3 Weeks Later

For those that may not know, 3 weeks ago was my last day at my job. Ever since that point, I’ve been unemployed and searching for gainful employment. If you want to hear a more immediate description of my termination, you can check it out on youtube, where I talk about it in more detail in one of my Minecraft videos.

This morning, I realized it has been a long time since I have updated my blog, and that it has also been awhile since I really talked about my unemployment. I reference it a lot in my youtube videos, but outside of the initial video, I have wanted to avoid the subject as I felt it was kind of depressing. Logically  to me, it seems to make sense to then talk about it more here, since blogs are supposed to be depressing right?=P

Finding a job has definitely had its ups and downs. I clearly have not found a job as of yet. New hopes come up, old hopes die out. Unfortunately, finding a job in my field revolves around working with recruiting companies. Most companies tend to employ people on a contract to hire basis to allow them to get an idea of if they  want to keep the person long term or not without any negative impact of firing the person. I have dealt with about a dozen agencies in town and every week a new one contacts me. I even have been contacted with an agency out of India which after trying to work with for a few days, I bowed out of the position because the agency was awful. I am still trying to figure out what happened to one particular position that I felt perfect for and was being hyped up by my recruiter but it has been 2 weeks since my recruiter said a word to me. Doesn’t seem good.

Next week, for some reason, I am getting an explosion of interviews and almost none of them are coming from recruiters. Currently have 2 interviews that are direct to hire without the aid of a recruiter to companies that I very much would be interested in working with. One interview is the first interview over the phone, the second is a second interview in person. This is the first in person interview I have had so I am both nervous and excited for the chance. It means that I made a cut past the first 20 down to likely 3 to 5 people and so I feel my chances are way high that I can land this job. I have a third interview that is with a recruiting company for another position and i kind of expect a 4th interview to occur from a different recruiting company. So things are moving along well even if I don’t have anything concrete as of yet.

So what am I doing with my new found time? I am probably not being as productive with this time as I should be. The first week out of employment,  I went gung ho on the youtube channel, deciding to increase the frequency of my videos to twice a day rather than once a day. My theory was that with my extra time I might as well try to grow my channel and more videos means more exposure. That hasn’t turned out as well as I’d hope as the views and subscription numbers have not increased much. This realization that number of videos doesn’t help, coupled with interest in other games has caused me to step back from that. Also, I must admit that my mind isn’t in the greatest places right now. I don’t usually stress out too much about life, but in general I have been very stressed and that has led to difficulty for me in showing myself as having fun. Instead, I have turned to Guild Wars 2 and Diablo 3 as a way to blow off steam.

I do need to start being more productive around my house, and this is something I realize. My house is generally kind of a mess but it has gotten pretty bad. I used to always blame work as a primary reason that I didn’t have it as clean as I wanted. Well I don’t have that excuse anymore. Now I am just lazy. I have been cleaning little bits every now and then but it isn’t enough and it isn’t actually making a large difference. This last week, I have started getting more restless playing video games all day long. Playing lots of video games the first couple of weeks was great, finally I could sit and relax! But this last week for whatever reason I feel like doing more. So maybe cleaning my house will help with that. I will say in regards to restless video game playing, that generally I have been an MMO  player for the last 20+ years, and though Guild Wars 2 is technically an MMO, I never have really considered it to be one any more than Diablo 3 is. Yeah you can go online and talk to people, but the game seems to be designed to be played alone which means it’s not really an MMO.  Maybe I will go into more of that another time.

Money saving has been a major source of effort for me.  I have begun doing paperwork to go into forbearance with my student loans which will save me $400 a month. I cancelled the DVD portion of my Netflix. I eat smaller meals and less often. I never go out to eat anymore. I’ve increased the amount of items that I sell on eBay to not only get rid of old junk but also get more money. And I’ve put more effort into things like Swagbucks, instagc, Bing Rewards and Perk TV to give me gift cards to purchase things. This last one alone has been a godsend as I early on was able to get a prime pantry package valued at $85 for no cost to me thanks to gift cards which contained food and toilet paper and paper towels. It gave me meals and saved me money. It was great. I am trying to increase Bing and instagc payout right now as a matter of fact. Even if I only get like $100 a month via the rewards programs and ebay, it’s money that I wouldn’t otherwise have, and that stretches out my capability to remain unemployed and looking for a job that matters rather than resorting to moving onto retail or something.

So yeah we are moving onward. i initially wanted to have a job in the beginning of May. I knew that was an unrealistic goal, my friend had the idea that I would have a job mid-May, and that hasn’t happened either. I am fairly hopeful that the current interviews that I am going into will result in something, even if it is a temporary position. And so by that aspect, we are hoping to have a job by the end of May. Am crossing my fingers at least…

A New Employment Era Dawns

This week is the culmination of five years at a company at a crap job, where I did get a promotion once, but that promotion was in essence the same job as was previous. This week was the last thing to change in my life in the last year. This week, I got a new job. I am now a Business Analyst, in the same company as always, but in a drastically different position in which I no longer have to take phone calls! YAY! I now get to do what I’ve always liked about my previous job but didn’t get the opportunity to do near enough, problem solving.

I like my last job quite a bit initially, at least until they started adding phone lines to my department which had very little to do with us. And these lines, while sometimes tolerable were one of the main things that drove me away. I’ve told more than one person that had they not done that, there would have been no way in hell that I would have accepted this position. Not that there is anything wrong with this position, but I just loved the old one that much.

One of the main reasons for that is that this position could potentially be a temporary one. The project that I am working on is only a project for the next 9 months. After that point, they could review the work that I have done and decide that they don’t want to keep me on and let me go. That is scary as heck to think about. However, the Business Lead in the area assured me that they don’t usually do that and they can’t think of any time that they have had to in the years that they worked here. Generally what happens is that once on project is over, you move to a different project. This I understand, but the concern is still there!

I realize that with this job, I need to hit the ground running. I want to prove that I was worth bringing in and that I am worth keeping around every minute that I am here. And hopefully when the end of this project comes, they not only move me to another good project, but potentially a better project with a better position. I do look at this particular position as a stepping stone to better ones. Continue reading “A New Employment Era Dawns”

A Second Job?

I was watching a rerun of the 2 Broke Girls pilot last night on TV. Overall, the show is kind of meh, but in the show they have a few common themes to where I am in life right now. They are poor and they are trying to start their own business. Well at one point in the show one of the girls says to the other that they can start their business in about a year if they both have two jobs and they start saving. What I heard from this is… should I get a second job? Continue reading “A Second Job?”

Mission: Ohio Complete

Well I am back from Ohio. I unfortunately was only there for a week. Initial plans a couple of months ago was that we were to go a couple of times at two weeks each. That time got shortened to a month total with each of us going two weeks but I could only make it one. Regardless, I think the trip went pretty darn well on my side. Continue reading “Mission: Ohio Complete”

Writing From Ohio

As expected, the state of Ohio changed their minds and decided that they needed the help from us again. So over the past 3 weeks others in my department have been flying down and this week it is my turn. I flew into Columbus yesterday and am leaving on Friday. Because of the holiday weekend, this gave me the opportunity to check out the city of Columbus with the extra time.

Not only did it give me time to explore Columbus, it also gave me time with my brother. My brother lives in Toledo which is about 2 and a half hours away. So with us being so much closer than usual, he drove his family down and spent the night last night here in town.

My first day, I flew in and was in my hotel and resting by 3pm local time. It was a pretty eventless trip and I was perfectly happy with it. I got together with my brother in short time and we headed over to a local ice cream chain named Graeter’s. The one we went to, my brother had previously gone to and had an tour of the place because they actually manufactured the ice cream there and gave out tours. Now however, they did not and it was just any other ice cream shop so it was a little bit of a let down. On top of this, we obviously ate ice cream and so were no longer hungry for dinner. We went back to their hotel and hung out for a little while but then headed back out and tried another local chain called Skyline. This is essentially a chili dog place which was good but not necessarily great for my stomach considering I hadn’t eaten all day.

Today, on the second day, we got up early and went to the Columbus Zoo. My brother and I had been there before but it was more than a decade ago and we didn’t really remember why or when we went and thought it would be a nice family place to go. I do think that the Columbus Zoo is among the nation’s best. Of particular note was the Kangaroo walkabout which lets you go in with the kangaroos as they hop in and out of the path. Their coral reef aquarium was also top notch. There were a few other things that we missed. This year’s big addition to the zoo was apparently the new polar bear exhibit which was way overcrowded and it seemed like it was badly planned as it put all the people in a very narrow area to view both the polar bears and the grizzly bears. But it may have been bad luck.

After the zoo, I went grocery shopping to get myself some basic foods so that I could eat in a pinch and save some money on drinks and breakfast. After an hour or two of rest in the afternoon, I went out again alone this time into Columbus. This time I went geocaching and I decided to turn my attention to Columbus’ Metro Parks. I heard about these parks yesterday from brother who raved about them and thought it was worth looking at and getting a geocache to boot. And they were quite impressive. The one I went to was essentially a huge chunk of forest with a bunch of paths running through it. The best I can compare it to was the forest section of the Arboretum in Madison except it seemed that the forest was more dense, more mature and likely bigger than Madison’s, and I’ve always marveled by the size of The Arboretum so that is saying a lot. There are about 5 or 6 other similar parks in the city of Columbus though I likely won’t go see the others.

This evening, I also went out to Donatos which is a local pizza chain.  They specialize in thin crust pizza that uses Provolone cheese instead of Mozzarella. I think this is an interesting idea and I thought the pizza was pretty good, but not great. I think you really could do provolone on a pizza though, I just think a better company needs to do it. It was worth doing as it provided me with a lunch and a half for the rest of the week.

Needless to say, I am actually falling in love with Columbus. It is a beautiful city with awesome parks and a bunch of stuff to do. There are big trees and chunks of forests everywhere, not just the metro parks. And the whole city is very clean. I really see Columbus as a city very similar to Madison, just on a bigger scale and I like that. I am halfway considering just moving down here if I could. Another plus to Columbus is that it wouldn’t have quite as harsh of winters, and honestly I’m sick of Wisconsin winters…

A Quick Stint with Ohio

I almost went to Ohio next week, but not quite. You see, HP won the contract for Ohio Medicaid and are actually starting the system up on August 2nd. They are currently behind a few months already on opening the site, and as a way to show good faith were trying to help out the state’s call centers by sending experienced people out from other states. Two of us from the EDI helpdesk in Wisconsin were asked to go and we were told a few weeks ago that it would start on August 1st. On Wednesday they told us that they wanted us down there next week instead.

Continue reading “A Quick Stint with Ohio”