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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

New normal.

My last post featured this pic and it really got no attention. I was demonstrating how little food I had left in my refrigerator, obviously, and I guess readers grew tired of me complaining about being poor.

Of course, my suggestion would be to not read or reply to these posts if that is the case... I mean, it is Poor Blog after all. What did you expect?

That pic was taken on the 6th of June, and by the following Saturday, I had moved out of my apartment.

No longer able to afford rent, I was forced to vacate my apartment.  A friend of mine offered to let me stay with him and his girlfriend at a house they were renting on the West side.

Many of my possessions, I threw away.  What little I decided to keep, is now in a storage unit I'm renting.  The idea is that I can save some of the rent money I would have been paying, so it would be easier to move to wherever I could find appropriate work.

For the time being, this is the new normal.  My job outlook hasn't improved much despite getting help from an executive in the industry.

My connection may have helped me get a phone interview for a position I was really interested in, only to find out in the interview that the job was actually an internship, despite having no mention of an internship in the job description. I was completely humiliated.

I've had a couple other interviews that just evaporated into nothing, even though I thought the interview itself went well.

I hope this doesn't turn into a long term living arrangement. I feel like a third wheel staying with my friend and his girlfriend. They eat out a lot and that cuts into the money I'm saving, but to be fair, it's not like I'm electing to stay behind.

Every crumble beneath my feet in this slow and steady backslide into hopeless poverty has had a dramatic cooling effect on what I used to feel were perfectly reasonable hopes and expectations.

It doesn't seem at all far fetched that someone with my training could get an entry-level job in the food industry in either a marketing capacity or in R&D, but I have had embarrassingly little luck getting past the online application. 

It's not like I'm applying to be some Sr. VP in those departments. My goals seem very reasonable. Yet, every tiny morsel of hope gets stomped out unceremoniously.  I really need to land something I can build on and not another job out of desperation. I need a job I know I can move up in and make a career of, not a job to take until something better comes along. 

I've had too many of those jobs, and the volume of short term employment has only hurt me.  Even the employers of desperation are unwilling to hire me for fear that I'll just leave in a few months.

So that's my update so far. So much has happened, yet so little. I can only hope my next update has better news, but it would be hard to bet on it.

If you have a few bucks and want to donate to the poor(me, I'm the poor), just click on the PayPal button on this blog.  If you just want to leave a comment berating me for my short comings and depress me even further... then you must be a real asshole. Please don't do that. If you still want to help but can't spare a dollar, then post the link to my blog; other people might read it and be able to help.

Thanks,
Sam.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Doesn't poverty look fun?


Aside from a few frozen items, this is what I have for food. I was going to go to a job fair in Columbus, but didn't because I couldn't spare the gas money. Half the items in this picture have long since expired.

If you can donate and want to do so, you can use the PayPal link.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Unsustainable

I'm profoundly sad.

Since I last posted, I have applied for a dizzying array of jobs. Whenever myself or most other people complain about being impoverished or unemployed, a bootstrapper immediately offers the sage advice of 'just get a job' as if it's that easy. 

"Just get any job."

Never mind finding a decent enough job fit so you don't job hop. Never mind finding a job you can physically do, so you don't lie to yourself and talk yourself into a job that is beyond your limits, setting yourself up for failure that leaves you without even the petty amount of unemployment benefits if it doesn't work out.

It's always easy for someone on the outside to dictate someone else's destiny, because there is no risk in what they say, as opposed to what I do.

As my situation grows more desperate, I have casted a larger net, hoping to get something I can do that offers full-time hours.

I have had 3 interviews out of at least 100 applications in the last few months. I interviewed for a driver/concierge position. I interviewed for a customer service representative position with Time-Warner Cable. I interviewed for an entry level management position with Raising Cane's chicken finger restaurant. 

I have experience directly related to all three and have been rejected by all three.

"Just get a job"

I'm trying, but I'm also running out of time. I have ten weeks of unemployment left. That should be plenty, but like the West, I'm also experiencing an epic drought.

I had to get a family loan last month to catch up on rent and only be slightly behind on utilities.  By the end of the remaining 10 weeks, I will be a month behind on rent at least, perhaps a month and a half.

It's unsustainable.

If only I would just get a job...

As always, I have a PayPal donate button.  I'm not expecting anything, but maybe I'll get lucky and some rich philanthropist will drop a large sum so I can get an Uber car or move to a different city or at least have a few months of breathing room and maybe a suit to interview in... but I'm not holding my breath.  You hear stories about people getting tons of money on a Go Fund Me or IndieAGoGo campaign, but I didn't get discriminated against(that I know of), and I didn't make some crazy pro-conservative statement that costed me a business. 

I'm just poor. Drop a couple bucks if you want.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Drought.

Well, the drought continues....

Last I left off, I had no unemployment and $64 to my name. Obviously, things changed, since I'm not yet homeless.  I made a 2nd appeal to unemployment and was approved, giving me a whopping $191/wk while I seek work.

There's a couple things I really need to be honest with myself about... First, is that I can't, in good faith, seek jobs requiring manual labor.  My feet and back are shot and I can't stay standing for more than 15 minutes without being in terrible pain.  I don't know if I'm just carrying too much weight, or I'm just really out of shape, or if I have legit back issues.  Regardless, my feet bruise easily and my lower back is wrecked, which makes manual labor impossible.

I grew up on a farm, so I'm no stranger to manual labor.  I don't think I was any better at it then, I just had a capacity to endure it better.  When I lost my Customer Service job in 2013, I was on unemployment for a few months and fell behind on rent. I tried to work at an Amazon Fulfillment center and lasted about 3 days. The 4th day, I couldn't even walk and had to call in.  My back was so sore at work that I spent every five minutes bent over, trying to stretch my lower back out.  

When I left that job after a week, I lost my unemployment, since you have to be let go to qualify.  That event touched off this blog and the fundraising as I ran out of money and into the very real possibility of being homeless. So if I get a McJob out of my guilt for being unemployed, it too may end the same way, so I have to be smart about what I pursue; this really only leaves me with creative work or call center jobs.

I also realized - being completely honest with myself - that some people really don't like me.  I first noticed this at an early age when we were doing square dancing in gym class and the girl that was paired up with me went to the  principal's office crying because she didn't want to do-si-do with me.  I wonder if this happens in job interviews with professional people who are much better at masking their disdain. I've done fairly well at networking on Twitter, but despite having a good rapport with several influential people, no doors were opened for me.

So I've figured that after next week's unemployment payment, I'll have enough to pay the rent a week late, and really not enough for anything else.  My internet is overdue, and I really need that to apply for jobs.  Hopefully, I can talk them into giving me another week, then the week after that is paid, my auto insurance comes out... then the next week my rent is due again, and I still need food and gas throughout the month.

I'm just barely avoiding homelessness.  I pay bills late, utilities get paid just before disconnection, and even then, just the minimum amount.  A $10 an hour job just isn't going to cut it.  I need a career position, a salary where my take home is more than rent and groceries after taxes every week.  I need to be able to pay on student loans, get healthcare and put money away.

Everything is an emergency right now and it sucks.

I know I'm smart and creative, I just need a good career start with a company willing to take a chance on me.  All I see coming my way are multi-level marketing schemes or manual labor that I literally don't have the ability or the back to stand doing,  I really need some people responding to my applications.  I'd love to do work at an ad firm, maybe copy writing, but those jobs seem sealed shut to anyone who doesn't have a marketing degree and agency related unpaid internships.

I'll keep digging, but for now, it seems the drought will continue.

See that PayPal Donate button? If you have a spare few bucks, I'd really appreciate anything you can give.  If Bill Gates is reading this, I can get an Uber car if I had $10,000 or so...

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.