My Bout With Unemployment

job, unemployment,
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On paper, I’ve been out of a job for the past three months. Realistically however, this month makes it one year exactly. How did I get here, and what did I learn? The details of this story make me loathe my life, but at the same time I recognize that sometimes in life, this is just how the cookie crumbles.

Back in 2017 I got a position as a graduate assistant at the school where I earned my Master’s. The position was on a yearly contract basis and renewal was contingent upon passing a year end review completed by my supervisor. While in this role, I did great work for the institution, and enjoyed the work that I did. I was not necessarily satisfied with the position but for me, it was a means to an end. See this graduate assistant position paid for 90% of my tuition, provided me with room and board, and paid me a monthly stipend.

There was no beating that kind of deal!

But alas come May 2018, when it was time for my year end review I did not meet expectations. I attribute this to several things but the two main contributing factors were I was young and dumb first and foremost, and my actual supervisor was fired two months prior to my year end review.

So not only was I not handling my power and opportunity properly, the person that would have covered for me was not either. Its funny to think about that dichotomy, we were both fired because of our mishandling of our position, and get this since we both left, neither of our positions have been filled.

Obviously I’m not telling the whole story but regardless of the details, its important to note that once I lost my Graduate assistant position that is when my downward spiral began.

More specifically however, I can pin point the exact moment when my life started taking a turn for the worst, and has not been right since.

February 13th 2018. Let me start by saying I hate valentines day, strictly for the fact that I have never had a love interest and I would really like to have one. Even if it turns out that life is not for me, I would like to know rather than be left wondering (a topic to be saved for another entry, maybe).

Other than that though, the two worst times of year for me generally speaking are around valentines day, and in the fall months, specifically between late September and early November. Historically speaking, life always gives me a big fuck you around those two times of year regardless of my emotional state. I think 2018 was the first year in my whole life that I can remember saying to myself you know what, I’m going to have a good Fall season for the first time in my life, and it was, relatively.

But I digress, February 13th 2018, I got into the worst car accident of my life. I literally should be dead, I mean car was totaled. Right after that accident, my boss got fired, then I got fired. Obviously in a case like this correlation does not constitute causation but it is of note that there was a steady decline in quality of life from that moment on.

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    While working at my graduate assistant position I also had a part time job working at a local Panera Bread, just to keep some extra money in my pocket. Once I lost my graduate assistant position however, I went to my manager and asked to take on some more responsibilities. I was one of the best employees and was now in need of a full time job. I negotiated a raise with my manager for taking on more work and more hours and was relatively content with my new life. The commute was trash though since I had to move back home which was just over 40 minutes away.

    This month, this week, last year, I quit my job at Panera because I found out that my manager never intended to put my raise in the system, and essentially she had me doing four people’s jobs for the price of one.

    A couple weeks later, I start a job in New York City. You can imagine my excitement! New York, if you can make it there you can make it anywhere, I wholeheartedly believed that. I get this sales job working for this no name company that no longer exists selling energy rates in Brooklyn. I lasted for a solid week. I quit that job because it was commission only, which is not a problem, but I did not believe in the product and I did not like company practices.

    We were taught to basically impersonate working for the electric company and to demand cooperation. That did not go over so well, and eventually, I guess enough people reported people like me to the point where the electric company, had to release a city wide statement to inform their customers that I and people like me were frauds. Not to mention that I did not see myself as having a sales acumen anyway (get to that later).

    The first week of August 2018. I get offered and opportunity to work for a major Insurance company, still in the city. What am I thinking? better days are here!

    HA!

    I do not believe in having regrets, because I think that everything happens for a reason, that being said however, If I could get a do over, I would have stayed in undergrad for an extra year and gotten a second degree (I was just shy a few credits of being a psychology political science double major), and or I would have not taken the opportunity at the insurance company.

    This job was sales, and commission only as well. The difference between this and the previous position was, there was one, real earning potential, two, I believed in the product, three, I believed in myself, and four I had company support.

    November 2018, I go broke for the very first time. I cant close a deal to save my life and no one wants to do business with me. I was rejected by everyone; My family rejected me, people who I thought were my friends rejected me, actual friends rejected me, and strangers rejected me. I was having no luck. So when I realized I had maxed out both of my credit cards, and there “was nothing the bank could do about it”, I literally got light headed and passed out in the middle of the street in Manhattan, thankfully I was able to recompose myself without causing too much of a scene.

    Late November 2018 I pick up a job working at a restaurant. This is my first full service restaurant position and all I knew was I was broke and needed fast cash. I told the manager I was an insurance agent and that I just needed part time work and I got hired as a server no problem. The job was not half bad either. The food was good, the people were cool, and I was just thankful for cash tips.

    While working at the insurance company and the restaurant at the same time, in December 2018, I finally close my first deal large enough to get me paid (there was a minimum payout quota; In hindsight I was dumb, like I said earlier when I think about how I got to where I am now I loathe my life).

    January third 2019 I got my first four digit check! Regardless of the fact that check did not even come close to a return on investment, it was a start, and to me meant I was doing something right.

    January seventh 2019, I forgot I was on the schedule at my part time restaurant job, and was on my way into the city for a beginning of the year meeting. Called my manager, and they said, find coverage or get here. I could not find coverage so I quit that day.

    Fast forward to late March early April of 2019. I find myself in the same position as I did back in November of 2018, broke, busted, and disgusted.

    “I cant keep living like this” I say to myself.

    I decide to reluctantly throw in the towel and submit my letter of resignation to my insurance salesman job. It sucked because I left not because I wanted to but because I really had no other choice. My only other option was to literally stand out in the streets and promote myself as an insurance salesmen; and not for nothing, people for whatever reason do not like the insurance guy.

    I was angry and disappointed. All this work with nothing to show for it but a lot of credit card debt and an overdrawn bank account. I was angry that I allowed this to happen to me, because prior to and generally speaking, I am really good with money, and I was angry at the people in my life who did not support me.

    For a while it was difficult for me to have a healthy relationship with my family again. My perspective was how is it you could see me working at something positive and not help; But all of a sudden after I’m broke you care about my well being. If you care that bad you should have supported my business and maybe I would not be in this situation.

    I cut off most of my friends all of which once seeing their true colors turned out to just be less than associates. And if I felt wronged by a person and did not cut them off they were all but considered dead to me. Working at that insurance company bankrupted me in more ways than one. As a reaction to my failure, I had people who wanted to be in my life that I pushed away because I felt as though they did not really care about me.

    Three months later and its been a full year this week since I first quit Panera.

    What have I done in these past three months? job hop. I’ve been looking for something that does not make me want to kill myself instead of show up to work in the morning. I think most challenging part has been accepting the fact that I’m a sales guy now. That’s all my work experience, I’ve been wanting to change career paths and no doors anywhere else have been opening for me.

    I did not and do not want to be a sales person. I did not go to school to be a sales person, and quite frankly I did not have to. Essentially, I feel as though my life has been a waste. I’m broke as a joke and was emotionally damaged because of the decisions I’ve made, and I’m just ready for my circumstance to change and the buyers remorse to go away.

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      […] say that I demonstrate zero leadership qualities. When I lost my graduate assistant position (see: My Bout with Unemployment), during my year end review, one of the people reviewing me, did not even give me the time of day, […]

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      […] So this blog has really been in the works since February of 2019 just not in its current iteration (see: My Bout With Unemployment for more). Prior to that however, I have always had an inclination towards writing as a means of self […]