday Moment: A Few Complaints About Living Life Laid Off

by Mariam Williams

In honor of Monday, the day that most full-timers and nine-to-fivers loathe and mark as the end of their merriment in their blissful ignorance of their blessed situation, I briefly digress from my usual positive tone to create this list of things, people, events, organizations, etc. that have puzzled, dismayed, disheartened, or annoyed me, or otherwise pissed me off since I began living life laid off.

In no particular order, here they are:

  1. The question, “So what do you do all day?”
  2. The question from total strangers attempting to make small talk with the traditional line of questions, “So what do you do?”
  3. Reminders from those same people that it’s a terrible time to be looking for work.
  4. The question from total strangers attempting to make small talk with the traditional line of questions (and indirectly and unknowingly complimenting me on my skin care regimen and healthy diet), “Are you in school?”
  5. The question from people who have known me for several years now, “Are you still in school?”
  6. The payment to Sallie Mae automatically deducted from my checking account each month to pay for a 7-yr-old degree that a financial aid counselor once told me would ensure placement in a good job that would allow me to pay back my loans.
  7. The framed diploma on my mother’s wall telling the world I have an education level higher than about 66% of my state (at last official count).
  8. Solicitations from my alma mater begging me to donate to the annual fund, as the endowment depletes with the bear market.
  9. Bernie Madoff
  10. People at a party I went to several months ago comparing notes on how much bigger their third house is than their first two and how young they were when they bought each.
  11. People who said they would help me with references and referrals … but didn’t.
  12. Getting laid off on a Monday. I mean seriously, what was the reason for not doing this on Friday? I took work home with me that weekend! And I caught the bus on Monday morning! And everyone in the building knew I normally caught the bus to work! Could they not have considered that in deciding when to tell me?
  13. Getting laid off four days after the company hosted a big outdoor event to showcase how great we all were at our jobs and what a great time it would be to do business with us.
  14. Friends in the healthcare industry. Especially those who have recently been on several job interviews or who have been hired.
  15. All those job openings for nurses and counselors at various hospitals.
  16. Applying for individual health insurance.
  17. The comment from someone I know that seemed to imply that my blog is a glorified pity party. (Until this post, I don’t think that was justified.)
  18. The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training for:
    1. Deciding that everyone laid off with me and under the same terms as I was received severance and didn’t have to report that as income, but that I received wages in lieu of notice and did have to report it.
    2. Having an inefficient system, thereby leading hundreds of unemployed workers to wait in lines around the building, in the cold, for several days in January, just to file for their weekly benefit check. (I should note, this is a complaint on behalf of those hundreds; I happened to time my online filing right and never had to wait in the cold.)
    3. Being incredibly efficient on Friday, the day they close early, but not moving with the same haste any other day of the week.
    4. Telling me I needed to come in to the office due to an error when I didn’t need to do that at all. I was there for almost four hours.
  19. That generic response letter from Actors Theatre of Louisville telling me that they selected someone else for the position, and suggesting that I volunteer for the theatre in ways that I have been for the past three years and in ways that were clearly listed on my resume and highlighted in my cover letter.
  20. Generic rejection letters that appear months after I’ve applied for jobs.
  21. No response at all.
  22. Companies who don’t allow the security guard or other front desk area manager to tell the human resources office that an assertive and qualified candidate not only applied for the job online but also made a trip to the office just to show her sincere interest in the job and stand out among the other candidates.
  23. Job fairs advertised as being for everyone looking for a job right now, but that are really just recruiting for nurses, truck drivers, and adults thinking about going back to school online.
  24. Being busier now than when I was working yet having time for some things I can’t afford, like dance classes and frequent hair appointments.
  25. Not being able to afford tickets to Wicked while it was in town.
  26. My place now looking lived in.
  27. Those conspicuous little pieces of lint from the carpet that show up on the white tile when I walk around my apartment in socks.
  28. E.On and Louisville Gas & Electric’s rate hike.
  29. The bad weather that takes out electricity after I stock the refrigerator.
  30. Bank of America, for not lending money to small business owners who need to make payroll.
  31. Those children in the House and Senate.
  32. Optimistic people.

In the same boat and feel like complaining? Have a Monday moment and sound off in comments!

© Mariam Williams, aka The Pink-Slipped Girl, and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mariam Williams and The Pink Slip Blog – Living Life Laid Off or http://livinglifelaidoff.com, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Any use and/or duplication of any photo contained within this blog without express and written permission from Mariam Williams is strictly prohibited.

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Filed under Economy, Layoffs, Lifestyles, money, Recession, Unemployment