That saying can be a blessing and curse, I suppose. King would talk about the Wheel of Ka, a sort of folksy DARK TOWER version of karma, and how it would all come around.
Maybe that’s so.
The good and the bad.
The sin and the blessing.
We, the holy damned.
When I lost my job, ahem, was fired, it was an experience that sent shockwaves throughout my entire life. I have never been down as low, personally and professionally, for as long as I had been after that. Being fired made it hard to get a chance at new jobs. It set in me a deep shame that still remains. The job market, if you haven’t looked, is one full of fool’s gold. Sure, there are plenty of jobs out there, plenty, but few are full time, fewer offer living wage, and fewest have any sort of health or other benefit. It’s a seller’s market and the attitude is one of – well, you’re lucky we are even considering you.
I have talked about it before, when this all started, the notion that the market had changed in a way that is probably permanent. Where work places want people to do multiple jobs for the pay of one. Where they want someone to be able to fill two roles that once were filled by one person for each. A web designer who is a graphic designer. An assistant that is also HR. A receptionist that can also do accounting.
The market has changed, for the worse.
It’s filled with so many fake job, jobs that are sales jobs hiding under the guise of other professions, like marketing. Jobs that promise big, that put YOU in charge of your destiny but never really telling you that it’s all dependent on how well you can lie and fool your way into someone’s pocket. I remember one job I drove over an hour to get to for an interview, thinking it was a marketing gig, only to have a five minute ‘pre-lim’ interview that showed it as what it was – sales.
There’s so much wasted time with job searching.
You work and sweat to get your resume and letter of introduction right.
You scour your acquaintances for recommendations or references.
You pray to be contacted.
If you are contacted then you sweat it out to try to interview well.
Sure, sometimes you’ll get a form letter with – thanks, no – but too many times it’s the silence of the ghosted, as if you are a scorned lover that never got a proper burial to your affair.
You waste so much of your time dancing for these places only to realize you never even made it on stage for your tryout.
I spent nine months searching.
I applied to over 120 jobs.
I burned through my unemployment.
I worked a side gig occasionally to help make ends meet.
I got a temp gig with the hopes it might become more.
I got lucky and went back to something I had had before, something that reminded me that I wasn’t always a failure.
And it’s funny, everything I have done in my life, the writing, the books, the short films, the conventions and other shows, any other jobs I have had, all of it fell into ash with the way I was let go.
It took me back to being a teenager who had more passion that skill at art and had a teacher tell me that I was ‘no artist’. Those words hung with me for nearly twenty years until I finally started really dabbling with art seriously again.
Sure, I was no artist, but he was no teacher.
Yeah, I may have been lousy at that job, but they were no leader.
But that fall, that fall through darkness that never seemed like it would end, did end. Not with white light but with daylight.
Sometimes you just have to keep fighting until you see an opening and can take your shot.
Sometimes you have to keep pushing forward until you can make some headway.
Sometimes you have to look long and hard into that darkness for the flicker of a distant candle.
There is always hope.
That wheel always comes around.
You just have to be ready for it when it does.
I am finally ready.