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06 March 2010



My god, amen on every freaking point. I'm not unemployed, but being a temporary, year to year lecturer with no benefits feels close. I know it isn't the same thing at all--I do have some steady income, steady until May that is. Then who knows. Many of my graduating PhD friends didn't get jobs, so are gona hang around and also apply for lecturer spots, which means more competition for me. Yeah. I sure wouldn't mind making 50k a year with health benefits. Shoot, 30-40k sounds like the lottery. But I'm nothing here, nothing compared to your hellish year.

Did I just break any of our above rules? I'm so sorry. I won't post anything for a few months again, and when I do, I'll tell you about a job website I found. (I almost applied for part time $10/hr job as a clerk at the Nebrsaska State Museum store. Is a PhD over qualified or what they're looking for?)

Kay Wade

Well said. And I bet you feel a little better, getting all that out.


Reading with interest and hope for the day after this one. Can't say I know what your life is like, but I have a good imagination. I do have several friends who are on the brink, and I converse about that on a regular basis.


Benjamin, maybe you need to be my unemployment buddy!! :) And it's okay to say outloud that my year has been hellish - because it has been.

Kay, I think it helped. A little.

Compost - I'm looking forward to that day too, thanks. Trying to be patient. And keep talking to those friends on the brink!

jodi (bloomingwriter)

This was an illuminating post for me for several reasons. One, because you said a lot of things that people need to hear, and maybe don't want to hear (or read). Two, I am self employed, as are my spouse, my son, and most of my close friends, so the concept of traditional job security has not been an issue for me in basically, forever. I don't have any, but despite the challenges of my working world, I wouldn't trade it for a traditional job. Well, I tried that last year and it literally nearly sent me to hospital or worse.

Anyway, the point is, although I've seen unemployment raze families and acquaintances in my province, what you've written here has been more articulate and illuminating than anything I've seen about the topic anywhere. Well done. I wish I were a magazine publisher because I'd publish this post in a heartbeat. And pay you. Well.

Pam, I've been reading your blog for a long time now. You've had a horrid year, or rather a year and more than a year. I don't profess to 'know' you well, but what I do know from the past several years of reading your posts and conversing with you a little is that you're brilliant, witty, passionate, and dedicated to your profession. It shines through, and such talent will not be hid under a bushel indefinitely. Although it may seem like talk/writing is cheap, I have total confidence that the right position is going to show up. It may take a little while longer but it will come.

You vent when you need to vent. Your faithful readers will be compassionate witnesses, and hope that the better days are just around the corner.


Hey Pam! Beautiful Matt painting, I wasn't sure if he was still painting. I forwarded your blog to my brother, who is dealing with the unemployment thing too.


There's more, too, to being unemployed. Simple things that somewhere in our culture we're told aren't important. Things like place and friends and the life we lead that joyously includes that place and those friends. Unemployment demands that we chuck all of it because we have to "live" (ie, get work). That expectation is hideously painful to deal with because it's so insistently and belittlingly demanding.

There's no easy answer except you can always call.


Susan Tomlinson

Amen to all that.


Oh Pam - good job! I spent two and a half years basically unemployed after being cut loose from a VP position - for reasons similar to yours, it sounds like. I still had a child at home and no spouse to help out. After trying several other career fields, I got back to where I belong - the hospital - but at a much lower level and pay. It's been a tough road but I'm now - eight years later - much happier than I was, even as a VP. Your etiquette rules are absolutely right on. Thanks!


Thank you Jodi. You know - the friend who that I feel I can talk to openly about my unemployment 'fears' is my artist friend who is self-employed. He faces these fears everyday (especially in the current economy). And...start a magazine, and quick...and hire me! :)

Kate, sorry to hear that your brother is having job frustrations too. Ugh. Too many people are facing unemployment right now.

3D, I'll give you a call soon. Good to hear from you, as always.

Thanks Susan.

Pat, it does indeed sound like you've got experience in the world of unemployment - and you know, I often think of how single parents, or people with children handle this. It must be so difficult - a thick extra layer of complexity over what I've had to deal with. I'm glad that it ended well for you.


Wow Pam, I am sorry I missed this posting last week. You have certainly had your share of things to deal with. I do think you have said it well...and we all know someone who is unemployed. (or about to be unemployed as the state is closing some of our extension offices). I keep hoping things will turn ---and soon.
Like Jodi said, vent when you need to, we are here.


Pam, wow, this is so honest and true. I am moved by your courage and your ENcouragement. I live in an RV on Edisto Island, in little old 'Rosy', because of this 'little' economic blip and for art's sake. Trying to make it all work. Not many get it. And hey, girl, you are a really good writer!

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