Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Looking for work and other things

I've been out of work since February or March.    I was a contractor at a company called BarNone, but got very sick and eventually lost my hearing, which meant I couldn't work.  I went out on medical leave. Which because I was a contractor was unpaid.  After a few weeks of horrible drug therapy and Holy Unction Imy sense of hearing was restored during Bright Week.  But just a few days before, during Holy Week the whole department I worked in had been let go.  So no work for me.  And because I was, legally, a self employed contractor, I do not get unemployment insurance payments.  Financially, we are hard against it.  Savings is gone.  Our little real estate investment has been sold. Athanasia is working but that isn't enough to pay expenses.  If I don't get work by the middle of August I think we will have to seek bankruptcy protection.  Although, our debts are mainly Federal Student Loans, which can not be discharged by bankruptcy, so bankruptcy might not do anything for us.

I've applied for many many jobs but most of them I don't hear from.  Some have told me I am over qualified.  I have had three interviews in the last couple of weeks that seem somewhat promising:

1) An ad agency is looking for a Sr. Account Executive.  I made it past the phone interview, and then met with them in person.  I think I answered all the questions right, but I don't think we are going to be a good cultural fit.  I was the only man in the office, the only one over 35, the only one not wearing jeans.  I met with them last Thursday but haven't heard anything since then.

2) Today I had a great interview with a company that installs and repairs hydraulic lifts, tire balacing machines, oil replacing machines, etc. at mechanics shops.  The interview was like a cross between a Car Talk puzzler and Martin Gardner's old columns in Scientifc American.  He asked me questions about hydraulic theory, pressure couplings and O-rings, diaphram pumps, and ball-valves.  It was more fun than I've had in a long time.  It was fun to show off knowledge I've had for decades but have never used.  More than any of the three jobs I'm writing about here, this is the one I want.

3) The other job I've interviewed for, and I have been through three interviews (including an informal bar-b-q with the District committee) with them so far, is with the Santa Clara County Council of the Boys Scouts of America.  It is a volunteer owned and run organization, but they have a few paid full-time staff who do special things that volunteers typically don't have the time or skills to do.  It doesn't pay much, and the hours are long, and the work is behind the scenes and thankless, but I'd love to do it.  Unfortunately, I am not sure they'd love to have me.  It seems that after the last interview things kind of haven't gone anywhere.  They said they wouldn't be making a decision until mid August, so maybe I am seeing rejection where there isn't any.  Must stay positive.

Last day of Twilight Camp
Speaking of Cub Scouts, I have had many Cub Scout Activities the last few weeks.  Let's see....  

1.Basil went to Twilight Camp and I was his Den Leader for that (something I couldn't have done if I'd had a job).  It was amazing fun.  I wrote about it previously so I won't go into any detail. But it was fun, and Athanasia and I made some friends among adult leaders of other Packs.  But wait! There's more Scout Stuff!

The Four of Us at Friend's Court of Honor
2. A friend of mine, the son of friends of mine was made an Eagle Scout and we attended his Court of Honor during the week Basil was at Twilight camp.

2. We attended Scout Night at a San Jose Giants baseball game, where we camped on the outfield, watched Sand Lot on the Jumbotron.

3. We went on a hike with our Pack in the Rodeo Lagoon in the Marin Headlands part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.  We taught the boys, mostly 5 year old Tiger Cubs, how to identify poison oak, wild strawberries, black berries, fennel, and camomile.  For most of them it was their first hike and earned them the first of the S.F. Bay Trail Trekker series of patches for their uniforms.  Basil Wenceslas was the only bot to get hurt.  I'm not sure how it happened but he fell and got a nasty puncture wound in the palm of his left hand.  Thankfully, Atanasia was there.  She's Red Cross trained and caries the First Aid kit.  He was bound up like a mummy in less time that it takes me to tell you about it.  

4. We attended, together with many hundreds of other Cub Scouts from various Packs, Scout Night at a San Jose Earthquakes soccer game.  Anselm Samuel was chosen to carry the flag onto the field at the beginning of the game.  I lead the the remaining Cub Scouts from our Pack in the "cheer tunnel" which was two files of Cub Scouts who welcomed the players onto the field.  It was fun, but in spite of the game played on the field, which ended with a score of 0-0.  When we got to our seats in the stands after opening ceremonies the boys had cotton candy, and there was a section of the stands where a gorup of perhas three score young men jumped up and down and sang bood curdling fight songs and banged on drums for the whole game.  I have no idea why, since their singing/yelling/jumping/drumming seemed completely unrealated to anything taking place on the field of contest.  Nevertheless, as an object of anthropological interest they were fascinating.  In short,  I think soccer is a horrible waste of magnificent athletic ability.  Someone, please, give those poor men a better game to play.  Perhaps, beach volleyball or motorcycle racing.

Well, I might not file for bankruptcy.  There is another optoion but I am loathe to go that route.  I could borrow more money from the United States and complete the M.A. degree I started. Thate will put all of my existing student loans into differment and give me more time to find work.  That might be better.  I thnk that is what I will do.  But I sure hate borrowing more money to pay for a degree, I have become convinced, will not help me make money.  Oh, man.  What a pit I am in.  But I'm not feeling blue.  There is food to eat and the rent is paid.


s-p said...

I've been following mostly on FB with not much time lately to check in on blogs and just saw this post. Hard stuff. We've been THIS close to bankruptcy so many times the past 3 years, but have avoided it. Job hunting is the hardest thing on the male ego on earth. After 30 years I'm finally getting to use my college degrees, but it remains to be seen if I can live on what the job pays... even with the downturn I still can make more doing construction but the job has health insurance. At pushing 60 that's a big plus because heart attacks and cancer run in the gene pool. I hope things work out for you.

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