Shades of Gray

Some might see life in black and white but I have always been the kind that can see the various shades of gray. This could be seen as being optimistic, but it can also be seen as complicating what should be simple.

In case no one noticed, our country is in quite a mess. Don't let the economists fool you, we are still in a recession. Yes, the unemployment rate is getting lower; it isn't because people are getting jobs. The reason the claims are lessening is because long-term unemployed people are exhausting their benefits. Therefore, if you are no longer eligible, the claim rate appears to be lower.

See? It isn't all black or white.

Are there jobs out there? Sure, there appears to be. I see job listings all the time. I apply for many of them.

How many interviews have I had recently? ZERO.

I love it when I read comments that people leave about articles that talk about the difficulties many are having with finding a job. The comments range from blaming the political parties, to illegal immigrants to overly inflated wages in the past. The comments that irritate me the most are the ones from people who just don't get it (lucky for them).

Some people think that it is easy to just "go get a minimum wage job". Firstly, an employer is not going to hire someone for a minimum wage position when their work history shows they earned much more.

No matter how desperate a person is for a paycheck, employers have their pick of applicants and they will choose whomever they want- fair or not.

Say you do get that minimum wage job? How do you pay your mortgage/rent? I doubt that the mortgage company or your landlord is going to adjust your monthly rate to reflect your lower income.

Downsize, some people would say. That is not always feasible.

Many who were receiving unemployment already learned how to live on less, made the changes to their lifestyle and would have been happy to take any job that offered a paycheck. Their unemployment ran out before the offer of a paycheck came. Now what?

Now you try not to panic. Now you wake up every morning trying think positively about the day ahead of you, dodging bill collectors and adding water to the soup for dinner.

Personally, I dislike Fridays. Most people work for the weekend and Friday is their happy day. When you are unemployed and it is Friday, it means another week is done and you haven't gotten a job or an offer again. It is hard to look forward to the weekend when you know your financial life and your very existance is dependent upon a phone call or email that just doesn't come.

No one is going to call you for an interview over the weekend. Sure you could try and enjoy your weekend, you can even fool yourself into believing that maybe this is the last weekend that you have before you go back to work.

The stress builds. Although you do your best to fight it and try to hold onto hope, it doesn't always work.

Reading about how many others are in the same situation as you is not comforting. It only means the competition is stiffer.

I am happy for anyone who cannot relate to being jobless. I bet they have no clue just how fortunate they are. I know that many of them don't see the shades of gray that I do.

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