Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Is this any way to start a beginner's blog, with a quote like that? I mean, what with you changing your hopeless to hope, your cynicism with light shining at tunnel's end, and all?

So goes the drama in my head as I begin to spill. I tried; I really tried hard to maintain that happy focus that 'they' say is necessary in order to lead a happy life. I shed my skepticism of every helpful program and tried heapin' helpin's of all of them, only to be left with what we're all, ultimately, left with, and that's our inherent ability to cope and deal. My instructors were not bright guides of good examples, and my mother's unchecked mental illness has done a number on my own, partially recognized one. I'm exhausted from the attempts at meditation, spirituality, abstinence, et. al. I sound so disparaging lately in my Facebook status updates, and I want to say why.

Don't ever get involved with the law, in any element, and by that I mean on the wrong end of it. Don't find yourself in need of an attorney; don't put yourself at the mercy of a stern judge as your knees quake and bits of your self drain away; don't drink and drive. Don't make mistakes. Just. Don't. Do. It.  I am not sure if my inability to find a job is solely dependent on my stained and ruined driving record, but just for fun, let's say it is. If you do make the mistakes I've made - and tried to reconcile - your ability to cope and deal will be severely tested. 

Friends who mean well and DO mean well will attempt to cheer you on the sidelines. Cherish those friends and their encouraging words, as you'll need them in order to get energy to fill out another application that will likely be tossed in the 'no' pile when they look at your driving record. For me, filling out applications started out tantamount to eating jello with pears in it, only the jello has become gruel and the pears have become nails as the weeks and months wear on. If you haven't had the need to fill out an application recently, the latest HR craze is an interest in 'soft' skills, I hear, so should you need to face a bowl of jello soon, expect a 12-page questionnaire that attempts to enter your inner workings and morality. This will come after you've detailed your last five jobs, again, and may follow a short essay you're asked to write about what core values and integrity really mean to you. No more "how will you help the company?". Employers are looking for those myriad unemployed English majors for their bank teller position that pays $8/hr., that is, if their criminal record is blemish-free. These companies aren't looking for administrative assistants, mostly, that I'm referring and applying to. I'm talking places like PetCo and Target (although to be fair to Target, there were only about 5 pages of these type of questions).

If you haven't worked a solitary job for a hundred years, they will be suspicious of your work history. If you have had a period of adjustment in your life where you tried out different work environments, you are going to be tossed in the reject basket. If you're 50 and seeking work, you are a person who has made terrible choices and are a bad risk. If you've got a DUI, or 2, on your record, you don't deserve any more chances.

What does one do, then, to stay off government assistance? Your needs disgust some of the very people who may be able to keep you from ever asking for it. Your savings is hemorrhaging and for all practical purposes, gone, and your tiny 401k won't see you through another 4 months. Though your possessions are only that - things - selling them is the only way to find money to pay the exorbitant COBRA costs, and sometimes seeing them go, hurts. If you find yourself in the worst of all possible situations as I mentioned above - on the law's role books because of a DUI - you'll be forced to pay $80/month for years in order to maintain the cost of the ignition interlock that's required for you to drive.

WAAAAAAAHHHHH. I can hear you now. "You put yourself here; you deserve this. What a crybaby. Get a jo---" whoops! You see, I'm trying, friends. It's not that simple anymore. My grandmother, back in the '70s, used to rouse us out of our summer break slumber with "get out there and bang on doors! get a job now! don't be a lazy slob!". 

I'll be back with more, on how my bad choices have stolen my hopes of near-future peace. And, although I sound dire and wavering on the brink, I still have to remain in search of that shining light, because I've got things to be thankful for, like Dan and my five fuzzy children. But goddamn it: it's fucking hard.