Work Please

Well, I feel a little bad this week. I kind of flubbed up the other day. I got a call from a perspective employer about a resume I had sent out and I made a fatal mistake. I was honest.

I’m sorry, but it had been a long time since I spoke with someone about a job and this kind of took me by surprise and add on to that the guy asked me one of those questions I hate to be asked. “What kind of work are you looking for?” I’m sorry. My fuses burst when that question surfaces. I know we all should try and strive for a job we want, but right now I’m not living with that reality. The kind of job I’m looking for is the job you’re looking to fill. I don’t care what it says on my resume or what previous positions I’ve held. If I didn’t want that job, I wouldn’t have sent you my resume in the first place. To ask me this question only shows the ignorance of the employer, at least from my point of view. It shows they don’t realize what it’s like out here in the job searchers world. It shows me that they haven’t picked up a newspaper or watched the news in the past 10  years.

The jobs are coming fewer and further between. My unemployment benefits are gone and frankly, I’m skating by right now by the skin of my teeth. I need work. Part time. Full time. Contract. Whatever! I’m not looking for my dream job. In a way, I already have that because I am a writer and that’s something I can do whenever and for as long as I wish, but unless my book sales take a very sharp spike upward, I’m going to need a job to fill in the gaps. Right now I’m looking for a source of financial support. I’m not going to love your company as you do. I’m not going to sacrifice my life for your profit margin. I’m sorry. That’s just not going to happen. I will show up to work and perform my duties as described to me to the best of my abilities. I will arrive on time and stay until the end of the day. I will help with any duties that I can in the course of the day. I will assist you and my co-workers in moving the gears of commerce along as smoothly as possible. I know a lot of experts say that you have to be that golden child in order to get ahead. They say you have to be willing to mortgage your whole life for the sake of the job. It seems like you can’t get a simple entry level position without proving to the employer you are the second coming brought to life. Which I hate.

It feels like the economy has given employers a chance to turn up the tension and by doing so we, the job seekers, are turning on each other and stabbing at each other while the fat cats sit upon their thrones watching the carnage from their safe perches. We seem to be at war with each other, trying to outdo the next guy at every turn for a meager crust of approval.

I wish I could skip out of this  part. I want to just get to the part where people love my work and my books are selling at a steady pace and I have a few solid deals in ink all over town. Or maybe my books become a sensation over in Japan and the craze incubates over there, and comes back over here big time. I’m just tired of this struggling because it seems I’ve been here a few too many times. It’s like I find myself wandering around the same woods and I find the same brief solution but eventually I end up lost all over again. This isn’t working, but I’m not really seeing what could work. Everything fails. I had a good week with my books. An improvement over past performance, but nothing to write home about. I’m kind of hoping that HBO show ‘Looking’ inspires something because I noticed my Jason Of The Valley books were the most popular sellers, I must admit. I hit double digits with the second book in the series, and I’m definitely going to finish the fifth book soon. I just wish things could start going my way. If only for a month or two. A week. Give me one week of good mojo. I guess last week I felt so good because I felt like I was finally winning. Seeing all those new numbers on my revenue page. For a brief moment, I thought I knew what it was like to touch victory and it was good. I want more. I need more. I’m ready for this fuckin’ life of mine to start getting on track!

Let’s hope.

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Frustration

Now that I’m without a net (Thanks a heap state of CA. YOU SUCK EDD!!!) I am in need of a source of income ASAP. So I need to accomplish in the immediate future what I haven’t been able to over the past year. Find a job. People have said the market has been improving, but I’m not seeing it. I have a college degree and a lot of experience with a lot of different skills, but despite all that, there just aren’t that many jobs available. Every day I check the boards and find nothing. What few jobs I find that are within my scope, I send out my application/resume but days drag by and every day that phone doesn’t ring, I get closer to a totally uncertain future. I’m just at that point where I don’t know what to do. I feel like tearing my hair out sometimes. I feel like my hands are tied and my whole world is on shaky ground. I need work and I need it now. I don’t have time to wait any longer. I know I’m not the only one in this boat, but just the same. Sometimes I can’t believe this is happening. I feel like my life is coming apart at the seams. It puts a lot more  pressure on the success of my upcoming book. I’m reminded that the book is coming out in November and that’s great, but what am I going to do between now and then? What if it flops? I mean, I hope it doesn’t, but it’s a possibility. And even if it’s a smash hit(Hoping) that doesn’t do any good to me now. I can’t pay my rent with future earnings. I’ve even started to sell stuff on Etsy. I make earrings. A friend of mine sells his stuff on Etsy and he does great. I don’t try to do it on the scale he does it, I just need a little extra income. Maybe if I do well with it I might expand, but that’s too far away to worry about now.

I just go to bed every night with all this stress, but despite that, I try to convince myself that the next day will be better, but so far I have been wrong. It just keeps getting worse and worse. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I think the worst of it is how much I hate feeling like I can’t support myself or manage my own life. I feel like less of a man, to be honest. I hate everything about this situation I’m in. And I hate the fact that I can’t really do anything to change it. All I can do is work through it and keep pushing forward. But for how much longer?

Wages

I saw a story on the news about workers striking for higher wages. This issue has bugged me for so long now. Worker wages have stayed rock bottom for decades while executive pay has skyrocketed along with corporate profits. Does this picture make sense to anyone? Not me. There are three components to this equation. Two of the three are doing well, while the last one seems to carry the burden. The little guys are killing the backs and wrecking their health for pennies while the fat cats sit behind their desks and grow fatter and are treated like royalty.

I think the call for a higher minimum wage is reasonable. And why can’t the businesses pay? They’re doing a lot better than they say they are. You just have to dig and see the real numbers they’re reporting. The army of execs in their corporate offices are making millions. I say, cut their pay and put that to raises for the workforce. You know, those meaningless cogs that actually do the work that makes you your money. You can have the smartest CEO in the world with the finest training and best ideas in the industry, but if you don’t have ground support to actually generate the income, that CEO isn’t worth spit. Wal-Mart for instance. The execs make a kings fortune every year while their employees slave away in part time hell. They make so little they still need to use food stamp programs to survive. You’re telling me they couldn’t shave a smidgen off the top VP’s salary to afford raises for the people who keep their stores open and running smoothly day in and day out? Is some exec who makes 3 million really going to bitch because his paycheck shrunk by $500? He’s still making more than 90% of the country. Once you pass the seven figure mark on your paycheck, you have no reason to complain about any cuts to pay. If you can’t survive on less than 3 million, you’ve got bigger problems.

I think I mentioned this once before somewhere. I just think if people earned more for their time, they’d be happier at work and do a better job and therefore could increase revenue for the business. It just seems so easy and so simple, yet the 1%  people are so friggin’ greedy and selfish they can’t stand the thought of anyone doing as well as them. They want to be the rich kids on the block, but what good is being rich when the economy has completely deflated?

I remember growing up in the 80’s and the middle class was so strong and because of that so was our economy and our country. Now we have this massive gap between the haves and have nots and it just feels like everything is going to hell. People are just concerned with getting theirs and fail to see that kind of thinking is self-destructive. Our economy is designed in such a way that the success of others can actually benefit you. The stronger we all are, the stronger you will be. The time for greed and selfishness is over. We’re coming to a flashpoint and unless those who have the most change their thinking, we could be in for some real trouble.

Been awhile.

Wow. It’s been a while since I posted anything. I guess that’s due to how distracted I’ve been. It seems my unemployment insurance has been halted and for the last few weeks I’ve been stressing about what to do. I was led to believe by all the letters I had received up until now that I had at least four extensions, but it seems the government in  their infinite wisdom has decided to throw me to the wolves. It’s a very scary feeling. Working without a net. Everytime I whip out my card to pay for food or gas, I remember how there won’t be any new money coming in. It’s all going out. I’ve gone on financial lockdown.  Cutting corners at every turn. What really makes me mad was not entering a screenplay contest that I was actually pretty excited about entering, but I can’t afford the entry fee. One would argue it would be like betting on yourself to win, and while I appreciate that, I’m not quite that confident yet. Although, it would have been great. I adapted “Spectrum” into a movie and since the contest was specifically for movies with a  gay/lesbian slant, I think it might have done well.

As for the bigger issue of the lack of income, there was some good news. I did secure a  job interview this very week and I think it went well. I’m anxiously awaiting the call for interview #2. That turns out to be even more nerve racking. Every hour, every minute, that ticks by I can’t help but wonder why they aren’t calling. I was confident and well spoken and I did well on the typing test. They have to call back. They have to. I don’t know what I’m going to do if they don’t. I  shot out some other resumes just this morning. This is just so frustrating. It feels like no matter  how many resumes I do send out, it won’t matter. There are just too many people out there in this job market. The competition is just too much for me. I’m just one drop of water standing amongst  tidal wave.

I also have the idea of selling jewelry on Etsy. I’ve been looking into it and I can make simple stud earrings and maybe clear a few bucks, if I’m lucky. I’m starting to think the days of traditional employment are over and that scares me too. It’s all I know, but I guess it’s time to evolve. If I had the money, I’d go back to school, but even with financial aid, it’s way too expensive for me to do that.

Although, as stressed and depressed as I’ve been for the past few weeks, I find right now as I write this, there’s an indefinable optimism bubbling inside of me. I have no idea why, but that little voice in me is saying it’s going to  be all right. Somehow, someway, it’s all going to work out. I have no idea how, but I’m grateful for the brief moment of positivity.