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Unemployment breaks my heart

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Sneed, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    I'm in Starbucks working as us unemployed writers do, transcribing interviews for a book I, like all writers, pray becomes a bestseller while sending freelance pitches out and blogging....but this post isn't about me.

    It's about the guy sitting across from the, the guy who just had a phone conversation on which I just inadvertently eavesdropped.

    "Is (Bob Smith) available?" he says. "Oh, hi, Mr. Smith. I just saw your ad for (insert job here). I was wondering if--"

    He then pauses, clearly interrupted by a long-winded statement of some kind. When he eventually responds, his upbeat tone sounds painfully forced.

    "Oh," he says. "Well....is there anything else?"

    And those four words--"Is there anything else?"--just broke my heart a little bit, and I'm not even sure why. He had no ring on his finger; he was losing his hair; I've seen him in here for a few days in a row now, on the phone, making calls which must have gone no better.

    And then I thought of all of us, the struggling-to-find-work writers or the scared-of-losing-job reporters. I don't know why, but I just felt like sharing. And I just feel like saying, press on. When all looms ahead, press on. Maybe we won't what we want--but at least we'll have tried.

    EDIT: Making this update seconds after posting that, for just now, my email "blinged" at me, and there's an editor from a magazine replying to a query. And it's a good reply, so now I feel like there actually was a reason behind posting that.

    Press on.
  2. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Sneed: Congrats on the good response from the editor. A little bright news in your day.

    I'm looking for a part-time job for my days off to save more money for some unexpected expenses. I've gotten ONE reply to set up an interview. I can't even get a callback from Starbucks.

    It sucks out there.
  3. Madhavok

    Madhavok Active Member

    Gosh, that does sound awfully familiar...

    I've had two interviews after replying to about 20 ads. One looks good, but it's only till late July (free place to stay). Which would mean, time to get at it again till my usual winter job comes back.
  4. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

    Thanks IJAG. For what it's worth, a famous line in an old thread from these boards comes to mind: "write good sentences." I say the following not to brag, but to encourage: the editor from the magazine said she normally doesn't reply to queries so quickly (I sent it 10 minutes before I heard back from her), but it was written so well that she stopped what she was doing to reply.

    Again, I emphasize, I don't care about lifting myself up here. I just want to share that to encourage all of us to take pride even in the little things, like email queries for single stories. You never know what could make the difference. And like someone else once said, the big things happen because the little things get done. (Crazy paraphrasing going on there.)

    Best of luck to all of us.
  5. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    It's just bad for the soul. You feel like a failure. You feel like you aren't contributing anything to your family or society. You have nothing to draw strength from in terms of your own self-worth.
  6. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Sneed, I'm still badmouthing you every chance I get in hopes of getting the gigs for which you are applying. :D

    Great post, and to feel such compassion for us unemployed fucks at such a young age speaks well of you.
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    My father-in-law is in this situation and it's heartbreaking. He was a buyer for a manufacturing plant for years before he got laid off. Then my mother-in-law died without health insurance (he made some weird financial decisions sometimes), and the week in intensive care pretty much wiped him out. He doesn't want to sell their house and leave the area, because he feels like he'd be abandoning the family.

    But he lives in one of the many areas of this country with double-digit unemployment. So he's floating around from temp job to temp job that he's way overqualified for, just trying to keep busy. It's hard to see.
  8. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Don't worry, Sneed, I have a tap in BYH's computer so I can follow his e-mails up with ones saying he makes love his cat while listening to Night Ranger. You're safe in your job seach :D
  9. BYH

    BYH Active Member

  10. dreunc1542

    dreunc1542 Active Member

    You're doing the same thing to me, aren't you? Now I know who to focus the blame on when I don't hear back from people.
  11. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Just tell them about the cat. That should help!
  12. bostonbred

    bostonbred Guest

    It's definitely rough out there. In 2007, I received a part-time gig writing columns and covering college sports at a good-sized newspaper. I enjoyed it, even as I saw much older full-time workers around me at this paper being laid off. Thanks in large part to members of this board and the bleakness of the field, I've changed my career focus from writing to teaching. It's working out well.

    I still love writing and will continue to do so, but for me, there has to be a fallback option. Now teaching 6th graders comes first, but I write a lot on the side as well. Best of luck finding work, Sneed.
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