Caution: Big Decisions Ahead

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Times are tough. We all know that. In fact, we live in California where the unemployment rate is 10.1%, whereas the national unemployment rate sits at 8.1% the last I’d heard.

South Carolina, Rhode Island, California and Oregon joined Michigan as the states with the five highest unemployment rates. North Dakota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah joined Wyoming as the states with the lowest.

We’re doing ok so far though. However, this week (or possibly next) we’ll have to make a very big decision about our future. Luckily, we’re renters and that means we can bail when we need to. I’m really thankful we don’t have a mortgage locking us down.

Jason has a third interview tomorrow, Monday, which will be the deciding factor in whether or not we’ll be staying put, or packing it all up and moving into my grandmother’s house. We’ve been through that once before, and I can assure you this decision isn’t one made lightly. My grandma isn’t living in the house, however my mom and my uncle are. The last thing we want to do is uproot and move into that house, even if it is fairly temporary. But after discussing our options, we’ve come to the conclusion that if he doesn’t get this job, we’re going to have to go. We could stay here, but it seems like we’d likely be delaying the inevitable. This job opportunity is the *only* one he’s had in the 8 weeks he’s been out of work. There’s no “maybe that job will come through” in sight. That means we’re spending the unemployment money month after month on staying here when we could actually be saving it up and using it for other important bills and, you know, a decent stock pile of food. Each time his unemployment check comes, they include how much is left until it runs out. We’ve got a while left to collect, but what if we go through it and there’s still no job? Then we have nothing to pay the car payments, insurance, phone bills etc… What then?

So, we’re there. We’re at the point that if he doesn’t get this job, the only real opportunity we can see, we’re going to have to leave and set up camp where we don’t have to take 95% of the unemployment money and pay the rent. If he had several “maybe’s” out there, we could stick it out, we WOULD stick it out. But when there’s nothing, no nibbles at all, it just doesn’t seem wise to sit on our hands and hope something comes through before the money runs out and we’re completely in trouble.

And so, this week he will go to that job interview, battle against 4 other people who desperately need this job as badly as my husband does, and he’ll fight. He’ll fight for our future. Hopefully he’ll be the victorious one and we can carry on like normal. If he doesn’t come out the other side victorious. we’ll pack our family up, and get the assistance we need to carry on. As long as we have eachother, that’s what really matters to me. The only thing I expect out of my husband when he goes in for this job interview, is to do his best. That’s all he can do, and the rest is up to the company. If he doesn’t make it, that’s ok, we will.

When Your Husband Is Unemployed – A SAHM’s Perspective

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I don’t want to assume everyone knows what SAHM actually means. It means Stay At Home Mom. Meaning I don’t go to work and earn an income.

As of this week, my husband will be out of work for 5 weeks. Our only income at this point is unemployment. And believe me when I tell you I’m not AT ALL confident that we’ll be getting those checks much longer. The California economy is in the toilet right now. Yesterday it was announced that because CA lawmakers couldn’t come to an agreement about the state budget, they will be laying off 20,000 state employees. How much longer before the state says, sorry, there’s just no money to give the tens of thousands of unemployed people in our state alone?

CNN reports that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued 10,000 layoff notices Tuesday, affecting a wide spectrum of

state agencies and employees, in an effort to deal with the budget crisis, a spokesman said.

Another 10,000 layoff notices might be sent Wednesday, the spokesman said. All the layoffs would take effect July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

Anyhow, we’re a one income family. We’ve obviously cut out all unnecessary spending to try and make that final paycheck and unemployment money carry us through. A problem I’m starting to see is that Jason is now competing for the same jobs with ousted CEO’s and people that were much higher on the food chain than he’s ever had to compete with before. People who used to make six figure incomes are now having to settle for lesser jobs just to be employed. This means taking jobs that Jason, and others like him are well qualified for, but can’t get because someone who had once never dreamed of taking “that” job, are now forced to do so, just so they can stay afloat.

One of my biggest frustrations comes from the recruiters. Wait wait wait! I’m not going to slam recruiters here so if you’re a recruiter keep reading, please.

I’m glad that he gets calls and emails from recruiters telling him about job opportunities. While none of these opportunities have panned out, it’s nice to know people are looking at Jason’s resume and think he’d be a great candidate form Company X. Where I find myself the most frustrated is when they call, tell you about an “opportunity” and send you the job description, then ask you to let them know if you’re interested or not. So Jason does just that. He reads it over, sometimes sends it to me, and then replies back with yes, I’m interested. Over and over that’s it. There’s never any kind of follow up saying, thanks for the interest, the position has been filled. Thanks for the interest, but Company X doesn’t feel you’re qualified. Thanks for your interest, but we’ve just hired some other poor unemployed sap that’s getting paid $50k less than he’s really worth.

Jason even had a face to face interview with a recruiter who was acting as a screener for the company that was hiring. Jason left the preinterview feeling really good and hopeful. The recruiter flat out told him he was a shoo-in. Guess what? That was the end of it. Jason emailed the recruiter and I’m not really sure what came of that.

Look, if you’re a recruiter and you’ve stumbled upon this post, please take this to heart. Don’t tell someone they’re a shoo-in and NOT FOLLOW UP. Ok, so he didn’t get it, please send an email saying as much. There’s nothing harder for both of us than having my husband’s hopes lifted by a recruiter with yet another “opportunity” only to never ever hear back from that person again. Just send a simple, I’m sorry but you’re not the guy.

And if you are a recruiter that stumbled upon this blog post, thank you for what you do. Thank you for helping people find jobs they otherwise wouldn’t find without your help. All I’m asking is that you remember the people you’re trying to help are worried sick about their future and that of their families. Please, just send a follow up if they didn’t qualify. That’s all I’m asking for. That’s all anyone wants. They just want to know, and not wonder for days. Just write up a little script or something that kicks off a rejection email. We all just want to hear something, anything.

I Wish…

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I haven’t had much blogging inspiration lately. I guess that’s kind of a hard thing to come by when nothing changes. Every day is the same thing. There’s no kissing the husband goodbye in the morning as he’s off to work. There’s no anticipating his arrival after a long day. Every day it’s the same. Wake up. Take care of household chores. Go in the room and see Jason at his desk doing what he can to get a job. Feeling suffocated by the lack of space here a lot of the time. Trying to make Jess understand she can’t be in there bothering her daddy all the time. That’s a hard one that she doesn’t understand. He’s home so why can’t he play with her all day?

Well here’s what’s been on my mind lately. A big ol’ wish list.

I wish someone would hire my super amazing, talented and hardworking husband

I wish I didn’t have to wonder if we’ll be able to make rent next month

I wish I had more food in the house

More than that, I wish we could go to an actual sit down restaurant for dinner.

I wish someone would serve ME for once.

I wish I had a dishwasher.

I just wish things could go back to the way they’re supposed to be. I don’t want my days to be weighed down by worry anymore. Not this financial worry anyway. I’d rather worry about the little things that don’t matter so much. Things like, what should I make for dinner, not how the heck am I going to put something together with what we have because I’m not sure I can afford to get more groceries.

I wish I didn’t feel like I’m going to implode, or burst into tears all the time, or completely go off on my poor unsuspecting family for no reason.

So, here’s to hoping that something good comes along soon and I can go back to complaining about the small insignificant things like where I’m going to go for dinner or which craft items i’ll be buying simply because I can and I want to.