And let me tell ya, it’s been a bit of a wild year.
Up until about May of last year I was unemployed, and had been for quite a while. I really enjoy blogging and getting my thoughts down on (virtual) paper and my extended period of nothing-else-to-do let me have a fun time of it even though being a female blogger, and a female feminist blogger at that, can be very stressful and tiresome. Which would be why my writing was never really consistent, but my year long absence had more to do with my employment than anything else. Trust me there are still a bunch of things I have to say and I plan on saying them, but this year has been absolutely exhausting.
No one wanted to hire me…
Ya see, last May I finally got a job at a local casino as a buffet host. Now, I don’t want to sound ungrateful to the person who was willing to hire someone who had been out of work for over two years, but that job was a pain in the neck. Literally. Near the end of my time there I ended up getting a muscle spasm in my neck thanks to some of my job duties. Other than that though, I was pretty disappointed with the job seeing as I had graduated from a top notch Texas university with a bachelor’s degree (with honors even!) and the only job I managed to land after two years of continuous searching was a slightly more than minimum wage job whose duties included smiling at people, ringing up their dinners, and little else. And that’s even with my previous job experience being a supervisor at a big box retailer making double digits an hour. Now part of that had to do with where we were living and the terrible economy, but a big part of that also had to with the way bachelor’s degrees count for everything and absolutely nothing at the same time.
Half of the employers wouldn’t touch me with a ten foot pole because I was ‘overqualified’ and might run off the moment I got a better job offer, the other half that were looking for people with a bachelor’s degree didn’t want me with my entry level skills when they could get someone with experience at an entry level price. To put it more simply businesses wanted cheap labor and were either to cheap to pay to keep highly skilled people interested in the job or were willing to use people’s desperation to keep their payroll costs as low as possible. Which, ya know, I understand that’s business, trying to cut costs and all, but the thing that upset me most during that time of unemployment was that corporation and businesses and wall street were turning record profits because they had found out just how much they could squeeze their employees during the recession, getting them to do the work of three or four people for half the pay because they were just so desperate to not lose their jobs.
… and when they did the job was not good for me.
Anyways, I did eventually get that job at the casino and it paid just enough for us to live on, not really to get by or live comfortably, but enough that we could eat well and have a few nice things. I stayed there for almost a year and found enjoyment and friends in it where I could, but I quickly found out it was a dead end job. I tried several times to move up the ladder into better paying positions or at least positions that didn’t require you to stand for eight to eleven hours a day, but never got past the first interview with any of the positions because the food and beverage department was on a hiring freeze which meant they were also on an internal movement freeze. There was also the aforementioned neck injury that, combined with an old back injury, made going to work even more painful than it already was to both my self-esteem and my body.
So my husband and I made the rather bold and quite possibly very irrational decision to move to Seattle. I put my two weeks in, said my goodbyes to all the great friends I had made at the buffet (seriously they were the absolute best part about working there and if any of y’all are reading this I ❤ y’all so much) and we packed up our shit and move up here mid April.
It was time to make a change, but sometimes change is really, really hard
Let me tell ya though, that was the worst moving trip I have ever made. My car broke down 40 miles into an 800 mile long journey. We were stuck on the side of the road for 4 hours waiting for a tow truck. Then while we were waiting for my car to get fixed we took the moving truck a block or so over to get some food. We were inside for five minutes, when we came back out the moving truck wouldn’t start. My husband had to walk to the auto shop to pick up my car and we had to wait for another 6 hours for the rental truck’s mechanic to come out and fix the alternator for us. We had started out at 9am that morning, we didn’t get to continue our journey until 10 pm that night. But continue we did. We drove though the night as much as we could, taking naps in the federal rest stops. We finally arrived at our new temporary apartment at 6pm the next day. A couple days later the movers came and got all of our stuff unloaded into the apartment for us and then, as if things weren’t going well enough already, my husband came down with appendicitis. I take him to the ER and he goes into surgery and it all turns out okay, especially since his awesome Mom flew out for a week to help us unpack and take care of him since he could no longer lift anything. Things calmed down for a bit after that, but I wasn’t exactly having the best of luck with my job search. The only places interested in me were retail joints or places that basically the same kind of physical labor of a retail join, which I decided I didn’t/couldn’t do to myself anymore.
Sometimes it really is darkest just before dawn
It wasn’t until things were looking pretty dark (and like we might have made a terrible mistake) that we finally got to see the light at the end of the tunnel: we had just found out that our temporary apartment was going to be more temporary than we had thought and we needed to be out before the end of June; we were running low on finances and we had already borrowed more money than we wanted to from family and even a small windfall that we got at the beginning of June was running short; and I had just been passed up for the only job that had really seemed interested in me. We weren’t really sure how things were going to turn out for us, but we were trying to keep our game faces on and I was trying to stay as positive as possible about the job search, even though all the doubts and insecurities of my last two year long stretch of unemployment was starting to eat at me again. Then I got a phone call from a company I had done a short phone interview with over a month earlier and they wanted me to come in for an interview. Coming out of the interview I wasn’t overly confident with how well I’d done, but apparently I must’ve impressed the interviewer because within 24 hours they called me back with a job offer and a starting pay I couldn’t resist. They even, coincidentally, had me start a week later which allowed me to help my husband (and eventually my mother who flew out to help us move) to find a new apartment for us and get us all packed up and moved.
Here’s to hoping for good things ahead
I just finished my second week at the new job and I’m really enjoying it. It’s office work so I don’t come home exhausted or injured every night unable to do much more than feed myself and crawl into bed, let alone do anything like blogging or playing games. Our new apartment is great and despite all the hassle and pain of getting up here my husband and I really love the Seattle area.
I had a lot of negative experiences this past year and for a while there I honestly felt really pessimistic about my life and my situation. We’re not quite out of the woods yet, but for the first time in a long while I feel a good sense of hope and optimistim about my future. We’ll see if it lasts. Okay, so maybe its a jaded sense of optimism >.>
P.S.: Sorry that was long, but I haven’t gotten to write in a long time and this one was from the heart and off the cuff about my own wacky tale. I’m hoping I’ll get to blog more with this new job, at least on the weekends, and hopefully learn how to write short blog posts instead of 1500 word essays (yes I do realize verbosity and longwindedness is a weakness of mine, but hey it’s Tolkien’s too so at least I’m in very estimable company)