Sunday, October 30, 2011

Update on being unemployed.

So I still am.  That sucks in some ways.  I learned that I really, really like having the structure of the 8-5 go somewhere and do things routine.  I don't think I used to like it but I've grown accustomed to it.  The first few weeks were really chaotic.  I had nothing to do so I invented some (limited) structure.  I filed and started receiving unemployment - filling out tons of applications and going to Unemployment meetings.  July finished and no interviews, August happened and no interviews although with the 100 plus degrees weather I was a little glad.  By now, I was feeling a little despondent - I thought I had marketable skills.  Plus my leg (the one with the bionic hip), started acting up and I began having problems walking.  I no longer had medical so that became a challenge,

Still I started as positive as I could get.  No interviews in 106 degree weather was a positive thing.  The time allowed me to open up the ETSY shop and start working on being self - sufficient.  The bum leg made me realise that I needed to lose weight and I started that.  I did more artwork which also was a positive step.  This week I'm going to train to do some volunteer work entering data for an archivist at the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. 

I spent time refining my resume. I learned how to do cover letters and really tell people how wonderful I truly was.  I stayed social and made inroads on being friends with people I promised myself I'd stay in contact with.  One of those friends helped me get an interview at the University - my first since being laid off.  That helped a lot and although they didn't hire me seemed to be a crack in the door.  I started getting interviews at uniquely odd and interesting places.  I learned how to answer questions I find hard and somewhat too personal.  I learned how to manage walking with a cane (due to go to crutches this week) and do time management.

I also learned alot - because I went looking - at the unemployment situation here in Texas, if not the US.  How the unemployment rate for disabled people (regardless of what people tell you) is 30%.  No one wants to hire a person who has a disability even though people will tell you that it's against the law.  It takes a unique company to do so.  I learned that everyone has a separate set of statistics about how many people are unemployed and even then - no matter how accurate the statistics are, it doesn't include the people who have given up or run out of unemployment.  I've learned that state agencies are as different as night and day from each other.  That being said, I have met some very nice people who are friendly and encouraging and I've met people that I was glad didn't offer me a job. I've now read that if you are over 55 the odds of getting a good job is also difficult - so if you put that with a gimpy woman, it makes the odds even more of a challenge.

I'm not saying this so you - invisible interested reader -  will feel sorry for me.  Honestly, except some brief frustration with pain and not being able to walk much I'm actually doing well.  But I ask you to reflect on the nature of this country and how invisible people have become.  On my facebook page I have listed "I am one of the 99" and I now feel like no one who is in government or business cares what happens to me.  If our money runs out I could have to move - living with friends or worse living at the Salvation Army or becoming a street person.  But I'm not alone in this and I certainly won't go down gracefully.  Perhaps I will find a place in Rick Perry's yard and become a squatter.  Or sit for hours in the Student Union at UT. 

In December I turn 60 and have decided that if unemployed with no health insurance I will apply for early benefits for retirement.  I will lose money because of it but it comes with health insurance and I will be able to get the old bionic leg (or whatever) fixed and working again.  I will find a job doing something profoundly menial and take pride in it.  I will do artwork and we will survive.  And that perhaps makes me feel like there is always a solution.  As long as I can figure out a solution then I will stay positive and keep going. 

Maybe the country should take a tip from me. 

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