I started working for the county library as a library assistant eight years ago. For about six months I was a Substitute and worked at about a dozen branch libraries. When a 20-hour post went out at a brand new library, I went for it and got it. Now I was a permanent employee and got medical benefits, but I could barely make my rent.
The good thing was I could work extra hours as a Sub. and surely there would be a full-time position soon. Little did I know that 40-hour LA’s didn’t retire or quit, they died on the job!
After about three years, the 40-hour position at my library became available and I went for it. Didn’t get it and it really knocked me out. I didn’t realize how competitive the LA’s were for the full-time jobs and I was naive to believe that after the work I had done, my boss would hire me.
Oh, well, I thought, another position will appear. And they did, but not for me. Not only that but the LA hired at my library quit. Again I didn’t get the job.
Was the library system trying to tell me something? Should I re-think my options?
I had already moved into a smaller apartment and cut everything I could. I was so sick of living poor, but I figured the job was worth it if I could just get that full-time job. It didn’t seem like that much to ask for, did it?
I sat in my car and sobbed until I decided I should calm down and think about what to do. Here’s what I came up with: I’d get the job in another system! I’d apply for everything that came down the pike and find a great position. And, let’s face it, the possibility of moving to another town or county and starting over was not an unattractive idea.
So, for about 18 months, I sent out applications, went to tests and interviews all over Northern California. There were a couple of jobs I was not right for and a couple I would have loved. I got one Second Interview and no new job. (I also continued, in the face of all logic, to go for jobs at my system.)
Still, feeling positive, I started losing weight and exercising, figuring it was good for me and good for interview. Maybe it was my weight that kept me from winning a new job.
What I won instead was breast cancer and everything came to a halt. Almost up to the present time, I have been dealing with the cancer and the after affects, one of which was a total loss of energy. I had achy joints and could barely – literally – get out of bed.
As I slowly began to feel better, I came to a new decision. I had only three more years until I would be eligible for retirement. At that point I was doing ok financially, had discovered an art form I loved doing and even could manage a small trip or two a year.
Why didn’t I just hunker down and let myself be happy for the three years? So that’s what I decided. The CA was beat and so was I; I would try and live in the moment, live for the day, be happy or at least contented.
I needed the time to get over the radiation and the drugs I was taking. Slowly, I began to feel better, although I have to say I feel ten-years older in half that time.
Boring story. But now, with the Recession we’re in, my plan is in jeopardy. Not only will the library be cutting hours and therefore jobs, they are already cutting extra hours. In just five months, my fragile world balanced between a regular paycheck and modest dreams, has nearly crashed and burned.
Let’s say it’s tottering.