roycalbeck (roycalbeck) wrote,

No Dole, Still No Job Either

For two-and-a-half years now, since AT&T closed up its "U-Verse" office here in Mesa and cut loose all of us support techs, I've been looking for a new job.

I use Careerbuilder, Monster, and even Craigslist. I've filed hundreds of applications and resumes, been to dozens of interviews. I always make sure, for interviews, that I'm upbeat, outgoing, well-groomed and -dressed, and I even check out those "job-tip lists" you sometimes see on Yahoo or elsewhere --- you know, the types that suggest how best to impress and what NOT to do (fidget, let your eyes wander, etc).

And there's nothing.

The closest I've come is getting options for one-to-three month temp contracts, and even those have been rare. And I'd've taken them, too --- except that if I did, and I DIDN'T get hired on permanently at the end of the contract, my unemployment benefits would be slashed under Arizona law. Any new claim requires that you have been employed during at LEAST the two quarters prior to filing...meaning I needed at least four months of contract work (or, if I wanted to finagle the system, at least two months very strategically placed on the calendar).

I never got any such offer, so I had to decline the few offers I have had in order to keep paying for rent, gas, car insurance and food. And that's without paying off my old credit debts, or even the IRS. Don't even ask about my college loans.

Two weeks ago, my unemployment benefits (including emergency extensions) ran out. I'm lucky to have been renting a room from a good, decades-long friend who's in no hurry to get paid, or I'd already be on the street. And the food bank, which I've been going to for more than a year now, gets me by on the essentials. Heh, maybe I'm finally going to lose some weight.

Mind you, this is just me venting about an impossible situation, and I seriously don't know what I'm going to do about it. I'm not about to turn this into a begging session, nor do I plan to head out to the street corner with a "PLZ HELP A VETERAN GOD BLESS" sign. Although that recent story about the guy who robbed a bank for a dollar in order to get medical treatment from the prison system is starting to look like an option, har har.

I suppose what actually set off this ramble is the fact that, despite the supposed "economic recovery", the want ads seem to be getting even MORE dried up than before. I normally have at least half-a-dozen reasonable prospects to file for every week, but these last few...and it's not like I'm ONLY looking for tech support. I have a few years' experience in each of security and pizza delivery. But I'm getting no responses from any of the applications I fill out.

As I understand it, there's something like a 5-to-1 unemployed-to-available-jobs ratio nationwide right now. Arizona remains one of the hardest-hit states in that regard. Heck, I'd go pick crops, except it's summer and there aren't any, plus you have to pay for your own gas to drive out to the sticks and then they STILL don't pay even minimum wage. I could actually do better with the aforementioned "PLZ HELP" sign.

So I dunno. Oh, and since someone already suggested it, yeah, I AM currently looking for contract jobs at this point, and have been for a couple of months now.
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