No rest for the unemployed — at all

7 Dec

I’m unemployed! So, I guess it’s time to lie around playing guitar, eating Cheetos, and watching soap operas! Right?

Oh hell no.

One thing I’ve realized about unemployment periods is that — providing you want to get out them — you’re more pressed for time than when you were working! The Flat Broke Diva is going to explain how this works.

First, you have the matter of unemployment compensation. You could easily spend the entire day at the unemployment office, spending hours standing in lines, sitting in waiting rooms with everyone who’s going as crazy as you are, etc. I described my personal process in an earlier post. I’ve swapped a few horror stories with people who have been through it since then. One is a guy who, on top of the bureaucratic nightmare, got stuck in a jam-packed elevator. He’s also claustrophobic. The time you have to spend with unemployment doesn’t end at the office. Not only do you have to make certain numbers of job contacts every week, your case may also have special circumstances that merit even more bureaucratic time. Mine is one of them. I have a hearing Monday morning to determine my eligibility. Oh yeah, I’ve been out of work for two weeks now, and I have yet to see a dime in unemployment benefits.

Then, you have to hit the pavement to look for work. I’ve tried hitting concentrated areas so I can be more productive and use less gas. I’m living on severance pay right now. You enter, get turned down, and prepare for the same to happen at the next location — over and over again. I try to search and apply online as much as I can because of the gas expense concerns, but you have to show your pretty face at a lot of places to get anywhere. When I was first out of work after graduating with my master’s degree, I went to the state capitol armed with a stack of resumes. I spent the entire day there. You also have to hit the pavement by phone, too. Thank God I have unlimited minutes.

Like I have, you might catch a lucky break to where you don’t have a full-time job with benefits, but you get something part-time or freelance to at least keep SOME kind of change in your pocket. That’s awesome, but this also will have you running your guts out, especially if you have multiple interviews or have to take on multiple jobs. Let me give you a little example with my schedule for the latter part of the week. Wednesday, I had two job interviews at retail stores, and there was only two hours in between the interviews’ start times. The following night, I had a meeting to cover for my stringer gig. Tonight, I have a second interview at one of those two stores.

Maybe I’ll finally get some rest this weekend…

Current music: Alice in Chains, “Head Creeps”



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