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Whining about unemployment and such...


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I'm sure I'm not saying anything new here, but I gotta let this out and see if, by some quirk of luck, someone can offer decent advice.


I'm 28 and I'm living at home with my dad. I used to live in the city of Chicago (of which I'm now in a suburb thereof) going to school at the University of Illinois, Chicago. I had to move home after graduating because I was paying rent with student loans.


Basically, my dad started paying my rent when I transferred to UIC in the fall of 2001. My landlord was (and is) an old friend of his from law school. This was good in the odd chance my dad wasn't able to make a payment. I felt guilty about my dad paying my rent, but it was nice to be on my own. Not exactly ideal for college, as the only way to make friends was to live in the dorms, especially at a commuter school like UIC.


In 2004, he got angry that I was taking too long to graduate. I'm not exactly the best student, and while I do my best not to use ADD as an excuse, I do have it, so it does play a role here and there. So, through my landlord, whose brother was an engineer in the union of operating engineers, my dad arranged for me to be inducted into said union. I didn't like the idea, being a student of music and everything, but I figured a night job paying $30 an hour while going to school sounded good.


But I had to take my classes at night, and find an apprentice position during the day. Which means I didn't have time to pursue my music degree (side note: I actually wanted to major in Asian Studies and hone my Japanese for potential employment, but such a major doesn't exist at UIC). So I had to abandon school for this vocational venture, and even as an apprentice, I was only getting $9.50 an hour, plus I had to pay dues. Even when I wasn't working. I got a temporary job that expired on New Year's Eve, and I went back to looking for work in January of '05.


I averaged two to three interviews a week between the beginning of January and the end of April. And yeah, I had to pay dues even during this time. I eventually got a permanent job at the Hilton Suites in Chicago, on E. Delaware St. It was called the Doubletree at the time. Anyway, a month into the job, I'm knocked off of a ladder and shatter my elbow. I'm basically in a sling then a splint for the next nine months. I never liked the union and after not paying dues for the longest time (and receiving a layoff letter from the hotel in the meantime), I decided to just leave it.


By this time, I was old enough to get student loans in my own name, so I went back to UIC and finished college in December of 2007. Since then, I hadn't had any luck getting a job. I hadn't tried too much last year because my mom was sick and I had to take care of her until she finally passed.


Anyway, since I moved to the city in 2001, the only kind of jobs I was able to get were temporary jobs that would expire after a couple months or less. There were one or two permanent jobs, but I got injured and laid off the one and the other two were earn-nothing pizza delivery jobs. I had to quit the second one, anyway, because of my mom.


But I would be unemployed for six months to two years at a time! And now that I'm 28 and I don't have much of a job history, I'm worried I'll never be able to work. I'd rather have an office job where I can work on a computer than something laborious. I feel I'm justified in that because I'm less likely to get injured in an office setting.


I want to point out I don't look down on blue collar work. It's good, honest work. I just feel it isn't for me. I'm not even that strong.


I'm not even sure what kind of help I'm seeking. I suppose I could seek out job networks and clubs, but I'm skeptical of those. I sort of got involved with this one company as a guitar teacher, but it'll be a while before I get enough students to make a living with it, if I do at all (they say it'll be at least a month before I get my first student).


So, I don't know what else to say. Flame me or help me, it's up to you.

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Hi Organs,


I'm afraid I can't help much, but I understand what you're saying. I feel similar and stuck; this economy doesn't help.


I'm the same age as you are and have had some OK part-time jobs, but only one "real" job, for a year, as a teacher until I was laid off last year. Since then, I haven't been able to find anything else. I'm often told I don't have enough experience.


I live with my grandma and mom and got a lot of flack from my ex fiance who also lives with his parents, but what could I do? I just can't find anything.


Sadly, I don't know what to advise you to do because, like you, I have looked into temp agencies, career counseling, books, etc. and I haven't learned anything new. I know what I like, but I don't know what to do for a job. I am learning new skills but I just don't have the experience.


I guess you just have to keep trying to look for whatever you can get and in the meantime look out for jobs that are unique. Yesterday I realized that someone has to drive the ferry. That wouldn't be so bad.


Sorry not to be more encouraging. I just noticed no one posted and I didn't want to leave you response-less.


Post more here if you like.

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