Fear without Hope… Debo was over again for our weekly dinner and conversations. I dominated the conversation last week, and I felt a bit guilty for that, but this is all about me.
I was looking forward to continuing the story and getting Debo further up to speed. The following events were on the second Saturday. And on we go.
As I was waiting for Debo to get here, I was thinking about some pressing topics in my mind. “How do you excel, how do you become more exceptional than everybody else to stand out so that you have more, or perhaps better, access to resources?”
I know the answers, I think. Maybe I suppose I know them. I continued to ponder as I waited for the moderate boom of the bass from Debo’s vehicle. It was never obnoxious, nothing the neighbors at the various houses I have rented have suggested or complained, in those various neighborhoods.
I don’t want to be a dick, but we don’t always have the same taste in music. But that’s OK. I tell myself repeatedly that I accept him for more than his musical tastes, a sure sign of growth as a human. I fear that is false.
I continued my inner-monologue, “By resources, I mean better jobs, better career path, better partners when it comes to relationships. I have always managed, at least in a business sense, to have gainful employment, even though I have been subject to downsizing several times.”
Debo knew all of this; we’d discussed them many times, in many places and many ways. This is why I’m talking to myself about it. I always fear that bringing it up with being a problem.
“Sometimes that is just a numbers game like with companies like PROC LIVE.” Those losers I added to my thoughts. I smiled to myself as Debo pulled into the driveway.
Sometimes it’s a different type of numbers game, like when another employer laid off two-thirds of their staff because there were inappropriately handling their funds.
Oh, that action covers many places.
I don’t mean for this to be rambling; I’m just trying to give context to where things are and why things are.
All of this rambling and information that I’m giving has to do with feeling like the walls are closing in, spurring all sorts of panic attack-like emotions. And much like millions of other people, as I said earlier, I’m in a position where I have been unemployed going on 7+ months.
I have a finite amount of money and previously lived a pretty good lifestyle. Like millions of other people who are being ripped away from me slowly, I seemingly have no way to resolve this.
When I was laid off, it took between seven and eight weeks to get unemployment, and during that time, the unemployment pay in Arizona was capped at $240 a week.
If you know anybody who can survive on $240 a week who is an adult and lives in a house or an apartment, I would love to talk with them, and I would like to hear their story.
At that point, the Federal government was kicking in $600 a week for unemployment across the board, and once I got my unemployment check, I had a full two weeks of that.
Then that disappeared, and El Presidanté signed an executive order allowing for an additional $400 a week. Whereas the State of Arizona took/didn’t give $100 of that, providing unemployed workers an extra $300/week.
I was optimistic that I could survive and make it work. It was in the hope that I could get another job that was relatively similar in pay and functionality, utilizing my skills more so than the last clown shop.
And in this time, my hopefulness of finding a job has continued a slow but sure decline to the point where it is seemingly just never going to happen.
You apply for 25 jobs in which you are qualified and hear back from none.
You continuously get job information emails from “recruiters” that are entirely outside of your skillset and are so unrealistic that you have to question the mental acuity of the clown shoes sending you this email because they either cannot read or have no comprehension skills, but that is another topic.
I tend to lean on the stupidity factor, but what do I know?
From a market perspective, I have seen that the frequently listed jobs that fall within the scope of my skill set seemed to have dropped in pay at least $25,000 a year, if not more.
And that’s yet another hard pill for myself and millions of other people to swallow. But it harkens me back to where I grew up and when PROC LIVE, those fucktards, those assholes, laid off a substantial number of employees in the area where I grew up.
And what happened was the market collapsed? You had people who had masters of electrical engineering who were proverbially fighting for a job at Home Depot and making minimum wage.
And that was itself disheartening, partly because I was 18 at the time. I felt like I could see the future, fearfully knowing what could come to pass.
I don’t mean that to sound like a profit; I could see the writing on the wall that where I grew up would not be a sustainable location to live and have a career. And even though I wasn’t entirely sure what that career path would be, I knew it was not going to be there.
And slowly but surely, I was able to pull myself out of that shit with some help from family, and I moved out here to Arizona when I was 22. I had no job and no car, but I did have a place to live.
I didn’t panic because I was 22 and knew that there were opportunities ahead of me, eventually. I was afraid of failure but had no fear of it.
Today, not 22, I know that those opportunities are behind me. I understand that this isn’t just my feelings but something relatively common that happens to people in my age bracket.
Why hire somebody at $50,000 a year when you can just pay somebody $25,000 a year and train them. Ahh, Globalism.
The only folks not fucked over by that philosophy are the ones enriching themselves with such greed that it astounds one to think of how many lives they are destroying to have more of that sweet, sweet green.
While one could presume that that is age discrimination, it’s just a business fact, and I fear it is challenging to prove. I digress.
What’s more, this whole thing drives down values and all the other things that come with it. Think of it as the housing market.
On top of that, the collapse of the employment market falls into capitalism. It plays off of my last comment. When you have a surplus of something, and the demand is higher, you can set the rates better think of real estate, that’s my best example because you have more houses and you have people the prices go down when you have more people than houses prices go up.
General market dynamics, and that is what is going on right now. What I see in the job market is you go to apply for a job, and a hundred people already have.
These recruiters have to be completely overwhelmed, and it’s hard to do your due diligence in looking at every potential applicant when you have 100 people posting for one position in the first few hours. It reminded me of the stories my grandparents would tell us about the Great Depression.
This is a significant market issue, and even if the economy is starting to come back, it’s going to take time for people who were a higher employment rate, salary-wise, to find positions that are remotely close to it, and this is what happened where I grew up. Still, it never truly recovered, and if you wanted to make money there in New York, you had to travel to New York City to make that type of money.
Generally speaking, that meant at least three hours a day of commute time. Just think of that: every day, three hours of your day pissed away sitting on a train or bus or something.
But that was what people had to do there, at that time, and I’m sure, like now, a lot of those people felt very panicked due to “What my going to do to feed my kids and put a roof over their head?”
Again, I know this is rambling, but there is a point to all of this. The general point I’m trying to get across to everybody is there is a twofold issue here for me; nay, let’s say that they multifaceted cluster fuck.
I don’t know how I’m going to be able to manage this because, as I said, there’s a limited amount of jobs, unemployment funds, and money. That’s my inner fear seeping out. Fear that I will love hope.
I don’t own a house, I rent, and I have continued to pay my rent as per my lease agreement, but I have another whole year.
That creates problems because even if I wanted to move somewhere with lower rent, I can’t do that with no job. Even if my current landlord, who is pretty awesome, is very unlikely to happen.
Nobody will rent out a house or apartment to somebody who has no job. I hate to say that, but you’d be pretty naïve if you did. No offense.
I also have a problem that Phoenix is a vast metropolitan area, where everything is built outwards rather than upwards. That means that I could not reasonably get rid of my car, which also is rather costly/expensive.
I have worked with my auto loan lender and have gotten a couple of months pushed back, but I’m at the edge of where I can continue to do that. And with a finite amount of resources, you start having to look at how you will survive.
Yes, I realize that I have gone in a circle, which is part of my intent. I hope that I can get myself out of this, but I also have to be prepared that I might not be able to.
I know that that is very dark. And I don’t mean it to be, per se, but the reality is what reality is, and I’ll quote a Dream Theater song: The truth is the truth, you just gotta live with it.
So, where does this go from here? I ask again, where does this go from here? And that is the critical question. You can continue to bang your head against the wall; you can just not try.
I don’t know which is where I am, but I know that no matter what, the walls will have to crush me to make me give up.
But I did know one thing… I sure as fuck get out of a car faster than this shit show. But he’s my best friend.
And it was just then that I realized I was standing there like a dork, having conversations with myself in my head and not helping him. Sigh. I’m the ass douche now.
As I went over to help Debo, trying to smile my way around my transgression of standing there lost in my brain, I realized that there was so much to talk about still, and I wasn’t going to be afraid about it.
That’s my greatest fear in this, I think. The fear of being fearful about the sheer amount of fear that I am staring down. And that’s how to do it.
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