I had a great job, but then the company decided to make some changes globally. From the results of those changes, I was laid off in October, 2008. The job was the best that I had ever had. Really thought I had a life long job there with this company. However, things changed and I lost my job and there were others that laid off too on that terrible October Monday morning. While working at this great place, I was proud that I had a great job where I was building a nest egg for myself and mine. After being laid off, I looked for work. Looking for a job is not only a full time obligation, but a job and a half too, because I spend my weekends looking for work as well. I do stop searching for a job long enough to attend church on Sundays and believe you me, when I am at church, I doubly pray for a job while Pastor Rick tries to teach keeping the chin up, things will get better. There is no time off for the weary. I put in from 8 to 12 hours a day looking for a job, sometimes to the point of getting headaches searching until I send off a resume or hit a dead end. I’ve learned there are a lot of dead ends when looking for work. Most of my efforts were from searching the Internet (the infamous black hole). Many of my searches ended up in direct mailings of cover letters, resume’s and references to companies in my field.
In the past 20 months, I’ve sent out 2,847 resumes. I have had 7 face-to-face and 11 phone interviews. From one of the face to face interviews, about two months later, I get a call from a hiring manager from a well known aviation corporation in May of 2009. I was offered a job on the phone to work as a contractor for a ridiculously low rate with no benefits. It had been 7 months since I lost my job in October, 2008. So things were getting thin a bit skittish; meaning that at this point, I was willing to accept any kind of job, even for the insulting low wage. I accepted the job for 26% of my normal salary. Accepting that job left a very bitter taste, but I had no choice but to accept. I truly felt like crap; I swallowed my pride and took the job so that I could keep a roof over me and mine and to have beans on the table. I figured while working at this job, I could continue to look for a better paying position during off hours worthy of my expertise; at least to continue to look for a job that paid at least 70% of my normal salary. I took this cheap job and I worked hard and long hours at this ridiculous low salary. It wasn’t a week that went by that I didn’t work over time to make extra money so that I could make ends meet. Most of the weeks, those ends did not get met, but it was still better than no salary at all, but just barely.
At this low paying gig, I brought onboard knowledge, experience, and expertise. I had developed and implemented procedures that increased the efficiency of the engineering process so that in hopes the management would see that I was well worth a second look for better pay. Work colleagues, project managers and development teams said they were very happy to see the good work and that I was brought onboard to inject a standard that would be appreciated. I felt good in one way, but bad in another because of the extremely low salary. 9 and 1/2 weeks later after starting working at this contract position, the manager brings me and 2 other engineers into his office along with the temporary agent that had gotten me hired for this position in the first place. Guess what, you got it… I was laid again along with the other two engineers at same time. The manager didn’t even have the courtesy to call us in one by one to give us the bad news. The reason we got the ax is that the manager just said the company is reducing head count. Now I ask you, what kind of professionalism is that when you get laid off for no reason? I worked my can off, gave it all that I had and then some, but still lost this puny job.
Anyway, long story short, I am a hard worker and I am diligent about the work that I do. I don’t complain about my work, because I believe in doing an honest hard day’s work for an honest buck. I have a degree in electronics engineering and computer science. My grade point average was 3.83; graduated with honors and second in class. I have technical certificates up the wazoo that I (no one else) paid. The classes and the tests to achieve those certificates; which by the way cost a fine penny I might add. For example, the “American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB)” certification; this class which cost nearly $2900 bucks for a 5 day class and the examination cost $250.00. By the way, there was no such thing as retaking the test if you failed to pass the test. If you failed the test, you had to wait 6 months before you could retake the test again. So the pressure is on. You dare not screw up. I studied and studied and studied. The certification is dang hard to achieve. Don’t believe me, you take the class and try to pass the test yourself. Ask anyone that has attempted to get the American Software Testing Qualifications Board Analyst (ASTQB) certification. They’ll tell you how hard it is to achieve.
Why do I want certification? Because it shows I know what I am doing and it proves a point that I am no slouch that I am willing to go all the way to achieve recognition and to get a better paying job.
Anyway, back to my story, after being laid off again from this really low paying job, I had a feeling there was a dark economic storm brewing. I had heard from friends that other engineers were being laid off from other high tech companies that in my area. Even after hearing about other layoffs, that did not discourage me from beating the bush to find a job. I began to target companies in my field that were within a 30 mile radius and after a month looking with no results, I broaden my search field to 50 mile radius. At least I could still commute daily if I got hired, even a low wage job too. After another month, I broaden my search to 100 miles with no results, a week later my search pattern was expanded to 250 miles and now my search is in the entire state which is 770 miles. So don’t you “REPUBLICANS” tell me that I am lazy! When I read republicans said that the unemployed are lazy, I felt insulted, I felt belittled and I felt as if I was a second class citizen, as if I was some kind of scandal after that comment was broadcasted in the news. Do you want to see what “lazy” really is? Republicans, look in the mirror; look long and hard and then look again. You’ll see the definition of lazy in that mirror. Do you see yourself in that mirror? That is the definition of “Lazy.” Unless the Republicans want to join the unemployed in November, I suggest you get off your “lazy” buns and start supporting the unemployed by getting jobs back in the USA. Not low paying jobs either. Get us back into the great nation we were before George Bush and his bunch screwed it up. May I remind you it was the Republican Party that spent the surplus when Clinton left office? You’ve managed to get us in so much debt from two wars and I’m sure there are other pet projects that put us in a hole as well? Are you having a hard time remembering? You think Americans forget so easily? November is only a few short months away. Enjoy the ride while you can. Your days of lazy politicians are over, your time in office is limited unless you start taking care of the American people and that includes the unemployed because WE ARE AMERICANS too.
As an American, I am proud that we have it in our hearts to extend help to people in devastated areas, even our enemies want to harm us. When I think of the children getting food and clothing due to the destruction of earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, loss of their parents and other catastrophic occurrences in their home land, it actually brings a tear into my eyes, but there has to be a point where helping Americans comes first before helping others. There must be a line that must not be crossed anymore. We Americans need to stop crossing that line and start taking care of our own. Americans first, then we can care for others, but until we get every American a job with a decent salary of their chosen profession, we are far from wining this battle. Because there are no jobs, congress thinks we as American citizens are as weak as sheep. If we cannot get jobs, then there’s no tax revenue and if there’s no revenue for the government to operate, then where will you politicians be? Do you think the government will be taxing the rich once the honest working class has lost every job in America? I hope you’re not kidding yourself?
To the republicans that are stonewalling the passing of the bill, “HR 5618”. You better wake up, because you’re going to have catastrophic turmoil on your hands simply because you bicker about where the money is coming from. It is clear Americans can see that you have hidden agendas. Better wake up and smell the coffee burning before it is too late. Good honest hard working American people will be forced to do things they’ll (and you republicans) regret.
My best friend texted message me today saying that he was changing parties, because he was so ashamed to admit he is a republican. I have been best friends with this guy for a very long time and I have been warning him for years about how the republicans play games. Thankfully, he has seen the light.
In closing, I have attempted to explain how hard it is to get a job, even with a degree and have tried to explain why it is so important for the congress to pass the HR 5618 bill and I have reflected back on what got us in this situation in the first place. I warn congress; there will be devastation, chaos, and good people doing unthinkable things and whatever else you can think of on an unprecedented level if something isn’t done soon. There must be something done, a shot in the arm – if you will, to get the economy going on, to get jobs in America, to build confidence in ourselves and this great nation.
Democrats, Republicans and liberals alike, stop your’ bickering, stop playing politics, stop surfacing your hidden agendas, and start caring, start building again, start working together, side by side, lay down your grievances towards each other. Let’s stand together to get America back on its feet so that we can stand proud again. Let other countries see what we can do, and then those other countries will follow suit. Can you see the domino effect here? You are well educated. Act like it! Stop being hard-headed and put your egos in check; put your pride in the closet and leave it there! You’ve got a job to do, get it done!
A reminder, elections are in November (this year). Do you want to keep your post? Americans are fed up with the political shenanigans in Washington. Political jobs will be lost in Washington if you don’t wake up and start taking care of Americans NOW! You were voted in office and you can certainly be voted out of office.
I’ve said my piece, now you sleep on it and when you wake up, you wake up with an attitude that you’re going to fix this mess we are in!
One Ticked Off Voter