Thursday, September 02, 2010

Relative Value

This post contains bitching, whining and moaning. If you ain't up for it, I would understand an early exit by you.

These days I am in the unenviable position of... well... being unenviable. For a number of reasons.

Seems the world likes to stamp "Can't do no right" on my forehead on a daily basis. I may just be paranoid but it seems to come from everywhere. I say this because, try as I might, I just can't seem to make anything I devote my efforts to work out.

Job searching has been relatively fruitful yet extremely frustrating. I say RELATIVELY because I have gotten more contacts in the last 30 days than I have in the same number of months. Yet is is frustrating. You know the kind of thing where you get thrown a bone and hit upside the head with an even bigger bone? So far, I have been submitted for three different opportunities and gotten the "Your skill set looks nice, but we think that those skills are a bit rusty. The client isn't gonna want to pay what you are looking for." Fine. I understand the way things go. And I can understand how that might be important for skills in a more dynamic setting. But really, the stuff I do hasn't changed much in a couple of decades. In fact the great majority of folk in my industry think that this stuff is old, outdated and needs to go the way of the dinosaur. In fact, a large portion of the practitioners in the skills I have are nearing retirement age.
(oh dang. Another rejection letter just this minute... Niiiccceeee!!!!)
Where was I? Um... Ah! Yes. So since my skills are probably rustier than a Model T sitting in an old barn, I am told that I want too much. What I want is not even what the market price is. Or for that matter, not even what I made before. But still, that is up to $10,000 more than they want to offer. And that is without a benefits package. I of course am willing to do this because 1) it is a lot more than I am getting now. 2) it will bring my skills current. 3) it will end my extended staycation and give me something to do with my days that won't inspire me to pull my damn thinning ass hair out! (I hope). 4) a momentary sacrifice to be more attractive in the future is only smart business. What do I get told AFTER I give the go ahead to get me in? I get "I don't want to get your hopes up. But that gap is gonna make it hard." WOW!!! So now because there has been virtually NO opportunity for me to stay current (it ain't like I got a mainframe in the basement, them things COST!) I am not even worthy of an offer that a brand spanking new college graduate would get (with benefits)??? I am really tempted to get into more debt, get some sexier and newer skills and leave this mainframe shit alone. If I gotta start at square one, might as well do it with something with a better future. Let them deal with their coming resource shortage without me. BTW, even Wal-Mart don't want me. For anything... SMH...

Of course that translates to other things as well. My overworked wife keeps complaining about being "tired of being the only one to come up with ways to fix stuff" To be fair to her position, I SHOULD be helping out more (AKA paycheck). Now this be a double edged sword to be sure. I could continue to concentrate on trying to fix the problems (leveraging my rusty skills, where I have experience). Or I could stop that (apparent) pipe dream and concentrate on "helping" out (minimum wage job, likely food service or something like that (which I have yet to convince anyone that I am the right candidate)). Path A hasn't worked yet, but is likely to get things squared away a bit sooner. Path B also hasn't worked yet, and is unlikely to make much of a difference but MAY be easier to accomplish. Path C requires more debt and investment to acquire new skills to make A and B unnecessary. Of course it means money goes out and not in. Path D quite frankly is a lot more lonely and in the end only benefits me, yet may be counterproductive and even self-destructive.

Oh and the major problem I am having with that whole "tired of being the only one to come up with ways to fix stuff"complaint is that I am the only one to hear it. Never mind that there are THREE other adult residents in this house who are lacking jobs and completed educations living up in here. And usually there are long term visitors that can come and hang and suck up very limited resources and she is cool with all that! Yet I am the only one who seems to be even attempting to improve the situation.

Unfortunately the one thing I don't have is money. Seems to be the only thing that matters. Never mind that I am trying to add another bread winner to the fold. Forget the fact that I try to do the house husband thing since it is one of the major things I can do to help until I can get money. Put aside the idea that I am trying to limit the effects of erosion to relationships and resources. Discount the fact that I worry about her more than I do myself. Ignore the words that say that her family helps us more than mine does (more on that in another post). AND it isn't even worth mentioning that I am in probably the worst possible position I can see myself in without my health going further down hill, being incarcerated and/or actually being homeless. The big thing seems to be I don't got no check. Oh, and I seem to give bad advice since no one wants to listen even though I tell folk in great detail, what is coming if they continue to do what they are doing...

Needless to say, I am not feeling a lot of love for being a person or having feelings. I sometimes wonder what things would be like if I had a fat paycheck and didn't do shit else but but provide for things that money can purchase. Yeah, I got that rent. Your Navigator payment is in on time. I will bling ya. All the purses and shoes you can handle. Y'all want video games and unlimited groceries and all the toilet paper you can wipe them unlimited groceries off with? Heat lights, water, cable, gear? I got ya! BUT you gotta rub your own damn feet, hold yourself when you need comforting, get your relationship advice from the internet, teach your own damn self how to cook or pretty much anything else you need to know. Look for the check, just don't look for me. I'll be at work, or "working late." Would that make the world better?

At times I think I am being overly cynical with that. Other times I am afraid to even think about what that answer might be. It saddens me greatly to think about my value being about what I can buy for people rather than what I can do for them.

I strive for some balance. I would like to do both. I would like to do it all. But right now I can't, so I do what I can. Somehow that just ain't enough. Sometimes I wonder if this is all worth it.

Mostly because (again) It saddens me greatly to think about my value being about what I can buy for people rather than what I can do for them.

(Now I remember why I started this little space. To talk to folk who are not the people I bitch about. Mostly to get some understanding. Or virtual bitch slapping when warranted. Either way I get outside perspective. There is still a lot unsaid so this might be kinda random. As usual, comment if you feel)