Posted in etcetera, feelings, work

I pity the fuel

This morning as I drove in to the gas station, I noticed a former co-worker fueling up. I parked at the adjacent pump and called out a greeting as he was headed toward the building. He came over and gave me a one-armed hugged.

He asked what I was doing now. Upon hearing that I’m still unemployed, he gave me such a pitying look that I actually get embarrassed when I think of it. He was all, “I just hate how they did you…” While I do appreciate the sympathy, I absolutely do not think of myself as cause for pity.

Okay, I had plenty of pity parties myself right after I was fired, but now I’m feeling more optimistic, and I tried to convey that. I told my former co-worker that I *could* have a job now, but it’d be something I didn’t want. “I don’t mind taking my time and finding something good,” I insisted, to which my former co-worker gave me another oh-she’s-being-so-brave-about-all-this look.

He’s still working at that company, and he said that business is picking up. He asked if I’d consider coming back. He’s in no position to hire me, nor do I reckon that he has any influence on those who do. And really, it doesn’t matter what I would or wouldn’t do; since I was fired for less-than-stellar performance, I’m fairly positive they wouldn’t hire me back anyway. But *just* in case, if any of the higher-ups bumps his head and starts to think about me, for the record I told my former co-worker that I would not come back.

On the way home I heard “I Will Survive,” and I mentally dedicated it to my former bosses, especially the first part: “At first, I was afraid. I was petrified! Kept thinkin’ I could never live without you by my side. But then I spent so many nights, thinkin’ how you did me wrong, and I grew strong…” Yeah, getting fired threw me for a (gargantuan, industrial-sized) loop, but I’m past that now, and I’m really looking forward to the new opportunities I’ll have.

So, my former co-workers, please spare me your pity. If you want to show your support, join me in happily pondering the good things the future holds for me. Or buy me some lunch, if you prefer to give something more tangible. 😉

Posted in etcetera, feelings, work

money not for nothing

Re: the topic in the previous entry, I’d just about made up my mind: I wasn’t going to volunteer in my teacher friend’s class. The primary reason being that, as I approach eight(!) months of unemployment, I really need to start considering some source of actual income.

Ah, but then! Today I learned that I was actually approved for unemployment compensation. :shocked: I applied at the urging of another friend, but I really, truly, utterly believed that I would be turned down. My only experience with someone even attempting to get unemployment compensation was when my sister tried for it seven or so years ago. She was fired for her cash drawer (at a fast food place) being $3 short. Although she had worked there over ten years, because there had been two other instances of her drawer being short, she was denied UC. At that point, I became convinced that “those people” went out of their way to deny claims.

I figured that since I was fired because my “performance did not meet expectations,” I would be turned down. I figured it wouldn’t matter that my many requests for help/training went unanswered or that my ex-employers hadn’t given me a single performance review before suddenly kicking me to the curb. That’s why I waited all this time, and I ONLY did it now so that I could silence people who asked about it with a curt, “Yeah, I didn’t get it.”

But I did get it! And I actually find myself somewhat inspired by it. Before, job hunting was quite disheartening, with all the looking and finding no opportunities. But now, it’s as if I’m getting paid to job hunt, and that makes even the fruitless searches seem like just part of the process. For the first time since I got fired, I feel as if I haven’t been forgotten. (And, wow, does that feel nice.)

This may sound corny, but also while I’m considering myself on the government payroll, I plan to make it part of my “duties” to try to be a better citizen, more of a – dare I say it? – do-gooder. And part of that just might be helping out in that teacher’s classroom.

Posted in etcetera, feelings

multiple choices

I’m really torn.

A teacher friend from church heard that I’m still unemployed and offered that I could come help out with her class. She said she couldn’t pay me, but she could really use the help. I agreed that I’d think it over.

When she first mentioned it, I was excited about the prospect. I’m certainly not at a loss for things to do, but that seems especially worthwhile. Plus, it would be nice to get out of the house. And who knows, it just might lead to a job.

Still, I have *no* kind of teaching ability, especially with math, which is what she said I could help with. I see how things are supposed to go, but I can’t explain them any other way. “Two plus two is four. Don’t you see? You have two, and you add two, and it’s four. Two. Plus two. Is four!” Insert blank look from student here.

And have I mentioned that I’m not very good with kids in general? I’m just not around any kids on any kind of regular basis. And after recently spending time near a very active toddler, I’m reminded that I kind of like it that way. (FYI, I’d be helping with a third grade class, which for some reason seems like a good age to me.)

Another issue with agreeing to help is wondering, “Am I not REALLY CLOSE to getting a job?” True, I currently have zero prospects, but – to avoid a full-on depression – I have to believe that something good is around the corner. I’d hate to make the commitment to help at the school and then have to leave for a “real” job. I’d feel as if I’d be leaving the kids in the lurch. But, realistically speaking, since I’m not even finding anything to apply for, I’d probably have at least two months to work at the school.

On the topic of schools, my hypochondriac side keeps pointing out how the schools are a major point of concern with the swine flu. Hypochondria aside, being uninsured, I’m trying to avoid situations that might contribute to excessive medical bills, and let’s face it, schools are somewhat of a hotbed of germs.

On the topic of working, if it’s (oh so depressingly) true that I’m not any closer to finding a so-called good job, I could seriously use some income. Would it be wise to put restrictions on my availability with volunteering if I’m going to have to start applying for part-time work?

Well, I had hoped that writing these things down might help me sort them out, but I’m still torn. If anyone has anything helpful to share, I’d appreciate it!