When someone tells you they are a guest of the state, it could mean they are enjoying involuntary confinement for a specified period of time in the local pokey....or it could mean they are enjoying involuntary free time as they weigh prospects of new employment on the state's dime, also known as filing an unemployment claim.
Well, I'm not serving a sentence for a crime; but I am currently a guest of the state.
Since August I've been supporting other units while waiting for a new position to become available. The nomad existence was difficult, especially since I often wouldn't know where I was headed until the previous evening. Still, it was work and this is not the atmosphere to complain about trivialities such as traveling with your entire professional compliment of clothing and knives on your back (or over your shoulder, as it really was) on a daily basis. I did it knowing eventually there would be a stove and staff with my name on it.
As it turns out, I don't have a pot to ........cook (you thought I was going to say something else, did you not?
) in. Every time I support another unit my salary is paid by that unit, and often, by the client themselves. In a time when every nickle is stretched beyond recognition no one wants to shoulder that financial burden overlong. I get it. You know what's in the wind when you are asked to meet with your director and encouraged to leave your whites at home. Assured as I was that the deal with the stock exchange was a raw deal, assured as I was that my talents are precisely what the company desires, and equally assured that this is most likely temporary (until they acquire any of the current bids out there) it would be easire all around if I filed for unemployment benefits.
Personally, for me, it would be ever so much easire if I continued to receive my paycheck at full amount, indeed. But, I get their position, too.
I've been looking for a new gig since August, anyway. Strangely, it seems I'm just a bit overpriced and a bit over experienced for most positions. I'm prepared to take a bit of a salary cut, if necessary, but the idea of a 20% decrease is a bit too much to stomach. That prospective employers believe they can actually get a person with my years of experience and capability for the salaries they are suggesting is discouraging. Trust me when I say I am by no stretch of the word "overpaid". The climate has changed and I'm caught in the wind, currently.
I'm quite sure I'll land on my feet. I always do. I do fear that I'll go stark raving mad, however, without a daily occupation. My father's daughter, I am. I can only forsee cleaning my house so much. The idea of watching television during the day is frightening beyond the term of nightmarish. The holidays are fast approaching and I anticipate that can keep my mind and hands occupied for several hours each day. I suppose I can bake and cook more during the week, but that means I have to eat more during the week
and no way that is gonna happen. Perhaps I can become one of those thick necked muscle builders that darken the insides of Gold's Gym. I have the time now, no need to rush my workout any longer. I just don't know if I can get the obligatory grunting out with each jerk of the weight. Travel could be an option, but that requires dead presidents and the state is going to be very frugal with those, I'm convinced. My daughter suggested I volunteer and that idea is not a bad one. Surely, that is something to look into should I discover that I am languishing here on the dole. My parents are visiting in early December, so that ought to be good for a few laughs. I haven't told them about my guest of the state status. They've recently gone through their own bit of drama and I see no reason to worry them until they figure it out when I am still hanging around the house after 5am. Although hanging around the house all day with them brings on it's own set of nightmares and chills, I assume I'll cross that minefield when I get to it.
I do have headhunters looking, resumes floating, and calls made. It's just a matter of time. I don't presume to suffer under the delusion that I have actually retired at the age of 46
. Something will give, eventually. It's not critical yet, which is a very good thing. Many people are in much worse situations than I, which is sad, especially this time of year.
My plan for today is to hit the gym shortly. I'm going to shower there so I don't have to use my own hot water
(you know what they say about a penny saved, yes?). Then, I need a pepper for my dinner for this evening. I was wondering if I could drag that search for the perfect pepper into an entire morning. Concluding that I couldn't possibly, I've decided to do the week's grocery shopping after the gym. Not having frequented a supermarket during the morning hours on a weekday in decades I am excited to discover what manner of customer I'll encounter.
And, for those of you who have gotten to know me....I am sooooo ready for my cocktail