Friday, January 30, 2009

Fingers crossed!

I have two -- TWO!!! -- interviews on Monday! They are not BIG jobs, one is not even a library position, but as an "Instructional paraprofessional" in a middle school.

However, if I get either one, they will serve to bring in an income until "the big one" comes along.

Plus I got a letter from a University in NC saying my name has been forwarded along to the search committee. Progress!

More later as things develop.

My wife is much relieved.

"The Director"

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Volunteer work

So, anyway, I've been volunteering at a local museum two days a week, four hours per day for the last three weeks.

Most of my work has been to greet visitors, but then they started to ask me to look up some information for them on the internet. And (this astonishes me) they have been flabbergasted at how much I can find in a short period of time (Google is NOT that hard).

So yesterday, the director calls me into her office and says that they want me to put in MORE hours (unpaid, of course) to help catalog the collection at another local museum site (it's more of an historical home rather than a museum), since I bring in more gifts and skills than the usual volunteer, and they are just pleased to have a 'research librarian' working for them.

I'm honored. But it doesn't seem like they are offering anything beyond volunteer, and I'd really like a job. Then again, their hands are tied with State hiring freezes, too.

Oh, yes, I said I'd be happy to help out. Who knows, the experience here could help me get a museum job some where, some time.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis
Or in this case -- Nancy Pearl's before Swine!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

a note about -- whining

Just a note here to clarify something that's been bugging me.

On so many blogs, it seems like the purpose is to complain, complain and complain some more. I've been looking over this blog and thought to myself: "Self, it seems like it's more of the same".

Fortunately, self responded "Not so, Director. You are merely keeping a log of your activities in seeking out a replacement job. I mean, look at the nice Thanksgiving and Christmas messages you've posted!"

By golly, he's right! I mean, I'm right. I mean .... never mind!

I hope that if y'all see me getting to 'whiney' and down in the mouth* that you will post a comment and remind me that I'm actually doing ok, and you are, too.

The positive messages can keep us all going strong when the situation looks bleak. And when I find something positive to post, I will be sure to do so. :-)

Keep smiling!
"The Director"

*Which brings to mind the old joke about the person who dreamt he was eating marshmallows and when he woke up found he'd chewed a hole in his feather pillow. When asked how he felt, he replied, "Oh, a little down in the mouth!"

Job fair followup

I'm a bit disappointed, as were most of the people I took the time to speak with at the exit.

In the first place, the fair was advertised as "Over 100 employers will be there to take applications and resumes and interview you on the spot".

What we got was either:

"We have some openings, and you can find them listed on our website, and when you go to www. whatever . com you can fill out our application then."


"We don't have any openings at this time, but we are taking resumes in case something opens up."

So, why were they there at all?

A few places were actively accepting resumes, but there were no application forms anywhere that I saw (except for Whataburger), and the most popular spots were employment/placement agencies. I tried to sell my librarianship skills as perfect for Office Assistant and clerical work, since all librarians are OCD when it comes to organizational skills. What was scary was that I met at least two other unemployed Librarians going to the same agencies as I was.

Ah, well. The search goes on!

"The Director"

PS, I met one or two other unemployed librarians and heard of others, who were also looking for jobs at the job fair! There are a lot of us out there! If you have a job or know of one, let us know!!! Our families will thank you!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Job Fair! yahoo!

I just found out that there will be a job fair at the civic center on Wednesday morning! (I had stopped by Starbucks for a fifty cent refill in the travel mug my daughter had given me for Christmas, and they had a flier over the 'works' station advertising the job fair!)

It won't be a librarian job, but it will be a job with an income for the time being until the budget is worked out so the local counties can start hiring again.


The Director

Sunday, January 4, 2009

View from the unemployment queue

I'm thinking about sending this to the newspaper, they sometimes ask locals to post 'viewpoints'. Any comments (offered gently) would be appreciated.

View from the Unemployment queue.

Ok, not really, I’m not literally standing in line for any benefits. But that’s not because I don’t want benefits, it’s just the way I became unemployed that matters.

First a timeline:

Last April I accepted a management position within driving distance of home. I really thought I was ready, and quit a very good secure job also within driving distance of home, in the opposite direction. However, when I got into the new position, I found that the position had really been misrepresented to me, and the position was in a place with very shaky foundations, in terms of budget and organizationally. It became quickly apparent that I would not last long, and before I had finished half my probationary period, we parted ways. However, since I took the offered option of resigning with dignity and a full months pay plus two months of health benefits, I forfeited my option of unemployment benefits.

That was the middle of September. I have been looking for a job ever since. My chosen profession is as a Librarian, and I have the MLIS degree to go with that (as well as a Masters in Education) plus twelve years experience. However, with the budget crisis, no library positions, including part-time desk coverage, are being filled at this time. That includes most out-of-state positions as well. So far, the only responses I have received being postcards either stating the positions have been filled internally or are going unfilled due to budget cuts. Some Florida Human Resources missives have declared that they are waiting until after the Special Session to make staffing decisions.

So, I began looking further a field, including a full day spent going from store to store in both malls, from Abercrombie to Zales, only to be told, “Sorry, we are not even hiring for the holidays this year, but you can fill out an application online. We don’t do paper applications any more.”

I joined on-line job hunt agencies, such as Monster and CareerBuilder. The main reaction from this course: my email basket is now filling up with ‘work at home’ scam offers. “You can make $5,000 a month filling out envelopes!” Yeah, Right.

I must have filled out three dozen on-line and paper applications altogether. The results so far: No calls, no emails, no postcards -- “The sound of silence.”

Finally, I was offered an interview in Panama City. I gleefully went over for the interview, and began searching for a place to live, in case I was offered the position. What a shock! The advertised one-bedroom apartments for $550 were booked with waiting lists, the $700 - $950 were way out of reach, and anything in between, well, they’d have to pay the roaches to live there. How about a mobile home? Try $36,000 for the smallest two bedroom, with no vacancies in the parks to put it in! Buying a home? Let's just say that I don’t think news of the bursting housing bubble has reached Panama City. So, cross-off “moving to a new town for a job” from the list.

Seriously, right now I would take a job as a secretary just to pay the bills. But those applications have yielded no results either. My list of positions applied for includes, but is not limited to:

Teacher’s aid
Office assistant/receptionist
Flex Press operator (what’s that? I have no idea, but they train!)
‘Merchandise replenishment personnel’ (new-speak for ‘stock boy’)
Park ranger education specialist (give programs to visitors) but it's in the Smokey Mountains. If they provide cheap housing, I'll take it!

and many others along this line. If it’s advertised, I’ve applied for it.

Frankly, it does not bode well. I have a family to support, you know. I feel like a wide receiver (hey, wide is NOT a physical description here!) yelling to the employer quarterback: “I’m open! Hit me!”

What’s an able-bodied guy have to do to get a job here?


Friday, January 2, 2009

Belated Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Sorry I didn't post this earlier, but to all who have been following this soap opera of my life, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

And I couldn't resist adding this one, as well: