Search This Blog

Help me be NOT poor.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

1 Month Of Not Being Homeless - An Update.

Originally posted to my gofundme page...

I've been in my apartment for just over a month, so I thought I would post this update.  The apartment wasn't ready until 11/5 and I'm still not all the way moved in yet.  My cat is still staying at my friend's house with him and his girlfriend's 4 other cats.  I'm hoping to go down and get her this weekend(Ms. Teschmacher, not my friend's gf). 

My cooktop doesn't work, so I eat out too much or eat cold cuts. I just worked 122.25 hrs for the last two week pay period, so my check this Friday should be huge.

I'm still poor though...

My gas tank has some weird issue where it has to be filled really slowly or it shuts off when filling.  I used most of my last check for rent and cell phone and various other bills, so I'm not saving yet.

I'm still a non-running car away from losing this job.

I'll always have that anxiety, at least as long as I have a beater, emergency car and only make $11/hr.  I'm going to start looking around for Columbus, OH based food industry work. In the meantime, I have a pretty decent non-professional job, so I'm in an ok place. My apartment is smaller than I realized, but it's relatively cheap.  If the car croaks, I'm on the bus line and can hopefully find a walkable/busable job.  I originally set this gofundme campaign for $2000, not really knowing what amount to set.  If you want to give more, it won't be wasted, but I'm done campaigning for dollars online.

A sincere thanks to those who gave, and to many people who gave multiple times. You helped me not be homeless. This is the start. I still need to show up every day and fight for better pay or better, more relevant work.  

I'll never settle. 

Thanks again.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Homed.

In college, one of my friends dated a girl named Toria. Toria had a friend named Laura, and Laura could have a bit of a prickly demeanor. There was an epic argument that stemmed from a comment I made to my friend about a pic. I meant no harm, but my friend's girlfriend's prickly friend's protective instincts kicked in and she let loose with a barrage of insults, including this one:

"You should get a cat, so you'd at least have one friend."

A couple years later, I was down and out, staying with my parents in their poor person apartment. It was a bitter cold winter in 2010. One day, I was getting something out of my car, and this cat appeared:

She then jumped in my open car door:

It was pretty cold and I think, more than anything, she was trying to warm up. This cat was homeless. I wasn't doing much better, living with my poor parents. Eventually, my mom held the door open for way too long while bringing in groceries, and walla... we have a cat.

Eventually, my mom pretended the cat was my idea and the responsibility fell on me to look after her.

She's been staying with a friend since June, when I became homeless.  I miss her.

The good news is I got an apartment!  The less good news is that it isn't ready to move in until 11/3.

I'm still about $600 short of my goal over at gofundme.com/samvance 

While I did get the apartment, I still need money for apartment supplies, food, and costs associated with getting all of my things to Columbus from Cincinnati.

I can't wait to move into my apartment, even though it's nerve wrecking because it was supposed to be 11/1, but got pushed back...

And I miss my cat.


The apartment ad:




Thursday, October 15, 2015

No Goal.

The following was posted as an update to my GoFundMe campaign:

I've learned some interesting and hard truths about humanity after I started this GoFundMe campaign.

If you profess yourself as homeless and in need of help, many people won't believe you.

This is similar to the responses I've gotten to Poor Blog by people I call, 'bootstrappers' - those who find something, anything wrong  that you've done and use that as an excuse to place the full blame on you; typically resulting in the clich├ęd call to pull yourself up by your boot straps.

It boils down to a lack of empathy. I'd like to think this cold hearted reaction is something of a defense mechanism. If everybody who is poor or homeless, is poor or homeless because of their own actions, then you don't have to worry about becoming poor or homeless, in part, because of circumstances beyond your control.

Worse than not believing me, is people ignoring me altogether.

This is the largest response to my campaign, which is nothing... literally.

Don't get me wrong, I have had some donors, who I appreciate immensely. When the GoFundMe  campaign launched, I was quickly on pace to reach my goal in less than 2 days, but it quickly died.  I have received many RT's, my retweet reach has been in the hundreds of thousands, yet the donations slowed to a trickle.

The retweets I get now are from just a couple people, who themselves are ostracized from their peers - so the impact of those RT's is pretty low.

I have learned that for some, political issues trumps the well being of people they would claim to care about.  The people that picked up my homeless tweets are anti #GMO. For the record, I support #GMO, but I was in no position to turn down help, especially since I have resorted to what the bootstrappers call 'online begging'.

What I noticed was that the dedication of the much maligned anti-GMO tweeters far outpaced that of my own friends on the  GMO side.  Part of the reason is that the anti-GMO tweeter's RT's weren't seen by the  GMO tweeters who already blocked them.

But that doesn't really explain it. I tweeted plenty about being homeless & will often tag my tweets with #GMO... and no response.  

I'm $1,070 short of my goal. The reason I need to raise this money is that my job pays just enough to cover rent, but not the deposit, cost of turning on utilities, food and sundry items for the apartment, and costs associated with getting my things(and cat) from Cincinnati up to Columbus.

The longer I have to wait to save up the money, the less likely I am to find an affordable apartment.

What I need from you is 1. money.., not gonna lie and 2. promotion.  I need people who don't follow me to see my homeless tweets or your tweet about my homelessness with the GoFundMe link.  To get 10 donors, I need thousands of tweets/shares/etc.

Please help.

gofundme.com/samvance

p.s.

You can still donate to my PayPal by using the link on my Twitter profile.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Less Bad Is Not Good

Things are not as bad as they were a month ago. I now have a job that I'm training for. My car has a new battery, a new right outer tie rod, and via a Hyundai recall, a new subframe.

So things certainly aren't as dire.

Through an uncomfortable amount of solicitation, I was fortunate enough to raise gas money to get me to work until I get paid. I also found out on day one, that HR was wrong and my 1st pay will be on October 9th, not October 16th. I also learned that I get an attendance bonus, paid quarterly.

So that's certainly not a bad thing.  Yes, things are better, but they aren't good.

Currently, I commute about 73 miles a day for work, which is too much gas and too much wear and tear on an already worn car. My brakes are fading. I have no savings.

I really want to get an apartment. I'm homeless still, but couch surfing in my sister's basement, so it could be worse...

And this is the frustration. Some people stepped up big and donated so I could have gas money to get to work, but when I tried to raise some money to be able to get an apartment sooner rather than later, it has been virtual crickets with a couple exceptions.

Things are better, but they aren't good.

I'm still in training for a few more weeks. After the training period is over, I'll be eligible to work overtime. Overtime is what I really need, and it would be great if I had an apartment to come home to with a shorter commute to make all the overtime of a peak season for this job(call center) more bearable. Also, if I have an apartment by the time training is done, I'll have more time to work more overtime.

I would love to get some donations toward getting an apartment, which I would combine with my 1st check.

If you wish to help me get a place to live sooner rather than later, just click the link on my Twitter profile or click here: http://paypal.me/poorblog I promise you I'm not some scammer, just a guy trying to climb out of the cellar, find a place to live, and reunite with my cat, Ms. Teschmacher. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Fear The Walking Zombie Debt.

Any Ohio licensed JD's able to help out with something?  

I'm dealing with Zombie Debt & the creditor handling the summary judgement, National Check Bureau c/o David Bader, is draining my bank account slowly and sporadically, allowing interest and whatever fees he can dream up, to accumulate.

In 2010, this creditor(person who bought my debt) started taking money out of my bank account.  I was able to talk to them and explain that I was in a pretty bad shape, financially, and asked if they could  give some breathing room. I may have agreed to make payments, which never happened, either because I didn't have it or because it slipped my mind completely.

Obviously, I bare some responsibility here, much in the same way that the guy trying to talk the meter maid into 'letting it slide' failed to get back to his car on time. Except, I will say that this firm bought bad debt, they weren't trying to collect money they lent me personally. Inherently, there is a touch of douchebaggery baked into their business model, that is, to exploit the financial shortcomings of others while charging interest and fees.

They probably bought my debt for a few hundred dollars at most, but attempted to collect the full amount of the original debt. I guess, it's lucrative work if you lack all empathy and soul.

In early June(5 years later, I checked my bank account and discovered that $102.55 had been withdrawn by this lawyer and National Check Bureau. It was his bank garnishment in June that led me to leave my apartment. I no longer had the rent.  I'm starting a new job and will be saving to get a place to live, and I'm afraid that he'll swoop in just when I have enough money saved and drain my account. Every time he does this, the court charges $50, which gets added to the 'fees' I have to pay.  I barely have the gas money I need to commute until I get my first check. Imagine if the gas/food money I sorely need is stripped away?

If anyone can, please donate. That money is safe in my PayPal until I need to withdraw it.  If anyone is or knows a lawyer licensed in Ohio that is willing to contact these guys on my behalf and get them to back off or set up some other arrangements, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Details.

Since I last posted, I have more details about my car, my plight, and possibly, a little flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.

1st - Car

As I already tweeted, it wasn't my starter, it was the battery. I got a battery & some much needed 5W-30 at Autozone, dipping into my commute funds by $130.

So it's good to know my starter isn't actually going out, but devastating that I spent well over half of my gas/food to last until 1st check money on a battery.

Job

I signed my new hire paperwork today and got my training schedule. I have an orientation day on the 18th and the 1st full day is the next Tuesday. Training at this ace is Tuesday thru Saturday for 4 weeks.

Bad news.

This job pays biweekly, which is fairly common in customer service.  The bad part is that my 1st check won't be until October 16th, a month and 4 days from now.

Without help, I won't make it to my 1st pay.

Any help is appreciated.  Tweet this link to others who can donate if you cannot.  If you don't want to donate money, because you think I'm some sort of cracked out schemer, then maybe you could send a prepaid gas card... If you would like to mail something like that, just DM me on Twitter and I'll give you an address to send it to. Please note that I didn't say my address, because I'm technically homeless.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Dead.

Good news: I have a job offer for the Columbus call center job and I'm supposed to sign paperwork Thursday.

Bad News: I think the starter in my 2001 Hyundai Sonata finally died today and the car won't start.

I don't really have enough gas $ to get back and forth to the new job until I get my 1st paycheck, let alone $ to get a new starter put in.

If I can't get this car started, I can't get up to Columbus, and even if I get up there somehow, I have no reliable transportation to get to the new job.

I really need money to get a starter put in that rusty car. This isn't some scheme. I assure you the damn car is dead at the moment. My dad said to try jump starting it, and maybe then I can get it up to Columbus, but I have no idea if that's gonna work.

This is the reality of poverty. No savings and any small setback can derail an opportunity.

I really need help & I'm running out of ppl to ask.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Next Steps.

As I find myself constantly clawing my way out of the cellar, it becomes difficult to chart progress; a donation helps, but I need more. Getting interviews are great, but they aren't job offers.  Decent paying jobs are great, but I still wouldn't make enough to pay on student loan debt and save for retirement.

Here lately, the victories have come in the form of strategic retreats; losing a battle to save resources to keep the larger war effort going.  My war is constant poverty.  Everyone started it. Crappy circumstances met against a stubborn will to find a job I wanted to wake up every morning for, and this was complicated by a recession, poor money management skills(though a lot of people would fail to save when they don't make enough to live), and an erratic job history.

This war has both humbled me and desensitized me to the ups and downs every person feels in life.  Everything about me has steeped in a dreary grey.  That's great for an English breakfast, but it makes it hard to recognize any crests along the way.

Since my last post, I haven't heard back on the technical writer job. The recruiter never even replied to my emails.  Honestly, I'm used to being treated this way.  My AEP job fell through. The placement agency thought I was a great candidate, but....  I emailed to ask why I was rejected, but they never replied.  They NEVER reply.  Part of me thinks that I have been rejected for discriminatory reasons, which make many employers unable to be honest. But I'm not going to cry discrimination as a white male who did far too much hero eating in his 20's to show off to friends.

That leaves the other Columbus opportunity, which is at a call center for Restoration Hardware, I suspected I had a good chance because the skills test I took went well and the interview I had went great.  At the end of the interview, I asked her if there was any reason why she wouldn't hire me, which resulted in her taking the next 5 minutes to compliment me.  She told me she would send a background check and we would go from there.  I filled the background check forms out online as soon as they were emailed to me and have been waiting anxiously to hear back.

Today, I got too impatient and emailed her for an update.  When she called me back she said my background check had not come back yet.... but she would like to extend an offer contingent on the results of the background check.

Hooray.

It's a criminal background check and I'm squeaky clean, so I'm going take a moment to celebrate.  The job training will start on September 18th, in West Jefferson, which is 10 miles west of Columbus.  I stay in Cincinnati, over 100 miles away.  So yes, I still need donations if anyone can spare them for gas and food money.  Even if this place pays weekly, it will be 2 weeks after September 18th before I get paid at the earliest.

So my next steps are to get enough money to actually make it to the new job, then save enough money couch surfing and working to move up to Columbus.  There's always the chance that I get mixed up with someone else and my background check has some sort of errors on it, but I'm going to try to be positive for a while and hope for the best.

Feel free to distribute the link to this blog if you are unable to donate, Maybe other people who follow you on Twitter or Facebook will be able to  share the link or donate.

Thank you in advance.

Sam.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wins & Losses.

This has been a good week that has had a couple of downturns.

1 of my 3 job leads died with a rejection email 2 days before I was to attend that company's open house hiring event. 

I went anyway, and had a pretty good in person interview this afternoon. So maybe that counts as a save.

I thought my interview for the technical writer position went pretty well, but the guy was pleasant enough that he was a little hard to read. I'm supposed to hear back on all 3 jobs by Monday.

I came home tonight to discover the people I'm staying with have grown tired of my presence. My best friend's girlfriend really laid into me about doing more chores. As mad as she was, I was equally confused when I pressed her for specifics and she came up with only a couple anecdotes. It probably didn't help that she was drunk. 

This was a pretty big low and just happened. I feel trapped. I wanted to defend myself, but how? They rent this house and I'm the guest, so I'm obligated to do whatever they say(within reason, of course).  But she didn't give specifics. She just said, 'going forward, just try to help more.'

'With what? What specifically have you asked me to do, that I refused? What specific things do you want me to do that I don't do already?'

Just do more to show appreciation, she basically said.  I need to guess what they want done and do it.  Apparently, trash, dishes, feeding the cats, and vacuuming the small bit of carpet in the living room wasn't it, because I already do that.

I feel so trapped. They can ask me to leave at any time and I really have nowhere to go. I could stay at my sister's house, but not my cat... not most of my possessions that I have here.

I wasn't expecting this, although I did sense a distance between us. I do empathize to a certain extent.  They work all day, come home, and there I sit.  It's not like I'm protesting... I have no job... no money to go out and do things.

I really need something to happen for me with 1 of these 3 jobs. I want the technical writer position the most, but that's here in Cincinnati, which means more awkward evenings at my friend's home until I have a place of my own.  It would almost be better to get one of the Columbus jobs so I can be out of this house.  It's the most terrible feeling to be unwanted, especially when you can't just fuck off and go to your own apartment.

I need more money, regardless of the job I get.  All 3 opportunities start 2 weeks from now. Even if they pay weekly, I wouldn't see my 1st check for 2 weeks after I start. That means, even if I get 1 of those 3 jobs, I won't get paid until October.  I don't have enough money to last until then.  I'll need more than I currently have for gas alone.  So if anyone can donate, I'd really appreciate it.  

Hopefully, this week will end on a positive note.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fffffffffffffffffff.........

So frustrated right now...

Another seemingly solid job lead has dissolved, just as another promising job lead emerges. I should be happy to have a new opportunity, but this has been happening for months.

Last week, I was certain I would at least have 1 job offer this week, but this week, I ended up with none.  Next week I fully (perhaps, fooly) expect at least 1 job offer.

In June, as I was staring at an empty refrigerator and an empty wallet, I debated the offer to leave my apartment to stay with a friend because I was certain I was close to getting a position.

I wasn't.

People respond to my plight as if I'm lazy. I'm not.  I was raised hauling in firewood, and shoveling hog manure since I was in the 5th grade.

I'm not good at the easiest to get jobs. Perhaps the catalyst responsible for me starting Poor Blog was when I went to work at Amazon a couple years ago to get off of unemployment.  I knew it would be hard, but I had to do something.  I was so bad at the grueling warehouse work that after two days, I was laid up, unable to stand, other than to slowly and painfully shuffle my feet, for two days.  I wasn't lazy, I was terrible at that sort of work.

People keep suggesting things in the key of 'why don't you just...' and you can fill in the blanks with serving, cooking, and other restaurant work. What those people never believed or listened to was that I did apply for those types of jobs and never made it past the interview. I'm always amazed at people that can just go out and get one of those jobs in a couple days and start the next week.  If I got the dishwasher job or the chicken restaurant job, I probably wouldn't have done much better than I fared at Amazon.  I could suffer through hard, physical labor when I was younger, but now, I'm just too terrible at it and my back and feet are too weak.

So even if I were hired for one of those jobs(and I have applied for them), I probably wouldn't last very long.  Instead, I try to look for work that compliments my skill set.

I find good positions in chunks. Usually, there is a job I really want, but my skills may be a little low and my prospects aren't as high. Another job fits my skills well even though I wouldn't prefer that work as well as other types of work.  A third job is some customer service type job that I have done a version of in the past and that I'm a mortal lock for, I perceive as a fallback position if the other two fall through. Then, all three positions fall apart.

This has happened several times since January; it may be happening now.

I hope not.

I lost the Sam Adams position and the same temp agency that sent me to that interview, called me about the opportunity at Sugar Creek Packing.  I didn't know this at the time, but they already knew I wasn't getting the Sam Adams job when they called about the Sugar Creek job.  I only found out after my Sugar Creek interview, when I called Lab Support to follow up on the Sam Adams job. Today, Lab support called to talk about a lab tech position they thought I would be interested in. Suspicious, I asked about the Sugar Creek job, and sure enough, they already knew I wasn't getting it.  When did they plan to tell me?

I had a good interview for a call center job in Columbus yesterday and earlier this week I applied for another Columbus call center position.  The former could be viewed as the safety pick, the fallback choice.  I have an interview next week for a technical writer position here in Cincinnati as well as an open house in Columbus for that second call center job.

I would love to get the technical writer job, but even more than that, I would love to not have all my job leads fall apart.

I had a few big donations last week, but that is all going toward gas, food, car insurance and rent for my possessions sitting in Public Storage.  If anyone reading this hasn't donated and wants to, or knows of someone who can donate, please donate or pass along the link to this blog.  Even if I get hired next week, I'll still need money to get by until I get my first check.  Every little bit helps.

Thank you.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Drained.

It's been a draining week.

As annoyed as many probably were at my non-stop fundraising and E-panhandling, it took a bit out of me, to the point I feel completely drained, emotionally.  Asking for help feels inherently submissive to begin with, but asking for donations is just extra sad.

I did get a few donations. My sincerest thanks to those who donated.  I really am broke and I need gas and food to get my through until I get hired and receive my 1st paycheck.  I had an interview w/ Sam Adams here in Cincinnati a week and a half ago. I thought it went well, but it could be at least another week until I hear back from them. Last week, I drove all the way up to Columbus to take a skills test for a customer service position in a call center for a utilities company.  I should find out this week if I get invited back for an interview.  Tomorrow, I have an interview with Sugar Creek Packing Co. in Fairfield, on the northern end of Greater Cincinnati.  I figure I have a good shot at that job(QA) and then I have the call center job to fall back on if Sugar Creek doesn't hire me.  Of course, it's possible that nobody hires me.

The QA job would probably start the next week, which means I may get paid in as few as 3 weeks, but the call center job, if hired, doesn't even begin until Sept. 14th, so I won't even see a paycheck until October in that scenario... plus, I'll have to drive 100 miles and stay with family during each week until I have enough money to move.

I'll be happy if I get hired, but unfortunately, I may need a little bit more money to get by, even if I get hired.

Any donations appreciated, but I understand if you can't or won't.  I also found out that I am legally considered homeless.  I'm staying with a friend, but that is only meant to be temporary.  I guess it's just a label, but it really is a reality check that I have no place of my own.  Hopefully, I have good news this week.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Out Of Time.

Last week was my last unemployment payment, it turns out.  I'm not a great saver to begin with and the benefit payments went to car insurance, cell phone, food, and gas.


I was hoping that Federal Emergency UI would kick in, but it doesn't look like that is going to happen.

I have a few possibilities, though. I have two job leads through Lab Support; one with Sam Adams that I really want and one with Sugar Creek Packing doing QA.  My third possibility is doing customer service for a utility company in Columbus.  I'm going to run out of money before next month and won't have anything for car insurance, public storage, gas, cell phone, or food.  I already moved out of my apartment in June and I hope my friend I'm staying with doesn't get tired of me.

At this point, I have completely failed at getting a job. I did try, applying for everything from jobs I am qualified for to dishwasher positions, to jobs serving chicken, but trying doesn't guarantee success.  In the end, someone has to say yes.

I don't know what I'm going to do now. I'm embarrassed, defeated, broke, and alone. How do I tell the people I stay with that I can no longer afford food?

Even if something materializes next week, I'll probably run out of money before I get paid... and that's IF something happens.

If anyone has anything to donate, you can do so using the PayPal.  If any of you Bootstrappers want to post comments where you tear me down and second guess everything I've done, please don't. I'm already down, don't kick me.

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.

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.