Over four months ago, we moved here in hopes of a better life. Our apartment lease was up and they wanted to remodel so we had to move anyway. The business I was working for was falling apart and I would soon have been jobless. By moving here, we could rent a place for much cheaper than anywhere in San Diego. The schools here are a million times better than where we were. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
David and I left our jobs to move. By leaving my job shortly before it finally went bust, I gave up my right to unemployment. David could not get unemployment either. So we had nothing to fall back on. We began a job hunt. We were ready and willing to do anything. We filled out applications. We sent out resumes.
In August, David was hired on at McDonald’s. The hours there have been scarce and erratic. We found out today that they were not giving him hours because they did not think he had a valid food handler’s card. He has had one the entire time. He proved it to them and so they gave him several days next week. He asked them several times since he started what the problem was… why he was not getting any hours. They said nothing.
Late in August, I was hired on cleaning fish tanks at a pet store. The hours were good and the work was easy. It was part time and gave me time to look for better things. Too bad the owner had some issues and she and I unfortunately had to part ways. Even more unfortunately, she refuses to pay me for the time I worked. I am pursuing legal options to get the money. It may take some time.
I have taken tests for county jobs, school district jobs, and federal jobs. I have interviewed at a variety of places. Still no luck. It is draining. I spend everyday scouring the world for job leads. I spend the day sending e-mails and resumes and filling out applications. It is practically a full time job looking for a job. Too bad you don’t get paid to do it.
I am tired of struggling. Each month I panic as each bill comes. I have narrowed it down as much as possible. I have rent, a car payment, a water bill, trash bill, electric bill, cable bill, cell phone bill, and an insurance bill. I considered moving somewhere cheaper, but to rent a place they will want proof of income. When we rented this place, we were technically still employed at the previous places. I thought about selling my car, but I owe a bit more than I could get for it. Besides, how would I get around with no car? This isn’t a big city with mass transit. I cannot even buy a cheaper car with no job and no money. Right now, I simply worry about repo men coming to take it back. (Not right now... but sooner or later) We keep the water bill down. We are all about water conservation. The bill is usually less than $20 a month. The trash bill is only around $40 every other month. There is nothing I can do about that. We try to keep the electricity down. I mentioned the other day that we have an all-electric house. We have not run the air in a couple of months. We have never turned on the heater. Of course, it is getting colder and I worry about the amount of electricity the heater might use. We have a wood burning stove, but I don't have the money for the firewood. My mom got us some wood and we used some and found that the stove works very well to keep the main part of the house warm. We use energy efficient bulbs and turn off lights. I have the cheapest plan the cable company offers. It includes cable, Internet and phone. I thought about turning it off, but the phone and Internet are needed in my job hunt. If I do not “bundle” it ends up costing nearly as much for two services as it does for three. Besides, the kids would really miss the TV. Truthfully, so would I. I have very little going for me, TV is all I have. I can’t shut off the cell phones because of the contracts and besides we have given out those numbers for jobs. (Same with the house phone) Finally, the insurance just went down $20, and you cannot be without insurance.
So I cannot get reduce my bills, but I cannot pay them either. I have been barely scraping by until now, but bills return every month. This month I have no hope. Soon, one by one, things will be shut off. Eventually, rent will be due again and I have no idea how I will pay it. I am sick of feeling like such a deadbeat. I have had to borrow money from my mom to put gas in my car. I have been known to search the house for change to buy gas or for laundry money. I hate telling my kids no for everything. No movies, no toys, no fun.
I am out of ideas. At this point, it is clear to me that this was a bad idea. I think I need to move somewhere with more opportunity. I need to come up with a new plan. I need to think quickly.
I have an interview today at a place I don’t remember applying to nor do I have any idea what the job is. I do not care; I am still going and intend to do my best to get that job. I have an interview set for next week too. However, most places are cutting back or have budget cuts… There are so many people looking for jobs and so few available.
If I come up with a job in the next week or so, then that is my new plan. If not, God help me, because I am all out of plans.
On Tuesday, America voted for change. Change seems like a good idea for me too. This certainly isn’t working for me.