unemployment diary, day 15
Yesterday brought some disappointments. The HR department at IUPUI informed me that a job I'd applied for from their Web site was open only to current IUPUI employees. Also yesterday, I followed up with an IT consulting company that called me Friday morning about an imminent opening for an outsourced technical writing/validation gig, and was told that the clients still hadn't been back with them, so the position is "on hold." (Of cours,e that situation could change at any time, but it still wasn't pleasant to hear.)
Yesterday my COBRA forms arrived. I'd assumed, of course, that we couldn't afford to continue our health insurance, but almost US$1,000 a month?! Yow! Fortunately, our current insurance agent has offered us a six-month policy that we can pay on a monthly basis, so my girls still have coverage. I expect that I'll continue my life insurance, though -- theough COBRA, it's less expensive than private insurance. Which means, of course, that for the moment I'm worth more dead than alive. (Kidding!)
I've been over our financial situation, and we're in fair shape for the time being. Of course, we're contributing as little as possible to the economy. Unemployment kicks in at the beginning of next month, and we aren't at risk of missing payments on our house or car.
On a personal note, I have to offer this perspective: Reagan popularized the idea that the social safety net was for anecdotal "welfare queens" who weren't willing to work. Of course, the idea is ludicrous; I for one am laboring to return to the work force as soon as possible -- I'm hardly alone in that -- and at present I'm only drawing unemployment. Ironically, though, I think the enormous shift of the nations wealth to the upper tiers that we've experienced since the beginnings of the supply-side experience has undermined the credibility of this argument. Too many people, I believe, know that they want to work, and there's little work for them, or the only work available is low-pay, low-status jobs in the service industry. Reagan may have focused the ire at these inequities on the mythical welfare queens, but I think people have a sense that it's the Ken Lays of the world who really benefit from the situation, and I can only hope they also realize that Bush and company is squarely on the side of the Kenny-boys and not the average Joes.
Update: Another disappointment. I forgot to say earlier that I consider Monster.com to be next to worthless. Had I done so, for a moment I'd have considered eating some crow -- I noticed a posting for outsourced technical writer positions through the contracting company I worked for until recently. I fired off a phone call and an email; the reply email just informed me that the positions are not truly outsourced; the recruiter simply refreshed a previous Monster posting to get a pool of recruits for 18-month contract positions, for which I am no longer eligible. Of course, there's still a possibility of such positions opening up within the month -- I know they're trying, because it's better for them to supply people for longer than 18 months if they can. Oh, well -- I was pretty excited for about 20 minutes.