As I mentioned in my first post on my new blog, I received an email from a friend the other day and I wrote out this big long response to her question “How are you”. And then I deleted.
Needing someone to talk to about problems, frustrations, anger and such is something women do. We don’t do it to have you (a man) solve the problems for us. We do it to get it out of our system. Sometimes we simply want to know that we’re not the only ones who have a certain perspective or feeling.
“Getting it out” does exactly that, it gets the emotions out of our system and helps us to refresh or restart and go at it again. Whatever it is. Be it feeling as though you’re being taken for granted at home, or at work, most women and especially working Moms take in a lot and we need to let it out on occasion.
In 2007 I was working in an Information Technology position as an auditor with a fortune 500 company. I was good at my job. I came to this big retailer from a Fortune 100 company where I had spent 15years working on projects, managing staff and taking more guff from male counterparts equal to any professional woman. We put up with a great deal from the male side of business. Either because they feel threatened by us, or because they old school and think women should be at home cooking and cleaning. Guess what guys, we do that too.
I left the first company to work closer to home, being a mom with a toddler at home, I was missing out on his life. Traveling nearly 2 hours to get to work and home again was taking it toll. I thought I found the perfect solution in the new job. Well, that’s what I thought. Then the recession hit.
There were 3 sets of layoffs in 2007 at the retailer. The first in early Spring, the next in the Summer and the third for that year came right after Thanksgiving. The following year, the company filed for bankruptcy and closed after being in business for 60 years. They went from Good, to Great, to Gone. And with them, the hopes and stability of many families like mine.
I’ve worked all my life and I worked hard for what I have. I bought my house before I got together with my partner and had our son. I made sure I found a house that was worth driving home to, that I could afford and not be house poor, and was worth what I was paying for it. I found the perfect place. My dream house with a wrap around porch, water front on a 300 acre lake in a gated community. Half the price of townhouses in northern Virginia. Here I had a single family home, water, quiet and a yard. Even with the POA fees, it was cheaper than the no yard townhouses outside DC.
Within 2 years of buying my dream home, it had nearly doubled in value. Not so much because of the real-estate bubble, but because the area its in exploded with growth. Suddenly there was a neighborhood shopping center with a grocery store, and little shops to meet our needs. In a town that has 1 traffic light, it was a big deal! Within 5 years of being here, the home values tripled. Life was good. No..Life we Great!
But that layoff hit hard. Now my upper middle class status was in jeopardy. It was the beginning of the recession and there were no jobs to be found anywhere. I started keeping a log of jobs I applied for so I could keep them straight. And I had to report them to the unemployment office each week in order to qualify for that much needed check. Between the career positions, there were the applications to the local fast food shops, grocery stores, retail stores and any other kind of business 60 miles south to 60 miles north. For 2 years, there was nothing as more companies were laying off and going out of business. The Great Recession was in full swing and it’s all the news talked about. But talking about it, didn’t help us.
It’s been 6+ years and while I’ve been looking for anything during that time, the excuses for not giving me a chance have changed from “I’m sorry we don’t have any openings” to “You’ve been out of work for so long, your skills are no longer current” or “I’m sorry, you’re over qualified.”
At one local fast food shop I got so frustrated with the manager who actually talked to me when I handed her the application. When she told me I was over qualified I replied “Ok, so tell me how stupid I have to be to flip a hamburger, because I know I’m smart enough to be that stupid”. She asked me to leave.
Another fast food manager could see how desperate and frustrated I had become. She held my hand and talked to me, telling me she would put my application through, but she knows the hiring manager wouldn’t give me a chance because I’m over qualified. She told me it takes 6 months for the company to recoup the cost of training a new employee. And with someone like me, they’re afraid I’ll find a career position and leave before they can recover the cost.
So tell me what the hell are we supposed to do? 6 years of applying for jobs and still no employment. We’re living on nothing and the frustrations are unbearable.
~ Victoria Lynn