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No great loss without some small gain.” Charles Ingalls

December 5, 2011

It is a shock to the system to figure out that seeking a job in today’s world is almost an impossible task. Once companies cared about their employees.  Now it seems the next dollar is all that matters.  I saw this when my husbands company was taken over by Texas Utilities.  As time went by, employees became the least important piece of the corporation.  Finally, in 2005, it was deemed that he was no longer needed because he was too old to be productive after 32 years with his company..  His knowledge of  rates and customer assistance and the fact that he was always at work if something extra was needed was not a factor in the decision to “lay him off.”  There he was, out of a job with 6 of us in college, no insurance, and the same old bills as before. Over the next 2 years,  He took an HVAC course but found out near the end that despite knowledge of electricity and years of working extra jobs as an electrician, he would have to start out as a grunt.  He did odd jobs and learned to work on repairing pianos with a friend.  He decided to take early retirement so it was required that the 401k be changed over to a different type of investment.  From that day on, it lost money thanks to our economy.

I finally graduated with an MA in counseling in 2009.  I got a job that lasted all of 3 months due to a company takeover.  I was the last hired so first fired.  The week before that, my husband found out he had cancer.  We spent the next 16 months getting him through surgery and recovery; no chemo though.  I was thankful that all was looking up.  He was feeling better each day and I was working again.  I had great hopes for my new job.  There are no words to express my disappointment in the expectations of my employers.  Corporate expectations included doing whatever was necessary to make bucks for the company in the name of helping others.  I made it for 7 months.  We were catching up on bills.  We were happy to have regular paychecks again since the 401K rapidly was depleted through survival and loss on investments.  The stress level mounted daily with my job.  I cried myself to sleep at night, when I finally got a chance to sleep.  I usually worked all day and did documentation half the night.  My clients didn’t get the attention I felt they deserved.  By the end of November, I felt the stress was overwhelming and I couldn’t make a difference.  One should always make a difference in every thing they do.  I quit.  It was the only thing to do.  It was the right thing.  I was so tired of being unable to do counseling.  I wanted to finish up my internship and be able to do what I felt called to do.  Was it so wrong.  Should one stay with something that makes them so unhappy and is so unproductive?

So here I am again, looking for a job, at Christmas, yet.  Corporate America has so depersonalized employment. I hate the idea of filling out another job application online. It is impossible to know what a person can do just by what someone sees on a resume.  Employers no longer hire the best person with their new strategies. They allow someone in HR to weed out applications without considering what they may be throwing away. No matter how inefficient the practice seems, If one could still walk in the door of a potential employer like once the application process began, the job market might still be stable. After all, if there was still loyalty to employees by employers, job ethics might still be intact as well.

I would never have gone back to school in 2003 to get that MA if  I had known that it would make no difference in 2o11.  I always felt that education was the key to making things work.  Guess not.   I feel as though I’ve cheated my children and husband out of 8 years while getting an education.  Was it all a waste of time?  I have to wonder when I feel out apps day after day and hear nothing from my efforts.  We always were faithful to pay our bills.  We tried to maintain good credit and be trustworthy citizens.  So may changes over the last few years.  The possibility of losing my husband to cancer changed attitudes and priorities so money isn’t very important to me but it’s hard not to be able to pay my bills on time.

Still, this is the most wonderful Christmas. We have 3 adopted grandchildren; who belong to our good friends.  Our son and daughter in law also have 3 foster daughters, sisters, this year.  It’s wonderful.  I can’t express how wonderful Thanksgiving was with the sound of lots of children in our home.  I look so forward to Christmas when it happens again.

I never thought I would work with children.  My last job, though disappointing, taught me much.  I always knew I loved kiddos but I actually now know I work well with them too.  I can’t wait to get back to counseling and work with kids.  So, I’m down but not defeated.  Surely God has a job for me out there.  Surely He has prepared something.  I can’t wait to see what it is.

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