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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Almost done.

Well, it's coming down to the wire, and perhaps a bit past the wire.  I'm down to my last $68.

I had an interview last week, which seemed to go well for a job I've been trying to get for a few years now.  They said they should make their final decision in the next two weeks and the 3 candidates they choose would start the following week. So I have another week to hear back from them as well as an interview for a different position next week.

Even if I get hired, I will still run out of money before I ever get a 1st check and rent will be long overdue. For all intents and purposes, I am already broke, with the $68 going to a little food and some gas.

If anyone has a spare few bucks, I could sure use it...

Sam.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Denied.

My claim for unemployment benefits has been denied.

The reason given was that they said I didn't earn enough money.  There is a disgusting rule for UI, at least in Ohio, that you must earn a minimum amount within an arbitrary 20 week qualifying period.

Basically, you get half of whatever you made and my letter said I didn't reach the $237/week threshold to earn benefits, which would have only amounted to $118.50/week in benefits... Not even enough for rent.

The trouble with this is that I just filed taxes for 2014, which was based on over $17,000 in total income. I'm not sure how my weekly average was below $237 when I rarely had a check under $300.

I don't have this month's rent yet, and will have to use nearly all of my tax refund to pay it, leaving me with just enough for car insurance and some food for this month.

Unless something changes for me soon, I will be homeless.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

65

Well I'm unemployed again.  This latest stretch lasted just 65 days.

I was on assignment through the Job Store at a company called Trade Global. Trade Global engages in contract warehousing, customer service, and web solutions. In short, they are an insourcing firm that allows companies to run a little more lean.

I was working in the call center, answering customer service calls for both Puma and Reebok owned Rockport.

I made a paltry $10.50 an hour after 2PM and only $10 before.  The way they handled the shift differential was a bit odd.  Regardless, I was able to pay rent and basic utilities. I could even go out to eat on the weekends and pretend that I could save up for a Mac that stays on longer than 5 minutes.

This morning, I was awakened by the lady from the Job Store, Andrea, whom I haven't spoken to since I was hired. She told me they decided to end my assignment due to staff reductions... nothing personal.

I'm everything wrong at this moment: discouraged, depressed, bitter that I'm not doing what I want with my life and that I have no money to pay debt or live.

What's going to happen to me? I've filed for unemployment since the Job Store currently has nothing for me. Rent is due in just over a week, as is electric, internet, and cell phone bill.

I'm not beyond a McJob, but what then? Do I just do that job forever? Close, but far removed from my actual training and my career aspirations. The restaurant and food industries have little overlap.

A year and a few weeks removed from my first desperate posts on Poor Blog and I am right back where I was.

What now?

Donate to my PayPal, ridicule my failures... Do what you want. I'm not feeling very optimistic right now, and looking at my track record, I probably shouldn't.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Another year older and...

It's been a little more than a year since I got the eviction notice that sparked the blog which sparked a mention on All In With Chris Hayes as well as much needed donations from some very kind people.

So what has changed?

Since my last posting, I left the Crew Transportation driving job I had. I was working 60+ hrs a week just to make $750 -$950 take home every 2 week pay period. The pay was ok, but the hrs sucked, and being on the road so much meant that I spent a lot of money eating on the road. I tried to pack food, but water and granola bars just don't cut it on a consistent basis.  I would get home early in the morning and have to go immediately to sleep, so I could get back on the driver's board after 8 hrs.

Also, I was starting to fall asleep at the wheel.  PTI, the company I worked for, would talk a lot about being well rested, but their behavior seemed to range from passive aggressive to punitive if you told them you felt too tired.

I couldn't escape the thought that I was going to die doing that job, so I had to make a change.

I now work at a call center that runs customer service for over a dozen companies, including Puma.  I only make about $400/week before taxes, but the hours are more manageable.

My goal is still to get a creative job that involves the food industry in either R&D or marketing. I could be an R&D tech, a social media analyst/manager, copywriter, brand cheerleader, et cetera. I know I can do a great job, and it's my passion to contribute ideas relating to food. I really hope there's a place for me out there.

I still have no savings or student loan payments, but at least I'm still treading water...

I have a lot of trouble with ill feelings toward myself.  You could say I'm hard to live with and I don't always like having myself as a roommate.

Uninteresting or unrewarding work often leaves me buried under waves of intense sadness. Nothing too serious as of yet, but honestly, if life were as fleeting as a flick of a switch, I'd have been gone years ago.

It's hard to not feel like a complete failure most of the time.  I have no family of my own or a girlfriend(not that I could afford one), and the one true goal I have is to find a line of work... a career, that I am happy to do for the rest of my life.

I just want to want to wake up in the morning and not face the day with anxiety. To me, that is no life that I want to live. I guess I'm not a "work to live" kind of person. I want a job I can immerse myself in and play like a video game. I want mental stimulation and the chance to contribute to a larger vision.

Let's hope things go my way in 2015.

On the bright side, my friends got a new couch, meaning they also got an old couch, which they gave to me.

It's a monster 8ft couch, and the first couch I've had in 13 years.


Friday, November 14, 2014

New job.

It's been a long time since I posted on here because I've been busy with my driving job, transporting railroaders across Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.

That job was only 5 days a week, but required a 12 hr availability for each of those days, which can go even longer if I'm still on a trip after my shift ends.

I would spend my 1st off day sleeping and my 2nd off day running errands.  I had no free time.  Also, the job was kind of terrible.

I like driving, but some of the railroaders are so bad that they color the entire industry in a poor light.  Most of them smoke constantly or chew. Most are conservative and on the far right tabloid edge of conservatism, not some Barry Goldwater moderate.

The railroaders are so bad that no van drivers ever considered working on the railroad, despite the fact that they regularly make more than $60,000 a year.  

So beyond the racist, right wing, gossip, the job was underpaying the drivers when we had to assist in the rail yards.  We were supposed to be payed an hourly wait time in the yard as well as a per mile pay and my employer decided to stop paying it.

My new job starts Monday.  I'll be working in a call center, which is the last type of job I had before my year of hell.

This new job will pay about the same as the driving job, but for 40 hrs, not 60+.  I'm glad to get this job, but I still long for creative work, preferably in the food industry doing R&D or sales/marketing/social media.

The journey continues...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Employment!

I can haz job!

I started a job today! I lost my last full-time job on June 13, 2013 and started this new job exactly 9 months later.

It's just like a pregnancy, except all I gave birth to was debt and sadness.  I applied everywhere and got turned down or straight up ignored by almost everyone.  Most recently, I applied for - and was turned down for -  a Team Leader position with the local General Mills plant. I still have a shot at a QC role in a local flavor company, so I'm still hopeful for that.

The job I got is a low wage job driving vans for a rail transportation company.  Basically, I will be driving rail workers from one rail yard to another.  I will make $8.67 per hour during training and while waiting at the rail yard for rail workers to show up. I'll make 20.5 cents a mile once I start driving, them; so as long as I average 55 mph, I'll make over $11 per hour.  We'll see how the pay shakes out.

If I get offered the QC, job, I'm taking it.

I'm still poor, but at least now I'll have an income. I can start treading water and stop drowning.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Good News & Bad News...

Well, the last time I posted, it was out of desperation.  My beloved Late 2006 Intel iMac was dying. It stopped conducting heat properly and the soldered on graphics chip was throwing all sorts of graphic 'artifacts' on my screen. The computer would only run for about 10 minutes at a time in most cases, and that was the real problem.

I'm unemployed and still looking, although I was fortunate enough to gain some experience in freelance writing.  Most job applications were filled out online, and obviously, ALL freelance writing is done online. If my computer was only going to run for 10 minutes, then there was no way for me to apply for jobs or continue creating content to attract more freelance writing assignments.  So I took to the internet to try to raise funds to replace my computer.

The response was somewhat cold, to say the least.

I got a grand total of ONE PayPal donation, for which I am eternally grateful, but $30 isn't enough to replace my computer.  I got several negative remarks about what they called Twitter begging and also a scam.  I was hurt, embarrassed, and still very much screwed. Due to a tax refund, my rent was paid through March and my utilities are paid through February, but without a full time computer, my chances of getting hired on somewhere was practically zero.

Many people, well intentioned as well as trolls, suggested I use the computer at my local library. In a pinch, sure, but as the sole means of marketing myself to employers? No. My local library is the Main branch of the Cincinnati Public Library, located on Vine Street downtown.  I would need to take a bus there, which costs $1.75(exact change only) one way.  That's $3.50 per day in exact change to use the libraries computer for a limited amount of time.

Lucky for me, my sister agreed to let me use one of her families laptops. So the good news here is that I now have a laptop to work from and apply for things from. My sister lives 100 miles away, so it was going to take a 200 mile road trip to pick it up. 

My car is also in bad shape, though, and loses coolant every time I drive it.  My dad arranged for his very kind Korean mechanics to take a look at it.  They discovered that my head gasket was partially blown and that was causing my radiator to overheat and boil off the coolant.  It's a 1997 Dodge Stratus and the cost of repair is barely worth the value of the vehicle.  Besides... neither myself nor my family have the money to get this done.

So I drove back to my sister's house, very distraught about my situation. I was so riddled with despair that I accidentally locked the keys in my car when I got out to collect my laundry and my borrowed laptop.

Eventually, I got AAA to show up and get my car door open, so I could drive me and my defeated car home.  I now have to factor the commute into any job I take, since my transportation is no longer reliable. 

So this time next month, things may really start to come undone as I won't have my car insurance funds I need for the automatic withdrawal, then I won't have the electricity, then the internet, then the rent.  Food and gas money will probably dry up before that.

Hopefully, I can find a job before then.