Your Stories…Our Stories


Please, please, please find the time and courage to post your personal story and journey through these miserable times. We are the voice of reason and experience. We are being demonized and belittled. Tell your story here and then paste this website’s address on every forum, job board forum, social networking site and anywhere else you might know of to have our voices heard!

Comments
  1. Jtf says:

    I feel for all of you. My story in a nutshell: we are in our 30s. I worked as a high school teacher for 10 years, had a baby, and went back part-time. Fairly stable job, great benefits. My husband was a freelance motion graphic designer, after working many years for agencies and studios all over the country. We were in Detroit, where I was born and raised. As the economy imploded, husband was offered a partnership with a small studio in Los Angeles. He had done a lot of work for the owner, for big names, and business was booming. This seemed like an opportunity we couldn’t turn down. With Detroit crumbling around us, we packed up our home, and my one year old son, and headed West.

    When we arrived in LA, some of the details of the partnership weren’t worked out. For one, health benefits were promised, but then never came through, as the owner said he was going to stick to having his wife’s policy for now. So we had to pay for COBRA, which ate up 20% of our take home pay.

    Then payments from agencies stopped coming. And new projects didn’t materialize. Turns out the agencies were cutting back, too, and there was no work for the business.

    I had quit my job, lost tenure, vested pension, great benefits, an affordable home, friends, family, everything… For nothing.

    On the brink of financial ruin, my husband started working second, third jobs to pay the bills, while trying to hang onto this company. In the meantime, the business partner wouldn’t dip into his savings to save the company, nor would he apply for credit. Four months after we moved here, the business partner called it quits, as he landed an executive position at a network.

    We were left high n dry with nothing.

    I have found part-time teaching work, but no benefits. My husband has been busting ass to pay the bills, between our rent that costs 3x as much as our mortgage in Michigan, and our mortgage on the house we still own back there (upside down…lost about 50% of it’s value over the past 10 years), a joke of a health insurance plan (COBRA has run out), our renters don’t pay on time, two car payments, etc. We don’t sleep well anymore. Every month we bottom out to zero, and I don’t see a way out. And get this… I’m pregnant. Due in April.

    I hate it here. I hate the greed and selfishness of this city. I hate how we were invited….no, coaxed….out here to be kicked in the teeth with no apology, no remorse, just a swift kick. I feel like I’ve lost everything, most importantly, my sense of stability and ability to provide for my family. Everything is gone, and I am so scared.

  2. svp333 says:

    Friends, I do apologize for the long delay in posting, however I have been working on the new website for all of us to better express our talents, skills and experience. SKILLPITCH is my answer to the ever growing number of jobless, talented Americans desperately searching for a new or better career path.

    So many of us have been out of work for so long, it feels like we’ll never work again! Not to mention the frustrating daily or hourly task of submitting resumes time and again without hearing a word back from potential employers. Now we have a site to post our resumes and talents for employers to look through in many career categories. Please take advantage of the new site, sign up and put your best foot forward!

    I realize the site is new and will take a little time to build a great foundation, yet with your help, I’m confident that soon, employers will be bookmarking OUR new site to find the best talent and employees to fill their positions!

    And after all, what do you have to lose, right? Just add SKILLPITCH to your career-hunt toolbox and see where the future takes you! I wish you all the best!

    (Please note the website is still growing and will more than likely change format to better serve us as time goes by and numbers increase)

    Register and post TODAY!

    http://skillpitch.wordpress.com

  3. JC says:

    Hi Everyone,
    Thank you for this site. I am not as bad off as others. I grew up poor so I have always lived paycheck to paycheck and on a cash basis. I have no debt other than my vehicle at this time. And the monthly payment is $109.00. Of course this also means I have no savings for retirement. I accepted a long time ago that I would work until the day I died. I may not like this fact, but I accept it. I have always worked several jobs to support myself. Over the years I have had roommates at various times, but mostly have lived alone which is costly. I have always been able to keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach. I am a survivor.
    I am a 48yrs. old single woman. I have been unemployed since Sept.’09(about to run out of UI). I have no collage degree but built a career by working my way up the ladder in electronics manufacturing for the past 30yrs. Since my layoff I have come to realize that I can no longer do this type of work, it has taken a toll on both my mind and my body. I had to have surgery on my elbow over the summer. Still doing physical therapy. Not sure if I will ever get the full use and strength of my arm and hand again. I know that if I continue doing the same work it will only get worse over time. By the time of my layoff I was emotionally, mentally, and physically a wreak. When I was first laid off I was relieved to not have to deal with the stress everyday, it was literally so bad that I was taking anti-depressants to get through the day and sleeping pills to sleep at night. Never in my life had I taken pills. I did not like doing this. I have slowly come to realize that I may never work for another company again.
    So, after a year of searching for a job with no luck, I have decided to start my own business, I never considered this before. It will be run out of my home, this will enable me to live where I want to(VT), not have to. With my knowledge and experience of running an office, sales, customer service, purchasing, production, and shipping, I know I can run a successful business. Here is my plan. I will start a laser engraving business. I have done informal market research(have my first job lined up and do not even have the equipment yet) and believe this to be a viable option. The equipment I will purchase is a Epilog laser engraving machine. I have done the research and this seems to be the best equipment available at this time. Since I do not have the money to buy outright the plan is to raise the 20% down payment ($4000) and lease to own the balance (plan to pay off within 2yrs, no penalties for early pay off) from the Epilog recommended leasing company Geneva. Please check out their website (www.epiloglaser.com) to better understand the capabilities and possibilities of the equipment. Went to a private demo, and for the first time in years I am excited about my future! Seriously, up to this point in my life I have only been in survival mode, I want to start living.
    Since time is short, I cannot go the traditional route of going through the SBA or other financing methods, I have been able to arrange the use someone else Epilog to raise the money for the down payment. Just in time for the holiday season. I have to think outside the box to raise the money. Word of mouth is best advertising and no cost. I am open to suggestions. I want to help others also. If someone recommends a job to me I am willing to give a % of the sale to them. It may not be much. But it could be if there are several jobs or a high cost job. Once I have my own laser machine this could be on going for people. They could order for themselves to resell to others. There are many possibilities and I am open to discussing all. I cannot hire anyone at this time, but maybe I can help others who are worse off than me some how. It may not be much but every little bit helps.
    I bought a domain name and have hosting paid for few years (got a deal). I purchased the domain name earlier this year because I was working with someone else on building an online business. This has since fallen through. So the name I have does not fit my new business. I plan to get a new domain name and direct it to my website. I need help with the website. I have no knowledge of website design. And at this time I need to concentrate on raising my down payment. If someone can help set it up and teach me how to keep it updated I would be willing to work something out. Again, I am open to suggestions.
    I know that through the use of Craigslist, auctions, word of mouth, facebook, contacting local businesses and organizations, schools, booster clubs, etc. I will raise the money. I have even considered offering friends the chance to buy in by offering for say $100.00 (more is good) I would give them free laser work in the future. They would have to supply or have me buy the items they want engraved. But I would do the work for free. Just some ideas I have.
    I did not start out to write something this long. I will end now. I welcome any and all advice,suggestions, and help. Who knows what will happen, maybe a few of us here might end up creating something for ourselves. I do know that we have to help each other.
    I do not want to list my email for the world to see (hate spam). If someone wants to talk privately let me know when and how. I will keep looking for responses from this post.
    Thank you for reading my story.
    JC from CT

  4. benilaw says:

    Why is it that good news is ALWAYS followed by bad news? I should have seen it coming. The good news is that my student loan lender FINALLY processed my IBR request and it has been granted. Thus, I don’t have to pay the nearly 1k bill for Oct. That’s a relief because…the temp job that seemed so promising with an actual start date slated for Monday fell through. This time, I wasn’t rejected by the client. The client actually wanted me and apparently still wants me to work on other projects. As is my luck, the project got canceled because the case settled.

    I suppose I shouldn’t feel so crushed because I’m used to this and I know it’s the nature of my field. When cases settle, work ends. I’ve had that happen before. Only this time, this is two temp projects in a row that I’m about to start that ends up falling through. What gives? And while I’m certainly NOT relying solely on temp work through agencies to find work, it used to be a good way to earn money while trying to land a permanent job.

    I know this isn’t personal but even though I told myself not to get my hopes raised, my heart was really hopeful. I’m trying to figure out why EVERY door to an opportunity is being slammed in my face. Seriously, I’ve been rejected EVERYWHERE with only one lousy interview the year (well 2 – including my last employer). 99% of the time, I haven’t heard anything from the company so it’s a silent rejection. With my holidays coming up this month into November, I REALLY wanted a job. I just feel like crying. Why is God not listening to my pleas (almost daily and nightly)? I’m trying to figure out what’s the takeaway message in all this. I’m not meant to practice? I didn’t pass the NY Bar?

    At this point, I seriously question why I should make an effort into searching for work if all I’m going to get is NOTHING. I’m wasting away each day, losing my skills, losing time, and getting NOWHERE! This is why I apply for work, including contacting firms directly but don’t hold my breath. I’m just so disappointed and can’t handle spending another week at this process. :(
    Without a job, I can’t earn money. No money means I can’t get my car repaired. No car means I can’t go anywhere I want. Limited means of getting around means I can’t go out. If I can’t go out, I can’t meet people. If I can’t meet people, I can’t make new friends/find dates. It’s such a vicious cycle! And I find myself growing angrier and frustrated by the minute. Positive attitude? That went out the window months ago – though I still held onto it this morning. At least one of my prayers was answered! And I read every positive/inspirational/uplifting thing I can everyday. Go figure!

    I AM READY TO LOSE MY MIND!!!!!!! And while I know there are many people with problems worse than mine, I’m FED UP being the ONLY person among my family and friends who has NOTHING going on in life. Seriously, everyone else has a job, engaged/married/in a relationship, a house, and are starting families of their own. I am nowhere near any of this and feel like such an overeducated failure with two things: debt from school and 2 worthless pieces of paper (degree and license). Is it too much to ask for to have a job to support myself since every guy and their family always rejects me leaving me wondering if I’ll always be single?

    Thanks for letting me vent! I’m about ready to have a heart attack over this job search nightmare! I don’t think I can keep doing this much longer.

    • benilaw says:

      this turned out to be a premature vent. I’m happy to say that I do have a job starting tomorrow from that same client and same agency. Thanks for the support and good luck to all.

      • Julie Hicks says:

        I know how nerve racking it can be, waiting to find out if you’ve got a job – or not. It’s shocking to read about someone with their JD not being able to find a job. It just goes to show the extraordinary times we are living in. Hang in there – this can’t last forever, even though it feels like it when you’re in the midst of it. I’m positive that 10 years from now, and maybe only 5 years from now, this experience will be a distant memory. Unless you’re a drunk or drug addict, there’s no way someone with a JD can be unemployed forever. The possibilities are endless with a JD. Good luck – and hang in there.

  5. Julie Hicks says:

    I found this website via a post on MSNBC’s Newsvine. The stories here are heartbreaking. I myself have my own story to share. I have two college degrees and my career was dedicated to being a Business Systems Analyst (BSA). I am the sole financial provider for a family of four, including my husband, and will be 47 years old in December, 2010. The second half of the current decade was a slow, suffocating death of my career. I lost one job to offshoring, and the second one to a layoff, all within 3 years. By 2008, at the height of the recession when the economy was shedding 500,000+ jobs per month, I had been out of work for 10 months – it had never taken me more than 6 weeks to find a new job in the past. I was on my first extension of unemployment and there wasn’t a BSA job in sight.

    By month 8 I tossed pride and humility to the wind and started applying for any position that I thought I could do, regardless of whether or not I would be rejected for being overqualified (what a crock). My mortgage lender was actually working with me regarding my house, which I’ve owned for 15 years, and had plenty of equity to spare. I went 10 months without making a house payment. My lender simply rolled the past due payments back into the total balance of the house – that was a Godsend. We were collecting food stamps and doing a heck of a lot of praying. I was still struggling to pay all my bills, but was slowly falling further and further behind. I had been forced to file Bankruptcy in 2005 (won’t go into the details of why) and had worked very hard at re-establishing my credit history. All my hard work was slowly being eroded. So, despite my own financial suffering, I actually applied for a call center position – a Recovery Associate position – for a major credit card company. It absolutely was NOT what I wanted to do. I’ve always worked in the banking industry, and I had no appetite for collections. But, at the same time, I knew that collections was a growing area in this economy – and I had to get a full time job – fast.

    Much to my surprise, and dismay, I was contacted and given a telephone interview. The interview lasted about 15 minutes. About 20 minutes later I was contacted again and offered the position – at less than half of the salary that I had previously earned. To put that into perspective, the salary was the same amount of money I had earned in 1995. To put it into an even more disturbing perspective, the salary was only $3.00 more per hour than I had earned in the mid-80′s, before I had even completed my first college degree!! BUT – it paid about $300 more per month than what I was collecting in unemployment, the benefits were awesome and quite frankly unheard of today, and I could earn “incentive” pay on top of the salary, which had the potential of boosting my salary by at least $12,000 more per year. I quickly accepted the position and spent the rest of the day crying, knowing I had sold my soul to the devil. It was absolutely one of the worst days of my life. What had I done – I had found a full time position after 10 months of searching, and I would become the evil collector that I so hated.

    Today, 18 months later, I’ve managed to not only hang on to this job, but have managed to be farily successful at it. The only reason I’ve been able to “hang in” there is because my company demands that customers be treated with the utmost respect. We are not allowed to talk down to customers, berate them, belittle them, etc. I am the kindest collector you will ever speak with. I routinely set interest rates to 0% for customers whose accounts have charged off and are trying their very best to repay the debt. I accept any size payment. I get accounts set to “permanent hardship” whenever an account warrants that status, making payments voluntary and preventing collection efforts. I treat every customer the way I would want to be treated. I’ve lost an automobile in the past year – my first ever repo. I know EXACTLY how my customers feel, and I do everything in my power to help them reclaim their credit. It’s the only way I can do this work. I thank God everyday for giving me the courage to apply for the position and the strength to go on after I’ve spoken with an emotionally broken customer whose life has been turned upside down due to this economy. I’ve learned how to remain calm when I’m speaking with a crying customer, whereas at first I would be moved to tears myself. In some ways, it feels like I’ve actually found my calling in life because the position allows me to help people – and I get instant gratification everytime a customer thanks me for being kind and tells me I’m the nicest collector they’ve ever dealt with. That’s what keeps me going.

  6. missdisplaced says:

    I am fast approaching two years of unemployment (December 1st) and seriously am beginning to wonder if I will EVER get hired anywhere again. I have been working steadily since I was 14, but at 43 can’t figure out what the problem is (something wrong with me, or just a bad job market?) as I have never experienced anything this BAD before. To make matters worse, I finished my undergrad and am working on my masters degree in communications. I love being educated, but sometimes wonder what good it is all for if it acts as a detriment to being hired because I am now overqualified. Heck, I experience that now, and couldn’t even get a job at my local WalMart!

    Hugely Depressed. —Miss Displaced

    • benilaw says:

      yep – feel the same way and I also can’t get retail work…though I’ve tried! 2010 will go down as the worst year of my life replacing 2005 (year I was mugged). I’ve changed my resume many times, have multiple versions, have done many internships in my field, have cold-called employers, scored an interview by walking in one (and it was a good interview – 2 hrs long plus he discussed salary/benefits that same day – usually a good sign), responded to well over 100 job postings (job boards and firm websites), applied to TONS of part-time work-from-home positions such as legal research and writing, including companies I’ve never heard of, virtual assistant work, filling out surveys, even walked into the local drug store because I saw the “help wanted” sign.

      I think I’m down to two choices now: (1) move the job search out-of-region/country or (2) switch fields altogether. If it comes to it, I will sell my soul to the devil and work for an LPO and supervise the Indian attorneys who are taking away work from junior US licensed attorneys!

      Good luck to you – what field are you in? Consider yourself lucky that you’ve been able to work in your field. I’m trying to break into my field already!

  7. Ishmael says:

    I’m a 30-year Telecom Rat specializing in Broadband Network Operations. Over that time, I worked on everything from the Redisdential service lines leaving the house to the Fiberoptic, Microwave radio and Satellite links heading out of town. I am certified on virtually all of the high-end fiberoptic systems and received awards for my work keeping service working out of San Francisco in the immediate aftermath of the 89 Loma Prieta quake AND the 91 Northridge quake.

    I was laid off from my last job here in New Mexico in 11/06. At that time, I was making 42k/yr and had about 70k in savings. I had taken the job at half the salary I was getting in California so I would be able to afford to buy a house, which i did in late 2004. My wife is permanently disabled and legally blind due to the Interferon Treatment they put her on for the Hep C she contracted as a nurse. The treatment DIDN’T cure the disease but caused her brian to produce enzymes creating all sorts of new blood vessels in her eyes and brain where none were needed. These vessels aneuryzed on a still-conitnuing basis causing her blindness and hundreds of mini-strokes.

    Since my layoff, I have sent, Literally, thousands of resumes around the nation and have had a total of about 20 callbacks, 5 interviews and no jobs. I was lucky enough to pick up a Census job this year as my 99 weeks finally ran out, but that job is over and I now receive $149/week, down from $312/week before. the latter was enough, with my wife’s $475/mo SSD to make my mortgage payment. Now that I make the former, I can’t make the payment and my home went into foreclosure(3 months past due) yesterday. I have also tried to fall back on my secondary and tertiary skill sets in Semiconductor Manufacturing and Precision-guided weaponry as well to no avail. I even aplied for and didn’t get a job working for the Egyptian Navy. Yes, That’s Right. I couldn’t even get hired by the Frigging Egyptian Navy.

    So here I am today. I’m 56, my savings are gone. My wife is a bedridden invalid. When I DO get an interview and I tell them I have been my wife’s primary caregiver, their HR people run, screaming, from the room. This in a field where I can STILL cover my unemployment job searches just applying for jobs I totally qualify for and can, quite literally, walk in off the street and do the job. I got my first call back in over a year last week for a Network Operations Center Job I’ve done before for 5 years and am hoping against hope to hear back from them this coming week. If I DO get the job, I’ll go back to making 50k/yr, I can get my house out of hock and keep us going. My sister agreed to come out to care for my wife if I get it and I promised to give her 1/4 acre of my 1 1/4 acres for herself if that happens since she now lives in Section 8 housing in Vallejo, Ca. I’ll even make enough to be able to hire my Brother-in-law, who used to build adobe homes in Phoenix before the construction bottom fell out there, to build my Sis an adobe on the property.

    If I DON’T get this job, then I will be looking at the George Bailey Syndrome. That means I’m worth MORE Dead than Alive due to the fact that, If I die, my wife will get MY SSD of $1850/mo instead of $475.mo as well as another $360/mo from an old A.T.&T. pension I was vested in. That would at least give her enough of an income for her daughter to care for my wife in some semblance of dignity. I only know that I can’t properly care for an invalid wife if we’re BOTH homeless. Besides, what man worth his salt WOULDN’T sacrifice everything they have, including their life, for their True Love?

    In the meantime, I blog comment on various political boards, including huffpo, where I came across this humble site. I am also a featured writer/analyst at FBI Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds’ Investigative journalism website, Boiling Frogs Post at:

    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/

    but IT doesn’t pay any money either. I do it as part of my patriotic duty for my fellow countrymen. As a True Socialist, the one pleasure I still get from life is by hoisting Repuke ConArtists by their own petards. Whenever I see those idiots blaming victims like me and those here for the mess we ALL find themselves in I always write the following answer:

    “You know, you’re RIGHT. I’m falling back on my Precision-Guided and Nuclear Weaponry skills and taking that lucrative job offer from that shadowy Middle Eastern Group. I REALLY don’t WANT to. But, HEY! A job’s a JOB, RIght? Besides, THEY pay in Gold or diamonds. Of course, I reserve the right of Target Selection for myself. Now, WHERE DID you say you lived again?”

    • benilaw says:

      Wow! Your situation breaks my heart and at the same time, serves as a timely reminder to be grateful that things are NOT quite as bad for me. Thanks for giving me some perspective.

      You are obviously a loving husband and a good person. Surely, that will provide you with good karma and hopefully soon. You mentioned that your expertise is in the telecom industry. Would you be willing to relocate on the other side of the country? The telecom industry is actually one of the best industries in my state (NJ). You might have better luck here.

      You are worth MORE alive than dead because you’re able to do something and contribute to society. When you’re dead, you can’t do anything.

  8. SVP says:

    It’s been a challenging week for me, friends. I have been watching the time slip away as more and more resumes, CVs and submissions go unanswered. 18 months now and things haven’t changed…except for the calendar…and my outlook on the future. My anxiety level is spiking. I battle depression every day. This is, of course, situational depression. I am becoming so tired of the peaks and valleys.

    When one gets to the point where they begin to ask themselves, …’..well…is this it…is this all life is going to be from now on…a constant struggle?’…When you wonder what worth you have left. Has the world passed me by? I wonder if I’ll ever actually ‘work’ again. When finding a job is tantamount to winning the lottery, you begin to ask yourself these things. At least I do.

    I had always had a job. Never even thought about it. Now, finding a job has become like reality TV. I’m told now is the time to ‘reinvent’ myself. That sounds exciting and all, but what do I transform into? School is far too expensive to re-attend (downright impossible with no job….or home), and there is no guarantee that there will be a job waiting for you when you graduate. When you’re middle aged and haven’t figured out what you want to be when you grow up, you really can’t make too many mistakes on the journey of discovery. Every decision has to be the ‘right’ one…there is no time to screw up now. There are only so many more years left in my (our) lives. The clock is ticking ever louder.
    I hope all of you have had a better week than I did and have a wonderful weekend. Better days my friends…better days.

    • benilaw says:

      Very sorry to hear that things have gotten tougher. If you lost your job due to a layoff, you might be able to go back to school and retrain to “reinvent” yourself and have the education paid for by your state. I know that here in NJ, people who are on unemployment can enroll at community colleges for classes in areas of “demand” and the cost is covered by the state (I’m guessing current taxpayers?). I know when I took my paralegal classes at the community college, a few of my classmates were on unemployment and the classes were free for them. See if your state has a similar program. You might be able to get a waiver based on hardship as well through the institution. What field were you in? As a young person approaching 30, I’m using the recession (SO NOT OVER in my book!) as a lesson to find a way to gain skills/experience in multiple fields including mine. Right now, I’m focused on finding work as an attorney full-time (since that is why I spent 3.5 extra years in school plus got my license) and finding part-time positions on the side (legal research writing from home to keep those skills intact, virtual assistant work, PR/Marketing since I have always enjoyed that and seem to be good at it). I’m also using this time to become more proficient at MS Office, learn more tech skills, languages, and play “catch up” with math. Now might be the time to really learn the math I never learned in school and master it once and for all. I’ve applied to firms, gov’t, insurance companies, banks, even retail. I’ve applied for attorney positions, claims adjuster positions, paralegal positions, retail, legal recuiter positions, temp work, etc.

      I totally get the depression….it’s been REALLY bad this year and I’ve NEVER felt quite so down in my life. Yeah, I have much to be proud of because of my education and being the first in my family to have a professional degree and license. But I feel like a failure instead because I’m NOT using my degree or my license. Even knowing that the market in my state is really bad for my field is no source of comfort. I’ve been told that I should qualify for IBR for my student loan payment but when I saw the bill last week and realized that so far I have NOT been granted this, I absolutely panicked. The monthly amount without IBR is close to 1k. My parents are already helping me pay for the private loans (luckily that is a small amount per month). I don’t want them to pay the federal loans as well (the near 1k is federal and private combined) but I also don’t want to keep taking deferments. The interest will completely compound then. I WANT TO PAY OFF MY LOANS MYSELF! I want to be responsible with these loans. But I’m starting to think I might have to play the lottery and win in order to pay them off.

  9. SVP333 says:

    Hello everyone. I wanted to take a suggestion from one of our posters here (benilaw) and give it a whirl. Listed just under the DONATION button on the left side of your screen, you should now see an option to CHAT with one another. This is a new program that remains untested on our website, so if there are issues with using it, please bring it to my attention immediately.

    Please use this new feature responsibly. Any attempts at posting inappropriate material, flaming, posting of SPAM or the like cannot be tolerated.

    Use this feature to communicate with one another in real time should you have information to pass along or just need an outlet to chat about the recession, jobs, potential ideas, or even offers or networking contacts.

    Thanks all and good luck!

  10. Chrys R. says:

    You are a mind reader. Today, I went through the most traumatic of experience of my life. I’ve been out of work for nearlt a year. The feelings of depression and worry have been building for awhile. I’m not a strong person. Today I had feelings that I wasn’t worthit anymore. I’ll say what no one else will. I wnted to take my life. Until I came here on the advice of somone at Huffinton Post.
    I felt like no one understood. Like no one cared. until I came here.
    I stopped what I was thinking and started to think about other things. I still feel like a looser, but I won’t give up. Not now.
    All of you have helped me see another path and I want to thank God for you and for svp333.
    I was so far down. I just wanted out and have no one to turn to except online friends. I felt for a minute svp333 could read my mind and knew how low I had falen. I will talk to someone tomorrow and begin to stand on my own 2 feet again. I am scared and feel I have no future.
    Maybe tomorrow I will find a way to start life over.
    God bless you, svp333. You saved my life with your words.

    • benilaw says:

      wow! Glad to know I’m not the only one for whom this post was rather timely. You might want to check out Jason Alba’s Jibber Jobber blog. There is an excellent post on Job seekers and Depression.

      Let’s make the decision that the only statistic we will all be included in is the gainfully employed NOT of those who take their own life due to the economy, which is sadly on the rise. Don’t be part of that statistic!

  11. Marisa says:

    My story is a little different in that I lost my job in Sept 2007, for cause, so I had a front row seat for the financial meltdown and can attest to the fact that the economy – at least the job market – crashed, literally, overnight. So, here is my story:

    Between 2005 and 2007, my income went from $45K to over $52K. At the same time, I was having a harder and harder time paying the bills, despite cutting out every luxury – from Starbucks visits to the newspaper. The biggest reason for my troubles was the death of my father in Jan 2006. We had shared a house and expenses so after his passing, I had to cover rent, etc., on my own. You would think, even in the SF Bay Area, that $50K/yr would be enough for a single person but it wasn’t. The financial issues just made the unexpected emotional issues I was having, dealing with my dad’s passing, even worse. I had a fairly flexible schedule, working as the A/R Administrator for a large recruiting company, and even though I was putting in 8 to 9 hours of work, I was starting my day later and later (it was just very difficult to get out of bed every day) and they got tired of it and fired me. In 5 days it will be exactly 3 years.

    After I was fired, I realized my issues were related to my dad and decided I would delay the hunt for a new job until after the 1st of the year, so I could resolve the issues. The job market literally disappeared between Xmas 2007 and New Year’s Day 2008. Since Jan 2008 and now, I have sent out hundreds of resumes, had 10s of interviews and still don’t have a full time job.

    I have a BS in Business Administration and one in Restaurant Management. I have 4 years experience as an Office Manager/Executive Assistant and almost 3 years in Accounts Receivable. I can do bookkeeping, computer troubleshooting, database management and more. I give great phone and am an exemplary customer service rep. I learn new things very quickly, take initiative and need minimal guidance to get the job, whatever it is, done. (That is just the most recent experience. I have years of work experience in the food service industry, management experience, etc.) There is little within an office environment that I cannot do, whether or not I have done it in the past. Almost every position I have left has had to restructure their organization or hire 2 people to replace me.

    For the last 3 years, I’ve gotten by with a part time work-from-home job (hours have dropped from >20/wk to barely 2/wk) and unemployment. My UI went from $450/wk the first 2 years to $82/wk this past year – minus any earnings, of course! – and I expect it to drop to nothing when my new benefit year starts in October. I was kicked out of the house my dad and I had rented for over 10 years, defaulted on my credit cards and both state and federal taxes. My car registration is expired and until I can afford insurance will remain so.

    At 49 years of age, I have embarked on a new career as an escort – yes, basically a prostitute, just not out walking the streets. Luckily, I have the looks and figure for it, no husband or kids and a liberal enough morality for the job. Would I prefer a “real” job? Heck, yes! I still send out resumes almost every day. At the same time, I am bringing the same business expertise to my new “job” that I bring to every job. I am in the process of positioning myself as a higher end escort using standard business techniques.

    The current crisis is the culmination of a 30 year attack on the middle and lower income classes by the Republicans and their wealthy supporters. They have not been secretive about it but they have used fear and wedge issues to distract people. There are solutions to the systemic problems; we can “take our government back”. I will share my ideas in a later post, as I think this one is long enough.

    SVP – thank you for putting up this site and for your comments on Huffington Post. I offer this link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2010%2F09%2F11%2FINH31F68GB.DTL

    The article does an objective comparison of the 2 parties – not the ideology or rhetoric, but the facts and statistics supporting the facts. Right now, the people cannot even agree on what has caused the problems we are experiencing because of misinformation and the failure of the mainstream media to report on the facts. It’s my opinion that the gap between Republican talking points and actual achievements makes the Grand Canyon look like a sidewalk crack but I would love to see numbers that back their assertions that tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs. I would love to see the GOP produce ANY evidence their policies work but I’ve been asking for proof for 30 years and still haven’t seen any so I am not holding my breath.

  12. Barbara says:

    I am going to make a long-term suggestion-I know this won’t apply for some of you. Even though I am employed. I don’t trust what is happening in the country so I am applying for residency in Canada- first I am applying for a visa. They especially need people in the trades, and the medical fields. A few months back they put out a call for 5,000 plumbers and pipefitters. If you have some type of skill, look into Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The corporations own this country and it will only get worse with the recent Supreme Court ruling giving corporations the right to give as much as they want to any political candidate. Time to think big and think way outside the box. Besides, Canada has a way better national anthem than we do! And free health care.

  13. Joy says:

    Hi there…I came across this blog as I was reading the Huffington Post. I am very, very fortunate to be gainfully employed right now, but in reading your stories, my heart just broke. I feel so much empathy for you because I was laid off back in ’03 after 9/11 had devastated the economy. I don’t know if you remember back then, but the financial services sector and many others were badly hit and many of us were laid off. I figured I’d get a job in no time…and that SO didn’t happen. After 4 months or so of being laid off, I decided to go back to school for a masters cert in Java & J2EE programming. Of course, we were all lead to believe that the future was in programming and that the jobs would be plentiful after we finished the cert…har har har. It was now 8 months of unemployment, and no job in sight.

    What ended up happening is that my aunt passed away. My father encouraged me to stay home instead of travelling to my hometown to attend the funeral, but I always had warm memories of that aunt, so I attended, and I gave the eulogy. Turned out that the man who hired me at my current company is best friends with my aunt’s grandson!

    I remember how completely devastated I was when I was laid off. I took it more personally than professionally…that I wasn’t good enough. And as my naivete met with the harsh realities of a job search during a recession, my self esteem took a hit, anxiety rose…I didn’t even want to live.

    It took the constant encouragement from my parents to get me through that trial. They constantly encouraged me to pray, to believe in myself and my abilities, and to just have faith that this trial will pass and I will come out on top.

    Now, the catch to that employment opportunity is that it’s in a different city and state than the one in which I resided at the time. I ended up having to commute 2 hours each way for 3 months before I found a place…but I made it. I miss my old town and being close to my friends and family…but oh well…it’s better to be employed.

    I don’t say all this to try to “flaunt” anything to you guys, I’m saying it because when I was in the depths of jobless hell, I could never have imagined that at one point, things would turn around and that I really would come out on top. Things are different, sacrifices had to be made…but I have a roof over my head and food in my belly and in the end, that’s what matters.

    By the way, I can’t imagine what kind of sick disgusting person would ever call any of you “lazy”. I can’t imagine that there’s anyone in America who if they haven’t been laid off during the jobpocalypse, they know someone who was, and they know that people lost their jobs and can’t find jobs through no fault of their own. People like that have no compassion, no depth of character, no soul. If anything, I encourage you to pity them, because they lead an empty existance.

    Since finding my new job, I was determined to not get laid off again. My approach has been actually to NOT make a niche for myself…it’s about having breadth of knowledge as opposed to depth, because that makes you versatile. As business needs change, business needs people who are able to perform a variety of functions. It’s about building bridges and collecting friends anywhere you go, and certainly don’t be obnoxious about it, but leave no stone unturned when it comes to networking. You never know if the mailman’s grocer’s son’s teacher’s husband will be the one to hire you. It’s about sending out positive energy into the world no matter how desperate you feel, and if you believe in a higher power, believe that that power WILL see you through this trial and that you WILL be ok. Again, not trying to “flaunt” anything…just telling you what happened to me and what I had to do to get out of that bad situation and to come out of it on top.

    Prepare yourself for life to not ever return to “normal” again. My life never did return to “normal”…I left my friends and family, and now have to travel a ways to see them. I don’t have much in the way of friends in this area…and honestly, I don’t care for this area like I cared for my old town. But I am employed…God be praised…and that’s what matters.

    So I just want to extend my very best wishes to all of you…and I pray that God will give you blessings and comfort during this trial, and the faith to believe that He will see you through.

    • SVP says:

      Joy, thanks so much for stopping by and posting. I can relate to being isolated in an area I’m not familiar with. I am now trapped financially in a rural, backwater of Tennessee. No jobs, no chance to escape. My anxiety level is unreal.
      And, you’re correct in saying that things will never be the same again in this country. That’s why I put this site together to gather stories and misery and let everyone just talk. Sometimes, just talking is so important. I’m all alone, so talking to people is so helpful to me, personally.
      Better days ahead, …better days.

  14. lilyb123 says:

    Thanks for this website, which I only recently discovered (or had reason to). For what it’s worth, here’s my story: After years of plugging away at our jobs, my husband and I had the opportunity to jump to a start-up business where we would at least be adequately compensated for our skills. We uprooted ourselves from family and friends and relocated in order to pursue what we thought would be a better life. (Incidentally, the company for which my husband had worked for 21 years closed very shortly after he left, so he would have been jobless had he not made the decision to leave beforehand.) Long story short: the start-up was hobbled from the outset by the credit meltdown, which occurred just as the company was getting on its feet. After three years of struggling, they went under and my husband and I were left unemployed and living in an area where we had no social network or support group. For a solid year, both of us spent almost all our time job-searching and squeaking by on our unemployment benefits. I sent out close to 175 resumes and had NOT ONE response. Nor did my husband. Finally, a tip from a friend in the same line of work (bookselling) lead me to apply for a job in another state. I was promptly hired, we moved once again, even farther from “home,” and while I was earning less than in my previous position and had very expensive and fairly useless health coverage, still I had a job and was ecstatic to be working again, even though we were living pretty close to the bone. My husband continued to search, but with no luck. He has now been unemployed for two years. Two weeks ago, my employer – who is panicking over the business’s falling sales (this was a mega-successful business for 20 years, but is now being starkly affected by the dismal economy) decided that one way to slash expenses and “reorganize” would be to cut my position. So: here we are, my husband’s benefits run out in three weeks and we certainly can’t afford to live on whatever unemployment I will receive. After being hardworking, reliable and diligent employees for almost 40 years, we now have to move back to our home state, put a lifetime’s worth of belongings into storage that I don’t know how we’ll pay for, and move in with kind and caring relatives, hoping against hope that one or both of us will find a job that will enable us to live independently once more. Although we take very good care of ourselves and are much more youthful than our chronological ages, we are certainly approaching a time in our lives when it would not be unreasonable to expect that one or both of us will require medical care of some sort. That’s out of the question, as of course we will have no health insurance or savings from which to draw. I am a cancer survivors who requires yearly bloodwork to detect a recurrence (unlikely, but it would be unwise to assume it’s impossible), but we simply don’t have the money to pay for lab work and a doctor’s fee.
    I realize others have it so much worse. At least we will have a roof over our heads and food to eat. When I reflect on that, I feel guilty about feeling sorry for myself. But let me just say: this is Bad Enough. I look around me and I still can’t believe what America has devolved to.
    Anyway, thanks for making this place for us to share stories. It helps in some way to know that we are not an anomaly. Thank you to everyone who has posted his or her story here.

  15. Benita says:

    One more thing:
    Is it just me or is the new trend for employers to not even take a second to send form rejection emails???? I’ve applied to well over 100 positions and RARELY hear from them even after doing follow-up email/phone calls. A few years ago, I at least received rejection emails!

    I’m sorry but if the HR department can send form “thank you for submitting resume” or “we received your resume” emails, they can certainly create form automatic rejection emails! It’s beyond rude after all the time some of us put in to crafting tailored resumes and cover letters as well as doing follow-up emails and phone calls. I could care less that they get inundated with resumes…what do they expect when posting on job boards and the unemployment rate being as high as it is??? This has really become my pet peeve!

    Any suggestions on getting through someone when you respond to postings with anonymized emails?

    • svp333 says:

      Benita,
      I have someone asking to get in contact with you on a professional matter. If you’d like to go to the top left of the page and email me your email address, I’d be pleased to get the 2 of you together.

      • benilaw says:

        Hi,
        I sent an email providing my email address in response to this post. I’m definitely intrigued and hope something good is in store for me! Thanks for reaching out. Also, check out my latest idea in the “share your ideas” section. I think it’s a natural progression for this blog.

        • benilaw says:

          sorry – I should have pointed out that I changed my “screen name” rather than posting with my name. Sorry for any confusion.
          Benita

  16. Benita says:

    My story:
    I’m one of MANY 2009 law grads without a job. If I had a crystal ball that would have told me that I would graduate during a terrible job market, I probably would not have gone to law school. By the way, I knew that the salary statistic of 160k was inflated and unrealistic. I’d be fine working for 40 – 50k positions and indeed I did work one such position. I ended up leaving that job because I realized my boss needed someone with more experience and we were both frustrated. Plus, the commute was tough since I can’t drive long distance like 1 hr at night.

    Prior to going to law school, I worked as a paralegal to get experience and earn some money. I got great substantive litigation experience and at that point, recruiters were constantly calling me. One even wrote to me while I was in law school and we kept in touch.

    Now, I’m “overqualified” for anything but attorney jobs (I am licensed) and “underqualified” as an attorney because I’m entry-level and there are TONS of laid-off experienced attorneys in my area. Gone are the days of employers vesting time in training employees. It’s such an employers’ market right now that I fear entry-level fresh grads/licensed professionals in every sector won’t get a chance to start our careers.

    I suppose I should be thankful that I can live at home so I’m not homeless and that my debt is NOT over 200k like one of my friends. Is it wrong for me to want my life to progress in some way so that when I turn 30 in just 6 months, I have a reason to look forward to entering a new decade of my life? It makes me so sad that I really don’t value material possessions and that all I really want is a stable job to help me support myself and meet my financial obligations (i.e. student loans) and be able to meet people, date, eventually fall in love and get married. All intangible things that really only God can provide me…and His timetable for my life is beyond slow!

    The tougher challenge for me is that I have hidden vision issues so I don’t have the luxury of working anywhere…not when it’s next to impossible to drive at night and now it’s getting dark much earlier. As an attorney who has a background in labor/employment matters, I am very well aware that commuting to work can be deemed an “essential function” of a job per the ADA. Thus, I’m always paranoid about making sure that wherever I work, there is an alternative way of commuting (i.e. take the train) especially if I ever get stuck wearing glasses (can’t drive with those at all). Plus, after a bad experience at my first job, I’m trying to avoid anyone in the future ever finding out about this issue (these days, it wouldn’t affect my work performance at all) and make this a basis for subtle discrimination. It’s so sad that despite anti-discrimination laws, these things still happen.

    I’m fortunate that I even got an education – past high school to begin with. Just how is someone supposed to learn when they can’t see what’s written on a chalkboard? That’s why I’m terrible in math and could not pursue those math, science, engineering careers that seem to be in demand right now. Science was great until physics.

    I just wish I could relocate…but without a job lined up, it’s not practical. And as an attorney…I can’t get such a job in a new state unless it’s with the federal government without taking the Bar again. Such a pain. Besides, I can’t think of many states outside of mine that has state-wide public transportation. Most states only have limited train service/bus service outside of cities. Mine has train service all over the state except rural northern and rural southern counties.

    I’m grateful for my education and to have my professional license…just want to put it to use already! Plus, I want to make a dent on the loans already.

    • ALP says:

      Hello Benita:

      I am not sure this will help, but here goes…

      I was laid off from my job after working as an immigration paralegal for 10 years, so I know a bit about the paralegal market, at least in Seattle. I don’t know where you are in the US, but in Seattle, I could have a job in no time if I had litigation experience. In fact, I think an experienced paralegal is in more demand than an attorney – one of the legal headhunters I was working with would contact me every few months, in desperation, asking me if I knew ANYONE with litigation experience (paralegals, that is). Could you, or would you consider doing paralegal work just to get some income? You note that you would be fine with a salary in the 50-60K range – that’s what experienced paralegals make in Seattle! Your Mileage May Vary and all that. Not being an attorney, I’m not sure what doing paralegal work will do to your future prospects as an attorney, but it can’t be any worse than what would happen if you did document review! I’ve never done document review, but it looks FAR more tedious and mind-numbing than paralegal work.

      • Benita says:

        Hello Alp:
        Thanks for your response. I’d definitely be willing to work as a paralegal again and in fact have applied to many such jobs. The problem is that Esq/JD is on my resume and the concern everyone has is that I will jump ship the minute an associate position opens up – this despite the fact that I address this concern in EVERY cover letter for paralegal jobs. I’m registered with many agencies and have made it clear that I’m willing to work as a paralegal.
        I’m on the east coast – NYC metropolitan area where the market has been absolutely battered and it’s too over-saturated. I would love to relocate! However, since I have my license I still have to pay for and attend CLEs to stay in good standing. So it’s not that easy to just move to another part of the country.

        Document review is VERY tedious from what I hear and boring…but very good pay as well.

        • ALP says:

          Oh god, you are in the NYC market? Say no more – I know the legal market is REALLY bad in the major cities – there is probably much more of a “boom” and more bloat in those huge, big city firms. Hence, they fell a lot harder!

          I have only worked in Seattle, but lawyers from other areas say there are some pretty significant regional differences throughout the US with regards to law firms. I guess we just need more litigation folks here in the Pacific NW!

          I hope you keep at it and hope you find something soon. I have friends that were former co-paralegals that went to law school and recently graduated – I hear their stories and know its tough.

          Immigration is not a bad area to get into, so if you get a chance to do that kind of work – give it a look. The hours tend to be more “normal” and most work is on a flat fee – the first firm I worked for didn’t even keep track of billable hours, just how long it took to do certain petitions.

          Best of luck and I’m rooting for you!

          • benilaw says:

            Thanks. I’m very tempted to move now…especially since Washington doesn’t have the dreaded MBE!
            I’d love to get into immigration since it’s federal law (hence, you can practice anywhere). Have you noticed that it’s tough to move from one practice area to another? I seem to be boxed in to mass tort, which is why I took on multiple internships to get labor/employment experience since that’s the area I really want to get into.
            (and yes I changed my name but it’s still me).

            • ALP says:

              Oh yes, it is very tough to switch areas. I have found law firms are loathe to train ANYBODY. A few out there have the philosophy that they want to train their staff (paralegal and attorney alike) from a “blank slate” in “their way” of working – those types are more likely to train.

              I would imagine there is a ton of pro bono immigration work out there – maybe if you got some of that under your belt, that would help? It also seems to be an area where lawyers break out on their own more often – but that might be a wild guess on my part.

      • Pat Hoekstra says:

        There is no rule against deflating your resume, but plumping it up is a no-no. In your case, keep a “dumbed down” resume that does not include the law degree to use for paralegal applications.

        Also, couldn’t you start doing pro bono work to fill the work gap and possibly get some more depth wrt your experience?

        • benilaw says:

          hi,
          Thanks for the suggestions. In my state at least, you can’t even do pro bono/public defender work without having a “bona fide office.” This means that you either must work for a firm/gov’t OR rent office space to set up your own practice. Interestingly, upon having the bona fide office, THEN you can have a “virtual office” (i.e. rent space on as-needed basis). Thus, after confirming that rules have slightly changed, I’m in the process of establishing a home-based office (I won’t actually meet clients there but there is a desk, place for files, phone, etc.) so I have the bona fide office. Then, I can finally establish an LLC and get on the public defender list. This can lead to some criminal law work (really not my thing but it’s a start) and hopefully immigration and other “transactional” work. Hopefully, then I can also gain experience in family law through the public defender’s office and learn about that stuff as well.

          As far as my resume goes…I have one version for attorney positions (thus, bar admission stuff is included) and one for paralegal positions (can’t take out law school b/c otherwise there is a 3-year gap and due to the Bar, can’t lie on a job application about my education – it’s an actual ethics violation plus background check will reveal it). Unfortunately, “functional” resumes are not generally acceptable in the legal field. They really want to see the traditional chronological resume.

  17. SVP says:

    I wanted to take a moment out of this constant struggle for work, hope and purpose to remind some of us of a few things…things we find difficult to consider during these rough times. With so much on our minds today that seems like a head full of bees and chaos, I wanted to ask you to take a moment to read what I’ve written here and give it some thought. I’m not a self-help kook, but I think all of us need a brief reminder of who we are every so often. So often we are branded and defined by our careers and material worth that we fail to reflect on who we ARE or were…and could be again.

    The headline I use here is a line from a Roxy Music song titled, “If There Is Something”. The song is a stroll down a man’s memory lane of love, loss and reflection. The man recalls his youth when, “the trees were taller, the grass greener, the hills higher…when we were young.”

    I think at some point, all of us reflect on our past and see missed opportunities, open doors we didn’t walk through and perhaps regrets aplenty. Yet, we can conjure up in our minds moments of sheer ecstasy, bliss and contentment. If we take a moment out of our dizzying lives, we can get comfortable in a quiet place, close our eyes and wash away the buzzing static of our minds and bring forth the faces of lost loves, moments of deep pride and self worth and visions of a time when life was deep and rich with lush sweetness. Your first kiss, the moment you proposed to your spouse…the warm breeze on your face when you looked out at life with passion and eager hope. Or felt the cool, autumn winds through your hair at the Friday night football game…reaching out for the hand of your date. Breathe deeply and think of the first song that caught you, …moved you. When was the last time you heard that song? All of these moments, these gifts we hold buried within us that wait patiently, deep in our minds for us to revisit, serve to breathe hope back into us today. They are a touchstone to our humanity in world gone haywire. We can all make a withdrawal from this vault of power if we take the time. Use the joy, nostalgia, pain, hope and ambition held therein to re-energize ourselves for the fight ahead. Your life before now MEANT something. If not just to you, but to those faces before you in your mind…in your past. Imagine those faces right now, sitting quietly remembering times with YOU. You have value…you changed the world around you as the calender pages flipped past. Take these memories, those faces, and that power and stand strong again. In these tough times, take that yester-you breeze and breathe life back into you now. Redouble your resolve, take no prisoners and never take ‘no’ for an answer. You’re still in there. Close your eyes…focus..and come out fighting. I believe in you…and your yester-you is waiting for you to believe again.

  18. Benita says:

    Hello all:
    I’ve read a lot of stories and wow, I hate to say it – but it makes me feel a little better about my own situation.

    Since so many people have lost unemployment/don’t qualify for that or SSI, SSDI, welfare, etc., I thought of starting a post on frugality and see if we can all find ways of cutting down costs for each other.

    Here is my list:
    For books – go to the library (I’m on goodreads.com and when I find books I want to read, I make a list and hunt it down at the library – gone are the days of barnes & noble).

    Grocery shopping -coupons – tons of websites where you can find coupons and maybe trade with friends & family. When I lived alone as a student, I seriously made meals out of whatever was on sale for the week. I could survive on $20 or less per week plus I cooked in bulk to avoid eating out.

    Travel – look for discounts (i.e. Triple A, College Alumni Assocation, professional association) and try to find groups of people to travel with to get a group discount

    Clothes – thrift stores and also swap with friends and family (during college, my class held a “rags to riches” event which drew a decent turnout)

    Movies – instead of paying $ 9-10 bucks or waiting for DVD to come out, why not go on a Sunday and catch the $2 matinee? You’ll be with the senior citizens but so what?

    Restaurants – try to eat out sparingly but when you do, go out during special promotions and deals (again you might find coupons and check out the Entertainment book in your area for deals).

    Transporation – get rid of the excess cars! Form carpools or better yet, if available, take public transportation (trains, busses) whenever possible. It’s more green anyway. If it’s a short distance, try walking (poor person’s best exercise since it’s free).

    Gym memberships – sign up ONLY if you really will utilize your membership. It can be expensive. Otherwise, invest in some inexpensive equipment such as 3 lb free weights). Go for a daily walk/jog.

    Materialistic consumption – DO NOT buy right away. If you really can’t live without it, HAVE A PLAN for paying for it (i.e. rework your budget), shop around to compare prices, wait for sales, etc. If you head to the mall to windowshop DO NOT carry the plastic – leave debit/credit cards alone. This will lessen the likelihood of impulsive buying. Also eat before going out to avoid buying expensive junky fast food.

    How do these suggestions sound? Post with your own suggestions on how to live frugally and still have a life!

    • Benita says:

      meant to write “transportation.”

      Also – gifts – either giftcards (I’m a huge fan of these) or why not shop throughout the year during the major sales? Where is the rule that Christmas gifts must be bought in Nov. or Dec? If there is a good deal during Easter, Memorial Day, 4th July, Labor Day, why not buy gifts at that time? You’ll finish early and avoid the last-minute impulse buying and stress. Have a list ready of people you want/need to buy gifts for and keep an eye out for things they could use/like throughout the year. This will save time and money!

      • svp333 says:

        Great stuff, Benita. You’re a shining light here with those suggestions! I am so glad you came! I would like to spotlight this article to everyone and hope we can all Tweet and share this every way possible.

        • Benita says:

          Thank you! Feel free to do just that.
          Let me clarify one thing though…I am NOT completely anti-commercialization/retail. I DO realize these are businesses with employees who need customers in order to keep their jobs. I just think that especially for those of us who are without a job at the moment, we need to find ways to live a decent life without getting sucked into spending money that we don’t have coming in. Life on credit is simply a lie. There are many ways to cut costs, still have fun and meet financial obligations (mortgage/rent, car payment, insurance, student loans – the latter being my bane of existence) without getting sucked into giving up what little money we have in our pockets to the very companies that are NOT hiring Americans. Why should we support companies/buy their cheap products when they outsource or hire more H-1B people than our own citizens (including green card holding LPRs)?

          If people shop at all and buy impulsively, I would urge them to support your local businesses – forget the megachains that support foreign labor more. Show patronage to your local small business (the farmer’s market, drug store, etc.). Supporting local businesses who tend to hire people within the community strengthens the local economy.

          Also other frugal ideas include growing your own vegetables (start a garden), take advantage of free DIY classes at Home Depot and Lowes to learn simple home repair projects, take classes online (there are TONS of free courses), check out museum/galleries’ free/reduced-price admission days.

  19. patricia says:

    my story is not nearly as dire as many but it is still upsetting to us..
    my husband at 44 went back to school because in looking ahead we worried about enough money to sustain us into old age. we thought we were being prudent! he is now 60 and i am 67, thankfully we are still healthy i hope.
    we were discriminated against when finished for being too old. because we were desperate with new student loans we ended up over seas and cannot go home again. we have no retirement other than 15 years in a soon to be lost state system. our meager 401 k are gone because of the stock market and we still owe much in student loans. it costs us dearly to live here so nothing left to put away. we made the mistake of believing in the american dream,you know, work hard and all that..
    i have been amazed at how things continue to go from bad to worse in america and then happened across a book that explained why we are headed in this direction. many say this is conspiracy theory but not anymore,what is in print has been well documented over these last few years..naomi klein,Shock Doctrine explains it all. the talking heads can discuss and everyone can speak out that supposedly knows but this book is the bottom line for information,no more needs to be said..sad but true and we all need to be informed and prepared to fight the big fight.

    • SVP says:

      Patricia, I think you offer a rare insight into what many Americans consider a ‘last resort’ …moving abroad. I don’t know the circumstances of you and your husband’s move, but many here in the states no longer feel obligated to stay dedicated to this nation. Yet, as you point out, the entire globe has been affected by this recession and many countries are suffering as much as America.
      I am astounded that you are ‘trapped’ overseas. I can’t imagine what that must feel like. Although, many of us feel trapped right here. Today, we are not trapped by borders or laws, we are trapped by the machine that has been put in place to bring about a new world change. The corporations have infected every aspect of our lives and governments. They will not stop until the globe consists of the very wealthy and the very poor. Then the plutocracy will be in place. This is not a war we can win, even though we citizens outnumber them 100,000 to 1. The best we can hope for now is a coming together of all of us to help one another live out our days as unaffected by the infected system as we can. This is the ‘big fight’ we can fight. Much respect.
      Let everyone know of this site so we can build our numbers and circle the wagons.

  20. Patricia says:

    I lost my job in 2007 due to a disability. I worked in a hospital burn unit. I went out on Short Term Disability at 80% of my income in 7/06 for a spinal surgery ( spinal fusion at L-3, L-4,L-5) that ultimatly failed. Then 12/06 had my gull bladder removed. Jan/07 my STD ended & the hospital I worked for terminated my medical insurance. I then got Long Term Disability at 50% of my income and approx 30% of that went towards my medication & monthly doctor visits. April/08 I was admitted through the ER for an emergency surgery. One of the disk in my lower lumbar blew out causing unbarable pain and some paralysis. This surgery was 6.5 hours long, deconstructing the first surgery and extending the fusion to S-1. Three days in ICU, two days in Sur. step down, 10 days on Rehab Unit. One year recovery period. June/09 Unium Provedent, my LTD carrior decided that I was able to go back to work contrary to what my doctor say. Plus I am on Morphine Sulfate 2 X a day with Percocet for breakthrough pain & I am not suppose to life more than 5 pounds. I am 55 years old, worked in Health Care all my life. No one is going to employ anyone who is on Morphine Sulfate & Oxycodone for chronic pain & physical limitations. So I applied for Welfare. I received $200.00 per month in Food Stamps & $200.00 a month in cash plus Medicaide. I asked my case worker: ‘Could you recomend a bridge where I can drag my refriderator box under because there is no apartment in the US that can be leased for $200.00 a month not to mention heat, electriciy, water”. I got a blank stare from him. After six months I was approved for SSI. I now receive $449.00 a month in cash & $126.00 a month in food Stamps. I would rather work but in this economic climate no one would ever hire me. My age is against me, my medical history is against me. This country treats the elderly, the disabled & the poor like garbage. The only way we are going to survive is to pull together and help each other. Learn the joys of living a simpler life. Thank you for this website.

    • SVP says:

      Patricia, I’m so thankful for your story. I know it’s such a pain to try and tell your own story without being brow-beaten and ridiculed by so many others on OTHER forums. We all do need to reach out for one another as soon as possible and as many as possible. The hoops you’ve had to jump through just to survive is amazing. And yes, the system is NOT working in our favor and there are those in power that wish to see many of these social programs cut. Then what?
      I offer you a metaphorical, collective hug from all of us. A simpler life IS the key to breaking away from this broken system that has destroyed us.
      I invite everyone here to visit Patricia’s blog and see if there are some ideas you can use, too. And, Patricia, …if you can spread the word about this site, I would be more than grateful and together we can stand as a strong voice!

  21. mary says:

    oops, one more thing I meant to say….with a system that treats us like garbage or dead beats, why would we want to stay in it? I don’t. I am slowly, but surely cutting my ties to it.

    • svp333 says:

      Mary,

      I’m sorry that it’s difficult for you to type. I that times are tough right now, but there is a program called Dragon Naturally Speaking that allows you to use a microphone to enter text as it is a speech recognition program and very easy to use. I just checked on Ebay and there are many available for under $50US. I know that’s a lot, but it might pay for itself in the long run and help to ease your discomfort.

      I certainly understand and agree with your post. The system seems to shrugging its shoulders to our plight. No one seems to have any answers, unless, of course, this IS their answer. Thin out the ‘deadwood’ middle class and hoard all of the revenue. They have divorced us and we all need to get on with the business of making our lives not suck so badly by expecting them to fix this mess.

      Soon, I will be expanding this site into several other sites that will include:
      Free financial planning for all of us struggling.
      A bartering page listed by state so people can exchange goods and services without dealing with cash or credit.
      I have already posted a small number of links for Work at Home jobs here (just look at the top and side page tabs)
      And several other topics to ease this mess we’re in. I am weeks away from homelessness, so I will keep on building this site for as long as I can because this cause of helping others has become my only link to sanity and action. I have to believe there are answers within our great number of affected jobless folks. Together we can lift one another up.

      • mary says:

        I have the increasingly bad feeling that “thinning out the deadwood middle class” is the option the powers that be really want.

  22. mary says:

    Checking in ….everyone here has great insights and all of it gained from awful experiences. My hands are bad with arthritis now, so I can’t type as much as I need to…so here goes….

    I think decoupling from the system is what is needed and it will happen. Look at is this way; our jobs were gutted, our home equity gutted because of Wall Street casinos, our credit gutted. The same banks that made loony loans and credit card offers ( believe it or not, I am getting these offers of platimum cards in the mail every week…and I don’t have a job), are the ones who engineered this crisis. So when you lose your job, your house, etc, the same banks come after you , either demanding you pay off the mortgage, or forcing you into bankruptcy…and collecting fees for every step. And if you do happen to get back on your feet, and want to buy a car or a house, they say you are a lousy credit risk, and will charge you much higher interest. See? These scumbags make mega bucks off you from selling you house and car loans, charging fees if you default , then charging you high interest because you’re a “credit risk”

    Talk about organized crime. The banking cartel is way more lucrative than the drug cartel is, and they have the protection of the US gov’t too. And I would argue that the bank cartel is every bit as evil and destructive as the drug cartel.

    I think SVP is right in that there is an agenda to push us into a kind of slavery. The future is very frightening and it is coming at us more and more. I think more and more of dropping out, tuning out. I am very politically active, but I am dodged with doubts that every thing I do is a total waste of time.

    Someone noted ( on another site) that there are at least 299 of us to every financial and political elite person….on other words, we way outnumber them. That they continue with their outrages and get away with it shows just what they think of us. Perhaps one day, that will be their undoing.

    All you people here, remember, there are thousands more just like you. You, we, are not alone.

  23. Nancy says:

    I may be in another different situation from you folks. Someone may say I am lucky because I can go back to my own country if I can not find a job here, at least, I have another place to go. For me, I do not want to go back now. I have struggled for years in order to come here, dreaming my big dream, building my big dream in this free land. I am very upset, depressed, hopeless, as much as you all, during these days, for my jobless situation. This lovely city was my first city to study and live in US. I fell in love with this city first time I saw it although I have not found my true love here :)

    I studied hard, I cried hard, because of difficult questions, because of four exams in one week, because of my loneness, because I am still depending on my parents’ wallet to live here. Shame on me!

    I began to find a job in June. Why dared to say that I hate travel so I always stayed in this city? Who dared to say that I do not like US because I always stayed in my own cozy apt.? I love travel, but I know it needs money, not Yen, but Dollars. I dreamed thousands of times, building a small house here with a nice small garden, a lovely dog, and a small swimming pool ( so that I may learn to swim). Two months passed. Counted the last rejection phone call from a “Sales&Marketing Entry level” job, I received four rejections until now; got 11 interviews,including on site and phone interviews ( One company refused me right after the phone interview, You know what, for this phone interview, he unexpectedly postpone it twice.and then he refused me..). Good record? NO! Definitely NO! Because there are 7 unpaid interns! All the full time jobs refused me, three. Yeah, one offered me position. Interested in knowing what kind of position? Door to Door Sales! I had never thought about the door to door sales for a Master student! I cried when they congrated me for offering me the position. Of course, I cried later, not when we shake. Why CRY? I was scared, the first time, scared to be killed when I stood at the door. ONE Big Man may open it and SHOOT ME because HE Hated the Door to door sales or because I bothered his sweet nap. My dear parents, my drear friends, and my future boyfriend, would never have a chance to see me!

    Crazy? eh? Maybe. but it is true feeling. I would like to be joked by this but believe me, tears never lie. Unpaid intern: nothing offered, either a subway pass. If offered such a position, would you take it? No promise for the future full time job because nobody knows what would happen tomorrow. I do not remember where I saw this sentence: Today must be better than tomorrow. Is it right? I do not know!!

    There are 50 questions for interview on the website and I believed that they are helpful. Review all the questions before going to the interview. Today’s interview was funny. I held my phone, following the directions, but I still went the wrong way. The wind blew, the rain poured and the place was strange to me. I knocked the door of a fire department, Thank God, there was a fire dept. near the high way. They showed me the way back, they said “that was the place”. God, I just came from there. Anyway, I went back, I had no choice. Before I got off the train, I thought maybe I could have a hot coffee in the station, because I was 40 mins earlier. AFTER I went the wrong way, I arrived in their office five mins earlier. They asked me the same questions:
    Q1: Do you like dealing with people or computer? (since it was my second time for such “marketing company”, I had experience for these questions…)
    Q2: Do you like working as team member or a team leader?
    Q3: …..
    Q4:…
    Then after 2hrs, she called me back: Unfortunately…..

    • SVP says:

      Nancy,

      I think all of us have gotten lost on our way to an interview at some point, so don’t feel bad about that. Plus, you were there early anyway…that’s great!
      Many of us here hold higher education diplomas and we experience the same thing over and over again. Either the potential employer sees our history and thinks we won’t take the rate of pay they’re offering and tell us we’re ‘over qualified’ or they offer us a position with such low pay that it’s not economically feasible to take the position. Imagine having $50-100K of student loans to pay back after college and be offered a $10hr job! Crazy~
      (Over qualified can also mean, ..”this person’s too old”…) It’s wrong and illegal, yet every employer uses this.
      You don’t say where you would go back to, but at least you have options. Many of us are stuck facing poverty, homelessness and misery because we are out here on our own with no support system or family to fall back on. And all of us have so much talent, skills and experience! what do we do now!?
      Thank you for posting your story! Please let us know how the search and your situation is coming along. We’re here for you!

  24. Angel says:

    My story is a bit different. I left an okay job in the insurance industry to go to school for something in the medical field. I had it all planned out, but then the bottom fell out of the economy. Now, I’m living with my parents and trying to finish school. There are very few jobs out there for my new field. :( I was led to believe that jobs were ABUNDANT and I would be able to find work after completing the first half of my schooling. Total lie!!!! I’m almost finished with the second half and there are very few jobs out there. I’ve submitted many online apps simply to hear NOTHING back. It’s sad and depressing.

    Over the last few years, I’ve watched the economy falter at the edge of a vast precipice. I believe that it’s almost to the point of falling off, the point of no return. Many people haven’t been personally touched by the recession at this point so they have no sympathy for those that have. I hope that they never have to go through a job hunt in a bad economy. It’s BRUTAL.

    I often wish I never left my insurance job. :( Unfortunately, even if I actually wanted to quit school and go back, they aren’t hiring. They haven’t been hiring for a long time.

    • svp333 says:

      Angel,
      Wow. What a kick on the gut that must have been for you. At the very least you have a support system to hold you up. I know that’s not much to say, but it helps so very much. There is no shame in boarding with family during this jobpocalypse.
      And I know this is going to sound cynical but bear with me…the entire schooling system right now is geared for money…loans….plain and simple.
      Consider all of the people out there in America with advanced degrees scrambling for work. All of the hiring companies know they can get a Master’s candidate for high school diploma wages. Sad, but I see it everyday.
      College degrees are NOT worth the rising price of school tuition. (in my opinion) I know this is totally against all advice and societal reason, but I feel it’s truthful.
      We were all made to believe that a college degree was/is the ticket to a better life when in fact you end up with massive student loans that, perhaps, your chosen profession will not adequately pay for over a long period of time. It simply leads to more debt, uncertainty and lastly anxiety. But that’s RIGHT where those in power want you/us. Today, it takes seconds to get a credit rating and seconds to destroy it and then decades to rebuild it. The game is rigged against all of us.

      Keep coming back and posting. I/we want to hear your continuing story. And remember, we are here for you. We hear you. I hear you. You…all of us are NOT alone. We will work through this insanity all by ourselves….together.

  25. WOJ says:

    I also wanted to comment on “Gutted’s” post. The bartering idea is great! It is amazing what we can swap today. The old saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” applies today like it did during the depression. Bartering can be done with items from the attic, the garden, the kitchen, the garage sale, and also through talents and skills. A man I know does odd jobs for canned goods. He said people don’t always have the cash to afford to pay for work, but they are almost always willing to pay with canned goods.

    • SVP says:

      WOJ,

      Thank you for putting down your story here. Your words are very true and being disabled and falling through the cracks. These days being unemployed and over 40 might even considered being a ‘disability’! (not to lessen your or anyone’s actual disability at all) We are all moving through these world changes together, yet so many are simply lost to the process or overlooked as nuisance.
      Also, please know that I have only just begun this website. There are big changes coming very soon. I am not just going to talk the talk, I will walk the walk, as well. Some things I will soon be doing:

      An ‘Answers’ page – where I will list as many LEGITIMATE work at home sites as I can verify.

      A page for all of us to read over to learn how to simply our lives and begin the process of paring down our worldly material to just the things we actually ‘need’. (I have over 20yrs of ‘stuff’ accumulated myself that I haven’t even put an eye on in years…why do we ‘collect’ SO much stuff?…LOL)

      I will begin to look at ways to help folks learn how to garden and produce goods for themselves and alternatives to giving WalMart (China) all of our difficult to get a hold of…money

      And I am looking at ways to provide a list of financial ideas and methods of budgeting, saving and finding local American businesses to buy from without breaking the bank.

      I had an idea of posting job board links here, yet I’m so frustrated with the way most of the major players operate AND given the fact that most jobs are NOT coming back from this recession, I have for now decided to take a new tack and just help folks begin to change their lives to be able to live on what meager money we all might stumble into. So many of us have been duped by society into believing that we all NEED 3 cars, a McMansion and spend all of our money at Macy’s to be happy when the fact is we can all do with SO much less and be happier. (In my opinion…ambition for wads of cash is not a bad thing, per se’) Remember, the LOVE of money is the root of all evil…not the money itself. LOL~

      Keep coming back and posting and tell us how you’re doing. I’m glad you’re here.

      • Patricia says:

        Thank you so much for starting this site.

        I have two blogs that I’ve been keeping up with: One I started about 2 years ago mainly for environmental reasons and has a lot of helpful wallet friendly ideas: http://denbeath1.blogspot.com/

        This 2nd one I just started, it’s titled; “Living on Food Stamps” http://livingonfoodstamps.blogspot.com/ It consists of information that I’ve gathered and posted with the hopes of helping people like myself.

        I do hope someone finds something helpful and passes it along and even post hints they have discovered.

        • SVP says:

          Thank you, Patricia for doing what YOU do, as well. Your post is a great example of people helping people and that’s why I started this blog. Great work on your blogs and I also hope may here check your site for that helpful information.

      • Benita says:

        I find this part “so many of us have been duped by society into believing that we need 3 cars, a McMansion” interesting and troubling at the same time.

        Yes, it’s true that retailers guilt us into buying stuff we don’t need and reinforce the message that we have to buy stuff and if we don’t, it’s the end of the world. However, as a society, we need to ask ourselves WHY we listen to the retailers’ message and buy into the consumption of material goods to begin with. I’ve honestly never understood it. Not to say I never buy on impulse (my weaknesses are books and aromatherapy lotions from bath & bodyworks) but I’ve truly never understood this urge to buy, buy, buy. Haven’t people ever noticed that even after buying the item that they thought they needed or couldn’t live without, they’re still unsatisfied and want something else?

        Yes, it’s important to support retailers as without customers, they’ll go out of business/people will lose jobs. But people need to remember retailers DO NOT care about us. Quit listening to the warm fuzzy good feeling ads and realize that all they want is to move your money from your pockets to theirs! Buy what you need. If you really need to “keep up with the Joneses” to have friends…you need to make new friends. Real friends don’t need to impress each other.

        I’m only about 30 years old and I’ve NEVER bought into the mindset of must do what the retailers say. Just because retailers say x must be bought for Christmas (thank God I’m not Christian and only have to buy gifts for my few Christian friends!), Valentine’s Day, or that you must celebrate New Year’s by having a party or must have barbeque/vacation during Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, DOES NOT MEAN you have to do that. Same goes for honeymoons – it’s NOT a crime to postpone it until off-season or simply go somewhere local (i.e. weekend b & b) despite what the industry states. And don’t get me started on prom! What a waste of money which students could otherwise apply towards college expenses. No other country but the US has such a tradition!

        The one good thing about this awful recession is that maybe our society might relearn the lessons the depression-era people learned but somehow failed to pass on to their boomer children. I thank God that my depression-era late grandfather taught all of his grandchildren about the importance of frugality. That is the only reason I’m surviving as a young, recently admitted attorney in an over-saturated market. I know I can live without buying so many clothes, books, tech toys.

        • Laoxinat says:

          Benita, I have been reading your posts nodding and nodding my head! I work (and feel very grateful to do so) with seniors, many of whom grew up during the depression, and I hear so much wisdom from them. The idea of living within our means (both as individuals and a government) has somehow been lost, as we pander to the megacorporations Walmart and Halliburton. But that’s another post ;)
          I wanted to let people know that a growing need exists for professional caregivers to the elderly. This is not, as you might suspect, an especially lucrative field. However, it is a job that one can truly feel good about, that has value both in preventing the need for nursing home admission, and in tapping the amazing strength and resilience that so many of our seniors possess. I have a BS degree in Family Studies as well as over 15 years of teaching both Kenpo Karate and Tai Chi. This job wasn’t exactly my plan, but it has opened my eyes to a need in this country that will only grow- that of well qualified, kind, understanding, skilled services for our seniors (i.e. US, eventually :) ). Because most of us ( I am 49) will not have anything like enough money to retire in style, we all need to be cultivating community and resources that will allow us to live comfortably and with dignity as we age. I highly recommend senior care to those in need of work now, with an eye to creating new paradigms for care and new ways of thinking about aging and needing help. Because, like it or not most of us will need at least some help in our later years.
          Namaste all, Natalie
          PS Thanks for this website, it is a treasure!

  26. WOJ says:

    Thanks for putting this website together.

    I worked all my life making my niche in this world. Until I became disabled. I fell through all the “government cracks”. Although I did qualify for a small monthly income from my employer paid disability insurance program, I do not qualify for SSI, or Medicare or Medicaid. Yes, I’ve consulted attorneys. Big government crack to fall in.

    I don’t qualify for unemployment benefits as I am disabled and unable to work full time. Now that I’m disabled, when I need it the most, I have no health insurance. No insurance will cover me, and even if they would, I can’t afford the premiums.

    My medicines alone (without insurance) cost over $1100 a month. Some medicines I no longer take because i just cant afford them. Some I have managed to get on patient assistance programs and get them at a discount. I’ve charged medicines on my credit cards until I can no longer pay my credit card bills. I have to decide whether to buy medicine or food. I have gone through every cent of my savings and retirement benefits. The bank now owns my house. I have had to move in with my kids to become a burden to them as they themselves struggle in this economy to raise their own family.

    I see no “hope” on the horizon financially. I’m only 54 and will not qualify for Social Security (and Medicare) until I’m 65 . Even if I had a miracle and was suddenly able to go back to work, who would hire someone in this economy who is currently unemployed with health problems that make them a risk to their health insurance pool? Ha. Even the healthy unemployed can’t find work today. No one wants to hire the “unemployed”.

    It’s a scary place to live in today… this “land of the free”… America.

  27. mary says:

    I wonder, if sometime way in the future, we will be teaching the children about how brutal and uncivilized the US was ; how people had to fight to live, to have a job and scrape what ever life they could….in the early part of the 21s century.

    I fear we are going to have a large segment of the population who will be the cast-offs, quite literally in that they/we were cast off.

    I think svp is right. we need to leave the system that has left us. I am all for it.

    • SVP says:

      Thanks, Mary. It’s frightening to think that this period will be looked back on the way you mention. Of course, as a cynic, I have a gut feeling that in that far-off future (maybe not so far-off), these days today might be looked back on fondly as the good ‘ol days when humanity still meant something and people were, for the most part, free.
      There are forces at work that are engineering a new world for the entire globe where there will a working class (slaves) and a ruling class (the wealthy elite). We are seeing the foundation being set right now with corporate rule and the destruction of the middle class. There is a reason why there seems to be no answers to the unemployment crisis…there is none. Or better said, this IS the answer. Citizens are being made to work more for less and those left behind will be dependent on social programs to survive. There will be a global ‘equaling’ of labor costs and pay. Average your typical Chinese worker’s income to that of and American’s, find the average between the 2 and that will give all of us a good idea of what incomes will look like in say, 25yrs. Pretty dismal. That’s why I believe we ALL need to understand how to live with far less than what we’ve been accustomed to by relying on self preservation as a group. Amazing things can happen when people begin to amass and work WITH and FOR each other and not for corporate big business.
      I will be posting an article soon about just this scenario and have some real answers about ‘leaving the system’
      I’m glad you’re here and finally got my post on that other site. I hope you can help me get the word out about this site. I know the site looks pretty sparse right now, but only being 4 days old it’s to be expected. The more that wander in the greater our voice becomes.

  28. svp333 says:

    Thank you, Nicole for sharing your story. We hear you. It’s profoundly sad that in the ‘greatest country’ on the planet, you have to endure such hardship. And although you didn’t mention the nature of your disability, it’s a sad commentary on our society that it takes so much effort and hurdle jumping to even be fortunate enough to find benefits…anywhere. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that you didn’t ask to be disabled and to go through what you have/are, is disgraceful. Yet, that is the way of the New World I’m afraid. You have my respect and admiration for doing the things you have been doing to bring in income. It is apparent today that we unemployed must look away from the system and find a way to be self reliant. Most of our lost jobs are not coming back and we all must stop looking to the broken system of ‘proving’ ourselves and performing the dog & pony show for potential employers when they have no intention of hiring us.
    You have a support system. You have family. Use that to prop you up for as long as possible while you keep up the hope of finding something that suits you. We are not and should never be ‘defined’ by our professions or how much money we make. We are human beings that simply want to feel some sort of security in our lives. To be flying by the seat of you pants is terrifying and all of us in your situation know that for sure. And there is no shame in living out of your car. Trust me. Shame is only as strong as the power YOU give it. Keep coming here and talking…I want to hear how you’re doing. Where are you in the States and what is your work history? Perhaps someone here might have some new ideas for you.
    Be strong….I believe in you.

  29. Nicole says:

    If you think finding a job in general is hard, you should try while being disabled. No employer wants to hire a person that requires accomodations when they have their pick out of dozens of non-disabled applicants. It’s supposedly illegal to pass up somebody based on disability, but there’s no way to prove that as the reason they didn’t hire you. And it’s extremely hard for a handicapped person to find a job these days that doesn’t require performing physical demands like being on your feet for long periods or lifting heavy objects.

    The only jobs I’ve successfully held long term have been helping out freelancers and contractors; small businesses are usually more sympathetic to physical limitations than large corporations are. Unfortunately when the economy suffers, small businesses are the first to feel the pinch and it’s been hard to find anyone that can afford to pay me to help out.

    I’ve been trying to get on benefits but the process takes forever and I’m probably a couple years away from seeing a penny. For the last year, I’ve supported myself by doing freelance technical writing, selling things on Ebay, and with online affiliate programs. It’s barely enough and the only reason I’m not homeless is because I’ve been staying with family. If they kick me out before I find a better source of income, I might have to go on an extended camping trip in my car.

    How can this be one of the greatest countries when physically handicapped people are often the first to fall through the cracks? If one can even get on disability, you get a little over $600 a month. In California, that won’t even pay for a studio apartment in a bad neighborhood. I have friends in Brazil and Peru that all have jobs and survive comfortably on less than $500 a month. It’s pretty bad when people in third world countries are doing better than you are financially. I’d gladly move myself, but I can’t even afford to do that.

    • mary says:

      Nicole,

      I can really relate to your post because I have fibromyalgia and it is no laughing matter. Many scoff at this, but it changed my life; just took the rug out from under me. I used to belong to a support group. Some were going thru the courts to get on lifetime disability ( in CA) and they were having to retain lawyers to get thru the system. The gov’t will automatically deny you. The key is to just keep trying, eventually you get in. That is what they told me.

      I have researched so many ways to try to make money; in an earlier post I described going into business as an assistant to seniors. Honestly, I have my doubts if I could keep up a regular schedule. Aside from figuring out what to do for work at home , I just don’t know.

      I think you have done amazingly well doing freelancing, all things considered. Anything technical is a good skill to have.

      • Laoxinat says:

        Mary, my husband also has fibromyalgia, and I have chronic pain. It is, as you say, NO laughing matter. He is, fortunately still able to teach tai chi part time, and does some internet sales, but for him to get and keep a ‘real’ job would be impossible.
        I do senior care, and tho I am able to work full time, there are many companies that will hire and only ask that you work what you can. I highly recommend going through an agency like Home Instead Senior Care (I work for one of their franchises) because they carry insurance and will give you some training. It’s not glamorous but it is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had!
        Natalie

  30. mary says:

    I just discovered this website and have been reading everyone’s story here and I completely understand and sympathize with you all. My husband was out of work for a year and has recently been hired…by a military contractor….and it seems these are the only outfits who are hiring. I don’t have any illusions about this job lasting. Especially with all the calls lately to trim the military budget.
    We have a house we can’t sell, every other house here is in foreclosure, short sale, or just plain abandoned. My husband will be living about 500 miles away. Financially, we have chewed through our savings, so this job is a respite. We were on the brink of the cliff and we got a break, but for how long?
    I am chronically ill and don’t work, haven’t done so for a long time. I do keep a vegetable garden,( very hard in my condition) cash in bottles and cans, make my own clothes, ( from the discount table at the fabric store and even then I wait until they get further discounted 50%) line dry the laundry and make my own dish soap, cook all our food, use cold water in the washer, shut off the AC ) except for super hot days) We cut our electric and water and gas bills down . I use grey water by taking rinse water from the kitchen and watering the garden with it. So all that contributed extended our survival, but even so, timing was running out and all the stress has made the health worse. Was having pure panic attacks, have been in the ER three times in the past 9 months.
    We are 48 and 56 respectively, educated at UC Berkeley and did everything the right way, saved and worked hard and basically everything we have is worthless ( house) and no savings left. I do suspect that things will have to get much worse, before this country finally wakes up.
    sorry for the long, rambling post.

    • svp333 says:

      Never, ever apologize for rambling on this site. This is OUR site. I want you and everyone to get it out…in full. Tell the story…read the posts and know we’re out here, too.
      I am so sorry for what you and your husband have gone through and am happy he’s got a shot at some income.
      I know about the anxiety and so many of us do. I never had a grey hair on my head until the bottom fell out, don’t sleep well when I do. I don’t know if it might help but to help the anxiety and sleep…a good antihistamine seems to work for me better than expensive anti-depressants without the side effects too. Plus it helps sleep.
      Keep reading and posting here and let others know. The more people that gather here the stronger and louder our voices become and perhaps we can start formulating some answers ourselves.
      Much respect and care…

      • mary says:

        Thank you, the antihistamine idea was a good one and made me recall taking Benadryl years ago. Made me so incredibly sleepy, even half a dose was too strong.

        There is something deeply wrong with our country that we put up with pundits , who get multi-million dollar paychecks to insult the unemployed as being lazy free loaders. And some of our elected representatives are doing the same. And we ship jobs and manufacturing over seas. Then we hear of companies who won’t consider hiring an unemployed person; they only want someone who is employed. I’ve read some of their comments on other sites and these people actually think the unemployed are no good, lazy free loaders. And then there are those who scream “deficit” when it is suggested we extend unemployment benefits, but almost in the same breath, sign onto extra billions for Afghanistan.

        To sum it up: if one is unemployed, disabled, or over 45, you are pretty much treated like yesterday’s trash by the media, by politicians and others, and thrown out to the curb. That is how I feel living in this country. I see many well educated , experienced people that are treated like dirt here. Yes, I am an American and I feel like a stranger in a strange land.

        Re: outsourcing of manufacturing and other jobs – who does this benefit? A hand full of investors and CEO’s, that’s all. I realize there are complex issues involved, but basically that is what it comes down to, a mere handful of people are getting very wealthy while gutting the manufacturing and jobs base of this country. I for one am SICK of cheap crap from China and am old enough to remember when good, quality stuff was all US made.

        Infrastructure, services, education etc are being gutted because the tax base is being gutted. Because the jobs are being gutted. There is no reason for this to happen in a country as big and resourceful as the US, other than pure greed. Stop and think about this: people to die here because they don’t have enough money. Children and the elderly go hungry because they don’t have enough money. People are literally out in the street all because they don’t have enough money. Because Wall Street took it all.

        • DD says:

          Mary,

          You are right on as to how this is all happening…as in the domino effect. Yet, we can send millions to Afghanistan, but we can’t afford to help our own…it’s pretty sickening when there are people in this country who have tried in vain to find employment of any kind, only to be turned away.
          It seems as though congress and our elected officials do not know how to prioritize or are unwilling to do so, simply because of what you stated above…greed.
          I wish you luck with your health and endeavors….and to everyone else on the boards here too.
          I’ll post my story soon…it is unique, but yet I’m sure not unheard of.

  31. maxwelldog says:

    lost my last regular paycheck job during Reagan/Bush sr. regime. Been doing odd jobs, and painting pictures since then. Biggest year saw $1780. Worse year was about $280. Note that there are no “K”s behind the figures, and yes, those are year totals.

    A church director of music took me in, I work at the ranch, tend to the animals as best I can.
    Trying to get a head above the waterline is what I’m doing, but, the car is gone, my house went foreclosed on under Reagan, and I now live so far out in the country that even the glow of Indy lights at night aren’t noticeable.

    So, a college graduate (six years, but, only an AS, living under the roof of a man who didn’t graduate..gets $30K or so.
    Have a brother who pulls in big five and low six figure income. And his job?
    Finding work for executives.
    Which I try to “downsize” for people who want work but aren’t executives.

    I try to help teachers, cooks, computer techs, and people who want work. I charge nothing, have an incredible supply of info, and even better, a willing, positive attitude.
    Despite me being so broke I count quarters to buy a lottery ticket, sometimes.

    There you have it.

  32. Bruised, but surviving says:

    My life partner of 14 years is sitting in jail because he was taken under by this horrible economy and wasn’t able to pay child support. Can you believe it? HE IS IN JAIL. First, the prosecutor here hassled, threatened and harassed him until he signed a plea agreement for criminal non-support, or they said they would jail him for up to 5 years. So he signed an agreement that he would pay a certain amount every month – but they said since he was unemployed they would hold off on the payments while he looked for work. Then the real harassment began. Now he had a felony on his record – how employable do you think that made him? He sent out hundreds and hundreds of resumes, made all kinds of calls, registered on job boards, you guys know the drill.

    Besides having a felony, he is 60 years old, so he has another strike against him. In spite of that, he landed a great job that he loved and paid decent wages. The state had a hearing scheduled for the end of July since my partner had not made a payment, but our attorney thought it would be okay because he had a job and would be able to make a payment soon. Not. The judge was unhappy that the job was a 1099 independent contractor position, unhappy that it paid once a month, and unhappy that my partner used one week of pay to pay our rent and buy a bit of food so he could continue to work from home. (He needs a home from which to work. Seems logical, no?) She sentenced him to one year in jail. Thus assuring he would get behind by one more year in child support, making him lose the job he worked to hard to find, had loved doing and they liked his work. Now the state pays for his housing. We may lose our home, and his kids don’t have a dad for a year. It is infuriating.

    As a society, we’d better decide what we want to do about fathers who cannot pay their child support, or we will have a flood of guys who are saddled with felonies, end up in jail, and have their lives ruined because there are no jobs for them. The policy of imputing child support based on father’s past salary history is insane in this economy. It does not matter that he used to make six figures if there are not employers willing to pay that anymore. Men cannot make someone pay them what they used to make, nor can they make someone hire them. Turning them into criminals for not being able to work and pay child support is not only insane – it is criminal. Anymore, even hearing the term “deadbeat dads” makes me want to puke. Deadbroke dads is more true. And heartbroken.

    Now all we want to do is leave this country. But we can’t, because he can’t get a passport because of owed child support. I always loved being an American. Not anymore. Not with how we have been treated and shamed and humiliated. It seems there is no way out of this nightmare. The state keeps adding 10% interest to back support, so the amount goes up by more every month, ensuring that we will never be able to pay it off. Our only hope is to win the lottery. Not much hope there. Oh, and by the way, his ex-wife has been fine financially. She takes a couple of trips every year, buys new clothes, cars, furniture, etc. My partner has desperately wanted to take care of his kids financially, he has not “willfully” not paid support. But when you have no money and no job, what are you supposed to do?

    • Gayle says:

      Oh my goodness…I’m so sorry to hear your story.

      Sadly the Child Support Collections people in most states are oblivious to the reality that many are facing. Most of these people have worked for their states forever and don’t understand the current job market.

      My S.O. has gone through the same thing. He’s in a terrible spot as his ex wife works for Family court in our state and has for close to 30 years. SHE knows everyone in the system. She is a union employee and her job is secure…she is utterly clueless about what is going on in the economy. She doesn’t read the news or watch the news (too depressing, she says).

      Their children are 18 and 20…and the 20 year old is also amazed about her mother’s naivete.

      In our state child support is paid until 21 while the children are in school. Both kids make more money than their father, as does the ex wife….the ex wife by a lot, shes a secretary pulling in a $85K a year…He is a chef working at his friends bar…because the high scale restaurant he was working at, closed due to the economy. He makes $400 a week GROSS…yet she got his wages garnished WITH interest. He takes home $225 a week after working 60 hours a week.

      I’m unemployed and have had NO luck finding a job. In 2007 I lost the business I started due to a disagreement with the board of directors. They forced me out. THEY have black balled me from the industry I used to work for, as such I can’t back to the career I had for 20 years. I have no other marketable skills in any other industry. I was in a niche business…as a customs broker and international freight forwarder. There are only 10000 customs brokers in the US…and less than 1000 companies in the whole country that provide this service. Ergo only 1000 potential employers nationwide. And that really isn’t an accurate portrayal of that market due to mergers and acquisitions. Many of those company are related companies doing business under different names in different areas. So it’s much smaller than that.

      I went back to school 2 years ago, but sill have 2 more semesters (this one and the next one) to complete my degree and still there are no guarantees I will be able to find something later either. I have no marketable skills for this job environment. I’m screwed and don’t know what to do.

      • Anonymous says:

        Gayle,

        I am sorry I just saw your reply. I, too, am sorry for your plight. Your situation is insane! Why in the world should a dad pay support when the kids and the mom make more than he does? The more I study this system and look into the abuses, the more I am floored by the damage done to families.

        I pray things get better for you and for your SO. I am not a religionist, but I so hope there is some higher power that can help…

  33. J. Eloise says:

    On November 6, 2009, I was laid off from one of the biggest law firms in the country. My day is like many. Looking at job boards, choosing jobs that I am qualified and, at times, not. On average, 5-6 resumes per day. Two interviews only; 4 telephone pre-screenings and one letter. I just turned 58, live alone, am collecting unemployment checks (thank God for that and the fact I live in Massachusetts) and have become an isolator. I am at the computer at least eight hours a day and sometimes more. If I get a response from a potential employer it’s to say that I am overqualified. Add to that the fact that I am now nine months without a job which is working against me. Am I one of those who will never get a job? I have a daughter (I raised her on my own) who lives in Oregon with her husband and son. Her plate is full. They have just filed bankruptcy and are still dealing with the loss of their first born son, my grandchild, Kaden. Their plate is full. I have a brother who is a singer/musician. As he gets older, the gigs get harder to get so now he entertains on cruise ships. Point is there’s no one for me to turn to support. It’s just me… again. I try to remain hopeful but at times I just cry. I limit what I spend and “make do” a lot. I received a very small severance so I have a small cushion (and I mean small). I deal with all of the above while being called lazy, a druggy, alcoholic, I’m lazy and am waiting for my UI to end before I look for work and I’m called a “stray” (“don’t take ‘em in; they’ll never leave.”). I feel like collateral, kicked to the curb and forgotten. It is what it is. I just feel so lost and so alone. What will happen is I become one of the 99ers? I will lose what little I have and will have nowhere to go boy, do I sound pitiful). I, like many, don’t deserve this. We did nothing wrong. But bonuses keep being handed out on Wall Street and those who are lucky enough to have jobs verbally spit on us. I have a cat and there are days when he is my only smile. I’m lost. The emotional toll this has taken is huge. I am completely lost.

    • ALP says:

      J. Eloise: My heart goes out to you – as one who has also been cast off by the legal industry, I can relate. Even during good times, law firms can be so weird about the hiring process. I used to help attorneys with new hires – we paralegals were always mystified as to WHAT exactly an attorney was looking for. We would choose what we thought to be good candidates, only to have the attorney reject all of them. Good office skills and experience is not what catches their eye, but some intangible quality that will somehow boost their own self worth, or lend more prestige to them. I worked at one of the biggest firms in Seattle for a very short time. I was amazed at how many people working in the fax room or copy room had bachelor’s degrees. Can you think of any other industry that requires a bachelor’s degree to run a copy machine?

      I hope you can team up with someone else in your situation and share expenses. I don’t know what I’d do without my partner of many years – it is only through sheer luck he is in my life. If I did not have him around, I would definitely be looking at a roommate or other such arrangement. Yeah, it sucks, but what can you do?

    • Benita says:

      Hi,
      I am an attorney myself so I certainly feel the pain of the terrible legal field market at the moment. Have you considered doing freelance paralegal work? You can get a variety of assignments and there are legitimate companies that hire paralegals to work on a contract basis.

      Have you considered offering services as a virtual paralegal?
      This seems to be a big thing lately.

    • Desi lawyer says:

      Have you considered working as a freelance paralegal? There are companies that hire paras (including JDs/attorneys) to draft appellate briefs and memoranda on a contract basis for firms who have hired that company (so basically, the freelancers perform outsourced work for law firms).

      Another thought is to work as a virtual paralegal.

  34. Kath says:

    I came across this site today and I must say it is wonderful. My boyfriend has been out of work (job loss due to economy) for a year and a half with no such luck finding a job in PA. He’s very ill with no medical coverage. We finally got a local hospital to foot his medical bills and do the surgery he needs at the end of the month. He insists that he’ll be looking for a job immediately after his surgery. For those politicians that say the unemployed are unmotivated, lazy, and enjoying the free ride – I hope they read this post. He’s extremely physically and mentally sick and the struuggles with unemployment (the party of NO) made matters so much more difficult.

    I have a job, thank God, but my heart goes out to all of you who are struggling. I’ve been emailing all politicians to pass a Tier IV extension. Some one needs to listed. God Bless all of you !

  35. ALP says:

    Great website – with a great design as well. SVP333 – are you familiar with Etsy.com? Many photographers and designers sell their own stuff via an Etsy on-line shop.

    I was laid off in July 2009 from my job as a paralegal. The legal industry has been hit really hard. I was lucky to have carved out a unique niche for myself as an expert in business immigration – but it is very tied to hiring and the unemployment rate. It has been on the downhill slide since 9-11 and the dot-com bust. I saw this coming – the recession was the final nail in the coffin. Not only was I laid off, one of my former employers, a small boutique law firm, dissolved completely – half of the staff went to a larger firm. There are far fewer attorneys/paralegals doing immigration these days. AND – law firms are loath to train a new person in a new area of law.

    So I’m screwed. At 49 years old – no law firm needs me and no law firm wants to train me in a new area. I’ve switched careers a total of three times – so I’ve proven I can change. I am lucky in that my living expenses are very low – yet no one is convinced I’m OK with a lower salary. Unlike many, I could manage to squeak by on minimum wage. Industries outside of the law are leery of someone who is accustomed to a high, law firm salary (we earn that salary by tolerating the personalities of attorneys).

    • SVP says:

      I have heard of Etsy but like so many other saturated selling sites out there, I just never considered it a profitable venture…especially for photography as anyone with a cell phone camera today is considered a master photographer!
      I, too, have discovered after considerable ‘comfortable’ years of collecting a household full of ‘stuff’ that I could live with SO much less. Being forced to is another matter altogether. LOL
      I am glad you’re here and talking. That’s what I wanted for this site…an open dialogue without all of the hate and bashing of ‘lazy’ jobless people. We are human beings and should never be defined by our professions, yet this is the way the world works. First thing people want to know about a person is..”..So,…what do you do for a living?”……It’s amazing….Seems that without a career, people consider you mostly worthless…perhaps it makes them feel superior in ways I’m just now beginning to realize.
      You seem to have mastered the art of self preservation with aplomb and my hat is off to you.
      Please spread the word about the site and on Twitter if possible. We need great stories and rays of sunshine like yourself here.

      • ALP says:

        It isn’t that my identity is solely gleaned from my job – that’s nuts. But the loss of structure and PURPOSE is what is really damaging. Its the fact that I’m not doing my part to make the world go ’round that’s really killing me. If I could pronounce myself “retired”, I’d get over it and get on with it – I’d get a good volunteer gig and let that be my purpose. But, absent winning the lottery, I still have to come up with a way to earn money somehow. That’s why I’m calling in “my marker” from my boyfriend, who I put through school a decade ago, and am returning to school for a second bachelor’s degree. It’s his turn to support me like I did over 10 years ago. I’m crossing fingers something will have changed for the better when I’m done in 3 years.

      • mary says:

        To Alp and Eloise,

        You are not alone. There are so many in the same situation. Maybe you can team up with others in your area and forge some kind of support network, like sharing a place and expenses and any tips on jobs etc. I have read that in-home care for house bound elderly is needed and considered doing this myself. I think older workers would have an advantage in this field. There are agencies that hire for this. Another thing you could look into is doing this as a self employed person; get the local business lic. required and be bonded or take out an insurance on yourself. Check local regulations. What you need is references to show you are honest ( won’t steal the family silver if going into homes) Maybe someone you used to work with could write a reference. After you got one client, then it’s word of mouth advertising and you would have more. Be honest, charge reasonable rates and be on time. You would do things like make sure their meds are in order, take them to the doctor, lite house cleaning , meal prep, assisting with bathing, do the laundry, all the things that elderly infirm people have trouble doing on their own, but aren’t in a nursing home yet. Check the classifieds, because sometimes I see ads there for these positions . The elderly will use the classifieds because a lot of them don’t use computers.

        I agree with what you both say; you, we. are “discarded” simply for being over 45 I think.

  36. MoreDimensions says:

    Here are some ideas for economic recovery, please feel free to add to the list.

    We need to make major changes economically, socially and politically as this is not a typical recession. The rules of the game have changed as resources are tightening and the global playing field flattens out.

    1. Free open media separate from corporate control with access to independent analysis
    2. Campaign, lobbying, election and ethics reform to clean up government.
    3. Reinstate Glass-Steagall, eliminate credit default swaps, eliminate hedge funds, eliminate short selling, tax day trading
    4. Eliminate corporation person-hood, enforce Sherman Anti trust act
    5. Eliminate tax shelters for rich, use pre-1980 tax levels with incentive for job growth
    6. Audit the Fed, Separate banking regulatory agency from the fed, break up “to big to fail Banks”.
    7. Close down some of the over 1,700 military_ bases, Stop financially supporting warlords, End the wars of choice.
    8. Invest in technology grants for alternative energy, nanoscience and other major national interest sciences for job creation and US revitalization.
    9. Re-evaluate trade agreements considering pollution, labor and currency manipulation controls.
    10 Education reform including alternative schools, tutoring, mentoring with increased emphasis on math, science and bi lingual studies.

    • mary says:

      Those are all excellent ideas and needed right now. There are too many vested interests that will stand in the way because it cuts into their profits and control. Other countries invest in education and what do we do? Destroy ours with “budget cuts”. We’re on a slippery slope.

  37. That map is chilling. The way the blackness spreads like gangrene through a limb. Like showing the progression of some disease. The only places spared being those where most of our staple grain crop is grown, woe be to us if they are unemployed we starve!

    What to do about this? What to do? We don’t need progressivism. We need populism, American populism.

    We need to put OUR people and OUR country first and foremost and take care of ourselves. We need to reneg on the free trade agreements and levy protective tariffs.
    We need to give work only to legal citizens.
    We need to all buy american and employ our fellow Americans.
    We need to invest, those who have the money, In America.
    We need to stop letting special interest groups, lobbies, and corporations run the nation and ruin the nation.
    In short we need to be more about OUR peopel, and OUR country… we need to hire invest, and spend patriotically.

    Everything that has been tried by either party up to now has been wrong!

  38. Gutted says:

    You’re not prying at all. It’s a fair question. I”ve been using the last of my savings and I’m nearing the end of it. After that…I just don’t know what’s going to happen. I have a gut feeling I’ll be forced into a shelter or be on the street. It’s unreal. I’m terrified.
    Bartering is a great idea. It’s great that you’ve found an outlet to at least lessen the impact of what sounds like a stressful situation. Tell your husband ‘much respect’ for doing what he’s been forced to do.
    I wish there was a way to have a generous benefactor donate a large amount of land for many of us to perhaps start something like a new town where bartering and communal help could flourish….without that ‘hippie’ connotations….If that makes any sense.

    • Harris says:

      I think that there is a place like what you are talking about with the communal living in Asheville, NC. I know I read about the place, but I am not sure of the location. They even have their own currency.
      I am so sorry to know that your situation is that dire. Have you been able to make any plans at all? I feel like I am constantly planning and adapting, the benefits will not last forever. I am sure that they will not be renewed in November. I kept thinking that I would get something, and now I am not so sure.

  39. Harris says:

    My story is just like everyone else’s, I suppose. Lost my job last July 17th. I have never been without a job for this long. I’ve always worked. I have only been called for 3 interviews in the past year. The last interview was last week and it was a group interview. They were interviewing 400 people for 22 jobs. Needless to say, I haven’t heard a thing.
    To make matters worse, my UI benefits are being held up. I received the check from the last hold up in the Senate a few weeks ago. My car had broken down and I had to use most of that check to pay back the money borrowed for the car, as well as catch up bills that I couldn’t pay. I won’t receive anything until sometime next month.
    McDonald’s, Bojangles, etc. are not hiring. Maybe they just don’t want to hire me. I feel like I don’t know anything anymore.
    And the worst part is being called lazy. I wish with every fiber of my being that I could go into the unemployment office and tell them to keep their f-ing money. But I can’t. I have paid into the system my entire working life, which has been over 20 years, and I have never had the first bit of government help. No welfare, no food stamps, no nothing. And now, I am being called a lazy drug addict.
    Still hoping things will change, though, but I doubt every day more and more that they ever will.

    • Gutted says:

      Right there with ya’ Harris. I was never eligible for UI so I’ve scrambled to find anything…except there isn’t ‘anything’ out there…like you already know. Either TOO qualified for a positions (too old) or not a ‘good fit’ to join these 20-30 something’s corporate clique.
      Then we have the economy out to strangle us and a call us all lazy bums. It’s sad to know most of us are only 1 job away from redemption and security. I think this site will bring a bunch of attention to the silent mob of us out here. Try to Tweet it or get the address out as much as you can….it will help.

      • Harris says:

        I’m so sorry to hear that you couldn’t collect UI. I know the struggles that the gap in my check has created for us, but I still know that we are very fortunate.
        My husband was a 99er, and he finally found a job about 6 weeks after his benefits ran out. It is over an hour away, and it pays a little over 8 bucks an hour. He was making more on UI, sad to say. About 3 years ago, he was making almost 18 bucks an hour. It seems like a lifetime ago.
        We are both in our late 30′s.
        Can I be nosy and ask you how you are making it? I have discovered bartering, lol. I bake stuff, I can bake quite a bit for just a few bucks. I go to the local farmer’s market a few times per week and trade for fruits and veggies. Several of those folks are unemployed, as well, or know people that are. There is one guy there that insists on giving me anything that I need. In turn, I take some of his apples and bake him a cake or bread or something. I am thinking that this economy is going to force a lot of us to get really creative.

  40. Gutted says:

    Thank you so much for putting this site up. everybody knows we’re out here, but seem to want to look the other way. I’ve been looking for work for over a year with nothing happening. Been on all the job boards, labor dept, etc…Finding a job IS my job…except I don’t get paid. The longer we stay out of work, the larger our employemtn gap becomes on our resume. What do we do then? This is all crazy! I;ve never had a problem findin work in my life and now at middle age and jobless, I’m seeing a whole new side of America and the businesspeople that control it.
    I’m in Columbus, OH and it’s pretty bad here.

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