At this point, I’m “tapped out” of personal stories on people who have been long-term jobless to share with you.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t more out there like I’ve been sharing with you since Sunday. There are way too many stories out there, they just haven’t been brought to my attention … yet.
In fact, just before I started writing this at just before 10 a.m. MST to meet my daily 10:30 a.m. personal blog “deadline” (which I have now missed anyway because of talking some things over with my lovely wife — she always gives me a hard time when I call her “lovely” in here) I sent an online message to a relatively new friend named Alan from Nevada, who has a pretty compelling story himself that I hope to get to you very soon. He’s just mulling over photos and song ideas to share at this point. But his story is coming.
In the meantime, I am strongly urging ANYONE from ANYWHERE, whether it’s in the U.S. or Canada or the United Kingdom or Norway, who knows someone going through this struggle with joblessness — long-term or short-term, either term is hard — and trying to survive and stay positive at the same time to write to me, either here in a comment in this blog or send me a message on Facebook here.
Sometimes, it just helps those who are jobless to pour out their feelings.
My struggle goes on, day by day. I could tell my feelings about turning in two forms to cancel our life insurance coverage just this week so we can save money on monthly premium payments. I guess I won’t be killing myself now and making it look like an accident out of sheer desperation, will I? I shouldn’t joke about that, but on the other hand you should know that I’m not filled with despair.
I can tell you about going into the employment office on Tuesday for a Re-employment Eligibility Assessment (REA) meeting with a counselor and coming up with a plan to get myself working again, getting whatever assistance we can for health and dental coverage for my wife and I and getting our 12-year-old daughter on the CHIP program so she’s covered, but my two sons who were covered just weeks ago on my former employer’s health insurance plan are now totally on their own because they’re over 18 so they’d damn well better not get sick!
On a side note, the employment counselor I worked with was very pleasant and helpful. As a word of advice from a “customer,” though, the people who you first meet inside the door to help direct you to where you need to go could be a bit more on the cheerier, friendlier side. What is it about dealing with the unemployed? Does seeing these people every day make those who deal with them every day a bit more surly? At least a hint of a smile and a warm “hello” would be nice.
I can tell you of my frustration about having a car that suddenly won’t start, and I just determined it may not be a simple case of a dead battery that I can fix myself and I’m wondering when I’ll be able to take it in to my ever-trusted and ever-honest mechanic to get worked on, more $$$ signs floating around in my head … yada, yada, yada.
Yeah, those kinds of feelings. Those are the kinds of feelings people need to know about who aren’t living through it themselves.
We’re not looking for sympathy. We’re not looking for hand-outs. We’re not looking for some “miracle monetary gift” showing up at our door to get us through. We want to pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. That’s the American way, and we believe in that with all of our hearts.
All we want is for the American playing field to be more fair.
When it comes to that, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. But I’ll keep looking. I’ll keep pushing.