Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Meeting today.

Today I met for the first time with a dislocated worker person (from the State) who will help me work on whatever I need to work on in order to find a new full time job.... and basically our conversation went like this:

Dislocated Worker Person: So let's find out a little more about you. You've worked at your job for 19 years?

Me: Yes

DWP: Looks like you've got one of those degrees that you can't do much with, huh? Psychology....you've really got to have a doctorate in order to use that one....

Me: Yeah. The only real good it does me is if I'm competing against someone who doesn't have a degree.

DWP: Ok...tell me about your family.

Me: (sniffling) Well, I'm married, my husband used to be a jailer. (DWP writes that down) Then he became mentally ill (blah blah blah--you blog readers know all that stuff)

DWP: Wow, now I can see why you've got two jobs!

DWP: How about children....any kids?

Me: Yes, a special needs daughter--we adopted her before the mental illness problems started.

DWP: (in a nice way) Could you have anything more on your plate...?

DWP: How are your finances? (They ask this because they have places that they refer you to for financial counseling if you need it) (and also, if you have an immediate need that you can't meet, sometimes they help)...

Me: (sniffling again) Lots of debt (I explained about DH and his bankruptcy, and the bad checks and all....) but except for that I have good credit...

DWP: (Looks amazed and shocked).

Me: And I have a lot of questions because I live two hours away from here.

DWP: You mean it takes you TWO HOURS to get to work?????!!!!

Me: Yes, and it probably will again, since there are no jobs where I live.

DWP: You are under a huge amount of stress. I strongly advise you to talk to a counselor about this.

Me: Ok.

DWP: Promise?

Me: Yes.

Me: Oh. And my mom has Alzheimer's and even though she's in an assisted living facility, I'm her primary family caregiver. She's been hospitalized three times in the last year. Come to think of it, my husband was hospitalized this past year, too, with H1N1. And my daughter was hospitalized for two weeks, too.

Suddenly it really all hits me, how much I've really been doing/dealing with, and I just lost it, right there in the cubicle with the DWP. Oh--AND I'm getting laid off, too, by the way. (haha). How on earth am I supposed to find a job with all this stuff????

I do need to talk to a counselor. I promised I'd call. And after Jan. 29th, I'll have a lot more time for things like that, for sure....

I'm relieved that the dislocated worker person who is assigned to me will work with me for a minimum of a year....it'll probably take me that long to get myself together--and supposedly 86% of the people they work with find a job???....that's promising....I've got to keep that in mind.....but it's really overwhelming, you know?


perphila said...

Yes. It is overwhelming. Yes, you should see a counselor. It's like you said, when you're in it you deal with it and when you explain it to someone else it hits you. Wow. I was doing all that? Take advantage of what you can. I wish someone to work with too. I hope she can help.

Anonymous said...

Clearly not all jobs are created equal. It has been my experience since the recent deleveraging of our debt-saturated economy that an $8/hour job is more often than not the replacement for a $16/hour or $22/hour job. If the counselor suggests that you adjust to a lower standard of living in order to make their 80% quota, I'd consider walking out. Unless the clear alternative is a job waiting for systemic deleveraging at $0/hour.

Carol said...

HaHa. That'd actually be funny (the DWP asking me to lower my standard of living)!

Except for having cell phones, I cannot think of anywhere I could lower. All my pay goes to debt. I only buy clothes at second hand stores. We eat a lot of pasta and ramen. DH has finally agreed to come to terms with generic pop. And generic cigs. Those are really the only places we could cut back. (if he could quit either one, which is doubtful). We have fewer dogs than we did last year at this time. And Zeppy (cat) is going downhill, so we'll probably have fewer cats, too. None of the animals are up to date on their vet visits--can't afford that--but if they're sick they go. I buy flea products very cheaply online, and I don't use them nearly as often as I should. And "getting rid of" my furry family members would only happen if I would die otherwise. (in other words, not a realistic option right now).

Basically....if I were to file bankruptcy, have all the debt wiped out except the mortgage, living on minimum wage would not be too much of a stretch.

Anonymous said...

Understood. My livelihood was also offshored. Necessity being the mother of invention, I've avoided bankruptcy thus-far but I have little discretionary income, the vast bulk of my income being devoted to fixed costs, all debt-related. I didn't live high on the hog. Life's misfortunes - related to offshoring and bipolar disorder in the main - required taking on revolving unsecured debt in order to purchase necessities. Bankruptcy reform has made it harder for the rank-and-file to dissolve revolving debt, further limiting the options for those of us who were dealt a raw hand. Re: your DH, I would suggest that you might look into a reputable brand of e-cig - they are cheaper in the long run than purchases of the real thing and are quite effective in giving up the death cylinders. A catastrophic physical illness in the family is the last thing you need. He should give up the sugary pop habit too, but the death cylinders are a higher priority.