(Photo source, Darth Dragon on Flickr)
As I did in last weeks’s Unemployment Chronicles, (and many thanks again to Laurie again for suggesting it), I’ll talk about some of the things that I’m going through now that more than half a million Americans are unemployed. While the President parties in Camp David this weekend, probably to oversee the construction of his brand new basketball court, a country is left alone, rudderless – and without a clue to what’s going to happen next. Nero dribbles while Rome burns.
Ok, so what’s the first thing one does when out of a job? Look for a new one, of course! I’m enrolled with various headhunter and employment agencies since I started freelancing. Some are more industry specific than others. If you belong to a particular industry, there’s a good chance there’s an agency for your industry, so search the web. I’m also signed up with Yahoo HotJobs, Monster, CareerTracker, etc. I’ve had better luck on industry specific employment/contract sites vs. the ginormous job sites, I’m doing an “all of the above” approach, so try everything.
I went to a job interview earlier this week that was a bit deceiving. What I thought was going to be a one on one interview was basically a cattle call – similar to a open audition casting call. There were probably about 50-75 people there applying of all ages. It was for a high pressure commission only sales job, which you had to buy or already own certain resources before doing this job. And of course, these items were being sold there. If it smells like a scam, walks like a scam, talks like a scam – it probably is one. Please look out for those.
There are some Job Fairs coming up in Tampa which I am planning to attend. Chris Martin over at No Quarter wrote about the atmosphere at a job fair he recently attended. It’s a good post, so please read here when you get the chance:
To the disgust of many there–and you could see it in their faces–this was exactly that, a job fair. Most of the companies there were advertising entry level jobs, many temporary or part-time. Here were thousands of people, many with decades of work experience being asked to wait in line an hour to beg for a low-paying job. One young female–a recent engineering grad–asked about jobs in her field but was told there wasn’t anything like that available. That’s the story in today’s market: there are either no jobs available or dozens of people with more experience than you.
So now the market is flooded with experienced, older workers against recent college grads. Who do you think an employer is going to pick? It’s not going to be the experienced older worker, I can guarantee you that. What sucks about this job market the way it is, more women are vulnerable to employer abuse.
Retail used to be a safe bet, but I tried it out anyway. Many stores have a hiring freeze, even my local supermarket. I even went to a local Borders book store and I got the “we’re not hiring now, but just apply online anyways” schtick. Most of the people I saw working at Borders, BTW, were no younger than 40.
RD suggested to me to apply for a Federal job – which is at USAJOBS.GOV, the Federal Employment website run by Monster.com. But then I read it was hacked recently, so I’m going to hold off for a couple for days before I start entering my info on there.
The kicker to this week was between yesterday and today. Remember the reason why I took a break from blogging, i.e. I was sick like a dog and a doctor at the country clinic said I probably need a tonsillectomy?
Well my Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman was right. My strep throat infection is back and it’s kicking my ass. I couldn’t do Conflucians Say last night because it’s very painful to talk. This shit is scaring me because repeated infections back to back can lead to more serious conditions. I’d list them but I don’t want to think about it right now.
So after reading RD’s Friday post this morning, I head to the county clinic. While waiting, I saw people of all sorts: mothers with young children, seniors, teens, 40 something year olds, of all ethnicities. It certainly wasn’t like the posh medical center my mom goes to (hooray for Medicare!) but it’s clean and well staffed.
I also noted they recently converted to an electronic health records system. My drivers license and Social Security Card was scanned and when the triage nurse took my vitals, she annotated everything on a small laptop. I asked her how safe was the system and she said “there are procedures in place to protect patient privacy.” I prompted her again regarding hackers, selling records to third parties, etc. The triage nurse, annoyed that I was asking her this while trying to take my blood pressure, assured me that all of the information was secure. So I let it go for now.
After a loooooong wait (ok, it was about a 45 minutes), Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman saw me. Since I am allergic to penicillin (which could do the bacteria killing job better) and the cephalosporin antibiotic didn’t kill the infection completely, she gave me Zithromax to try out and urged for me to see an ENT as soon as possible. I reminded her again that I don’t have insurance, I was just laid off and I recently placed an application for Medicaid.
Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman recommended to also apply for the Hillsborough County Insurance, which is available to all Hillsborough County residents based on a sliding pay scale. A small county sales tax funds the insurance program, since I may or may not qualify for MedicAid. This is the best chance I have of seeing an ENT specialist without selling my car to help pay for it.
If you are without insurance right now, please check your county’s Health Department Services website for information on county-funded insurance. Hillsborough County Insurance info is here, just to give you an idea.
Anyway, that’s the story for this week. I want to thank everyone who’s donated via Liberalcrat. Since I don’t qualify for Unemployment Insurance because I’m a contract worker, I’m literally living on Blogger Welfare! Thanks to you, I was able to get Zithromax, pay bills, gas & groceries, etc. I’m truly very lucky and blessed to be a part of such a great community. In these precarious times, we have to hold hands and look out for one another, and you’ve held mine. I hope that somewhere, somehow, I’m able to return this kindness. But I know Karma has a way of repaying good deeds and I hope she finds her way to you. Here’s a song for you, because I’m truly getting by with a little help from my friends – literally. Thank you!