46,000 = ZERO

A few weeks ago I received an email from an airline company (I will take the high road and not name them) indicating that I had forfeited over 46,000 frequent flier miles because I have not flown with them in 18 months.

They indicated the miles could be reinstated in one of three ways: 1) if I travelled on their airline before the end of March, 2) I could pay $200 to have the miles reinstated or 3) I could acquire and use their credit card.

I sent them a letter and explained my circumstances and asked them to reconsider. I told them that I had been a corporate Meetings and Events Planner for over 10 years and that they were my airline of choice both personally and professionally, but that I had lost my job in July of 2007.

I went on to say that because of my unemployment, I have not flown at all in the last 18 months. My financial situation is currently such that I can’t afford to take a vacation and that is why I have not flown for personal travel either.

I assured them that once I return to the skies for both business and personal travel, I will return to them. I asked to be allowed to keep my miles.

Today I received their response and it was not in my favor. They are sticking to their rules, however, they assured me I am important to them.

Yeah, I feel important with my “0” miles balance.

I am realistic enough to know that they are running a business. I get that. But in my mind, allowing it to be about me this one time, this is a case of “kicking me while I’m down” and another crushing blow. I worked very hard to earn those miles, leaving my home and family frequently, and really do not want to lose yet another thing in my life because of my unemployment situation.

I will admit when I wrote the letter I didn’t expect them to change their minds but I had to ask. Business or not, and as much as I’d like to meet Sully should he be piloting my plane in the future (OOPS! Did I just give the airline away???), I am sure I will find another airline to support in the future.

This particular airline’s tag line is “Fly with US” and their Customer Service statement is: “Customer service has always been a priority, and we are committed to making every flight count for our valued customers.”

Apparently my 46,000 miles count for nothing.

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Ugh! I am so discouraged again (. . . yet . . . still . . .) with the job search. Today I found two new leads; the first was posted anonymously which means I can’t contact them directly or follow-up with them.

The second job I contacted the employer directly but after telling them how many years experience I have, they told me this is a very entry-level position and very low paying. If you could see what they are requiring of this position, you would not believe that it’s entry-level! Lots of travel and lots of responsibility.

I’m trying to tell myself is the good news is that there were two new leads today in my field. The bad news is that one is a no-go from the get-go and the other doesn’t look promising.

I have no choice but to look again tomorrow. Having no choice really sucks . . .

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Mommy & Me

My Mom and I have always been close. We live about 3 miles apart and talk at least once a day on the phone. We really have a great time together and always seem to be laughing.

Since I’ve been not working, we’ve spent most Wednesday mornings together. We usually go to breakfast, go for a walk in my local park (weather permitting) and maybe do a little shopping at Walmart or Costco. She is 76-years-old and is in great health, knock wood, but . . . well . . . you know. So spending this extra time with her that I could not spend with her if I were working is a real gift. Someday, hopefully a long, long, long time from now, I will look back on this time and be so grateful and have so many great memories.

So is not having a job all bad? No, not at all. I need a job to make money so that my husband and I can pay our bills and maybe have a little fun too. But having this time off to spend with my Mom, like the commercial says, is priceless.

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It Is What It Is

I am sorry to say I have nothing new to report. There were no new job leads again today. I must apologize because this does not make this blog very exciting. But what I hope it does is shed some light on the job search and how hard it is.

I work equally as hard every day on my search, but more often than not, this hard work yields very little results. It is discouraging to say the least.

It is what it is and what it is is a struggle.

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Pouring and Buckets and Guilt – No Lie!

I’m not going to lie to you — today has been crap.

Here in Pennsylvania, it has been raining hard (we call it “pouring”) and windy and dark and dreary.

I live in a house that is 70+ years old. It is a brick house, much like the song, so it’s made pretty well. However, we’ve had some issues with roof leaks over the last year or so, and as soon as my husband fixes one, another one begins. We don’t need an entire new roof but there are some areas that could use some refreshing, shall we say, but we are really trying to cut back until I get a new job.

Today a new leak appeared in our mudroom. My husband should be able to patch the area once we dry out. Until then, we are using buckets and towels to keep things as under control as is possible.

What does any of this have to do with my job search you might be asking? Most everything in my life these days is connected to my job search. We don’t really want to have a professional come in and do his thing to our roof until I am once again employed. I am also home during the day so I see all this stuff as it’s happening. “Out of sight, out of mind” is for darn sure.

The panic and sadness and stress all wash over me (no pun intended I promise) and remind me — as if I need a reminder — that me having a job would change so many things.

I did my job search this morning and again there are no new leads. Today the feeling of desperation is creeping in, but I am holding it off as best as I can. There is a level of guilt that comes into play when I begin to host a pity party (a party of one I might add) in that I know the world is struggling and hurting — my God look at Haiti — but it’s hard not to worry about your own little corner of the universe when water is coming out of your ceiling fan.

I just looked out the window and now the sun is out. Amazing.

Gotta go check my buckets.

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Say What?

It’s 11:20 p.m. on a Saturday night and I’ve been working on my job search for the last hour. I received a listing of companies in the area and am checking all their websites for career opportunities.

I’m gonna quit now.

I figured it was best when I thought the words “Bottom Hole” said “Butt hole”.

Good night.

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The World Is Not Flat

I have taken this new blog out for a spin over the last week and have decided I am unhappy with the title. I originally named this blog “Being UNEMPLOYED is a Full Time Job” but I’ve decided the word “Unemployed” does not define me or this blog.

As much as we like to believe what we do does not define us, think back to the last time you met someone. You most likely asked them “What do you do for a living?”.

Since you and I have just met, I’m going to assume you’ve just asked me what I do for a living. Would my answer be “I’m currently unemployed”? No, it wouldn’t. Because that’s not what I do. What I would say is “I’m currently looking for a new job”.

I asked my husband to think about the title and last night we discussed it. It went like this:

Me: I think I’m going to change it to “Looking for a new job . . .”

Him: I think “Searching” is better than “Looking” ’cause that’s what you do. You search.

Me: Yeah, I’m like Christopher Flippin’ Columbus!

So I have changed the title of my blog.

I won’t change it again.

Until the search is over.

Then it will mostly like be changed to “What the Hell was I thinking?!?!?!”

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A Blip

Today I attended a luncheon with 20 or so seniors. They were a lively bunch and very engaged in the world and each other. There was a couple there who are celebrating their 66th year of marriage today.

I have many years to live until I reach their age (God willing) and I can only wonder what those years will look like for me. Since the luncheon was in a corporate setting and the job search is ALWAYS on my mind, I wondered if when I am their age, how will I remember this time that I’ve been unemployed and the struggles that came along with this situation?

Even though finding a new job is taking forever, in the grand scheme of things, a life, this is a “blip” on my radar. I have to remember this when it seems like I will be unemployed forever.

I just called a recruiter in my field who may be able to help me with my search. I had to leave a message and am waiting for the return call.

With each new possibility, there is hope. And with hope, there is everything.

Blip . . . . . . . . . . blip . . . . . . . . . . blip . . . . . . . . . .

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Blurry Vision

I really mean it when I say searching for a new job is a roller coaster ride. The week started with three viable leads and then yesterday and today’s searches have left me with no new options.

I am trying to stay positive. I am trying to keep my nose to the grindstone and every day I work on the job search. I’ve put my hopes and dreams and wishes out there in the universe and have imagined them and prayed for them.

I even did a vision board. I know, I know. But there are days when you have to throw conventional methods out the window and try something a little crazy. In case you’re not familiar with the book “The Secret” and the vision board, the idea is that you put on a board or paper images and words representing what you want and you focus positive energy and imagine these things to be a reality in your life.

So I made a vision board and have it on my desk. On my board are images and words reflecting a good job in a good company and travel for business and pleasure. Pretty good stuff right? I look at my vision board several times a day and focus on these things being a reality.

I made my vision board almost a year ago. Now I know I need new contacts (something I’ve been putting off until I get a new job), but I’m beginning to think the universe might being experiencing some blurry vision of its own!

In the interest of fairness and not making the universe angry, maybe it is me? Have I missed something? Should I be rubbing the vision board like a Genie in a bottle or would that really cause the neighbors to talk? Should I throw pennies on top of it as if it were a fountain? Should I light a small end of it on fire and make a wish like a birthday candle?

Maybe trying to clean the coffee stains off of it would be a start?

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Blood Type

Today I applied for three positions I found online. All three of them required that I fill out an online application which can be very tedious depending on the employer’s requirements. I worked through the first two without issue, then ran into something new when starting the third.

As I created a profile with this third company, a Warning Message popped up. I swear I heard sirens! The message read “You must have Internet Explorer 7 or higher version to complete this application!”.

Is there no end to what information you must know or what information you must provide to apply for a job? I happen to know what version Internet Explorer I have, but that did not make the warning any less surprising.

During the job search, I’ve been asked my social security number, how long I’ve lived at my current address, who my emergency contact is (remember I don’t even have the job yet), if I have transportation to get to the job (remember I don’t even have the job yet), what years I went to elementary school, was it a one-room schoolhouse (OK I made this one up), do I belong to any clubs (does PA Unemployment count?), can I lift 20 lbs., what jobs did I like best (the ones I got offered and accepted are my top favorites), and the “Optional” standard three:

What is your ethnicity?
What is your gender?
Are you a veteran?

New year, new attitude so I’m looking at the bright side of things. Today I found three viable job leads and am hopeful once again.

For future reference, I’m A Positive.

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