The Unemployment Blues

I can write and I can do it very well.  I say this because I have many pages of evidence and feedback.   I don’t piss excellence in the morning but I know how to put words together and gauge people’s interest and keep them coming back for more doses.   One of the most important things in life is knowing what you want to do with your life and seeing a path to getting there.  I want to write for a living more than anything, but right now there isn’t a single job waiting out there for me.   There are people out there with Journalism degrees who can’t get work writing the spoken word on paper or on the internet.  2014 isn’t the year of the writer unless you know somebody or catch the right person’s eye.

So I digress.  I am currently out of work and will likely be heading back to the warehouse environment soon.   This isn’t the ending I wanted and surely wasn’t where I planned on being when I left the previously mentioned warehouse last March.   That’s life and the way things turn out these days.   I have been out of work for 12 months of the past year and a half.  I am a stay at home dad and a damn good one.   I get up with the kid most mornings and battle the 2 year old to a draw most nights.   My wife, Rachel, works 50 plus hours a week selling tile so the paychecks there are never a guarantee.

During my time at home,  I have gotten the chance to write for 4 additional websites to go with this one and Film-Addict.  I go on the radio once a week with Rob Butler in Arkansas and have conducted several interviews with actors, writers, directors and just recently, baseball players for my beloved St. Louis Cardinals.  I have savored the time at home with Vinny.  I have watched him grow up from a small 9 month old baby to a 2 year old beast.   I will never forget this time I have had with him and the opportunities that have come my way and opened doors for myself.  I have met a lot of unpaid yet brilliant writers and joined the population of prose dispensers.

Plenty of out of work hacks would have shacked up at home and watched enough reality television to make their eyes hurt or sat there and covered themselves in despair and disgust.   I have made good use of my time away from the land of the employed and found myself as busy or busier than when I was actually making money.   I have seen my writing vastly improve and take a sharper route to the end of pieces and I have gotten more creative while only earning less than 50 dollars for my services around the net.

There is a bittersweet flavor to being out of work.  You do plenty but see no return.   You see bills stack up and remain unpaid and there are times where I feel compelled to go pick up a lackluster shit job to simply pay off some of those overdue slips.   I have grown bitter during my unemployment and have shown more attitude towards my wife.  I have gotten very angry at my son for doing things a 2 year old simply does no matter what.

My inner anger has grown  more intense.  Part of this stems from losing my job at Senoret in 2012 when the owner decided to pack up and sell.   A large chunk comes from getting fired last June without warning or reason from Bommarito Wines(I will name that one no matter the blowback on future applications and resumes).   There are days where I wake up frustrated and annoyed at my predicament and I take it out on the wrong people.  That is typical human behavior.  Our aim with our mood and attitude is never sharp.   We just let it fly.  Being married for just about 9 years, you know how to cut down your spouse even when they don’t deserve it.   I have done that way too often in the past year.   It doesn’t matter how many times your wife is mean to you really.  That doesn’t make it okay to fire back at her when she is the only one working and stressed beyond her mind.   If this sounds like me sitting in a therapy session and you holding the notepad, that is because sometimes I come here and just need to rant.

When I found myself on the job block, I thought this was my best opportunity to find something different.  Warehouse work was drying up and the social media and web content arenas were just getting warmed up.  I figured I could make an impact there.  I even had a couple bites on the market there.     I interviewed at Eagle Bank and Trust for a social media manager position and left excited.  A whole new area of expertise extracting me from robotic warehouse work.  And let’s call it what it is.  Warehouse work, unless you have a clear path up in the ranks of management or really dig that kind of work, is robotic mind numbing crap.   People go there because they have no other skills most of the time.  I have a skill and a way with people so I don’t feel like I belong there.   When I interviewed at the bank, I thought I was breaking free.  Sometimes a dream is extended though.   I got word from Pat Kelly that the bank job had went to someone else.  When I emailed the marketing director at Eagle Bank to say thanks for the opportunity to interview, he told me it was still open.   I got the drift.  I had been passed up.

Someone with a college degree probably swooped in and took the job.   It’s amazing that in some areas of work a college degree gets you nowhere because you are a woman(my wife applying at a car dealership, where she surely had everyone else out-schooled) and then there are other jobs when the job holders desire a college degree in an area of work(social media and web content) where a piece of paper from a community college doesn’t seem like the biggest prerequisite.  I know more than a few people who have college degrees and no job to show for it but here is a gig where I was probably passed over for somebody who had a simple business degree from a local college.   Once again, that’s life.  It can beat to your knees one day and show a little hope the next day.

I wouldn’t mind staying home with my kid and working a little but then again, who wouldn’t?   My dream is to write for a living and I can only hope one of these passion gigs I am doing right now turn into something real down the road.  When it comes to jobs, you can take a job and quit looking entirely or take a job and keep up the search.  I will never stop looking until I find my dream job.   I may be old and gray when I finally do write for a living but that won’t be too late.   Sure, I write because I want to and not because I need money to do it but when you have a family, MONEY needs to be made and joy in what you do doesn’t matter.

The American Dream in life is doing what you want and love to do while getting paid for it.  I know I have a unique gift to write and connect with people on social media and know I can help someone’s business with these skills or improve people’s lives.   People have told me this and I know it myself.   That’s not enough in this world.

There is virtue in knowing you have found your place in life and seeing what you were put here to do.   It is something quite else to be paid to do it.

Thanks for reading and have a good weekend,

DLB

 

 

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Author: D. Buffa

A regular guy who feels a journalistic hunger to tell the news. I blog because its wired into my brain to write what I think in print. I offer an opinion. A solo tour here. Take regular stories and offer my spin on them. Sports, film, television, music, fatherhood, culture, food, and so on. Commentary on everything. A St. Louis native and Little Rock resident who wants to write just to keep the hands fresh and ready.

2 thoughts on “The Unemployment Blues”

  1. Been there and I understand. I love to write and wish a job writing would open up but those are few and far between. I work and do what I have to do to take care of my son. It’s not glamorous but the ends justify the means. I read your work and you’re a much better writer than I am so I hope that that works out for you eventually. Just stay the course!

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