How things change

I have been jobless for a little over a month now, and I feel like it's only been days. I'm still so excited to get up when I want, sit in the sunny dining room and work on personal projects like writing or drawing, listen to music on, go to coffee shops and sip on iced coffees while soaking up the atmosphere and the sunshine.

I'm excited to search for jobs, even!


I have reached a point in my life where I'm not going to take just any job, even though it feels like that's what I'm being pushed toward right now. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but every article I read about finding a job right now makes it sound like Job Armageddon out there - EVERY WOMAN FOR HERSELF! Every article goes on and on about how companies have so many good candidates going after any job they can get, and the subtext seems to be that you should take any job offered to you.

In the same vein, I believe (though I could be wrong) that the New York State Department of Labor expects me to take any job I am offered if it fits my past experience at all, whether I can live on the wages or not. After 13 weeks, I'm expected to take any work I "am capable of," even if I have no experience at all in the field. Also, traveling an hour one-way to get to or from work is considered "reasonable." And I'm not wrong - I just checked out the unemployment benefits handbook.

A few years ago, I remember one new member of the company's staff complaining that she had to take the first job she was offered because her unemployment benefits were taken away. I believe she's still at the company where I used to work, so I guess it worked out for her, but I remember being horrified by her story - she'd refused a job that she seriously felt she couldn't do (after hearing her explain the job, I believed her). She had a hearing about the matter, and the state apparently felt that she was being lazy instead of truthful, so they took away her benefits.

I'm not trying to be lazy, but I want a job that fits me, instead of a job that I have to force myself into. And now I have this Big Brother fear of being watched, being forced to take a horrible job just because I could maybe, hypothetically do it, or because it pays 80% of what I made at my last job, even though I would be WAY below the poverty level.

In April, I was so completely sick of my last job that I would have taken anything offered to me, and I went on several interviews, trying desperately to escape a pretty crazy work situation. I didn't get any of those positions.

By June, I had calmed down, and though I was still trying to leave, I decided to be smart about it. No "out of the frying pan, into the fire" for me. I went to a job interview, and the interviewer (who would have been my boss) couldn't be bothered to talk to me for the first five minutes I was there. Instead, she had an assistant tell me about the job while she texted her husband and son. When she finally decided to acknowledge my existence, she did it with her bare foot on her desk, practically in my face, while she continued to text family members about what they should do that night. The kicker was when she told me that the job, which sounded like a whole lot of work, would pay $11 an hour, with no benefits.

Of course I got that job. And I promptly turned it down with no qualms, no self-doubt whatsoever.

And now I feel like I might not have that choice anymore.

Next week I have a job interview, and it sounds like the job is in sales. Sales! I am so not a salesperson! I'm going to the interview, and I'm going to see what it's all about, but it doesn't sound like me at all. And I have no experience in sales at all, so I can get away with turning the job down if it does sound awful (assuming I get it)... but after 13 weeks, apparently I'll have to say yes to such things, whether I want to or not.


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