Posts in category "Summer of My Discontent"

The True Fear Of Unemployment: Epiphany

I had just heard “no” one too many times. My last major interview, which I thought went well, did not result in a job offer. I was frustrated, angry and disappointed.  I was royally pissed off and didn’t really care who knew it. My gracious spirit definitely had an expiration date. I had gotten past... Read more »

Unemployment: Ten Unexpected Benefits and Annoyances

Yesterday was my unemployment five month “anniversary.” This is my third layoff in almost five years and its been extremely challenging. And when I say “challenging” I mean demoralizing and depressing. While I don’t post about this layoff as much as I did the first two, I did manage to see both the benefits and... Read more »

Unemployment Blues: The Newbie, Part II

I’m back.  Sorry for the long pause.  Time to finish my story.   The young lady I was talking to in the Department of Human Services office (a.k.a  the Newbie) was still reeling from the knowledge I just dropped on her. “So let me get this straight” she said, you should hide any trace of... Read more »

Unemployment Blues: The Newbie, Part I

With high unemployment and chronic unemployment becoming the norm, people who never thought they would have to turn to the government for help are now doing so in record numbers.   The new face of poverty in America has a decidedly middle class appearance.   People that have never been laid off incorrectly assume a... Read more »

Unemployment Blues: The Dignity Trap

Never, ever, ever walk into the Department of Human Services with a shred of dignity or self respect.  Not only will the staff sense it, but your fellow applicants may as well. While there are some people who are unemployed like you, some aren’t.  The unifying factor in this group is that everyone will be... Read more »

Unemployment Blues: What Not To Wear

There are unwritten rules you must learn if you plan to successfully navigate the Department of Human Services. I’ll start with a key strategy—dress down.  Not the way you’d dress down to meet a friend out for watching the game at the bar or  if you were babysitting a small child.  I mean “look like a bag of... Read more »

Unemployment Blues: The Department of Human Services

In order to get a feel for the environment at the Department of Human Services office located at the corner of 63rd & Ingleside, please watch the video below.     Conforming to stereotypes 101—class is in session. It’s important to understand the environment I had to walk into to ask for help.  Sometimes, mere... Read more »

Unemployment & The Mid-Term Elections

For about five weeks this summer I had no money coming in. The bill to extended unemployment benefits had stalled in the Senate causing me and several million of my fellow Americans to lose the only form of income we had. Frankly speaking, I consider myself lucky that I only lost my benefits for five... Read more »

Notes From Maria Pappas

When Maria Pappas sends you a registered letter from the Cook County Treasurer’s office, it is often in your best interest to open it right away. ‘Cause she ain’t sending you a thank you note. When the notice of my delinquent taxes arrived, my financial situation was worsening every day. There were no immediate job... Read more »