Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, I'm about to head off to have a New Year's celebration at my mom's apartment. Last year, she was so proud of herself for staying up until Midnite, that she wants to do it again this year :-) Anyhow, I'd probably prefer being home, but every chance to spend quality time with my mom is precious, and I have no idea how many opportunities I will have....so we'll have a fun time!

It's supposed to get down to -15*F tonite. Yeck. I hate winter. First all the snow, now the cold.

Well aren't I just a little Scrooge? LOL

I hope you all have a Happy New Year and a nice long holiday weekend.

I'll "see ya next year!"

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I know I should get used to it.....

Well, I still have to work my full time job until January 29. So today, I had to be there at 1:30pm for a meeting. Here's how the day went:

I got up at 9am, hopped in the shower. The phone rang, it was my boss from my part time job, wanting to know if I wanted a couple of extra shifts this weekend--I said yes. Then I remembered I had a scheduling conflict and had to call her back and tell her about that, it was embarrassing. But she just did a little bit of juggling and it turned out to be no big deal.

Then, I went out to take care of the chickens and....3 stupid ones apparently froze(?) to death last night? There were three chickens, they were outside the chicken house, no blood, just all three were dead. That really bummed me out, because if I was home more, I probably could've prevented that. And I'm so fond of all the chickens, I get very sad when even one dies. So that was a crappy thing.

Then, DH was still in bed, and the neighbor was out in the yard, trying to get the 4-wheeler going to plow his driveway (he gave us a bunch of firewood for the privilege) and I woke DH up and he just wouldn't wake up, and wouldn't wake up.....then he finally went out onto the deck and hollered to the neighbor, but wasn't even friendly enough to go down and say hi. Then, I went inside, and HE WAS BACK IN BED AGAIN. He said the "house was cold". I said, "That's usually when you start a fire." He said, "but I'd have to go outside for that."

But I had to go to the store for my mom before I went to work, because I knew she was almost out of Kleenex, and she goes through about a whole box in a day....her nose runs ALL THE TIME, and sometimes I think it doesn't, but she's just obsessed with it....anyhow, whatever the case is, she needed Kleenex, so I went to the store. Then I went to her apartment, and she was in the bathroom and didn't want me to leave until she got done. So I did that, and while I was there, I noted that her cat is almost out of food, and I also remembered that I had promised to buy a birthday card for my brother (from my mom) and I hadn't.

Then I ran home and changed my clothes and went to work. A half hour late, didn't want to go to that meeting anyhow, and hey....I'm getting laid off (bad attitude there, I know)....anyhow, I got to work and the meeting was cancelled anyhow. Grr.

At 2pm, when I got to work, I called home, and DH was still in bed.

So now that I'm here, I'm feeling sorry for myself for being laid off (soon) again. I'm shy. I don't like to socialize. I don't like to meet people. How am I going to "sell myself"? I think I'm getting depressed over this job thing. I look at job postings and even though they "sound" fun, I don't want to apply, because I don't know what my plan is yet. So then I start worrying again. I know I'm determined, and I know I'll find a way, but right now it just feels kind of hopeless.

And yes, this is the same person that took the census test, scored as high as I possibly could, and was excited about the prospects of that....apparently that was last week's thing :-)

(Don't worry, I'll get over it)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Well, I wanted to take some time to say "Merry Christmas" to all of you! I won't be working tomorrow--I already had a vacation day before I got word of the layoff, and before we found out about the big snowstorm--supposedly this will be the biggest snowstorm since 1991, so I probably won't be going too far in the next few days!

I'm hoping, though, that I'll at least be able to make it over to give my mom a Christmas hug....she doesn't come to our house for the games, and our Christmas dinner for our side of the family has been moved to Sunday....but still!!!!

I got all the games ready, the ones that we play on Christmas Eve. I've got to stop and buy some Play-Doh, though, because we're going to play a game that's like Pictionary, except it's with Play-Doh. Then we'll do some of the "old standbys" like the Christmas card toss (into a laundry basket) and a mini-scavenger hunt, among others....I get all happy thinking about how much fun that'll be (I kind of put myself in charge of these games years ago and every year I try to come up with something new and funny). This year there won't be a lot of prizes (dollar store), but I think we'll still laugh a lot!

DH's family is already in the vicinity, so the snowstorm won't stop them...I guess my mother in law got kind of mad because she had a HUGE Tupperware container (without a lid, though) full of cookies, and she set it on the kitchen counter when she stopped by our house today. Unfortunately, we have to put the cat food on the counter, so the dogs don't eat all the cat food. So Zeppy, the most senior kitty in the house, who also has a feline version of cerebral palsy, chose that moment to get up on the counter, fall down (she does that a lot) and grab onto the cookie container in a feeble attempt to right herself on her way down. Now we have no cookies! (I told DH that we had just washed the floor, I would've eaten most of them anyhow, and he said he would've too, but neither of us wanted to admit that to his mom, LOL) So she was pretty mad, and I don't really blame her too much, but Zeppy didn't do it on purpose....

Anyhow, I'm glad I was at work when that happened.

I'm going to leave early tonite, so that I can get to WalMart before it's too hard to drive.

But I wanted to thank each and every one of you for reading my blog, sharing your words of wisdom, and being kind.

Merry Christmas!!!

I'll probably be posting on Saturday night from my other job.

P.S. I took the test for the 2010 Census today before I came to work--I scored 28 out of 28 (yay!!!!) So maybe I'll get a little extra money after I'm laid off!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I had no idea.

I had no idea that I would respond to losing my job by freaking out. I haven't even officially lost it yet, but I wake up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding and all I can think is "What am I going to do????" Last night I had a dream about all the people I got laid off with, all the people I've worked with for (nearly) decades....I woke up and was sad. Then I immediately shifted into the "What am I going to do?" mode and couldn't get back to sleep.

In all reality, I did not like the job. And I hate(d) the commute. In all reality, I have more opportunities than most, and at least one plan, maybe more than one plan, if the dislocated worker people come through with some paid training.

I already have a part time job, which I am in no danger of losing.

I knew the layoff was coming, I knew it as soon as the outsourcing was announced.

So why am I freaking out???????

Probably because I've never, since I was 16, been unemployed. And I've always been one of those people who (smartly) found the next job before leaving the previous one. But now I have to sit here and wait. I could apply for all sorts of stuff, stuff that pays $9 an hour, with the 2 hour commute....or I can sit and wait and see if a) more people are hiring after the holidays and b) am I going to get some (re)training. It just kills me to send in my resume for a job 90 miles away, that pays so little. But I know that beggars can't be choosers, either....it gives me a headache just thinking about it all....

DH is, unfortunately, not much more motivated than usual. He hasn't gone out to look for a job since that one day. I hope, though, that he got the plow hooked up to the four-wheeler, because we are going to get walloped in the snow department.

I'm kind of excited about a big snowstorm. Especially since I don't have to work anywhere on any of the days....I had taken a vacation day for Dec. 24, and of course I'm off on the 25th....don't have to be anywhere until Saturday night :-)

Plus, I get paid from both jobs on the 24th, and I have only done about $15 in Christmas shopping so far....but that was GOOD shopping, LOL. I got DD an Aeropostale hoodie and a brand new pair of jeans at the thrift store, for .75 EACH!!!! And then a gorgeous sweater for her (but I'm not sure if it'll fit or not) for $3.50. And I got DH two coffee mugs that are from the "fixit" store "Menards"--the handles are shaped like bolts, they're like little tool mugs (yup, at the thrift store, too)....

Right now my plan is....leave work Wednesday a couple of hours early, take a couple of hours of vacation. Get to WalMart asap, and since it will be Dec. 24 by then, finish up my shopping. But if the weather's too bad, I'll just stick with what I've got, because it's such a long drive. From what I've heard, the snow isn't supposed to start until late tomorrow (Wednesday) night, then we can (according to the latest forecast) expect up to 20 inches(!) of snow! So I'm hoping we don't have to drive down to my brother's for Christmas dinner (that's a 90 mile drive, too) and maybe we can postpone. That'd be a nice present for me!

I've pretty much told myself that job-hunting is just going to have to wait until Christmas....but I'll keep checking all the good "jobs" sites and force myself to apply for at least one or two, just to make myself feel like I'm doing something besides just sitting here....

Oh. Forgot to tell you....tomorrow I'm scheduled to take the test to be a census worker in my county....it would pay better than McDonalds if I could get that...I know the jobs are temporary, but I don't know how long they last...but at least it would be a little extra coming in....they say it's "to my benefit" to work as much as I can....I think I'd feel better about myself if I could get up and go to work....well, who knows....I might not even be in the running for the Census job(s). There are so many people out of work, especially in my area, it's hard to be optimistic....but I'll try!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A little ray of hope....?

Today has been a better-than-usual day. First, our department (or, should I say, my soon-to-be-former-department at my soon-to-be-former-employer?) sprang for three of those Subway party subs for a Christmas treat. But only one sub got eaten, there are still two subs (and they are FIVE FEET LONG) and there is no fridge, so I get to take them home tonite.....they'll be a little soggy, but still very edible and yummy!!!! We haven't had Subway in so long, what a treat! (and how pathetic, huh?)

Anyhow, then I had a meeting with the dislocated workers people, and I guess, if I understand things right, if there is a large layoff (more than 50 people) and ours was 240 people, the state provides extra job-search services, including, but not limited to, career counseling, and paid training to change careers, up to a 2 year degree!!!! Their goal is to get a person back to work at roughly THE SAME PAY and THE SAME BENEFITS as before the layoff(s)! I don't know if that's possible in my case, since the county where I live is so far from the county where I work(ed), and the county where I live has very high unemployment, but we'll see, won't we???? It sounds like there is a lot of funding for people affected by a "large" layoff. It gave me a lot of hope. Plus, they clarified that I will be able to get unemployment, even with the second job, it's just a little trickier. No doubt things will be even tighter, but I won't have the huge gas expense, and hopefully DH's truck will be paid off as soon as the tax refund comes (assuming there is one)....anyhow, I think that it can be done. They said it would take about 2 weeks (or a little more because of the holidays) to get all the counseling sessions set up. So that's something good. I'm more hopeful than I've been since the layoff was announced.

And then.....(drum roll please)......


Guess what he did today?

He went and really tried to find a job. He applied at three places, and went to two others (they weren't accepting applications)!!! That's more job-hunting than he's done in the last three years combined--I'm so proud of him.....and that gives me hope, too, because if he can find ANYTHING, it won't be so imperative that I find something that pays really good....

I actually am kind of excited right now about my new job, whatever it may be.....

Oh--but I think i will follow Grace's thinking (in her comment yesterday), and take anything that pays, then worry about "THE job" from there.....LOL, I don't know why I'm so hopeful, though, I've probably applied at 20 different places since the layoff announcement and I've gotten exactly ZERO phone calls....well, maybe the unemployment people can help me with that.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

All talk and no action.

Well, yesterday I had the day off and I went down to the WorkForce Center, which is the "unemployment office" and started gathering information, etc. There are a lot of things I can't do until I'm officially "out of work", but I did do a job search and put out a few more resumes.

I'm meeting with some "Dislocated Worker" folks later this week, so hopefully they'll have answers on any training I'm eligible for....I'm a little hopeful....I KNOW for a fact that my job is gone because all of the work has been sent overseas. But whether the company will admit that or not, that is another question. We'll see.

So DH has been telling me he "will be finding a job" and "he won't let me down". I know better by now, that he has good intentions, but that isn't alway enough. He told me that he was going to put major effort into searching for a job. So today, he had to bring DD to an appointment, and then he told me he was going to go look for a job.

I called him about two hours after that, to see how his "job search" went.

"Not good."

Me: Why, what happened?

DH: I got to the WorkForce Center and all the computers were taken, so I went home.

(Apparently the fact that he has his own laptop and could have went to the library eluded him, as did the possibility of going around town and putting in applications...)

I know I'm going to end up doing this all myself. But it would be so much easier if that wasn't the case.

I wish I knew someone who'd been laid off, made it through, and lived to tell the tale (with a happy ending). Nobody I currently know has ever been laid off before. I know LOTS of people I USED to work with that have been laid off, but you lose touch with them.....

Well, after this is all said and done, you will all know me and how I handled things. For me, even though I've had two jobs for years now, job hunting is about on the same level as buying a used car. You don't know what to offer, you don't know if you're being misled, you have to go and present yourself as knowing things you really don't know much about....I just hate hate hate it. And it seems, now I'm going to have to get good at it. (At least the job one).

P.S. My mother in law is giving us a water heater for a(nother) Christmas present. That'll make me feel good when she opens up the pot holders or whatever I can afford to get her for Christmas....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A plan, even if it isn't the best one.....

Well, I've been feeling like things are so out of control with this layoff thing. And it's time for me to start taking charge of it. I'm not the first person this has happened to, and I'm not going to be the last. Others have made it through, and I will too. So I forced myself to come up with a plan.

Ideally, I would like to find something that pays decent (preferably indoors, LOL) near where I live (within about 30 miles or so.) It's probably not likely, but I'll still try. I applied for a convenience store assistant manager yesterday. I'm probably "overqualified", but it was close to home, and I have enjoyed working in a convenience store in the past. So why not...? No matter what I'm going to take a big pay cut. I'm hoping that if I can find SOMETHING fast, that I can minimize the impact(s). Especially if I can get DH to work, but I know that I can't depend on him, no matter how much he wants to help.

I am also applying for corporate jobs (with the 2 hour commute). Financially that is what I should be doing, because it will hurt the least and possibly come out better than I even was. But I'm not really enthusiastic about that, as I don't like corporate America much....we'll see....usually Fate (or God, or Angels, or whatever) knows what I really need at the time....

So the plan is to apply anywhere that gives me a little hope. Get lots of resumes out there. And then, if I still don't have many options by March, my plan is to enroll in a CNA course at the local community college. I don't want to be a CNA, but I know there are jobs out there, and I need to know that I'll find SOMETHING eventually. So in March, I'll enroll, then the class starts in May, and lasts a month. I'll keep sending out resumes during that time, and if, by the time I've got my CNA certificate, I still don't have work, then I'll find a CNA position. Who knows, I could end up working down the hall from where my mom lives.....

Anyhow, so after I came up with my plan, I felt better, more in control. But I'm still not sleeping well. I wake up after sleeping about 3 or 4 hours, and my heart starts pounding, and I start thinking "how can I be sleeping when this is happening?"
I'm thinking that if I don't be better at sleeping with this going on, I might need to talk to my doctor. I feel like I'm taking this much harder than the average person, and stressing out about it much more than the average person. But then I remind me that our situation isn't "average", and I so very much don't want to have to file for bankruptcy--that would kind of be like saying that me working my tail off all these last few years really didn't matter in the end, because I had to take the "easy" way out anyhow....not gonna do that unless I don't have a choice....

I've never been laid off before. I am having a tough time thinking about anything else. I've got to change my mindset. I hope this plan is a start.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Whew. This is hard.

Today I had two "workshops" for the "to-be-laid-off-soon" folks in my company. One was an "emotions are ok" and "your feelings are normal" class. That was the first time I saw some of the other people who got the axe. OMG. People I've worked with the entire time I've been there. People who trained me. One lady has put in 33 years, and only had two more years until retirement. It was very sad, but also it was (not sure of the word) (good? no) anyhow, I was relieved to see all of these other people there, because I didn't feel so alone.

The second one was a "we'll help you do your resume" one, and that one was sad, too.

So now I'm just basically feeling hopeless and depressed. I emailed out a bunch of resumes just so I could have some "irons in the fire". But really, what do I want to do? Do I want another corporate job with a 2 hour commute? Or a minimum wage job closer to home?

And DH. He says he is going to go out on Monday and find a job. I really hope that is true, because this will not work without him working. That's it, plain and simple. I'll have to file for bankruptcy unless he can start contributing. And even then I might have to. That's scary. And the thought that DH might end up with no health insurance, that is scary, too. It's all terrifying, and tonite I am not having any of that "It's a new opportunity" stuff. I'm scared that I've worked so very hard to keep it all together, and now just when I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out to be a train.

I'm really stuck in this pity party. And I think that having to come to work every day and relive it all again is definitely not helping me get past this. Someone else in one of the classes today commented on that, it's heartbreaking. None of my coworkers who didn't get laid off know what to say to me, and I don't know what to say to anyone, laid off or not. Very awkward.

Oh. And to top it all off???? Yesterday morning I was feeding all the animals and I realized the water pressure was very very low. So I went into the basement to see if maybe the water softener was turned off or something weird, and the water heater was spraying water all over the basement. (Don't worry, it's unfinished, no water damage, just financial damage)....and where on earth would a new water heater come from? I'm still not sure, but DH's mom has volunteered to get us one for Christmas. So there goes the humility thing again, but it's like the tires....really gotta have it, if at all possible....

Things are so rotten, I just want to say "Bah, Humbug!" "How dare Christmas come when I'm feeling like this?"

On Christmas Eve, we usually get together and play party games--I'm in charge of the games and the prizes. This year it's been hard to care. I've really gotta get on the ball.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Going back and forth

I keep going back and forth. I wake up terrified that I won't be able to find another job, that I won't be able to pay the bills....then I get up and start thinking about the possibilities and I get excited and hopeful. I just need to shut off the scared, crying person.

I still think that if the financial picture in our house would have been a little better, I would be hugely excited about this.

I haven't told DD yet. She is so terrified of losing our house. She's seen some of her classmates lose their houses, and she is always asking for reassurance: Mom, are we going to lose our house?

So I'm going to talk to her therapist tomorrow to see if there is a "best" way to tell DD. The therapist will be a good resource, because her husband has been out of work for nearly a year now, and he's got a Masters' degree.

I wish I could say that DH has stepped right up to the plate, ran out and got a job, but that's not the case. He's been talking about it, but I don't know really, if he could work, even if he managed to find something....

I think I'm going to start applying for stuff this week, though, because I feel like I need to be doing something. Tomorrow's my first day back to work since I got told. I'm scared and kind of humiliated about that, too.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Going through it all...

I am removing this post because I don't like it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh happy day (not)

Well, I had heard rumors, but I chose to "trust". Haha.
We had been told that if there were going to be layoffs, everyone involved would have 6 months' notice.

Not so.

My last day of work at my full time job is January 29.

I'm bummed, relieved, scared, excited....about every emotion a person could feel.

But they offered to pay me for today if I want to take the day off.

So that's what I'm gonna do.

And I think I'll pray a little, too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sorry for any inconvenience but....

I am absolutely sick of all the stupid comment spam I've been getting. Links to pharmaceutical sites, and oriental characters....one of my posts has received eleven comments in some oriental script that I can't read. Another one got three links to buy Cialis.

So, in order to try to combat this problem and cause you the least trouble, I am going to enable comment moderation on posts that are older than four days old. So you should still be able to comment on my most recent stuff without any hitch, but if it's been "out there" for more than four days, I'll have to "approve" it first.

From what I can figure, this is the best way to limit this stupid comment spam. Again, I'm very sorry if this causes you trouble!

Well, that was easy after all....

I hemmed and hawed, went back and forth, trying to decide whether I should call him or not. Finally, after acknowledging the fact that I tend to regret things I don't do more than the things I do do, I decided to call.

So, with my heart pounding and hands shaking, I dialed his number. I couldn't really even figure out what I was going to say.

"The number you have dialed is no longer in service."

Ok, maybe I dialed wrong.


Checked the phone book just to make sure, that's the number that's in there....

Ok, then....I called. Right?.....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I feel weird.

Back before I met DH (so this was years ago), I was in a relationship with someone else for six years. Towards the end, it came very close to being abusive, and I gave him an ultimatum: Get counseling for the anger within the next 30 days or we're through. He didn't. So I walked. But it wasn't that easy, of course. There were a lot of things said and done by both of us that weren't very nice.

I wasn't very grown up. Neither was he. And "fighting fair" was just a concept. There was a lot of yelling. He even went to my mom's house one day and told her things about me that I never wanted anyone to know. But I also did some things I regret--and could have handled differently. I played a lot of games. He responded by being angrier. It took me many years to see that, of course. I still believe that the relationship was very doomed. I should've left long before I did.

But it is a part of my past. There are still some happy memories, although the unhappy ones outweigh them.

I was at the thrift store in town when someone said "Hi Carol!" It was his sister and his mom. I hadn't seen them since probably 1996 or so. His mom looked so old--of course, what did I expect after all that time???? Anyhow, there was some small talk, then his sister said, "He's not doing well. He's not taking care of his diabetes at all. (I didn't know he had diabetes, of course). His leg's all black and he won't go to the doctor. He got arrested for driving without insurance and they wouldn't put him in jail, they told him to go to the hospital, because he was in too bad of shape. He keeps saying, "If I die, I die." And all he does is sleep. He's going to lose his leg for sure, but we think he's going to be dead soon."

That really freaked me out. I don't know how to feel. I never, even when we broke up, never hated him. But I was afraid of him. Now that I'm older, I can see that he didn't have very many skills in the relationship department. I'm not afraid any more. He never had another girlfriend after me. That kind of freaks me out, too.

Part of me wants to give him a call and tell him that I'm thinking about him and urge him to get to a doctor before it's too late. But another part of me does not want to open up a can of worms. I'd like to tell him that I know he did the best he could and that no matter what I said at the time, it wasn't all his fault (our breakup). I think I would regret not telling him that, if he were to die.

I told DH about all of this. He told me that if our positions were reversed, he'd probably call. He said he understood that this person was a part of my history and I didn't stop having that just because DH and I got married. (For all his shortcomings, DH is good at the relationship stuff...) But I also know that he might've just been saying that. The thought of me contacting someone who was a big part of my past has to make him at least a little uncomfortable. It makes ME a little uncomfortable.

I'm still trying to figure out what to do. And how to do it. I can't even imagine this person in such bad shape that he might die. I know we all do, but I guess you kind of tend to think of your friends and family as super-human, know what I mean? I'm kind of shocked and sad.

And it makes me want to force DH to take better care of HIS diabetes (or whatever). I know they were giving him insulin in the hospital. So he should at least be checking his blood sugar....and I should be trying to cook healthier, too. It's scary. Mortality sucks.