Friday, September 18, 2009


And so it has come to this: if I can't get a job (or at least a promising interview) before the end of the month, I have to leave California.

It's not the ideal plan, I'll admit. Many people tell me that it often takes months to find work, especially out here in budget-wrecked California, but any fool could see that staying out here much longer is financially unwise. I've never been without work for so long at one stretch, at least not while trying to find work. It seems that things here in the Golden State are tougher than I imagined and while, as they say, "hindsight's 20/20," I am beginning to think that my desire for new lifebirds and greener pastures blinded me to just how easy I had it in PA and how long my savings (and loans) would last.

Yes, I was tired of the Pennsylvania snow.

And yes, I wanted to go someplace I'd always dreamed of living.

And oh sure, I felt like I didn't really "belong" in a state like Pennsylvania, where I was perhaps one of maybe ten hispanics in Centre County (I'm being generous; I only knew of me and my friend Ignacio) and where I'd only gone because of a now-defunct relationship.

AB keeps telling me that I can't look back now and judge my decisionmaking after it's turned out to be a total dud; if that were possible (or wise), no one would ever take a chance on anything. Or even get out of bed. But it's hard not to think about the fact that if I'd stayed, I'd still have a good job and I'd be with my girlfriend.

Must. Not. Think. About. That.

So where will I go, you ask? One of two places: Texas or Pennsylvania. BUT... the only way I can go back to PA is if I already have a job waiting for me.
...What, you think I didn't learn a lesson from this whole "Hey, I'm sure I'll find a job in a state where everyone's being laid off! Great idea!" fiasco?

I am furiously looking for work now through the same crap job-seeker engines (Monster, CareerBuilder, SnagAJob, etc.) that have failed to net me more than one interview out here in sunny NoCal. Don't think I've missed the irony of such a situation. At least The University has its own job Web site, though there's no telling the snail's pace at which The University might travel.
(Okay, okay, Mr. Unnecessary-capital-letter-policeman, I'm only capping "the university" out of respect! ...well, and a little karmic finger-crossing. Shhh.)

I know two weeks isn't a lot of time to find work anywhere, but this is the plan I worked out with my sainted father and brother, who are loaning me yet more money to pay the really late bills and buy food and stuff.

Yes, I'm 45 and still getting bailed out by my father. Perhaps I should run for president. I hear this kind of thing worked out great for the last guy.

I'm still trying to follow up on my California applications and apply for other positions, but at this point it's almost stupid to keep trying. I lost count after 60 of how many jobs I'd applied for, but I did get one interview (on my birthday, no less) that was going really well until they told me that although they loved my skills and experience, they didn't know when they'd be able to make an offer, much less hire me. Budget problems. Low sales. Downward trends. You get the picture. (I should've remembered that the last time I had a good birthday, I was in 9th grade and my dad was picking up all my little geeky friends and taking us to SkateLand for a big night of rollerskating to "Dancing Queen." It's like a curse, my birthday. Every stinkin' year.)

At any rate, AB is being really supportive, and we're both hoping that I can at least go back to PA and be with her. But again, I can't go there without a job, so I'll continue to hit the Interwebs super hard over the next week or so. This whole job-search is like a job in itself, a really boring one where I'm forced to write cover letter after cover letter, tailored to the specific job duties and my overwhelming ambition to work at Company X!, and fill out endless job-search-engine registration forms. I've gotten it down to a science, copying and pasting stuff into the blanks, but it's still mind-numbingly boring and soul-crushing.

The other night I couldn't sleep and decided to read a book I hadn't read before (those who know me know that I LOVE to re-read my favorite books, especially when I can't sleep). I noticed a book I'd gotten at a recent book sale, Barbara Ehrenreich's Bait and Switch, in which she "goes undercover" again, this time not as a minimum-wage worker (Nickel and Dimed) but as a middle-management-type white-collar jobseeker, applying for hundreds of jobs over the course of six months, paying for an image consultant, enduring life-coaching from several rather life-challenged individuals, attending endless "networking events," and ending up with nothing -- not even one interview.

Given my circumstances and my now quite fragile job-seeker self-esteem, reading this particular book might, just might!, have been a bad idea.

Table for Sisyphus, party of one! Table for Sisyphus!

I've really enjoyed California. It's beautiful, for one thing--you should check out the pics on my birdy blog--and I've gotten lots of new birds for my lifelist. (If you know what that is, you might be a geek.) The weather is lovely. But it's hard to enjoy the beauty when you know you have no job, no income, and not much hope.

- - - - - - -
On a lighter note, I'm excited to report that I'll be driving into Oakland on Sunday to visit Matty Boy. We're planning to bird at Lake Merritt and then go watch the Cowboys game. I'm totally pumped!

Eat your hearts out, bloggy gals!

Oh, I just thought of something: I haven't told him this bit of news yet, so if you're reading this post, Matty Boy, I'll give you more details on Sunday.

Meanwhile, if anyone knows of a job in the Rohnert Park area... anyone? anyone?


Matthew Hubbard said...

You know I'm rooting for you, dg. I had a friend a few years back who came to California and slept on my couch while looking for work for quite a while before finding it. He did eventually get a gig in the Bay Area, and now lives in Santa Barbara.

I know you can do it. Don't give up hope.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I hope you find something soon. I'd tell you to consider moving to my area of the country but you'd probably rejevt it out of hand. Anyhoodles, best of luck to you.

Claire said...

I hope you find something, and soon. I keep reading and hearing about how dire the economic situation is in California, so at least you're not alone, but I'm sure that's not much consolation. I'm so envious that you and Matty get to meet each other. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I guess not much has changed since Woody Guthrie wrote that song...

California is the Garden of Eden
A paradise to live in or to see
But believe it or not
You won't find the place so hot
if you ain't got the dough, re, mi

Hang in there, Guz.

Randal Graves said...

Ugh, best of luck. I might even almost root for the Cowboys to cheer you up. Almost.

Fran said...

No job sucks, but seeing Matty? Priceless.

I know, that does not pay the bills.


Hang in there beautiful birding Delia. Who knows what is around the corner for you...

dguzman said...

Thanks, you guys! This morning I had a brilliant and sneaky little idea: who says I can't keep looking for a job out here in CA, or in PA, from Texas!? Mwah-ha-ha-ha! I'll beat these Intertubes to the ground if it'll find me a job, bitchez!

Pissed in NYC said...

Good luck. I hope you find something really soon.

Elizabeth said...

I'm sorry you're having trouble! It's tough in CA right now. I know too many people who've been laid off this recession. But Bernanke says the recession is over, heh. I hope it gets better for you soon!!!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I really hope that something falls into your lap in time for you to realise your dreams. But whatever happens, try not to have any regrets. You have been brave and that will pay off big time in the end. You can do it!

Elizabeth said...

I'm pulling for you, D.

dguzman said...

PiNY--me too! No matter where it is, at this point!

Elizabeth--I met someone today at the beach who has a similar background (MA in English, teaching experience, writing/editing experience, etc) who's been looking for TWO YEARS.

Barbara--very true, about the dreams. I had to come out here, and I had to see what it was like. I'm glad I did it.


Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

If things don't correct, and you're headed back east, stop in at the Kennel, here in Albuquerque, and I'll stand you to a burrito and a couple of local brews...

Distributorcap said...

i know how tough and demoralizing this is - and there are no words that can comfort your frustration.

but keep pulling and trying and it is ok to be bailed out by whomever - that is what having family and friends is all about

i am also rooting for you and thinking the good thoguths

GETkristiLOVE said...

I'm so sad for you and what you sacrificed to try and make a dream come true. I wish I knew someone there that could hire you.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Oh man, I'm sorry about all this DG.
And if you do come back to Texas to lick your wounds, at least we'll get to hang out together.

Anonymous said...

If you think you got it bad, you should consider the plight of President Obama. Did you see the way he was dissed at the UN last week? Did you see the way Accccchhhmadinijad thumbed his nose at Obama? Wat was really bad was when that pipsqueak President of France, renowned for the World's most Gay Effeminate Men, gave Obama a drwssing down for being a Wimp! The GALL of that GAY Pipsqueat, to tell Obama how to be a Man!

That's only the beginning. Unemployment creeped upward another tenth of a percent. Not only that, Obama's Presidential Job Approval Rating is incing ever downward. Some expect him to tank below 50% in a couple of weeks. Obama could becoma a lame duck in the first year of his first term. Can you imagine that indignity.

That's only half of Obama's Woes. The Olympic Committee actually had the GALL to snub Obama's presentation, despite all of his begging and crawling, of making Chicago the site of the 2016 Olympics. Something is ROtten in Denmark.

In conclusion, you should think less about your own personal problems like your unemployment, and think more about you could serve President Obama.

Elizabeth said...

Boy, I hope that last comment was some sort of poorly written satire because it's absolutely absurd. There is no other conclusion that can be drawn from criticizing someone for struggling with unemployment and then list rising unemployment rates as a reason to focus on Obama.

Tengrain said...

DG -

I'm so sorry that we never got a chance to meet while you were out here - I must have goofed, I thought I left you a message.

I hope that things improve. I take it by the silence on your blog that you have moved on.

Best wishes,


Anonymous said...

He's probably gotten one of the Shovel-Ready Jobs that Obama promised. He'll be back to sing Obama's praises soon enough.

dguzman said...

Boy, I stay away for a while to focus on my joy (birds!), and the wackos visit.

Thanks to all my bloggy pals, and to the Anon(s)--WTF?

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