Two months in…oh, the drama

It’s been such a long time since I sat down to write anything in either of my blogs. The reason is simple; now that I’m working, I’m readjusting to a schedule I haven’t had in seven (now nine) months. I welcome the change, but what has come with it…not so much. The learning curve on this job is unlike anything I’ve experienced in my adult life and there have been days…many of them now that training’s over…thatI just wanted to quit and walk out the door. Unfortunately, that would be counterproductive as between my last job and this job, I wouldn’t have the minimum 20 weeks worked in the past 12 months to qualify for unemployment. Since I’m not ready to kiss the rest of my severance goodbye, that’s off the table.

I took a state civil service test last month and if the results of that are good and something opens up, we’ll see if this melodrama changes. I will admit to having an Ok day today, my first full one on the “floor.” I was still dry-heaving level stressed when I arrived this morning, but by the end of the day, if I wasn’t on an even keel, at least I wasn’t shaking. As I told several of my superiors (basically any that would listen), this will be a slow process for me…”baby steps” will be my mantra. And they seem OK with that.

One last thing…you”ll never appreciate or fully understand what’s going on on the other end of the line at a call center until you actually work at one. That’s been incredibly illuminating and instructive. I can definitely sympathize with what they (and now myself) have to deal with.

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I Gots A Job

I swept right in here and didn’t check to see when I last posted. I’m sure it’s been a month or more. Please excuse me if I end up repeating myself.

Well anyway…as the title says, I got a job. Came home from accompanying my partner on a brief road trip for his job to find a message waiting for me with a job offer. It’s with Wellpoint, which is involved with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and it’s a call center job. Is it ideal? No. I’ve said all along that a call center was the place I didn’t want to end up but was positive that I would. So there ya go. I start in three weeks and am already knee-deep in preparatory emails.

I gotta tell ya, though, I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. The pay is less than half of that of my last job, but Wellpoint is an extremely secure company and the benefits, which are very good, kick in a little over a month after I start. It’s been an incredibly frustrating, aggravating, depressing and ultimately instructive seven months and just to get back to work is a great feeling. I literally couldn’t sit still Wednesday because I was so hyped up about it.

The timing couldn’t be better, I must add. Like 1.6 million others, I lost my unemployment insurance two weeks ago because our lovely Congress couldn’t get their act together and extend emergency benefits. Honest people like me get screwed because the Rand Pauls of the word think that everyone on unemployment is fleecing the system. This from people who haven’t had to worry about their next meal or how their bills were going to get paid probably in years, if ever. Thank goodness for my severance. Not everyone out of work has that safety net.

And to add an extra measure of fun to it, I got a call from a bank I applied to for an interview and I’m going to go through with it. It’s a  couple thousand more than Wellpoint (in other words, exactly half of my last job), back-office and involves research. Three decided assets. I’ll see what comes of it…who knows, if I do well and they get back to me quickly, I might have be fielding two offers.

Better late than never.

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Long time, no see….

I don’t have a good reason for not posting in a month. Lack of interest, the holidays…they’re all just excuses.

Anyway, I’m still not working and the number of applications I’ve sent out in December pale next to previous months. December did open with a certain flourish…in a span of four days, I had two interviews and two assessments. And one of those assessments did lead to a phone interview for a position that seems to remain open. I also interviewed with RPI for a temp job in auxiliary services that went very well and still seems to be in the mix. And just today, I applied for yet another job with RPI as well as one with a local bank.

The difference? I’ve stopped being picky. I’ve applied for call center jobs I swore I wouldn’t unless I had to…and around Thanksgiving came the realization that I had to. Of course, it’s the job I’ve progressed the furthest in. The pay’s not horrible (just shy of $13/hr is going to have to do) and the benefits are a necessity. My old company-provided benefits expire on the 31st, my attempts to get on the state “marketplace” has run into roadblocks and COBRA informed me that any possibility of further benefits via them were “voluntarily terminated.” By who, I have no idea, but I was not planning to throw $900 a months away on that, so bye bye. My partner is now covered through his employer–high deductible, unfortunately, but better than nothing.

Since I’m also coming up on 26 weeks of unemployment, that may be coming to an end soon or changing as well.

January’s definitely going to be a transitional month. My hope is that by mid-January, I will be working again, albeit making almost a third of what I used to. But as this point, getting out of the house and going to a job of almost any sort five days a week, will be most welcome.

And that Walmart job I had Thanksgiving night (I didn’t even check to see if I mentioned it in a previous post)? Froze my butt off for most of it, but it was actually kind of fun.

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Totally F…ed

Ok, that’s a little blunt and oh yes, I was oh so tempted to put the real word in there. But I’m that ticked off right now.

I got a job…for one day. One of the agencies I signed with sent a robocall that a major retailer (Wallyworld) was looking for extra help on Thanksgiving night/Black Friday morning. $12.50 an hour for an eight hour shift. So far, so good. I realized immediately that I couldn’t claim the actual working day on unemployment but what I’d make on the job would pretty much cover what I’d lose in unemployment. The problem arises with the one-hour of paid training that comes with it that I had tonight. Because I was unsure of Labor Dept rules on this, I emailed them and was told that if I worked even one minute of a particular day, I couldn’t claim it. In other words, I’m losing 1/4 of my unemployment for the week ($100) to make $10. Oh…and I was told initially that the training was two hours. We were out of there in 45 minutes.

Needless to say, totally regretting even signing up for this, although I’ll go through with it. But I do feel “totally f…ed.”

I do have an interview tomorrow for a data entry job but like so many I’ve applied for recently, it’s temporary, which probably means no benefits or the agency’s inexpensive but obscene (in terms of copays) health insurance.

And please don’t get me started on Obamacare. Another fustercluck. Seeking out a navigator as we speak because the website is, at least in my case, a maze in which I keep hitting the same walls again and again and again.

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The Fifth Month

Last Friday marked the beginning of my fifth month being unemployment. I realize I’m posting less and less, but when there’s nothing to say that hasn’t already been said, why bother.

I received the employer equivalent of a Dear John letter from RPI last week. Nope, not even an interview. I was a mixture of bummed and pissed, but when reality set in and I knew it was a simple matter of my experience not meeting their needs, I sorta got over it. Rejection letters, and I just opened one within the past half hour, do sting though. It makes you feel, as  a friend likes to say, “less than,” and makes you question your experience and abilities and where you fit in this brave new world. It’s not 1990 anymore and 2013 seems to lacking a heart.

Anyway, still plugging along. Applied today for the third position in a month for the same local HMO. Also booked a trip to Vegas for my partner and I (and possibly my son) and I’m making a quick trip to NYC next week to see Alison Moyet, one of my 80’s icons, in concert.

These little trips, as enjoyable as they will undoubtedly be, are nevertheless distractions from the matter at hand. My daughter asked me what I wanted for Christmas last week and without skipping a beat, said “a job.”

 

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Nothing new

Despite a job fair earlier in the week, nothing new of subtance to report. Still applying, still hearing next to nothing, even from my best hope (RPI), although the job I applied for went from strictly being on their site to more of the job lead places like Indeed. Hopefully, they’re still fielding resumes and the interviews will start soon, since if I don’t at least get an interview, I will be very discouraged. They’re the ones who told me to apply for it, encouraged it strongly. I will be bummed if it leads nowhere.

As for the job fair, I went through the newspaper the day before, picked four jobs I felt qualified for, applied online for two, and brought my cover letter, resume and references to the job fair to deliver the other two in person. One of the positions had already been filled from within, but I still left my info. As for everything else, same old, same old.

Have a meeting with Westaff, yet another temp agency, on Monday. Since my dealings with Snelling were a disaster, I’m not terribly hopefully. If I haven’t posted about that already, I couldn’t even complete the Microsoft Word test Snelling gave me. Either everything I knew about Word has left me in the past three months or I never really knew it to begin with. In either case, it sucks.

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One step forward, elebentybillion steps back

In full frustration mode again. After not hearing back on 98% of my applications for months, the rejection emails are now coming at a nice clip. Three in one week. Two of the jobs I knew I had little realistic chance at, especially after RPI told me to lower my sights a bit, but the other one, which would have been for the company that used to do my last job’s payroll, I thought I had a fair shot at. Alas, they hired from within.

Since I am a person of very low self-esteem to begin with, these developments and the lack of progress elsewhere have led to a funk that is bleeding into my everyday life. I have no confidence in anything. Not that I ever really did in terms of manual labor and crap needing to be done in the house and yard, but I have turned procrastination into a fine art. I find it amazing today that I got up the nerve/energy to pull apart what’s left of the vegetable garden and hack some branches out of the wayward tree weed (or weed tree?) behind the garage. I then took a walk down to CVS to check the Redbox just for something to do. I love my partner dearly, but when he tries to cheer up me up at these moments it inevitably has the reverse reaction and I become a little “pill.”

Oh well. Did find two jobs with the local BOCES that I’ll apply for tomorrow and yet another job fair Monday.

Joy. Rapture.

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What A Difference A Day Makes

24 little hours… I was originally going to call this post “Your Mood Swings Are Giving Me Whiplash” (yes, from “Twilight”) since I go from disillusioned and depressed one day to vaguely hopeful thanks to today’s job fair. Besides seeing 15 or so people who I got laid off with who are having the same lack of luck as myself (including two managers!!!), I came away with one solid job lead (with the same college I interviewed for last week), another decent one (with a local HMO) and an interview next Tuesday with temp agency Snelling.

Trying not to put all my eggs in one basket, but keeping my fingers crossed about the college job, It’s in the bursar’s office and while I’d have to be trained on some of the software, otherwise it’s a decent fit. And the benefits are pretty darn spiffy.

The furnace guy comes to the house tomorrow for the yearly tuneup. I’m terrified, probably for no good reason, but we have a history of issues of varying complexity with it. Mood swing commencing.:)

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The fourth month…

Yesterday marked the first day of my fourth month of unemployment. This development has me, as I tweeted last week, discouraged, disappointed, disillusioned, depressed and dehydrated, the latter being the only immediately fixable one. During this time, I’ve had one interview that initially left me encouraged but instead sent me into something of a tailspin for a couple of days. Being told you’re not exactly qualified for the job title you’ve been applied for to tens of businesses tends to have that effect. While I appreciate the input and it is helping me redirect my energies, it’s still the proverbial punch in the gut. End of clichés.

Have applied for a job each day since Sunday (although today’s morning pickings were either slim or already applied for)…trying to keep an open mind. But it’s not easy. I do have a job fair tomorrow but if it’s like the one in July I’ll be out of there in an hour…discouraged, disappointed, dillusioned and depressed.

 

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Encouraged/Discouraged

Today was the day of my modified interview. The job I had a formal interview for was put on hold or cancelled, but I went through with the “general HR screening” that had been scheduled in the meantime. It went as well as it could I suppose…the woman who conducted it was very nice and very honest about my prospects and that latter part is where the positive and negative lie. The positive comes from giving me a clearer direction of the kind of jobs I should be applying for; the negative from the fact that many of the administrative assistant jobs I have been applying for are apparently beyond my skill set.

So I’m grateful for realizing that if I had interviewed for the Administrative Coordinator position, it would have been a huge, embarrassing fustercluck. And I do feel somewhat encouraged by the direction the interviewer pointed me in, which is basically a step down, both in terms of duties and pay, but perhaps a better, more comfortable fit in the long run.

Yet I still have the nagging suspicion that unless something presents itself fairly soon, I’ll be settling for something I either really don’t want to do or, pardon my pretension, feel is beneath me. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

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