Pitchroom

Joblessness in America: Share your stories

Photo: Flickr/Bart Heird

As the country’s unemployment rate lingers just below 10 percent, many Americans continue to struggle with joblessness, tight finances, and underemployment. Need to Know’s Friday broadcast highlights a few of these stories of people — some just starting out in the work force, and some who have been a part of it for decades — trying to eke out a living in a stagnant job market with limited options. But we know that the portrait of unemployed America is even more varied and complex still. So we invite readers to share their stories here – how have you been affected by joblessness or underemployment? Have you had to radically change career plans or living conditions in order to get by? Share your experiences in the comments below.

 

Comments

  • Songweasel

    older and with no steady work for well over a year now, i’ve been lucky enough to still have some savings and retirement money left to hit. i laugh at the debate about extending retirement age. i will never be able to “retire.”

    i have managed to get a few temp jobs to fill in some gaps. i have had to help family pay bills as well. i am not eligible for unemployment or food stamps. while i do own my house, there are repairs that should be done that, well, just won’t be done for a while. medical care is relegated to the local pharmacist. dental care? not lately.

    i think the biggest change for me has been the utter complete collapse of any confidence i’ve ever had in myself, my abilities, my intelligence, my skills, my personality… you name it. when not crushingly depressed, i am blindingly angry. many nights, i simply don’t sleep at all. i went to school. i got a college degree. i’ve worked and continued to learn. this isn’t at all what i thought my life would look like…ever.

    so i blog sporadically. trying to keep any sense of humor has been hard, fer sure…
    http://open.salon.com/blog/songweasel/2009/05/06/apps_you_wont_see_on_facebook_part_i
    http://open.salon.com/blog/songweasel/2009/08/25/apps_you_wont_see_on_facebook_part_deux

    thanks for letting me vent…the show is goin’ great…it’s the fastest hour on tv (and i mean that in a good way:)

  • Millermommy74

    My 31yr old husband has been laid off for a year, now. He went right from Vo-tech to working his way up the ladder, for a large, local construction company. After 10 yrs, and working up to superintendent, they laid him off. He has not been able to find work, that will provide for a family of 5 (7,5 and 7mth old children) anywhere. If he takes minimum wage work or part-time work, we will lose our benefits. The kids are covered on CHIP…he and I just pray nothing bad happens to us. I have a bad back, possible ulcer and other issues…he has several as well. They don’t get taken care of. And, like the above poster, we just don’t get to the dentist. We can’t afford childcare and the only reason we still have our home is because our family has helped us. At the age of 35, I had hoped we would have been able to do better for our children, by now. As it is, we have no savings, no retirement fund and no college fund for them. We are constantly stressed and it’s taken a toll on all aspects of our life. We cling to our faith and hope for something to come along. But, we have to start over and we have no idea where to begin.

  • Jersey Moon1

    At least you don’t have cancer. That’s what I’m dealing with. I think I;d rather be in your shoes.

  • http://www.youtube.com/brainbrood Beagle

    I have been unemployed since December ’09, and it has been a difficult task to land any sort of job recently. I have applied to countless locations, and it has really began to wear upon me. My finances have been shot lately, and it is a very dreary wandering into nothingness. I have had a successful resume for 10 years, with exception being now. I have used this time to explore my own simple ambitions, each of which are contained within the arts. I hope the industry expands and finds a place for me someday. In the meantime, I self produce electronic music, work ambitiously to enhance my digital photography skills, and tirelessly film and edit video’s of small productions (with no financial gain). My video’s promote activity, while slanting absurdist comedy. They can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/i8sorrow
    In addition, my music can be found at: http://www.thesixtyone.com/trunkin/
    I have a new album that I am polishing up at the moment, and trying to use my photography and digital artwork for an album cover. If I had $10, I would invest in a bank account and try to sell my next album. However, that may be out of reach for me. I am trying to get a job currently, but would have an hour daily commute if it works out. Lets cross all of our fingers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749930431 Stacey Smith Baker

    I’m over forty and female, I’ve been unemployed for almost a year now as my company started early lay-offs in preparation for site closure eight months later. I worked for the nation’s second largest financial institution. We thought that our site would never close because the VP of Credit Cards was an alum of the University here. Boy were we wrong!
    I was one of the first to be laid off but honestly, I was relieved when it happened. We all knew lay-offs would start soon enough but didn’t know how or who…so when my boss called me in for the exit interview…I just looked at him and let out a huge sigh of relief. He was nearly in tears as he hated to have to let me know.

    Between then and six months later when they made the official announcement that they were going to close that sight, over half the personnel had already been laid off. I found out about the official announcement through social networking sights. I was chatting with another former employee and friend when he got a phone call from a third co-worker. No sooner did his phone ring then mine did, then we both started getting hit with a bunch of other online chats. When all was said and done…I called up the local newspaper and leaked the announcement to their business desk. I knew the news would have a fairly good size impact on the economy of the town. Two days later, the announcement was headline news.

    Only a handful of those who were laid off have found jobs since. It’s really hard out here because there just aren’t any other jobs in that field in this area. I can’t really look further because my partner and I scaled down already when gas prices started soaring two years ago, we now share one car and she has always made more money than I have.
    I stared going back to school, but made the mistake of choosing an online University. I say mistake because that school is on some Federal watch list now. So, that was a year of wasted time and MONEY. Now I’m not only unemployed, but I now have Federal Student Loans I have to repay…and I don’t have any savings to rely on.
    I don’t know how much longer my unemployment benefits are going to hold out. I just got notification I have been approved for Tier2 benefits as of November first. That will give me another few weeks after that.
    My company offered COBRA, but I couldn’t afford that for long, even after the Federal subsidy it was just too expensive…and I was right in the middle of having dental work done. Needless to say I had to stop my dental work, so I have a half finished molar that is now falling apart, I have health issues that I haven’t been able to see my primary care physician in over a year because I can’t afford the cost. My partner who was being covered through domestic partner benefits under my employers insurance was able to get “Medical Aid for Working Disabled” through our state as she’s a diabetic. But I don’t qualify for any state benefits as my measly $440 every two weeks is more than the max allowed for Medicaid.

  • Richard

    I am self employed (Contractor) in California, have been in business for 11 yrs and in the trade close to 30, small company, me and my son.
    since Oct/Nov of 2007 I have been struggling just to get by, had to do bankruptcy, get home loan modifications, and hanging on to my trucks i purchase in 04, and 06, the 04 was a replacement of my old 1978 work truck that I had for 8 yrs, and my 06 was a down grade from a 03 GMC Seirra to the 06 GMC Canyon, seeing the gas prices rising and the payment went down close to $100 a month plus less gas, I knew this was coming and was trying to already make the changes when it hit in late 07 and I was not all the way they yet, bummer.
    And right now my business sine late 07 has been up and down and people are just not spending money, before the housing boom what I did in business is better than now and I would say around 1/2 and like any one else when I purchased my house in Sept of 03 I sat down and looked at my income and did the math and said I can afford this, so I did and on my trucks, my credit, the 04 1.9% and the 06 0% meaning I had great credit! and now I have bad credit” after working my butt off for so many years building my self a following of people and so called doing the right thing is all going down the tubes with no end in sight!
    I am very close to paying of the 04 truck which will help some more but if the business is slow and I am not getting jobs to do I will still keep falling behind and it seems that no matter what I do it keeps getting tougher and tougher to try to make ends meet every month.
    This is not my only story, many of my friends and businesses I do business with have gone under and and a half of a dosen friends of mine have lost thier homes.
    What a shame, so many hard working Americans have been loosing so much in the last 3 years now and more is to come.
    These guys should be a shamed of them selfs…..
    California.

  • http://www.youtube.com/brainbrood Beagle

    I also live at home with my mother who is going through divorce. I will be moving soon, as my parents split has hurt their financial outlook. The inconvenience of life. However, I am determined to let nothing ruin my potential to create. I have ambition to start a production studio of video savvy people. I would also like to use this to work my way into Children’s Television. I have a daughter who is nearing 15 months of age, and am currently battling custody issues with the mother of my child. Our relationship broke after the abuse and some theft were addressed. Being in a financially crippled state, I have no means to care for anyone including myself. This leaves me in a pretty intense position. I have learned much in tolerance, life, and love because of this. Determination has been a great factor in my recovery, and my art has been a great thing to help focus me.

  • lupinelover

    My family consists of me, a 46 year old single mom, my college sophomore daughter, my disabled high school senior son, and my two wards, a 7 year old girl and a 5 year old boy. Five years ago I was working full time and holding a part time second job. I owned my home – a small one story three bedroom on two rural acres. I agreed to watch a new born grandson of a church friend for two months while his birthmother was in a rehab for heroin addiction and his father was in jail. His mother had two other children – one was living with his own father and one was to stay with an aunt. The baby was coming out of Barbara Bush Center and was taking Phenobarbital for infant abstinence syndrome. Two weeks after he came into my care his father died of an un-prescribed methadone overdose. The birth mother never went to rehab. The grandparents moved to Australia. The aunt backed out of caring for his then two year old sister and I also agreed to take care of her for what was supposed to be a short time. So far it has been 5 years.
    I was able to obtain guardianship of both kids within the first year or so. I also approached DHHS in hope of becoming a foster parent for them when it became apparent that this was no short term commitment. I knew I was in over my head in terms of dealing with the birth family and in providing for two more children long term. DHHS turned me down cold because in my care the children were not experiencing neglect or abuse. Even if choosing a successor to replace myself would not do irreparable emotional harm to my wards it is not within my rights as guardian to do so. Both children have some mental health challenges which make caring for them a little more difficult than average. They had also both been abandoned twice first by birth parents and then by grandparents and aunt. Their father had died. I decided that I would not turn my back on them no matter what.
    Two and a half years into my guardianship I was badly injured. I was facing a possible amputation of one leg. I could not walk at all for 4 months, could not drive for ten months and could not work for a year. I was on a bone growth stimulator ten hours a day. Later I had extensive physical therapy. Simultaneously the economy collapsed. I could not sell my home. My job was eliminated. I Iost my house and my job. I went bankrupt. On the short term I learned my wards could not get TANF. On the long term I learned I could not make contingency plans for my wards and they would not qualify for many of the supports normally available to a child whose parent becomes temporarily or permanently disabled. I decided I must pursue adoption in order to provide them with more stability and security.
    I now work two part time jobs and search for work. In my community there is no childcare on the school bus route and few professional opportunities. My youngest attends pre-k Monday to Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This makes me available to work about 24 hours a week during those hours only unless I can secure work with high enough wages to pay a sitter in my home. I can not move until the adoption is completed because the adoption is tied to the home study which is tied to my house. I have turned down jobs that would require moving twice. This means my job search is limited to my very rural community. I am hanging on by a thread financially. This is maddening for a well educated woman.
    The birth mother deliberately avoided me for years and forbade her relatives to share her whereabouts with me. In the mean time she bore another addicted baby who died last Oct. at five weeks of age probably (per coroner report) when birthmother who was taking heroin replacement drugs fell asleep on him and he suffocated. She will have another baby in a few weeks, her 5th presumably addicted child. It took me over three years to track her down and get her served to terminate her rights and adopt the children. That was last January. I am awaiting a court date to finalize the adoption.
    My income may be a problem for the probate judge. I hope not as the proof is in the pudding and I have been raising the kids for almost five years. As a hedge I have obtained a foster care license in case the judge terminates the birthmother’s rights and places the kids in state custody. Then they can still stay right where they are with the only real family they have ever known. I hope this does not happen because the department might have to then pursue reunification with the birth family even at this late date. This would not be in the best interest of these kids at this point. DHHS has also explored whether I would take custody of the unborn sibling in he or she comes into their care. I am undecided.
    Despite all the challenges I have remained committed to my wards. I have never wavered in my commitment to them. This is typical of guardians and caregivers.

  • SuzEQ

    I am 30 years old. I have a 5 year old child, a masters degree, a bachelors degree, and two associate degrees. What I don’t have is a job.
    I was let go from my job in January 2009 and have been searching the depths of this region for work ever sense. Here in NC, 38,000 folks on unemployment found out they were over paid (including myself). The ESC decided they would take half of each persons weekly benefits to attempt to repay the amount, which left me without enough money to pay a complete bill for 2 weeks. Luckily the Governor stepped in and ceased the automatic repayments, as none of us knew we were being overpaid in the first place. I mean, had I known I was receiving too much, I would have never accepted the money in the first place because I cant repay it! Plus checking after the ESC’s calculations can be utterly confusing!
    I recently applied to Bath and Body Works at the mall, and I landed an interview which is amazing in itself. There were 7 other women (all unemployed) in the same interview session with me… we were told that 10 people would be hired and the store had received over 150 applications (over 80 have been interviewed). Mind you this position starts out at 5 hours per week and will eventually reach 15 hours per week during the height of the Christmas shopping season if any of us do land a position there.
    To those who say “There are jobs, you’re just lazy,” I have to step back and wonder about your ignorance. I realize I have it good compared to many of the others on the same playing field. I feel hopeful for the future still, and I’m practicing patience. Things will change.

  • Technologygirl

    My husband was laid off from DANA (they make frames for trucks) in August 2009 after working there for 5 years. Everyone had a “clock number” there so it didn’t matter to the company who got laid off, you were just a number and if you were at the bottom then you had to go. His number was one of the last four to get scratched off the list. I can’t imagine how many others were laid off at the Longview DANA plant if he worked there 5 years and got cut. He was making $14.50/hr. We still lived paycheck to paycheck off that. Once he started looking for a job it got increasingly clear that we were in big trouble. Every job that he was suited for was through a temporary agency. I don’t know how many of you have worked through a temp agency but big corporations and small businesses alike use them for a loophole now. You can’t go and get an interview at a company unless it’s through them and since you get hired on through the agency they treat you like you are new to the job altogether and only pay you $8 to $10/hr for a job like welding, which is what my husband does. Gone are the days of telling a boss how many years you worked in the industry and how you weren’t late for work for 2 years straight. you can no longer ask for $14.50/hr because it’s what you were making and it’s what you are worth. We lost our rental house, pawned everything dear to us and have been living at my brothers house in his den for 9 months now. We have to start all over. I just wish there was something to start from, a company that rewards good employees, not kicks them to the curb in order to hold onto their millions of dollars.

  • guest

    In May of 2009 I had lost my job working for a Tier One automotive supplier to GM and Chrysler. I worked for the company for six years, and I took pride in my work. My wife is also out of work and I have two children out of work. In August of 2009 I did get a job with an upcoming business that was going to provide printing services to GM. The current executive management staff at the time signed off on the deal and I was about to start work. The final approval process went before the Obama Auto Task Force and was rejected for bureaucratic reasons. I wonder how is the Obama administration going to turn around the economy when they are not letting business coming in providing jobs for the unemployment. This is downright unacceptable in the United States Of America and we are becoming a oppressed society as a result.

    So hear I am unemployed with two kids to support and just hanging on by a thread.

  • guest

    Sorry about the errors in the last post. Still trying to wake up. In May of 2009 I had lost my job working for a Tier One automotive supplier to GM and Chrysler. I worked for the company for six years, and I took pride in my work. My wife is also out of work and I have two children under the age of five. In August of 2009 I did get a job with an upcoming business that was going to provide printing services to GM. The current executive management staff at the time signed off on the deal and I was about to start work. The final approval process went before the Obama Auto Task Force and was rejected for bureaucratic reasons. I wonder how is the Obama Administration is going to turn around the economy when they are not letting business come in to provide jobs for the unemployment. This is downright unacceptable in the United States Of America and we are becoming a oppressed society as a result.

    So hear I am unemployed with two kids to support and just hanging on by a thread

  • JMan

    I was laid off from my IT job at the beginning of June of this year. I took the opportunity to go back to school and finish my degree in something that I love.

    Five months later and while money is tight I am loving being back in school and am seriously contemplating grad school and perhaps my PhD.

  • Goodgmissm

    I had a great job as a photojournalist at a state University. Held the job as a temporary post for 2 years, and received only positive reviews and encouragement. I campaigned to make the temporary post a permanent position, and was advised that to do so, it would have to be opened up for anyone to apply. I applied for my job, along with about 40 other applicants, sailed through the application process into the top 3. Another applicant with equal skills, equal portfolio, beat me out of the job. What put him over the top was his Bacheler’s Degree over my Associate’s Degree, and his 17 years of experience over my 3 – even though I had been in his position and doing the job well above expectations for 2 years. Now it seems that every job I apply for, requires a Bacheler’s Degree, and even though I have the skill set and relevant practical experience, no employer will even consider looking at my resume. So it looks like I’m headed back to school at 42.

  • Dawn5

    I was laid-off due to outsourcing in January of 2008, the company went belly-up just a year later. I was lucky in that my entire team was notified of the lay-offs ahead of time. I took that extra time to look at what I was doing (technical phone support for 500+ electronic retail stores & distribution centers) and to answer the question “Is this really what I want to do?” The answer was “No.” I started going back to school while still working full time. I knew that I wanted to get an engineering degree, so I tackled what I considered to be my biggest hurdle – math. It had been 20 years since I’d taken a math class, so I started in the university’s lowest math course, MATH 001. I found that I was actually good at math, something that was never encouraged for women when I was in high school. I am now in my senior year of civil & environmental engineering, president of my honor society’s chapter on campus, working two jobs, taking out Federal Loans, old enough to be my fellow students’ mother, winning scholarships through my school, and feeling more fulfilled and happier than I have ever felt before. My message to everyone is TRY. Maturity does make a difference when going back to school.

  • vienna

    My husband lost his job as a commercial logger in June of 2008. He was self-employed and unable to collect unemployment. so after going for several months without any money we were luckily able to sell our house right before we lost it. We live near a well known cabinet maker in a small town in Ohio, but when they started laying off things got bleak. My husband applied at for every job that was posted or unposted from factories to temp agencies to tree services all across the country and nothing, not a single call in a year and a half. He did recently have his first interview that he flew all the way to texas for but didn’t get.Fortunately, things picked up and he was able to start logging again and family had a house for us to rent. otherwise he’d still be unemployed.

  • Andreasharar

    Before the recession was known, I made the decision in 2006 to become a stay at home mother upon the arrival of my first born. At that time, my husband had a steady job in management until lay-offs occurred 14 months after our baby was born. Luckily for us we did not pursue buying our first home right before my husband lost his job. I struggled to find part-time work because of (well in my opinion) my lapse in employment. My husband found temporary, low paying cooking jobs in between unemployment compensation. After a year of struggling, my husband and I agreed I needed to finish school. I spent the next two years in school, working part time for the university and what I felt at the time was sacrificing my time away from my family in order to help provide a basic way of life. We managed, but it wasn’t easy. Support from our friends, family and our local community helped us immensely.During the course of the last two and half years my husband found steady work again, however he juggled two jobs to support our family and continues to do so.I recently graduated last spring with my degree and I am continuously seeking employment, as of next month I will have to start repaying my student loans. In the meantime, I plan to provide private tutoring services and substitute teach in order to supply a substantive income.

  • Deborawc25

    I became unemployed in June of 2009. I am still unemployed. There are very few jobs available in Vermont for a graphic artist/editor. I would say that our country is in a depression, not a recession.

  • Joy

    My husband and I are in our forties and live in a very rural community. I was laid-off from from my job in January of 2004 and have been a full-time mom since; it confirmed what my husband and I had been contemplating. After the birth of my son, I looked for local employment and there was nothing that would pay more than what it would cost for gas and childcare for two children. The lack of job opportunities forced me into school, finishing a degree in human services/psychology but who knows if there will be a job opportunity when I am finished. I may be a perpetual student so I can defer student loan payments.
    My husband was injured in July of 2006. By the time he had disc and hip replacement surgeries, our second child was born. Before he recovered from the surgeries, the plummet of the economy hit the builders and because he could not find anyone hiring, he started his own contracting business, his only field of work since his twenties. He obtained his builders license and he has worked intermittently with little pay from having to under bid everyone else. We have escaped foreclosure twice with loans from relatives. The sad part is the current presidential administration claims to help lower payments for people in our situation but we have been declined over and over because we own our own business and do not have a “steady” paycheck. I imagine “Joe the plumber” is homeless by now.
    I know it could always be worse, and I pray for those of you who do have it worse than us.

  • Lara

    I lost my full-time position in my field in November 2007 and have been looking ever since. I am a written communications professional with more experience with print than with Web unfortunately and competition in the Chicago area is fierce. I am working a “survivor” retail job, which barely keeps me afloat and I pick up freelance jobs here and there but I am living hand to mouth constantly. I am single, so it’s all on me, well, my parents help a little bit. I never thought I would be out of my field for nearly three years and the future doesn’t look promising either.

  • shroomhunter

    I started back to school in spring of 2008- where I live, there does not appear to much difference in the lack of employment before the recession and now. There just isn’t any work. I was 38. I’ll be graduating with my degree in natural resources at the end of this year, and locally, this is where the jobs are. I’ll also be continuing into a bachelor’s in Watershed science.

  • Fbnebula

    donte let the degree thing throw you,i think its just an excuse they gave you becaus your 42. in a employers markit they can pic and choose and now there getting the young and wet behinde the ears as aposed to the experienced in the real world.donte waste your money,you will just go deeper in debt.

  • skaizun

    I was laid-off from my contract C programmer job just over a year and a half ago (when I started the job in 2006, there was only one foreign (Indian) programmer; when I was let go the second time (both times due to company finances) in 2009, nearly 15 of the 20 programmers were foreign; one confided that he was amazed that Americans “couldn’t get by” on what they were paying him (substantially less than my pay), most of which gets sent to his parents in India; he has no intention of becoming a U.S. citizen . . . I’m just saying).

    The very few e-mails and calls I get from agencies and other “head-hunters” who find my resume on job search websites, don’t bother reading the resume, because they ask inane and irrelevant questions (it’s one thing to want to find the “perfect” match, but when the two-sentence job description has nothing to do with the computer-found-a-matching-keyword on one’s resume, then it’s a waste of everybody’s time and effort; BTW, nearly 95% of the agencies and head-hunters who contact me have Indian accents; over 50% are sole owners of their one-(wo)man companies (great; not only can’t I compete with cheaper overseas labor, I can’t even get an American agent! How do these people find contacts within all these companies? Or are they “winging it” in hopes of getting a finder’s fee/royalty/kick-back from the companies?)).

    Once every six months or so, the “perfect” job comes along, and the agent (only one direct company contact, so far) spends a half-hour asking me fairly decent questions, only to find out that the job was filled (sometimes from within; why do companies advertise jobs if they are only going to bump their own people to the given position? why raise the hopes of the unemployed, only to dash them into pieces? unless, of course, they are mandated to do so by the Fed (as is the case with some gov’t and military contracts) . . . or, they just plain get off from jerking people around!). ;) Worse, the companies now “offer” pay that is lower than what I was paid over 20 years ago (I’ve been a computer programmer since 1980) and/or won’t pay for relocation (I live in State with few high tech jobs) and/or whose benefits (whether as a contractor or full-time) are designed to suck money out of the paycheck with little or no return on equity, either financially or physically).

    Here’s something else of note: In my first work years as a full-time employee, I had a private office (sometimes “open”, sometimes enclosed); over the years, I was then put in shrinking cubicles; three contract jobs I had before the most recent one put me in a corner of someone else’s open “office” (read: large cubicle) to the point that I couldn’t even stretch my arms if I had to yawn! Remember the days when your work experience earned you a real office? If companies don’t want to treat you any better than a pet chained to a dog house, why not just let us telecommute? I would willingly work for the half-price pay, if that were an option! (can you imagine the real benefits to workers who didn’t have to waste time getting themselves “pretty” for work or wasting gas fighting traffic; ironically, the only two telecommute jobs I had paid me the most (!), and I got both jobs done weeks before the deadline (n.b., I have never been late with a milestone, but, clearly, telecommuting’s additional benefit of having fewer distractions (I’m single; no kids) benefitted everyone!).

    One more thing: the huge-name, publicly-traded, company I recently worked for cut the salaries of the full-time workers twice over a period of six months since they let me go (one woman said her salary was cut by 20%; she was barely making do with the original salary). One month after the second round of cuts, the company bought another company for billions of dollars. IMHO, the Fed, SEC, et al., should mandate that any publicly-traded company (at least ones based in the USA) be prohibited from laying-off employees or cutting their salaries within one year, past and future, of the intended purchase of another company (i.e., if they can afford to spend millions/billions on production materials or company acquisitions, then they can afford to keep staff and at their current (or higher!) pay levels).

    I have LOTS more to say, but, this cure for insomnia has gone on long enough! ;)

  • Jono4575

    In 2003 I was convicted of drug trafficking for making a phone call to get a half oz. of cocaine for a guy who had begged me to for over 3 weeks. Although it was a cut and dry case of entrapment, I got a 3 year mandatory sentence and served every day of it. Since my release I’ve been turned down for well over 50 jobs and refused apartments (many times after paying non-refundable application fees) on numerous occasions. Even the temporary agencies say they don’t have any jobs for anyone with a record. The last one (Addeco) said their policy said it had to be 7 years from the last conviction. I told them it was in 03. They said what month. I told them October. They told me to come back the first of November.
    I’ve been hauled into court over and over for not being able to pay child support. I am now looking at 17 months in the county jail without even being charged with a crime. The majority of U.S. companies now have blanket policies against hiring anyone who’s been convicted of a felony. Yet, if we remain unemployed and have child support obligations which cannot be met as a result, we are placed back in jail. Catch 22? Personally I see it as much more than that. I see it as a noose that’s tightening more and more each day. They’ve found a way to continually incarcerate people who refuse to conform to a profoundly sick, greedy, judgmental, complacent, conformist society. Hell, they’ve found a way to do so without even charging us with a crime.

  • staying alive

    Fortunately my husband who works in a retail tire business has remained employed with few benefits, longer hours and no wage increase in 4 yrs. Myself, I was forced to change jobs due to the downturn in the economy in the medical field. A job once held as a LPN is now being handed to lower qualified people in the name of wages. I am fortunately employed, though times are tough at the doctors office I work. More people without insurance. High deductable insurances, medicaid. More people not paying their bills and asking us to take what insurance pays.
    My two young adult children have been laid off several times or had hours cut, wages cut and can not afford to live on their own. We have taken in other young adults in need to help. We are fortunate.

  • unknown

    I am not sure if I totally agree, but I will say this. Our justice system has become serve and collect. Not that I am going to bash cops because there are some good hard working police officer out there trying to make a living. Considering all the cops that are getting there positions terminated due to lack of money being collected they are going to get you anyway they can. I can remember the days when one could talk themselves out of a traffic ticket. In todays’ society that is not case since cities are desperate for money. If you had a million dollars I am sure you would get this charge expunged.

  • uclabruin81

    I am a returned Peace Corps volunteer. I have been back from service since May and I still have been unable to find work. I have previous marketing experience and a BA degree from a prestigious California university. Now I am back to student loans, no work, no health insurance, and broke. I am lucky that I can stay at my parents’ place for free for the time being. However, things at home are pretty bad too. My mom has been unemployed for a few years now but we are lucky my dad has had work all along.

    I have applied to countless job positions (even outside of California). I have attended job fairs and career development workshops which have yielded nothing. I recently received an e-mail from a potential employer telling me that selection was tough as there were 274 applicants for two positions.

    I have hope things will improve. However, for the time being I feel a bit resentful. I worked hard to enter college, worked my way thorough, have experience in my profession, and served my country yet I have just under $50 bucks under my name and bills coming in from all sides with no end in sight.

  • Thelordofexcess

    I seemed to have done most things in life right, I worked my way through college earning a BA and Masters Degree in Public Administration and upon completion of graduate school I secured a job working at the City of Las Vegas. I really liked the work and over the next ten years with the organization I was a management analyst, then a city council liaison, and then an urban planner. When the recession hit I was working in the planning department and I just knew it was going to be a rough go for Las Vegas (based on the period right after 9/11) … we always get hit harder and longer than the rest of the country … despite the erroneous “recession proof” booster-ism that had been put out about Las Vegas. So when the city began to tighten the budget the first time around (two years ago now) they offered a voluntary separation package. If it had just been myself, or myself and my wife … I probably would have stuck it out … thinking that things would get better. But with small children we decided to play it safe … take a little nest egg and move closer to extended family in Utah. The economy at that time (and it still is) was much better than Las Vegas. I’ve re-entered college … basically as a sanctuary from the harsh economy. I could probably get a Wal-Mart job … but to be honest I don’t think I could endure it … having invested so much of my life, having worked so hard … to basically end up where I could have been had I simply gone into the job market right after high school. So I’m trying to take the recession as a means to be stronger when it ends … IF … it ends. I’m very frustrated with the technical “economics” BS statement that the recession is over. By any common sense definition it is still going and until the literally evil plutocrats that plunged us into this mess are truly removed from the reigns of power … nothing is going to change. Yet what does it look like out there … it looks like a scared and angry lynch mob led by the Tea Party is simply going to open the gates and let them back in …. the Bernie Madoff’s who didn’t get caught will just go back to their old ways … and perhaps we softly recover … but five years from now … ten years … when my kids are my age … we’ll be right back to this and then it will probably be worse. When are we going to wake up? When are we the people going to cease control of OUR government and force it to actually represent us??? I don’t think a day has gone by that I haven’t dreamed of leaving America … and if I could easily emigrate to Europe, Canada, Australia or New Zealand … I would … but those countries really have stringent policy (not to mention the large expense of such an undertaking). My faith in America is gone … the religious zealots are out of touch with reality they allowed themselves to be manipulated by Wall Street in exchange for agreeing with draconian social policy the Plutocrats were allowed to run free and do what they liked. Well the same fools that let the Plutocrats plunder our nation … are about to let them free again … thank you Tea Party … thank you de-regulation, zero tax for the Plutocrats imbeciles. My faith in America is gone … our two party system is clearly broken … clearly childs play for special interest to utterly control and dominate … and the American people are just as easy to control with Fox apparently.

  • Thelordofexcess

    Incidentally … a year ago I would have been laid off for sure … people with more seniority in the union than I were let go (I went from an appointive position to a union one only about a year before the recession). So for me … staying would have led to unemployment … with simply no way to get out of town reasonably. We wouldn’t have been able to afford the move. Along the way we lost our house as well …

  • Sweetybearbaby

    My boyfriend took a job on the agreement that it would be $18 an hour. Shortly after his probation period was over they told him he had to go salary but that it would still be based on the $18 an hour. They told him he would lose his job if he didn’t go salary. He accepted and shortly afterward they told him he needed to start working 10 hours a week overtime. Then they raised it to 15 hours a week. They force him to work a completely separate job out of the office out in the field. He was hired as a scheduler and now they make him work as an event manager. Completely separate job. They tell him if he doesn’t work both jobs he will be fired. His average work week is 65 hours but he has many weeks where he works 70 to 80 hours a week. He is currently making about $11 an hour or less because of all the overtime he works. They never pay him a cent more. He can’t look for another job because he is on the road 3 hours a day to get to and from this job. He gets home between 8pm and 2am every single night. They started taking away one of his days off, so now he works 6 days a week. He lost his house because he couldn’t afford to make the payments, and he couldn’t work two jobs. He gets his schedule each Wednesday for the next week. He never knows which places he will be sent to and without a regular schedule he can’t work any where else. If he refuses to work any of the off site events they will fire him. He has missed the first 2 years of his son’s life because of working so many hours and he can’t even afford to give him the things he needs, like medical insurance, the food he needs, and clothing. He often lets bills go, like his phone and it gets shut off, so he can afford gas to come see his baby. He is stuck between a rock and a hard place because until he gets a new job he can’t chance leaving this one, but as long as he has this one he can’t even make time to find a new job, or work two jobs. They hang the job recession in front of all their salaried employees and tell them they should be thankful they even have a job. I personally think they are breaking laws, but here in California who knows. The weeks when he makes less than min wage and doesn’t come to visit his son at all are the weeks I rage the most. He is working himself to death for what? It’s absurd how companies can use this to their advantage and ruin people’s lives.

  • Songweasel

    wow. that’s awful. i hope there’s some way you are getting medical help and emotional support with that. living with that kind of adversity has to be up there on the list of “things i never thought i’d be doing.” if i might, i suggest you tell your story… http://blogforacure.com/ .

    to tell ya the truth, i do worry about it. i wouldn’t know if i’m sick or not…i’m pushing 60 and i feel like i have no choice but to jump right into denial when i don’t feel right or spot something that could indicate something worse.

  • GirlDesigner

    I’ve been stuck at a company I absolutely hate because I didn’t find a new one before the economy tanked. But as any responsible adult would do, I stick with it until I can find something else because it’s a steady paycheck.

    I get the feeling this is going to be a torturous decade.

  • Boggin828

    I went to college and received a bachelor’s in Interior Design. I worked successfully in the field for four years- receiving only praise on my reviews and raises each time. My husband and I got married and bought a house. Shortly after this, we decided to have a baby. I was at a new job, and not the best by a long shot. However, I was constantly praised and told that I would be hired permanently (it was a temporary to permanent job), and “promoted” so to speak. My pregnancy was difficult at first, with intense morning sickness, and I could not hide it. I had to announce my pregnancy much earlier than I had hoped or planned. I was let go the next day.

    I have been unemployed for almost a year, and honestly- it has worked to my benefit in many ways. I have enjoyed the time home with my son. The unemployment pays me more than the last job did, and I was able to have a paid maternity leave! It has been a bruise to my ego however, as I apply for three jobs diligently each week to no avail.

    I was making $23.50/hour (not at the temporary job- but previous to this) and have now been told by unemployment that I have to look for ANY job that pays the same as what I am getting from them ($11.28/hour). Of course, if I take a job at that salary- I will not be able to afford childcare. If I turn down a job that offers that amount, I lose the unemployment and cannot afford the mortgage.

    I saw this coming a long time ago, and started a business in wedding planning. I work during my son’s naps, in the evenings, and on the weekends. But, it isn’t enough. I have a job interview on Thursday and I am terrified of being offered the job. It is an admin position, which I can’t imagine pays more than $12/hour. If they offer the job- I will have to take it.

    Sometimes I dream about charging up a bunch of debt and running away to another country that takes care of those who have families….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Rival/1053531406 Elizabeth Rival

    Your story is so maddening to me, an outsider, I can not imagine how it must feel to be living it. Thank you so much for the selfless care and love you give. I am rooting for you more than I am for myself.

  • Edamarisolsantiago

    I am those desplaced citizen who are 50 and over. I was laid off could not find work for almost 1 1/2 years. I changed my career because I was either over qualified or under qualified. I have a part time position working for 40 hour a week , but the pay is low and I have no benefits . I suffer from stenosis which is a spinal condition and I can’t seek medical assistance for. I am to old for any government assistance and to young for social security. My income decrease considerable but my mortage went up from 600.00 to 1700.00. I tried to work with the bank only to be denied, however I fought they lowered the payment; however, even with the decrease I can’t make ends meet here in Florida. The pay is not comparable to the cost of living. The President says that we have to spend money in order for the economy to improve, but the pays are so low it is almost impossible to do that. Where is the help that the people should have was suppose to get? If the president had given all of the people in the united states; which, if I am correct the number of people in the US is 307,006,550, 1 million dollar it would have been less than the $787 billion he gave toward the economic stimulus. In my opinion, the world is going mad nothing makes sence and we live a very currupt world where the average working american is paying for and this is the result. I am the broken american dream

  • RPD

    Enjoy it while it lasts…almost everybody is doing what you’re doing, and thinking what you’re thinking (grad school/PhD) and it’s easy to get caught up in it (writing papers vs. standing on your feet all day in retail, financial aid…) but the reality of it is that unless the economy and job market changes relatively soon, you may still end up working at Wal-Mart after earning your degrees. I know, I just earned a Master’s, graduated at the top of my class, was awarded for writing the best thesis in my department…and have had no luck in finding a job. I’m not trying to be cynical or a debbie-downer–I applaud anyone who strives for higher education–but just know that it doesn’t guarantee you a job. At all.

  • RPD

    I have an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree I recently earned in May. I averaged a 4.0 GPA, and received various recognitions and awards. Prior to, and during school I gained secretarial, clerical, and various types of banking experience–almost 10 years–so I’m not just a wet-behind-the-ears recent graduate with no “real world” work experience. It was no secret that the job market was tight and that the economy sucked, so I’m not necessarily shocked that I can’t find a job, just disappointed.

    Luckily, my husband and I are staying with my mom and step-dad who are helping us out as much as they can, though it’s tight for them too. My mom was laid off about 2 years ago and was receiving unemployment but was cut off a few months ago. She’s able to collect social security a few years early due to widowers benefits, and my step-dad collects retirement which is what keeps us all afloat. This obviously is a huge help for us, but it doesn’t stop my husband and I from feeling like losers, even though we know we’re not.
    I tried collecting unemployment but because my last job was a graduate assistant in another state, I can’t collect unemployment here in my home state. I can’t collect unemployment from the state I went to grad school in because I don’t live there anymore. Come to find out being a former graduate assistant doesn’t qualify me for unemployment anyway because I wasn’t laid off..I graduated. Go figure.

    The insurance I had from being a grad assistant expired in August…just in time for me to get a kidney infection a few days ago. Had to go to the ER since I have no insurance, and will now be billed $50 a month until it’s paid off. Well, there’s another bill that’s gonna go to a collector. Luckily I was able to get my antibiotics for $4.00 at Wal-Mart.
    I apply for at least 5-7 jobs a week, all over the country. My husband and I went through an employment agency and realized after going separately and being fed the same scripted crap that they’re just a scam.
    I’m over-qualified for most jobs, most of which only require a high-school education, an associates at the most. The second they see I have a graduate degree, I’m sure they toss my resume into the shredder. I feel like I have to hide the fact that I have an education just to get a freaking job. I think what’s happening too, is that employers are hiring unemployed friends and family before general applicants…we all know it happens, but more so now than before. I don’t care if the blame goes to the dems or the GOP…too much time is being wasted on finger pointing–I just need a job and health insurance.

  • Ladybug

    Several years ago I was unemployed and things looked really negative from all aspects of life; I’m currently working and just the other day as I flipped through the T.V. channels I couldn’t get away from football….and then I realized…there is hope at the end of the tunnel. Thousands of people, spending money, experiencing life to the fullest. But if I were in your situation, I would write to the President through his website.

  • lupinelover

    thank you

  • PacificNW253

    I’m underemployed, making about $20k a year and supporting a family of three. My husband is long-term unemployed. Our savings are running out. Health insurance premiums through my employer have increased, so I can’t afford to cover all three of us. My job ends next June. It’s not a rosy picture, but I’m grateful for my job and my family. I’m grateful that over the years my faith has grown to the point that I know with absolute certainty that my Higher Power provides for me. If I consider that this period of having a very low income might have a purpose, I realize that my son will be more likely to qualify for need-based financial aid when he starts college next year. I will keep my hopes high and continue to give thanks for the blessings I have.

  • Spectator

    Laid off 2003: 54.8 years old, and just had to become self-employed: believe me no one wants you when you are over 50. Un-employment benefits was not an option I could accept as I am healthy, and can do anything. Maybe that is my problem too proud but I think the real problem is expectation. The Labor dept most needed workers were all service sector nursing, nursing aides or public sector. How would that work? No-one makes anything, but everyone provides a service. It would be like having a country full of lawyers or politicians or news reporters. Somewhere somebody has to make something that someone else in the World wants. I wonder why the Dept of Labor was not looking for diaper development engineers: absorbent paper producers; zimmer makers: hobbyists for the aged. Service workers is all they can think of? Our government has a real USSR mentality. We have a zero entrepreneurial spirit in government; that’s why they went into governement. Security and great benefits. why did you guys go to work for America’s largest NPO next to the Red Cross? Robert Reich loves his public employee career, good benefits. Now Sara Horowitz has the gumption to make a living off something other than tax revenues or donations. Yes, we can all discuss the problems: you get paid for it. The rest of us discuss the problems and don’t get paid for it. Funny old World. Let’s just bring back making things. Every town has to consume it’s own trash. Every town has to produce 50% of it’s own power. Every town has to internalise its own social welfare programs. No more folks sitting in offices delegating federal procedures and processes: they actually have to be managing the programs. Back to basics. Living a life worht living.

  • Diane C Miles

    I had to leave the job market when I was placed on full disability because of the failure of my left ventricle. OK, I had Social Security and food stamps and Medicare and Medicaid and a tiny income from some web work I could do with out stress.
    Then the house I lived in was sold, I had to use every penny to move and still owe my landlord $200 for the deposit. I am in a new county, with no way to get to re-apply for anything. Even if I could get there, I can not sit with my feet dangling for hours to go through the paperwork and meet with case managers. I can no longer take a beneficial daily walk; this apartment is surrounded by hills. I can not use bus service because of the log walk to bus stops and then not being able to get back up the hill. I lived almost exclusively on Oatmeal from March of this year until September when a kind friend sent me some money to buy food. I have no phone, 2 TV stations when the weather is perfect, no radio (no receptions unless I can buy an outdoor antenna and get permission to install it), no room to unpack or even hang up most of my clothes or put things away and no help to move things and throw any away almost everything I own.
    The company I did the web work for is no longer able to pay for my phone or internet or -reimburse me for server fees and domain name renewals…

    I will be off line after Nov. 1 and most likely die next month for lack of food because I have less than $50.00 a month after my rent is paid. So I will die a lot earlier than my heart condition warrants and I really no longer care. My only alternative is to cancel my Medicare enrollment and then not even have the meds I need to keep me functional.

    I feel sorry for all the people here and in the TV broadcast, I have been there and am doing that right along with you because I can not get any where for help and have no connections here that I could appoint to handle these things for me.

    So my words of warning for those of you who are young and still have jobs:
    Screw buying a home for investment right into the ground where it always belonged along with the developers and crooked financial experts should have been put. Buy a home IF – you can afford to be out of work for a year and still make the payments.

    Got kids who you think need to go for higher education? They will have to work their way through just like I and very likely you did. You need to save, save, save for days like this and when you get over 40 ‘because no one wants you after 40.

    Sell everything you do not absolutely need, do not try to save things for future generations, they will not care and pitch it after you are gone. Put the money into a money market account until you have enough to buy premium bonds and CD’s. They may not pay with mega returns but at least you should not loose any.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=545708931 Kelly Sadler

    I am 100% agreement with you regarding home ownership, personal belonging and saving for education. Though I am still employed, I face unemployment daily and it scares the CRAP out of me. I am the only income in my house of three. Our bills are late, we’re scraping to purchase food, I’ve had to place us on a DMP in an attempt to save our butts from garnishments and bankruptcy.

    Right now I’m begging my brother to NOT buy a house for him and his pregnant wife. They will end up homeless and penniless… the heartbreak of 7 years of financial strain has been overwhelming and, out of love, I want them to no go through what I experience daily.

    You personally are on my heart and I wish you the best as you move forward each day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=545708931 Kelly Sadler

    Where do I even start? We’re all there. Nearly all of us are feeling the pain, fear, worry, loss, etc. And it has just started to feel as though there just isn’t any hope out there anymore.

    I am still employed. But, each day presents an increased threat of unemployment. I am the only income for my family of three, which includes a six-year-old daughter. My husband can’t find work. The bills are piling up. The banking system doesn’t give a crap if you are in financial hardship.

    Several years back I picked up on the “hints” that my job was going to disappear. As an artist, this means that I would have to get a job at a big box store making minimum wage because I’m not qualified to do anything else. So, I went back to school in an attempt to make myself more marketable. But, with graduation coming up and employment still in the garbage, I fear that is has all been in vain and that we will lose everything.

    At present I’m desperately trying to plug the holes and avoid losing everything. We’ve enrolled in a DMP (Debt Management Plan) to cut loose a credit card and bank that has scammed us out of nearly $11,000. My husband is desperately trying to find ANY job at this time. We’re starting to seek out food shelf assistance and purging what little we have to reduce utilities “waste”. We increased the size of our garden this year to reduce the burden of food costs, which helped.

    But will all of this be enough? Time will tell. While I wait for resolution, I hold the struggles of my neighbors, friends, and family deep in my heart and continue to take heavy steps forward with a microscopic thread of hope that we will all make it through. I just keep reminding myself that my grandmothers did more with less more dynamically. I aspire to their greatness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=545708931 Kelly Sadler

    I understand your situation VERY well as I’m an artist and musician married to a musician (http://www.stellarvector.com). We’re broke. I’m the only steady income (I’m an educator) and… that income could disappear any day. My husband does what he can to drum up cash, but the band sank $7k in an album that has had weak sales in this bad economy. If I lose my job our house is gone, our car is gone, our credit is gone and we will have to find a way to provide housing, food, clothing, transportation for our six-year-old daughter.

    Because I recognized that my skills, though well-honed, were largely useless to our American Society, I went back to school to update my skill set. I’ve hit a point where I’ve had to just let go of my creative life and put the needs of my family ahead of my personal wants. It’s painful. I hate it. But, this is reality.

    I wish you the best.

  • Anonymous

    The company I was laid off from was like that. Now that the Unions have been discredited and basically destroyed, the corporations can get down to business and get the slave labor they’ve wanted for so long. The average worker no longer has an advocate that can keep the companies from acting unethically and often illegally. People don’t know their rights and it’s getting to the point where we don’t have any.

    I’m 50, laid off for a year and a half, and no prospects. There are simply no jobs in the area I live. I can’t even get interviews even though I have a good, solid resume and solid references. My son is discouraged, as well. He at least has had some interviews. The last man who interviewed him loved him and my son was sure he’d get the job. He lost this part-time minimum wage job to a man with 15 years experience. How can he compete with that?
    I have a friend that keeps trying to convince me to move to Canada. I may have to if I can’t find a job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=545708931 Kelly Sadler

    I am sorry to hear of your struggles. I hear you on the struggles with the banking system. A few years back I began to recognize that we were having troubles making the mortgage payment. The bank told me at that time that the house was sub-prime, that our debt burden was too high and that it would be an utter waste of our time and theirs to pursue a refinance any further.

    At present, we are doing the best we can to plug the financial holes and stay afloat. Hang tough.

  • bigdaddy

    I’m 63 and been unemployed since May 08. I’ve been working in construction since High School, and I’m a trained plumber and carpenter, but there is no work in Florida. We only have two products downhere, oranges and houses so there are lots of ex construction workers begging for anything. The wife and I have already gone through all our savings, and unemployment,so I had to take early Social Security at the reduced rate and it barely pays the bills. My wife has several chronic health issues so we have to rely on indigent care at the local hospital, they don’t pay the whole bill so she won’t go to a doctor unless she gets so bad I put her in the hospital. Yeah we’re one of the millions of leaches that are abusing the healthcare system and don’t deserve healthcare. Whatever happened to this country? My father worked construction, my grandfather, and my greatgrandfather worked construction. They all owned their own homes,all their friends owned their homes,and mom stayed home and raised the kids. They all belonged to their local union, made a decent living wage, accumulated a nice nest egg, a pension, and Social Security. They didn’t retire rich, especially with inflation, but they didn’t have to beg for scrapes to survive. Working construction now we are required to work 52 to 56 hours a week, there is no overtime your just paid off the books for anything over 40. We are also paid at half our pay scale on the books and half in cash. The result of this practice is a real reduction in unemployment benefits and your Social Security account. There is no medical or retirement, and I know very few people that own their own home, which they have now lost. If your married you both have to work full time, leaving the kids to roam the streets. I am presently going back to vo-tech to learn a new trade and hope jobs will be available when I graduate. Where has our government been for the last 30 years while the working class was slowly sinking, I always thought they were suppose to stand for me, but they have prostituted themselves like a cheap hooker. The government has no long term vision or the political will to attain it. Short term solutions that gain immediate political points is what their good at. I feel that we are definitely a country in serious decline, I see no hope of wresting control of our government from the Plutocracy that is now firmly entrenched in Washington, and soon we will all be working for third world wages. Our jobs are being outsourced, or cheap labor is fooding the country to take the jobs that are here. I hate to be a pessemist, but with the elections looming and the Party of more corporate tax cuts and more deregulation, and no social spending, we will soon become a dog eat dog, nation where only the powerful survive.

  • Guest

    Hi,

    You asked what I’m doing. I’m doing anything I can to get money to pay the rent. I eat one sometimes two meals ever other day. I take cash out ot the bank so that when my account goes into overdraft I still have money to buy gas to get to work. I’ve been doing this so long it doesn’t even bother me to skip a few meals.

    What amazes me is that last week I heard Obama talk about hiring people and then the next day I heard a letter carrier say how they (the US post office) had fired all of the temporary people and now he had to work longer hours to make up the difference.

  • George

    Yeah, it has been hell. If not for the fact that I am a single Dad raising a teenager on my own I would have thrown in the towel long ago. She is what keeps me hanging in there although it kills me that I cannot provide her with some of her most basic needs. What real parent gets a kick out of seeing his child do without. She’s a good kid, gets excellent grades, and understands but that doesn’t help much when the feelings of guilt, failure, self worth, depression, anger and frustration creep back in. At times her understanding can make it worse because she does not deserve this. None of us do. She caught me crying alone in the kitchen about 3A.M. and it broke her heart. That was the second time I have cried since this nightmare began. The first was when my boss called me in to tell me that I was now a “displaced worker”. All we have is each other and I was her rock. Now she has to watch as her rock crumbles away. I understand the denial thing, because I can’t afford to be sick, therefore I ignore the aches and pains. I’m beginning to feel my age which was something I never felt until now but negative pressure takes its toll. Raising a kid sort of keeps you young, and it was the responsibility of my life that made me a good employee. I never took sick days and always hung around the job until I was satisfied my days work was completed without overtime. Some days I don’t want to get out of bed, but I make myself, if only to blog and comment. I now fill my time looking for a job and immersing myself in community activity. It keeps my mind off myself and situation. It also gives me something to vent my built up stress and frustration upon. Nobody can beat me up more than I have myself, and that is something I do everyday although I know that this thing is beyond my control. That’s what I miss. Having some control over my own life and where it is headed. And they say the recession is over. Where? How can that be when it has become a such a personal thing and millions are out of work with thousands more being laid off daily? Who are they trying to fool? McDonalds isn’t even hiring because those who do have the money for a Big Mac are tightening their belts lest they end up like us. I wasn’t one of those people looking forward to retirement because I wanted to work as long as I was physically and mentally able. Now I know why. This forced retirement isn’t one of carefree leisure. Instead it does more wear and tear on the body and soul than any job ever will. I’m sorry to be so down, but this is the end of another week with no hope in sight. I start off each week upbeat and positive because I see it as a beginning and this week will change all of the others. How I used to look forward to Fridays and how I hated Mondays!!! Now it’s the total opposite. It’s as if the world has turned upside down and spinning in the wrong direction!!! Not one of my previous co-workers over forty have found work which only tells us that age and not experience is the determining factor along with good credit ratings. That is a joke. What person who has not worked for almost two years has not maxed out every credit card they owned? Yet I was told during one interview that I would have to pass a credit check and I almost laughed in the interviewers face. Then I realized that he along with many others who have jobs do not have a clue that the country is in a recession. In my town public sector workers mandatorily work a four day week to prevent lay offs and they still had the nerve to complain. What I wouldn’t give to work four days out of the week and bring home a salary. It beats nothing. Thanks for letting me get that out. It’s Friday again.

  • art fox

    you are creating nothing but frustration – I don;t know to know what happened to people who have lost their job. What I/we need to know is what is any government or business company doing to provide jobs with reasonable salaries! NOW

  • Kj3233

    I am 33 years old female. I was let go from my job about 8 months ago because I told my employer I didn’t feel comfortable working alone over night with a male employee that gave me the wrong vibe. The next day they called me in the office and handed me a termination letter that stated they are letting me go at will with no reason.
    I have since not been able to pay my house mortgage and my mortgage company has said they can not help me unless I get a job because i do not make enough for them to help me. I have looked everyday for a job and have put in about 50 – 100 resumes with no response or position is filled as my only response. I tried to go back to school or something so I don’t feel like I am waisting my time with no help there is no way. I feel like I am hitting the end of my rope and wonder where the help is this is my first time being unemployed since I was 16 years old, I also volunteered extra time I have had and have always gave my all and I just wonder why there is nothing for us.
    I will make a few comments that may upset some but I think I need to say it.

    I have a cousin that collects welfare and has kids after kids and had never worked a day in her life and doesn’t plan on ever working a day in her life. (not talking about ones that really need it)

    I have 2 other cousins that collect disability claiming they have depression and anger issues and cant work, again they have never worked a day in their life, I take that back one worked 3 days at a job ( again not talking about ones that really need it).

    But here I am and so is a few others that have worked and put their dues in and are out of work for various reasons and cant find a job and cant find help. Everything we worked for we are slowly losing that is including our dignity and confidence. With every resume not answered and with ever day we don’t work we loose more and more of that confidence.

    I am not asking for a hand out, I am asking for help on somethings I feel we deserve. Maybe free training or free resume writing, would be a great start.
    I also feel like if you can bail out banks and other companies. why not add the people. I don’t feel like I should lose my home and loose everything I have worked
    for just because I am out of work for right now, it is not by choice. I would be working if I could.

  • concerned

    Skaizun, I know how you feel. I live in Silicon Valley – and yeah our government has issued way too many green cards and HB1s in the past 10, 15 years. I’ve lived in the San Jose, CA area for over 25 years (before that I grew up in another CA town). There have been a flood of people who have moved here. (well, in the 90s there were a lot of jobs created by the .dot com’s here). What upsets me is that our government has done nothing to rectify the problem (since 2002 – like perhaps send half a million people or so back–since they enjoy going back to their home countries on a yearly basis anyway). yes, some people have no appreciation for what this country has given them. I met one lady from Italy who works for a college, has no plans to become a citizen, & eventually plans to move back home. Her salary around: $45K/yr.
    Another lady I know (who is a friend of a friend) – came to the US from a So. American country in the 1990s. She is well off & could even afford a $20,000 a yr. education at a private school. Today, she works in government (county job). I’m sure she makes around 50K/yr. She flies home every year. Another lady I met in 2008 (while attending a local university) I found out was from Canada. She works at a well known hospital (though not a great job, she’s attempting to get her Bachelor’s) – she too flies back to Canada every chance she gets. In the one semester I was in class with her, she flew back during the labor day holiday, her birthday, then thanksgiving weekend. What is it with these people?, they just can’t seem to let go of where they come from. A lot of them are well off & could very well make it in their own countries. What ever happened to people (such as our great grandparents or those) who came in the 1800s, early 1900s – searching for a better life and never looked back. New immigrants used to have to work really hard for years before acquiring any sort of wealth. Today, our government and corrupt corporations just put out the red carpet and hand out the jobs to people who just step off a plane. Sure some have a college education, but why not have a system in place that gives the jobs FIRST to people who have spent their lives here, are US citizens, have paid taxes (or who’s parents have paid taxes), love their country (the good ol’ US of A), participate by voting each year, & yeah have their degrees as well. And for those Americans who do not yet have a degree, they can always get one. A community college education is pretty cheap & there’s government funds to help. Another incident that made me really upset a year ago… was when I met this community college student in a class I was taking. She was in the US on a student visa (from Europe), but happened to be working at a local hospital as well while attending school – and getting paid very well – so to afford a place to live, a car, & nice clothes.
    I found out from her that a family friend had given her a job, and then later referred her to someone at this nearby hospital – where she’d been working (illegally) now for 2 years! Though she had a degree from her country, she had not yet earned one here. It amazing how people get away with such things and how employers look the other way when a young, attractive person with some skills/experience & a referral comes along. It is absolutely shocking! The unemployment rate is 11% / 12% in this area – and it’s the non-citizens who don’t vote who are getting the jobs. Everyone! please write your congress person, senator, governor, President Obama – and complain!
    We need immigration reform (both legal & illegal). If we’re going to have immigration into the US, – when the jobs go – so should the new immigrants – even if we have to work our way back to when Clinton was in office & the economy improved (I believe the surge / increase in immigration occurred after the mid-90s). And no $30K / $40+ jobs should be given to anyone who has no legal right to work here.

  • bum’ed

    yes, what RPD says is true. If you’re over 40 – a degree may do no good. Employers want young people with degrees. My cousin’s daughter graduated this past summer (w/ a Bachelor’s in Business). She got a job at Target (in their business offices I’m guessing). Another thing employers look for is EXPERIENCE. In CA, government jobs paying $40K+ a year, have only a high school diploma requirement – but it’s the exact experience that is crucial.

  • helpful

    Hi Kj3233, if you’re looking for help writing your resume – visit your nearest unemployment office (here in CA, they’re Job Connect Centers). Weekly, there are lectures / workshops on topics like job search, writing resumes, cover letters, interviewing tips. Community college career offices offer these as well. As for training, visit a community colleges in your area. Go online and research career programs offered by colleges in your state. If you don’t yet have a degree, the cost should be free or close to free to get a certificate or 2-yr degree. Check it out & good luck.

  • witchhazel

    Don’t you know that if you are over fifty, still unemployed, and voted for Obama that you have taken the first sip of the Kool-Aid. If you think that first taste was bitter then hold on. The worst part of the drink is still to come. We will eventually become too expensive to keep around. This isn’t recession, it’s elder genocide. But keep your head up because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

  • Libertarian

    Although I feel sorry for family featuring in the program, I need to correct one thing the program’s female guest said. Yes, being an independent contractor, one is not entitled to benefits including workers comp, 401 K, and health care insurance. However, the female guest failed to indicate that the majority of independent contractors are paid higher salary rates. I have a friend who chose to be an independent contractor instead of a regular employee because her health care insurance was covered under her husband so she actually preferred higher salary rate.

    This program is not a balanced report. Again , like many PBS programs, this one is preaching socialism.

  • Mario

    Shutout of America: The Silicon Valley
    Thank you Need To Know for providing a place to share our stories, today you inspired me to tell my story and share my thoughts.
    They tell me that I am not the best and the brightest. But I am self sufficient, responsible and a frugal person, who never asked for monetary assistance from the government, family, friends or neighbors. I worked my way to middle class from having no money of my own. But today I find myself surviving on ten percent of my net worth and declining to poverty with no end in sight. I am poorer than those who receive government assistant. For nearly ten years, I live with joblessness, guilt and shame. And to my dismay, found myself powerless to solve my joblessness problem and joblessness for others.
    A legal immigrant to the United States in 1971, I went to high school in a San Francisco suburb, worked hard and paid my way through college twice, married and built my wealth into middle class America. This all changed after September 2001. In 2001, after the dot com bust, my wife divorced me. I sold my house in order to pay off our mortgage, organized my savings, and this is where my story begins.
    After the dot com bust, I enrolled in the California Employment Development Department programs to learn what is happening and what others are doing to find work. I sent out hundreds for resumes, networked, tried everything including offering my service for free trail periods, and even tried starting my own business, but to no avail. Thinking that I am not competitive enough, I enrolled myself back to graduate school to further my skills and become more employable or to generate work for myself and others. I graduated with a Master of Science Degree in Science at the end of 2006, had 2 interviews and no job offers ever since. Being pessimistic about the job market, I actively searched for opportunities to start a business but found that the entry barriers are set too high for me starting a business. Thus, I remain jobless with no opportunity to find work either for myself and others.
    A note aside, I found the California EDD an excellent government organization, they are people who care. I’ve also enrolled in other organizations and there are many good people there too.
    This jobless problem is nationwide, and in my opinion, this is a plague in a manner like a sickness. We as “all of us together” need to solve the problem. Let me know if I can help.

  • concerned

    yes, employers do first hire their unemployed friends, relatives, family… I’ve worked several temporary jobs, and I usually get replaced by someone’s friend or family member for the permanent position (that I am filling in for). The funny thing is… that the EDD (unemployment office) encourages the unemployed to Network. They say: “tell your friends, relatives, neighbors… that your looking for a job & see if they can help you. Go to former employers, stand outside companies as people leave for lunch or hangout at a Star Bucks & look for anyone wearing a badge” & so on & so on… I guess the only way to find jobs these days is to find someone kind enough to give you a job. Or if you have that friend or relative willing to help – go for it! I think in a way it is unfair, b/c if one does not have those strong connections – your doomed! I call for stopping the favoritism. A lot of the time, people hired in that manner, don’t really have the experience. One person met who got his job through his brother, is a project manager or something – travels to Asia, Europe, New York, etc – and does not even have a Bachelor’s degree. An ex-boyfriend of mine who I ran into at a world famous silicon valley company I was working at 11 years ago, was making close to $100,000/yr without a 4-yr degree. Now, where’s the justice in that. I had my degree & I was making less than half of that – & I didn’t have anywhere near the prestigious title or job duties he did. He too got his training in his youth through his VP dad & was able to drop out of a university and still be rewarded with great opportunities.
    It is sickening how corporations, companies operate these days. Hiring Reform is badly in need.

  • concerned

    ..

  • Hillhopper

    The following verses from the King James Bible all contain the word, “woe”. The statements (as verses) tell the tales of woe from ancient times. Maybe you can see that things seem to change outwardly, but remain similar inwardly. May God trust you as you trust Him.

    21:010:016 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes
    eat in the morning!
    23:005:020 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put
    darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter
    for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
    23:005:021 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in
    their own sight!
    23:005:022 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of
    strength to mingle strong drink:

    23:005:023 Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the
    righteousness of the righteous from him!
    23:010:001 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write
    grievousness which they have prescribed;

    23:010:002 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the
    right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their
    prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!

    40:018:007 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be
    that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence
    cometh!

    40:023:013 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
    shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go
    in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go
    in.

    40:023:014 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour
    widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore
    ye shall receive the greater damnation.

    40:023:015 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
    compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is
    made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than
    yourselves.

    40:023:016 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall
    swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear
    by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

  • BTyankee

    Where to start…currently under-employed being extended by 1 or 2 months at a time. Had a good job (65K p/yr) gas prices up -jobs down, 50% pay cut for 3 mos then laid-off. Unemployed for 6mos, hired at just over 1/2 pervious salary. Mortgage company notified 3 mos after layoff need to modify my loan (Jan 2009). I recieved an reponse from them (ie Dovenmuehle Mortgage) denied by the way, September 2010!!! Now – way behind, BUT I was paying my Forbeareance agreement amount EVERY month during their “Being reviewed” status of my loan. I had 3 different reps assigned to review my loan over this time period. Not getting much for available options, just reasons for forclosure, too far behind to catch up, bailout plan does not apply here, assistance from other sources not available or bad credit and can’t qualify. Stressing daily to keep the 3 kids in the same school they have been in for over 5yrs. The first will graduate next year, I hope with her friends. The rest are only 2yrs apart and right behind her. On a side note, I built the house with handicapped features and access to take care of our aging parents without them having to deal with stairs. They have no means to help, on social security. I am worried that the “light at the end of the tunnel” is the train. Thanks for listening, helped, I think.

  • Warren Cosford

    There is no reason to be out of work. You can ALWAYS find a job in Long Distance Trucking. At age 58 after 40 years in Media, I got my AZ license in 2003, gave up my apartment and lived in my truck. In 2004, my girlfriend sold her house and joined me. We spent a wonderful five years driving 600,000 miles throughout the U.S. and Canada. I’ve retired to driving a school bus now, but continue to have Headhunters calling offering various incentives to try to get me back on The Road.

  • Tabeln

    “Many” is not all; also the “higher rates” contractors get are exactly what you say they are for, covering one’s own health care, self-employment tax, and retirement savings.

  • working

    there are plenty of non-union construction jobs out there. you just have to be willing to work for less like i did

  • concerned

    So, while you still have internet access, you can reapply for all your benefits online and state that you cannot attend a meeting due to health reasons and lack of transportation. Use the time you have left w/ internet access wisely.
    Also why did you move to a place that you cannot get out of?

  • http://fraizerbaz.blogspot.com/ fraizerbaz

    George, I am so sorry that you are going through this. You are not alone. In fact, I am in a similar situation as you; single parent, laid off April 2009, maxed out credit cards, fighting (with ever fiber of my being) depression, etc.

    If we can just hang on somehow, nothing lasts forever. Not even this. It may get worse. But it will eventually get better. Please believe this.

    You are a strong man. Keep up the fight!

  • working

    I was laid off and after applying for over 200 jobs, I decided something had to happen fast. I was running out of money and afraid of losing my home. I took a look at the skills I had and decided to start my own business offering those skills at considerably less than larger companies could offer. I work for myself, out of my home, because I cannot afford to pay someone at the rate I am charging.. I kept advertising to a minimum by making my own flyers and passing them out myself. Long story short, I have regular work at half the income that I was used to. But that is OK. I have had to make some SEVERE cut backs but am able to make the house payment, (which by the way is an older home with less than 700 a month payment) utilities and groceries. And pay the credit card bills I ran up starting the business. As soon as those are paid off, I will be doing pretty well.
    Never will be as good money-wise as when I worked for a large corporation,
    but hey! I work for myself and have managed to get regular customers who appreciate what I do.
    I am starting into my third year and while year 1 was really scary, year 3 looks much better.
    If you have a skill, you can offer that service for considerably less to people in your town or neighborhood.
    You might not get rich, but it might just keep your head above water.

    What I noticed in this program was that the couple was making 10 GRAND a month but only had enough money put back to cover 2 months rent.
    I also noticed that they were still making car payments after closing their business. Why didn’t they trade those cars in for something that would have been paid for? I also heard something about a $140.00 a month cell phone bill? Also they lost customers to larger competitors. OK That’s a clue that you are charging too much and not offering enough.
    COME ON PEOPLE! I feel bad for these folks but they obviously didn’t know how to cut back. They also did not know how to offer a superior service for less money.
    Starting a small home based business is NOT an instant way to riches if you want to be in business in 5 years.
    I

  • Djacks24

    Even though I am working, I am thankful I have skills that I could use if I were unemployed to get me through. Many people in my profession are working on their own due to low overhead, in demand skills/services, and low barrier to entry. As much as those things are a blessing, they are also a curse because there are a lot of unethical/unskilled hacks out there to compete with. I get offers for side work all the time, but out of loyalty to my current employer I decline offers that my current employer would potentially get. But I work for a very small business that has consistently underpaid me the whole time I’ve worked there or nearly always pays me a week late, and on a few occasions has not paid me at all. Sign of the times, I suppose. Thank goodness I learned a skill that could earn me money and my college education and everything but my mortgage is paid in full.

  • Docmjs

    Agreed… I just applied for disability for my husband and have been able to complete the entire process online and by mail without having to visit the SS office. Please do it now while you still have internet access. The process just takes a little time.

  • Concerned for everyone

    It’s good to have faces and names to the situation. It’s far too easy to think the news reflects on some nebulous group who don’t really exist. But these people are increasingly our friends and neighbors.

    Fifty million without any access to health care, 9.6 percent official unemployment with actual numbers of underemployed and unemployed closer to 17 percent. This does not bode well for our society in a number of ways. Wealth disparity leads to virtually all societal perils. See “The Equality Trust for further evidence at:
    http://www.equalitytrust.org.uk/

    Conditions either work for everyone, or they are in need of remediation. We are definitely in the later condition.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/QNDC4PQSRZCVTT6YDDBJDEMU54 Jean SmilingCoyote

    There’s a famous quote saying there’s a difference between “poor” and “broke.” Many use labels like “poor” and “middle-class” referring solely to income. Though “class” is un-American, a person who’s middle-class because of his non-income demographics (e.g. college degree, etc.) doesn’t lose that status from being unemployed or underpaid.
    There’s also an omission by media and pols in that there are laws against age discrimination; it’s likely that when an “older” person suffers long unemployment despite many search efforts, he’s a victim of age discrimination. This country is in deep denial about job discrimination that’s overtly illegal, to say nothing of the immoral discrimination that’s still legal. This has a lot to do with Social Darwinism. I have trouble with the stories about specific people in this bad economy, because, even though it’s voluntary, information about the people is made public which employers have no right to get on a job application. Why can’t an unemployed/underemployed American get some needed spotlight without this information being revealed? I know from experience that reporters always want to know this information.
    I’m in dire need of a job now, but what I want to share is the solution to long-term unemployment/underemployment, unrelated to a job-seeker’s age etc. It’s already on the web but being ignored. Here’s the URL: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/webform/How%20to%20Put%20America%20Back%20to%20Work.doc

  • James

    Our rich “folks” are developing new economies and emerging markets and saying to hell with our tapped out country. The old and young always bear the brunt of economic downturns. Most people are poor most of the time and you can be sure our new normal is POOR for most people from now on. As a baby boomer, I thank God I am not younger to see what happens to America over the next 50 years. What a struggle it will be for survival. And don’t count on getting an extra penny from the wealthy who will continue to hoard and indulge at every turn. Out of sight, out of mind right?

  • Tom

    Don’t be so down. Here is a little trick I learned that can cure your housing problems and with a little help can get you a paying job. I was once out of the housing market simply because I couldn’t afford the 20% down and a couple thousand a month for thirty years so I came up with this. Free Demolition Call Tom at 3363882223 and waited for the calls to come and they did. I had my pick of many different styles and sizes of houses. Granted I was in the construction trade but I think everyone knows a little about fixing up a house or knows someone that does they could ask. So I got my first house for free and only did what I did everyday anyway and dismantled the house down to wall and floor sections and trailered it to some land I bought and set the thing back up. I had another job at the time so could afford the land payments and some money each week to fix up the place. I took me a year but so what, I had a house. If you want to get a house and are willing to do the work then take the advice, put the ad in the paper or on Craigs List and start. For those of you that want a paying job working for a non-profit that does this work then write to President Obama at The White House.org and ask him to listen to my proposal. Maybe he will find some shovel ready money to fund this and you can create your own job and get a free house out of the deal. You can raise money for land by auctioning the first couple houses you find on EBay. If you have any other questions call me or email me at anonbene1@yahoo.com. I hope this helps you, Sincerely Tom

  • Tom

    correction; it’s The White House .gov

  • fedup54

    Hey, I’m really glad you have marketable skills and a lower house payment.
    I have clerical skills and it seems everyone on the planet does too.
    I have been let go due to a company merger I am 54 and am getting fed up.
    I married very young and started a family, couldn’t afford college so sort of
    fell into a career. Now I find this career shut the door to other jobs. Although I feel my skills are versatile, it seems no one wants to give me the chance to work in a different venue. I get responses like, over qualified or not enough experience.
    I have been out of work and search the internet for jobs daily. We are very lucky my husband has a job (not high paying either) so we barely make the bills. We scrimp on everything. There is no extra spending money. We both have medical issues which require meds and dr visits and that is a
    unavoidable monthy bill. Our savings has been consumed, we sold what we could and It has come to the point we need to sell our home. Due to the economy, we can’t even sell it.
    Now even the lower paying jobs (I was making 18/hr), require a degree and even though I have work experience, there are kids out there hunting for jobs that have the degrees.
    I would love the chance to train for something new, but don’t have the money to do it.
    What do I do???

  • Lorenzo Young81

    Orion:

    I was laid-off in July of 2009. I had been laid-off twice before but nothing was as horrible as this one. I did not own a house … I sold it before the crash … I held onto ever cent … $150,000 … I had paid off everything since I knew that being laid-off was “common” in the region I lived in. I was a manufacturing technician who was earning $75,000 per year. Now … I am humble … I understand certain dynamics … yet I was blind-sided once the door actually shut in 2009.

    Approximately 2,500 – 3,000 people were laid-off from the plant I worked in. Now what is ironic here is this: the company offered transfers. This plant was unionized … so last hired first fired was the motto. I was not last … and I was not first … so I I felt that the opportunity to transfer would probably occur around 2011 or 2012. However, upon leaving the company, we were asked to sign documents stating whether we were interested in transferring to another plant … I agreed since the transition plant was in my home town and I knew the area. There was a $50,000 relocation bonus for those who elected to transfer. As I have indicated the plant shut down in July of 2009. August came and went. In September I moved to the transition city. In the same month the company solicited notifications via mail delivery. The time frame to reply was between Sept 2, 2009 – Sept 22, 2009. On Sept 8, 2009, I notified the company that I had changed my address. In the mean time, the company never alerted me that “new solicitations for relocation interest forms were being sent. It was recorded that the company sent 3 certified letters to my old address and all 3 came back. I was told by a close friend that these letters had been sent and if I did not respond when they were sent I would lose my recall rights, educational benefits, and my job itself. Invariably, this was true! The company felt this was the best way to treat me. I would later learn that HR had the new information, yet did not send those letters to the changed address for some unknown reason. Nonetheless, my mail: unemployment, severance and the like were all delivered to the proper address … but not the letter of interest. I kept the original letter of interest that was bestowed upon me before the plant closed … the transition city indicated that the letter meant nothing to them! Today … I have been placed at the end of the line … 50/50 I get my job back. Somebody help me?

  • Prdamerican44

    For the fiscal year of 2012, in the month of July 2011, Iowa legislation (both Republican and Democrat) voted to keep all Iowa Workforce Offices open; they allocated funds to do so as they realize the need to do so. Governor Terry Branstad, vetoed the bill and has directed his appointed director, who resides in the state of Arizona, formerly an Iowa resident, to proceed with the closures of offices stating not enough funds were allocated to keep these offices opened. He also suggests Iowa is not keeping up with the “times”. He has directed that access points be secured for persons who are unemployed and for persons who are receiving cash benefits from the state of Iowa, known as the TANF program, aid to dependent children formerly. The legislation, in this case made a very good decision. At this time, they have the option to request a special session to reverse the Governors’ decision and there are many who would encourage them to do so. However, at this time the Republicans have decided to act like Politian’s and say no to the special session in order to back up their republican counterpart, rather than standing tall for the people they originally voted for and represent. In case they have not noticed, we are currently in an economic crisis. People cannot afford to drive to the current office for services, let alone adding additional miles just to get to an office. As for the access points, not all people know how to use the computer systems and you can call that backwards or you can call it what it is, no training on computers, no funds to purchase a computer and no funds to have internet access. Not all of us can double tip into state funds, by receiving retirement benefits from the state (this for not even 20 years of service, which most  have to work at least 25 to 30 years to receive) and to also receive a check for currently being a state employee such at the current Governor of Iowa.
    Certainly, office closures could be goal in the future, but at this time there has been no training, no real planning on how the governor expects this to work. Maybe 10 years ago this could have happened and maybe 10 years from now it could happen, but not right now. Put in to place training regarding access points, staff the access points, rather than expecting non Workforce staff to assist with this process. Also remember the current staff have a difficult time keeping up with the work load, to take staff away and expect that less staff will be able to keep up in the 40 hour work week is unrealistic.
    The Iowa Governor promised to bring 300,000 jobs to Iowa, so now it will need to be 300,000 plus however many state employees he terminates. Does he not recognize that he too is a state employee and he has people under him to carry out job duties, so he probably gets to spend time with his family, Who voted for this guy again? I am not sure but whoever it was, I hope it wasn’t government employees who now have to worry about not being able to provide for their family.
    I would like to ask Need to Know to investigate and produce a piece on this state of emergency in Iowa in regards to what I have addressed above and also currently here there is a lot of fundamental political activity emerging ie: 2012 presidential campaigning and the straw poll.