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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Unemployed and frustrated!

I was laid off the first of July from my position as a Building Clerk for the county. There were 3 of us in my department laid off. We had known for at least 3 months that it was happening, and for over a year and a half we'd been trying to offer suggestions (cutting back hours, etc) to help save jobs. Unfortunately, building in Oregon is way down (imagine that?) and so I started collecting unemployment.
This is the first time in my life I haven't worked for this long. Even when I went to the recovery center, I was only off for 4 months or so. I had a ladder to climb back up, so I started at the bottom and was proud of it.
Now, I'm torn. I lost about $400 a month plus health insurance when I was laid off. I make $355 a week on unemployment, plus what I make with my temporary work and egg sales adding $50 a week. I do claim that on my unemployment report, because if I didn't, I'd get caught. The county would like me to find work so they don't have to pay my unemployment. They are self-insured, so it doesn't come from the government.
Here's my dilemma. There have been some jobs available, but the ones with the county are all going to start at about $50 a week less than I make on my unemployment and side income, and the positions will be on the chopping block in about a month because of more budget cuts. So, if I get hired and make less, then get laid off and collect unemployment, it will be less. A couple of the other positions I've seen are about $50 less a week also, with no benefits at all. One of them was a job in a office that is open every 2-3 months because of the owner. When I talked to the person who was still there, she said the owner had her in tears 2-3 times a week, often in front of clients. I can't work in that environment. Too much like the office I was in when I started drinking heavy.
We are making ends meet, but barely. Yes, I could cut our internet and the basic cable TV from the budget, but much of the extra money I make comes from internet access (e-bay sales, etc) and hubby does watch TV at night to relax (he doesn't read). Reality is that taking one of these jobs while I still have a year or more on my unemployment will cause more harm financially. I am proud of the fact that bills are getting paid even though money is so tight and I finally have time to do some things around the house. I even started my official (I have a tax id number) home business.
I am a hard worker! I clean an attorney's office and do yard work there once a month, I've milked goats to earn money for hay, I will do any sort of odd job you send my way, because I am not afraid of getting dirty to bring in some money. However, I am not ready to start at the bottom of the ladder once again in regards to my employment. My husband is in full support of me not taking the first thing that opens up. That's what I've done all my life, and look where it got me? Maybe when it gets closer to the unemployment going away, I'll be more willing to take a lower paying job, but right now, I need to do what's best for the family and quit being so scared of what other's might think.
On a happy note (for me, anyway) we have snow forecast for our area tonight and tomorrow. I am hoping it sticks. We haven't had a snow day ever, I don't think... I'd love to get all my chores done today so if it happens, I can hang out with Lyndsey, playing in the snow (all two inches-LOL) and drinking cocoa.
Also, Bella, the mixed breed we adopted from the pound, has met the lambs and though she is very curious, she is moving very slow and not trying to play with them. She even "helped" me get one of the lambs into the separate pen the other day. I don't think she knew what she was doing, but I made sure to make a big deal of it afterwards.
Wishing you all a day filled with hope, joy and faith!


  1. My husband's plant closed about 2 1/2 years ago so we are getting to the end of his unemployement. It really is a dilemma what to take and what not to. Only you can decide what works for you.

    Good luck getting this all sorted out.

  2. I think you are doing just exactly what is right for you right now. It's not like you're sitting on your rusty-duster and not working at all . . . which, sadly, you know is what many people on unemployment chose to do. And if anyone looks at your situation and thinks it's wrong, well that's their problem, not yours. We all spend way too much time worrying about what "others" think of us. We can't change anyone else's way of thinking, thoughts or feelings. Forget about them. You're doing great being the best person you can be. You're to be given a LOT of credit for handling a difficult situation and doing darn good at it. There are many of us out here pulling for you. You go, Girl!

  3. Ruth,
    I can so relate, but not from my personal standpoint but rather my husband's. You see he switched jobs, long story I posted about it in Oct2010, I think? He took a pay cut which was okay because we are debt free so this affords us some breathing room, or so we thought! Now with ever rising grain prices and everything else rising due to the "domino effect" and now looking at higher and higer fuel costs we're soon going to be at a point where he's working for $$ to pay utitlity bills, buy feed, a few groceries and gas to work to pay bills, buy feed, a few groceries and gas*sheesh* If gas goes as high as $4 a gallon we'll almost be upside down in this salary( if that makes sense?) So unless the employer wants to raise his salary with the econimic price increases we may have to look for something closer to home for him to earn some $$.

    Good luck, we'll add you to our prayer journal, praying the job with a good salary turns up for you quickly.:o)

    Blessings and enjoy your weekend,

  4. I think I tend to agree with you, Ruth - the government makes it very hard to get back in the game and succeed at it. You have to do what is right for YOUR family right now, you are getting those bills paid now and you deserve to be able to keep up with that, and gas is expected to be near $5 a gallon soon so you'll have to add that to the expenses, too. The lower paying jobs will be a valid position once your unemployment runs out, but for now, do what you have to do. That's what unemployment and other assistance programs are for, to keep your head even with the water, not to sink you. You're a taxpayer just like the rest of us, one of those "there but for the grace of God, go I"... You definitely have my support! BTW thanks for the book, it arrived yesterday!