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Old 11-12-2008, 07:48 AM   #1
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Being a 'guest of the state'....

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

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Old 11-12-2008, 07:58 AM   #2
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good luck to you, vera ..
i know the feeling ..
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:01 AM   #3
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I'm sorry to hear that Vera - I hope and pray you find a position soon.

I enjoy volunteering and it may be that you could help a charity kitchen or something simliar - I'm sure they would welcome someone of your expoerience to help them out for a little while.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:18 AM   #4
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Good Luck Vera ... something will come your way. Maybe you should write a book - your posts here have always been a wonderful way to start my morning. "The Daily Musings of VeraBlue", complete with a daily recipe (and cocktail suggestion of course!).
I'll join you for that cocktail whenever you are ready and need a friend!
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:41 AM   #5
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If All else fails --- maybe relocating is the answer --- I'm thinking you would like New Orleans ---
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:46 AM   #6
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How about teaching how to cook ? There must be some beginner cooks near you that might be interested in learning how to cook simple meals or cook fancy meals. I don't know what a person would charge for it tho. Just a thought.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:13 AM   #7
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WRITE! TEACH! Both are great ideas! You're wonderful and I have no doubt that something wonderful will come to you soon!!
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:56 AM   #8
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Darling Vera, the time has come to move to...whiter pastures. Culinary expertise is highly sought after here (and the cost of living is lower too) and I'd bet you would be snapped up in a NY minute. (sorry couldn't resist) We're still experiencing a bit of a boom so get up here fast before we go bust!
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:09 PM   #9
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Aww.... that stinks Vera. Been hearing way too much of this kind of news lately.
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:42 PM   #10
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Hey, thanks to ALL OF YOU! All your thoughts are very much appreciated. I am thinking of writing as I sit on my ....chair over here. I've written XXX stuff before (as if that could possibly surprise any of you) and have actually begun to compile some menus and recipes I've created. If I did, it could never be a straight cook book, it would have to have lots of personal life sprinkled in.

Uncle Bob, I've already spoken to someone about a very good position at a well known university in New Orleans. I was ready to go for the next interview but I'd have to move alone. Lou still needs to take the bar down there, so I put the interview off. It's actually our dream to live there in a year or so. If this business keeps up, though, it may be sooner.

Alix, Canada is lovely but the idea of being so close to Santa on a daily basis makes me think I'd have to behave every day. As it is now, I know I can get away with 5 bad and 2 good days a week; he's just that busy not to have time to look into the machinations of me. If I were right in his back yard he'd surely notice me, if for no other reason than all the ice cubes would be missing.

I'll write later about what a joy it is to try to file a claim with the NY state unemployment office. It's all automated you know...nothing but pushing a bunch of buttons. Problem is, there is no one to monitor the button pushing because they are all involved in office shenanigans. I've been instructed to phone every 15-20 minutes till someone is able to speak with me. What's so funny about that is that it takes 10 minutes to get through the series of menu prompts before they tell you there is a line ahead of you.

I am going to go crazy. I'll try to put it off long enough to go bake some oatmeal apple cookies though.
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