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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.

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.