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 Crazy Summer ’14

I openly admit that my blogging generally dies down come summertime. The reason is obvious. I live in Wisconsin and there are precious few months where we can go outside and enjoy being outside. So come summer every year, I go for walks and trips to the cottage and fairs and other outdoorsy like activities. There has been more to this summer though and I wanted to give a general update as to all the things that happened to me this year over the summer now that we are getting towards the end. <sad face>

I did make a trip up to my mom’s cottage with my daughter this year. It was actually the first time in two years that I have gone up there as last year I went up to a friend’s parent’s cottage instead. I think the break was well placed however as my mom’s cottage felt fresh this year when it was starting to feel old. And really, though we did go up to the cottage 2 years ago, that trip was marked with a drought which caused the lake to stink so much that we left the following morning. So in reality we had not been there for 3 years. The trip went overall pretty well. We did a lot and we did nothing all at the same time. The highlight and lowlight was an innertubing trip down a nearby river which was fun except for when I flipped over and had a panic attack.1 I actually plan on heading out to the cottage again in a couple of weeks but I will likely cover that later.

My health has been fairly ok. I’ve had a couple of back flair ups but nothing too major. And my elbow continues its downward spiral. I had thought it was acting up more often, but at a recent doctors visit I found out that last year I stated the same frequency as this year. However, I do feel while the frequency may be the same, the level of pain is going up. I also think there is more constant pain than before as well. It’s definitely to the point where I always feel my elbow which I don’t think was particularly an issue last year this time. It was stiff always, but never painful always. I will say when I flipped into the river, one of the things that was going through my mind was that I can’t swim anymore due to my elbow which is definitely not a thought I would have had a year ago. Otherwise, I don’t think my Hemophilia has been a huge issue, no major surgeries. This is good.

Work has been going extremely well. I am pretty happy with my job right now. I finished up much of my work with ICD-10 due to a delay in the project by a year due to a federal bill that got put through. So after a couple of months of nearly no work, I was eventually moved to an area that I wanted to move to since I started working the call center. It is only temporary through the end of the year. But I am the main BA on the project (and really only BA on the project) which puts me in a position to really make a name for myself. I am also learning a lot about how I need to work. It has been a very good move for me and I have enjoyed the work so far and think I will continue to enjoy it going forward.

I don’t remember if I have mentioned my gardening in previous blog entries, but I generally garden every year. The last couple i have been doing gardening in boxes on my patio. This year has been very frustrating for me. I decided to try to start the year with spinach peas and carrots in my main box in hopes that they would be done by the time the real season started so that I could grow herbs in it as normal. However, the winter meant a later start to the growing season than I intended and the carrots and peas took well into mid-June to get anywhere.I also didn’t get much out of them either. The spinach turned out pretty good however and I got some really good crop out of it. I would like to do it again just for the spinach but it will take more thought on how to do it correctly. This box had a secondary affect on the rest of my garden as I was using the cage that I generally use for my tomato plant for the peas and I didn’t get it moved to the tomato until far too late and the tomato ended up less healthy than it should have been. It still is producing tasty tomatoes, just not as well as I had intended. I also planted lettuce with the tomato, but none of the lettuce has gotten past seedling. It has been at seedling for a couple of months now and I don’t know why it won’t grow further. Lastly I purchased a bigger container so that I could grow potatoes, they grew extremely well actually… until something dug them up and killed the plants. I don’t know how the potatoes turned out, I have been letting them grow as much as they could but at this point the plants look pretty much done and I should dig up what I got. Hopefully they are actually ok but this seems way early for potatoes. Still, it gives me hope that I can do this again in the future. The one plant that has worked extremely well has been a strawberry plant that I decided to do. I was not expecting a crop from it this year and I haven’t gotten much more than a few tiny berries, but this is normal for strawberries. The plant however looks extremely healthy. The real test will be how it goes through the winter… One thing that has surprised me by the strawberries was that I expected runners that I could use in other holes of my strawberry pot and so far that hasn’t happened.

My video gaming has dropped off almost completely until the last couple of weeks. And this leads me into the reason why this has been a crazy summer. I have gotten into a game called Ingress. Ingress is an Alternate Reality Game where you go to real locations in the world which have portals that you can see in your cell phone. You can then take them over, link them together to create fields and then the fields give you points based on the population density of the area and the size of the field. I have gotten really involved in the game, but of late I have been trying to take a step back from it. It is overall a really fun game but can be frustrating when others don’t play and the secondary problem I have is there is really no point in site. There are cycles that you can win, but there doesn’t seem to be any noticeable reward for winning, or even a history of who won. Just a memory and hopefully that works. The lack of point makes it hard to keep going with it full on and I don’t think I’m the only one who struggles with it as people fade in and out quite a bit.  The game is also kind of expensive. I mean it is free, but you have to pay for gas and there is a fair amount of driving to go from place to place. It is ironic considering the game was meant to encourage people to walk but the way they approve portals makes it difficult to get portals in walkable only places. I do recommend the game even if it is for a bit just to experience it as it is fun. There are bigger events that go on periodically throughout the world. And I am looking forward to taking part in my first in a couple of weeks up in Minneapolis. This is why I will be going back to my mom’s cottage for a second time this summer as it is fairly close to Minneapolis and will make for a more affordable trip.

Well that’s my summer in a nutshell. I do want to get back into blogging both here and at bucketgeek.com but it probably won’t get back to a great frequency at least for a month.

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”