Thursday, October 30, 2014

I Don't Want To!

I hate change.  Though I must admit that I used to be a card carrying member of the Lover Of Change Club, that card received a ritualistic burning once the changes in my life became fast and furious, out of my control, and none too pleasant.  One of my best friends, a true hater of change herself, could never understand why I so openly embraced the opportunity to try something new or to purge the house of things I no longer needed or wanted.  Every single piece of her life, each trinket or souvenir, means so much to her.  It is almost as if, should she get rid of something collecting dust, her memory of that item or time in her life would vanish leaving her feeling empty.  There was once an opportunity for her to move to a larger home with the storage that she craved but lacked, but though she did consider it--for about 30 seconds--she ended up staying where she was because the thought of packing and leaving the house in which her son had grown up, paralyzed her.

My metamorphosis from loving change to hating it was a slow one, an almost imperceptible wearing away starting from from the time of my husband's first round of unemployment, through the second, third and now (come tomorrow) fourth time and my son heading off to college.  Nothing pleads 'no more change' quite like your first born leaving the nest.  Ouch! For all the positives for them, watching as my children move out of our house and on to their own lives is not all fun and games for me.  We are about 7 weeks into his freshman year and I am still waiting for him to pack up and come home, so that we can return to what I once knew was normal.

Tomorrow, Halloween, I will be facing yet another change, one my youngest brought to light when he was feeling sad the other day.  When I asked why he was feeling down, he told me that he was concerned about Halloween because my oldest used to orchestrate a big candy trade and this year just wouldn't be the same without it. I don't know how my oldest did it because he stopped actually trick or treating a few years ago, but he would tag along walking our dog. But, when we returned home,  he could take two random pieces of candy and parlay them into a bag full during this candy trade.  Talk about skill.  In reality, he took candy from his siblings that they did not like and then traded it back to them for stuff he liked.  They never knew what hit them.  I still don't understand how it always worked in his favor beyond the fact that he is one persuasive guy and could make them think that the candy they disliked was actually the best of the loot.

So, yes, children grow up, people lose jobs...OK, can this be the last time for a good long while, please?...but at least one thing remains a constant.  Crazy college son informed me that he wore a gorilla costume to lacrosse practice last night.  Doesn't everyone?

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Back in the Game

As we move closer to October 31st, I am becoming increasingly more bitter as the previous post outlines.I have been searching for a part-time job of late, but I must admit to being cranky about that as well.  We all have certain expectations of where we might be at a particular time in our lives and this was definitely not part of my plan while I still had a child in lower school.  I am also so exhausted and jaded from the almost five year long quest to help my husband find a job, that the last thing (and I mean the very last thing) that I want to be doing right now is looking for a position for myself.  That said, in doing so I have encountered certain problems that I would like to share with my readers. Here are but a few of the things hampering my search (I even took the time to come up with a title for them.  Nice, huh?)

                  5 Ways to Know You Have Not Searched for a Job in a Really Really Long Time

1.  Applications are now online.  No paper applications?  No attaching a physical resume?  Computers?  It is a whole new world for this job seeker.

2.  Most recent experience exceeds oldest's child' age (and for me that would be 18 years)

3.  Not one but two previous employers have since closed up shop and an additional one switched from being a college to being a university.  Crazy times, try not putting in a phone number/address on an asterisked entry on an online job application and see how far you get. (For those of you who have never attempted to do so, you will not move forward to the next page.  Game over)

4.  Near impossible to come up with two or three professional references as a result of #3 or death of potential reference.

5.  Stating your college/grad school graduation date elicits fear in your heart as a little simple addition and whamo, everyone knows you are not 29 years old anymore.

I could go on and on but, honestly, it is Monday and that is bad enough, so why belabor the point.  The bottom line is that if I could only find an employer who would throw a blind eye to my quasi-ancient experience and age, lack of professional references through no fault of my own, and could accommodate my desire to work online/remotely/virtually (or whatever the 'nom du jour' for telecommuting is these days), I would be golden.  But, if an online application could be developed to accommodate those attempting to return to the work force after a protracted number of years without the benefit of three living professional references and not loving the idea of stating her graduation date (I will provide the copy of the degree if we can allow the graduation date to be the elephant in the room), that would be even better.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Isn't It Ironic?

I got 'the call' a little while ago.  This is a call that no matter how many times I receive it (and so far, I have gotten it three times prior to today in almost 5 years), I will never be ready to accept it.  Yes, loyal readers, I am sure you can surmise by now that I received a call from my husband telling me that, come October 31st, he will be out of a job again, due to budget cuts.  The first time he called me to relay the 'happy' news, it was a glorious, sunny day...a Tuesday, if you must know...with the most beautifu, deep blue sky.  I must admit I had been having a great day as well until I was blind-sided by the terrible news.  Interestingly, there seems to be a causal relationship between the weather and this type of call for us as each subsequent time my husband relayed the end of yet another term of employment, the day was bright and sunny and today is no different.

There is, however, a big difference in my reactions.  The first time I was completely shocked and terrified but yet I possessed a strange and unusual optimism that perhaps he could find a new job quickly and we would rebound, possibly even with a better job.  Ha! Twenty-months later (!!!), when he landed this fabulous position in exactly the place I wanted to be living, I figured we had paid our dues and we were being rewarded for our diligence and faith. Then, on that exquisite day in April, when I got the call saying that after only 5 weeks of employment, we were again without a job (and that our hope of moving back home had been shot to hell as well), I was less optimistic that this whole finding a new job thing was going to work in our favor. Flash  forward nine months to the next position with a very solid company and I thought we had survived the worst time of our lives.  Wrong! Apparently, the worst time was yet to come as eight months later...surprise...the holidays are coming and we are unemployed yet again. Clearly, the powers that be are not finished with us as 5 months later, the new position has now led us to crash and burn yet again...on a beautiful, sunny day, that had been going pretty well for me until 'the call'...just before the holidays.

So, by now you should be wondering what this blog is all about beyond me just venting about our lot in life.  Sadly, I must say that right now, the post is what it is.  I am frustrated and angry, tired of trying to be optimistic when we are trapped in a seemingly never-ending cycle of get job--lose job--spend months searching for new job--get 'the call'--start all over again.  Even as I re-read this post, our story sounds positively unbelievable.  If I saw a movie with this plot, I would hate it because it seems unreal, almost comedic.  Too bad it is not.  Too bad it is our life.

Once bitten, twice shy.  Four times bitten, bitter in perpetuity.