Christmas Vacation

Ah, I just made it through my favorite time of year, unemployed, again. Technically, I am not unemployed at the moment because I obtained a temporary seasonal position at a big box store making minimum wage. In an earlier post I said unemployment was like a long vacation with no money to spend. Well, working the Christmas season at a retail establishment for minimum wage basically takes away all your time and contributes very little money. Retail work is shift work; you seldom have the same schedule two days in a row, and you seldom have two days off in a row. So working a minimum wage retail job, you have no extra time and still very little money. It almost seems a poor trade off. I also had to get used to doing physical labor again, which probably is a good thing, being forced to exercise. But tiring.

It is humbling though, to be at the bottom of the totem pole, again. Such a job is not exactly why I returned to college as an adult to finish my degree, why myself and my children lived on ramen noodles while I was in school and why I will have student debt to pay into my retirement.

Hmmm, paying student loans with my Social Security check, interesting. I waited too late to finish my degree. Between my first year of college and my graduation was 32 years. I’d wager you don’t know anyone who can beat that. But I assumed a degree would open doors for me, that I would be better able to support myself and any dependents. And it did for a while. After graduating, I began growing a nice career for seven years. I would obtain a job in less than a week when needed. Then I was laid off near the end of the recession, and a poor economy and ageism hit, hard. I have had many interviews. It used to be if I obtained an interview, I got the job. Now, though I sound young on my resume, having graduated in 2004, when I walk into an interview it is obvious that I am not in my thirties. Many people have told me that I look good for my age, but there is the problem, “for my AGE.”  There is not much I can do about the years passing. Yet, I hadn’t had time to develop much of a network, but that is the best way to get employment. I will work on it. Hey, I am meeting you, in a manner of speaking, and the pleasure is all mine.

C.G.

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About mylifesapark

I love hearing people laugh at my stories. Not fiction, but stories from my life and the lives of friends and family. No one is safe, but I change the names to protect the innocent and guilty, I am not here to make enemies. This blog is about the ridiculousness of life and the unexpected sweetness. OK, so now you are wondering what the title is about. I love parks. I grew up in a city with great parks and lived directly across the street from a 45-acre one. And when I say parks I am not talking about a small patch of green and a playground, I am talking lush green hills and woods with trees four or five stories tall. To me parks are the greatest places on earth. A full life must include at least one great park on a regular basis. I could have called the blog “My life is a walk in the Park” but that was too long. “A walk in the Park was taken. But I realize that I would prefer comparing life to a park itself, rather than just a walk in one. I want the tragic-comedy of life to be as rich and lush as the parks that I love.
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