Saturday, July 28, 2012

Networking: A Four Letter Word

I have been struggling with the concept of networking for the past 2.5 years.  One might notice throughout my blogs the number of times I repeat the length of time my husband has been unemployed and one might think that I am doing so to drive the point home to my reader.  That would be a mistaken assumption as the real reason why I feel the need to reiterate that period of time is to, in fact, drive the point home to myself as I honestly cannot get my mind around it and digest it fully--even though I am living every single millisecond of worry day in and day out.  As I have been reminded time and again by my husband, networking is an invaluable (perhaps the penultimate) means of securing a new position.  Per usual, this is not working for us, however.  My husband is a masterful networker, never missing an opportunity to forge what might be the perfect relationship to get his foot in the door.  We always seem to have something pending but, alas, all without the necessary follow through that we had hoped the connection might bring.  Perhaps it could be said that our connections get us to the game, but their ability to close (or get the interview) might need some fine tuning. More likely, however, is that I am so impossibly fed up with this entire process from the job boards and their perpetually open positions, to the interview where the internal person is already essentially hired, to the interviews never obtained despite incredible and relevant experience.  I am so far past 'done' I cannot even put it into words.

I suppose it might be stating the obvious that I am in a rotten mood.  I just went on to check my saved listings and discovered that 'my' house on the beach was sold, the house I was determined to buy when we moved back to the east coast.  Now, did I expect them to keep it perpetually 'on sale' just waiting for me to show up with a  Okay, no, I didn't, but the sale of that house just underscores the loss of the dream that I had to move back home.  My house moved forward and sold itself, but we are still in the same situation. The months moving foreword as we are stagnating, growing more angry and frustrated by the minute.

I wish the new owner of my house lots of happiness and as they are walking down that wonderful stretch of beach that I so happily traversed a few months ago, I hope they realize just how lucky they are to be living in that wonderful home.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lost His Mind

On many levels, this summer has been difficult, but recently we have added a new issue to the son is starting to lose his mind.  It started at the beginning of the summer when he felt that he could skate through the heat with nary a glance at a workbook or a blow into his clarinet.  Seems understandable enough given that he is thirteen now and all his 'teenage-ness' is rearing its ugly head, but add a job at the barn to this mix and we have a full-blown case of insanity on our hands. Let's look at this week alone and I know I need not remind you that, as yet, we have only reached Tuesday.  On Sunday morning, he 'hit' me (it seems the men in my family know only the ambush approach to communication) at 7am with the fact that a woman at the barn had given him her keys (OMG) to start her car to shut the windows since it had started raining.  First, shame on her a hundred times over because where I am from, we do not give children the keys to vehicles until they have a permit and we never give them the keys unsupervised the first time (I could go on and on about this but I think you get the point). Interestingly, once I revived and could focus, he proceeded to argue that he knew it was wrong to do it, but that somehow I was still wrong to point that out.  Huh?

Very early this morning, he proceeded to ask me if he could take a horse and ride to another counsellor's friend's house--oh, just across the pasture.  Now correct me if I am wrong but he is only thirteen, is riding a horse that is not his own, across a pasture to a house--better yet to someone's house I have never seen nor do I know the family--riding with people from the barn whom I do not know and who are not his instructors.  See the problem?  He doesn't.  Plus, adding insult to injury he had already run this one past my husband who told him 'not to even go there with mom.'  Sound advice, if only he had listened.

So clearly, my son has lost his mind.  If  I still had any mind left, mine would be going right about now, too.  I find it remarkable that two people could have four children and that each could be so different from each other.  Believe me, I am terrified as this is child number 2 but I think it will be children 3 & 4 who will really make me a candidate for the cuckoo's nest.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Okay, this is a good one.  Since our move here four long years ago we have had some unbelievably annoying things happen to us.  My purse was stolen not by just an unscrupulous teen, but by a 'criminal kingpin' as he was touted in a local newspaper.  As a result, I am now embroiled in over 2.5 years of legal mess, receiving subpoenas like clock work every three months for not one but two trials that never ever seem to get resolved in an actual courtroom.  My husband lost his job but out of respect for those who continue to read my blog, I will say nothing more about that debacle now.  There have been many other things that have happened but tonight's issue is a head scratcher.  We have been receiving what I had thought to be wrong number calls  for the past week or so.  Tonight, I got a call from Walgreen's asking to speak to someone who clearly does not live in our home.  When I told the pharmacist that the man she was asking for did not live here, she was shocked and stated that he had just left MY number as his contact number.  Okay.  Breathe.

So, what did I do? I immediately checked the internet to see if I could figure out what might be going on.  Of course, there this man and his wife were sitting pretty in my city with MY number listed as their own (yes, I realize this is not their fault but still).  I contacted our carrier who said he had not heard of anything like this happening in his entire career (I was not surprised at all because I hear that all the time when I tell someone some strange nutso thing that has happened to us.  I mean who gets let go 5 weeks after being hired, hmm.  Ever hear of that before?  I think  not).  Almost 45 minutes later and a 'technical work ticket' has been pulled for our problem, hopefully with a resolution in our favor in the near future.

In all honesty, you cannot make this stuff up.  I would write a book, you know,  but who the hell would believe it?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Don't Ask

I was having what I thought to be a casual conversation recently until the inevitable happened, the conversation made an awkward turn and my friend asked how we were doing. For most people, that question is completely innocuous and can taken quite lightly, however, for me it is the question I dread most these days given our situation.  Try as I might to steer all reference to our prolonged unemployed selves away, people always ask.  While I certainly don't mean to sound unappreciative of my own friend's concern, the depth to my uneasiness about this line of questioning makes my skin crawl.  My close friends not withstanding, I just cannot understand how people could continually ask a question for which I am sure they already know the answer.  Honestly, my husband has been unemployed for over 2.5 do you think I am doing right about now?  My 'favorite' question is when someone asks what we plan to do next or if we have a Plan B.  We actually have had Plans B, C and D but we tried those unsuccessfully about a year ago.  As for what comes next, who the heck knows.  We are trying our best but nothing seems to be working in our favor.

How can someone have the nerve (insensitivity) to tell me about how devastated our children must be. I would most certainly have to be brain dead and heartless to not be obsessed with the negative impact this situation is having on our children and their future.  I have actually had someone make a comment to me about how my husband and I are not 'making any memories' for our children such as eating out or taking vacations.  What do people think that at the anniversary of our one year unemployment my husband and I decided to take it for all it was worth just to screw the children up some more.  I mean c'mon.  Use your head people.  We are not just statistics but real people with feelings (lots of them) and guilt (more than you can ever imagine).  Think before you speak.  My husband even suggested it might be cathartic for me to write a book about what not to say to unemployed people--especially those who have passed the one year mark (just ignore those who have passed the two year mark as they really are too devastated to articulate how they are anyway).

While it is absolutely impossible to put yourself in our shoes right now and know the depth of our frustration and fear for the future, just know that part of the process of my surviving these circumstances stems from my ability to 'pretend' we are normal sometimes. Rather than beat an already dead issue (we cannot say the phrase 'dead horse' in our family because my son is a rider!), we will not be okay until my husband finds a job.  So now you know, don't ask anymore.  Okay?

Friday, July 13, 2012


I suppose it being the middle of summer and all, one might expect the title of this blog to relate to the weather  but one would be mistaken.  'Hot' actually refers to my mood and not the soaring temperatures.  Without disclosing all the details of today's (interesting that it is , in fact, Friday the 13th) frustrations, let's just say it was yet another day filled with annoying neighbors. I am so tired of being patient and understanding with them.  You see, I was brought up to believe that I needed to be 'the bigger person'--it is my mom's almost all-time favorite mom-ism--which translates loosely to taking the high road at all times.  I was also taught to respect other people in the fullest sense of the word from their opinions to their time, property, feelings and everything in between.  Apparently, a few of my neighbors did not have the same upbringing or, if they did, they have selective retention and they did not retain the important things.

I am tired of being Mrs. Nice, of being accommodating to disrespectful children and their parents and of being taken advantage of just because I chose to stay at home with my children (emphasis on 'my').  My mom tells me that I am 'too nice' and that I should be treating those in question as they treat me--please take note of the fact that this is in direct opposition to the way she raised me!  Apparently my nieghbors' behavior is ticking her off as well.  Break point!

I read a book many years ago that related to a woman's inner bitch.  I am beginning to feel her ugly head rising from deep within my soul and I have the distinct impression I might be embracing her before summer's end.  My outer good girl is cracking and my inner bitch is craving her chance in the sun.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


We just moved rapidly past the 2.5 year mark of unemployment--do we really count those five weeks of glory in MA, I think not--and we are still battling this demon.  I must preface this by saying that I am in the worst mood ever today, a mood I have not been in in quite a while.  I cannot seem to be able to get away from myself and my own dark thoughts of what will happen to us and when this nightmare will be over.  Adding insult to injury, I had a moment this morning and resumed trolling the job boards.  Big mistake.  Obviously, I have become a self-proclaimed job search queen given my experience and it enrages me to see the same positions open month after month after month.  Seriously, what is going on in these companies?  Are they planning to fill these jobs (or at least purge them from the boards) or are the hiring managers so paralyzed by their quest for perfection (and the glut of potential candidates) that they cannot make a decision.  Let's face it, I have been accused of being far too black and white in my approach to life, grounded in realism and unable to 'lighten up' and 'just be,' but I also know that some companies have to be hiring someone,

I have to believe that the law of averages would dictate that with all the resumes we have sent out and all the networking that has been done by both my husband, myself and my mom, there has to be a job for which my husband is suitable somewhere in the continental US.  For heaven's sake, he has close to 30 years experience in the same field and while I know he has some things going against him, his skill set has to add value to the efficient running of a creative services department somewhere in the nation.

Obviously, I am also a control freak and the absolute best way to throw me over the edge is to present me with a huge problem and then allow me no way to proactively find the solution--oh, yeah, and then just keep it moving in an unchanging, stifling, slow crawl ad infinitum (throw in two trials moving concurrently in exactly the same manner and you really have a recipe for disaster).

I have begun to feel quite akin to that lowly hamster in the wheel.  Calgon take me away!

Friday, July 6, 2012


Being such uber-readers of my blog you have to have started worrying about me by now, no?  I mean, after all, it has been a whole ten days without a post in sight.  Oh, sure, you have probably started thinking that perhaps my life has turned around and we are happily ensconced in our 'new normal' or perhaps traveling to some exotic location for a well-deserved and long overdue vacation.  Some of you might even be thinking that I have gotten just so busy with the hustle and bustle of summertime fun that I could not grab a spare moment to regal you with the details of my new found and exciting life.

Alas, the real reason for this ten day hiatus may indeed have something to do with the overbearing temperatures we have been enduring because I have a wicked case of 'writer's block.'  Perhaps more appropriate terminology might be that my brain is fried--literally.  I can't think.  Basically, 'I got nothing.'  I am going out on a limb here, but I am guessing that deep in the throes of the summer heat, no one cares if we are still unemployed (we are) or if I am still impossibly depressed (I am) but, if you are like me (don't get too scared, I don't think you can catch bad luck from reading a blog) you are looking for some way to cool off and lighten your mood.

I apologize for not being able to offer some light-hearted banter to distract you from the seemingly never-ending heat wave.  While my words fail me of late, however,  I will give you a visual of my thoughts right now (no, it is not a picture of my husband happily employed, so rest easy) and where I long to be...

I give you what I affectionately like to think of as 'my beach'--Nantasket Beach in Hull, MA

Stay cool...