Fired Up

There is a really screwed-up mentality when it comes to ideas about how to survive the new economy. The truth is that it is ugly out there.

Those who have jobs and didn't suffer through unemployment when things started to go badly back in 2008 now often find themselves doing more work for less money. Their employers have given them every possible excuse to not give yearly raises, bonuses and have cut back on contributions to IRA's and health benefits.

The long-term unemployed get frustrated by reports of 9% unemployment rates and hear mixed messages about increases in hiring but still cannot find work.

Sure there are those who were happy to sit back and collect unemployment thinking that when it ran out they would just go back to work. Their reality was shocking because it is just not that simple to up and decide to work again.

I personally have seen so many ads that blatantly state they will not interview applicants with gaps in their employment. As if it is someone's fault that they were out of work!

I had no choice in the matter; my job ended when my boss bailed on his business. Myself and 5 co-workers found ourselves out of work. My boss meanwhile was fine because he had already secured new employment for himself knowing his business was going under.

Hmmmm. Do I sound bitter? Yea. More than 3 years later I still am. I was one of those employees who was dependable, always there to please and for that I got sh#$ on.

Recently I got the opportunity to fight for a telemarketing job; a job I swore I would never ever do. It is the only option out there.

My employment options are limited because I have a back injury that limits the kind of work I can do. I also now have a transportation issue as my husband's old junker finally bit the dust and he is using mine to work his two low-paying jobs.

It is hard to hold onto hope when obstacles keep getting thrown my way. I cannot even say we live paycheck to paycheck. Paycheck to paycheck isn't cutting it.

Believe it or not, even with my husband's low income we do not qualify for help. Don't get me wrong, I don't want a hand-out- just a way out of this mess.

What I want is for these so-called experts to get that there are many of us who did our best to adapt to living off of unemployment benefits while we looked for new work. I have been interviewed at positions that paid half of what I used to make and I was underpaid at my old job. I am okay with it because at least it is a paycheck.

So when I see requests for helping people who are facing foreclosure because they lost their finance job I don't feel inclined to help. I bet they haven't downsized and are still trying to live their life the way they used to.

I cannot possibly pay less for housing than I am now. I have no "luxuries". I have been cutting my own hair (not well) for years. I dread the idea of getting a job where I would have to wear "nice" clothes...I don't have any. Anytime I get a gift from anyone my first thought is to sell it for whatever I can get. Vacation? What is a vacation? I feel guilty if we order a pizza. For the cost of take-out I can buy food for 3 meals.

I try to hope that tomorrow is better. I try to remind myself that I have been through worse. I live in the moment and try not to allow fear of the unknown future to cloud my judgment. I need a clear head to stay positive and see the doors that

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