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Welcome to the "Hard Times Saloon!"
8/6/2003 | Luke Skyfreeper

Posted on 08/06/2003 6:33:21 PM PDT by Luke Skyfreeper

Over the last few months, I've run into quite a few other Freepers who are either unemployed or underemployed, and generally going through majorly tough times in this economy.

So I'm starting this thread as a "watering hole" for all of us here who, like me, are currently living on the edge financially and job-wise.

Of course, you don't have to be in dire straights to join in the discussion. You can simply be interested in those of us who are.

In fact, since one useful function of this thread can be to pass on job-hunting tips or maybe even letting a job-needing fellow Freeper know about a suitable possibility in your town, any Freeper who drops in might just find him/herself able to actually help a fellow Freeper or two.

Now one of the main things I expect to happen in this thread is a bit of mutual encouragement. We who are job-hunting need to keep our spirits high, sometimes in the face of months, even years (gulp!) of discouraging news -- and we can help each other do that.

The goal is to make it out of joblessness/ underemployment, and into Prosperityland. Our joblessness /low income is hurting not ourselves, our families, and even our ability to make a positive difference in this country. So let's get encourage each other, cheer each other's progress, and celebrate when one of us gets a good job.

One ground rule: If what you have to say to someone else here isn't uplifting and/ or helpful to that person, then please don't say it. (And of course, no advertisment-type stuff, either). OK?

If you know other Freepers who'd like to drop by, give 'em a ping, and let's get going.

By the way, anything you'd like is on tap here at the Hard Times Saloon: cold milk, fresh-squeezed lemonade, frozen milk shakes, even [shudder] Bud Light... but you have to pour it yourself. 8-)


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: clintonlegacy; economy; grouptherapy; helpwanted; jobmarket; offshoring; outsourcing; unemployment
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 08/06/2003 6:33:21 PM PDT by Luke Skyfreeper
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To: discostu; King Prout; Clintons Are White Trash; summer; Farnham; rface; spodefly; Brian S; ...
A ping to some folks who might be interested in this thread, or who may know someone who is...
2 posted on 08/06/2003 6:34:46 PM PDT by Luke Skyfreeper
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
bump to read later
3 posted on 08/06/2003 6:36:09 PM PDT by OldCorps
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
I'm unemployed, but by choice. I walked out of my teaching job at a local CC just last week. Thanfully, I already have two hospitals showing interest in hiring me. Still a little uneasy being without a job.
4 posted on 08/06/2003 6:37:37 PM PDT by Doc-Joe
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
Great idea! The recession hasn't hit me personally yet - but I don't think any of us are immune.
5 posted on 08/06/2003 6:39:35 PM PDT by neutrino (Oderint dum metuant: Let them hate us, so long as they fear us.)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
For anyone who missed this thread, it has some good ideas of how to successfully market even basic computer skills.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/958885/posts
6 posted on 08/06/2003 6:39:42 PM PDT by LibertyAndJusticeForAll
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To: Doc-Joe
I walked out of my teaching job at a local CC just last week

That took some courage. Any interest in saying why you chose to leave?

7 posted on 08/06/2003 6:41:26 PM PDT by neutrino (Oderint dum metuant: Let them hate us, so long as they fear us.)
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To: LibertyAndJusticeForAll
I been waiting for someone to do this on Freerepublic. The brainpower on this site is amazing and on several threads Freepers have mentioned that they have been recently laid off. I hope this helps, good luck.
8 posted on 08/06/2003 6:44:47 PM PDT by BushCountry (To the last, I will grapple with Democrats. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at Liberals.)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
Summer is the slow time for me. Thank God for eBay. Recently some woman has been giving me big amounts from her jewelry collection to sell for her. I've done a lot of eBaying but never in jewelry before so I am just now getting the hang of it. I sort of got spoiled by the early years of eBay when you could sell T-Shirts for over $40. Those days are gone but if you are willing to make small profits on large quantities of items, it can add up.

9 posted on 08/06/2003 6:44:50 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (He Who Laughs Last Was Too Dumb To Figure Out The Joke First)
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To: Doc-Joe
I walked out of my teaching job at a local CC just last week.

Is that Community College? I thought those places are OK to work at. It's grade school and high school that you want to avoid teaching.

10 posted on 08/06/2003 6:46:26 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (He Who Laughs Last Was Too Dumb To Figure Out The Joke First)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper; Utah Girl
I believe Utah Girl just got a new job. Way to go!
11 posted on 08/06/2003 6:48:46 PM PDT by Libertina
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
I lost my six figure job over a year ago. I've tried a few things, but my StarBand satellite Internet access dealership is starting to gain some momentum. I'm just barely getting by, installation by installation. I make a mere $200 per install, but there are always extras that folks want. Working the security side of it is getting to be significant.

The local StarBand installers are without exception inept.
12 posted on 08/06/2003 6:50:25 PM PDT by Noumenon (Shoes for the dead!)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
My weirdest experience in going from broke to bucks was back when they were running all those BlueBlocker infomercials. One night something came over me and I picked up a notepad and decided to somehow get an idea from TV. I flipped on the tube and the first thing I saw was the BlueBlocker infomerical. It was really convincing, and even though I was broke, I started to dial the number to buy the BlueBlockers. Then I stopped and thought maybe I could find the BlueBlocker knockoffs. The next morning I ran into a friend with the BlueBlockers and tried them on. Then I drove to downtown L.A. and found a place where they sold the BlueBlocker knockoffs for just $10 per dozen. I bought 5 dozen, came home, and painted up several big wood signs for the Blue Block sunglasses including one that said "TRY ONE ONE AND BE AMAZED!" Plus the signs advertised them at just $5 which was way below their $49 price. The next morning I set up my signs at a roadside and while doing so I thought I heard an accident when I heard car brakes screeching. It turned out to be a car braking by my sign and a lady jumped out and bought a pair of Blue Blocks from me. It was a portent of things to come. For most of the rest of the summer I sold about $400 to $700 Blue Block sunglasses per day with very little work. By the end of the summer, copycats were all over L.A. doing exactly the same thing I was and they even copied the color pattern of my signs.

Anyway, that is what I did one summer to get myself out of Brokedom.

13 posted on 08/06/2003 7:00:00 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (He Who Laughs Last Was Too Dumb To Figure Out The Joke First)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
I've been self-employed for over 10 years now, but constantly changing my business. (Gotta go where there's some money.) What I'd like to pass on to anyone who is newly out of the workforce is the subject of the cash economy. (My divorce sent me to the cash economy, BTW.) Basically, it's life "under the radar" of the gov't, or near liberty.

As mentioned above, E-bay is a great way to make some cash - it is a major supplement to me for sure. I know that there are some others in here that enjoy restoring cars or other mechanical items, which is the main part of my income. Generally, I tend to watch the local legal notices for towing/impound auctions. There are lots of them here in Tacoma, I don't know how each city/county would list theirs - but it is worth the effort to find them. I've seen 6-7 year old cars go for as little as $100 with very little damage on them. (No one believes me until they go to the auctions.) After a little work, you've got a car worth several thousand dollars - toss it on E-Bay. Best of all, you never had to register it to yourself, leaving no paper trail with your name on it. By taking cash/money orders only for the payment you remain totally anonymous.

It's not for everyone. Self employment is the hardest you'll ever work, with the longest hours. But freedom isn't free.
14 posted on 08/06/2003 7:01:16 PM PDT by 11B3 (We cannot rest until the Left is destroyed. Then we'll have Liberty.)
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To: Noumenon
I am finally getting paid for my internet column. 99 more weekly newspapers and I can stay home with the children. Any one know any conservative weekly newspapers?
15 posted on 08/06/2003 7:01:29 PM PDT by mlmr (Am I having fun yet???)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
One piece of generic advice for job seekers: try to find a job from that allows you to define your own role, rewards you for what you can accomplish and from which the only route to failure is a personal one.

I left the corporate world about 20 years ago, resigning from GE in my mid 40s. I joined Kidder, Peabody as a rookie broker. I thought I was moving from a low risk environment to a high risk one. I was wrong. Friends who stayed at GE are now looking for jobs or wondering about their job security. Meanwhile, I am working for my clients numbering in the hundred, who give me job security.

If I were starting a job search, I would see about starting my own service business: mowing lawns, washing cars, opening a restaurant, doing what I know best, but working for myself. The future is unlimited and you don’t have to worry about corporate downsizing or office politics.

My advice: don’t look for a job … create one.
16 posted on 08/06/2003 7:02:03 PM PDT by moneyrunner (I have not flattered its rank breath, nor bowed to its idolatries a patient knee.)
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To: Noumenon
I've tried a few things, but my StarBand satellite Internet access dealership is starting to gain some momentum.

HEY! I used to sell the big 10 foot satellite dishes. I had a lot of HILARIOUS experiences while selling those things and I am planning to write up a big story about it. BTW, that is something else i am planning now---to enter as many story contests as possible.

17 posted on 08/06/2003 7:02:33 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (He Who Laughs Last Was Too Dumb To Figure Out The Joke First)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
All I can say is never give up. I've been there.
18 posted on 08/06/2003 7:04:22 PM PDT by LibKill (The sacred word, TANSTAAFL.)
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To: mlmr
I do a lot of freelancing but the money now isn't nearly as good back when you could make some big bucks from Web Revenue (Commission Junction). Sometimes I could earn over $300 in a day with those clickthrus. No more clickthru payments however. Those days are...gone with the wind.

p.s. There used to be "Write For Cash" where you could pick your subject matter and you would get paid for just a 300 word article. Sometimes I wrote 3 such articles per day.

19 posted on 08/06/2003 7:05:51 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (He Who Laughs Last Was Too Dumb To Figure Out The Joke First)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
Add me to the list.....combination midlife crisis and disappointment in the leadership of the organization I was working for led me to quit and remodel the house for past two years.

I worked with farmers and always said 10% of them were entrepreneurial......Surprisingly that group stayed with me and I am still employed part time........now I am trying to figure out what that means.

One question I am wrestling with is what type of services do entrepreneurs need.

My sabbatical is about over and need to get back in the saddle sometime in the near future.
20 posted on 08/06/2003 7:06:57 PM PDT by PeterPrinciple
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To: moneyrunner
opening a restaurant...

Bad advice. Restaurants are one of the toughest businesses to get into. Sometimes you work hard all day...just to break even.

21 posted on 08/06/2003 7:08:01 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (He Who Laughs Last Was Too Dumb To Figure Out The Joke First)
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To: 11B3
I used to go to police auctions to find fancy electric guitars. Maybe I will do so again.
22 posted on 08/06/2003 7:10:21 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (He Who Laughs Last Was Too Dumb To Figure Out The Joke First)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
One little suggestion - for those who haven't done it yet, make sure your current state is reflected in your member profile, and give just a hint of what you do there. That way when somebody does come up with something it won't be hard to find you.

I've been there too and it blows chunks. My advice is to consciously remind yourself that unemployment is not a character judgment, and that a really miserable job will kill you quicker than poverty will. Cold comfort when you're pinching pennies, I know, but it's a fact.

23 posted on 08/06/2003 7:13:09 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
I tried this well over a year ago

Man, has it been that long? I left New York shortly after this and have been to Texas and now back to New Jersey again, all in about a year. Things aren't great yet, but at least the wife and I are working, and making the bills now. 2001 and 2002 were a couple of sucky years for me, but I wasn't alone.

Good luck to all.

24 posted on 08/06/2003 7:14:16 PM PDT by southern rock
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
If anyone is thinking of moving, this is the lastest and greatest list of the best places to live and work.

1. Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
2. Madison,WI
3. Austin, TX
4. Huntsville, AL
5. Atlanta, GA
6. Nashville, TN
7. Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN
8. Minneapolis, MN
9. San Diego, CA
10. Salt Lake City, UT
11. Columbus, OH
12. Tampa, FL
13. Cambridge, MA
14. Louisville, KY
15. Overland Park, KS
16. Tucson, AZ
17. Bellevue, WA
18. Omaha, NE
19. Charlottesville, VA
20. Boulder, CO

 

25 posted on 08/06/2003 7:16:51 PM PDT by BushCountry (To the last, I will grapple with Democrats. For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at Liberals.)
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To: PJ-Comix
I remember those sites. I write a weekly column. It is published and paid for in one market......I need 99 more. Look at that old weekly of yours..... does it need a socially conservative and cute voice in the wilderness???
26 posted on 08/06/2003 7:17:23 PM PDT by mlmr (Am I having fun yet???)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
Be encouraged. This might be the time to actually find what you really like to do and go after it.

I decided to quit my job in 9/2002 to care for my children. My husband's art commissions have grown steadily, something that he loves to do.
27 posted on 08/06/2003 7:18:40 PM PDT by swheats
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To: OldCorps
Just got told to notify the local supermarket when I get the sling off, there is a 3rd shift opening and they are saving it for me to stock shelves.

It should pay most bills, but I may still have to declare chapter 7 to do that

Also, need to see the Harriett savings and loan for the new rent money, due to the lawsuit from my shoulder incident, they are throwing me out when the lease is up

However, the battle is not over yet, just entering the final interesting stage...God is in charge!
28 posted on 08/06/2003 7:20:15 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: PJ-Comix
Fortunately for me, a rural area where households are distributed one per 5, 10 or 20 acre parcel is a virtual guarantee that they'll never see cable tv, much less broad internet access of any kind. The choice is either 21.6 kbps on a good day or StarBand at 500-600 kbps down and 60 kbps up. Once they get past the $700 buy-in, it's $50 a month including the ISP fee and 10 email boxes. Not too shabby.

I just landed a group of 11 people who were rudely rebuffed when they petitioned Verizon to extend DSL to the area. I'll hit critical mass at the 100 installation mark, and I'm halfway there.
29 posted on 08/06/2003 7:23:41 PM PDT by Noumenon (Crush the Left, see them driven before you, hear the lamentations of the metrosexuals.)
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To: mlmr
Cool - keep the faith.
30 posted on 08/06/2003 7:25:11 PM PDT by Noumenon (Crush the Left, see them driven before you, hear the lamentations of the metrosexuals.)
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To: Noumenon
You have FReepmail.
31 posted on 08/06/2003 7:27:12 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Noumenon
Do you install them or sell them? I used to just sell the dishes and a team from the company would install the dishes.

p.s. My all-time record was THREE sales in one day. Actually it's impossible to beat that since you can only call on about three customers in one day.

32 posted on 08/06/2003 7:28:36 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (He Who Laughs Last Was Too Dumb To Figure Out The Joke First)
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To: RaceBannon; snopercod
*ping* Hardtimes/unemployment thread.
33 posted on 08/06/2003 7:29:45 PM PDT by TaxRelief (Welcome to the #1 discussion board dedicated to the sustenance of a free republic.)
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To: mlmr
Try entering writing contests. I'm going to try that. I won the two that I entered a few years ago when I gave it a try and recently decided that money can be made from those contests. Of course if the entry fee is $20 for a lousy $50 prize then it's not worth it. But many writing contests have good payouts such as $10 entry fee for a $1000 prize.
34 posted on 08/06/2003 7:32:06 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (He Who Laughs Last Was Too Dumb To Figure Out The Joke First)
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To: PJ-Comix
Both. I make no money on the gear. There's a residual on the monthly fee that's not much more than chump change, but it adds up as your installtion accumulate. Other than that, I make $200 bux on the install fee, and what ever else that comes up in the way of general network and security consulting.

One of the reasons I got into this is that the local installers do the crappiest work I've ever seen. Squirrels would do a better job. So I use premium cable, premium connectors, and I use the right tools to do the job. So my stuff works, and it keeps working.

To certain extent, installation is non-trivial. Since the outbound and inbound signals are co-polarized, you MUST get the antenna properly tuned and skewed and gegt it right the first time. Failure to do so hoses up the satellite for everyone else. People in the StarBand Network Ops Center become deeply saddened when that happens. It ain't Dish Network.
35 posted on 08/06/2003 7:44:22 PM PDT by Noumenon (Crush the Left, see them driven before you, hear the lamentations of the metrosexuals.)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
This may have been done or may not be practical, but...

'spose you guys swapped job leads cross country.

Freeper A in zip code N needs a job doing Y but only knows of job doing X in his zipcode N.

Freeper B in zipcode M can do job X, and knows of job Y in his zipcode M

If each freeper exchanged leads and inside info, they might apply for these jobs without having to go thru agencies or HR drop boxes. Obviously moves would be necessary if accepted, but if a freeper has exhausted his local leads...
36 posted on 08/06/2003 7:46:09 PM PDT by Starwind
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
I am not facing hard times now, but in '98 I moved from Boston to Columbia, Missouri because my wife was accepted to graduate school. I left a job in Boston (not a great job, but it was something good to put on my resume) and moved to Missouri with no job prospects and only a couple thousand $$ which I had to get an apartment and all the things that go with setting up a new living space...

After a couple months of discouragment and shrinking funds, I decided to go to the Temp. Service place and I signed up...... for what ever I could get. I took odd jobs, and it kept a little $$ rolling in. I also made sure to scour the papers and fine tune my resume (my wife helped a lot with this - this is very important.) I hand dropped off my applications and resume every chance I could.

I went to any interview that wanted to talk with me - some of these interviews sucked - some were not so bad...

When I least expected it, I was offered a position - far below what I thought I was worth, but I took it anyways. I new I could work my way to a better paycheck.

*****My suggestion = go to a temp service if you have to. It lets you begin to network with people and it keeps you from moping around. Get you resume in fine shape and target it specifically to each job that you apply to.

I you belong to a church, let the people there know that you are looking for a job. Talk to the Pastor or Priest - he knows the congregation.

Don't be afraid to look outside your immediate geographic area *****

Sometimes its hard to stay positive - but you have to.

((thanks for the "ping"))

37 posted on 08/06/2003 7:48:43 PM PDT by rface (Ashland, Missouri - FReeping polls since 1998 - A Christian in search of a congregation)
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To: Starwind
Should have mentioned, as it's a public forum, you may want to use freepmail to swap the leads, just use the thread to describe skills/job req's/zipcodes, but not contact info.
38 posted on 08/06/2003 7:48:51 PM PDT by Starwind
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To: PeterPrinciple
.......led me to quit and remodel the house for past two years.

How about buying up houses that need lots of attention, fixing them up, and selling them for a good profit? The nice thing about this is that your labor earns not Wages, but pays off as Capital Gains, taxed at a lower rate.

39 posted on 08/06/2003 7:53:12 PM PDT by expatpat
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To: Starwind
Do you know of a job for a Sun Certified Daddy in the 483XX zip code?
We haven't seen extra money in three years and our property taxes have jumped 150%
40 posted on 08/06/2003 7:54:10 PM PDT by netmilsmom (God Bless our President, those with him & our troops)
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To: neutrino
I'll just say that teaching isn't for everybody. Although my teacher evaluations have been "unusually high for a new instructor" (as per the Dean of Students), I wanted no part of it. Teaching is a lifestyle. My hours were 8-4, but I frequently found myself up until midnight preparing for the next day. Being that I am still in my early 30's and have an unbelievable student loan debt, it wasn't worth the cut in pay.
41 posted on 08/06/2003 7:57:00 PM PDT by Doc-Joe
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To: PJ-Comix
CC = Community Collge? Yes. While it is different from "grade school and high school," there are unique problems associated with it. Ever been asked out by attractive students (early twenties) and had to decline due to ethical obligations? Ever had to tell a student, 20 years your senior, that their excuse wasn't good enough?

Honestly, those weren't the real problems. It was the preparation. I took the job knowing that I'd be facing a substantial cut in pay. What I did not accurately predict, however, was the hours of prepartation needed for each school day. I basically surrendered my personal life in order to teach. It put a significant strain on my relationship with my kids and girlfriend. I received "unusually high marks" for a new instructor, but it came at a price.
42 posted on 08/06/2003 8:05:19 PM PDT by Doc-Joe
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To: netmilsmom
Alas, dear lady I'm in rather remote location. I know of no leads, nor even any people in your zipcode. Genuinely sorry I can't help a daddy and his family.
43 posted on 08/06/2003 8:05:38 PM PDT by Starwind
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
I was looking for something to do after winding down a career in high-tech sales and a nasty divorce, barely maintaining myself and child support payments by playing music and working as a carpenter during the day, when I started dinking around with dBase III+ as a viable computer language.
I soon discovered FoxBase (now Visual FoxPro) and sort of fell into the e-whirlwind that became the dotcom bubble, and three major cities and many lucrative development contracts later, here I sit again in the same small town I was in when I started. Mrs Marauder and I figured it's a lot cheaper to be unemployed in this small town than in a big city, where our house payments were four times the amount of this one.
Back to playing music, but since I'm in my sixties now, I think I'll just take it easy; find a job in a small retail store - musical instruments or building supply - and relax. Kids are all grown, so the only pressing need is house payments and groceries. Don't really wanna retire yet.
44 posted on 08/06/2003 8:11:16 PM PDT by Marauder ("Baby, I Got News for You" -- Johnny Otis)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
Hrmn.
Best I can offer right now is a distillation of painfully-bought wisdom:
1. Never trust anyone.
2. Never assume anything.
3. If it ain't in writing, don't believe it.
4. Before signing, be SURE to see a copy of their annual review forms/protocols.
5. Always quote a price higher than you think you deserve.
6. If you do not ABSOLUTELY NEED IT, then you ABSOUTELY MUST NOT BUY IT.
7. Credit is the Devil's work. Cash and carry ONLY.
8. Diversify. Never stop adding/honing skills. Never stop looking for another job. It is called "having outs".
9. Your family/life is more important than your career.
10. Most important: You do NOT work for them - you work for yourself. Even if you are employed by another, this remains true. They rent your time and talents, you rent out your time and talents in order to see to your own ends. They do not own you unless you let them.
45 posted on 08/06/2003 8:24:52 PM PDT by King Prout (people hear and do not listen, see and do not observe, speak without thought, post and not edit)
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To: Starwind
bumpity, bumpity, bumpity
46 posted on 08/06/2003 8:26:02 PM PDT by umgud (gov't has more money than it needs, but never as much as it wants)
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
I have several leads for Quality Assurance testing in Utah. Do you have a ping list? If anyone is interested, freep mail me, and I will give you the details. Apparently QA is the hot job right now, the company I work for has placed 25 QAs in the last couple of months. My pay is competitive with my previous place of employment and they appreciate me. :)
47 posted on 08/06/2003 8:34:10 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: Libertina
Thanks! I just started my new job today, I think it is a good fit for me. I'm very lucky and very blessed.
48 posted on 08/06/2003 8:35:29 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: Utah Girl
I'm really happy for you Utah Girl!
49 posted on 08/06/2003 8:37:36 PM PDT by Libertina
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To: Luke Skyfreeper
BTTT... this is a good thread!
50 posted on 08/06/2003 8:42:52 PM PDT by cyborg (i'm half and half... me mum is a muggle and me dad is a witch)
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