Day 50 – Celebrating 50 Great Days of Unemployment!

On August 28th, my wife lost her job. 24 hours later, I lost mine. This blog is a continuation of the day-by-day chronicling of our emotional journey back to employment. This is bound to be upsetting, hilarious and hopeful.

Saturday – October 18, 2014

ID-10086740Day 50! Wow, what a milestone. I just never thought we would make it this far. I’d like to thank the job that let me go, and all of you who said “Brock, I believe in you! You can do this. You can be unemployed for 50 days straight!” You were right. There were times I didn’t believe, but… you were right.

What I hear from people who have been through this is that a months-long wait for employment is not unusual. It’s not just about finding the right position, it’s also about wading through the interview and hiring processes, which can be stressful and lenghty. Funny thing: most companies aren’t in as much of a hurry as I am. Go figure.

* * *

Today was a Saturday and Saturdays are always a bit easier to take than other days. This is a day I wouldn’t have been working anyway, so I skip through it essentially guilt-free.

Yes, there is a bit of guilt associated with all this. Not because of anything I did wrong or any job performance issues I might have had to lose my job in the first place (nothing I did was the cause of the loss), but because I’m just supposed to be working. I feel bad for not working, period. It’s not a rational thing because it’s not like I’m living like this by choice, but at least I have Saturdays when I know I wouldn’t have been working anyway. It’s a small relief to engage with life without looking at the calendar and thinking about where I would be otherwise.

I used my blessed Saturday for a mishmash of things. I took Cami to go ride her horse out the Heart of the Horst Therapy Ranch, moved the treadmill out of our bedroom to make room for a desk so I can stop writing and drawing and working at the kitchen table, and I did a bit of pro bono design for the upcoming McKinley Ward Halloween Party. Always feels good to do stuff like that, even if it takes me away from my own stuff for a few hours. The sacrifice, actually, is what makes it worth it.

* * *

Today I posted Day 42 – What Happens When You’re Unemployed and Working Too Hard. Eight days ago I was having a pretty tough time balancing home life and the other projects and freelance work I’ve got going on while I wait out this storm. It’s encouraging to look back and that blog and realize that I’m doing much better with all that now. I’m spending less time on the computer and paying better attention to my family.

The consequence? As I feared, I’m falling behind. This blog is getting tougher to turn out and other projects aren’t as far along as I’d like. But it’s probably a fair trade off.

* * *

TWO SHORT STORIES FROM TODAY:

Erin told me this morning she applied to a job for me here in Fresno that could be great for me. This is encouraging because I can almost never find anything in my field here in town. I looked at it and it has a crazy amount of qualifications and requirements. I don’t know anyone who can do all that and knows all of those programs.

She reassured me it’s just a wishlist. After all, she only got half of what she wanted in a husband.

Awesome.

————————-

Violet (age 3), who had been watching Return of the Jedi this afternoon, ran up to Erin with the most broken-hearted little look on her face and choked out the following:

“MOMMY! Darth Vader… is Luke’s father. IT’S JUST SO SAD!”

shawscene

I agree, Violet. It’s a real tearjerker.

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2 comments

  1. Many of these laundry list job descriptions are wishlists. If you talk to a number of recruiters, the top of their wishlist would be that these unreasonable lists would go away, because they identify a good candidate who then self-disqualifies based on not meeting the list.

    It’s funny how that works. I learned a while ago… just apply. If you think you can do the job and you can ramp up quickly on your weak areas, apply.

    I interviewed for a contract doing web development at Microsoft back in 2007. I told the recruiter “I don’t know the languages or server tools they’d want me to know. I’m not qualified.” She said, “the manager wants to talk to you. What could it hurt?”

    The manager had seen some web sites I’d done and liked them, plus they fit in with the kind of web site he needed built. I was up front about the fact that I didn’t know the programming language or tools I’d need to do this to Microsoft specs.

    I said to him: “Most of programming follows the same concepts. It would just be a matter of ramping up in the syntax of the new language. I guess if I had 2 weeks and a good book, I could get up to speed enough to do this.”

    He hired me and gave me the 2 weeks and the book.

    Sometimes it takes someone else believing in you to drag you kicking and screaming into an opportunity you never would have otherwise considered.

    Like

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