Laid Off, Now What?

October 21, 2009

Still Lookin’

Filed under: 2009 October — Les O'Riley @ 12:55 pm
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I had an interview with the local college, but found out 2 weeks later that they had hired someone else. However, I applied for an even better position with the college this week. We’ll see how this turns out. I’m still upbeat. (Not beat up.)

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’.

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 16, 2009

Another week… bring it on

Filed under: 2009 February — Les O'Riley @ 2:01 am
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Week 2, unemployed but moving forward. I’ll be hunting new opportunities and sending our resumes. Perhaps I’ll even get my first unemployment check in. Wouldn’t that be nice?

For any others that are out there looking for a job, best of success to you! Let me know how it goes for you, what works and what doesn’t. We’re going to find something good out there. ~ Les


February 13, 2009

What to do, what to do…

Filed under: 2009 February — Les O'Riley @ 1:36 am
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Iris got a job today and starts training in April. I don’t know what I want to do. I have a job offer from the same place, and could work on the same schedule as Iris, just not as her supervisor. Anyway, I think I can find a way better paying job, so that’s my dilemma. I’m not thinking about it any more tonight.

I think I’ll sleep on this one.

Tomorrow’s Friday. That’s even nice when you’re unemployed.

Good nite. ~ Les

2009 Keyboard

2009 Keyboard

February 11, 2009

Tomorrow: Same place, 2nd interview

Filed under: 2009 February — Les O'Riley @ 11:04 pm
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Interview # 2, for a position that pays less than my unemployment. So, I guess tomorrow will be chalked up as “interview practice.” I’d like to go to work for this company, but I can’t afford to, literally.  It is for SO much less than what I was making, even if they offered me a supervisory position right from the start, which is not their common policy. Iris on the other hand might take a job there, because it will be a nice supplement to my better paying job, “if & when” I get one.

Tomorrow ends that phase of job hunting. Iris will probably accept if offered, I’ll be turning it down. After we get tomorrow over with, I’ll be looking into a job as an Assistant Manager that pays pretty well. Still not as well as my previous job, but if Iris gets the job tomorrow, and I get the Assistant Manager job, it will be a net gain.

I still hope to return to my previous job, but that opportunity may not arise for years to come. I hope that’s not the case. So where will I be applying for an Assistant Manager’s job?

Well, we all know them.

I’m off to dream of double-dip cones from this company. Stay tuned. ~ Les

You know you like 'em!

You know you like 'em!

February 6, 2009

First week unemployed ends upbeat

Filed under: 2009 February — Les O'Riley @ 10:18 pm
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One week down. Of course I’d be cheating if I said I’ve been unemployed for a (whole) week already. Let’s not exaggerate! Tuesday was my last day at the office, and today is Friday. It’s amazing how quickly you can lose track of time, the day of the week and month. What year is this?

Today however, was a great day. I spoke with the Talent Acquisition Manager (some title, eh?) at a local company that wants to talk to me about employment. In fact, this coming Tuesday I will be going in to meet the Talent Acquisition Manager and take a tour of their facility. I won’t be alone, either. Iris, (my wife) is coming with me to explore employment opportunities as well. So this setup is encouraging.

Starting the day off, we ran to the post office. Then picked up my BP meds from the Chickasaw Medical Center, (they team-up with the Choctaws,) made a job-hunting phone call and then headed off to Texas. We popped across the river so I could get a copy of the new catalog from my previous job. It had just arrived yesterday. My boss had dropped me an email to let me know it was in, and to come get one if I’d like one. I worked in the company’s Publishing Department, and the production of our Spring/Summer catalog is one of our most important projects of the year.

Best of all I was able to see some of my co-workers, most of whom I truly consider friends, albeit mostly on a professional basis. I saw Chris, D’Anna, Jerry, Deb, Mike McC, Regina, MaryLynn, Larry and a few others. It felt good to see that my “cube” had not been assimilated back into the company borg. My stuff remains just as I left it, perhaps just waiting for the economy to improve so I can return to my home-away-from-home. By the way, for those that know former employee Angela B., Iris and I ran into her with her son in Hobby Lobby. All is okay with her and she’s enjoying life.

It’s really great when your job means a lot more to you than just a paycheck. My paychecks have been auto-deposited for years now. I don’t even remember what a paycheck looks like. I trust that they have been steadily flowing in, considering that my lights are still on.

We raced back from Texas to jump into our workout clothes and head out to our aerobics class at the Choctaw Wellness Center. I’m so grateful to the tribe for opening a wellness center that is open for FREE to all members of the Choctaw Tribe, of which I am 1/16th by blood. Now that I am as sore as I usually am after doing crunches, squats, and other such tortures, I’m jumping into the tub with a good book.

Have a great weekend.  By the way, I couldn’t fool anyone yesterday by putting a false answer on the Subway Track Critter poll. You guessed right, and boy do they know how to get around the Subway System! ~ Les

Let me be your Subway guide...

Let me be your Subway guide...

February 3, 2009

Packing the Boxes and Saying Farewell

Filed under: 2009 February — Les O'Riley @ 10:28 pm
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Today was “clean out the cubicle day.” So that’s what I did. A bunch of Clorox wipes, a few boxes and three eco-friendly Walmart bags to carry them in. A few hours later it was all over.  Many handshakes were exchanged, hugs were given & received, and upbeat words were shared. Last remaining files of importance were transferred from my PC to the server, files of insignificance were deleted and everything in my cube was powered off for the near foreseeable future.

Somehow it’s still okay. I didn’t do anything to deserve being laid off and my boss expressed high hopes that I can return in the hopefully not-too-distant future. My hopes are there too. As of today I’m already registered for unemployment benefits with the Texas WorkForce Commission. I did my first job search, somewhat saddened to note that on first glance there were only two jobs within a one hour drive from home. I don’t even recall if either of them were a match for my qualifications. But I’ll be patient. I’m just getting started.

Ending on a positive note, my daughter-in-law shared this thought upon hearing of my lay-off:

On a glass-half-full note, one benefit of being unemployed is that you have a lot more time to spend with your wife.  I know this year has been miserable for Anthony in a lot of ways, but one of the positives has definitely been how good it’s been for our marriage.

My daughter and son both sent me upbeat thoughts by email as well. In trying times like these I’m not going to take moral support and love from family and friends for granted. When I pulled up to the house tonight, my wife met me at the curbside with a smile and helped me carry my 3 boxes in eco-friendly Walmart bags into the house. We’re a team in everything we do. It’s great to have her by my side.

I go to bed tonight ready to meet tomorrow.

~ Les

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