Friday, August 28, 2009

Crunch time

After receiving my last unemployment check, I did some math to figure out how many more weeks of unemployment I have. They tell you your remaining benefit balance, and it was looking pretty low. I only have ten weeks left. At that point, if I still don't have a job I will have to apply for an extension of benefits. I'm pretty nervous about that for several reasons. First, the application process can be incredibly long. You have to wait for interviews, approvals, blah blah bureaucracy, blah. When I originally applied, I had a small severance pay and my last paycheck to get me through about 4-6 weeks. Not this time. I've burned through my tax return that was supposed to be savings. I'm just scraping by. So are a lot of people, so I'm not looking for sympathy. That's just the reasoning behind my nervousness. Also, I've heard rumors that benefit amounts are being cut or denied completely. 

Now would be a great time for my phone to start ringing! I've followed up on the applications (4 or so) that I recently sent, but of course no response.  It looked like I was going to get a new nanny job, but that fell through. Right now, to make my minimum weekly requirement I am driving 275 miles per week and spending a little over 2 hours on the road daily. I commute from Santa Ana to Long Beach to Anaheim Hills back to Long Beach and then back home to Santa Ana. Yuck! I'm going to continue sending out applications, but on Tuesday I start school and will need to focus on my classes. I cannot and will not jeopardize my academics by spending hours and hours sending applications no one even reads. That might sound odd after all this talk about how badly I need a job, but school is my priority. I'll figure out a way to get my bills paid and keep my 4.0 average! 

I do have a small glimmer of hope. I don't want to jinx it, but I am applying for an internship for the spring or summer semester and its paid. If I get accepted and there is an appropriate agency to match me with, I could intern with a federal agency and make $550 per week. Get my foot in the door and actually earn money? Yes, please. If I intern during the summer, I could be placed anywhere in the country. There is a small part of me that dreams about working in Washington D.C., or maybe Chicago even, and that would be a great way to fulfill that desire without making a permanent life change and being even farther from my family. Here's hoping I get accepted!

To everyone else struggling in this economy, these will make great stories for our grandkids. "When I lost my job in the recession/depression of 2009..." 

Til next time. 

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