Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fuck you, 2009.

This image was taken from the lovely Escape to New York.

In January 2009 I got laid off.

On January 12, 2009, I started a new job, thinking it was a miracle.

It wasn't.

For six months, I worked at a desk for ten hours, with no lunch break, in fact, no breaks whatsoever. It was terrible. If I had to go to the bathroom, I had to ask someone to watch the phone. Very frequently my request was denied.

Day after day, I scoured the internet for a better job. I didn't find one.

Some mornings, walking to the L train, I wept.

On June 19, 2009, I got laid off. Again.

This time, it wasn't so easy to find a job. I applied and received unemployment benefits.

I went on countless interviews, most of them I was "overqualified" for, them being editorial assistant jobs, a job I had already worked for nearly three years. One potential employer actually told me, "I'm a bitch. I'll make life hard for you. Do you still want this job?"

On my way out of the interview, I cried.

Another potential employer mocked me in an interview for a misuse of boldface. FUCK YOU, bitch. How do you like that use of boldface?

I didn't get jobs because I didn't have enough journalism experience. I didn't get them because the boss decided to hire her friend's niece. I didn't get them because there weren't any. Literally. One day after I found out I didn't get a job I wanted, the entire department was laid-off. Canceled. Destroyed.

I went to a temping agency because I was desperate. They offered me the most wildly inappropriate jobs, not consistent with my skills set, nor meeting the minimum 40% of my previous gross wages. One time, they offered me to interview for one of those jobs. I turned them down. They reported me to the government. I lost my unemployment benefits, and now I owe the government money. If you are unemployed, please feel free to e-mail about this. I would never want this to happen to anyone else. You need to know your rights.

One afternoon, I realized I had forgotten to send in my Cobra payment. They discontinued my health insurance. The payment was one day late. I had to beg to be reinstated.

My former boss refused to act as a positive reference on my job interviews in the worst economic recession since The Great Depression.

Again, I cried.

Throughout all of this, my mom, my boyfriend, and my friends offered an intense amount of support, talking to me on the phone, paying for my meals, taking me out for a drink, patting me on the back and telling me how they weren't worried. That I'd find something. My boyfriend bore the brunt of my frustration, my depressive moods, my anger at the situation. He's an absolute saint, and no matter what happens, I will never forget his ultimate kindness and support through what was the darkest period in my life to date. If anyone ever doubts his supreme goodness, I will cut a bitch.

Another month went by. I started freelancing. Writing. Editing. Things felt better. I was working. And I was doing work that I actually enjoyed. It finally struck me, that perhaps all of this had happened to show me that what I really wanted to do was write. To freelance as much as possible and make the life I wanted for myself. It was a stunning conclusion. But I still needed a job.

1 comment:

jen said...