Laid Off, Now What?

July 27, 2009

Iris is Doing Great; I’m Still Lookin’

Filed under: Uncategorized — Les O'Riley @ 12:40 pm
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Iris is going on 4 weeks on the job.

She’s learning more and more each day, and becoming a greater part of the team that helps the Durant City Manager’s Office run smoothly.

As for me, I’m crankin’ out resumes like there’s no tomorrow. Along with sending out resumes, I’m taking an online course, the Essentials of HR, created by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM,) a professional organization I joined a month ago. HR is my new career path, if I can just break in.

That’s it for now.

July 5, 2009

A Great First Week on the New Job for Iris

Filed under: Uncategorized — Les O'Riley @ 12:10 am
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Edward's Turtle Pie

Edward's Turtle Pie

Celebration time. Iris is now the Receptionist for our City Manager’s Office.
She’s worked over a decade in a face paced medical & education administration field, so this feels right at home. Her co-workers like her, she likes them, the office is a professional setting, so she feels right at home — jobwise.

The timing was perfect. She turned in her resignation from her Verison DSL Technical Support job, and in less than 10 days she had a resume submitted to the City of Durant, and was called in almost immediately for an interview. A second interview a couple of days later, and after meeting with the City Manager, she was hired. She’ll be a good fit there.

Now, if only yours truly can find a job. I’m lookin’, I’m lookin’.

June 26, 2009

A New Job for Iris!

Filed under: 2009 June — Les O'Riley @ 11:14 am
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Iris-June-24-2009Iris went on an interview with the City of Durant on Monday and was called back in on Tuesday to meet with the City Manager and the two interviewers from Monday in a group meeting. The City Manager said Iris was thought of highly enough for them to bring her in for a second interview, and that she was actually the first one brought in to meet with him. The last of the applicants were interviewed on Wednesday, and by that afternoon Iris was called back and offered the position, contingent on passing a criminal background check, physical, and toxicology screening, which she now has. Next week she will join the City Manager’s support staff. It’s a great place to start, after having been out of the workforce for the past 9 years.

We’re thrilled for her to have this opportunity to contribute to our community, and a solid job as well. Durant is one of the more fortunate small cities in Oklahoma in that it’s financially stable, due to its growth, even in this current recession.

Iris already feels a sense that she will be a “part of the team.” All in all, it will be a much better fit for her than the call center position, and she’s excited about working for the city. She’s also grateful that this position was available … she just got her resume “in” before they closed the job opening. Good benefits to boot.

 

I’m proud of my gal!

 

Durant, Oklahoma City Hall

Durant, Oklahoma City Hall

 

June 19, 2009

I’m Still At It, and Iris is Job Hunting Once Again

Filed under: 2009 June — Les O'Riley @ 5:40 pm
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clock-time-keeps-on-ticking
We’re both job hunting, again.

Things just didn’t work out for Iris with Verison DSL Small Business Technical Support. She is fantastic with people and customer service, but just isn’t a walking/talking techie. It was very stressful, and together we decided that this position was not worth the amount of stress that it put on her. But she tried, and is welcome to return or even work part time, but it’s not a good fit. Iris is once again searching, searching, searching. Go get ’em, Iris.

Raytheon (once again) sent me a notification that I meet the criteria that they set forth for a certain position. In this case, I match on all ten points for what they are seeking for a Supply Specialist II. What they’re communicating is, “if you’re interested in this position, you’d better get your resume submitted for this one.” Raytheon is very well set up to allow you to access your documents that you have previously uploaded in order to submit them again for another opening. If only more companies were this organized! We’ll see if I can get called in for an interview on this one. The opening is for their McKinney, Texas plant, but that’s still within driving range. We’ll see how this one plays out.

May 31, 2009

Sunday Morning, 100% Live Tech Support

Filed under: 2009 May — Les O'Riley @ 7:22 am
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I’m still unemployed.

I know my next job is out there.

I know my next job is out there.

However, today being Sunday, a new week begins. For Iris, this means that she will be taking live technical support calls for Verizon Small Business DSL customers. Her training wheels are off and now it’s time to help these people re-connect!

I continue to find advertised jobs that I am perfectly qualified for and pump out resumes. One of these days I hope I will get a response. Job hunting is not an emotionally re-enforcing pastime. You can send out 100 resumes to places that you perfectly match or exceed what potential employers are looking for, and if you’re lucky, you may get 5 responses. How’s that for a confidence builder? But it’s okay. We just need to keep our eyes open, paper & ink in the printer, and keep on truckin’.

So that’s what I’ll do. If you’re in the same boat, welcome aboard. Let’s get going.

May 28, 2009

Week 5, Next Week Live!

Filed under: 2009 May — Les O'Riley @ 8:05 am
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last week of training

last week of training


Five weeks of training completed


Iris is on the phone live this week but being monitored. If she does well, she goes live, unmonitored next week. If they feel she could use a little bit more help, they’ll monitor her for another week so they can be on-hand to give her assistance. This has been some training session. I know she can do it!

Chinese Baoding Balls

Chinese Baoding Balls

I’m taking a tip from my friend Barb at Before Morning Breaks and I’m going to give the Chinese baoding balls a try for relaxation, concentration and brain sharpening. I turned 53 today, and know that I can use all the brain sharpening help I can get. My set contains 40mm balls with fancy little dragons. Let’s see what they’re like. I’ll post back after I’ve used them for a while. It will be interesting to compare with Barb our feelings as to whether these are beneficial in any way. Documentation says it take more than a week of usage before one will begin to notice any benefits. Ha! I’m sure it will take at least that long to be able to coordinate turning these around in one hand. It should be an interesting learning experience.

May 17, 2009

Three Weeks Down, Two to Go

Filed under: 2009 May — Les O'Riley @ 6:54 pm
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3 Weeks Down

3 Weeks Down

Iris has just finished three out of her five weeks of training for her new job as a Technical Support Person for Verizon DSL Small Business Customers. Go Iris! Training for this tech support position has been a full-time endeavor. Her typical day has been like this, with no exception: Up at 7, shower, dress, inventory everything to go to work with, (lunchbox, waters, notebook/pen, purse, etc.) breakfast/coffee to go, and off she goes to be in work by 8:30. Classes start at 9, taking notes, working with equipment, listening in on calls and discussing everything with team members. Break for lunch, back at it, off at 5-5:30. After getting home and putting on some comfy clothes, we have dinner together, one day of the week watching our favorite TV show, (Medium) and back to studying. Iris spends most of the evening typing up notes from the day to study. It hasn’t been easy getting to bed at a decent time.

But Iris is a trooper. I continue to try to do all the things that she did while I was working, dishes, laundry, vacuuming, mowing the lawn, weed-whacking, taking out the garbage, changing the kitty box, etc., etc. Did I mention cooking 3 square meals a day? (Otherwise her lunchbox would have an echo in it.) One thing I think every day (for 3 weeks now) is that Iris did this same thing for me without complaining for nine YEARS! I suppose it will become routine, but it seems like it never ends. I’m not complaining, because at the same time it makes me more appreciative of what she has done for me for so long, and at the same time it gives me constructive things to do to maintain my sanity. I have come to the conclusion that it really is good for us to be busy.

I have been trying to retrain myself into being a one-task-at-a-time doer. I have read a lot lately about “living in the moment” instead of “…hoping for the future and worrying about the past” as Joni Mitchell once sang. After all, what can we do about the past? Can we really change the future?

Here’s a beautiful quote by Henry David Thoreau:

You must live in the present,
launch yourself on every wave,
find your eternity in each moment.

Not that he meant “launching yourself on every wave” as in a surfboard, but as surfing is my favorite sport, it makes this quote especially wonderful to contemplate. Here’s to you catching every wave of the moment. Not the past or the future, but the one right under your feet right now.

In the Moment

In the Moment

May 4, 2009

One Week of Training Down

Filed under: 2009 May — Les O'Riley @ 8:35 am
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One Week Down

One Week Down

Iris finished up her first week of training. A few other adults and a whole bunch of techies, geeks and gamers rounded out the 18 or so individuals that make up her training class. Sort of an odd bunch. But I think that’s just the way it goes. Who else would want to commit to taking care of someone elses many computer problems, alllllllll day long?

So at first Iris is finding the material a little bit foreign. PPPoE, open, closed, DHCP, DNS… what the heck is this all about? While in the past Iris left all the technical stuff to me on our home network, like it or not, I think she’s going to be getting the hang of this stuff real soon. Stay tuned to how she fairs in week two.

My life as a house keeper continues. I have 25  minutes left to finish this post before it’s time to empty the cat box and get the garbage out to the corner. We never know when our garbage man is going to fly through. Sometimes as early as 10am, but sometimes as late as 5pm. He’ll be here, sooner or later, I just want to make sure we’re ready for him.

I put a bunch of resumes out last week. One was for a position I am perfectly suited for. It is for catalog production, design and editing for a women’s apparel catalog of a major clothing outlet. They want someone with a bachelor’s degree, (check) and at least two years experience, (check). Now, if they would only CALL me! The job is in McKinney, Texas, about a 45 minute drive from here, but I’d take it in a heartbeat.

That’s all for now. The cat box calls… ~ Les

April 25, 2009

One Down (not me) One to Go

Filed under: 2009 April — Les O'Riley @ 12:24 am
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Iris got a job.

Verizon Tech Support

Verizon Tech Support

I would have joined this tech support team as well if it weren’t for the little matter of insurance. If Iris and I both took a tech support position starting Monday, (which is when Iris will start her 5 week training period,) neither one of us would have insurance. In fact, if we both took the job, neither one of us would have insurance for 3 months, the mandatory waiting period before you’re allowed to have insurance. That’s pretty common, but creates quite a sticky situation.

Who can live without health insurance? The last time I was unemployed, I had only lost my job (and insurance) a few weeks earlier, when BAMMM!, Iris developed excruciatingly painful kidney stones. So, what’s one to do… off to the emergency room we went. A small treatment or two and a couple of thousand dollars and she was all better. So much for savings. Count with me: ONE…TWO…THREE! Gone.

Since I still have COBRA insurance available to me from my most recent job (who I wish would call me back,) I will maintain my insurance for the next 3 months until Iris’ insurance kicks in, and then she can tack me onto her insurance as well. Of course if I find a wonderful and high paying job in the meantime in this thriving economy, I’ll just drop the COBRA and pay for our insurance until Iris’ kicks in and covers us both. This should happen any day now, eh?

New idea: in addition to continuing to look for a job, I am going to take a certification course to become a Pharmacy Technician. (A glorified prescription filler.) Before you say “why?” consider this: The average starting pay for a Pharmacy Technician is $18.33 an hour, and it only takes a 6 month course to prepare for the national exam.  Then I’ll have a bachelor’s degree in Management, an associate’s degree in Network Administration, and a Pharmacy Technician certification. Heck, after that maybe I’ll add a Master’s degree in Health Science, and then a Doctorate of Pharmacy! Who knows. One step at a time.

Anyway, that’s the plan. Next week I get to start doing all of the things that Iris has so wonderfully done while I was working full time over the last 9 years we’ve shared our lives together… cleaning, cooking, laundry, mowing, (darn it!,) changing the cat box, (eww!,) grocery shopping, and who knows what else. Oh yeah, paying the bills… with her income, however.

So, this is a switch, but really it’s just another way for us to work out the every day demands of life together. We make our decisions together which gives us great confidence that everything is going to work out fine.

February 26, 2009

Iris’ Surgery Staples

Filed under: 2009 February — Les O'Riley @ 12:54 am
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Iris’ surgery staples are out. Yay! I dare say she doesn’t miss them either. There’s just something about little metal spikes through your skin that the body just doesn’t like. Since she had 20 staples, that’s 40 little spike holes. Each one was really red, her body telling them to get out.

Tomorrow I’ll get back to job hunting. No really, I promise.

But let’s face it, helping my wife while she’s recovering comes first. ~ Les

More to come

More to come

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