Well, Shoot!

I apologize in advance for the “woe is me” tone of this post but I’ve had a blow and am feeling a wee bit down.  This afternoon, one day before my health insurance coverage was to go into effect (assuming the paperwork was even filed), my boss and the office manager called me in to say there just wasn’t enough work to keep me on staff.  That’s it.  They had the layoff form ready and a check for this last week.  After I pay rent I’ll have a couple hundred in the bank.

I have to say that this is harder the 2nd time around.  The first time I had no doubt I’d be back in a job in no time at all. Having lived through being unemployed for 2 years I have no such optimism this time around.  I didn’t have a chance to build up any safety net and didn’t get to have my tooth fixed, or my eyes checked, or a prescription for my migraine medicine filled.  I feel old, and tired and defeated.  And I really wish I hadn’t just paid for several weeks of after school program care that I won’t need but cannot get a refund for.

I’ll file for unemployment again but I don’t even know if I’ll have any benefits coming to me, having almost exhausted them before being hired and making such a minimal amount of money in the past 3 months.  I didn’t even get to be considered for a new job (and yes,  I did apply for two) while I was working.  Now I’ll be back on the blacklist as an unemployed worker.

I had such plans.  I made a budget that would get us into an apartment by this time next year – or maybe even allow us to put a down payment on a mobile home.  There’s so much I wanted to give the kids, now I’m back to not knowing if I’ll be able to pay for the things I’ve committed to (such as the $30 a month trumpet rental for beginning band, the internet connection…).  I was even thinking about a triumphant ending for my book! I haven’t told the kids yet.  After picking them up from school (and surreptitiously telling the after school manager that we won’t be back after next week) I went shopping for food.  Having a full pantry helps me feel secure!

It’s interesting how much this really feels like a blow – I was energetic and feeling fine this morning, working on a sort of advertising letter to send to architects and planners, now I have an impending migraine, and my entire body feels achy!

Feeling a little lost today.  Tomorrow its back to the job ads and networking with a different goal.


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22 Responses to Well, Shoot!

  1. maja says:

    That really blows. I hope this is a case of one door closes but another opens.

  2. Anita Lundquist says:

    So sorry for you. But if I were you I would still let the kids go to after school care a couple of times a week. That way you will have more time to yourself, to look for jobs, clean, go for walks, take care of yourself etc.

    I hope for the best for you and yur family!

    Single with two Hubeidaughters

  3. Barb says:

    If you are a person of faith and belong to a church, please use any and all support you can. I will pray for you.

  4. I am sooo soooo sorry this happened. Believe me, you can get a refund! People are not heartless. My daughter was in a situation where she was overwhelmed by not being chosen for after-school-care for her child, standing listening to “rule in stone and no exception” being spelled out to her. Out of sheer emotion, she broke down, sobbing. They changed their ingraved-in-stone rules. I am not suggesting you cry, but would not blame you at all! My daughter said she was not trying to get them to be swayed by crying, but she said she could not stand one more bad thing to happen and this would have been the straw the broke the camel’s budget/back.

  5. eva says:

    I have an opposing yet complementary story. My third day at my new job, I threw out my back. I am certain it is because of the poor desk set-up they gave me, but anyway, it is what it is. I was walking down the street, passed out from the pain, and worried passersby called an ambulance and took me to the hospital. Fortunately, my job had given me health insurance from day 1. So they gave me 6 drugs, and I didn’t pay a cent. I’m unlucky to have thrown out my back (I still can’t walk and took the very first sick day in my life), but I’m lucky to have been covered.

    Here is where it may be complementary: I had those prescriptions filled when I was still highly drugged from the hospital and didn’t know what did what. Some are for things that I will use, like reducing muscle spasms and inflammation. But the pain meds, I would rather do without. If I can’t feel my back, how can I tell if I’m doing something wrong that will hurt it again?

    And please, everyone reading this — please value your ability to walk. I undervalued it myself. Just a week ago I could even dance! And yet for the past half a week I have been unable to get out of bed. I hope I don’t end up a cripple for life.

  6. Merinda says:

    Yikes. not much to contribute, but *hug*. Just wondering, are there any temp agencies like, say Manpower, around there you can try using?

  7. Lisa M. says:

    Did they keep you employed for the full term that they had promised? If not, and if you have paperwork to that effect, consider suing them. Many lawyers will take their fee out of whatever settlement is arrived at (e.g., they’ll take 33% of whatever they are able to argue for) and they won’t get paid if they don’t get anything. If they don’t think they can get anything, they won’t take the case. If there is any breach of contract, you can’t afford not to pursue it legally.

    How disheartening – I’m so very sorry about this.

    • boxcarkids says:

      It was employment at will – I could leave anytime, they could kick me out anytime. And I was making so little that I doubt any lawyers would consider it anyway.

  8. Sharon says:

    +1 to Jynet’s response … Was a little concerned after last week’s comments that this might be on the horizon. Is it possible that your employer would let you stay on the insurance program long enough to attend your immediate health needs? Also, I would lean on your employer like crazy for referrals/leads on potential employment. After all, they let you go because of lack of opportunities, not the quality of your work. The biggest problem (IMHO) in your last round of unemployment was the lack of networking possibilities. You WILL survive this …

    • boxcarkids says:

      No – I think the healthcare premium costs were probably what made them decide to lay me off! I might have lasted another couple months if I hadn’t wanted to increase hours and become eligible for health care. Now I have to spend time untangling the kids healthcare mess – because of the job we lost our Medi-cal benefits and I had just, this week, applied for the low cost kids health care. Now I’ll have to see if I can cancel that and reapply for Medi-Cal – all these things have waiting periods so we’ll have to continue to put off the appointments I had lined up for the middle of October.

  9. Jeannette says:

    ugg! I can see the sadness and well understood, try to do something today that has nothing to do with money, job searching or bills. take the kids to a park, beach or something that just expels fun! And then on Monday well we go back to reality. But give your self a break from so much bleakness otherwise it will swallow you up


  10. Robin says:

    I hope you can appeal to the highest person in charge of the after school program about getting that money back. Rules can be broken…especially at a time like this.
    You truly are one of the strongest women I “know.” 🙂

  11. Consuelo says:

    Am so very sorry to hear this. I agree with Margaret–take a deep breath and try to calmly focus on what you can do right now to earn money. Since the kids are in the after school program for a whole week more, try to use that paid for free time to pursue any and all available options. Also, take as good care of yourself if you can. If you just don’t think it is important, ask yourself “what happens to my kids if I get really sick?” Eat as well as you can, get free exercize by walking as much as possible, and when the day is over and it is time to go to sleep tell yourself “I did as much as I could today” and get a good night’s rest. It is understandable that you are feeling lost right now…all of us who follow your blog are wishing the best for you and your family.

  12. Catherine N. says:

    I am so sorry! That is awful.

  13. Margaret says:

    Ouch! Sorry this has happened. Take a deep breath – you’ll get through this too! Maybe this job was meant to get you primed for the job to come. The field you were hired for is weak at the moment, so maybe there is another door opening for you. Today I met a woman in her 50’s, whose positive phrasing just naturally lifted the moods of those in her company. Turns out she is a licensed therapeutic massage therapist (her location is in connection with a beauty salon though I have not been there and don’t know if it is located on a different floor) and in our discussion, I learned she also has a second income by cleaning a few homes on the side. Now, this avenue would be a total change from the office you would like to have, and training and testing is required but maybe the state offers some kind of funding grant for those unemployed willing to retrain for a new career? Could you tutor? Hire out to help others move or organize? I am just thinking of some ways for relatively fast cash and low overhead. Hang in there!

  14. Jynet says:


    Well, SHIT.

  15. bogart says:

    Oh, I’m sorry.

  16. Lynn says:

    I am so very sorry.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I am so sorry! That is really horrible.

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