The Wacky World of Wally World

Unemployment

Day 1: So I am out of a job, without explanation. One thing is to be fired, but to be fired without explanation, that's frustrating. I argued with the guy for like thirty minutes trying to get an answer. Since his testicles are equivalent to the size of the period at the end of sentence though, he refused to give me one even after I explained I would not be returning to shoot the place up. So without warning, or explanation, I am jobless. The first thing I do is panic, the world is coming to an end.

The first thing I did once I got home was to find out how unemployment works. I have never been on it, and have been employed since I was 17. I found a site where Indiana residents can apply online. Oddly enough, one of the forms you complete asks for your work telephone number. I got all setup though, and should be eligible on May 14.

My next step was to get my old job back, but it had been three months and was a long shot. I e-mailed my former manager who informed me that the position had indeed been filled, but said he would let me know if something changed.

It's now about 5:00pm on a Tuesday night. I am going through Career Builder and Hot Jobs and sending out my resume and cover letters. When I woke up this morning, it was just another day, and this was not on my agenda of things to be doing. I'm looking in the Indianapolis area because Andrea just got a job there that she will start when we get back from Europe. Yes, conveniently enough, I was fired about two weeks before leaving the country for vacation. So I do have some money saved, but it was for a trip. By the time I return, I have no idea how much money I will have left in my account. The tickets and hotels have been paid for already though, we are going.

I have some money stashed away in a couple of different places that I may pull out. I made a few thousand off of my Wally World stuff awhile ago that I looked in to getting. I also have Profit Sharing and a 401k account with Wally World that I can cash out. It would be subject to a lot of penalties and taxes though, but I would still get a few thousand out of it. I will wait though, who knows what will happen in the next few weeks.

Day 2: This is the first full day of unemployment. The first day was mostly the end of a regular work day. I was fired around 3:00pm, and usually work till 4:00pm. I think this is because the guy who fired me gets off at 3:00pm and they wanted me to work a full day since I was going to be paid for a full day.

I slept till around 9:00am or so, which was a nice change. Then I went to my computer and continued the job hunt. Looking for a new job is a tricky business. It seems that you can go for months without a phone call or returned e-mail, and then suddenly get three in one day. It's an unpredictable situation to be in, which is what makes it so frustrating.

After searching for jobs for awhile and sending out a few more resumes, I start to get bored. This is the real kick in the teeth, you have all this time that you have wanted but no extra cash anymore. Since my unemployment check will be a fraction of what I was making while working, and my savings most likely being used in Europe, I refuse to spend money on anything I don't have to. This is not how I, or anyone else, likes to live. For some time now, I have become accustomed to just eating whatever I want, going where i want, and buying what I want. Before if I had leftover pizza, I would only eat it if it were one day old. Now, since I'm trying to be more frugal, I'll eat it after a couple of days. I'm a picky eater, and being cheap and picky don't mesh well.

I also cancelled my World of Warcraft account. It's $15 a month which isn't a big deal, but I'm more concerned about trying to stay semi-productive. If I have all the time in the world and am bored, I will end up wasting every single day lost in a fictional world.

Day 3: I'm laying around a lot and watching a lot of television. I am a huge fan of the NBC show The Office. I'm discovering that since I don't do anything else all day, that my day is sort of centered on this television show now. It is the season finale and all, but I usually don't find it this important to watch a television show. When you don't do anything all day, the little things seem more important I guess.

Day 4: Another day of sending out resumes, and still no returned calls or e-mails. It's part of the game, and I expected it. Most potential employers don't get back with you right away anyway. Sometimes it can be a month or more, and after you forgot that you sent the thing, they get a hold of you. Then you have to go back and figure out what the position is you applied for because you can't remember.

I keep trying to think of schemes to make money. I found myself on a website for taking surveys for money before my intelligence finally took over and my common sense kicked in. I even went to sell my plasma. In the first two visits, you can make $80. I figured that since I wasn't doing anything, I might as well. I went down there and sat there for like three hours. I finally got sick of waiting and left.

I really just need to find something to get myself motivated, but I haven't found anything. I could start another website geared towards making money, but I don't have any ideas, services, or products to sell. So I watch more television. I am officially a bum.

Day 5: It's Saturday, and it feels like any other day now. Pretty soon, I'll have to go grocery shopping on a tight budget. I am not looking forward to that at all.

Since I have been jobless, it has been rainy and cloudy every single day. I was thinking that the weather is awesome this time a year since it is Spring, and at least I wouldn't have to work on really nice days. It's the ultimate one two combination to put me a bad mood. As if God descended down and said "Scott, you're fired! Oh, by the way, here are some clouds and rain for the next week just in case your confidence level somehow withstands the punch of losing your job."

I'm still trying to keep my head up. I get to go to Europe for the first time in a couple of weeks. I sleep in everyday, and I have all day everyday to spend however I want. The only problem is me finding what I want to do.

Day 6: No job searching the last couple of days, since it is the weekend. Employers really don't post jobs on the weekend for the most part.

Andrea's graduation is today, so there is a ton of her family here that I have never met. "Hi, I'm her unemployed boyfriend." Sounds pretty impressive. It was kind of a nice to watch the newest episode of the Sopranos, and then go to a party. Usually the end of the Sopranos represents the end of my weekend, and I have to get up early the next morning.

Day 7: Now that it's Monday, I started searching for jobs again. I saw the position I was fired from posted on Careerbuilder.com. I thought it might be funny to apply again with a cover letter that read something like this:
"Dear IT Manager,
My name is Scott and I recently saw your posting for a computer programmer on Careerbuilder. I am an out of work programmer and think I would be a good fit for your company. It has come to my attention that your company allows smoking in its offices. I am a strong supporter of ridiculous policies and an unhealthy workplace. I also understand that I may be fired without notice or reason at any point since you were born without a spine...."

You get the idea.

Having no job and no structured schedule that I am forced to follow is starting to effect my energy level tremendously I think. I was never really all that motivated about much before, but now it is getting ridiculous. Today I slept until around 10:30am. Andrea made me pancakes and I went online looking for jobs. After that I watched television for a few hours. Then I went and sat at my computer and worked on a few things for a couple of more hours. After that, I returned to lay down on the couch to watch more hours of television which was followed by a nap. From 7pm until now (10:30pm) I have continued to lay on the couch and watch television shows I do not even like. As a matter of fact, I am updating this post from my couch since my PC is hooked up to my television. Right now, I am the definition of pure laziness. I can't seem to get motivated or excited about anything. I thought living like this would be a dream, but it is really just extremely boring.

It has still rained every single day since I have been fired.

Day 8: Yet another cloudy day, although it has yet to rain. I sent resumes out to about 5 different companies this morning. I would estimate that I have sent it out to about 15 or so companies in the last week. Of those, I will probably be lucky to hear back from one. Of my last six interviews, I have been offered all six positions. I have a ton of confidence in my ability to do an interview, but my ability to get a call or e-mail returned is certainly lacking.

My parents are taking me and Andrea out for dinner tonight. Usually this wouldn't be a big deal, but right now I am all about a free meal.

It's currently 1:00pm and I haven't really been off the couch yet. I am going to try and prevent another day like yesterday, and do some productive things. To my credit though, I did a good amount of job searching this morning. I have decided to install Linux on one of my machines and setup a web server. I don't really need to, it's just something I have never done and a good chance to learn new software. In a couple of hours from now, it is very possible that I will have decided it is a waste of my time and return to the couch for television.

So it finally rained, which continues the streak of rain everyday since I was fired. I did get out of the house and get a couple of things done. I hooked up an extra monitor that I picked up at my parent's house, until it started burning up and I had to turn it off. I did start working on my little project and actually stayed productive most of the day.

Day 9: My voucher for unemployment is still under review. I have yet to receive an unemployment check, and still do not know when I will receive one. It is a bit confusing because in the last 18 months, I had earned wages in Arkansas. Those wages had to be transferred to Indiana or something, which I got a letter about in the mail today. I believe it is all taken care of now, they do all the transfers themselves. So it is no extra work for me or anything, I guess it just takes a little extra time for them. So far, filing for unemployment has been pretty simple and has all been online. If it works out, I'll be forced to say that the Indiana Department of Workforce Development system is designed pretty well and keeps it pretty simple for the users.

It looks like today will be the first day without rain. The sun is finally out. Now if I can just find a job. I only sent out one resume today, which makes today the lowest number sent since I started last week.

My trip to Europe would probably be a lot better if I had a job waiting for me when I returned. Since I leave in about six days, that is not very likely. Even if I had an interview tomorrow, it usually takes at least a week after that to hear back from a potential employer.