When I read Donald Pennington’s article, Are You Paying it Forward or Giving Back?, I remembered an article I had written but was embarrassed to publish. My financial situation was so bleak I was afraid that by posting it, people might think I was expecting pity or money.
But the intent of my article, in recognition of other people whose losses were oftentimes worse than my own, was to help even one person who was experiencing the same level of financial loss and desperation as I was – someone like me who was using her (or his) talents and skills to achieve some level of financial freedom, but who, no matter how hard she tried, and no matter how many hours she devoted to the task of bringing more income into her home, couldn’t afford to keep the water running or the electricity turned on.
I wanted to “give back” the only thing I could in the only way I could, by writing. And so, thanks to Donald Pennington, I hope to “pay it forward” with words instead of money in the hopes that somebody will want to receive what I am offering. Here is the article I stopped myself from publishing:
*While the unemployment rate is high at 8.9% for the entire United States, the number of unemployed workers sounds staggering – 8.8 million (Bureau of Labor Statistics, April, 2009).
I am one of those workers. And it happened to me the same way it happened to millions of other people. One day I walked into work, got called into the office, and was told, “As of today, we no longer need your services.” They paid me for the rest of the week, added an additional week, which they called severance pay, and said, “Sorry.”
Like many people who find themselves suddenly unemployed, I wasn’t surprised. People around me were vacating the building so quickly, I felt as if I were on some kind of carnival ride where everybody kept getting thrown off and only a handful of people were left to carry the burden of two and sometimes three or four additional jobs.
Because of my physical problems, I decided to provide daycare as a source of income while I pursued my passion, writing. However, just as my daycare opened, people started losing their jobs in droves.
My daycare suffered the repercussions of those losses, because as gas prices skyrocketed, thousands of parents across the continent discussed the ratio of income to expenses and decided that the benefits of staying home to raise their own children far outweighed the risk of leaving their jobs. Why pay $500 a month for a second car, $400 for gas, $50 for car insurance, and $600 for daycare expenses when Mom brings in only $1600 a month? Staying home to care for her child while watching other children proved to be more cost effective.
As two-parent households discovered the benefits of staying home with their children, daycare providers suffered from loss of income. It was nobody’s fault and this daycare provider, for one, liked the fact that these parents could stay home with their children. But realistically, my income had dropped to only $650 a month.
Whether job losses are due to offshoring, outsourcing, downsizing, or as a result of other financial cutbacks, jobs cut for any reason means future employment looks grim. As I joined thousands of others across this nation who were losing (or who had lost) their homes, I had to ask myself, how could I survive on only $650 a month?
Online job search communities invited me with their pitch. I joined, hoping to find something I could do out of my home, and every day I still get a few “hits” – none of which has anything to do with my capabilities. I might as well have written that I was an experienced astronaut. I’m not. But the types of job descriptions that fill my email box every day are completely incompatible with my résumé. And most employment agencies or employment services offering “work from home” jobs are scams.
Several physical problems contribute to my appearance as a not-so-attractive employee. Because of a foot problem, I need to work without shoes, and because of a back problem, I need to recline occasionally to relieve the pain in my back while I bend my legs and roll from side to side (try explaining that to your boss).
I am not a disability candidate. I am perfectly capable of working – I just need a specific environment in which I can work. I can’t be around fragrances that trigger an asthma attack, nor can I be around heavy smokers who run out to their cars during breaks and come in reeking of smoke that strangles my lungs to the point of hospitalization.
What I AM capable of doing is writing. Unfortunately the world doesn’t offer a stage like that on American Idol where writers can compete for a winning spot in cypersphere. As a result, I have written this article in a desperate attempt to help myself – and others (see next paragraph) increase my income (and theirs) by inviting whoever reads this article to read my other articles and blogs (links are provided below). The more traffic I get, the more income I generate.
Because of my own circumstances, I empathize with others who are experiencing loss of income. So many creative people populate our planet – most are unknown – maybe some of them would like an opportunity to showcase their talents. Those are the people I hope to find, people who might benefit from me writing about them.
Whether they create artistic woodwork, handcraft knitted items, design beautiful jewelry, or offer valuable services, creative people need a place to show their work. I’d like to offer them an avenue where they can peddle their wares or services. In other words, I would like to offer them a stage, like that on American Idol (though with a much smaller audience), where they can display their talents in a format that might bring attention to their products or services. Wouldn’t it be great if they could turn their hobbies into full-time careers?
Please contact me with information about your American Idol friends or family members if you think they could benefit from me writing about them. I want to “give back” by letting others know about them through my articles and other blogs (listed below).
Your Blog Connection
Help For Single Parents
Writer of Blogs
My Heart Blogs to You
My wordpress blog
My Other Associated Content Articles
*According to the Associated Press on June 5, 2009, the jobless rate hit 9.5 percent in May. On June 17, 2009, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics put the rate at 9.4 percent.
UPDATE: My son and his wife offered to move me into their home, followed by one of my daughters and my son-in-law volunteering to move in with me. I will continue to seek other employment as I continue to write and provide daycare. And I hope somebody will take me up on my offer to help others by showcasing their talents.