Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Breathing a Sign of Relief

I've been avoiding a subject that's been weighing on my mind lately.  It's been the subject of fervent prayers, of novena after novena and as August turned in September and September turned into October and James arrived and then Patch's birthday passed in November and still a full time job hadn't materialized.

I found myself beginning to feel bitter when I'd see posts about employment on a local news stations facebook page, because they would inevitably lead to fight in the comments section with a few people telling others how easy it is to get a job if they just got off there behinds and went looking.

It's a popular idea.  If you just dress up, present yourself in a professional manner and apply to a few jobs you'll find one quickly.  Sometimes someone even throws something in about "if you'd gotten an education."  Except it isn't always that simple.

I'd watch my husband walk out the door in his suit to pick up applications and to go to interviews and the results were pretty much always the same.  Things would go well until they'd ask about education and it quickly became clear that his MA and JD were liabilities.  The idea that he wouldn't stay at any job long and would be looking to move on to something else hurt any non-law job prospects.  And law jobs were few and far between.

Don't mention the JD, I began to say, after the first thirty or so jobs slipped by. But it always came up.  "What's this gap in your employment history?"  "Oh I was going to school."  The question of "where" would quickly be followed by "for what" and then "You have a law degree?" which usually dashed any hopes of even a minimum wage job.

We both searched for jobs.  Craigslist.  Job websites.  Job fairs.  Government websites.  Temp agencies.  Car dealerships.  He had a job working three nights a week, but obviously we couldn't survive on that paycheck and things have been unsteady with my stores lately.

He was willing to take on one or even two more jobs but finding them was proving trying.

Then news came last month that between a postal sorting center closing and third shift at one of the plants being laid off our city would be losing hundreds of jobs in the coming months (I believe it was 700 by January).  I could practically visualize new job applicants streaming into the job market.  I was starting to feel hopeless as fall turned into winter and the days turned colder.

Would we have to move to look for work elsewhere?  The idea was the last thing I wanted to think about.  Mae's resources here are amazing.  We love her therapists.  Would we be moving someplace else and learning to navigate a new system, being put on wait lists again that can be very, very long and basically upending her entire life?

I'd started scanning the house for valuable items, but I was running out of options.  We'd sold our Bob and Double Bob.  A load of toys that no one plays with went to a consignment toy store, but that was hardly going to help much.

Yesterday, the day after we finished the novena of the Immaculate Conception, a call came in telling Paul to come in to work to meet with the owner and manager.  I bounced around the house all day, praying it was the news we'd been hoping for.  And it was.  He'd been given a promotion to a supervisor position and he'll be working six days a week now.  He started immediately (so he worked yesterday!).

I feel like I can breath now.  I can make a budget where I can pay all the bills in the same month instead of picking a choosing between whether gas or electricity gets paid off this month.  It won't be easy, but at least it will be possible!

Thank you to everyone who's prayed for us!  And hopefully this is just the beginning of the good news... I'm hoping I'll hear soon on the biopsy test results and be able to breath a second sigh of relief!


  1. How great! I too don't understand the whole "you can just find a job" mentality. My husband has a Phd. No one wants to hire someone with an advanced degree at a minimum wage job especially as you point out if one is looking for a job in ones field. And it isn't easy to find a college/university job either. Some of them are teaching instructor positions which aren't permanent. Then you have all the competition particularly for tenure track positions. That's why he's been a post-doc for nearly 4 years, which believe me I am thankful for even if it meant moving countries. It isn't like he doesn't apply and interview all the time. He has an interview in Jan and had one back in Oct. I don't get my hopes up anymore.

  2. I feel for you! My husband (PHD--engineering, physicist, loves teaching) would love to be working in his field, but thanks to blowing the whistle on his last job he is pretty well black-balled. Put that with being within a decade of retirement-- well, he isn't even actively looking right now, putting his focus on projects at home. He applied for a teaching position through a program where you got your certification while working and was told flat out that only sexual predators wanted teaching positions with his credentials! He was so offended that ended that.

  3. So glad about this, but I'm still hoping and praying he will find a great position in a law firm. By the way, you never posted (at least not where I saw) whether Paul passed the bar. I assume he did because you haven't mentioned his needing to retake it.

    Anyway, as much as Mae is doing well where you guys are, Paul and his ability to support your family seems more important, and I hope you would be able to move if you have to, if he finds a good position I mean. It would be great if that place was nearby his family or yours, so that you would have more family to rely on if need be, and so the kids can form those close relationships with extended family.

    I keep praying for God's will for you guys. I know God has been watching out for you all in so many, many ways, and so I hope He will open doors for Paul that will open even better opportunities for Mae (and Sadie, and Patrick and James).

    God bless. ~ Bonnie

  4. I have a child who has developmental delays. We moved states 2 years ago for my husband's job and now it looks like we will be moving again in the spring. Navigating a new system was a headache, but it wasn't impossible. Its my understanding that the economy in Michigan is pretty bad. Consider applying for professional jobs farther afield. There are more options for therapists in larger population centers (we receive services through the state).


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