Monday, October 31, 2005

Job hunting update part 4

And the search continues...Sadly, a couple of jobs that I was excited about last week seem to have busted. Kansas City Regional said "no" and the probation thing didn't work out either. So it is hard to get excited about anything right now. I interviewed today with KC Housing Authority. This would be assisting poor families in finding low income housing. I'd say the interview went well, but who really knows? The guy did ask for my references (that could be encouraging if I wasn't so pessimistic). The pay isn't very good either so I wouldn't be destroyed if I didn't get it.
I'd say the most interesting news came last Friday afternoon. After completely giving up, my old director called me back after 3 weeks of not returning my calls. He asked me to come in on Thursday to "talk about possibly returning". This is what every unemployed person wants to hear. If I do have an opportunity to return, I would take it since there appears to be no other offers on the table (There is still a slight chance I might hear back from Truman)

I figured there are several scenarios that might happen on Thursday:

scenario 1. My director is on his hands and knees and begs me to come back "we were so wrong to fire you. You are the best, please come back. I never liked that Assistant director, so I fired her"

scenario 2. I go down on my hands and knees and beg for forgiveness. Pride goes out the window. I offer to clean the bathrooms and re tar the roof. Tell them how right they were to fire me.

scenario 3. My director says "what are you thinking? You were fired, you can't come back! Can't you take a hint!"

scenario 4. My director says "I called you here because we want the men's bathroom keys back. We are on a tight budget.

Time will tell

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Job hunting continues Part 3

This week hasn't been very productive with job hunting until today. I had an interview with Kansas City Regional Center, which I was very impressed with. It seemed like something I would enjoy doing. Unfortately my interview was rather short because they said they had a tight schedule, so I didn't get to ask all the questions that I would have liked to. Right after the interview, the HR lady took me to a clinic and had me do a drug test (maybe they thought I was on something, or maybe they are interested, I really don't know). It is so hard to know what these people are thinking.
I also received a call from Jackson County Court for a Intensive Juvenile Probation Officer position. They want me to come in and take a test on Friday. I would also love that position. I did my internship with probation and loved it. I have pretty much wanted to be a PO since I got into this field. I hope I don't blow it.
I also received noticification from the state of Missouri to come in next week and take a merit test for a Case Manager and a Social Worker positions. Those would also be nice to land.
Lastly, I got a call from Johnson County Developmental Disabilities and they want me to come in and meet the staff that I would be supervising as well as the consumers (the people they serve). So that sounds like something might happen with them. The problem is, that I'm not really that excited about working there. The pay isn't that great, but it is a position with Johnson County which could open some other doors. There are also promotional opportunities. I would work a four day week (save some money in babysitting) and my schedule would be from 1-11pm Mon, Tues, Thrus, and Friday (No Homer's Thursday night and not a lot of time with family). So as you can see, it definately has it's draw backs, but on the other hand, I'm getting desperate. I've been out of work for a month now. The longest I've been unemployed until now has been 2 days.
I have had interviews with Swope Park (I've given up on them) and Truman which sounded like good positions, it's just I haven't heard anything back yet. I would hate to take a job, then leave it for something else (all though I wouldn't be the first person to ever do that). So I don't know what is going to happen.
I'm still wondering whatever to Wyandott Center? Almost 3 weeks ago, I received a call from the Executive Director, stating that I would be offered a chance at another position in the company. He then instructed me to call Randy (my old director)and he would set something up. Either Randy is dead or he is intenionally not returning my calls. After three weeks of trying to call and not hearing anything back, I've concluded that there is no offer. They are just blowing smoke up my _ _ _. I guess what I'm wondering is that why was I told this in the first place? I would have appreciated it if Randy would at least return my call and say "I don't know what you are talking about." It is professional to return a call and Randy was all about being professional. Of course I haven't heard anything back from the Executive Director either. My guess is that there seems to be a breakdown in communication.
At this point I despise Wyandott Center and everyone there (not everyone, just management). To work for a company for 5 1/2 years, never recieve a bad review, lead in stats for 3 years straight, then get fired and never recieve a call back. I was even invited as the only staff to help Congressman Dennis Moore, the mayor of KC,and the director with the groundbreaking of the new center. I'm venting I know, but what have I done to deserve this? Oh yeah, I sexually harassed a 50 year old woman. I better stop doing that.

Pinky's dedication

Last weekend we had Pinky's dedication with both sets of grandparents in town. I was hoping my mom would arrive earlier because she wanted to spend some time with just her and the kids. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way. Both grandparents showed up around the same time. One set wanted to go out to eat, while the other set wanted to stay in. Wah Wah had been cooking all day for her party the next day, and didn't feel like cooking more. I decided to order pizza from Papa Keno's which impressed everyone (They make the best pizza).
Wah Wah's parents spent the night at our house while mine went to a hotel. My mom complained that Wah-Wah's step mother hogged the kids. She probably did but I could really start to see Woogy bonding with her. Up till now, Woogy has always considered my mom to be "grandma", now he understands he has two grandmas.
For church the next day, both grandparents were in attendance with us. I have to admit that I don't always feel very comfortable with my parents in church. They did raise me to be Catholic (they failed miserably), and up until I got married, Catholicism is all they knew. They are used to standing up and sitting down a hundred times, listening to a 5 min sermon, and quietly leaving service with out talking to anyone. Typically there isn't a lot of praising God or people enjoying themselves.
Anyway, Wah-Wah's two sisters also attended and brought their kids, so we had more family with us than normal. When the pastor said the prayer, I think everyone, including the helpers in the nursey, where amazed that Pinky didn't cry when the Pastor was holding her. Typically, no one but Wah-Wah can hold her for more then 10 seconds before she starts crying.
I enjoyed the Pastor's prayer all up to the point where he prayed that I reach people in my work place. I told myself, "yeah, that would be nice if I actually had a place to work." I kind of wanted to interrupt the Pastor and say that "I'm unemployed, why don't we pray for that?" But that would have been rude, and besides, the Pastor had no way of knowing that I am unemployed.
Afterwards, the whole family came back to our house for chile. At that point, I was kind of happy that no one else had come since we barely had room to sit all those people in our humble home.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Job Hunting Continues Part 2

I got my first paycheck today---from the unemployment office. Easiest money I ever earned. Unfortunately it won't go on forever but God bless the person that thought of unemployment benefits.
Well job hunting continues. Everyday I wake up and say that "this will be the day I get a job", but it never happens. Yesterday I had two interviews. The first one was at Johnson County Developmental Supports. I interviewed for a senior residential staff position. I'm not thrilled about the idea of working in a group home again. The pay isn't that great, but there are at least promotional opportunities. I think the interview went well, however the hiring person said if I get the job, all the staff that I would supervise would be jealous since they are all applied for it too.
The other position was at Truman Medical Center for a Case Manager position. I interviewed first with the HR lady. She said that I would be a good addition to the company, and felt confident that I would get the position. Then she sent me over to interview with one of the supervisors. I've done better interviews before. First, the supervisor didn't seem to have much personality, so she didn't really laugh at my sense of humor. Sensing this, I decided to keep any sarcastic comments to myself. I then felt like that I was bore. Secondly, she sat half way across the room with no table between us. I don't think that is a set up for good conversation. Unless the HR lady decides who gets hired, I'm not getting my hopes up.
Next week, I only have one interview set up Jackson County. Since they want a copy of my college transcripts, I'm not getting my hopes up on this one either (especially if they look at my stats and biology grades).

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Ode to the Smiths

My favorite lyrics by the Smiths

"Sometimes I feel more fulfilled,
making Christmas cards with the mentally ill"
----- Frankly, Mr. Shankly

"It is so easy to laugh
It is so easy to hate
It takes strength to be gentle and kind"
------I know it's over

"Sweetness, Sweetness I was only joking
when I said I'd like to smash every tooth
in your head"
------Bigmouth Strikes Again

"If a double decker bus
crashes into us
To die by your side
is such a heavenly way to die"
------There is a light that never goes out

"I'd like to drop my trousers to the Queen
Every sensible child will know this means
The poor and the needy
are selfish and greedy on her terms
-------Nowhere fast

"Poor woman
strangled in her very own bed as she read
But that's OK
because she was old and she would have died anyway"
-------Sweet and tender Hooligan

"Sixteen, clumsy and shy
I went to London and I
I booked myself in at the Y....WCA
I said "I like it here-can I stay?
Do you have a vacancy for a Back scrubber?"
--------Half a Person

"Burn down the Disco
Hang the blessed DJ
Because the music that they constantly play
It says nothing to me about my life"

"Spending warm summer days in doors
writing frightening verse
To a buck tooth girl in Luxembourg"

"Will the world end in the night time?
(I really don't know)
Or will the world end in the day time?
(I really don't know)
And is there any point in ever having children?
(I really don't know)
What I do know is that we are here and it is now"
---------Stretch out and wait

"I wear black on the outside
Because black is how I feel on the inside"

"Girlfriend in a coma
I know, I know--it's serious
There were times when I could
have strangled her
But you know I would hate anything
to happen to her"
----------Girlfriend in a Coma

"an emergency stop
I smelt the last ten seconds of life
I crashed down on the crossbar
and the pain was enough to make
a shy, bald Buddist reflect
and plan a mass murder"
----------Stop me if you think you've heard this one before

"I've come to wish you an unhappy birthday
because you're evil
and you lie
and if you should die
I may feel slightly sad
but I won't cry"
-----------Unhappy birthday

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Discovering the insurance biz

Shakedust is right as far as what the Primerica does-- train you, and the responsibility falls on you to meet your own clients. There is little risk that the company takes. It is a risk that I'm investing little in. The training is paid so you get your money back after you take your test. Plus I'm learning a lot about the insurance biz.
The guy that got me into this is a devote Christian and attends the same church that a certain "Visionaneering" person is now attending. I met with him for a few hours today over lunch. We talked a lot about faith and ministry. He says that he uses Primerica to help others get out of debt and if he can't, then he won't bother them. I thought that was pretty noble for a insurance guy.
I come from a totally different world than sales. As a Case Manager, my clients or customers didn't owe me anything for my services. A occasional "thank you" was always appreciated. But the bottom line is that you are not trying to make a buck off this person so your intentions are mostly sincere. But then I wonder if you are trying to make a buck, are you going to be trust worthy or are you going to say anything to sell your product?
I have had more than a few dealings with sales people who are your friend all up till the point you decide not to buy what they are selling. For example, I'll never forget the time I decided not to buy a truck from Randy Curnow Ford. I thought the salesman was going to break my legs. Literally, him and a few other salesman were ganging up on me. I sure don't want to be that kind of person.
I don't know if I'm cut out for this to be honest. If I can reduce the debt for a few people, then I guess I did OK. So far, I've learned a lot about insurance, and even met a guy who is on the board at Johnson County Mental Health who says he might be able to "pull some strings", so maybe things might work out (of course that is very optimistic thing for me to say)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Follow up to a Little Help

There seems to be a lot of concern with this Primamerica thing. Trust me everyone, I have no intention of giving them money or doing one of those pyramid scams. I have no intention of making this a new career either.
The fact is, that I've got nothing to do all day but sit and dwell on the fact that I'm unemployed- which is very depressing. It is hard to sit and wait for a phone call that will never come. Since my wife is now the bread winner, I figure I could make a little extra money on the side since we are going to need it. If and when a job is offered, I plan to leave this far behind. I'd much rather do what I was doing than this Primamerica thing (unless of course I become filthy rich at it, which is unlikely.)
Finding a job in my field that pays well is not easy. It is also important to note that I am not licensed by the state which means all jobs in the hospital I'm not qualified to do. Don't get me wrong, I want a license but that means 2 years of school plus a semester of a unpaid internship. I am considering this as enrollment comes around again.
On a follow up note, it is now clear that the center I use to work for is jerking me around. Despite the fact that the director himself called me and said that I will be given another position, seems to be a bunch of crap. They have not been returning calls for several days now. I guess this is a pretty sick joke. It might have been a little kinder to say "you're not coming back" than "we'll take care of you and give you another job."

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

the job hunting continues...

Much to my surprise, the phone hasn't been ringing off the hook with job offers. I interviewed at 3 places last week were I felt the interviews went well, but no calls yet. Back when I was doing interviews, I usually could give you a answer in a week. I actually got someone hired the same day as her interview. No such luck for me yet.
But now something else has come up. Since I was "fired" various co workers I've talked to say I should take it up with Wyandott's executive director, Pete. Everyone says that he is a really nice guy and very understanding. This morning, I decided since I have nothing to lose, I called Pete's assistant and said I need to talk with The MAN. (the MAN),Pete called me back and said that he wasn't aware that I had been "fired"(even though his name appears on my severance papers)and said he doesn't see a reason why I could not have been transfered. He said that Randy, my director, holds me in very high regard and wants to meet with me.
I'm not sure I know what this is coming too. I told Pete that I don't feel I could go back to my old department with that dirty snake that fired me. Pete says that he thinks there are openings in the adult program but he thinks I might be happier working with kids.
With all this I feel like I'm standing at a crossroads in my life. Could I or would I return to Wyandott Center? Should I keep looking for another agency? Or should I do the postal thing which seems to be getting a lot of support.
I just had a few other options thown at me from a different kind of business--loans. Despite the fact that I know nothing about loans, a gentleman at American Mortgage said that I could work there as a loan officer. It's no sweat for him since this is a commission only job (I don't think I'm sold on this idea.
Then today, I met with a guy from Primerica and was offered a chance to sell insurance. Now I don't know a thing about insurance, but the guy said that he could train me in 3 months. I believe he also said that it was a paid training. He said the job is more psychology than knowing numbers plus he said your potential for income is unlimited. Sounds like there is a catch. If it is this easy to sell term life insurance, then how come everyone is not doing it?
I think I might visit with this guy again since I honestly have nothing better to do. But if he should ask me to send him a check to get me started, I'm gone.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Miracle pt1

"miracle pt1"

A penny for your thoughts
It looks like the weight of the world
is on your shoulders now
You think your going crazy
just when it seems everything will
work itself out
You're driven right back down
You said "it's not fair that a man
walks, when a bird can fly
We have to kick the ground,
stars kiss the sky
Still a spirit lives,
A man has to die"

What's going on?

Not much is the answer. Sitting home all day unemployed sucks. Don't get me wrong, I'm going out applying for jobs. I'm looking them up on the net and calling every lead. So far I've applied for everything I'm qualified for. I even applied at Enterprise, and a few other companies that are out of social services. The hardest part is waiting for the telephone call. When it does ring, I get all excited, only to get let down when I hear how I could save on my college loans.
I was approved for unemployment. I've never had to do that before. Last Friday I walked into Kaw Valley in Olathe. I was interviewed on the spot and the interviewer remembered me from a case we worked on together. I don't know if I want the job though, I would sit in the office all day and would have to find a new foster care placement within 4 hours. The pay kind of sucks too. I also got a call from Juvenile Detention. The pay isn't bad, but the hours are horrible.
I had my first interview yesterday at Swope Park. I think it went pretty well. I didn't stumble at all in the interview and even answered some questions before the interviewer had a chance to ask them. It would be working with mentally ill adults between the ages of 18-25. Thursday I have a another interview. This one is at Kaw Valley as a Runaway Case Manager. I walked into the office and filled out a application, and by the time I left, I had a interview scheduled.
With all this extra time on my hands, I've spent a lot of time writing. Some may call them poems, I like to think of them as songs that have yet to be played. I'm starting a serious that I will be posting shortly.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Little Update

It has been a while since I last blogged and that is because I've had some very tramatic things going on. Most everyone knows, but I lost my job at Wyandott Center. Yes, after 5 1/2 years of faithful service,countless volunteering on the weekends, and being one of the few people to sign up for the company softball team, I was canned.
My problems at the center started about a year ago, when my old boss JoAnne was asked to resign. JoAnne and I got along really good and I always felt like she had confidence in me. Reason why JoAnne was out nobody really understood, including herself. JoAnne was out and was replaced by Kim. Now to give you a little background, Kim happens to be the gay lover of another director in the agency. She was only with the agency a couple of years. She does not have her master's degree. Her rise to power is awfully fishy. Kim always had it in for me and I found everytime I met with her I was on the defensive.
Then several month's ago Kim annouced that my position was being eliminated and was going to be replaced by people with master's degrees which she would supervise. Again this seemed a little fishy, since she was now supervising people with a higher education then herself. Further more, it threw case managers off of managment and no hope of ever getting back in. So I asked what I was suppose to do now and I was told to go hang out with the Case Managers and make sure they are doing their job. My signature became worthless over night. I was now hanging out with the staff I use to supervise.
Then the night of the Coldplay concert, Kim asked me to come in and told me that a staff said I was being negative, but she refused to tell me who. Then she told me that I had harassed another worker by jokingly offering her a hug. This worker didn't think anything of it, because she knows my personality and was not making a issue of it. She also knows that she is 50 and I'm 31 married with kids. Besides, we are social workers, we hug. It's not like I asked to feel her up or anything. Anyway she sent me home for the rest of the week.
I had a feeling that I was a goner and became very depressed especially since I was not given a chance to talk to anyone about it. Then they told me to come in Monday morning which is never a good sign. I decided to call my good friend Dave in Iowa and asked if he wanted to come down for the weekend. His life is even more messed up than mine, but we can always joke about it. Dave came down for the weekend and helped me take my mind off work.
By Monday however I was pretty worried. I tried to tell myself that I would be OK, because I always had confidence in the center and had been a excellent employee. I had even asked for a transfer. However Monday morning they handed me my walking papers and told me to clear out. I at least got a severence package and will be paid up till the end of October.
I was devestated. I had never seen a future with out Wyandott Center. 5 1/2 years gone. How would I face my family, I was such a failure. On the way home I got a call from another co-worker at the same level as me and he told me that I wasn't alone, and that he had been fired too for lame reasons. But that was little comfort. I could see nothing but black. It was like looking in a dark tunnel with no end. All my depression and suicidal thoughts I had growing up when I was a teenager came back like a flood. I decided at that point the only thing I could do was check myself into the hospital.
I sat in a dark room for 8 hours before some one finally came to get me to tell me my wife was on the phone. I told her that I felt so lost and that I would be no good at home. By the next day, and a lot of medication later, I was feeling better and quickly got out of acute care and went to just observation. The day after that (Wed) I felt that I needed to get home and help with the kids. Plus nobody is going to hire a mental patient, so I asked the docter to release me and he did.
Being home without a job is hard. We continue to send our kids to the sitter so I can focus all my time into finding another job. I have been basically hand delivering all my resumes and got my first call back. I have a interview on Monday at Swope Park Mental Health.
I have also been considering getting out of the mental health field. It's not that I don't like it, but the pay sucks. For some reason I can't explain, I'm thought about to studying to be a postal worker. The pay is far more than I'll ever make in mental health. Plus it has promotional opportunities, a cool outfit, and a nice pension. I don't know, maybe this postal thing will go nowhere. I not sure I know what direction the Lord is calling me to. Maybe things happen for a reason. Right now I'm not very certain where I'll be.