Skip to main content

I should have known something was wrong. I should have run far, far away. From the outside, the company looked great. It was a local nonprofit serving the poorest of the poor, and the bosses loved me. From my first interview on, I was told that I was a rock star. I had no problem leaving my old job for something better, something more fitting for me.

I was on top of the world... I finally had a job that paid enough to survive and even splurge on myself a little. No, I couldn't do anything crazy, but I could pay my bills and still afford to see a movie now and then. I'd spent most of my 20s in college, pursuing a Bachelor's in business and finance and a Master's in a lucrative, practical field from a fairly prestigious university. I graduated at the worst time, in the middle of a recession... but I did what I had to do to get by until, finally, the economy improved and I landed my first post-graduate job. It was mostly administrative work, but it paid the bills and gave me experience, which was important. After almost two years there, I decided to try to find work in my given area, doing what I really wanted to be doing. So while I had a secure job, I started throwing my resume out to nonprofits in the area and waited for a bite.

The company recruited me from day one... they loved me. I was even able to negotiate a slightly higher salary than their original offer and everything looked great from the outside and I was on cloud nine. My life was finally headed in the right direction.

In the beginning, my boss seemed great... We were around the same age and he was fun, friendly. He often doted upon me, regularly bringing me cupcakes and he even decorated my cubicle for my birthday. It wasn't long though, before I noticed another side to him. Some days, he'd lock himself away in his office and the only way we could communicate with him was via e-mail. During those times, he would often send out abusive and angry e-mails, criticizing me about anything he could. This happened after I had only been there a few weeks and before I'd received any formal training. Afterward, he would apologize and say he struggled with his mood swings and that I shouldn't take it personally. So I brushed it off as nothing more than him having a bad day now and then.

I was always pleasant, kept a smile on my face, worked as hard as I could and did my very best every single day.

But I soon realized that I may have made a mistake... First, several items I had negotiated prior to being hired were compromised. Once I had started with the new company, they tried to backtrack and say that they had never agreed to my original terms. I was livid and tried to stand my ground. Though, I compromised and gave in more than I should have simply because I wanted to keep my job. I was civil and finally, they agreed to honor our original agreement. However, I learned, this concession would come with consequences.

I should have known something was odd when one of the outside contractors we worked with made a comment to my boss about how I was the only one who managed to stay with the company for more than a few months. My boss grimaced and rolled his eyes. I stayed quiet. The contractor pushed my boss to “keep this one.” He said, “She's obviously smart and good at what she does.”

That month, I had an excellent performance evaluation.

That Friday, we had a meeting and I was told that I was a rock star and we were allowed to leave 15 minutes early to celebrate.

The following Wednesday, I was unemployed. No reason given other than my quality of work was not up to their standards. Despite the fact that I was still learning, my boss had showered me with praise, telling me that I was picking things up quickly and doing a great job. I had never once been told that my quality of work was anything other than great. I was shocked. I had no idea why this was happening to me.

Looking back now, I wish I hadn't left my old job. I left a secure, decent paying job for this opportunity only to be let go 90 days later. Truthfully, I know there's no way I could have planned for this to happen. It didn't make sense. It still doesn't make sense.

Still in a state of shock, I started applying to other jobs right away, but here's the problem I run into... Do I list my previous employer and make the companies I'm applying to think I only worked somewhere, willingly, for 3 months? Do I leave it off and look like I've been unemployed for longer than I have? I'm screwed either way, honestly. My record is spotty. I mostly worked odd jobs as I made my way through college... and then my two year gig... and then what? Unemployment?

Prior to losing this job, I rarely had trouble scoring an interview with any company I applied to. Now that I have this black mark on my record, I can't even get an interview at a grocery store, No joke. Why? Because unemployment discrimination still exists, my friends. Believe it or not, it really is harder to find a job once you have to answer “yes” to “Have you ever been let go from a job?” Even if you can promise that your termination is no fault of your own. There are too many other people who haven't been fired or laid off, and they appear to be the more secure applicants.

Many people seem to have this idea that the unemployed are just enjoying their time off, that we live as well as we did when we had jobs. Some seem to believe that now we just sleep in and then watch Price is Right and talk shows all day long. Oh, how I wish that were true. I have never been more stressed out and depressed in my entire life. I thought I was barely surviving before... try living on less than $1400 a month in Southern California where the average studio apartment is $1200 a month. And guess what? We all know it runs out... so we sit here, scrambling to figure out what we are going to do when that happens. The longer we stay unemployed, the harder it is to find work, yet no one will even call us back for an interview.

And even worse is when the EDD systems are messed up and you just don't get paid. Or while Congress negotiates whether or not to extend extensions, we just sit here and twiddle our thumbs over Christmas wondering if we will be homeless come January 1st. Even if they do approve the extensions, there will be delays... there are always delays it seems. So even if the extensions are improved, we can expect to go without pay a few weeks. No big deal, right? Nothing like wondering how you're going to pay January's rent when you don't get paid until February. If you haven't experienced the joy of trying to get through to someone at the EDD to tell them you haven't been paid in three months, well then... let me tell ya, you're missing out. It would seem that no one ever gets through to a real person. No one I know, at least. You send e-mails out into the unknown, hoping they will eventually get back to you while you decide between paying your electric bill or buying groceries to make sure you have enough to cover the rent.

I don't know about you, but this doesn't sound like any vacation I'd be willing go on.

And I know many others like me. We aren't, as some people seem to believe, too good for some jobs. Not at all. I'd gladly flip burgers or scrub toilets if it meant I wouldn't be living in my car. But like I said above, even those positions turn me down. Why? Because I'm “overqualified.” I've considered leaving off my education, but then I have these big blank marks in the middle of my resume and no excuse for them. What then?

Not to mention, try living on minimum wage in some of these areas. It's not possible. The answer, according to some, is for those who complain that they can't live on minimum wage is to go to college... well guess what, the number of college graduates working minimum wage jobs is 71% higher than it was only a decade ago. As of 2012, 284,000 college graduates can't find their way out of minimum wage work, and 30,000 of them have a Master's degree. I don't see it getting any better in 2013 and 2014 either.

I went to college, I went to graduate school and I worked for a better life... I'm not lazy. But simply put, minimum wage wouldn't even pay half my rent and I live in one of the cheapest parts of the state in the cheapest apartment I've found. I share it with someone and perhaps, a job at McDonalds would pay most of my half of the rent... but nothing else. No food, no electricity and definitely not my student loans.  That's a simple fact.  

This isn't fun. This isn't a vacation. It's pure hell. People claim “there's jobs out there” and yet, I can't seem to find them. I've submitted well over a thousand applications, sent my resume out to hundreds more. I've had my resume critiqued by professionals, same with my cover letter template. I keep changing it around, hoping that somehow I can hide this big, gaping hole in my work history that is there due to no fault of my own.

Get that? No fault of my own. I worked hard. I appreciated my job. I paid my taxes like everyone else. I did everything right and I'm still here. And guess what? I'm not alone. Yes, you may know one or two people who cheat the system. Maybe you know more. Maybe you know people who have enough money to accept unemployment benefits and still live a comfortable life so they aren't stressing about work. But get this... they aren't the majority. The majority of us are hard-working people who want to work, who want out of this rut and who don't appreciate being called lazy and worthless and are treated like second class citizens because we got a bad break. We aren't expecting handouts, but something needs to be done. We can debate all day and night about what that something is, but the truth of the matter is that what we've done up until this point is not working. Jobs are not being created. The middle class is disappearing. And those who fall upon hard times shouldn't be left to starve or live in their cars simply because of a situation they did nothing to create.

Yes, people make mistakes. I see now that I made the mistake of changing jobs. At the time, I thought it would lead me in a better direction for my future. There was no reason to think this would happen to me. Others are just like me. Sometimes, you take a chance and it works out. Sometimes, it doesn't. But we make decisions based on what we know at the time and sometimes, those decisions don't work out how we'd intended. Sometimes we have family to help us out, or we know someone who can get us a job right away. Sometimes we have no one who can help us and we're alone, trying to find a job in a system that labels as as incapable from the very beginning.  And sadly, many people would rather sit back and judge, point fingers and act superior because they didn't end up like us. It's easier to place blame on those who aren't as successful than to admit that sometimes things happen that are well outside of our control. Because to admit that would be admitting that bad things can happen to good people. And when you admit that, you admit that maybe... just maybe... bad things can happen to you too. It's much easier to think those people deserve it than to admit sometimes, people do get rough breaks in life. Not always, there are people who cause their own problems, sure. But there are a lot more people like me who did everything right, who worked hard and we fell on bad times anyway. But we fall through the cracks.

That is exactly why the unemployed struggle as much as they do. The problem won't be resolved until we, and employers too, stop thinking that the unemployed deserve what they're going through and actually start making changes so that yes, they can find jobs and pull themselves out of this mess.

Sadly, I don't expect to see it anytime soon.

Originally posted to KristenD on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 03:29 PM PST.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tell the truth. (5+ / 0-)

    The job sounded good, it wasn't, I should have never made the move. It was an unfortunate decision based on a employment package they did not live up to.

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 03:52:32 PM PST

    •  Thank you. (6+ / 0-)

      It was a very unfortunate decision, and one that has caused way more problems than solutions for me. Thank you for your comment.

      Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

      by KristenD on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:10:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I re entered the golf course business (0+ / 0-)

        this spring after a 20 year hiatus. This fall I was made a very nice offer for 2014.

        How to approach that issue in a cover letter was a conundrum. I told the truth, "my career took a sideways track, and I walked away, I now regret that decision".

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 06:03:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  However you handle this, one main thing. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KristenD, ladybug53, jfdunphy, BlackSheep1

    Keep up, with a lot of intensity, with the field you're interested in. The caveat here is that you first have to assess how much in demand that field is or may be.

    My thoughts are with you.

    Suggestion for Facebook: 50 free "starter friends" automatically as soon as you sign up.

    by dov12348 on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 03:52:47 PM PST

    •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, Roger Fox, dov12348

      Thank you. Sadly, I'm realizing a change may be for me. The reality is that my field isn't as strong as it once was, and it may take years to recover. I'm lucky enough to be young enough to make such a change.

      Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

      by KristenD on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:13:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am so sorry about your situation. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers, for a job to open up for you soon.

    What a creepy boss!

    Is there any chance of something coming open back at your old job?

    •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, jfdunphy

      I agree... things with him were rather odd. There wasn't a day in that office where I was comfortable. In the end, it's probably for the best, it's just hard to see it right now.

      As far as my old job goes, they had filled my position pretty quickly and it wasn't a big office, so no new openings have come up since then.

      Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

      by KristenD on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:15:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Re-posted to Unemployment Chronicles. (5+ / 0-)

    Should get a few more eyes on it.

    You did not do anything wrong by changing jobs. You went for a job in your field - that's what all that expensive education was about. Sounds like you were just unlucky and ran into a sociopath. Scary, and nothing you did would have worked.

    Getting an interview is almost impossible. You just have to keep at it - yes, I know, not a help. But don't give up.

    One thing you might be able to do to lower your expenses - try to get your student loan servicer to give you an Income Based Repayment Plan (IBR). It could significantly lower your monthly payment (sometimes down to 0), keep you current and not impact your credit rating. I have found that servicers don't often mention it. You could start by going to StudentLoans.gov and look for the William Ford Foundation program.

    Good luck.

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 04:06:33 PM PST

    •  Thank you. (6+ / 0-)

      I'm currently not paying on my student loans at all... I'm on an unemployment deferment right now. So that is good news! I am looking at lowering my expenses, and if a job doesn't come through within the next month or so, I'm moving back to Missouri where I can afford to live and work at a minimum wage job. Of course, moving isn't cheap... but I will do whatever I have to do to survive.

      Thank you for your comment. I'm realizing that I may have to make some drastic changes in my life in order to live a decent life, and I am certainly willing to do whatever it takes.

      Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

      by KristenD on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:20:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fuck em. Lie. Tell em you quit. (3+ / 0-)

    Tell em the guy was verbally abusive and mentally unstable. Call your former boss and tell him you plan on suing him if says anything bad about you. That you are considering a hostile work environment suit and have consulted a lawyer. It could be total bullshit. You cannot afford to play it straight, and why should you? Employers have zero loyalty to us these days, so don't be afraid to bullshit them. You don't check the yes box where they ask if you were fired. You quit. Convince yourself you quit. They ain't even gonna check.

    •  She did not quit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KristenD

      She has collected unemployment benefits.  There are a lot of evil people out there - especially her ex-employer.  She likely was assessed a penalty for termination, but then she collected.  If she quit she would not be entitled, and collecting under false pretenses is a crime.  She does not need to take the risk of exposing herself to investigation.
      Stick with Roger Fox's solution - tell the truth!  In fact, the truth is that she does not know why she was terminated!

      “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be." ― P.C. Hodgell, Seeker's Mask

      by ramblin engineer on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 05:55:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good Point... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh

        I hadn't thought about that at all, but great points.

        I'm still not given the time of day to tell them why I was let go, though. Maybe one day telling the truth will come in handy, but for now, the little explanation I give on the online form doesn't seem to be working. I never get called in for even an interview.

        Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

        by KristenD on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 04:17:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  business conditions (0+ / 0-)

          That's the reason you give.  The business restructured - not a lie, but a reasonable deduction.  Don't leave out the experience - it is valuable.

          “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be." ― P.C. Hodgell, Seeker's Mask

          by ramblin engineer on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 07:46:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Most of us run into this guy at some point in our (7+ / 0-)

    careers.  A crazy.  It is, however, unfortunate when you run into one so early on in your career, but I have heard a few stories from some young people who have.  

    The main thing is to realize that there really are people out there who will try to tank you.  Sad but true.  It is hard to tell who they are.  It is even more difficult when they hire you or are above you in rank.  

    However, you can't let them win.  I agree with other comments here that you have to fight fire with fire. Don't be afraid to say you could not work with this man for ethical reasons.  Don't bear the burden of his nuttiness.  He's the nut.  Not you.

    In today's world, interruptions in employment are not unusual, they are commonplace.  Besides, you have a solid record--it doesn't boil down to this twirp.

    Above all, don't let him win.  Don't let him define you or your future.  Categorize him--and don't be afraid to categorize him to your potential employers--describe the work situation as untenable, due to ethical differences.  

    Good luck.  You sound like a very smart, educated person.  You'll be okay.  Stay strong.

    If the plutocrats begin the program, we will end it. -- Eugene Debs.

    by livjack on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 04:27:50 PM PST

    •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, leftangler, jfdunphy

      Thank you for your comment. I'm certainly ready to fight fire with fire, and I've let it be known the circumstances for my unemployment.

      Thank you. I intend to keep on fighting through this, and hopefully writing about my struggles can help others too.

      Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

      by KristenD on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:24:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm working with one right now (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KristenD, BlackSheep1, this just in

      but she isn't my boss...a social worker with an obvious personality disorder. She told me off today in front of everyone. So who looked crazy? My brother in law is a draftsman who has had trouble finding steady full time work. He works for a guy when projects are available. So when a steady gig came up he was thrilled. The owner of that company turned out to be a sick bastard. After a week he told my BIL he wasn't sure if he would keep him on after the next week. My BIL,  proud Colombian, said i'll save you the trouble, i'mleaving now! And with that he threw the keys on his desk and left. back to part time work. I've had many nutty bosses; from a sadistic fishing boat captain who loved to curse a you in front of patrons, to a narcissistic English dept head who bragged he had denied tenure to more people than all other supervisors combined, to a principal who falsified fire drill records and a superintendent of a jail who dressed in purple as an African queen for her birthday. I had a supervisor who wrote me up for being late because I stopped to help a colleague with MS whose electric wheelchair stalled in the parking lot. I am a union man to a fault!

      •  I can relate... (4+ / 0-)

        The day before I was let go, my boss came to me and yelled at me about a mistake he said I'd made weeks into starting the job. I panicked, I searched my records and couldn't find the papers he said I'd received. Come to find out, he had misheard the message... the client was asking if he'd accidentally sent something to us, something I wasn't supposed to be getting anyway... and no, I hadn't. So it was all good. But my boss yelled at me anyway, said I needed to be better organized so I didn't lose things (how can I lose things I didn't get, that I wasn't supposed to be getting???) and instead of causing a scene, I told him I'd do better. I didn't defend myself. I hadn't done anything wrong, but I figured smiling, nodding and saying I would do better was the answer.

        Apparently not.

        And that was just the tip of the iceberg...Just a snapshot of what my days were like there.

        Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

        by KristenD on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:50:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ya can't win with these people (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1

          if you stand up to them they fire or harass you more, if play nice that only emboldens them to act more cruelly. This bastard will get his comeuppance, and if you stay in the same field his name will come up again and you'll see eye rolls. Nothing you can do would have changed a thing. But you can warn others. Don't be afraid to call your replacement and let em know the guy is a sick bastard. One trick is to call the person who had the job before you if you can and ask why he/she left and what kind of place it is to work. I did that before taking a job in the jail. Things are bad now but sooner or later people will be hiring you and the day might even come where you can pick and choose. in my job now, for example, I would tell new hires that we are understaffed and that won't change, so be ready to be overworked.

  •  yes, it's insane out there. At our library I spent (5+ / 0-)

    a lot of time helping a patron go to online college. In fact I was the one who met her and told her 'you could do more' and encouraged her to get a degree, something no one had ever really done with her.
         Now she's working nights managing at CircleK because she can't find a better job and she's $35,000 in debt. Big help I was, eh? Personally, I think that if nothing else, she has set a higher bar for her own children and is doing great and should be proud. But the truth is I had no idea the cost of college, especially online college had gotten so high.

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:10:10 PM PST

    •  Thank you. (2+ / 0-)

      Oh geez, the cost of college is ridiculous! I have so much student loan debt... but I did it to improve my life. I was the first person in my family to graduate high school, much less go to college or graduate school. I grew up poor, so my family couldn't contribute anything to my education... But at 18, I thought it would lead to a better life and it was the only way I would escape poverty.

      I won't complain about my debt, I took the risk on myself and while it didn't pay off, I will do everything I can to pay my debts... still, I have encouraged my brother to think twice about attending college and he's pursuing personal training as a career option, which is far cheaper than a four year degree and likely to put him in a better situation.

      We live and learn, I suppose.

      Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

      by KristenD on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:40:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  when I was almost 17 I got accepted to what was (0+ / 0-)

        then one of the Top Five most expensive schools in the nation. I had no clue about money or what the numbers really meant until I was starting year 3 and my mom needed a truck and bought herself a pick-up. (A woman doesn't need a truck, at least in the '70s they didn't but that's another story...)
             I was depressed and hung over all the time and ready to drop out anyway, and when it occurred to me that my tuition was like buying a truck a year for four years I dropped out in a hurry before my grades hit the floor.
            I was also lucky enough to do that in the early '80s, and by the time I went back to college in 2001, everyone in the '90s had fought the fight to keep and transfer college credits. So it was smooth sailin' for me to go back. Thanks everyone!
            a few years later I got married, and we celebrated ten years the same year I finished paying the school loans for the first two years- even though I had had scholarships and grants. I can still see the look on my mom's face when she asked if I knew how lucky I was that it was early in the semester and the loan officers decided to just let me out of it all for that year. Don't know how that happened, don't wanna know!

        We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

        by nuclear winter solstice on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:09:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  what's your field? Could you join (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KristenD

        the USCG, perhaps?
        If not, could you qualify as a teacher at an overseas DOD school?
        Some of those programs assist with student debt too.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:23:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1

          My field is technically real estate development with a focus on low-income and affordable housing and urban redevelopment. I've looked into teaching English overseas, but a lot of the programs seem to charge money to get certified and I just can't afford that... not to mention, I have a Great Dane (who I've had longer than being unemployed) who is my baby and there really is no safe way to move overseas with a giant breed dog.

          USCG? Is that the United States Coast Guard? I'll look into it. I know nothing about it, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes. I'm open to changing paths, especially if it meant I could help others while doing it. I've looked into Americorps, Teach For America and similar programs, but haven't found anything I'm qualified for just yet.

          Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

          by KristenD on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 12:02:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not sure I follow all of your tags (0+ / 0-)

    What about you is working class, if you hold a graduate degree from a prestigious university and just lost a job in your field?

    Same for Minimum Wage

     Maybe I'm just missing the connections (???)

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:23:02 PM PST

    •  I'm not sure I follow your question? (0+ / 0-)

      While graduating from a great school, I still worked mostly in administrative/office type fields, and wrote about the struggles of the unemployed trying to find work in any field. I am new to the site, so perhaps I am confused how the tags work... but I assumed my post would be of interest to those in the working class which is why I chose the tag.

      Maybe the confusion lies within my use of "prestigious school". I didn't graduate from Harvard or Yale, but it's still a respected school... which I paid for myself (and utilized financial aid like crazy) because my mom and step-dad are in worse shape than I am financially.

      Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

      by KristenD on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 05:36:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Don't know about diarist, but I've a masters (5+ / 0-)

      from Rutgers ( not prestigious but respectable ) and I punch in and out and consider myself working class.

      •  but this diary isn't about that (0+ / 0-)

        so if she had written about being in the working class in the diary then I'd get it.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 06:24:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The job I wrote about... (0+ / 0-)

          was hourly and by no means required my graduate degree. It was in my field, yes... but I was working a regular office job like most of the working class people I know, making about the same...

          So I'm not sure why there's a problem.

          Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

          by KristenD on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 06:39:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because that description of the job you (0+ / 0-)

            wrote about wasn't part of the diary so I couldn't follow that, which is why when I got to the end the tags didn't make sense to me and was why I commented.

            I know see that there's more to what you mean than the words that you wrote, so I'm glad I asked, because the connection wasn't clear just from reading the text.

            thanks.

            Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

            by a gilas girl on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 06:45:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  There are things that you can do (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, Ahianne, KristenD

    What it looks like you have is a workplace bully. Who did a version of bait-and-switch. Which means that he broke a contract.
        So I can suggest a couple of things to look up There is a very useful book, in my opinion, called Giving Voice to Values, How to Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right by Mary C. Gentile. It will give you very useful guidance on various ways to pursue an ethical workplace environment.
        Just like there is increasing movement to stop bullies in schools, there is increasing movement to stop bullies in the workplace. There are sites like stopbullying.com, and the like, which you can find with a simple Google search. The object here is not to be silent about it. The non-profit gets its money from somewhere, so there must be a way for donors to be told how their money is being mis-spent. If fraud is involved, there are legal remedies.
        The basic issue is that if people let bullies get away with bullying behavior, the bully goes on to repeat the vicious cycle. There's lots of it going on, but that doesn't mean that people should sit still for it.
        Join a union. Keep involved in progressive causes, including repealing right to work clauses, union busting activities (like the attack on public worker pensions in Detroit). Work towards a sustainable economy, not just and extractive one. There are lots of people out here feeling pressure to one degree or another. But don't make it easy for the bullies by allowing the behavior to continue without protest. Press for change.
       

    •  I agree! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfdunphy

      Yes, I agree... and I'm pushing for change (one reason I joined this site was so I could write about it and hopefully reach others with my writing). I will continue to push for things to change for the better.

      And workplace bullying is a problem I've faced many times before, and I agree, it needs to end. Thank you for the resources, I will look into them.

      Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

      by KristenD on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 04:22:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of the resources supposedly (0+ / 0-)

        available at least in the state of New Jersey is a $1 million fund with the state attorney general's budget devoted to anti-bullying cases. I tried to get the state AG to bring one against a bullying management in a company, and didn't even get a letter back on it. But then, if there had been a democratic governor elected, that could have changed. it wouldn't hurt for other progressives to push for something similar in their states---with larger budgets, I might add. The bullying going on is absolutely incredible, and is even reflected in the occasional polls showing how afraid americans are for their jobs, and how quickly they would leave their current jobs if they had even half a chance.

  •  Unemployment and me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KristenD

    I have been unemployed twice, and both times were traumatic.  My circumstances were different, but I can relate.   In 1983, I was laid off from a fortune 500 company due to market conditions (Reagan's recession).  I found a job quickly, with a small company run by a psycho.  I was there for 5 months before I was terminated.  Luckily, I was not a homeowner at the time and was able to move 1000 miles with a rental truck. My new pay was 73% of my old pay and now I had no benefits.  My wife took a job as resident manageer of an apartment complex after we had been there for two months - a lifesaving move, but one with painful compromise.  She had to agree to turn minorities away from the apartment complex.
    Just as the NAACP caught on to the KKK owner (early 1984, after 8 months of unemployment), my old company called me back - at 90% of the pay when I left.  When I arrived, I suddenly had substantially more duties, since staff was still reduced.
    Eventually I moved to a position as a state civil servant, with an 18 year career with that agency.  I moved to another agency, and after almost 5 years, the new tea party administration decided to dramatically reduce that agency.  In September of 2011, I was 56, a professional engineer, and unemployed.  I managed to find some contract work until Christmas, then it evaporated.  I had started applying for federal jobs before I was laid off, and one came through in May of 2012.  I was very lucky, though my new pay was 55% of where I had been terminated, and the new state had an income tax, while the old state did not.
    Getting hired by the federal government is not easy, but I am very happy I endured the process.  There is less judgement in the review of your resume than you will find anywhere else; there is less discrimination of any kind than you will find anywhere else; and the benefits are competitive.  

    “That which can be destroyed by the truth should be." ― P.C. Hodgell, Seeker's Mask

    by ramblin engineer on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 06:28:52 AM PST

    •  Thank you for your comment. (0+ / 0-)

      Sorry to hear of all your challenges as well. There are so many hardworking people being hurt by this, and yet so many people remain blind to the fact that it's happening.

      I'm currently looking at moving thousands of miles away, back to where I grew up, in order to live cheaper. At least there I can work at a grocery store and still have a roof over my head... Not possible here in Southern California, which has become my home over the years. I will do what I have to do to keep afloat though.

      Originally from Missouri, Kristen currently resides in Southern California. Femmes du Chaos, a book of short stories featuring strong female characters, is out now. You may find her at www.facebook.com/kristenduvallwriter.

      by KristenD on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 04:25:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Kristen. (0+ / 0-)

    Bingo-

    stop thinking that the unemployed deserve what they're going through
    And welcome to DKOS. Write on!
    Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

    The Americas greatest political dynasty...the Kaan

    by catilinus on Fri Dec 06, 2013 at 09:30:01 AM PST

Click here for the mobile view of the site