I would have been fully laid off if it weren't for my co-worker Jeff. He was willing to take a 40% pay cut FOR MY SAKE! I am still astounded by this unbelievable act of selflessness and have nothing but respect and gratitude for Jeff. This is what people talk about when they speak of random acts of kindness. Thank you again for this window of time Jeff.
This has been an interesting experience to say the least. Feeling each day like you don't really deserve being unemployed, and yet knowing that there are millions out there feeling the same exact way as you. Not to mention, the hundreds of thousands of people who are unemployed, and in a much worse situation than I am. To my advantage, I have an advanced degree in a subject known for its difficulty and that does carry some weight. I can't even image being in manufacturing doing the same job for 20+ years, having a mortgage, family, et al - and then having your job disappear, just like that? Reeling is the only word that comes to mind.
Today, Liz and I went to the unemployment office, and the health and human services office. I simply cannot even imagine being mentally disabled (as many of the people were) and having to navigate the bureaucracy of forms, and documents, and signatures, check boxes, finger-print identification, etc. I think it would be too much (but then that's why they have a councilor/social worker there to help). Turns out that I cannot get much in the way of help while still partially employed, but even a little bit will be a load off right now. Thank the Gods that we live in a country (and I in a state) that made the decision long ago to help the unemployed to have a grace period for which to find new employ. It is clearly a way to stop and avoid the downward spiral of a failing economy by bolstering the lower strata into purchasing those needed goods like food, heat, and shelter - preventing further degradation of the local economy.
The most difficult part of this transition has been keeping my chin up. I do not like how life has decided to make this event on terms not of my choosing. I guess I've naievely thought of life as something I could control, even in face of being proven wrong on this point in the past. That's the catch, you can have control of keeping your chin up. You can work towards the next stage and try to influence in a positive direction. You can stay positive and try to roll with life's punches.
If any of you hear of ANY job that you think I would be capable of performing, please contact me, and I will apply for it. I am looking at engineering (failure, mechanical, electrical, and software -depending on the specifics), teaching (high school, community college, technical institutes, tutoring, college), or civil service (gov't, UN, Peace Corps, etc). Thanks!