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The phone is for me?

June 23, 2011 1 comment

Ever have one of those days where you are busy but don’t really do much?  Today has been one of those days.  I have spent most of the day on the phone.  This wasn’t how I had planned to spend my day, but it ended up this way.

I got up with the idea that I was going to do some dishes (I know…how exciting!) and then help mow my former employer’s lawn (I plead the 5th on this one).  After this I would watch my recorded Mariner’s game in the afternoon before we had to do some grocery shopping.

Last night I had done an online application for the EBT program that gives money for food.  I really didn’t expect to hear anything right away.  But right after breakfast (or as my two girls call it, breh-fix) I got a call to confirm information.  Well, that call turned into five calls from the same very helpful lady.  And it kept me on the phone for awhile.  Good news is after all those calls from her, we are getting very generous benefits and so we will be eating some good food!

During the last phone call, she told me that there was a man (Mark) working for a medical center in Seattle that is using my Social Security Number!  She encouraged me to go to the Social Security office and find out what I could do about it.  So, I thought I would run and pick up the food card and then go to the SS office.

Meanwhile the mail came.  I got a letter saying that my kids couldn’t be covered by the insurance policy that I had applied for.  It wasn’t open enrollment season so they couldn’t be covered.  With our insurance coverage ending at the end of the month, I didn’t want to mess around with this.  So, I had to call them.  Found out that I just needed a letter from my former employer.

So, after sending an email and walking over to the office, the letter was going to be sent and I could head out on my errands.  Picking up the card was quick and I headed to the SS office.  I took a number and realized that it was going to be a long wait.  I saw a sign that gave a phone number to call, so I headed out to my car and called them.  They gave me another number to call to report identity theft.

I came home and had lunch, and then called the identity theft number.  Another helpful person took my information and then told me how to report it to the credit agencies.  She also said I had to file a police report.  So, I called the credit report company (see..lots of phone calls!) but ended up going to their website to report the identity theft.  Got that taken care of and saw my credit report (which is still pretty good).

Got a text from a friend who needed some computer help and yes, I called to her to help her out.

My next call was to the local police.  First number was the wrong department and so I had to call another number.  Gave the basic information and, surprise surprise, I have to wait for another phone call!

In the mean time, I called back to the SS office to make sure that I covered everything, I found out that I am doing what I am supposed to do.  Then I called to check the balance on the food card (which isn’t activated yet).

So, here it is most of the way through the after noon and basically I have talked on the phone most of the day. I decided to throw in a blog in between phone calls because I think that this is the most phone calls I have ever had in one day when I wasn’t working.  Unfortunately, I haven’t had any calls about a job.  You would think with over 30 active applications that I would get at least one call!

My main question after all these phone calls is this: What would I do without my phone?

The story that I am looking forward to telling

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I have been unemployed for almost three months now. (You can read about it here.)  I thought it might be fun to tell the story of my new job before I actually get the job.  So, that is what this blog is going to be.  A little fantasy story for you to enjoy.

The quest for a job is not always a fun one.  When I found out last November that I was going to be unemployed in March, I figured that it wouldn’t be a problem to find a job.  To be honest, the first couple of months, I mostly just worked on my resume and focused on finishing up that semester’s classes in Seminary.  When January rolled around, I started looking harder.  My wife would even jump in and do some searching for me.

I applied for a job at a Christian conference center.  I didn’t get an interview for that position, but when an even better position opened up, I sent my application off once again.  I went through the interview process which included a failed trip to visit the center.  That trip was interrupted by the tsunami warning and our family drove back home in the middle of the night.  In the end, I was disappointed in being the second choice for the position.

So, it was back to finding other positions to apply for.  Along the way there were a few interviews, but nothing ever materialized. It wasn’t until the end of June that I got my big break.  Jen and I had determined that if possible, we would like to be able to live close to where we had been living so that our kids could go to a particular school.  I was applying for all types of different jobs all up and down the I-5 corridor in Washington and Oregon, so I could end up getting an offer that would cause us to move.  We spent much time in prayer about what job I would end up with. (FYI up to this point, the story is true…the fantasy takes over now.)

So I was called in for an interview.  Was I ever excited and nervous.  After not getting call backs from so many different applications, I was excited to finally get to the interview stage again.  I changed things up from my normal interview attire and went with some clothes that would go with my new dress shoes and tie.  I figured that I needed some new mojo going into this interview.  I arrived a few minutes early and found the bathroom so I could check my appearance and make sure I looked okay.

After one initial interview I had commented on facebook “that interview couldn’t have gone any better!”  I didn’t get a second interview, so it must not have gone as well as I thought it did.  But this interview actually couldn’t have gone any better.  The man who would end up being my boss was extremely nice. He had a great understanding of my skills, even though I hadn’t worked in a non-ministry job in over ten years.  But he was willing to take my experience and apply that to this job.  It was so refreshing to have someone appreciate my skills and abilities instead of just throwing my resume into the  recycle bin.

At the end of the interview, he told me that I would hear in a couple of days.  Now, I have heard that before and usually it is one of two things: I don’t ever hear back, or it takes weeks until I hear.  But he was a man of his words and the next day he called and offered the job to me!  Not only is this a job that I believe that I can do well, it is a job that I am going to enjoy. It will challenge me while I will be able to help people.

And my wife is so happy as well.  It pays me enough so that we will are buying a great house with a great yard.  Her dreams of a nice garden and raising some chickens are coming true.  And it is a job that will allow me to be home every evening.

So…this is the story that I am looking forward to telling.  I don’t know when I will get to tell this story or at least something close to this.  Keeping checking back to see when I really do actually get a job.

Categories: About Me, Jobs Tags: , , , , ,

Being unemployed

May 29, 2011 2 comments

There have only been a few times in my life where I haven’t had work lined up.  Usually I know my next job before my current job ends.  But in November of 2010, I found out that my position was being cut due to finances.  I would be able to work until March.  So, as disappointed as I was, I didn’t panic.  I figured that I had 5 months and that I would be able to find a job in that time.

Well, it is now the end of May and I am still looking.  I was very close on a great job that would have moved us to the Oregon coast, but I was their second choice.  Knowing that many people applied and only a few were interviewed gave me confidence that I had a good shot at the position.  But instead, my search needed to continue.

It has been an interesting process looking for work.  Most of my experience has been working for churches.  Right now, there aren’t many positions open that fit me.  So, I am looking at jobs that aren’t at a church.  When your degree is in Bible/Theology and Youth Ministry it is hard to meet requirements for many jobs.  I have found many positions that I look at and think that I could do that job and enjoy it.  But I never get a response back from many of my applications.

A friend of mine gave me this comic.    Since I worked for a non-profit, I am not eligible for unemployment benefits so who knows, maybe I will have to resort to this!

Being at home has been an adjustment for me.  I was used to being gone for a good part of the day with many things to get done and people to see.  I don’t do well without things to do. My fantasy baseball team has received more attention than it normally does.   I have been working on turning hubcaps into clocks and now I am writing a blog. Hobbit, my three year old, is under the impression that I am home just to play with her.  I don’t know how many times I can play hide and seek in our small living room without going crazy.  So along with some household chores and playing on the computer, I haven’t been too bored.

I truly feel that God has blessed our family, even through this time without a job.  Friends have given us gifts, our church gave us a nice going away gift, and we have enough money to see us through until I find work.  Jen has been a great support to me.  And, I have two good leads on jobs!

The strangest interview

May 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Here is the strangest interview that I have ever had.  It was at a church that I had attended  previously for a couple years and I knew the pastor well.  The interview started with everyone getting some pizza and sitting around a few large tables.  There was a little chit chat and then the head of the search committee said, “Okay, let’s get started.  Jeanie, you are up first.”  From here on out, it was rapid fire questions.  No problem, I was ready to answer lots of questions.

What I wasn’t ready for was the complete lack of nonverbal communication.  I would answer a question and look around to see if people were tracking with me.  When I didn’t get any affirmation of understanding, I did what I would do with junior high and high school students, I rephrased my answer.  After a few of these type of answers. Jen starts kicking me under the table.  I give her a look wondering why she keeps kicking me.  Eventually, I get the point and stop repeating myself.  The interview ends with the head of the search committee telling me that he will be in touch with me in the next week or so.  The pastor walks us out to the car and we drive home.

When we get in the car, we look at each other and ask each other, “What in the world just happened?”  I had never before talked to a group that looked at me with stone faces like they had.  We quickly decided that this wasn’t the place for us.  I waited for the head of the committee to call me so I could tell him that we weren’t interested.

But I never got a call.  Since they had agreed to pay for our gas, so I had a good excuse to call them and find out.  So I call and leave him a message.  After almost a month after we interviewed, I finally hear from him.  He says that they are talking exclusively with another candidate.   Thanks for telling us!

An interesting part of this is that it was Jen’s former youth pastor that they were talking to.  He ended up going there and left after a short time.  I truly believe that God saved us from having to go to this church.  And it opened the door for us to go to Paris.  God is good!

Categories: Jobs Tags: , , ,