Unemployed, Month One


I have known for a month (yesterday) that I would not have a job. I have been unemployed twenty-one days. I’ve moved my job applications list from a paper copy to an excel spreadsheet. Since August 25, I have applied for more than 200 jobs. More than 200. It is not the season for teachers to be looking for jobs, so I have had to be creative. I have applied for many, many traditional adjunct and full-time teaching positions, but I’ve widened my search to include other work from home jobs.

I’m tutoring, editing books, doing some adult-ed stuff (hopefully, still working on that one). I’ve re-watched Doctor Who, Warehouse 13, and Poldark, season 1. I have rearranged my home-office space, it’s sort of evolving. I’ve cleaned my dresser drawers, closet, desk drawer (well, the desk I use most often), the linen closet…

I have swapped out my wallet, twice. The book I’m reading sits, unopened, beside me on my desk—where I am doing very little writing. I’ve organized printers and ink, books, scarves, jewelry, electronics, purses (if you know me at all, you are aware of the magnitude of this endeavor), and even my freezer. I have taught the dog to speak on command.

What I haven’t done is write, walk, plank, row, garden, museumed, or read. Hmm, word thinks museumed is not a word, silly Bill Gates. It is important to note what I haven’t done. It is important to note that at some level I am denying myself things I enjoy.

Getting a job. That’s all that matters. All. That. Matters.

Is it?

Really? Is that the sum total of who I am?

Apparently, simple, often free, pleasures are attached to rewards for a job well done. And I don’t have a job, per se.

I mean, I am in a better position than many of the folks I know, many of the folks I worked with. I was working, part time, one day after ITT closed. Most of my former co-workers are still searching, becoming desperate. I didn’t apply for Unemployment, and I am hoping not to have to. I have covered September’s bills and most of October’s. Granted, I have eliminated and reduced many of my first-world-living bills. I don’t need to have cable available in case I would like to watch something. $200 a month to watch episodes of Doctor Who (which doesn’t start again until…gulp…April). No need to have Netflix deliver DVDs that take me 6 months to watch; I stream regularly. That’s all we do as a family. Satellite radio—I have a 160g iPod! All of that music is backed up on iTunes, so I can stream to one of the two iPhones, or iPad that travel with me everywhere I go. Everywhere. It’s all backed up on Amazon, so I can take my Samsung tablet and stream from that whilst driving. I also have a 6-cd changer in the Jeep and it will play MP3s… So, frivolous, first-world extravagance. I eliminated waste.  So that’s good. And I continue to search for way to slash my budget. Shopping at Aldi—if you don’t shop there, you should. I have hacked about $100 per week off my grocery bill.

Reward. Write. Writing is difficult when your world is consumed with the pennies you no longer earn. So, that’s what I’m writing about. And I’m open to ideas… Anything?


Oh, and you will note that the name of the site has changed – I splurged and paid for the URL, because, well, it is my dream to have enough time to actually do some serious writing. Now, I just need to figure out the landing page, mailchimp thing and I’ll be all set…




7 thoughts on “Unemployed, Month One

  1. Mel, I think you are doing amazingly well. With you comments on unemployment, you continue to claim yourself as a writer. I understand it is not “the serious” writing you would prefer, but sometimes just continuing to write is both a miracle and a habit.

    • Sadly, my experience is that writing won’t pay the bills. Although that would be my preference. I am doing some editing work; and continue to look for that — so if you hear of anything…

  2. Mel, your one month experience is eerily similar to my own. My only other suggestion (besides keep on writing – about anything) is give yourself days off for guiltless activity that feeds your soul. The rest will come. It will. Jae

Comments are closed.