The $9,600 Question


Okay hotshot, pop quiz. If you had to pony up $9,600, would you want something to show for it or be empty handed?

That’s exactly what I thought. But that’s the situation we found ourselves in today after getting an appraisal from Carmax for the leased Kia Optima, the car that I said we would probably get rid of since we can no longer afford it with my unemployment benefits being exhausted.

By the way…fuck you, Congress!

Ahem. Anyway, the Carmax appraisal for x-thousand dollars left us with a deficiency of $9,600 which means that if we sold them the car for what they offered, we would be responsible for the $9,600 remaining. It would be the same situation if we sold it to a private party. The salesman told us that the best way to pay it off would be to get a loan through our financial institution.

Here’s the problem with a loan.

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(Un)employed


It’s official: I’m no longer unemployed.

This was the result of about a week of inquiring, calling, and probing a cashier at our local grocery store with questions relating to the store’s current employment status. Finally, after all of that and finishing with my interview today, I can say that I have job.

The cashier in question is one that loves Anthony to pieces and always talks to him whenever she helps us. One day after she rang us up, I asked if she knew if they were hiring. She said that many, many people had recently left and that there should be some vacancies. I slipped her my business card and told her to give me call when she found out.

I never got that call but, after dealing with this craptacular day last week, I went straight to said grocery store and asked the Manager On Duty if there were any positions available. She told me to call the manager the next day and talk to them, which I did. My interview was scheduled for today at 1:00 pm.

I was pretty much told I had the job before I even had a seat. The manager also said that I was overqualified for the job but after telling them I needed a change, they didn’t seem as intimidated by my professional experience. I filled out a few forms, took the drug test right there, and now I await the results. Provided I pass (and I’m sure I will), training will begin the following Saturday.

And that’s that. As for my last blog post in which I was obviously ticked off, I feel it was definitely justified and my feelings pretty much remain the same toward everything I mention in that post. In fact, I might have a little more spite for the EDD after reading this story which claims that 90% of calls go unanswered. I can tell you that after trying to get a hold of them for a simple question, it sure seems like they don’t answer. They are practically impossible to reach.

Oh, and Congress? I may be starting a new job soon but you still suck more than I can put into words for ruining peoples’ lives by not extending unemployment benefits.

It may be part-time and minimum wage but considering the time it took to find something and ultimately get the job, Ann was more excited than she was when I got a job paying 3x more. It’ll be tough but I’d rather survive on a little than worry about when Congress makes up its mind about EDD extensions – and get nothing in the meantime.

When It Rains…


I could go into great detail about how my day went but I’ll make it short for the sake of not dragging it on forever.

First, I called the EDD to find out why the second week of my benefits claim was covered in Xs. Now keep in mind that I have been calling continuously since Monday morning. In fact between 8:00 and 8:30, I tallied a total of 120 calls of which only 5 were sent through.

But getting sent through is not a guarantee. Every time I was, the recording told me that there were too many callers already waiting and my call couldn’t be answered. That changed today when I was finally able to get to speak with someone about my claim form.

And the answer was what I suspected: I’m done. I’ve exhausted my benefits until June 2014 or until those assholes in Congress decide to do something with extending benefits. The last I heard, they are still not doing anything but collecting a nice salary which I’m paying for. Jerks.

With that call over, I hung up the phone and cried a little. No, a lot. Our car payment is due today and we can’t pay it, so we’ve made the decision to give it up. I called Kia and asked them what our options were and the rep read her script while I, struggling to keep up with her, took notes. The bottom line was that no matter how we do it, we’re screwed. We will owe something in the end regardless of what we do with the car but it will at least avoid repossession. Our best bet is to just take it back to the dealer and tell them the situation, as if they’ll be sympathetic about it. So the car, the one I thought would be a nice 20th anniversary gift for Ann, will be history. What a nice way to remember an anniversary.

Then, as the final straw, I go to the place seen in this Craigslist ad:

liars

The first line summed it up: no experience necessary. I figured I might as well.

I arrived and inquired about the position. The guy I asked pointed to another guy who asked if I had any experience with glass. I told him I didn’t.

“Oh, we’re only looking for people with experience,” the guy who resembled a convict said. Rather than point out what their ad above clearly stated, I simply nodded, smiled, and thanked them.

It was on the way out of the office when my thoughts formed and made their way from my brain to my mouth, each word spoken at a higher volume level.

“…then maybe you should STATE THAT IN YOUR FUCKING AD,” the last two words probably registering a hit on the Richter Scale.

Today could not have been worse. For all the good I’ve dedicated myself to do for others (most of which I don’t even mention on here), I can’t get anything in return, not even a measly phone call from one of the many applications I’ve submitted online and in person. It truly is at a time like this when faith is tested and decisions are made and frankly, I’ve got no faith in anything at the moment. Nothing. What little I had in anything is gone.  And I don’t even feel like blogging anymore.

I’m deflated, defeated, just tired of all the bullshit that I’ve gone through since June. This constant rejection is a load of garbage and it’s taking its toll on me. If there is a God, s/he’s taken one giant dump on me and is laughing hysterically but at this point, I can say with confidence that there isn’t. Nobody could hate me this much or think that this is just a great part of some amazing plan they have for me. Bullshit.

Being good hasn’t helped. Doing the right thing hasn’t helped. Nothing has helped and in my quest to find some peace by studying Buddhism, I’ve gotten more anger and disappointment in return so for all I’ve put into it, I think I’m done with that mess. It simply hasn’t gone as planned.

Fuck this noise. I’m going to bed.

Devil Inside


As much as Dave v2.0 tries to stay on the bright and sunny side of things these days, there are still moments when I have to stand back and make sure what I’m hearing or seeing is, in fact, what’s really going on.

Today was one of those days.

Ann has been working at the same place for over 11 years. It’s only a part-time gig since during a majority of those 11 years I was bringing home the proverbial bacon (but not frying it up in the pan). There was really no need for her to work any more hours than those. And during my current stint of unemployment that’s still the case as we have little to no bills to pay, outside of standard living expenses and utilities.

Over the past, I dunno, year or so, Ann’s boss – we’ll call her Debbie – has been somewhat secretive about her plans to buy a new practice. What it meant to everyone at her current office was never made clear as she never told them any concrete plans – but they all seemed to know. This is what happens when your employees also act as secretaries.

Their collective powers of deduction determined that Debbie did indeed buy a new practice and when she was confronted by Ann and a coworker about it, she still denied it.

Then today happens, today being the day that Debbie told the employees that she will be closing their current office by March so that the new purchase would thrive. So this statement confirms that the other office is now under her rule, no?

Nope. Debbie has yet to confirm that she owns it but is already taking cost-cutting measures by way of slashing insurance benefits and telling them hours will be minimal in January.

Debbie is good at what she does. She was also a good boss to work for as was evident by the time people spent under her employ. But this recent acquisition seemed to turn her into an unprofessional, mean, spiteful, devil of a woman who suddenly began to worship The Almighty Dollar rather than do good for her workers.

Then she pulls this little stunt today, leaving everybody high and dry without any reasonable explanation as to what’s going to happen.

She couldn’t have done this at a worse time than now and couldn’t have been more of an egoist about it.

And for that, I we have lost what little respect I we had left for her. I We hope her ego is indeed satisfied, as are the demons fueling her need for more, more, more.

Happy Holidays, Debbie. Sleep well. I We know you will.

Job Fairs


I don’t recall where I was coming from or why I was there but one day I came across a huge banner in a nearby city that was advertising their annual Job Fair (or Job Faire if you’re one of those Medieval types).

I haphazardly made a mental note of the date – I don’t jot and drive – and added it to my Google Calendar as soon as I got home so I could have a constant reminder on my PC and phone as to when it was.

Well, today was the day so I put on my Sunday best and headed out to the location.

That’s when I realized how much I dislike these things.

First of all, parking is always an issue even when the economy is thriving. People are always looking for jobs no matter the reason or season but with the way things are these days, there are even more people looking for work (myself included). I ended up parking about a block away, fitting into a space that only a Toyota Yaris would fit into.

I then made the trek to the event where I was greeted by a line of people that stretched out the door. Fortunately, it was moving at a rapid pace so I didn’t have to wait too long.

Once inside, all participants had to sign in at a desk and listen to someone give details on a few forms they were handing out: a survey and postcard, the latter to be filled out and sent if you got a job that day.

And here’s the first issue I have with these events: nobody is actually hiring, per se. Sure, you can distribute your resume and fill out applications nine ways from Sunday but as far as leaving the Job Fair with a wonderful new retail position that will set the world on fire, yeah, that’s not happening. If anything, most of the employers are just a human element that searching online doesn’t provide and in the end, most of them will just hand you a flier with a URL that lists all of their available positions.

In other words, Job Fairs are just a congested way of conducting an online job search. You really are better off staying at home and using your Internet job website of choice. By going to a Job Fair, you’re just using up gas, getting dressed up, and dealing with a ridiculous parking situation and getting very little in return.

And there’s a lot less noise at home as well, unless you listen to Avenged Sevenfold while you job hunt which I may or may not do from time to time. Actually, it would serve me better to do that as opposed to dealing with the constant stream of talking from attendees and potential employers. To give you an idea, here’s what the view was like when I was in line waiting to speak to representatives from Mitsubishi.

picsay-1381431205

The pitch was such that it really was aggravating my tinnitus. I can handle noise if it’s at the right level but this was a little too much.

As far as the jobs go you have a cornucopia to choose from, most of which are sales, retail, and marketing. And the retail jobs at this time of year are no doubt seasonal so there’s no real hope in applying with any of them. There were also lots of companies I’d never heard of before who were also hiring for sales and marketing (which is obviously why I’d never heard of them). In the end, I spoke with about five companies and applied with only one that billed itself as “the Asian Starbucks” and is doing lots of expanding over the next few years. They were the only one who spoke with me at length and were beyond cordial, as well as the only one who didn’t look at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears when I told them I wanted to leave Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Proofreading. In fact, they were sort of in awe at how someone could spend 40 hours a week doing such a tedious job. I was admired for a moment but who knows what will come of it.

Speaking of proofreaders, nobody likes them. It’s a fact. With the exception of the aforementioned company, every single company rep I spoke with (including Mitsubishi) sort of cringed when I told them I wanted to transition out of said career and into something else. It was akin to saying, “Hi! I have the Black Plague and would love to give it to you as well. Can we shake hands?”

Nobody apparently heard the “I want to transition out of this career” portion of my elevator pitch because they all said that they didn’t have anything in that field.

Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Oh well.

I spent about an hour meandering the hall in which the event was held and refrained from taking any candy placed on the tables. It was after speaking with Mitsubishi when I decided that a) this totally wasn’t worth the effort and b) maybe I shouldn’t mention that I’m a proofreader to anyone ever again. I’ll think twice before attending another Job Fair and keep on searching online as well as locally.

But the upside of going to a Job Fair?

PHOTO_20131010_114520

You take home lots of craps.

But it’s still not worth it.