The longer we slink around in the breadline, the more hopeless the situation feels. But there's also a sinking reality that goes with long-term unemployment: Total loss of control.
It feels as though we have control over nothing any more. It's a helpless feeling, whether it be the Senate failing to extend unemployment benefits or human resource workers chucking our resumes in the trash or companies deciding which professions are in demand.
I've applied for at least 10 jobs this week and called to inquire about two others. And each time, there is a certain euphoria after hitting the "submit" button. But by the next day, that high fades with the realization that those job applications probably will never see a supervisor's inbox.
This feeling is nothing new, of course. I busted my chops for the O-R before they sent me packing. I foolishly thought that you could keep your job by working hard for the company that cuts your paychecks. Silly me.
Then there is the decision by a local company not to hire me for an open public relations position. I'm not saying they didn't make the right decision, because I don't know who they eventually hired. But it does leave you with an empty feeling while waiting for a decision after the interviews and writing tests are completed.
Finally, I learned today that the state Department of Labor & Industry does not consider my work with the Tribune-Review a sideline business. Therefore, I am allowed to keep the unemployment compensation money I received during several weeks in 2009 in which the Trib published my $50 stories. However, I've been waiting nearly two months for a response to this question while other writers told me DLI decided to cancel their unemployment compensation due to their work.
Everything seems to be a waiting game, and I really don't know what will happen in most cases. And I don't like that feeling.
5 months ago