On where I’ve been
Several people have asked me over the past several months to bring my blog back; that I wrote well and expressed things from the heart; that my topics were never dull and were entertaining.
The truth is, I wore out. I ran out of things I wanted to talk about. I tried so hard to focus on regular features rather than expressing my inner thoughts that I burned myself out.
I didn’t want to tell you guys about how things really had been since George lost his second job in six months.
I didn’t want to talk about how I had almost lost my home because my $10/hour job wasn’t making ends meet.
I didn’t want to tell you guys how I had become a statistic, living paycheck to paycheck, praying that my husband’s unemployment would eventually be granted after repeated denial.
I was ashamed that I had to borrow over $2500 from family just so that we could catch up on his lost income.
I didn’t want to tell you guys that my husband lost his job because he had taken a day for himself after his cousin’s suicide.
I didn’t want to belittle the company I worked for by explaining that there was no raise in sight for me and that, as a matter of fact, my income had recently been cut by $100/ month. It was $100 I needed to pay for the gas for our one car. It was the $100 I used to pay for our internet bill. Though I told my editor it wasn’t a big deal, it really was. It was everything to us.
In January, we had finally reached a “do or die” point. George was applying for jobs anywhere.. including places he would never set foot into as a consumer. We were desperate. In all, my husband applied to over 75 jobs. None of them panned out. He was asked to a grand total of two interviews. One of which, turned out to be a scam.
We felt defeated.
I finally had to bite the bullet and apply for jobs myself. I decided the field in which I spent five years in college for wasn’t working for us. I had to go where the money was reliable; where an occasional raise was a guarantee rather than a pipe dream.
I went back to customer service.
It felt like I was dealing with the devil. I went against everything I had promised to myself. I had left At&t three years prior after a series of nervous breakdowns. I was a shell of myself by the time I stepped out of the field. I was worn down, drug out and morale had never been lower there.
I applied to work at another communications company and I gave that interview everything I had, knowing that the future of my family, my home and my dignity relied on those next 60 minutes of my life. I nailed it. I hit the ball out of the park and within a half hour of leaving the interview, I was offered the job. I was to be making two dollars more per hour with a regular 8-5 shift with monthly bonuses. I didn’t hesitate. I said yes, I’d take it.
I was still the only income in the family. I had no choice but to.
I apprehensively walked in to my job that next Monday morning, sat down with my editor and told him I was quitting. He said he was surprised I survived there as long as I had and that I had given it a good go. Few had made it as long as I had at that job and that working two years on third shift was not something he could have ever done.
I started my new job on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 with hope. I was doing something new all over again. I was at a new company and felt invincible. I just knew we were going to be OK.
Then, I walked through the front doors to a company announcement I never saw coming.
My new company that I had started just five minutes prior had just been sold….
… to At&t.
In essence, in five minutes, I had come full circle and felt that I had suddenly descended into a pit of hell. The joke was on me. I was convinced I was screwed. Royally.
I flashed back to having to pull over to the side of the road that June afternoon three years prior in a full blown panic attack. I had remembered how my manager there chose to show no respect to her employees and how it was the ‘norm’ there. I flashed back also the euphoria I felt when I finally let the company go.
For the rest of that first day, I took on the deer-in-the-headlight look as I felt I had walked into a trap. However, I told myself to keep my cool. Conversations with multiple friends assured me that much had changed at At&t in three years.
It gave me hope. And now, as the sale approaches finalization, I still maintain that hope. I know there’s good on the other side of that wall. It’s just a matter of weighing what I need more… the good things or the bad?
George’s unemployment finally came through in February, as did a full-time job for him.
And so, now with life back into a normal routine again, I feel I can sit down and express myself again. I realize that when everything was happening, perhaps I should have been telling you about it. That just perhaps, many of you would have been going through the same.
Perhaps I would have given someone some hope themselves that things would work out in the end, somehow.
Maybe I would have found someone to relate to and that would understand; One less person who would accuse my husband of ‘not trying hard enough’ to find a job. Someone who would understand that sometimes just ‘taking any job’ would have actually put us in a worse position than ‘taking the right job’.
Maybe now, I will find it in myself to keep writing; to not focus on just one thing to write about and not try to keep up a regular series or feature…. to just write.
I think that’s best.