Monday, December 29, 2008

Liar, liar

Sheesh- I am such a fraud. I got an e-mail from an old high school friend-she saw I was a "real" author and she was impressed. How is the rest of my life? She, of course, just celebrated her 25th anniversary-her oldest will graduate college in May and her youngest graduates high school in June-plus she has a new career...blah, blah.

When I wrote down the truth-that I can't live on my royalties-that I've been looking for a job for over a year- that my husband and I are separated but living in the same house-that my oldest kid is still living with me and on her fourth college-that my youngest kid is working two part time jobs and not going to college-but I still have all my teeth...

I thought to myself-how pathetic can you get? And promptly deleted it.

After that I wrote in my e-mail that-yes, I am a "real" author my ninth book comes out in 2010. My kids are doing very well thank you-one works as a tutor in the math department-the other is traveling to Poland in the summer. Then asked- how are you? Heard any good gossip lately?

What I wrote wasn't a lie- but can be interpreted as we are doing so much better than reality. Big sigh.

The truth is how you spin it-just ask anyone in politics, history or religion... and no, I'm not going to a reunion anytime soon.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

If only life were like the movies...

I rented the movie, "The Women" yesterday. It's a great film with zero men in it. It is loaded with my favorite actresses, Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Jada Pinket Smith, Debra Messing, Cloris Leachman, Bette Midler, Candice Bergman...the list goes on. Major stars. All wonderful comic actors with fabulous pedigrees.

Still, emotionally the movie left me a tad bit angry and sad. Meg Ryan's character is a "good girl" who wakes up one day to discover that she did everything everyone wanted and still lost it all...(sound familiar? Yeah, my life.) But lucky Meg gets to go to a spa camp to find herself. After a few weeks of making collages and figuring out who she is-she comes roaring back. Not only does she get a divorce- and gets to keep the million dollar home, the housekeeper, the nanny/governess, plus cars and jewels-but she gets to use her mother's inheritance to start her own fashion line- and tada! She is a success. Divorced, strong and successful all in the span of 9 months... (B*tch)

The problem with these fairy tales is that there is no way for real life to measure up. It's been 11 months for me- I can't get a job at Kmart-let alone start my own million dollar business- I can't even afford a lawyer yet-and if I do get divorced there is no health insurance... (Have you ever made cobra payments? They are as high as a house payment.) Sure, Meg gets the ultimate revenge- where the hell is mine?

All I want is a good job with health insurance and the ability to untie the knot that's choking me and move on... is that too much to ask?

If you are in my situation- fear not- you are not a loser- nothing ever happens like in the movies. We only wish it would.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The weather outside is frightful...

The good news being that they miscalculated the unemployment rate- it's really not as bad as they thought...although the media swears there are thousands more layoffs looming.... makes for suspense and what they hope will translate into ratings.

I have heard nothing more from the company I interviewed with and the guy who wanted to have lunch...

On an ironic note, the Today show this morning had a jobs expert on saying how not to worry- there will be jobs created in areas such as healthcare-and you can take your manufacturing skill sets and use them in healthcare...

Except I have a background in healthcare-and still I can't use my skill sets because...picture interviewer making a face as if they smell something experience isn't in their exact part of healthcare... and for the life of them, they can't imagine that I could use my skill sets in any other way than what I've done in the matter how I argue and give examples that I can.

(No bitterness here...)

Well, at least the snow is starting to let up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sign of the times

Just last month the number of jobs posted within 150 mile radius of my home in the past thirty days was 5,625. Today the number of jobs posted in the past thirty days with 150 mile radius is 2,240. Less than half as many jobs.

It was suggested to me that I push freelancing magazine articles, etc. Except for the fact that every out-of-work writer I know is trying to make money writing freelance articles. Some authors with books coming out are also supplementing dwindling advances with freelance articles while newspapers and magazines are disappearing...

I feel as though I've missed the boat...the train...and the next bus.

That said, I did apply to three jobs yesterday. Maybe one of those will stick. As I told a friend, you have to have hope. There is no other choice. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

WTF Moments

I was glancing through the job boards yesterday-this after I told myself I could take the next few weeks off-what with the holidays, etc-who hires? But I glanced anyway. There in bright bold lettering marked-New Today!- were three jobs I had already applied for twice this year...three.

What are they looking for? These jobs even called me for a phone interview-but in the end, decided they weren't hiring just yet. Now-they have the ad in the job boards....again.

Really? Really? What kind of mind games are these? Who do they think will answer-oh, wait, us desperate, out-of-work, highly qualified people- that's who. Why do they do it? I think the HR people are bored and they do to screw with us. Seriously. Why else waste the money on job ads?

What do they think? That if they put in enough ads, *God* will come calling? What? (We all know that even if the *perfect* candidate called, they would refuse to pay him what he's worth.)

I should take a couple of weeks off from the madness. I should. I've developed a twitch over my right eye. But it's like having a sore tooth, I just can't stop myself from poking it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The News Today

Two headlines jump out at me. 1) Layoff numbers are growing and the number of people on food stamps has risen 17 percent. 2) Divorced people and those seeking divorce are choosing to continue to live together in these tough economic times. Why? They can't sell the damn house.

I felt like a failure until I read these headlines. I am not alone. My wonderful friends reminded me that we have been in a worsening recession since I started job hunting February 1. This means, logically, that the trouble I'm having finding a job is not due to my own failure or lack of enterprise. There is something oddly comforting in that. It changes nothing. I still need a job. In fact the headlines create a feeling desperation. The marketing is squeezing tighter every day, in other words, my chances of supporting myself grow more dim daily. Kind of like being trapped on the Titanic and watching the life boats float out of range. Hard not to feel desperate. But at least I'm not alone and it's not my fault. Small comfort that it is.

Then I am certain people think I am nuts for staying with my hopefully soon to be ex during this whole process. Well, looks like I've started a trend. I think it's crazier to live on the streets just to get away from the man. I tolerated him for 24 years-I can continue to do so. Do I wish things would change- you bet. Can I change them on my own? It appears in these hunker down times I cannot.

So, the headlines are my life and I am not alone. Huh. I'd still rather be one of the lucky ones in the life boat, no matter how many of us are still on the sinking ship.