Life on Unemployment

I left under duress in November 2011 but I had no idea that three years after the collapse of the economy that I would have such a hard time finding a job.

I mistakenly thought that since I was a pretty high profile project manager within the such a reputable company that I’d be able to find something else fairly quickly and that I’d be able to bank my severance money.  What I didn’t count on was that 2011 was still the worst job economy ever, even in the tech sector, even in jobs like mine and that a simple Project Manager job would get anywhere from 50-300 applications for a single job.  I was lucky to even get the handful of interviews that I got during the two years of unemployment. I couldn’t even get a job at Starbucks as a barista!

That last week I was at work was also the week that my ex moved out of our house. Most companies don’t do much hiring in December so I had planned on spending December getting my resume together and then hitting the ground running in January.

But then my dad’s cancer got worse and went from just a simple case of prostate cancer to a serious case of stage 4 liver cancer. He did one round of chemo in February and when that wasn’t enough his cancer doc threw up his hands and said “Oh Well!” and sent dad home to die. I asked dad to get a second opinion and we met with a new cancer doc May 30th, 2012.  He gave us some very promising options, but all of it had to be coordinated through dad’s existing oncologist (who didn’t want to do anything).  On June 11th, 2012 dad passed away.

It took a few months to get all of the things settled from dad’s funeral and help mom get settled and deal with her financials and house stuff.  At the same time, I was trying to help my own kids deal with the loss of their beloved grandfather and a very messy split from my ex.

While all of that was taking place, my divorce was also chugging along through the judicial system. I seriously believe that we should charge a significant amount of money to GET MARRIED and divorce should cost almost nothing. My divorce was awful in large part due to the fact that my ex-husband was completely unresponsive and would not communicate with my attorney. For a very brief period of time he had an attorney that was 100% funded by his father and it only served to delay the process! make things more expensive for me and create more work for me and my attorney. Eventually she withdrew as his attorney because even she could not get him to respond to her.

Our state requires all couples go to mediation first before going to court to first try to resolve everything and my attorney recommended that I pay for this one place (usually the costs are shared between both parties but we knew my ex wouldn’t pay) so that we could hopefully just get things resolved and done. It was not inexpensive and it took several hours and my ex’s first request was to get back together (I declined) but in the end I was able to resolve most of the issues and get a clear, firm parenting plan in place. Of course, my ex being who he is said “I don’t want to pay a single penny in child support,” but the mediator disabused him of that notion and while he doesn’t pay a single penny it isn’t much more.