Monday, January 23, 2012

Journey into Unemployment

Today I gave notice at my job. I am super excited about leaving this job. As part of getting ready to be unemployed I contacted my housekeepers to tell them 2 things. 1.  They haven't billed me for last housekeeper day. 2. I'm cancelling because I'm about to be unemployed.  Well, they claim they haven't billed me for last housekeeper day because the housekeeper didn't come.  Sadly that is incorrect since I had a newly made bed that I didn't make. Which I reported to them. She said she would investigate, but then said she may not look too hard since I'm about to be unemployed and all.  That was super sweet!

My evil boss has agreed to not fight unemployment payments for me.  This is kind of huge because it means I would at least have some money coming in.  Sadly it would be a whopping $426 per week and I make more than that, but at least it would be some money.  Interestingly I could survive on that and it would leave me almost $400/month for everything after bills. (Provided it is tax-free which I think it is). 

I've actually got two job interviews lined up. One is with the same company I had a first interview last week.  The other is a place I've been trying to phone screen with since last Monday. And here's where I now have a dilemma. What if I actually get one of these jobs? Do I take it? Even with the fuller than full time schooling? I feel like I would have to. I'm not sure if I can actually BE unemployed.  I already don't talk to people on a regular basis (or ever really).  If I am home all the time for unemployment... This could be bad for me. :)  But what if I get that fellowship? Then I'd be quitting in July. I would feel badly if I left a job that I just started 3 months later. But what if I don't get the fellowship and can't find a library job. I suppose I'll just have to wait and see. That's about all I can do isn't it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I almost never talk about finances because I HATE finances. I hate thinking about money. I hate dealing with money and I've often said I'd be better off if I gave my money to someone else to dole out an allowance to me. I suck at money. BUT since I'm quitting on Monday I need to figure out where to cut expenses and how I'm going to live while I finish my degree and find a new job. Long term blog readers may know that it took me almost a year after moving to Seattle to find a new job I liked and that didn't make me want to drink heavily.  I would rather not repeat that experience. So in an effort to figure out how to best handle my about to be new found unemployment, I took a look at what I spend my money on.  After bills, I'm ashamed to admit I spend a shitton of money on food. I am embarrassed at how much I eat out. It is ridiculous.  $180 in a month in eating out alone.  That's $6 a day I'm throwing away. Even worse is what I spend in groceries. (Although it may be skewed slightly because I also get my gas at Kroger and my debit card doesn't show the difference but really I put in about 30 bucks every 2 weeks so mostly it isn't gas).  I spent almost $600 in groceries last month.  I'm one person. What the hell am I buying?  And, I don't even know how much rotten food I throw out because I don't eat it.  Clearly I can cut back a lot on both of those items.  Oddly enough, I spend very little on other things.  I spent about $100 on gluten free baked goods.  That's a lot but it is also an anomaly.  I don't think I usually buy that much in a typical month.  And once I'm unemployed I won't buy that much at all. 

Next I'm going to do something I know is a very bad idea. I will pay a penalty for it which is a waste of money.  I'm going to cash out my retirement plan with the University and pay off my credit cards and my car so I'll have no debt during this period of un/under employment.  I will then call my credit card co and not cancel the card altogether but reduce the max to a very minimal amount.  My student loans won't start coming due until December/Jan and hopefully by then I'll have a real paying job in a library.  And I'll get another job but it will be primarily mindless. Contract or temp work would be ideal.  Something that will allow me to pay my bills and perhaps still eat.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Leap of Faith

For those that don't follow me on twitter or are friends with me on facebook, I'm about to embark on something insane. I've added one more class to my semester which puts me at 13 credits. And I'm going to quit my job.  This way I can be done with my degree in May instead of waiting until August.

This all came up because of a fellowship a friend sent to me.  I could qualify. Exemplary grades. An essay. A bunch of other things. BUT I have to have my MLIS by July 1.  If I had stuck with my current plan I wouldn't have it in time.  But in reality it makes sense. I'm on the fringe of being fired. I made a mistake. A huge one. My boss made a similar mistake but even huger, and I'm on the fringe of firing and she's not but whatever. This is my 2nd write up. I know she's planning on replacing me since I found the job listing "blind."  So this makes sense because I need a new job before August. And I don't want to work in benefits anymore which is what I'd have to try to get a job in if I left before I got my degree.

The leap of faith comes in since I could end up unemployed. For a long time. This terrifies me. I was unemployed for almost a year after moving to Seattle. I still feel the financial impact of that. BUT it is the only answer. I can't keep up at this job. (Well obviously since I'm on the brink of firing).  I'd rather quit than be fired so there you go.

I don't really believe in things happening for a reason or anything like that, but it seems like this whole change is the right thing.  My friend tweeted me about the job posting today. I read it and fell in love with the posting and discovered I wouldn't finish in time. I emailed my advisor about when I would finish if I took my summer class and the test then to discover I was 42 days after the cut off. So then I emailed back and asked about adding one more class and capstone this semester (since I didn't know what the graduate credit limit was).  The advisor called me right away because today was the deadline to add a class and pay for it. In a very short time she had me registered in a class and I paid and it is a done deal.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Online dating

So in an attempt to get something interesting or good or whatever in my life I've started online dating again. This is nerve wracking on a number of levels.  I don't think I translate well online. I've been trying to be more proactive than I usually am. Usually I post a profile and wait to see if anyone expresses any interest in me. They don't. Or sometimes super weirdos in other states do but that's really worse.  So this time I'm taking the initiative and contacting guys whose profiles I have thoroughly explored. I'm amazed at the number of guys who believe that both creationism and evolution should be taught in school.  I try to console myself with maybe they believe that since we're in Texas creationism is taught in school so evolution should be too, but I'm pretty sure that's not the belief.  That seems to be one of the lightning rod questions for me. I do like the fact that okcupid allows you to answer a lot of different types of questions (both publicly and privately) and use that to help match you up with someone. Although he's geographically less desirable, I've been texting with a guy who I am 99% compatible with according to their algorithms. I'll be meeting him on Friday night. We'll see.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Passion (less)

For the past several years I haven't felt excited about what I do. I'm not sure I've ever felt excited about what I do. I just happened to be good at it. Maybe I liked it for awhile. Hard to say at this point. I thought I liked it. But I do recall being uneasy about getting my CEBS certification because I feel like I would be pigeonholed by this job path. Luckily (or unluckily as the case may be), I hate what I do now so much I no longer want to do it ever again. Sadly I'm in kind of a weird place. I'm not done with my MLIS degree so getting a real library job isn't going to happen quite yet, but I have to get out of my current one. I tried to quit last week. Evil boss talked me out of it. Turns out evil boss has been looking for my replacement since January 4th (week before I "quit").  So really she just doesn't want me to quit until she has the new me in place and then she can fire my ass like she has wanted to for sometime. I have a phone and an inperson interview this week. Hopefully one of those will pan out so I can get the hell out of dodge.

I've started doing my practicum for my library school.  So far I've only been there for 4 days. I'm not thrilled that it is Sat & Sun from 1 - 5 PM because that means I have no days off. BUT until classes start so far it isn't totally killing me (yet).  Last weekend I mostly observed the desk but I did get to answer a few questions. I liked (for now maybe that'll change) helping kids find the books and materials they were looking for. This weekend I spent the weekend searching through the catalog to see if the books in these magazines that had positive reviews were purchased for the library. So far, not so much on the non-fiction.

I've never really felt like a person who believes you have to LOVE what you do or follow your bliss or whatever. Work is work. It would be nice if it isn't so awful you cry all the time and/or want to drink heavily, but I'm okay if I can find something to like about what I do and who I work with.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Ch Ch Ch Changes

It looks like the Peeved family will not be moving to Texas. Michelle & I talked about it the other day.  Peeved husband LOVES his new job and his new office and his coworkers and has been pushing to stay in CA.  They also have lots and lots of family there to help with the kiddos when necessary.  Strangely, I'm not at all sad about it. Mostly because I think this experiment in cheap, friendly, Republican living isn't really working for me.  I know the job thing is a HUGE part of the issue. If I were happier in my work I might be happier here. But there are some fundamental flaws with Texas.  Things like I HATE WIND.  They may not have written a song about the winds sweeping down Texas' plain, but it does.  I don't love 100+ degree weather. It may be a "dry" heat but it is still fucking hot and like the wilting flower I am I regularly suffer.

So what does this mean?  I don't know.  I'm going to start applying for jobs in CA and maybe a few other states. I have to finish my practicum here in TX.  (Well I don't HAVE to, but I would imagine it would be hard to change practicum mid-stream.)  I should be done with it on tax day, which is actually sooner than I originally thought.  Everything else I have to do can be done online. I can't figure out if I should just slog through the hell job for another 3 - 4 months so I can finally apply for library jobs since I'll be essentially done by May/June or find another benefits job for awhile.  If I move to CA, it will have to be another benefits job. As it is, I almost cried when I looked at the rents there. Who knows what is coming, but I'm keeping my mind open to it.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

God doesn't want me to have a good New Year's Eve

I went camping this New Year's Eve. I had this whole romantical idea that I would ring in the new year under the stars.  That sort of worked out and sort of didn't.  I did enjoy eating my dinner by the lantern and then sitting by the campfire. That part was awesome.  And I had left my tent open, not put on the rain fly because I could see the stars.  You can see a lot of stars in Texas.  Then... the wind started to blow. And blow. AND BLOW.  I don't like wind.  It creeps me out. I don't like the noise. I don't like the feeling of it. I don't like wind. (I know I am now living in a plains state, what the hell was I thinking?).  So I ended up going to bed early. That was fine. At midnight there was a loud ruckus so I at least woke up to ring in the new year. But then I had to get up and put the rainfly on the tent because I was also FREEZING.  Got home around lunch time today and proceeded to take a 5 hour nap. I will post photos later. I toook a bunch! It was super pretty there.