Friday, February 21, 2014

Long Term Unemployment

Long term unemployment.  What seems to be the problem with people who loose their job, or jobs, and they seemingly cannot find another one.  Some say it is laziness.  But it is something else entirely. 

Among many things, I have been unemployed for over a year.  My work history is short, in terms of employers, not the years I have worked.  Starting in 1999, the year I graduated from high school, I began to work.  I worked constantly at the farm until 2008, at which time I took another job working security at night, and held that job until the fall of 2012, when some issues developed at my job.

Yes in 2008 I was laid off from the security job, but three or four days later, as I was getting ready to call around for another job, my employer called me back to work.  Funny as it was, I picked up to a dead line, said hello, and was surprised to hear a voice on the other end.  I was lucky in a way, unlucky in others that day, but it is what it is.

Some people are not that lucky, when they get laid off, the call never comes, often after a week or so, they are given their paperwork, and go to the unemployment office, sign up, and try to move ahead with their lives. 

But the act of becoming unemployed deserved or otherwise has some nasty effects on a person.  For the first week I was free, I could actually sleep without worries of someone waking me because of a problem, for most people, there are no projects due, no supervisor jumping down their throat about something stupid.  You can step back and take a breath, you have dropped all the stress of the job.

Then you start looking, you have to, even if you have several thousand dollars saved, it is only going to carry you so far, less if you do not get unemployment.  This is where a little luck will help.  If you get hired back within the period of time your savings lasts, you will be stressed, but alright.

The problem comes in when you run out of savings, and you have nothing.  Internal pressures start building.  As the bills come in, with no money to pay them, you start to become stressed.  People tread lightly around you, but you still go off on them, arguments arise from the dumbest things at times, and that adds to more stress, possibly even depression.  If you are still trying, the creeping doubts about what is wrong with you might start to settle in.  When you go into interviews, you appear stressed, you might even doubt yourself, your skills, your abilities, and people can read it.  Its like throwing blood in the water and waiting on the sharks to come.

You might even go so far as to attempt to avoid people.  I know I do, I rarely talk to friends, when I do, I lie.  Its pretty embarrassing to be a college graduate, and not have a job.  They would understand it, but it is just not worth the effort.  Sometimes, it is even a challenge to do the things I enjoy.  A friend wanted me to return to playing a game, one I could not afford, so he shipped it to me, keeps me in game time, I log in, go through the motions, but its just meh.   He knows it, the people I encounter know it, its written on every action I take.

I am anxious about this.  I know I will eventually get a job, but just the same, where is my next meal going to come from?  What happens if I get a job, and have no money to get there?  What if they have a dress code, and I cannot afford the clothing?  What happens if I get sick, or hurt before I get a job?  This is my list, other people have other concerns.  Paying rent, paying the power bill, paying the water bill, or other stuff that comes up.  You know, if you don't have running water in a home, you can be evicted, the home condemned until the problem is fixed. 

Then comes the drug use and abuse.  Oh how I would love to crawl into a bottle, drink my tears away.  A night spent without a thought in the world.  When I get drunk I stop thinking, I just sit and stare at the television blankly.  But if I did that, I don't know if I would be able to stop, until I had nothing left.  I do not have a means to blow off the stress and anxiety I feel.  I come here, I rant, but really that is all I have at the moment. 

All the while, other people become abusers, they get divorced because of the problems falling a part, some even take the final solution to a temporary problem.  And the sad thing is, they are driven to it.  People look down at the unemployed, they insult and belittle them.  They act as if the unemployed have done nothing to solve their problems.  They just milk the system, forgetting that these same people who are collecting unemployment, paid into it.  If I had the five thousand dollars I paid into it, I would not be sitting on a credit score south of 300.  But its my fault, I get that.  Not getting a call back from the likes of Walmart, McDonald's, Wendy's, and others is all my fault, I had it coming, living beyond my means to work a dead end low pay job.  I had it coming by going to college, furthering my education so that I could help improve my life, and the lives of others. See, everything wrong in my life is my fault according to some people, but the fact is, I cannot control others.  I cannot force someone at one of the hundreds of places I have called, visited, submitted applications to via Workforce WV, or other places to pick up the phone, call me, and welcome me aboard.  I wish I could, and there are several million people who are behind me, thinking the same exact thing.