Yosemite

Park Ranger Imp- The end and beginning of Unemployment

Park Ranger Fiery Imp

Well that title is a mouthful!

The Imp scored a job. A temporary Park Ranger for the National Park Services. Can you believe it? The Feds are allowing me to teach people at a National park…you must be so proud to pay taxes ♥

 

Enjoying my anniversary with a glass of bubbly and a great hubby.

Enjoying my anniversary with a glass of bubbly and a great hubby.

Actually, I quite excited about being a Park Ranger. Sadly it’s only temporary, to only last 6 months. I normally do don’t’ take temp positions; I do not like the idea of knowing that I will be unemployed again after a small time period. Too much uncertainty of where the next paycheck will come after I am terminated. The one thing that is for certain, the monthly bills will still arrive in my mail box.

These last few months have gone by so quickly. I was so upset to return to the “unemployed” and “looking for a job” status that I’m actually going to miss it. My terror was built around the struggles of my last unemployment stint. The feeling of loneliness, despair and the undesirable weight of being useless. Sadly, I’ve felt the same while being employed. Those feelings scared me for life, but this time I didn’t let them hold me back.

I can honestly say, I’ve used my time wisely. I spent a few weeks to grieve over my new status of unemployment. That is the one thing I didn’t do last time, I didn’t grieve after I finished college. I was happy that I graduated but didn’t grieve over the death of being a student. I didn’t understand  being a student was a job, I worked hard to learn and then being laid off because my goal was completed. Completion is considered a “death”. You should always grieve over a change in your life, it’s up to you have long you should grieve. Like a death, grieving is healing, healing causes change.

After I grieved…then the Imp was off and running. You haven’t seen everything that I’ve done over the last few months. Trust me, I spared you. I spared you from the frustrations and a lot of vulgar word with failed projects. I should be considered a Hero! For instance, I made an infinity dress…it worked out but I used the wrong fabric and I realized my hips are huge. My waist is much smaller than my hips, after 20 minutes of “Your cloths are too small dance” (Ladies, you know what I’m taking about), I finally got the thing on. But to get it off, I almost had to resort to using Crisco. My husband thought it was the funniest thing on the planet to watch me struggle. See? I saved you from that horrid image and saved myself from the abuse.  In my “Fiery Imp” documents folder, I have a half a dozen blogs written but never finished. I promise you, I’ve made good use of my unemployment.

 

Trying to remove the old and replace the new faucet. 4 hours later...a new facet was introduced into the kitchen

Trying to remove the old and replace the new faucet. 4 hours later…a new facet was introduced into the kitchen

  1. Repainted the kitchen cabinets
  2. Still not finished with the kitchen, but I have ideas
  3. Chandelier make-over
  4. Lots of tested recipes
  5. Book 3 of the Game of Thrones finally finished and started book 4
  6. Applied to over 30 Federal job
  7. 10 referral letters for Federal jobs
  8. Only 1 job interview
  9. Fancy 7th wedding Anniversary!

 

Camp Creek Campsite

Camp Creek Campsite

10.Tried and loved Yoga (but ran out of money for classes)

11. Gold expeditions (another planned before I go to work)

12. 2 camping trips

13. 2 lake trips- including trying to wakeboard

14. 3 local festivals

15. Many hangovers

16. Many many hours spent laughing, crying, humiliating and catching up with good friends.

17. #15 and #16 go hand and hand

As I look back, it wasn’t that bad being unemployed. Circumstances were different, but the results were more satisfying.  I figured my unemployment would last a few more months and didn’t expect my stupid kitchen cabinets to take so long, I had more things planned;

Gold and black sand inside of a red gold pan. First time using the Bazooka!

Gold and black sand inside of a red gold pan. First time using the Bazooka!

  1. Shampoo the carpets in the whole house
  2. Set all of the rock pavers in the ground around fire pit
  3. Have a garage sale…which means cleaning the garage
  4. Find more gold
  5. Going to the beach
  6. Going to Oregon (Selma or Brookings)
  7. Lose weight (Yeah right, not going to happen)
  8. Run (Yeah right, not going to happen)

Besides the inevitable by returning to unemployment this January, I am truly excited to become a Park Ranger. I enjoy talking with people, speaking to a crowd and the challenge of teaching people history of the local area. What better way to spend your summer (besides a cocktail on a beach) outdoors among history! I wouldn’t have applied to this job if I wasn’t passionate about the responsibility. This job may not pan out to anything afterwards, but I know it will be valuable to me in every aspect. I can’t describe my enthusiasm in this blog…I suck at English too much to use descriptive words and phrases. I guess I’ll let John Muir say it for me:

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. – The Yosemite (1912), page 256.

Half Dome, Yosemite, Winter 2006

Half Dome, Yosemite, Winter 2006

Tears

Empathy

You would think that I’ve had enough writing for one day, considering that I just wrote a 6 page resume for Federal employment. Honestly, this is the first resume that I could actually express most of my talents and experience. I’ve been told that normal resumes for private employers need to be only 1 page long. After you finish your address and education, you’re half way down the page! My military experience takes a lot more than 3 bullets to explain.

I’ve never written a federal resume, because I didn’t understand it’s importance. I also never wanted to use my disability to gain employment. Just because my legs are damaged does not mean I need to stand out in front of the rest, at most, in front of more disabled veterans.

After meeting with my EDD rep today, I felt that there was actual hope on getting employment with either the Federal government or State government. By using my disability, will help greatly with employment. This leads me to two thoughts; disability as an employment benefit (or empathy) and having a disability is the only way a veteran can find work.

I’ve been unemployed a few times; the outcome has always been disappointing with the work I was doing. The work I was trying to fit into was something that I wasn’t built for. I would take jobs because I needed to pay my bills. In pursuing these jobs, I never used my disability, only hoping my education and experience would carry over. No other doors really opened up for me. So was that because I wasn’t disabled? No one could understand my profession?

Now that I am actively using my 10 point preference as a disabled vet and the experience may actually will help with the employment process. Is that empathy? Employers want to hire vets who served their time and now have service connected disabilities that will change their lives forever. We’re a tax write-off for crying out loud. I ask again, is the empathy? Or is it the only way employers will notice us from the rest of the world.

Veteran do not need certain specialties or exceptions, we’re human beings with a brain and great knowledge from our experiences. We did our job well, we’ve done things most people won’t even consider. Even when we get out of the service are labeled and segregated because we’ve made certain sacrifices. Do we deserve a different standard in employment? Do we deserve empathy because we are disabled in one way or another? That’s a decision you need to decide. A personal belief and ethic that is becoming the social norm and a stereotype. Think hard before you make this judgment. Veterans’ are human. Treat us as such. We made our sacrifices for ourselves, our nation and our families.

I have hope. Its 2014, we’re not at “war” and the image of a veteran is being cleared up. Laws are being passed that help us with employment and social services are being implemented. Does this solve all of our unemployment woes? No, plenty of us are still unemployed. The future doesn’t look as grim as it did in 2009 and 2011 when I started to apply for a career. The stigma maybe loosening the rope around our necks and hopefully political shortcomings and decisions are being left out of our past (we were only following orders). I started this blog with the feeling that veterans are always the last to receive a fair share. Stereotypes and stigma has left us to be baby killing machines who love war with our PTSD and love to hold secrets. Hopefully now those stereotypes are dissolving and we can finally start to build our lives, disabled or not.

Downward Spiral

An Overview of Unemployment

This being one of my first official blog post besides the “introduction” and “About me “ page, I should start off trying to explain my situation and showing you the path of where (I hope) this blog will take you. Simply put, I’m unemployed.

Actually my title is a little longer; I’m an Unemployed Disabled Veteran.

An even longer title would be; Unemployed Disabled Veteran Housewife.

Or; Unemployed Educated Disabled Veteran Housewife.

Whatever the title maybe; the only thing I can truly change and can be changed without my approval is becoming unemployed. Ok, before any corrects me, yes being a housewife can change too with divorce and foreclosure. I don’ see that in the future and that would be a WHOLE different website in it’s own.

I’ve had about 4 unemployment stents, only two have been long term, the other two was just in-between jobs and college. What I have found, the most mentally destructible forms of unemployment is when you are at least qualified for most basic jobs because of education and/or experience and being laid off. I’ve had both. After being laid off, seems to set off a whole different mindset and depression than being a newly educated student looking for employment and has become the most destructive.

These two forms have caused two different reactions from me. The latest stent of joblessness was due to being laid off. Something that I didn’t see coming but was trying to find a new job anyway because I was unhappy with the conditions I was working under. The reasons for being laid off and my disagreement is besides my point of this post, in the end, I am once again unemployed.  The emotions of fear and the self degrading of your own self worth starts to set in and you begin to tear yourself apart. You are your worst enemy.

The first unemployment period, was after I had returned to school and earned my BA in Sociology. After I quite my mediocre job and returned to college, was about 2 1/2 years. Part of this period, was a blessing to me because of the GI Bill and Veteran benefits, but it still caused some depression specially after I graduated and could find work. I looked for 9 months after my last class. I had experience and a diploma, couldn’t land a job or even an interview. This set off a loneliness, depression, anxiety, fear and helplessness. the beginnings of my Unemployment PTSD (which is not a true form of PTSD, I’m will use the phrase to help explain myself).

I truly feel that after you become unemployed after the first long period, causes you a form of PTSD. Once the second unemployment period begins, the feel and anxiety kick in and is much worst to dig yourself out of your own grave. The point of this blog will to help my own anxiety and express what I go through mentally and what I’m doing to overcome my Unemployment PTSD.

In the next few months (or weeks depending on what life throws at me), I would like to bring in a few discussions with; Veterans and Unemployment,  an analysis of the book Emotional Intelligence written by Daniel Golemen and how his principles can relate to joblessness, and of course you will see plenty of rants of my personal struggle. Not saying that all of my rants will be about my fight with joblessness, there will be plenty of other issues I’ll press forward.

This post doesn’t nearly describe what I feel; it only sets a precedence of what is to come. I want to show evidence on why I feel this way. Show how being a veteran has become a black cloud for finding a decent job. How my own emotions can be overriding all of positive energy and starting a mental battle between what I am and what I can do versus my own opinion of myself.