Once I recovered from the shock of being laid off from my job of 13 ½ years on Oct. 2, 2008, if anyone had come up to me and said, “It will take you more than two years to find a job,” I likely would have responded with double middle fingers, a crotch grab, or whatever alternate vulgar gesture came to mind. I would have never said they were right. Go and figure.
On the bright side, I haven’t relied on unemployment and food stamps (although I did collect the former for as long as I was eligible), I’m not living in a cardboard box in a subway station, and I’m not selling apples near Wall Street. I started part-time jobs in April 2009 (this one ended in November), June 2009 (still going strong) and May 2010 (don’t get me started). But my goal is still to find a full-time position, as it was when I walked out of my old office two years ago. I still can’t adjust to the unpredictability and volatility of freelancing.
One of the few things keeping me sane is my marriage (I’m actually not being sarcastic with that statement). My wife is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, and she knows my efforts are sincere both in terms of trying to find full-time work and working as hard as I can at my part-time jobs. And her family has been welcoming and outstanding from day one (no, I’m not just saying that because several of them read this blog), despite our differences in football allegiances (Cowboys fans and Eagles fans generally don’t coexist very well). And also on the subject of family, my Aunt Rose has been doing very, very well since a scare last October. I guess if I had to pick one area of life to be happy with, I’d pick family, so that’s a big help.
However, it bothers me that I’m not contributing as much to the household budget as I’d like to. I’m not one of those old-fashioned guys who believes men should be the bread-winners, and I have no issues whatsoever with my wife making more than I do, but, while I never expect our contributions to be 50-50, I’d like to at least get in the neighborhood of that range. Right now, I’m miles away.
And the lack of progress is really discouraging and worrisome. Since returning from our honeymoon in mid-May, I have gone on exactly one job interview, which took place two days after our return, and which was for a position that was nothing like what was detailed in the ad. And I haven’t even been averaging one résumé per business day, probably topping out at three or four per week. All the pundits are chirping about a recovery, but I certainly haven’t seen it.
As I said, I know life could be a lot worse, but I sincerely hope and pray that I’m not echoing this blog post in October 2011. I’m not sure how much more of this I can take.