26 and unemployed

Hello internet!

Nice to meet you.  You can call me T.  

A little about me and why I want to write a blog.  I am 26 and unemployed.  This is how my year has looked:

Jan 1st- May 21st: Employed at a non-profit

May 24th - Sept 10th: Unemployed

Sept 13th - Nov 2nd: Employed

Nov 3rd - Present: Demoted again to Bum

I have worked all kinds of jobs:

  • Worked at a burger joint (2001)
  • De-tasseled corn (grueling field work) (2001-2002)
  • Tele-marketed (2002)
  • Worked at numerous coffee shops (2002-2004)
  • Worked at a greeting card store (2003)
  • Sorted mail and did data entry (2004)
  • Worked at a sandwich shop (2004)
  • Sorted even more mail and did even more data entry (2005-2006)
  • Was an office manager (2006-2007)
  • Worked in Accounts Receivable (2007-2010)
  • Worked as an Audit Clerk (2010)

In the last 10 years I’ve worked for 10 different companies, 2 non-profits and a union. 

I’ve also done a lot of odd jobs:

  • Sold drawings on the internet
  • Landscaping
  • Hung christmas lights
  • Painted houses
  • Cleaned houses
  • Was a manny (just like a nanny)
  • Sold handmade jewelery
  • Sold baked goods
  • Pet-sitting

I am a worker bee.  I enjoy being productive and doing jobs well.  I rarely miss work and usually make fast friends with my coworkers.  I put in overtime and frequently take on more than my share of the workload.  I am a loyal employee and have developed a high tolerance for abuse from supervisors.  I am accustomed to being undervalued, overworked and basically sh*t on by my employers.  I’ve been terminated three times. Some examples:

There was the time I sprained both ankles at work because of a box left blocking a walkway.  When I reported the incident to my manager he asked if the incident had really happened at work and then insisted that I continue to work for 4 more hours until the store manager came in. 

This other time I was written up for coming in late to work after getting clipped by an SUV while riding my bike (I was lucky to only have scrapes). 

At the same coffee shop I was terminated when I went home with my partner because her mother was very ill and was comatose (Luckily her mother pulled through).  I couldn’t get one shift covered and I was terminated while out of the state. This manager went on to terminate all but one of the other female employees and hire only men. (First termination)

The time my boss accused me of supporting “baby killers” because I had furnished part of the office with free furniture from craigslist.  The furniture was from a pro-choice nonprofit.

The Saturday when the site manager sent out a memo to everyone insisting that everyone report to work the following day or face punishment.

The time I was terminated for being “too aggressive”.  When I asked for her to clarify she said “You know, I’ve worked with a lot of men… in a male dominated environment and you are just too aggressive”.  I had received my second positive review the previous day.  This was at a union.

This same manager avoided contact with me by sneaking up and putting work on my desk.  My job was to draft correspondence to clients regarding upcoming audits.  She would edit everything.  No matter what I wrote she would tear it apart (even when I started using excerpts from letters she had written).  She claimed that my administrative skills were lacking.

The same manager told her boss that I was terminated for fighting her on work - even though I had taken extra care to complete all of the tasks that were assigned me.  As someone who has learned to submit and not question authority after years of systematic abuse from people with poor managerial skills I had agreed to every edit - even ones that were petty, inconsequential or downright sloppy.

During that termination I was told that I should work in Finance and not work with people.  

There was the other time I was terminated and told that I should not work in Finance and that I should be working with people.

There was the time that my boss criticized people on welfare as “lazy” knowing that I had come from a poor family who had received welfare benefits.

There was the time that I worked for the woman with untreated severe OCD who criticized the shade and width of my highlighting and forced me to reprint the work so I could use the correct highlighter.

There was the time my boss said “I don’t make mistakes.. but If I do.. I make them carefully”.

There was the time my partner’s mother was very sick and I requested to keep my cell phone handy (on silent) in case of an emergency and my supervisor (at a greeting card store) refused the request.  During that shift my partner had to drive to my work (hysterical) to inform me that she was going to have to choose whether to keep her mother on life support or let her pass.  When I returned after her mother’s funeral my boss didn’t terminate me but refused to schedule me for any shifts.  

There was the time my supervisor would not stop referring to me only as “Studly” despite my requests for him to stop.  I guess because I am masculine?  

There was the time my boss announced that she believed certain people (who happen to be like me) were going to hell.  

There was the other time a boss assured me that she believed people like me were going to hell.  

Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.

So many people out there have horrible stories of working for miserable bosses.  Feel free to post your stories in response to this post.  I have to tell you, I started out as an optimist - but these and other experiences have really made me wonder:  Is there a manager out there that doesn’t suck?  Is there a job out there for someone like me?  

I’ve decided to use my free time to write a blog about life as a poor person.  Not all people who are unemployed are poor but if you check out a few more posts you will see why I am not only poor, but militantly poor.  Let’s get this clear - I do not own any firearms and don’t support the use of them unless you are being charged by a large thing with big claws.  I do believe that there is class warfare going on in this country as described by Warren Buffett in Ben Stein’s NYT article:

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”