Posts Tagged ‘unemployed’

A light at the end of the unemployment tunnel?

March 18, 2010

I spent 8 hours the other day on craigslist, monster.com, careerbuilder, and many other job search websites filling out applications, emailing resumes, and completing online assessments.

Well yesterday I got a call back.  I spoke briefly about my experience and was asked to come in Friday afternoon at their location in Boston.

I’ve got my suit at the cleaners, my car is full of gas, and I’m ready to go!

Finally a call

March 11, 2010

Its been a while since I got a phone call for a job.  I had responded to job postings on craigslist yesterday and got one call back this morning.

I talked with the person regarding the position for a few minutes and he asked me to email him my resume.  I did so and he said he’d call me again tomorrow to discuss the position further.

So we wait…

My thoughts on anti-depressants

March 9, 2010

After I lost my job in June of 2008 I felt down in the dumps.  I visited my family doctor and she gave me a depression test.  Of course my answers which were based on the unemployment situation put me in the status of midly depressed.  No Shit!

So I was prescribed Zoloft.  I took it as I was suppossed to and everything slowed down for me.  The world was calm, not so fast paced, I felt happier, I enjoyed life.

Occassionally I would have a panic attack, feel overwhelmed, or just need to take it slow.  Then I started having visions of hurting my children.  I knew the medication was most likely the cause of this so I stopped taking it and told my wife.  We tried to make an appointment to change my medication with a psychiatrist, but those could only be done 6 months out. 

I went to the hospital and checked myself in so that I could see the on-call/on-duty psychiatrist that way.  Heck I had a vision of hurting my children so they should take me in.

After spending a few hours there talking to nurse after nurse then finally the psychiatrist she gave me a new prescription with a different medication.  This medication wasn’t covered by insurance and being that we were already at our monetary limit I wan’t about to pay over $100 for some pills.  So I went without.

I haven’t had antidepressants in over a year now.   The world still goes by slowly.  There are no panic attacks, no overwhelming feelings, no visions, no anything.

Am I depressed?  Of course I am.  Naturally who wouldn’t be?  I’m without a job.  I’m without my family.  I miss reading to my daughter. I miss playing with my son.  I miss giving hugs and kisses and hearing them say I love you daddy.

Do I need a pill to take those feelings away?  No.  I want to miss my children.  I want to care.  I have a purpose.  I don’t want a pill to cover that up and make me feel artifically better.

I’ll feel good once I’m working.  I’ll feel even better when I speak to my children.  I’ll feel best when I hug them again.

I got a phone call last night…

March 9, 2010

…it wasn’t for a job.

Someone who knows me personally had read the blog.  I haven’t gone into detail as to what my situation was really with anyone.  I didn’t really give out so much in the last posting.  The story does goes very much into deeper issues but the theme is the same.

He called to basically say, he had been complaining about some things in his life, but he really shouldn’t because my life is currently much worse than his.

Let me put this as blunt as possible.  I don’t need or want pity.  I wouldn’t want my situation to happen to anyone.  Individuals should more or less, in my current view, be selfish for themselves and not worry too much about me.  I want you all to worry about your own issues first.  I’m strong enough, or at least seem to think so, to get through this.

Do I appreciate the thoughts and prayers?  Of course I do.  Am I grateful to have been brought up in an Italian family, with strong family values and support?  You bet I am!  People who I haven’t seen in over 14 years, have messaged me on facebook and actually given me encouragement.

 I’m starting over from nothing.  Well not nothing exactly, I still have my degree, I still have my car, and I still have my mind.  I have the opportunity to remake myself.  

I’m going to do it.   Just hopefully the motivation continues.

The thing about unemployment that the news doesn’t cover

March 8, 2010

As I said in earlier an earlier post I have been out of work since June 10th, 2008.   I’ll attempt to give as much background as possible to each part of the story in order to keep it moving.

In 2004 I met my future wife at college in Boston, we fell in love, and we were later married.  In early 2005, my wife missed the Twin Cities of Minnesota and we decided to move to the midwest.  From 2005-2009 I lived in Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota.

Jumping ahead to late 2005.  My in-laws had recently purchased a duplex, as a rental property in addition to their own home, in Minneapolis but were unable to find quality long term renters who actually paid their rent on a steady basis and at least 3 in the previous two years had to be evicted.

At about that same time, my wife and I were expecting our first child and we would need a larger place to live so I suggested that we move to the duplex.  We could pay half the mortgage and would also be on hand if anything in the other rented side needed a repair.

So my wife and I moved in.  We had a baby and lived there from the end of 2005 to May of 2008.

In the spring of 2007  my wife and I learned that we would be having a  second child.  I was working full time (40 hours) as an scheduler at a major Minnesota employer and needed to supplement my icome to pay for another kid.  I ended up picking up a second job,  an additional 40 hours a week, with a restaurant franchise getting started in the Twin Cities market.  They were opening one restaurant in July and had plans for a second in October, third in November, and a fourth shortly after that.  I wanted to be there in the beginning.

I was hired as one of four assistant General Managers and worked nights since I had a full time day job.   After a while the District Manager approached me and offered me the promotion to become the General Manager of the next store to open.

In October of 2007 , two things happened.  First my son was born then the next day my store opened.  I had taken baby leave a few weeks earlier from my day job and was able to get my store ready during that time.  I helped unload the equipment trailers, I interviewed, hired, and trained my staff and assistant management team.  Great experience in opening a business. 

While on baby leave, I was having a blast running my pizza restaurant that I turned ina letter of resignation to my scheduling job in early November.  I figured I would use the baby leave as a time to see if managing the pizza restaurant would be a good opportunity for me.  If I decided it wasn’t I could always turn down the promotion, continue working nights and keep my full time scheduling job.  My store quickly established itself as the best in the market so I stayed.

The end of May 2008 my family wanted to save money to purchase a house for ourselves so we decided to temporarily move in with our in-laws in their large house in the suburbs.  We found renters for the duplex quickly.

In June of 2008, costs in the company were up.  They had been late in making payments to our food vendors, health insurance premiums (which I found out when my son needed to be admitted to the hospital), and other expenses.  They needed to cut costs.  So what did they do?  They fired their entire management staff in the North Dakota market; the area manager, 6 store managers, and the Director of Training & Development.  The next week they got rid of the store management staff in Minnepolis, including me!

I was approved, with a lot of opposition from the company, for unemployment.  The $351 dollars a week in unemployment was much less than the over $700 I was making at the store.  At least I wasn’t currently paying rent and had a roof over our head.

Until a couple months later when my wife told me of a secret she had been hiding.  Her parents’ house, which had been refinanced in order to purchase the duplex years early, was facing foreclosure and he had to be out by the end of September.

There’s nothing harder to do then find a place to lease when aren’t working.  I was able to find a three bedroom split level house for rent in the neighborhood of a private college in Saint Paul.  The family living there had not been able to rent it out for the school year, and sympathized with our situation.  We were able to negotiate a temporary rent reduction from $1500/mo to $1100/mo until I was able to find work again.  We signed a lease through August of 2009.

Basically three weeks each month of unemployment would be used to pay the rent.  The last week each month would be used for food, utilities, baby stuff, etc.  Needless to say it was very tough.

The day after Christmas 2008 my wife couldn’t take it anymore.  She took the kids and went to live with her parents, who had begun renting a house earlier thay month.  The house was thirty plus miles away.

I figured that as long as I kept looking for work, sooner or later she’d come back.  She continued to live at her parents’ house but we agreed that weekends we’d all spend days together and do fun stuff with the kids.

That basically happened until June.

June 28 is the last day I spent with my children.  My wife stopped answering her phone and I later found out that she had moved.  Her parents also no longer rented the house anymore.

In July, my landlord informed me that they needed to raise the rent back to $1,500 a month.  I couldn’t afford that with unemployment so while continuing to find work, I also started looking for another place to live. I gave my notice that I would not be renewing a lease in September.

In August I started looking for places that had room for rent.  I looked for something that was good for myself but also kid friendly,  I always had the intentions of my children visiting.  I was offered a room in a nice neighborhood of Minneapolis by voicemail.  I called the owner back, but dialed the wrong number.

Instead I dialed the phone of a restaurant owner I had spoken with six months earlier.   In March I flew back to Massachusetts to interview for a few restaurant manager positions in Massachusetts.  The position was filled, but the manager did not last, the owner suggested that I come back our again and interview.

I didn’t want to start renting a new place while I was out of town so I called the correct number turned down the offer for moving in September first.  However I left the opportunity open for October if the location was still available.

So when my lease ended August 31st, I had given away most of my things already, I took my two suitcases and flew back to Massachusetts.  I would swallow my pride and stay in my childhood home with my parents.

I continued to call my wife’s phone everyday and leave messages for my children.  The calls were never answered.  I later found out that my wife waited until September, in the days after the end of the lease, to file paperwork to disallow me to speak with her or my children.  The courts allowed this and an Order For Protection (OFP) was ordered.

I found out about this in November when my daughter’s preschool would not speak to me about a charge on my credit card.  I called the Sheriffs offices in multiple counties in Minnesota and they each stated that the order cannot be enforced until I was served with it.  So I continued to call and leave messages for my children.

In December, I had a call from a recruiter for a major restaurant chain with a location at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.  I made arrangements to interview there the beginning of January.  I saved up multiple weeks of unemployment, which was now $170 per week because child support was being deducted as part of the OFP, and purchased a flight and hotel room for a few days in Minneapolis.  If all went well, I’d get hired and start working again.

So I flew to Minneapolis, interviewed for my position and waited at my hotel for a call.  My phone rang. It wasn’t for the job, it was my wife.  She found out I was in town and agreed that she’d bring the kids to the Mall of America the next day so I could spend time with them before going back to Massachusetts.  I had not yet booked my return flight, so I extended my hotel an extra two days and was so excited to be seeing my children.

I got to the Mall of America fifteen minutes before our scheduled meeting.  I walked to the Underwater World aquaruim to check the hours, and also checked the hours and prices for the Butterfly exhibit that was also at the mall that day.  When I returned to the entrance at the specified time I saw a man holding a 8×10 printout of my photo. 

I knew right away he was a cop.  I had already thought that my wife and kids wouldn’t be there and it would be a cop but I had to go because I’d do anything for the chance to spend time with my kids again.  I waited for him to turn his back and I made a jump for the door.  I walked normally, of course, nothing stands out more than somebody running.  It was below freezing outside too, so since I was all dressed up in my winter coat, hat, scarf, and gloves, I figured they could stop me outside and that would at least be an inconvenience.

I made it to the door.  I heard my name called a few times and just kept walking.  I made it outside then stopped and turned around.  Man it was cold, and the undercover detective wasn’t wearing a coat.  He held papers in his hand.  “I guess those are for me”, I said as he handed me papers.

He wanted me to sign them to say I was served papers to act as the OFP.  These weren’t even the actual court papers,  Ihad to go to the court house in downtown Minneapolis to get the actual order.  I told the officer that I always read everything before I sign it and I’d sign it when I was finshed looking it over.  He started reaching for his handcuffs.

I was actually stalling.  I knew the cold was bothering him.  When I guessed he was at his threshold for cold I signed the papers and gave them back to him.  Then turned around and continued walking to the bus station.

I waited a few minutes and sent my wife the following text, I’m disappointed that the kids weren’t at the Mall of America to see me, I then sat down on a waiting bench.

The police arrived a minute later and arrested me for violating the OFP by sending that text message even though nowhere on the paper did it say I couldn’t send a text.

So I spent a night in lock-up and met with a judge the next morning.  I actually slept well because I was expecting to be spending a night in jail anyways.  I had a feeling before hand that my wife wouldn’t be there and I would be arrested so I made sure to prepare myself mentally in advance.  I also dressed in nice clothes so that I could go in front of a judge, if I was arrested, and look presentable.

I met with the judge, they scheduled a hearing in March and I was released.  I told my public defender that I’ve been unemployed since June 2008 and don’t have the money to fly back and forth for all this silly court stuff.  I was able to get my possessions, except for my cell phone.  The police kept that.

I got back to my hotel about an hour later.  I could use my hotel phone to make calls.  I called the detective who was handling my case and he said I would have to go to the police station to pick it up.  The next morning I called a cab went to the police station, then downtown to the courthouse to get the paperwork that was filed on me.

After that was complete I booked a flight back to Massachusetts and thats where I currently am now. 

My unemployment extensions have ended and I have still not been hired anywhere.  My wife filed divorce papers and there is nothing I can do about it.  I could pay $400, which I don’t have, to file an answer to the divorce papers but I’m sure since I’ve gotten no help thus far with the legal system it would do no good and just be a waste of money.  I also called many lawyers to assist me but they all want a $2500-$3000 retainer first.  So I am basically screwed and can’t do anything.

Everything basically comes down to me working.  Once I have that I have some leverage, then have a place to live and I have a little more.  All I care about is spending time with my children.  Every moment I spend away from them hurts.  I take no joy in my nieces or nephews, or friends’ children who love me so much.  How can I have fun with them?  All it does is remind me that I’m not with my own kids.

I cannot believe that the court system allows and encourages this to happen.  I cannot believe that it has been this hard.

But I keep moving on.  Each day is tougher than the last.  I try to stay as upbeat as possible. 

But for how long…