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You only realize how bright your computer screen really is when you wake it up in a darkened room after trying to sleep for an hour or two. The same goes for me with emotional states. The events of 2009 had left me damped and I had no idea the extent of it. I thought I was recovering really well.

When I was laid off I made the most of it and gave love to John our 20 year old cat for his last few days. I was grateful to have the time with him. I went out for drinks and lunches with my fellow unemployed friends. The weather was beautiful and I tried to do what I always wished I could do on those few San Francisco days of warm weather. I updated my resume and started to send it out. I immediately got a few nibbles that led little breadcrumb trails to dark forest or fantastical candied homes that were just beyond my reach. But I still kept telling people I wasn’t putting my heart into it because I was waiting for the right job for the first time in my life. Then I found out my mom was in the hospital because she couldn’t shake a flu. I decided to go visit and cheer her up, it’s just a flu. When I arrived the situation turned and she was fighting for her life. She told me she knew she wasn’t ever going to leave the hospital and she was ok with it, she had a wonderful life. She was right on both points.

Tom became very worried about my behavior. I cried very little. I focused myself on making a slideshow for her wake. Tom thought I should be screaming and crying, but that just isn’t me. I don’t see the point of it. Screaming only makes you hoarse and crying doesn’t really accomplish much either. I know it’s a release but I’m not one to cry all day. I wanted to move on.

I sent out more resume to places I didn’t really want to work at and secretly hoped I wouldn’t hear back from these companies. For the most part I didn’t. This sent me the frightening message that times had changed and despite my skills I was no in demand at all. My decade of experience in tech support and specializations in Apple computers was not worthy of even an email for a phone interview. I started to think about changing careers but had no idea where to go, so I didn’t take many steps towards anything. I just kept sending resumes out to companies I may or may not have wanted to work at. I kept telling people how well I was doing, how I was proud of the garden I had grown, leaving out that I was losing a battle with white mold, insects and the water bill. I bragged about the work I completed around the house; I wasn’t really meeting friends for lunch or drinks very often anymore. Most days I never left house.

I thought I was fine, I was my normal self, just unemployed and a little battered. I had to spend more time worrying about my dad, I had to spend more time on the phone with my brother. I spent time working on making a slideshow movie for my grandpa. I made a slideshow for Tom’s dad on his 80th birthday with panning cropping music and effects and it was a huge hit but ever since I have been making these wonderful sideshows as memorials. I felt that for reaching the age of 100 my grandfather deserved one of my slideshows. I gathered all my grandpa’s photos and paid to have them scanned (by the way scan café is a great deal and has amazing prices) Finally I heard from a former boss of mine that he wanted to hire me. YAY! It would start off slow and ramp up. Unfortunately I hated it and it never really ramped up. It just made me stressed out even when I wasn’t working. There are about a million post I could do on this but to give you and idea, I found out if you are sent to the home of Russian Mafia they like expect free tech support, like Obama, hate Jews, and will randomly stop understanding English.

When 2010 rolled around I was watching too much apocalypse television and by this time I had created an amazing survival kit. Living in earthquake territory that is overdue for a “big one” not really a bad idea, but once again Tom thought maybe I should worry more about leveling Grumpus on World of Warcraft... What? Like you don’t have characters named after your cats on World of Warcraft. I was around this time that Tom began to lose it at work... Well really lose it. He’s been losing it for years because he is smart and have seen the signs for years. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that being the largest record store the west side of the Mississippi isn’t going to keep the store open in the age of iTunes. He had to fight get the owners to sell online. They wanted eBay to start bidding high and then lower it by a dollar every day until someone would buy it. Tom would come home ranting each day about how they were driving the company into the ground. Everyone would point out that he was an employee and not an owner. But he just couldn’t separate himself, He had worked there for over a dozen years.

The inner circle of friends all agreed that he needed to save his sanity and quit before the ship pulled him under. Eventually he listed and gave his notice. He even went to London and Paris to visit our friend Alex the day after his last day. I know it sounds crazy but it was what he needed. The last time Tom left the country without me my mom passed away. Have I ever mentioned that Tom is insanely superstitious. This time my grandfather who walked 2 miles everyday and still drove at the age of 99, drove himself to the hospital found out he had cancer decided he wasn’t going to eat and he was ready do die. So 6 months short of 100 he passed. I was making another memorial slideshow.

I decided when Tom gave his notice to get my butt in gear and also lower my standards. I applied to work at several Applestores, I posted my resume on DICE (the techie version of Monster). I never heard a thing from Apple, but the number of viagraspam I got from posting my resume jumped. I also got several phone calls from potential employers all of course contract to hire or just plain temp work. Some company in the midwest kept asking me to interview for three week temp jobs hundreds of miles from my home. Then I got one that sounded wonderful, three weeks then perm if I worked out. I accepted then I got a call from Dolby and despite telling them I had already accepted another position they kept calling me, that made me feel good.

I started working at the new company and I instantly felt back. The bright lights of the display blinded me. I didn’t realize the room was so dark and my computer so bright. I felt a sense of usefulness that I hadn’t felt in over a year. I was excited about the company. I was bummed that I somehow misheard 8 weeks to be 3 weeks. But I think I am doing a good job impressing everyone. I think this one is already mine.

Comments

( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
artkouros
May. 8th, 2010 10:04 am (UTC)
Good luck!
walterwz
May. 8th, 2010 02:32 pm (UTC)
Wonderful Hearing From You
This is a really harrowing story. I am happy you made it through.
monkeyx3
May. 22nd, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Wonderful Hearing From You
I'm hoping to post more regularly. I think I'm finally in a place where I can feel like I'm not just a sad sack singing the woe is me song.
sisyphus238
May. 8th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
I knew something was going on with you and that it was a hard road but that you'd come through it. Best of the best to you, my friend.
monkeyx3
May. 22nd, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you. What's going on with you? Do you think you will ever get to come visit SF?
sisyphus238
May. 22nd, 2010 06:46 pm (UTC)
I go to work, go to the gym (sometimes; not as often as I tell myself I should), download pron and watch it.
I'd like to visit. I don't know how soon it could be. I need to be on the East Coast in a few weeks. My father's 100th birthday and parents 70th anniversary, etc, but I still have some vacation time coming. I'd need a swift kick in the butt to get over some insecurities but I see that as doable.
ptownnyc
May. 8th, 2010 04:43 pm (UTC)
When you went back and re-read this post after writing it, did you not find it amazing you came through a year like that as intact as you did? Congrats on coming out the other side and beginning to move on to new things. That shows a lot of inner strength, despite the unnoticed depression.
monkeyx3
May. 22nd, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
I did find it amazing. It was a long year, I'm glad it didn't attack me all at one time. Thanks. And for the record, that hot gym cub would be lucky to get the attention of such a handsome man.
redarius
May. 8th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC)
It seems the toughest depressions are the ones we actually miss. When we *notice* our depression and it seems like it's obvious, it's never as rough as when we find out after a long period we just weren't... really there due to our energy being siphoned off.

*hugs* Here's hoping you continue to come up from under all of that, and the new job stays good for you!
monkeyx3
May. 22nd, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you. So true. I'm really surprised and how much this job opportunity has improved my attitude and self esteem.
outherelistenin
May. 10th, 2010 09:14 am (UTC)
I've been bad about keeping up. I knew things had been bad, but I hadn't realized they stayed that way. I'm glad you're getting a little perspective on it, and finding yourself in a somewhat better place. And, hey, you didn't even have to go on Welbutrin.

Fingers crossed for things to keep going right.
monkeyx3
May. 22nd, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
what's amazing is that when I was unemployed I read less LJ and kept up less myself. I have no idea why that was the case. Probably a case of not having anything nice to say. Tom told me he saw you the other day and that you look GREAT!! Did you send your resume into a certain social gaming company?
outherelistenin
Jun. 7th, 2010 10:58 pm (UTC)
I'm a little appalled I never replied to this. I've been checking out their website periodically based on on your recommendation, but I haven't seen any postings that match my skill-set. Glad it's working out for you, though!
ewe_2
May. 11th, 2010 12:08 pm (UTC)
You've been through so much the last year or so. ((hugs)) bud. I'll hope that you are coming out of that dark place and back into the light where we can all enjoy the amazing stories you write. And my journal name is our first dog's name. Give the kitties a pet. ;-)
D
monkeyx3
May. 22nd, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I think you told me about Ewe when we first became friends. I'm hoping to get back in the habit of posting more regularly but will probably aim for once a week. I'm so busy with work when I get home I'm exhausted. It's funny that they supply me with all the candy and sugary drinks I could consume and I'm losing weight. I've been running all over the place, up and down stairs as well as streets. I come home smelly and tired... but with a feeling of accomplishment and worth.
ewe_2
May. 22nd, 2010 08:24 pm (UTC)
I do hope this job works out for you Monkey. And I'm sure Tom doesn't mind the smelly and tired part. Maybe Grumpus and Mason might though. You know how finicky cats can be, :-)
D
mafioso
May. 20th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
Greetings
I hope that your new job is going well and that things are falling into place. I have read your journal off and on for a couple years and se your progression as wel as my own when looking back. Its amazing to see what has happened since then but that is life.
monkeyx3
May. 22nd, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Greetings
Fingers crossed they hire me on full time because I love it. It really is amazing to go back and read bits of personal history. Time really has changed since we freinded each other.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )