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It's hard to believe that I got the call back in February this year: "we are not going to renew your contract."  That's never great news to hear; in my case, though, it wasn't for lack of funds but ... well, I still don't know, honestly.  I do know that I had a stellar performer, receiving kudos from national figures on the word I'd done. They told me I was a bad manager (not true)/I was a bad copyediter (true, but not what I'd been hired to do)/I had a bad attitude (only true periodically).

But really, that's immaterial now. What matters is that it's nine months later, and I'm still out of a job. My UI benefits will run out in January unless the lame duck Congress wakes up and does something about it.  I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do if they don't.  Sell my house ? (Where would I live?)  Divorce my husband and find a richer one?  (He's rich in every way but money). Break into the 401k and 20% penalty be damned?

It's almost 2am on Friday/Saturday, and I'm up typing because it's another sleepless night spent worrying about what's going to happen to me.  I'm 46; not too late to retrain, but in what?  What funds would pay for this magical retraining?  I don't want to spend the next five to seven years in graduate school, a temporary fix at a low RA's wage that ends with no promise of a job when I get out.  (I already have two graduate degrees, so I know the drill). There's no rich relatives to bail me out.

I'm wondering how folks on DailyKos have coped/are coping with similar situations.  What support(s) get you through this?  Has the experience changed you, and if so, in what way?  Thank you in advance for your non-snarky comments.

Originally posted to On media engagement on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 10:53 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've been unemployed since 9/10 (7+ / 0-)

    Best time of my life. I got to take care of my kids, and not work. My wife still works, and with the UI and our savings, we are OK for another few months.  Just recently I found out I had cancer, a non aggressive one that has been removed. And it really made me happy that I was spending this time with my kids at home and not working in some office, no matter how the cancer turns out, I'm not wasting this time. They say live every day like it's your last, and why would you want to live your last day at the office?

    So I say, fuck work, I'm going to exhaust every shred of benefits and then I'll get on disability till they discontinue that too. I'd rather be poor than waste my life.

    "The politics of failure have failed. We must make them work again." - an alien

    by Marcion on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 11:00:09 PM PST

  •  I was a college administrator (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agent, kurt, Drewid, melpomene1, BusyinCA

    and professor. My life collapsed for reasons entirely unrelated to the economy, but then there that was. Have a wonderful husband such as you do- I have chickens to amuse me, and bring in some $$. T don't recommend it, they cost more than they generate in egg money. Also, I have good meds. That I can recommend.

    Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

    by postmodernista on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 11:17:13 PM PST

  •  I think to a degree (9+ / 0-)

    everyone's experience is different. For me, I learned to live on less. Sounds simplistic but the truth is, it was since I didn't have a choice.

    I gave up my job to come home to take care of my mom. I couldn't leave her alone so working outside the home wasn't an option. My savings disappeared rather quickly.

    I've always had an interest in the music industry and I have friends in the biz so, I started doing online marketing and PR for them. One thing lead to another and it turned into a job. Not much money and more commission pay, than regular pay but, it is without a doubt the best dayum job I have ever had, and I'm 58 years old.

    I'm sometimes late with bills but, I call them before it's due to let them know it's going to be late. That seems to help. Pay cash, no longer use CC and have a new found respect for the dollar store.:)

    I get pissed, I cry and then I keep going.

    I will Not give up, I will Not give in, I will Not quit!

    by JupiterIslandGirl on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 11:18:31 PM PST

    •  how about people without connections? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dov12348, JupiterIslandGirl

      371/400- "this makes you extremely progressive" whatever that means.

      by cedar park on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 01:52:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When I woke up this morning (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        postmodernista, melpomene1

        I realized, I failed to mention I have really great neighbors. I've also paired my friends down to people I can truly trust, and depend on.

        My connections are more job related which is how I have been able to stay afloat, although sometimes barely but it's definitely been a plus.

        It's not easy and some days are better than others but everyday I wake up, and my mom wakes up, starts out as a good day for me. I try to carry that feeling through out the day. You dig?:)

        I will Not give up, I will Not give in, I will Not quit!

        by JupiterIslandGirl on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 07:00:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  When I found I was incompatible with (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, postmodernista, Drewid, Miep

    corporate life, well when you tell a CEO to "stick his head up his ass" this tends to be somewhat detrimental to your career prospects. I set up my own business, I was lucky to have funds.

    Its always find out what really interests you and see if anyone else has the same interests are they willing to help financially or with ideas. Is there anything you can add to this area, will others pay for information/product. My business centers around information.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Fri Nov 26, 2010 at 11:56:46 PM PST

  •  my sister just got the same news (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, Drewid, melpomene1, Miep

    her contract with a major pharma firm ends 12/31. she has had a few interviews already but they seem to be looking for a candidate with everything.

    good luck to you.

  •  Been out of work (6+ / 0-)

    one year today. I count myself lucky though, I only have to take care of me with no debt. My unemployment runs out in Jan as well and there aren't many jobs I cold get that would pay the bills. I'm really thinking of going to bartending school and dealer school to widen the field of jobs I can apply for, both can be done withing a month and cost for all is 2,000 (dealer school=blackjack, roulette, craps, poker=1300). I have jobs waiting for me but I'd have to move back home, that's the last resort. Moving back in with my parents at 33, funny thing is they'd be all about it. My mom has already dropped hints about moving back, but I'm okay for now. I share a house with roomates so nyhome expenses are less than 600 a month (most of the time). One of my roomates is in the same boat I am in because we both worked together and I moved in less than a month before the place we worked at shuttered. Oh happy days, but it could be alot worse and I am thankful it's not.

    •  truth be told, most bars don't want (0+ / 0-)

      to hire people who went to bartending school. They really don't. Just apply to any restaurant or bar before you go and see how many bartending jobs you get. I bet you get hired.

      371/400- "this makes you extremely progressive" whatever that means.

      by cedar park on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 01:54:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry that things have gone wrong for you... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah, kurt, postmodernista, judyms9

    ...especially when all the doors seem to be slamming shut and the leaders in Washington are hoarding the lifeboats. I understand your worries and that feeling of having to eventually live by your wits.

    There's a dignity aspect too, especially at our age, where we lived well in the past, heard the ominous drumbeat of hard times approaching, but were powerless to stop the onrushing tide of misery that's now lapping at door's edge.

    The only remedy I've found valid turned out to be surprisingly true much to my amazement. That is, do what you do. By that I mean whatever it is you excell in, do it without thought of money, time or other's influence. The heart does speak and there really are angels even now. In less time than you think, circumstances will change.

    I don't wish to seem "new age" or dare to lecture. That isn't right. But just the aspect of you writing in to share your predicament instead of retreating into yourself speaks volumns as to your ability to be resourceful, to be unembarassed in the face of dilemma and seek some answers.

    You ARE going to be OK!

    If ever I become entirely respectable I shall be quite sure that I have outlived myself- EV Debs

    by EdinGA on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 04:55:15 AM PST

    •  Yes, we'll all (0+ / 0-)

      be okay sooner or later.  Just have to hang in there.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sat Nov 27, 2010 at 08:15:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You don't know I'm going to be OK (0+ / 0-)

      I appreciate the sentiment, but really, there's a house foreclosed on every 7 seconds; those people really aren't OK.  Not sure what makes me so special.  

      We live in a modest house in a Boston suburb that we bought in '03; not great, but not the top of the market, either. We both put a lot of money down, close to 30% of the purchase price.  We refinanced when the rates went down to the low 5/high4s about two years ago.

      And everything else we live very frugally.  We ditched digital cable and the land line.  We keep the heat at 60 degrees during the day.  We recycle bags, scraps of paper, fabric, socks.  I don't buy clothes anymore unless I have to though it looks like I need a new pair of winter boots.  I pay $400/month for ass-hat insurance because MA insists we have something or you get fined on our state taxes.  I wear sweatshirts to bed.

      And this sweet quality of living is with UI; when it stops, I'm not really sure what's going to happen.  But when people tell me it's going to be OK, I know they mean well but don't have a clue.

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