Swing and a Miss

18 thoughts on “Swing and a Miss”

  1. Damn, my chaotic life has turned into pure madness over the past few weeks and I haven’t been able to keep up with much of anything. You know what they say Darc, shit happens, you will move forward.

    And time moves in only one direction, so what choice do I have?

    Let’s see, things that are crappy that turned out to be the best in the end…. I would tell you about when I worked the flagging stations at the race track. It is long hours, no pay, free food and beer and occasional freebies like t-shirts and stuff. But it takes a toll on the body, and I was merely a minion of others command. I worked my way up through the ranks and eventually got to be the commander so to speak and still, got a lot of crap from others. The drama and headaches caused by other people. No matter how hard I tried, things were not good enough, and I would leave the track feeling more despondant than ever. Funny thing though, the safety team noticed me and my work. They welcomed me with open arms and I am now a full fleged member on the trucks. I get first hand time to put out fires at scenes and rescuing people. The works is so much more gratifying to me now, and hello, I get to speed around the track with the cars when going to the scene of an incident. Who wouldn’t love that! So in the end, the years of heartaches and headaches have very much paid off for me.

    Good for you, Beth! I guess paying your dues worked for you! It hasn’t for me yet, but I’m not dead yet either, so there’s still hope and time. 😉

    1. We all have choices, but in reviewing them, would you really rather go backwards? Or maybe we go forwards while walking backwards? Or going backwards while walking forwards? See, there’s choices, they may scramble your brain, but in the end we all wind up in the same place.

      Oh, I don’t know if I agree completely. We can make choices and they effect our outcomes, to be sure; but we WILL go forward even if it means we don’t progress in every way. For instance, I can go back to a level 1 helpdesk job, and technically I’m moving forward with a new career and new experiences, but I’m going back in pay. The consequences of my choice are lower pay, but I still move forward regardless. 😉

      However I have found writing to be an awesome therapy for those days that just suck in general. And my fans seem to love it, along with a possibility of a publisher who is reviewing some stuff….

      OH, fans AND a publisher? Fantastic! Very exciting for you! Which publisher?

      1. Very true, but some income is better than no income at all. And you know all too well I’m speaking from experience. Hubby has a ticket falling off next week, so he will be hopefully back to work next week. (and out of my hair!) 😉

        Again, depends on income. If I take a $7/hour job at Home Depot it hurts in more ways than one — I lose what unemployment I have left, and it takes me off the market for interviewing. Plus the odds of working enough hours to even come close to enough to pay rent aren’t good. But I understand your point. Mostly. 😉

        Ben has me hooked up with Dr. Pus and Library of the Living Dead who has been most kind to me. Heck I never even thought that my writing was that good, turns out people like me! Kinda scary….

        Well good for you! Best of luck!

  2. I’m with you on the unemployment stuff. The hard part is sitting and waiting in the unknown. Well, not exactly sitting, there is tons to do when you are trying to generate opportunities and income. I think when it all shakes out and I look back it will be the refining and redefining of self that will stick out. I will be a different person in my next job. Regardless if it is back to the familiar, into an exciting new area, or a stepping stone to something else.

    Your perspective is interesting, Jaymie. I don’t find all that much to do. I update my LinkedIn profile when I remember to, I search the job boards for anything I’m even remotely qualified for (and generally apply), and beyond that — I can’t think of anything else to do. What’s your technique? Care to share? 🙂

    1. So far it has not been successful, lol. Well, partially successful. I hate commuting so one thing I do is drive around and grab the names off all the area businesses. Then I go back and research them – check their employment boards – apply to openings. That is how I found my last job. I keep checking in with all my friends, some of my acquaintances – just short of annoying levels. I’ve gotten a couple applications in this way but no job. I apply for things I might be slightly underqualified for and consider it application/interview practice. I bet companies hate this approach in this economy. In a different economy this landed me an amazing job. They put a lot of effort into convincing me to take the job. Another place was impressed enough that one of the managers kept emailing me to see if I had gained more related experience. He kept up with me for a year. I should have emailed back more frequently – it might have helped me now. I’ve also volunteered somewhere to get face recognition – and to try a place on. That helped me get a job in the past too. I’m getting ready to volunteer again at a place I believe in and would like to work with. I’m also putting myself out there to some start up companies I am aware of – they don’t pay as well as established businesses but they do pay a little and they strengthen my resume. Along with all this I am trying to spend time understanding my strengths and desires. I’m trying to consider all the different ways to apply things I am passionate about to the things I do each day. I am passionate about finding joy in the simple and mundane. I am determined to make gratitude part of each day. These are things I didn’t really have a handle on prior to unemployment. These are things that will make my next employment experience different. Wow, long winded, sorry.

      Nah, not long-winded. I think it’s really cool. You have a plan, you’re working it, and it’s been successful. Why mess with that? Yes, this economy’s harder than previous ones, but your dogged determination will help you a lot down the road. Good luck, Jaymie!

  3. Knyt

    They would be lucky to have you..its their loss. Your time will come and a great job will land in your lap..zman sends

    Thanks, Steve. I appreciate the support. 🙂

  4. I don’t think my comment was meant to be this morning, because it keeps getting eaten. I can’t type that long-ass thing again, but rest assured it was inspirational and uplifting. I’ll just mention the incident with the girl with my name, that’s my example of something crappy turning out to be a good thing, even though it was only a personal growth thing.

    Sorry ’bout your comment, doll. Your site seems to do that to me, too. Why don’t our WP blogs like us? 😉 And yes, I remember the incident well, and see how you’ve grown from it.

  5. You are a rainbow after a storm. Don’t ever forget. I wrote this for you. Even we didn’t know each other then and I was where you are now. It’s hard to believe but this too shall pass.

    COURAGE IS WRITING A RESUME, AGAIN
    © 1994 by Sara Fryd

    I’ve lost my job…
    As if somehow
    I’ve misplaced a part of my life
    I now have to find
    Just around the next corner.
    So I become still, quiet
    Trying to remember
    Writing accomplishments
    About what I’ve done
    For so many years
    I could do it with my eyes closed.
    What am I afraid of?
    Feelings, I guess…
    Here I am ten or eleven years old
    Again, and yet another grown-up
    Telling me that I’m not worthy enough
    Or talented enough
    Or courageous enough.

    I’ll show them, those that doubt.
    The ones that don’t understand
    The incredible painting that is me!
    This time I’ll paint a picture on paper.
    I’ll use a typewriter instead of crayons
    A computer instead of paints.
    But in my heart I’ll know
    That I’m a rainbow after a storm
    A bright shinning star
    On a crisp winter night.
    And I’ll begin again
    To share with strangers
    The wondrous story that is me.

    Wow, what an amazing thing, Sara. Thank you so much. This says a lot about what goes on inside me from time to time, and captures a piece of what I feel. I really appreciate your sharing this here with me. It’s a beautiful bit of portrayal. God bless you for it.

  6. You got some awesome people (here) rooting for you! Don’t forget that. K? I know times are tough, trust me I know. But we have each other! Sending you hugs.

    I know, sweetie — my friends like you are the reason I can hang in there with my head held high. There will be other opportunities. Thank you and have a big hug yourself from us…I know you can use one too. 🙂

  7. Nothing dark? Okay. My blog. Posts I have written here and there without any real intent to further my writing career and resulted in amazing contacts and encouragement whereas somethings I have done in a conscious attempt to network have fallen flatter the my computer screen.

    Nice to know it works that way for some folks!

    On another note, are you doing NaNoWriMo this year?

    Nope, not a fan of that kind of pressure. Although I have a couple of things I could attack with, I don’t think having the pounding deadlines would be beneficial to my current state of being. And I have to prioritize other things. That’s why November is such a ridiculous time for that event IMO. I think leaving it in June or whenever it was originally was a MUCH better time for most people. End of the year is a lousy time for me … contracts are either terminated or generally end around then, so I’m constantly out of work around this time of year unless I’m working full time. Which I haven’t for waaay too long now. But I digress…no, no NaNo for me this year. 😉

  8. I was laid off from a very well-paid job in an I.T. company in 2001. The market was poor (the dot bomb had just blown up) and the only I.T. jobs I could find required me to work night shifts and at a greatly reduced salary. It wasn’t worth it to me. I took a temporary job at a business in my area doing filing and whatnot just to keep myself from going crazy from too much free time. The pay wasn’t the greatest but it was an interesting job. 8 years later I’ve been a manager here for 7 years, and I love my job. I would never have found my way into it if I hadn’t lost my other job. It was pretty much by accident that I ended up here – or more accurately it was God’s plan, not mine. And I finally got a raise the other day that brings my salary up to what I used to make back in 2001, so yay!

    Sometimes the Lord makes us take a couple of steps back to get us going in the right direction, doesn’t He? It’s always exciting to see it unfold, too. So, you were an IT monkey too? What did you do in the IT world? What with that and our messed up families, we have SOOOO much in common, it’s like we’re siblings! 🙂

    1. I have been:
      – a network administrator
      Wow! You’re WAAAYY above my level then. 🙂
      – a software tester (the most boring job in the world)
      Oh, really? I ENJOYED software testing!
      – a teacher of Microsoft Certification courses
      Niiiice!
      – helpdesk
      THIS is the most boring job in the world to me.
      – a contract I.T. worker going wherever I’m needed
      And this is me for the last seven years. UGH!!
      All that in just a few short years! I didn’t stay at any one job long. I never really enjoyed I.T.
      I never did either, in retrospect. Why’d we do it?!

      So, can I call you brother? 🙂
      Sure! I’ve been called worse. 😉

  9. Well. Hmmm. No doubt about it Darc–that definitely sucks. No sugar-coating from me.

    One of the things I love most about you, D. Lots to love, of course, but this is one thing I adore in you.

    I’ve been there. I’m going to share a story with you.

    I was laid off after I told my employer I was pregnant in 2001. Don’t even bother asking if I tried to rectify this situation–I did and no, it wasn’t. Then, a few months later, my husband was laid off. The worst part? We had just bought a new house, and doubled our mortgage payment. And–I didn’t want to put my daughters in childcare, even if I could afford it, so I needed something working from home.

    My husband busted his hump doing side carpentry jobs and I eventually did what any half-crazed on the verge of starvation person would do–I turned to Ebay. Looked up what was selling and if I could possibly sell the same thing. Turns out what was selling happened to be handpainted decorative signs. Hmmm. Okay, I thought, I can do this too. So I taught myself how to paint, had my dad and my husband cut and router edges of scrap wood into nice shapes, and painted my little (okay, big)arse off. And they sold! There were times I would run email campaigns trying to commission projects just so I could buy groceries. Sometimes I bartered with other sellers for things. For example, I wanted handmade dolls for my girls for Christmas (“I called them BooBoo dolls because they took pain away;) and this woman wanted a sign for her daughter’s room. Every time I look at those dolls I smile. Every time I think about my work hanging in Australia, or in California, New York, England, a dance studio…I smile. Am I a great painter? Oh my gosh NO. But for some reason, people liked what I made. I honestly STILL can not figure this out. I am not being humble, either. They were really nothing special. It had to be divine intervention:)

    I’m a big believer in Divine Intervention. Will take all I can get, in fact. 😉

    Anyway, about 9 months later I landed a part-time job recruiting from home, working with a huge client. I took the job, continued to paint, and chased two kids around the house with a paintbrush in one hand and a phone in the other. Then my hours were increased, then increased again. I was asked to go full time. I did, was promoted several times, and ended up being the Program Director for the entire account with 15-20 people reporting into me. All working from home.

    And then, you guessed it–laid off, again. But–I had forged solid relationships, this client wanted to work with me, and came to me again with work. I opened my own business landed a couple of contracts and worked without worry. And then, last fall came. Layoffs. Me, and then my husband. No work. Not good, right?

    Wrong. The time off from work finally gave me the time to do something I always wanted to do–write. I started my blog this past winter, and I can honestly tell you were it not for the lull in work I would never have done it. And I can honestly tell you it has been the most transformative experience of my life. If not for the time off, I would have never met such wonderful, supportive, genuinely gifted people, would have never written, and would have never received the validation that you and others have given to me. So as it turns out, my layoffs were the best “worst” experiences I ever had.

    Blogging really CAN fill us with some of the biggest blessings in the people we discover, can’t it? Amazing to me. Where would I be if I hadn’t met you, for instance? 🙂

    Long story, eh? Guess what? If I had to do it all again, even through the mortgage foreclosure warnings, the empty fridge, and sleepless nights–I would. It brought me here. Here is a great place to be.

    And you are on your way to something great. Trust in it and let go. It will work out just as it should, and we will be here to celebrate with you when it does.

    *high five for what’s to come*

    D

    Awesome. You’re so inspiring, so wonderful. Thanks, D … it means a lot to have you in my corner, and the other stuff you’ve done to help … well, you know how inadequate I find “thank you” to be for those things. 🙂

  10. In grad school a professor called me an idiot in class. He also said I was a sucker and that my paper was terrible. The entire class sat in silence while he tore my paper apart. I thought I’d never show my face again in a grad school class. But then later in the term I found out that very professor told other professors really nice things about me–that I was smart and creative, that I had an original way of looking at things that he liked.

    Wow, that must’ve been tough.

    So, a rejection is no fun, but there is so much you don’t see–no reason to assume that what you don’t see is bad. Isn’t there an expression that the only failure is not getting back up?

    Good luck as you keep on.

    Thanks. It’s not that I mind rejection, it’s just that there’s less NON-rejection than in past years. That’s scary. That’s all. I can handle the rejection, but I don’t have a lot of opportunities.

  11. Kiddo, I think you’ve been spending too much time in the “Darc” you need to become the “LiteKnyt.” 🙂

    HA! Maybe the KnytLite, eh? Sounds marketable. 🙂

    1. Hahahahaha, KnytLite – that’s what we should call the boy!

      Yeah! You can refer to him that way on your blog! 🙂 What about princess? Sparrow or Robin? (Little bird, not like Falcon.)

      1. Oh man… the two of you have GOT to patent the name “KnytLite” — that’s hilarious!

        Maybe I’ll save the domain name for him. 😉

  12. I’ve been out of work for a few looong desperate periods. (Compounding the problem: I suck at saving for a rainy day. First paycheck! Yay! Okay, off to Borders! And go to a movie! And then order a pizza!)

    I taught high school for a few years, 1974-77, and usually introduce the years which follow with a phrase like, “When I lost my teaching job…” That’s a bit of sleight-of-hand, though. Fact is, I was fired. (Don’t worry, it wasn’t for anything illegal or even disreputable. The teachers’ union pitched a fit. I told them to calm down, because I’d gotten a concession from the school board which I thought would be my ticket to success in the publishing world. Bwaaaahaha! But the actual firing? Oh damn. That just embarrassed the hell out of me. Still does.)

    A few months later, I had my driver’s license suspended for 6 months, for the dumbest of reasons: no insurance on my motorcycle. (Couldn’t afford it.) Which really hurt, because the only work I’d found at that point was driving a furniture-delivery van. No job again. So I moved back in with Mom and Dad, and after a couple weeks found a job at a publishing company’s warehouse in a neighboring town — to which I could commute with my sister (who also worked there). My job was in the shipping department, lifting 25-to-50-pound boxes of books off the belts and steel rollers leading from the book packers, then stacking the boxes on pallets and eventually loading them onto trucks.

    Couple of interesting developments from this: First, I was in better physical shape after six months of this than I’d ever been in my life — than I probably ever will be again. It felt great.

    More importantly: After I’d been there a while, every now and then one of the “girls” in the shipping office would be out sick or on vacation, and I started filling in for them. The company used computers to automatically print up bills of lading, calculating how much we owed the trucking companies based on the weight of the books and the distance, etc. The “girls'” main job at the end of the month was to bundle up all these BoLs, and add up the totals via adding machine so we could issue one big monthly check to each trucking firm.

    This seemed nuts to me. I said to my boss, “I don’t get it. If a computer knows how much is on each bill, why can’t the computer calculate and print the monthly totals???” “Oh, we could do that I guess,” he said, “but we’re not going to. That would require a whole ‘nother computer program.”

    Huh? I thought. How hard can THAT be?

    Loooong story short, I was a programmer trainee within the next 6 months, at a completely different — MUCH bigger — company which not only trained me, but paid me a management salary. I was with AT&T for 12 years and never (really) regretted it. If I hadn’t become a programmer, I’d never have done X, Y, and Z which ultimately led to my writing a mystery about an email stalker — in 1991! — and then I’d never have had the opportunity to etc. etc. (including meeting The eventual Missus on CompuServe).

    But you know? Never in my entire life had I ever considered any sort of work with computers. I’d have thought you were nuts if you’d suggested it.

    Moral of the story: you never know. Just keep your eyes open, keep your mind open, and let the world in. Sometimes the world knows better than we ourselves do.

    (Holy crap that was a long comment…!)

    What a great story! You never know from where the fates will spring! Awesome story, John, thanks for sharing it.

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