Wednesday, March 25, 2009

When it Rains It Pours

Yes, I realize I haven't updated my blog in over a month. It's not that I haven't been crocheting anything - I have made a few things. It's just that I know most of the posts I've done over the past 6 months have been negative, and I didn't want my blog to only be about negative stuff that happens to me. I was waiting to post until I had something good to report. Well, unfortunately, the past few months have not been good at all, and March has been especially bad.

I've had a total of one, yes, one job interview since last November. It was for a secretarial position with my college alma mater. I asked one of the ladies I interviewed with when they plan on making a hiring decision, and she said they want to fill the position quickly, so the person they select will be starting within 2-4 weeks. Two to four week is "quickly"??? Why do colleges and government agencies have to move so incredibly slow with their hiring? I'm trying not to get my hopes up about that job though, because not much of anything has gone well for me lately.

After fighting with the unemployment bureau since the middle of December, I finally had my appeal hearing yesterday. It lasted all of 10 minutes. Basically the judge told me since my base period employment was with a church, and churches, under Ohio law, don't have to pay into the state unemployment fund, I am not eligible for unemployment. I asked why the unemployment bureau's website says that employment with a nonprofit or government agency is considered "covered" employment, even though they don't pay into the unemployment fund, the judge told me that does not include churches. Church employees simply can't get unemployment pay. I was so angry and upset over that. Just because an organization doesn't HAVE to pay into the unemployment fund, doesn't mean they SHOULDN'T. And in my opinion, a church of all places should care enough about their employees to want them to be able to collect unemployment if they are laid off. Oh well.

On top of feeling miserable and depressed all day yesterday because of that, my husband got laid off last night. Yep. This was my worst nightmare - both of us being unemployed at the same time. His company has had three rounds of layoffs since November, and made the remaining employees take several unpaid furloughs. They laid off 14 more people last night, and my husband, having the least amount of seniority of the employees in his department, was one of them. He'll get two weeks of severance pay, his week of vacation paid out and then unemployment.

I can't even begin to describe how frightening this is, to have bills piling up, being crunched just to afford basic living expenses like food and utilities, and then to have my husband lose his job on top of it. As soon as his severance pay runs out, I'm going to apply for food stamps. I feel ashamed having to do that, but it doesn't look like I have many other options. The other big problem is what we're going to do when his medical insurance runs out on June 30th. I can probably get Medicaid for the kids, but now my husband won't have medical insurance either (I haven't had insurance since I lost my church job almost a year ago), and with him being diabetic and on several medications, that really worries me.

I haven't even had a single sale in my Etsy shop, other than a hat that one of my husband's nieces bought. I recently joined a few Etsy groups - Etsy Hookers ( and the Etsy Cleveland Street Team ( - sorry, couldn't get the one-word links to work. I've been trying to promote my Etsy shop through both, but still haven't gotten any sales. I'm totally discouraged. I also created a website for my husband's DJ services about a month ago (through Microsoft Small Business - you can set up a website for free for the first year and only $14.95 for each year after that), and have been advertising on Craig's List, but he hasn't gotten any jobs yet, either.

About the only good that's happened lately is I got a letter from the Board of Elections saying they are hiring for temporary positions again, and are inviting temps who worked for them in 2008 to reapply. A lot of things about the BOE rubbed me the wrong way, and I'd prefer not to go back there, but I don't have much of a choice at this point. This year though, they're making everyone who applies take an assessment on their computer system, before being hired. I have no idea why, because when I was hired last year, not only did I not have to take any kind of assessment, I didn't even have an interview! I know how to use their computer system, but I don't have as much experience with it as many of the other temps, who had worked there off and on for several years, and that worries me.

If I don't get the BOE job, we'll really be in a mess, because I have no other job prospects lined up right now. I've been looking for jobs, but here in Cleveland, there's so few to choose from, and among the ones I've applied for, I haven't been getting interviews (the college job an exception). There was a job fair here recently, and 7,500 people showed up to apply for 1,500 mostly minimum wage to $10 an hour jobs. It was so crowded, the police had to turn more than half of the people away. I had wanted to go, but it was in a suburb I couldn't reach by bus from where I live. I don't feel so bad now, because I'd probably have been lucky to even get in the door.

Well, I have a few crochet projects photos to post - stash yarn projects. I'll post those later today, or tomorrow.


Crafty Christina said...

Oh Laura, I don't know what to say. Big hugs to you and your family. I wish there was some way I could help/

Sorka said...

Absolutely do not be ashamed to apply for food stamps. You have paid into the system you have been responsible and now you get that back when you need it. So don't worry one bit about it ok!

Keep your chin up and you will get through this..

Sandytoo said...

I am sorry to hear about your H losing his job. I hope YOU get that job, even though its not what you want. At least you will have something and can keep on looking.

And yes, you should absolutely apply for food stamps. Thats what they are there help. You have paid enough in taxes in the certainly have earned the help.

You and your family will be in my thoughts. Try to keep smiling, ok? :)


Margo Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margo Smith said...

I know it's hard, but I was there years ago, no job,
I had no husband, and 2 kids. I did have friends
and family but I still had to go on welfare and food stamps. It is hard, but the programs are there
for these situations. Through no fault of your
own this has happened to you and your family.
I will keep you in my thought that things will

Katrina said...

Thinking of you and your family and that things turn around for you soon. I'm so sorry to hear about your husbands job too. I agree with everyone else... I know you're in a situation that you never thought you'd be in but take the assistance to carry you through it. Keep your head up!

naida said...

I'm sorry to hear that Laura. I hope things get better for you, don't give up hope.
Don't feel ashamed about applying for food stamps, you guys need to eat, and you have paid taxes so dont feel bad about it.

My Best Friend Calls Me Martha said...

I don't think there's much to say to you right now that would help, but I'll tell you that you and your family will be in my prayers anyways. Please don't feel ashamed of asking for help, you've paid taxes and we still pay taxes to help people like you and your family out in the worst of times and it certainly seems that way to me.

Thanks for always leaving me a cheery and sweet comment on my blog. I hope things get better for you soon. *hugs*

Katrina said...

Congratulations Laura! I read your update on Twitter.