Julie Weber: Classy in the face of Chaos

My friend and blogger pal, Julie Webb, has been published.  Again.  She’s become an expert of sorts on being unemployed (I wonder where, exactly, one adds that to his/her resume…)  Her writing is brilliant, but her attitude in the face of such frustrating circumstance, well… I’m not sure I even have words to say how incredibly impressed I’ve been with this woman.  So, I will say this, to be classy, humerous and insightful in the face of constant frustration and chaos is not a skill I’ve seen demonstrated by, hmmm, well, ever…by anyone. 

I’m starting to get this gut feeling that we’ll see this lady on the front page of  Times Magazine here in a few years and it’ll be the story of a girl who lost her job in the Great Recession only to find her true calling that ultimately generated some phenomenal success story.  And I’ll say “hey, I met that girl for lunch at BWI one time…”

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I’m trying not to be a tease (note: this post isn’t nearly as saucy as it may appear)

You know what I hate? When I find a blog I love and then they quit writing.  Because I’ve never been a big fan of dealing with reality, I’ll periodically check those blogs, just to see, you know, if they changed their mind.  Every once in awhile I get lucky and find that someone has started writing again – it truly is the little things that totally get me excited.  Then, a few months later, the writing bug must have left their system because they disappear once again into the internet, never to be heard from again.  Some say goodbye, others just leave without even saying “thanks for reading.”  I’m not gonna lie – It hurts a little.  I don’t want to be one of those people.  I don’t want to be a tease.  So, I’m gonna be upfront.  I have absolutely no idea how long I’m gonna keep writing.  I do know this for a certain fact: the daily posts that you were used to during my lapse of employment are donezo.  No way does this chica have time for daily posts and frankly, on a daily basis I don’t have that much to say.  So – the rule of thumb here is going to be quality over quantity.

I encourage you to see if you can figure out how to subscribe to the blog so you’ll know when I’ve updated it.  I’d tell you how… but I don’t know! Consider it your homework for the day.

All my love,

Jobless Julie (who now has a job)

Oh Where, Oh Where, has Miss Jobless Julie gone?

Perhaps you’ve noticed that it’s been a bit of a drought here on the ole’ JoblessJulie blog.  That’s likely due to the fact that I’m not Jobless anymore.  Ah, the fun the last five months have been!  There was a vacation to Vail, a serious shopping trip to Columbus where I more than made up for my lack of shopping between June 2009 and December 2009.  While I’ve been enjoying the bliss that is once again having a steady paycheck – I’ve also been working – really, really hard.  The problem with losing your job is that once you’ve lost a job, you never totally recover mentally. 

Think back to the first person that really broke your heart.  Have you ever gone into another relationship with the naive bliss that you went into that one?  Nope – you now live in a constant state of waiting for the other shoe to drop.  I suppose that’s what growing up is all about.  You have more money, but you also have a lot more scars.  Losing your job sort of reminds me of that first really bad heartbreak.  Now that I’m employed I’m working 10 x’s as hard as I ever did before, because I’m waiting on that other shoe to drop.  It’ll happen, it’s only inevitable.  The savings account and the stress level both are at an all time high because I don’t want to go back there, to that ugly dark place where I couldn’t buy shoes and couldn’t go out to eat.  It wasn’t pretty.

Now that I’m a bit more settled into a routine of work, school, socializing and shopping, I’m going to make time to write a bit more.  I may have to come up with a new blog name though.  Although, perhaps Jobless Julie will remind me of where I was and where I hope to be going.  Maybe keeping my past as a part of my present isn’t such a bad idea.

Top Ten Reasons I will Miss Being Unemployed

#10 – Showering is optional

#9 – Matching my clothes is optional

#8 – Accidentally drank too much on a Wednesday night?  Not a problem.

#7 – Cable guy gives you an 8 hour window for when he may or may not actually show up?  Not a problem – I’ll be here.  Not like I took a vacation day to wait around for him.

#6 – Preparing BLT’s for lunch rather than eating a brown-bagged turkey sandwich which is warm and mushy by the time it gets eaten.

#5 – Being able to holiday shop during the middle of the day vs battling mall traffic on the weekend

#4 – Having the opportunity to witness all of the goofy things my dog does… like the day he got himself tangled in my ethernet cable and turned around and growled at it like it had done him some sort of injustice

#3 – Staying up way past ‘bedtime’

#2 – Turning the alarm clock off – will Monster.com really care if it’s 10 AM instead of 9 AM when I log in?  Nope.

#1 – There is no #1 reason. 

I won’t miss being unemployed.  I won’t miss the indignity that comes with it.  I won’t miss the missed paychecks.  I won’t miss the general disarray of my finances.  I won’t miss feeling like I don’t have a purpose in life.  I actually and perhaps, suprisingly, will not miss sitting in mis-matched clothes, unshowered, apply for crappy jobs.  I just won’t. 

Employment suits me.  Nothing about unemployment trumps the benefits of having a job.

The Top Ten Reasons I Won’t Miss Being Unemployed

#10 – Being at functions and finding a creative way to answer the question “Julie, What do you do for a living?” and not include the fact that I spend a good portion of my day in my pajamas.

#9 – Being at functions and seeing people try to strategically run from you because they know you’re going to ‘network’ with them for jobs

“Hey you in the corner that works for a bank… yeah I’m talkin’ to you, don’t worry I don’t want to work at a bank… relax”

#8 – Not Shopping.  Ever.

#7 – Having to choose between going to dinner with friends and buying someone a baby shower gift.  Really?  I didn’t ask for you to have that baby.  And I most certainly didn’t suggest you register for something so incredibly expensive.  Not really your fault that I don’t have a job, but still….

#6 – “Dear __________” I would be an excellent candidate for your position!”  If I live to be 105 years old and never, ever, ever, have to write another cover letter.  It will be far too soon.

#5 – Standing in the unemployment line.  Degrading – yes.  Annoying – yes.  Slightly gratifying that for once I actually got to take advantage of a government program – absolutely (hence why it’s only #5)

#4 – Having to go inside to pay for my gas.  For reasons totally inconceivable by me – the Workforce West Virginia Card (which is the card they issue to people with their unemployment benefits – and trust me you’re not only one amused by the irony that it’s called “Workforce”) doesn’t work at the pump, so you have to go inside and pretty much announce to the world that you’re on unemployment.  But that’s ok, because the guy in front of you just bought cigarettes, beer and Cheetos with his food stamp money, so he’s not gonna judge.

  #3 – “Hey since you’re not working right now would you mind to [insert favor here]”  Seriously people?  How do you think I’m ever going to find a job if I spend my days being your servant?   First favor = Free, Second favor = My rent payment. 

#2 – “Your account has been overdrawn” My bank sends me e-mails when I overdraw my checking account.  I have received far too many of those e-mails over the last 2.5 months.  Pre job loss my response would have been “Julie!  You are such an idiot!  How did you let that happen???”  Post Job Loss my response was “Why did you send me an e-mail?  If I had money don’t you think it would be in there?  I mean, really, Bank, what WOULD you like me to do about it?” 

#1 – This one was tricky.  I mean the #1 spot is pretty coveted.  Income would be an obvious choice.  Maybe even a repeat of shopping – I mean that was pretty sorely missed.  But the #1 spot goes to…..

THE LOSS OF MY DIGNITY

Yeah, me and ole’ dignity are pretty excited to be reunited on January 4th.  She’s missed me.  Heck, I’ve missed her. 

It’ll be tears and hugs all around.

A Rather Significant Update

Suggestions for my new blog name:

Jobful Julie

Un-Jobless Julie

Job-ly Julie

Gainfully Employed Julie

Yep – that’s right folks… I got it!  I got THE job.  THE job that I prepared for endless hours for the interview.  The job that I thought was gone then it came back.  The job that I managed to find a way to get to Baltimore in the biggest storm of the century to interview for.  THE JOB.  I GOT THE JOB.  I am employed.  I will have income.  I will make 401K contributions again like a normal adult.  I will have stuff to do come Monday, January 4th.  In fact, I’m gonna even have to put on regular clothes and shower at a decent hour.  So long grey tank top…. I’m back.

And not a moment too soon either, because as my brother-in-law pointed out so gracefully over Christmas,

“I read your blog the other day and thought holy crap if Julie doesn’t get this job we’re gonna be in BIG trouble… ’cause she’s gonna jump off of a cliff.”

Is the blog over?  Will Jobless Julie wither away into corporate America and cease to exist?  I’m not sure yet. 

Certainly between working (hehe, I’m gonna be working), ski patrolling, skiing, trying to maintain friendships and some existence of a social life, traveling for work (hehe work), being on the board of a non-profit, and let’s not forget the maintence and well being of good ole’ Tucker, I’m gonna be a busy bee come January 4th.  But I will say this, I’ve got a few more things on my mind.  A few more little tid bits that Jobless Julie wants to share before her 5 minutes of internet blogging fame goes by the wayside.

Don’t delete me off your ‘favorites’ list just yet.  But do feel free to say a big prayer of THANKS on my behalf – the big man deserves it for managing to pull this one off.

Back to reality…

You’ll all be happy to know, I made it to Baltimore and even had time to meet up with JewliWeb at BWI for a quick lunch.  My interview went extremely well.  I felt like I had good answers to all of their questions, my much anticipated presentation went off without a hitch.  Now, all I can do is wait.  I know that they are interviewing other candidates, most, if not all of whom, have more direct experience than I do.  I’m not supposed to hear anything until next week, so I suppose I should just go into Christmas knowing that I did all I could do and not fret about things which are no longer in my control.

Reality has set in with quite a punch this morning.  I sat down this morning to respond to a few e-mails and job leads which had come in during the previous chaotic, whirlwind 72 hours.  They are all for jobs I don’t want, with salaries which I won’t be able to live on.  But this is my life right now.  This is what I’ve been doing for the last 6 months.  I guess the funny thing is, that over the course of the last 72 hours I was reminded of what I’m made of.  Putting together presentations with meticulous  detail, running around airports catching flights, hopping in cabs and barking orders, answering difficult questions with equally complex answers.  I had forgotten that I’m still good at what I do.  There’s a pretty powerful little girl tucked behind these sweatpants with a brain that is atrophying more and more every day.

As I sit here and try to motivate myself to go through these god-awful job leads forwarded by well-meaning friends, I realize that  I’m not in the mood.  I had a taste of remembering what it was like to get up early and have something important to do and I’m not quite ready to go back to the ego-busting ritual of job searching. 

For six months I’ve been looking for a job, for six months I have applied for jobs in which I was way overqualified and had only the hope of being significantly underpaid.

I’ve reached  a state of burnout.  I’m taking the rest of the week off.  Otherwise, my cover letters are going to start to look like this:

Dear so and so (I’m not taking the time to look up your name because you’re not going to read this anyway),

I’m applying for this job becauase I feel like I should, but I don’t really want it and you can’t afford me anyway.

Love,

Julie