Shortcuts Chris Warwick I have thought about this for a couple of days and I am still wrapping my head around the idea of putting it on paper. Being forty -five, I have a lot of experiences both good and bad but it is not as easy as I thought to pick Just one. I decided to pick one that I have been experiencing every day for the last year and a half. At most this is an abbreviated version of my experience. I have been unemployed twice since September 2010. The first Job I was laid off for eleven months. I had found a Job for eight months with a local aviation spares company in November 2011.
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I will write about the second term of unemployment and hopefully you will understand my frustration because a lot of the experiences during both periods of unemployment are the same. In June 2012 1 left a local company due to a buyout from an aircraft parts distribution company located in Utah. I was asked to stay until the following December and help close our location but with all the stress from the buyout and not being able to tell anybody until we let them go I said I was leaving. I was able to do this on my own terms partly because I am retired military and I receive a pension monthly.
Some received some sort of severance package, but not me. I hadn’t been there long enough, so I decided to leave and get a Jumpstarted on a new career. I guess I consider myself lucky in this aspect knowing that my pension covered my mortgage and my wife Tract has a great Job and works with great people that she enjoys very much. I was also receiving my educational benefits from the Veterans Administration to go back to school so the burden was less than what some of my co-workers had to endure. So there I was in June 2012 about the time my kids got out of school for summer vacation and I was unemployed.
How bad could this be? I thought. At least it wasn’t in the dead of winter. I decided to take a little time for myself to get my head together over the recent buyout at my company and dust out the cobwebs. Plus I could finally get some projects done around the house that I had been putting off for some time and I would be home with my kids for part of the summer and I could enjoy some time with them. I would also look for a Job in my spare time and at night. Sounds too easy, I would be back in the saddle in no time at all, or so I thought. So life is going pretty good at this point.
I am getting my projects done around the house like staining my deck, painting the shutters on the house and even rebuilt the foyer into the entry way of my house. I even managed to get all the other things done in between like grocery shopping, doing laundry and cleaning the house when it needed to be done. With everything I seemed to be accomplishing around the house I thought to myself, “l could get used to this”. Be careful what you say because it At this point, weeks turned into a couple months and I was still plugging away at my projects around the house, all the while looking for a new Job.
I wasn’t having the suck that I had hoped on finding a new Job. I wasn’t really that worried since I hadn’t been unemployed too long and plus with the way the economy had effected the Job market, there wasn’t a whole lot to choose from and I was going to hold out for the job I wanted. Something was going to pop up soon, I was sure of it, plus I had my projects and kids to keep me pre-occupied as well as enrolling for two classes during the summer semester and coaching daughter’s summer soccer league. Any day now I knew an employer would be calling.
Before I know it the summer had come and gone and the kids were heading back o school and my projects outside were going to have to wait because colder weather and eventually cooler weather would be soon upon us. This is where my real fun began because now I would be home alone for most of the day. I am too social of a person to be by myself for eight to ten hours a day. In the time I have been unemployed I have asked myself the following questions; how many times a week can a person vacuum the house, do laundry, go to the grocery store, keep the yard tidy, clean bathrooms and cleanup after the kids in a week?
Pacing yourself is not as easy as it sounds. I learned in the military to not put off what needs to be done. I have become more efficient than I have ever thought I could or wanted to for that fact when it came to housework. I had to make a schedule so I wouldn’t run out of things to do too soon. Really? At least school was going well and was an outlet away from the house where I got to meet new friends and get reacquainted with old ones. I was really ready for fall and winter to come at this point.
Soon I would be trimming back the plants is my gardens and raking more leaves than I could ever count in a lifetime. Not to mention that I would have to bag those damn things too. This chore to me is the most tedious. When you finish raking an area of the yard in no time at all the leaves you Just raked are replaced by more leaves. Maybe next year I will Just blow them down the street with my Shop-Vic. During Winter I would have to snow blow my driveway, rake the snow off the roof of my house, and clear my decks so my dog wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom in three feet of snow.
There were days I prayed the kids had a snow day Just so there was someone to talk to during the day. It’s not like they really wanted to talk to me though. All they did was text their friends, play on their Kindle tablets or the computer. Not what I had in mind. Why did I agree with Tract to live in New Hampshire? This time of year is also one of the busiest in our household because of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Since I am home, I was the one who did most of the planning and shopping for these holiday events.
No stress there… Not in the least! Yeah right! But it needed to be done and I love this time of year especially the cooking and eating. I love getting together with family especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas and this past one really put life in perspective for me. I was surrounded by supportive family and friends. I was truly blessed because during my time of unemployment I was able to provide for my family and take care of all their basic needs and maybe a little more. I was also truly thankful for their patience and understanding.
Also, school was going well and I was one class away from earning my associates degree. One thing still had hire during the winter months as I found out. I hoped that earning my associates degree would make me more marketable. I think it did because at least I was getting some callbacks from companies that I sent my resume to, not many but some. If I was able to land an interview I still wasn’t able to seal the deal. Still I remained optimistic and was ensured by my family and friends that the right Job would come along eventually. I Just had to be more patient.
One thing, people who know me know that I am NOT patient. So winter had come and gone as well as another summer. Another list of chores was compiled by my wife to which I did my best to complete. I am also decided to continue school after earning my associates degree to receive my bachelors in Communications. My son Jordan also completed on of his biggest achievements by graduation high school. Now I am stressed that he isn’t going to find his direction in life. They always do my wife assures me. Some Just take a little longer than others.
Another season of coaching my daughter Jean’s summer soccer has come and gone. It has been a very busy year in the Warwick household. Only one thing hasn’t happened and that is…. You got it, no Job. Maybe I was meant to be around for my kids and finish my degree and be a “Mr.. Mom”. Even if I am I don’t know if it’s sending the right message too my kids. It’s not a bad gig but it wasn’t the way I was raised. The man is supposed to provide for his family and be the breadwinner. There is a feeling of permanence about it that I am most uneasy with even though I know it’s not true.