I used to have everything: a good job; what I thought was a good retirement plan; a great healthcare plan; nice home; nice car...in other words, I lacked for nothing. I thoroughly enjoyed my "freedom" and carefree ways, while, at the same time, harshly judging people dependent on the dole.
Today, after five years of full-time unemployment, I've gone through my savings, lost my home, my car, and even my Internet connection (posting from the library...my DL subscription's about to run out, for those of you who will question that).
I've discovered that without utilities (paid for), easily accessible transportation (our public transportation system sucks), a decent wardrobe, not to mention, easy access to the World Wide Web, amongst other things, it takes a miracle to find full-time employment.
All I'm saying is that it's easy to judge others when you, for the most part, lack for nothing, but if you get to the point where everything you've taken for granted disappears...well, good luck climbing out of the hole because it takes a substantial measure of wealth to surface.
OP you could always turn tricks. Have you thought about that?
Move out to the Dakota's. 3.2% unemployment rate. We are rolling in dough here!
R1, I'm way past my "turning tricks" stage.
R2, if I were closer, I might consider the Dakotas. Problem is it's not easy relocating without the cash.
[quote] I'm way past my "turning tricks" stage.
Don't sell yourself short. If you are white, there is always someone willing to pay buck for you.
Three words: peanut butter and jelly
You could open up a Fancy Ribbon Shop in Utica, New York?
UGH, I hear you, OP, I have been chronically underemployed for the last tens years, that means I have to chase a buck where and when ever it is, very tiring. Annoying to hear of those who regularly go on vacations etc. . . .
OP, I feel your pain. I got very close to that point a few years ago.
I think that the only reason why I got through it was that I grew up poor. I still remembered what it was like to be poor. I had the coping skills to deal with all the crap that was thrown at me. I was able to get up and dust myself off and forge ahead.
Things can get better, but you are correct it is damn difficult to get back on your feet when you've lost everything.
Right now I'm just scraping by and all it would take is one minor set back for me to end up in really bad shape.
You only have 2 choices--giving up or keep trying.
Maybe it is time for a quick trip to that suicide forest in Japan.
OP has so many advantages and opportunities being white, over other visible minorities. At least he has that one-up over people of color.
R10, OP never mentioned their race.
All I can think of is those fuckwads on FOX like John Stossel and Elizabeth Hasselback begrudging the poor cell phones and air conditioning. Fuck them.
And good luck to you, OP.
R11 he didn't have to.
I like you, R12.
I'm 38. Six years ago, I made 220K a year at Amazon (with stock). Left it, went to another international tech company, took major pay cut for a kinder, gentler work/life balance. It was the worst job I've ever had, so I began to interview and when I had what I thought were three great, close-to-being hired scenarios at other companies, I quit that job. None of them panned out. I have a Master's, speak several languages, no slouch. I went on about 20 interviews, went through countless phone screens, interviewed for jobs way beneath me where I'd be reporting to people with half my experience. It was horrible on my ego. I picked up some consulting to get by--it barely payed the bills and I ended up selling some of my possessions. Eight months later in Seattle, my savings were gone and I couldn't find full-time work. I interviewed in DC and had three job offers within two months. Granted, I'm making what I did in my earlier thirties, but I have benefits, stability, and a sense of purpose. Sometimes you have to be willing to move and sacrifice.
The days of milk and honey are long gone for most of us. Each of us are a reorg or bad boss or downsize away from chronic unemployment.
OP, I'm rooting for you. I hope something good comes your way soon. I'm surviving on a hand to mouth basis, barely able to pay rent as it is and my landlord just increased it albeit not a crazy amount but still when you're struggling it's hard.
I can't even afford to go to the dentist which I really need to go.
Hope your situation turns around soon.
Where do you live, OP?
I am a mid-level manager, working for a miserable company. We're desperately short-handed, everybody doing the work of 2-3 people. I have been trying to hire an additional person for months. I get approval, sift through resumes, conduct interviews, settle on a candidate, only to have the big boss decide we don't really need someone after all. I've screamed and yelled, begged, pleaded, threatened to quit, all with no luck. Mind you, there's plenty of money for the owner and his family to drive new cars and take elaborate vacations every year, but no money to hire more staff.
I hate getting up in the morning. I live for the weekends when I don't have to face my asshole boss and the nasty people I work with. My partner is (rightfully) tired of hearing me complain. The only thing that keeps me here is reading posts like this. At 56, I know I'm unlikely to find a comparable position should I finally get fed up enough to quit. It is my intention to work for the next 10 years, save as much money as possible, and get out, hopefully while I still have my sanity.
OP: please do not blame the mid-level flunkies like myself. We would love to hire you, we just can't get the big bosses to open the checkbook. They know we're unlikely to quit, they hold all the cards. I've been in the workplace for 37 years and I've never seen it so bad.
Good luck OP. Don't give up and don't allow the opinion of others (who really don't know) affect your sense of self.
I feel for you OP. Very difficult to face these things later in life (I'm assuming you are older). At 60, I am just holding my own, I lost my job and was able to find a new one after 14 months and running through my savings, but a significant decrease in salary and little benefits. Cannot afford health care, exploring Obamacare for options. I hope I will be able to maintain myself, I have no family and my friends are all my age or older, so facing the same challenges.
If it is any comfort, I will think of you and include you my somewhat atheistic prayers.
Thank you, all for your support!
I am white and I do realize it's an advantage, however, once you're over 45-50 (I'm 52) it doesn't seem to matter that much.
R8, even though I was never rich, I didn't grow up poor. I had no idea how hard it is and I have only myself to think about. I can't imagine having people dependent on me.
R16, I haven't been to the dentist in 5 years but my teeth are better than ever. I use baking soda and sea salt as toothpaste, and clove oil for tooth pain and infections. You probably have to ask the pharmacist for clove oil as they keep it behind the counter. It's approx $4.99 for .5 oz.
R18, I do NOT blame middle management at all. I know exactly who is responsible for this fucked up situation: those at the top!
I am 42 and on the edge of the same situation. I hope things get better for you OP.
A while back there was a thread about an 50+ DLer who was unemployed. The best advice revolved around finding something you can do for the silver tsunami that's coming demographically. If you have real estate skills, specialize in housing for seniors. If you work in food services, focus on meals for upper income empty nesters...stuff like that. I know it's not magic but that focus will make your age an advantage.
Best wishes to you, OP, and to everyone else that has fallen on hard times. If not for an inheritance years ago, I would have been in your shoes. So I know much of "success" is pure luck.
I could've written r18's response. Middle-manager here at a large, prosperous ad agency with no shortage of clients but a definite shortage of creative staff - especially copywriters. The ones we have are working 80 hour weeks and about to collapse.
I have begged the big boss to let us hire and the same shit happens. I get portfolios, call in candidates, settle on a couple that are great and then? The asshole reneges, saying we have enough resources already.
I started working some of my colleagues for info and found out that if my boss keeps our budget under a certain number he gets a 1 million dollar bonus - *every year*!!!!
I hit the roof when I found that out. That's more than enough for 10 fucking new hires. And this asshole is already making over 600k a year.
This is why we need a stronger social safety net and government-created jobs.
Sorry to digress and vent. Sending you positive vibes OP. Is there a Trader Joe's near you? If so, try to get in there. My friend who is a lawyer quit her big job and became a TJ's manager. She makes 50k with benefits as a floor manager. Costco has comparable salaries as well. Good luck!
Don't rule out the idea of heading over to Asia and maybe doing EFL teaching. Lots of guys your age showed up when I was there being they couldn't get work in the States.
"I haven't been to the dentist in 5 years..."
You in trouble gurl! Whether you know it or not.
And yet, the government continues to send billions in foreign aid, every year, to the same old warlords.
I understand that we will now be sending billions to Iran.
I am turning to witchcraft now because I see that what we have been doing--having faith in God, praying, believing in the Abrahamic religions--keeps us cuckolded and spiraling downward. Now, I love Jesus and all, and he will save your life, but for the nitty-gritty needs of survival we are fighting too much evil.
Artemis, do your thing, honey.
It all makes sense when you see those graphs of where all our productivity gains are going.
I hear there's work if you can build staircases that turn into slides. It's a Romney craze now.
Try being green.
Wait, so I'm getting by on $30k a year but I'm supposed to feel sorry for someone who blew through a $200k/yr job? Pssh!
I hear ya, R25. Before I was laid off, I was being groomed for a top-level management position, but, like a dumbass, I voiced my opinion about "spreading the wealth", so to speak, because people were working, like you said, 80 hour weeks, with no extra compensation for their effort. One month later, I received a pink slip.
Oh, and I applied for a job at Trader Joes three times with no luck. I tend to be a bit on the reserved side and I think they're looking for extroverts.
It's expensive being poor. Everything that gets paid late gets a fine attached to it.
OP, I'm in a position very similar to yours. There was a time sales people at some of NYC's better stores knew me on a first name basis.
The only difference is I always had compassion for those without. I was brought up that way by a wonderful generous father who had a family that had it all and lost it all in the depression. I always knew poverty could happen to anyone. When I had it all yes, I was very generous with myself and mine but also very charitable to organizations that helped the poor and directly to homeless people. If they used what I gave them for things other than food or a night of shelter that is their business. Once I give it's theirs to do with as they choose. My dad taught me to give with all my heart and not judge. I have to say that these days I'm not treated at all as I and my dad treated others. I wish this wasn't the case for me and all those in need, but it is.
In any case, my heart goes out to you. In my case, my age and for medical reasons I will never be able to work again so this is it for me. I will live in fear of the loss of government programs not covering even my basic needs for the rest of my life. The way things are going it seems that what little help there is for the poor is being taken away. There is next to nothing out there in the form of private charity. Charities I once donated so much too are running on empty.
These days only those extremely wealthy, not just well to do or even somewhat wealthy can feel secure that it won't happen to them. The programs they put down or don't fight for today might be the very programs they might need tomorrow.
You'll be in my thoughts. I wish you luck.
its so sad to see what is happening to our country. everyone is now required to do the work for at least 2 people. Recently, I went to a lab to have a test and the clerk at the window not only checked me in but also did the blood test. Look around at the grocery stores, post office etc., they close lanes and epect 1 clerk to handle the volume that 2 or 3 people use to handle. We all get frustrated and pissed off at the clerks and its not their fault. They are stressed out too. The fat cats rake in all the money and laugh at us minions. I'm talking about the owners and CEOs of the companies. You will never reach them so your complaints and frustrations they don't have to deal with. That's exactly how it is supposed to work. Thats why voice mail and all that denies you the ability to voice your frustratios with a real person. Just remember, we are the 99% and there are WAY MORE of us.
Sorry, OP. These are really hard times and I'm sad at all your loss. Sending thoughts your way and hoping things turn around for the better. You're making me think about all the stuff I do take for granted.
I'm really sorry to hear that, R34, especially since you sound like such a nice man. If there was ever proof that the "devil" created the system we must depend upon, it's people like you left to fend for themselves in such a lousy situation. You clearly don't deserve it.
My life fell apart during the most recent economy crash. I haven't been able to get it back on track, nor will I be able to. I need to get enough oxy to take very long nap.
[quote] The fat cats rake in all the money and laugh at us minions.
That's exactly what's happening and it's so obvious as we watch their wealth expand beyond belief while the rest of us can barely pay our bills.
It does make sense if you put yourself in their evil shoes. As technology continues to replace people, there is no need to sustain a middle-class who is the only threat to their power and authority. Without the middle-class, there is no one left to challenge them.
Well then...off with their heads.
R33, here's Louis CK on that subject. It's why the poor keep getting poorer and the rich keep getting richer.
I would relish it... If that happened to the Koch brothers... Murdoch... Scalia, Thomas... Tea Party members of the House...
[quote] Three words: peanut butter and jelly
Um, that's FOUR words, genius.
I've gone the other direction, good job for the past few years, but grew up very poor.
It's amazing how easy life is when you have money. Everything is easier.
Seriously, what can we do to stem this tide of wealthy bastards who are pulling the strings of many politicians and just fucking the country over?
JPMorgan paying a big bundle as a fine is a start. Send a message, change dereg, make examples of the CEOs not just the company. How about some criminal charges? We have to do something about the super PACs.
I contribute to politicians that have an agenda to help the poor and middle class. I vote. I am looking into ways to get involved at my state level, working behind the scenes to help get those repubs out.
I have nothing important to add. Just wanted to say I feel for you and good luck!!!
R44, dingbat, the "and" is not counted.
Good luck to you, I hope you get through this.
My Dad was wise. He said in life, if you have a problem and money can fix it, and you have the money to fix it, then it isn't a problem.
He also said any day you get up out of bed is a good day, and if you have work to go to it's a great day.
He grew up poor, was not able to go to college, but he became a pattern maker and made a good living for his family.
He worked hard as a skilled laborer until he was 70. Never owned property, but sent three kids to college. He retired and was able to live on a small union pension and his SS. He died in 1992. It is a different world and today he would not be able to do much for his family.
Ah, but Tina darling, nobody said it was going to be easy.
Today he would have worked until he died R50.
R18, Fuck! I read your post and thought, "Did I post that? I don't remember posting to this thread." Your story is EXACTLY like mine, except for the age, I am 48. I can't believe how much our stories mirror one another. Wow. Best of luck to you.
Another minus on my part: I recently had to take a massive pay cut to keep my job. I am now trying to survive on the same salary I was making in 1989. It was a great salary in '89, now it just barely gets me by. I am thankful that I am a pretty positive person, that's the only thing that keeps me going. Hope.
LOL and huge kisses to R44!
I keep posting this, but unless you're aware of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), you'll never understand what's going on: The government is lying to you! 100%!
The bottom line is 2/3 of government revenue (investment income) is not reported to you by the lamestream media. They only report the revenue from taxes, which is only 1/3, so they can CRY POOR. They are NOT poor. They are not in debt. They are liars!
Don't take this the wrong way. If you'er good looking and physically fit, you can make adult films. They tend to pay pretty well and you can branch into producing.
White people problems. I would bet that most of you poor asses in this thread were the type to look down on those with less when you had money. You know who you are, and you get no sympathy from me.
So, after FOUR years of unemployment, you spent $18 here?
What are youse, R60, his muthah?
once I built a railroad, made it run.....
Brother, can you spare a flat screen TV with 6.1 surround sound speakers.
[quote]It's not easy being poor.
Maybe I'm the only one picturing Kermit sitting on a lily pad in a septic pond singing, "It's not easy needing green."
Good luck OP. you're stronger than I am. I would have offed myself.
R60, if $18 can give someone a year of entertainment then there's no reason not to pay it.
I've never understood people who want to negate a person's overall financial situation by begrudging one tiny expenditure. Saving $18 once a year isn't exactly going to help OP with his mortgage.
It's frivolous expenditure, R66. What do you not understand about that?
Hey, even during the Depression people found a way to get cigarettes and go to a movie once in awhile. Give the guy a break!
R67 Something that helps you keep your sanity is not a "frivolous expenditure", moron. Good God there is just no word for the stupidity of people like you!
OK R69, then he can be a sane, homeless, starving man living under the highway bridge in Cleveland.
R70, so he can keep you company?
OP, always remember:
You are strong.
You are proud.
You are invincible.
You are woman.
If you've been out of work for FIVE years, you should get a job at Starbucks, and get off your ass.
R70, perhaps Sally Struthers paid his 5 cents per day cost of membership.
that's a nice thought, R73. But most people who are overqualified to work at Starbucks won't be given a second glance.
True, R75. A friend of mine who manages a street sweeping company has PhDs applying for street sweeping positions. They do not hire over-qualified people.
R70 because $18.00 would feed him and pay his rent for a year. Idiot.