There are times like right now that I truly do feel like the modern day Charlie Brown. I am completely unable to succeed.
I cannot think of one sustained success in my life. By sustained, I mean success that lasts. My grades in college sucked. My career is best illustrated by dropping an anvil into the ocean from 10,000 feet. Failed marriage, 100% because of me. Failed additional long-term relationship. In the 6 years since I left Chicago, only two people I haven't been romantically linked to have visited, one in Seattle, one in Georgia. Folks even get to within two hours of me and don't care to visit. I've lost my house. I'm behind on every bill. I can't get interviews with 90% of the resumes I send. The other 10%, well, I'm still without employment. I have no success with attracting attention unless I'm intentionally being controversial.
I am the failure face.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
There are times like right now that I truly do feel like the modern day Charlie Brown. I am completely unable to succeed.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Today marks 23 months since I was RIFd by United Community Banks.
In that time, I have been unable to secure employment. In fact, I've gotten to the interview stage with a company only twice. Further, I've had two other interviews with recruiters. To finish the list of callbacks, I've been called about 4 other jobs for which I didn't send a resume. Obviously, in every case, I failed somewhere along the way.
It isn't for lack of trying though. I send out 3 resumes a day, and have for the last 18 months. I do not limit my search to jobs that are in my geographic locale or to jobs that would meet my previous salary.
On February 1st, my mortgage was foreclosed. If I agree to the "Cash for Keys" program, I have until April 10th to get out and leave the house in "broom clean" condition, and I'll receive $2,000. I guess it's because they worry about me pulling the copper tubing and completely trashing the place.
I'll be moving into one room in Denver's aunt's house. It will be the smallest room I've ever had, including my dorm room.
I own a dance studio, that we paid $1 for and was worth -$4,000 when we bought it. I put the last of my money into it in order to make it work. It now pays for itself, but it doesn't pay me, though it has paid back much of my initial investment. Eventually it might be lucrative, but it isn't yet, hence the job search.
I live on unemployment, which I justify to myself because the studio doesn't employ me. Unemployment is $330/week pre-tax.
I have no 401(k). I used much of it as the down payment on my house. The rest had to go into living expenses. I have no savings. I have 50K in unsecured debt, as I kept up under the idea that eventually I'd have a job and be able to pay the credit cards back for paying my mortgage. On any given day I may run out of propane, like it did last night, or the electricity could be shut off. My radio station still runs, but that may not go much longer.
I still have a car, but the payments on the car are harder and harder to make, and insurance is a nightmare. I know better than to go cheap on coverage, having been sued not two years ago. Further, I need new brakes, I need a tune up, I need new tires, and I have a big dent in the rear left section from someone backing into me.
This is where I am now.
On February 17, 2009...
I just got off the phone with a recruiter. He is calling about a job at Regions Bank in Birmingham, as an Accounting Policy Manager. It would pay more, and would be in a metropolitan area. I turn it down, because I feel secure at United Community Banks, I made a commitment to them when they moved me here. Further, they didn't think twice about letting me leave during our busy season to attend my cousin's funeral just a week ago.
I just got my 2009 tax return. It was around $11,000 because I over withhold, and I have about $25,000 in itemized deductions, thanks to donations to various charities, among them the University of Illinois, and my mortgage interest deduction. I am able to loan half of this to a friend so she can pay off a credit card. I'm not at all worried about whether it will be paid back. The rest continues to pay down moving expenses I didn't submit to the bank.
I'm considering buying a condo in the suburbs of Chicago, so that I have somewhere to stay when I visit, rather than stay with my parents. Kind of my version of a second home.
I loan $1,500 to a group that is starting a wrestling promotion in Blue Ridge. I will again get to be Top Jimmy, but now on a consistent basis and within the storylines.
I just got my check a couple days ago. It's for $3,000. That's after all deductions, Social Security, Medicare, 401(k), income tax (federal and state).
I contribute 5% of my check to my 401(k). Pre tax growth, right? I didn't roll my 401(k) over from the previous employers because I put that money into the down payment of my house. My savings are slim but that's because of a combination of security within my job and the effort I've put forth into paying off all the debt from the past. It's almost all gone now.
Propane ran out last week, and I filled the 750 gallon tank. All my bills are taken directly out of my bank account, because I don't have to worry about there being money available. I just turned off Boskey Radio West a couple weeks ago, because the shows were getting a bit stale and I wanted to put the $60/month I was paying into something more fun.
I don't even think about my car. If I need some maintenance, I just get it done. I have a deposit on a 2010 Camaro.
That is a serious fall my friends. None of this is an exaggeration.
Now I read that companies are excluding the unemployed when looking for new employees and it certainly appears there is no end in sight to the fall. It's like Gandalf falling into the pit that has no end.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
It was a year ago that I was just finishing up filming "A Touch of Darkness". If you haven't seen the rough cut yet, you can view it here.
Many things have changed since then, some of it has been documented, such as losing my job, which was a year ago St. Patrick's Day. I've allowed myself to be more interested in creativity, something that is fairly scary for someone brought up in the accounting world. Acting has really become a passion for me. Writing stories is something I have taken to, though the craft for me will require much more polishing. Singing, something I've never had any confidence in, will get tested when I try out for Guys and Dolls later this month. My living arrangement has changed, and stayed the same. Laurel has moved on to Minnesota, and after a rough winter is settling in up there nicely. Recently, Denver has moved in and so far that has been a joy, though her dog has a sock fetish.
We're running FLEX now, which is located in Blue Ridge. That makes living in Blairsville not the right move at the moment, but hopefully that will change this spring. The house was only viewed a handful of times last year, and didn't even come close to an offer. Hopefully, Denver's stepfather, who has become a successful realtor since moving up here, will have more success than we had last year.
Another change that I've found has been an internal one. In the past, I've tried to stay out of squabbles between friends and family. I've always figured if their situation was not affecting mine, I would find a medium between them that was peaceful for me. If they asked me to get involved, I would, but that was the extent. At least, that's what I was gunning for. I still believe that's the best way for me, but in one instance this is changing.
Denver's mother has caused me more anger in the past year than anything I can remember throughout my life. Occurrences have made me sad, happy, depressed, despondent, but not angry, not like this. I've known many people in my life, but to this day I have not met someone more self-absorbed, narcissistic, arrogant and manipulative than Denver's mother. People have talked about my narcissism and my need for the center of attention. I would never argue these things, as they are perceptions people have had of me, and I can see where these perceptions come from, as I do try to look at myself from the outside and see how I would perceive myself. Yet, even in all that, I am amazed at the depth of her need. Normally, I'd just brush it off, because it has no effect on me. This time however, it is tearing that family apart. Even that might be OK to me. Sometimes the best thing in the long term is to tear things apart and rebuild. However, she's not doing it through altruism. She's not concerned in the least about her family, which includes a teenage daughter. She is only concerned about herself, and what she can get. I will detail all she has done in the future, but for now, let's just say that I have never been more angry at someone who did not do anything to me.
The worst part about it is she has a blog, and some of the people that patronize FLEX read that blog. She announced her pending divorce through her blog, then painted it as if her leaving at the beginning of January was a joint decision. There are so many instances of her painting her perceptions as reality in there, while some are just factually inaccurate. Therein lies the anger. Those who know me know that over time, what has become my hottest button is to paint perception as fact. I can't abide by this, and it has actually pulled me back into writing here.
I'd much rather have been writing about how I got into film school and am in the process of learning all there is about moviemaking. Alas, that's still in the future. For now, it's back to ranting.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Whenever a woman tries to tell me about God and Jesus Christ, I am reminded of Paul's first letter to Timothy, Chapter 2, verses 11-12.
A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.Under the strict interpretation, this only applies to religious teachings, as this chapter of the letter to Timothy is only about religious matters. Under a more broad interpretation, such as the interpretation of a dream Peter had leading to Christians abandoning dietary laws, this applies to all matters... a woman is to submit to men.
The real question is whether I will ever have the guts to remind a proselytizing woman of this.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Here is the oath of enlistment for members of the United States military:
I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
Here is the oath of commissioned officers in the United States military:
I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.
Here is the presidential oath, as prescribed by the Constitution:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
One does not need to be a scholar to see that nowhere in any of these oaths does it say defend the people of the United States of America. Why is that? That is because defending the citizens of the United States is not the military's concern. It hasn't been since the 9th state signed on to the Constitution.
Why does this matter at all? It matters because our military's role is to defend the ideal, not the people. Our military's role is to defend the methods by which this land is governed, the ideals by which this land is governed and the freedoms believed to be so important that they were either in the original document (habeas) or were later added (Bill of Rights, suffrage, freedom from slavery) within this piece of land.
The military is not fighting for the tribe. The United States military is NOT fighting in an "us against them" battle. It is fighting to defend the values, not the people. If it were about the people, then rules of engagement would not matter. Treaties signed in accordance with the Constitution would not matter. All that would matter is the defense of the people.
This is why the argument about "they cut our heads off, and we just dunk their heads in water" doesn't hold. Our military is not about just proving we are the dominant tribe. Our military is supposed to be about the ideal, and you cannot defend an ideal by going against that ideal. When you do, you are truly no better than those whom you fight.