Tag Archives: economy

WORK

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I WATCH AS MY WORLD FALLS APART

PIECE BY PIECE DAY BY DAY

I MUST WORK TO KEEP IT ALL TOGETHER

AND SLEEP WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE

I MUST WORK TO RECONSTRUCT THE PAST

OR LOSE MY FUTURE TO THE DEAD

WORK IS MY DUTY TO THE GREAT SUPERVISOR IN THE SKY

WORK WILL SAVE ME THEY SAY EVERYDAY ON THE NEWS

WE ALL NEED TO WORK TO PAY OUR WAY

SO THAT SOME BLESSED DAY WE CAN PLAY

WORK TO KEEP FROM FALLING

TO PREVENT OUR DISAPPEARANCE FROM THE STAGE

EVERYTHING IS FRAGILE

OUR LIVES A BROKEN BOTTLE

AND SO WE WORK TO REPAIR IT EVERY DAY

Serious Business

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This is serious business

Wipe that smirk off your face

There is too much to do

And the bus is running late

This is serious business

I got your report and it doesn’t address

All the things we need to repair

Your performance is lax

You need to clean up your act

This is serious business my friend

No time for that, take off your hat

Get down to business and work

Work without pause, or hesitation

work when it pays and work on your own

work when you’re weary down to your bones

This is serious business

Haven’t you seen the charts?

And read the writing on the bathroom stall?

This is serious business after all

New Job

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While it is only a temporary job lasting until October, it is still a job. I started it today. I think I will like it. The people I work with are very friendly and very good at what they do. All of us new hires (about eight of us) were complimented as being super fast and efficient. I left my apartment at 7:15 am and walked about two miles from the Hayes valley area of SF to the Bayview warehouse district. It was cold out and I walked briskly getting there in an hour and a half. The supervisor called out my name as I arrived at the building. She remembered my name! That impressed me. I will be wearing a nifty uniform which needs to be kept nice. I don’t want to say where I work, because I don’t know that they would appreciate it, but they seem like a good nonprofit to work for. They have a good attitude toward the employees and the regular people there seem quite happy. The only downside is the distance from my apartment. I can’t afford to take public transportation right now. Everything is very tight.

But what I wanted to post about is the joy of having a purpose. I like working because I am fulfilling a purpose beyond myself. It feels good to be part of something. The worst part of unemployment besides the fear of eviction is the feeling of isolation. When you are working, particularly if it is a place that appreciates you, you feel a part of society, the economy. I gained more of a sense of how things fare in San Francisco these days from my interactions with my coworkers today than I do from watching the local news. Although I enjoy the contact I get through facebook and my blog, there is no replacement for face to face communication. As humans, we need that or things can get very weird.

There is also the joy of just doing something. It really doesn’t matter a heck of a lot what it is, just the act of staying busy is healthy. I am easily bored and these past three months I have spent almost every available minute at my computer, checking craigslist for jobs, or blogging. Having a job is great if for no other reason than the exercise. Unemployment is the mind destroyer. We need to find jobs for everyone, because the cost is enormous. It erodes a reservoir of talent that we could be putting to use. So anyhow, I hope this job becomes permanent, but in the meantime it feels so good to be doing something that is not totally centered on my survival, and to be interacting with actual human beings once again. I hope also, that I maintain this positive attitude for the next six months, because I am going to have plenty more human contact, as much as I can handle.

I also want to continue blogging, but I have to watch that because when I get going on something I lose track of time and soon it is midnight or 1 am. I can’t do that and get up at 5 am. New experiences refresh the soul. I am happy for this one.

I Got a Job!!!

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I finally landed a job after feeling I would never get one. It is temporary, lasting from March 26 to Oct 1, with the chance, if I do well, of it becoming permanent. This shows that it is not hopeless. If I can get a job, virtually anyone can. This means no more staying up until 2 am. I have developed that bad habit, which meant I always slept till 10:30 or 11:30 each morning. I will continue to blog although I doubt I will be able to put as much energy into it as I have in the past couple of months. I need to switch gears and get into customer service mode. I have been pretty introspective lately, and now I need to think of how best to serve, because I want this job to work out well! I will still be seeking other opportunities to make money, and find outlets for my creativity. I feel I have a lot to offer, and not having the major distraction of unemployment will help me focus on how to move things forward. Instead I will have to deal with the distraction of employment. It is difficult to stay creative while working. There is a tendency to just lay back and relax, become a vegetable, when you are off work. I will try my best to avoid that.

Of course, I cannot judge solely by my own circumstance, but it does appear that the economy is slowly recovering. We need to find new ways to put people to work. There are millions of very creative people like myself who are not making use of their talents. There needs to be more ways for creative people to find ways of making a living at what they truly love. I will continue to explore those possibilities. Poverty is a crime! Poverty saps the energy and potential to make a difference in the people it afflicts. We need another war on poverty. It is definitely in the interest of business to eliminate poverty, because then they have far more customers! You want us to buy your products? Then create jobs for us, so we can!!!! It is very easy to stop being concerned about unemployment after you are employed. I am still very concerned about it. This unemployment is weighing us down, keeping the economy from taking off again. I think private enterprise could go a lot further towards creating jobs. The government can only do so much. Ultimately, it is simply people helping people one on one that makes a difference. Discover a way this unemployed person could contribute to your business, and the unemployed need to find ways they can contribute. You can’t just sit around waiting for something to happen, although I have plenty of occasions of not having a clue about what to do. So I can definitely sympathize.

But this is a time when we all need to be active, creative, and putting ourselves out there. The era of passivity is over. We are in an interactive age, in which we get to create the kind of world we want. I am enthusiastic about that. Of course, landing a job makes me optimistic about a lot of things. I suspect it is much too early to put my cranky pants away just yet.

Lady Luck is a Harsh Mistress

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The Mega Lottery is up to $241 million and I am determined to win. Of course it doesn’t make any difference how determined I am, either I am lucky or I’m not. Still. I dream. We all do. Those of us that live on the margins. I didn’t pay my rent for March, and I’m sure I won’t be able to pay rent for April. I will be having to fight eviction, probably unsuccessfully. I could lose everything very very soon. So the Lottery feels like a miracle that has to happen. This is the curse of the Lotto, and it plagues the poor more than anyone else. Who do you see buying lottery tickets with their final few dollars? The poor. It is a deadly chimera, producing a deep depression which can only be dispelled by buying even more lottery tickets, fueling that dream of sudden riches. It is very easy to get hooked. I don’t spend a huge amount on the lottery, never more than $10 a week and that is probably too much. The odds of winning are increased by such a microscopic amount by buying more than one ticket that it is hardly worth it, but it feels like you have a better chance. I would need to buy hundreds of thousands of tickets to really affect the odds.

Something has got to happen to turn things around for me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will. Maybe this is a lesson I need to learn, to lose absolutely everything and start from ground zero. Maybe.

I prefer to think that miracles can happen, if not the lottery, then a new job. I have to take each day as it comes and wish for the best just to keep from sinking into despair. My blogging helps me see clearly and focus on other concerns. If I won the lottery, it wouldn’t need to be $214 million, it could be $1 million, or even $250,000. Just enough to not have to worry. Enough to allow me to do the things I long to do. I would like to be able to help out my friends who could certainly use a windfall, and I’d like to send money to relatives as well. I usually enjoy daydreaming about winning the lottery, but not today. I lost yet again, and I know I will continue to lose. I recognize the tiny tiny possibility of winning something, and that keeps me playing, but unenthusiastically. Then I read in the paper about billionaires. What is the point of being a billionaire? Unless you are using that wealth to make a positive impact on the world, it is a sinful waste of resources. The disparity between the have and have-not’s is absolutely sickening. The worst part of it is how oblivious many people are to this. They enjoy their meager wealth, and dream of having even more, and don’t recognize that this disparity can’t last. I dread the economic disaster which looms ahead. It may not happen in just a few years, but it is inevitable. The present situation cannot be sustained. The collapse may happen after I’m gone. I hope so, because it would not be fun to live through. If I were to win the lottery I had  better be prepared to share it generously or I would ultimately have it taken from me. Times are going to be rough for the rich in the decades ahead. That is the prediction of a nobody, a soon to be homeless nameless statistic. I hope with all my heart that I am wrong about all of this!

Lady Luck. You are a harsh mistress.

Spelling Is Important

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The misspelled word captures all of my attention!

Just a quick post for all those bloggers out there who don’t take time to proofread their work before posting. I found this splendid example of a sloppy lack of editing. Collaterial? What is that? And I’m sure that whatever this gentleman is offering, it doesn’t qualify as collaterial. Now collateral is another matter. Always important when asking for a loan. Unfortunately this man did not get his loan request approved. Did it have something to do with the package he offered? Not at all. Such packages are routinely accepted as collateral. Of course if you default on the loan. Ouch!!! The loan officer seems a bit disgusted. “Where did this rube learn to spell?” she thinks.

Spelling. It can make all the difference!

Reflections on Job Hunting

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Oh yes, some of us are still looking. In spite of all the media hype about the improving economy, a lot of people are still in desperate straights. I couldn’t pay my rent for March. I am hoping I will land a job very very soon. I am beyond all the hand wringing, and needless worry robbing my sleep. I’m over it! What will be, will be, is my attitude. I do what I can. I’ll break this post into two parts. The Good and the Bad.

The Good:   I had an excellent job interview yesterday. In spite of getting confused about the address, and wandering up and down Sacramento Street, I finally found the store. It feels like a good place to work. The employees seem cheerful and unstressed. Of course, the manager assured me that things get stressful around Christmas time. I’d love to work there, and hopefully, I shall. I’m on pins and needles as I wait. The interview went well because I was relaxed and cheerful myself. I didn’t feel pressured to do a good job. I had prepared for the interview by checking out the website for the store, and familiarizing myself with what they sold. I liked what I saw. So, I went in with a good attitude. Many times, you find yourself interviewing for a job you really don’t want, but things being what they are, you have to work somewhere. This is a recipe for disaster. In this interview, we laughed and got a little off track talking about the crazy world of retail. We talked about how to handle situations that come up, and I enjoyed really exploring how best to deal with various potentially stressful situations. This is how interviews should go. So…always do research and listen carefully to what the interviewer is asking. Then answer to the question, not to what makes you think you should have the job. You will have the opportunity to address that, at the end of the interview if not before. But it is important to not find yourself talking past your interviewer. You need to be on the same page, as they say.

The Bad: I had another job interview last Friday which didn’t go so well. I had glanced at the store’s website but didn’t take the time to really study it. And I payed for that blunder. The first question was: “What can you tell me about our store?” Oops! “Uh, that it is a store?” It wasn’t that bad, but pretty close. Homework is important. So I basically kind of floundered, recovered a bit, but they could tell I was winging it. Even if you have the gift of gab and are charming as hell, which I am, it doesn’t help in this instance. I left knowing there was no chance of landing that job. Then there are the frustrations of endless bureaucracy which the poor and unemployed must endure. I get a bill from what I had thought was a free city health care program. I can’t pay my rent and I get a bill? How does this work? So I will have to hash that out. Then I get emails from a nonprofit company which helps people in their job hunting. You need to take this workshop, Ok. Wait. No. Not that workshop, I meant this one. It went back and forth a few times and I got aggravated and lost my temper. I emailed that I really didn’t need their services, I had gotten jobs without it, and could again. Not very nice, I admit, but sometimes it can feel like you are spending most of your time going through a ton of job hunting preparation instead of actually job hunting. Some of these workshops can be helpful, some of them, not so much. The bottom line is the human interface. I wonder how many people actually land a job as a result of jumping over a bunch of bureaucratic hurdles. Job counselors can sometimes come across in a condescending manner, they can afford to be arrogant, they have a job! Which brings me to the worst of the worst things about job hunting. When you are down and out, people treat you like crap. I’m sorry, but it is a fact. This doesn’t help matters, obviously. It enrages me that there are companies that won’t even consider hiring someone who is unemployed. I consider that to be borderline criminal.

But don’t get me started!