Saturday, April 29, 2006

Where have I been lately?

It's been over a month since I posted last. I've been around, but have been going through periods of employment and unemployment at my current job.

The government reports that the economy has improved and unemployment is on the decrease. Then why do businesses continue to close and lay off employees?

Case in point: Ford is closing F150 plants around the country. 1,700 Cincinnati jobs will be lost. Now, if the economy were good, people could afford to buy new Ford F150s and employees would still have their jobs, right? Right?

Here's another reported April 29, 2006: Kahn's plant in Cincinnati is closing. 350 jobs will be lost.

And Seagrams in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, the same area I grew up in, is closing. They've been there for over 150 years. It's been a location for steady employment for as long as anyone remembers. Over 400 people will lose their jobs.

Now, would you point to the statistics and show me how unemployment is decreasing?

I was a broadcast engineer from 1997 to 2002 until my position was eliminated. I then worked for nine months as an installation technician for a local A/V company until I was let go because the company had insurmountable debt and they couldn't afford my salary anymore. The same week I was let go my Subway book came out. Following that I tried my hand at freelance copywriting. But after nine months I couldn't find the business and my unemployment ran out. Deciding on a career change, I went to work at an investments company doing data entry starting in March, 2004. I've been there ever since, working in a variety of different departments--at least I was until April 28 when I was let go due to a slowdown of work.

I didn't mind doing this work. It was easy, the company was a five-minute drive, and the pay ws good. Not great, but coupled with my wife's salary, it kept us afloat. Book royalties also helped; it does pay to be a published author.

However, once again I am unemployed. I was unemployed for three weeks last month for the same reason, but was brought back in April for a three-week stint.

The first time I was let go was in February, 2006 for two-and-a-half weeks. It was at that time my wife ordered me to find a "real" job, that is, a real salary, benefits, and a sense of permanancy. So I updated my resume and started searching for technical jobs, writing or editing jobs, and even data-entry jobs in other companies. Since then I've applied to over two dozen positions, most of which I would be perfect for. Only one called me back. After a long phone call about the position, he promised he would call back and let me know if I were selected for the "next step," but said he still had thousands of resumes to go through.

Thousands. Think about that word for a moment.

Thousands of applicants. One job.

It's no wonder nobody ever calls me back. Even with my solid experience and education, there are countless other job-seekers with the same or better credentials than I have.

That's where I stand right now regarding my job. I've had to start selling things on eBay again to have at least a little trickle of money coming in. And I'm going back on unemployment next week. So, just call me a statistic I suppose, but I'm still out there looking.

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