Friday, March 19
Two days ago, on St. Patrick's Day, I got a phone call from a New Hampshire company I applied to two weeks ago. He asked if I'm still available to work. When I told him yes, he asked me to send him my online resume, which I did within five minutes after getting off the phone. Fifty-five weeks after losing my job, I get my first phone call regarding possible employment.
Sunday, March 28
I get a follow-up call from the company telling me that they were impressed with my resume, and asking for a 15-minute phone interview. It actually lasts for an hour as I answer his questions honestly and confidently. "We'll possibly ask you for an in-person interview after conducting more phone interviews with other potential candidates first," he tells me. I can only sit and wait.
Friday, April 2
After dropping my daughter off at school and running a couple of errands I return home to check my e-mails. I recognize the name attached to the third new message and open it up: "Sorry. I was out of town for a couple of days, which has set me back a bit. I would like the opportunity for you to come in for an interview with our team one day next week . . ." I stop and catch my breath. A job interview at last.
Tuesday, April 6
I'm looking at my car sitting in our driveway with two flat tires we cannot afford to replace right now, when my daughter yells, "Dad! Phone!" I'm asked in for a second interview — which means I'm one of the two final candidates for the position!
Tuesday, April 13
At my last visit with my physician she prescribes an antidepressant to help keep me "mellow" during my battles with stress and anxiety. I pick up my prescription, run a couple of errands, then return home to check e-mails. There's one from the person who interviewed me at my second interview: "We appreciate your interest in ______, but regret to inform you that . . ." I take a pill, then lie down again at 10:30 am.
Sunday, May 9
My work standards have hit rock bottom this week; I spent an hour one day filling out forms at a staffing agency. I felt inadequate as I only checked off three or four boxes (out of 20) regarding skill level and job knowledge.
At a recent soccer game, I'm surrounded by successful soccer dads. One drives a luxurious company car; another one just returned from a West Coast business trip. I crave comfort.
Monday, June 14
I apply to a second staffing agency to increase my chances for employment. I'm the only white, English-speaking candidate out of three people in the lobby that day. Suddenly, foreign-speaking minorities are my newest competitors.
Last week a middle-aged man murdered his entire family when he reached his one-year mark of unemployment. The young and innocent are now falling victim to the dour economy.
Sunday, July 11