Life of the Unemployed

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.
- Semisonic, Closing Time

It's been a rough week. I have applied for well over 100 jobs since February of this year. More than half of those have been in the past month. I wake up in the morning, I get a cup of coffee, and I head to the computer. I have a four page Word document filled with links to job sites. Ohiomeansjobs.com, jobs.osu.edu, careerbuilder.com, ohio5.org/jobs, oano.org, idealist.org - you get the picture. I have over 35 links I check on a daily basis. I make it a rule to apply for at least one job a day. Most days I succeed. Last Friday I applied for 10 jobs in one day, so I gave myself a bit of a break this week. I was up for an amazing position at Ohio State. I had to put together a one hour presentation to give to the whole staff. I met with 10-15 folks over a 4.5 hour period. Four people were interviewed for the job. I got an e-mail two weeks later saying I wasn't getting the offer. I wrote back and asked if I could have feedback so I was better prepared in the future. No response. Thanks, assholes.

We've been in Ohio for about six weeks now. I love our house, and I love that my husband is finally getting to do what he loves. He comes home tired but excited and full of stories about each class day. It's fantastic to see him doing something he loves so much.

Yet during the day, I am normally in the house. I job hunt 2-3 hours each morning then take a break to have some lunch and watch an episode of something on Netflix for half an hour. I do a three mile run every other day then come home and shower. I do some laundry, some dishes, some house straightening. Then I wait for Mike to get home. Sometimes that seems like the longest hour or two of the day. The kitties and I snuggle. I sit outside and watch the deer.

Luckily I have managed to avoid the trap that is the couch and TV combo. I rarely turn the TV on during the day. The only time is if I got a chick flick Netflix movie in the mail I know Mike won't want to watch. I had a breakdown yesterday evening. I miss my friends, and I miss having any sort of goal to accomplish. I'm lonely during the day, and I feel I have nowhere to focus my energy each day. Anyway, I decided enough is enough.

I've sent off about 50 applications in the past four weeks. It will take those places some time to sift through and pick some people for interviews. I'm hoping a couple come my way. But in the meantime, I need a break. The feeling of checking my job-hunting e-mail address to see I have no messages is getting to be too much. I need to get out of the house. I am taking a three prong approach to this solution.

First, I started a volunteer job. I am an assistant coach for a group of 19 girls aged 7-9 outside Columbus through a program called "Girls on the Run." The program teaches young girls to "run, skip or walk" a 5K by the end of the 12 week program; it also teaches them that they can accomplish a goal and that they are beautiful and talented. It's esteem building. Running has done a lot for me. I still don't enjoy it much, but I have realized that the discipline combined with the confidence it has instilled in me has been absolutely life changing. For an hour and a half each Tuesday evening I work with the girls and I run with them. That's a bit interesting since I am an only child who actually gets really nervous around kids. I figure they will learn something and so will I.

Second, I've joined a dart league. I am now a full member of the Newark's city dart league. I used to play in college, and we have a board set up at home. Our buddy Erich plays in the league and invited Mike and I to play. Mike decided to take on an alternate role, but this Monday night I earned my spot as a full team member after helping cinch up a couple victories in the first league play of the season. It's a fun way to get out of the house and be a part of some healthy competition.

Lastly, and probably the most important in all of this, is that I decided to take on a part time job. In reality, I have been applying for part time jobs the past several weeks as well, yet none of them call me back. I can't manage to get a job as a bank teller. That makes me feel real good, lemme tell ya. Since I wanted a part time gig I thought I would look close to home. It would be nice to work somewhere I could walk to and from, a place where I could meet locals, and a place that would be fun. So, I set my sights back to my first experience with Granville. The Buxton Inn.

The Buxton is the hotel Mike and I stayed in when we visited to house hunt in Granville. Operating since 1812, the Buxton is Ohio's oldest continually operated inn in its original building. You can get the full scoop here: http://www.buxtoninn.com/history2.html. I happened to check their website, and it said they were hiring waitstaff and bartenders. I used to joke to all the folks in Durham that if I couldn't get a job in Ohio that I would learn to bartend or something similar. I said half jokingly, half seriously. But with the state of the economy and my utter failure in the job searching process, I decided to throw caution to the wind. So, starting Sunday morning I will be a part time employee at the Buxton. I told Ms. Orr, the owner, that I wanted to learn to bartend, to work in the restaurant and/or to work the front desk. She said she would love to have me there. I have a job now. In my new community at a storied "haunted" inn. Who knows where this will lead.

I'll keep you posted. And I'll let you know if I see any ghosts.

1 comment:

Ellobie said...

Michelle, I'm so proud of you for coming up with a plan to combat your loneliness/boredom/frustration! You could have easily sat on your butt and griped about how much your situation sucks (really, it kind of does - moving to a place where you have no friends, no job with the state of the job market... it sucks from a very objective point of view!), but you decided to make lemonade and have already been successful.

This is why you are awesome.