Skip to comments.The Journey Continues--Week 2
Posted on 08/20/2003 12:13:29 AM PDT by DocFarmer
"The Journey Continues--Week 2"
Posted by Doc Farmer Wednesday, August 20, 2003
As most of you know, I lost my job in Doha, Qatar. Its been two weeks now, and Id like to take this opportunity to thank the many of you who sent me e-mail messages of encouragement. They were greatly appreciated.
Whats it like, being unemployed? Most of us have experienced it at least once in our careers, but its rare that we really examine it or talk about it. But there are things that I need to really get off my chest. Partly, this is a simple exercise to try and make myself feel a bit better. But more importantly, Im hoping that itll give you a bit of insight into the world of sans employ. I aspire to make this particular subject as short a series as possible, though.
When wrote the first article, right after Id been sacked, I was frightened. That feeling hasnt changed. Im still afraid. Afraid of what might happen, or more importantly what might not. Afraid of being unable to provide for my children properly. Afraid that I am a lesser man because I am not working. Yes, many men feel that their self-worth is reduced when theyre not gainfully employed. I know that feeling all too well. Although Im calmer now than at the beginning, I still have that pit of fear in my gut. A fear that wont go away again until Im pulling a regular paycheck.
After I lost my job, I had to tell my ex-wife about it, so that she could prepare. Id just been to the U.K. to see my children, and in fact had to cut my visit short to get back to Doha. I spoke with my son for a few minutes. He was worried that the ''repo man'' would come and take away all of the things Id just bought for them (my visits are normally a major shopping expedition). It tore me up inside to think my kids would be worried about that. I assured him that everything had been bought and paid for from my savings, and that nothing would have to go back. Im not sure if I convinced him.
When you lose your job, you feel very isolated. Ive been alone now, in more ways than one, for over a decade. But when you dont have a job to go to, people and friends to interact with, you feel a loneliness that is much more profound. I chat online with my folks almost daily, and they call once or twice a week to make sure Im doing okay. They can hear the pain, and it hurts them too. Theyve heard the tears in my voice, because you cant hide anything from your parents. But Ive heard the love in their voices, the concern, the desire to see their son again and help. That takes the edge off the isolation somewhat.
Another part of that isolation will end in just over a week, when I return to the U.S. And yes, Im going to live with my folks. They wont hear anything different, and quite frankly I dont want to argue. I miss them too, and right now I need them more than I have in quite a while. Im in my mid-forties, but Ill always be their boy. Theres a comfort in that deeper than most people realise or admit.
Ive been job-hunting very hard in the past fortnight. I mustve sent my résumé out to about a hundred companies by now. Some few have been outright rejections, which is to be expected. Some few have been tantalizing hints at potential possibilities. Most, however, have been an echoing silence. Part of the problem is that Im out of the country. The larger part, though, is that the market isnt super-hot right now. It is getting better in my field, if the head-hunters are to be believed. Its early days to find a job out of the blue, but odder things have happened. I lost a job once right at the beginning of December, and had another one three weeks later (just before Christmas). That was more luck than anything else. Im hopeful that I can obtain that kind of luck again. But I have to face the reality that it could take 6 to 8 months to find a job, according to one analysis Ive seen. Which brings up the fear all over again. But it also brings up a level of determination, to beat those odds and find something that will put me back in charge of my own life again.
All I have to look forward to these days is television. Its difficult to go outside when the temperature is in the 100s and the humidity is close behind. And TV can be a dreadful bore after a time. Then theres selling stuff, packing stuff, giving away stuff, and figuring out how much stuff I can take on the flight versus how much I have to ship.
The flight itself will be a bit of an adventure. I get to Heathrow in the early morning of my daughters birthday. Itll be the only chance Ill get to call her and sing happy birthday to her. I always do that for family. And, considering my voice, they always seem to forgive me for it. But in this case, it really is the thought that counts. That, and the love. Thank goodness I bought her birthday present before all this happened.
I should say that there is at least one point of which I can be proud. I had promised my kids that I would try to quit smoking, and this year (with help from my doctor) I succeeded. Normally when youre really stressed, you fall back into old patterns and old addictions. Luckily, this has not been the case for me. Im still smoke free. And with all the worry and fear and frustration, Ive been able to lose about 25 pounds in weight.
It is not, however, a weight loss regimen that I would recommend.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Doc Farmer currently resides in Doha, Qatar. He receives e-mail at: docfarmer9999yahoo.co.uk ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This article was originally posted on ChronWatch at: http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=3932
(Excerpt) Read more at chronwatch.com ...
One of the things you mentioned:
Most, however, have been an echoing silence.
...is probably the worst thing I have encountered in my since-1999 hunt for work. They just don't seem to want to talk to you beyond that first encounter. A simple reply of "we filled that position; you need to keep looking" would be immensely helpful.
When I was a young fellow, the "old guy" ( all of forty! ) who taught me a lot about engine-building, welding, machining, shooting, and general mechanics had a canned answer whenever we faced a particularly difficult job, and someone asked "how are we going to do that?"
'With Great Difficulty...'
Attempts at humor aside, I've managed, but it hasn't been easy- my wife has had the burden of supporting us since 1999, working one full-time and 3 part-time jobs. Medical problems forced her to cut back to one each, but we are finally staightening things out. Maybe.
I worked for myself most of my life, but finding myself a middle-aged smoker without a college degree seems to place me among the almost-unemployable.
It is strange, however, how life works out- when Emily started having weird symptoms that no-one could diagnose, I pretty much quit looking for a job so I could tend to her-- one of the many strange things I was cross-trained so long ago in was emergency medicine- the patch 'em and snatch 'em sort of stuff the military teaches-- and the way things turned out, I would have had to quit anything I had found to help her through surgery & its ramifications.
We are finally getting things sorted out, but like so many things in life there is not a sudden moment when everything clears up-- it's more like an ongoing process where 2 problems clear and another one shows up.