I won’t be posting here anymore.
It occurs to me, dear readers, that I need to make some changes. This entire blog currently revolves around me making of sense of things through the lens of what I used to be. Or what I aspired to be, at any rate. But what of who and what I am now?
I am thinking of creating a whole new blog and making a fresh start. What about the great things I see here? What about the fascinating day or overnight trips I take? I’m in a veritable scenic paradise, and yet none of that comes out here. Or, what about the amazing things I have time to cook in my state of funemployment? I don’t aspire to write a food blog, because I’m nowhere near that good, but there are times I think that it would be nice to share happiness with others.
If this happens, I will be sure to link here so that I can be found if anyone wishes to find me. It seems as if it is time to lay this part of my life to rest so that I can fully move on to what lies ahead.
I called the HR person from my former employer (again) to find out exactly what in the hell happened. As you may recall, she told me that I was eligible to apply in June even though my pay ran through August. The state finally told me that I was not eligible then because…wait for it…I was still being paid. Fair enough. But I really wanted to know why I was told to apply in June when the state obviously has other regulations.
After talking with her, I learned that she told me this because, “It was like that in the state where I used to work, so I thought it was that way in [State], too.”
Are you kidding me?! You don’t know the laws that govern your job in the state in which you work, and you don’t bother to verify this before telling someone what to do? It’s not like people make decisions based on this or anything. It’s not like I’m suddenly a few thousand dollars short of where we thought we’d be. Oh, no. No biggie.
My employer has an alarming number of totally clueless and incompetent people in their employ. (Don’t even get me started on what they did to a few of my friends’ immigration documents.) I suppose this explains why they didn’t keep me. I actually can tell my ass from a hole in the ground.
The job search is still chugging away, with nothing but rejections or silence. I suppose I’m used to that, so no big deal. I have managed to get hooked into two interesting part-time opportunities that will help to occupy my time and my mind. One is teaching a class at my alma mater online, and the other is doing some social justice-oriented teacher training/professional development in a rural district a couple of hours from here. Neither job pays very much at all, but they will both give me at least some structure in my life. I welcome the chance to do things that I find meaningful. These may lead to other things that could perhaps be more full-time and better-paying, so I feel like I can’t say no.
The article that was accepted during my trip to Vietnam has edits due next week. It feels weird to even bother going through with publishing the article, given that it does not benefit me in any way, nor will there be any follow-up to the article. That said, I feel like I should complete what I started. The edits are minimal, and I have nothing else going on right now. There is really no reasonable excuse for not doing it.
With some of the career and financial angst lifted, things are mostly good. I still wish I had something more substantial, and I get a bit sad as the beginning of the fall semester nears. I wonder what I would be doing if things had turned out differently. At the same time, I am pretty sure that I want something different in my life and a career that doesn’t fuck with my head as much as academia did.
After weeks and weeks of no unemployment money, I called the state to find out what was happening. After dealing with a surprisingly helpful and professional person, I found out that my lovely, darling, incompetent former employer completely misinformed me as to when I would be eligible for unemployment, even after I asked if they were certain given that I was to be paid through August. No matter how many times I asked, they assured me that I was eligible as soon as my contract ended. I should have known not to trust them. Their HR department is by far the worst I have dealt with, and I am certainly not the only person to have issues with them. The upside is that if I don’t have work by early September (shoot me, please), I will be eligible for benefits until early March. And if I don’t have a job by then…I shudder to think.
It’s hard for me to forgive their incompetence and sheer idiocy when they tried to hit me up for cash mere days before my contract ran out. As you can imagine, I can think of many unpleasant and unsavory things they may go suck on vigorously.
Also, it’s hard for me to get past this when the only news I get on the job front is bad news. I struggle to negotiate the balance between optimism and realism, but I can’t let myself drown in self-pity or anger. At the same time, it’s hard not to feel as if I constantly draw the short straw at every possible opportunity.
I really need to get a job so that I don’t have so much time to dwell on things.
After last Friday’s bad news, I felt like crawling into a dark hole and never coming out. Even my upcoming birthday made me sad. It ended up being a relatively nice day, but I couldn’t help but remember that it was another birthday where my life is on hold and I have no real professional identity. How much longer do I have to live this way?
In better news, Spouse got a great job offer yesterday, so we are going to be fine financially. Things will be better if I have a job, too, but now I don’t feel as if I have to take the very first thing that comes my way. That is somewhat of a relief, but I hope I get something soon.
A big fat no. After the guy kissed my ass about what a “tremendous background” I have. Seriously, HR dude? Not cool.
Am I really unemployable? Signs point to yes. I suppose I keep trying, but at what point do I resign myself to perpetual unemployment? I am happy with now, just to get it over with.
As each day rolls by with no news, my optimism wanes ever so slightly. I’ve played this game a time or two, and I know that time is really the enemy here. This morning, I broke down and emailed the head of HR to ask where they were in the process. I immediately got an out of office reply stating that he would be gone July 3-16.
So much for his promise that things would be resolved soon. On the upside, perhaps my worries are unfounded. I guess I keep looking and keep applying until something good happens. Such is life.
No word yet from the interview. They did say the holiday would likely delay the decision until next week, but that does little for my anxiety. I have been applying for more jobs, almost all of which I am completely overqualified for. At least the pay and benefits would be decent. It’s a little disheartening to know that I could have a job that only requires a bachelor’s, or in one case, an associate’s. Then again, I would so much rather be working than sitting around the house doing almost nothing.
In my defense, I am spending a lot of time and effort on domestic tasks, so our house is pretty clean and we’ve been eating very well. One constant irritant is the amount of dust, sand, and grit that get in the house and all over the floor. Now that the monsoon season is beginning, I also get to contend with mud tracked into the house. I’m thinking that we may have to hire someone to come in occasionally to clean once we are both working.
One bright spot in all this is that I am participating in a clinical trial on IBS that actually compensates me somewhat generously. I am doing a lactose intolerance test tomorrow, which means I’m on a highly restricted diet today (basically rice, meat, and eggs only). It’s kind of a drag, but way better than my pre-colonoscopy diet, which was clear liquids only. Blehh. I stand to make perhaps a couple thousand dollars if I go through the whole study. The extra money that I’m bringing in from participating helps us to have a little fun that we otherwise would not have. I’m hoping that at some point my unemployment benefits come in to help offset the savings we’re spending to get by month-to-month. In all honesty, I’m hoping we both get good jobs news soon so that we can move on with our lives and stop worrying about our financial future.
So I will come clean, my dears. Some of you already know the details of this whole fiasco, but many of you don’t. Last year, I was a contender for a position in a country I referred to as Farflungland. That country was Egypt. Really. At the time, as you’ll recall, I was sad that the position evaporated. I was excited to go there and see things improve in the wake of the Arab Spring and the first democratic elections in lord-knows-how-long. Since my research focused a lot on the intersections of development, political participation, and belief systems, this would have been an amazing opportunity. Or so I thought…
As it turns out, things didn’t go quite according to plan. Now there seems to be a military coup underway, and the entire situation is quite the opposite of stable. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to live there now. With each new development, the spouse says, “Really glad I’m not living there right now.” You and me both, pal. It’s funny how something so heartbreaking may have been the biggest gift I ever received. I am not religious in the least, but it feels like something or someone was looking out for me.
I really hope things resolve peacefully and quickly, but my realistic self knows that isn’t likely to happen.