I have just finished filing for my last unemployment check. That may not sound like a big deal to anyone, but let me assure you that it is. I’ve been on unemployment benefits for 18 months, thanks to the many government extensions that have been granted. Since my chosen field has been sales to the construction industry I find that such jobs are few and far between. There is virtually no construction going on in my state and recovery doesn’t seem imminent.

I, of course, have taken all of the necessary cutbacks in life, and with the help of my very supportive husband, have thus far gotten along quite nicely. As a matter of fact, the first few months were actually fun. I was able to do many projects in the house and garden that I had no time for in the past. I had time for so many things that I had put off for years…Unfortunately even the fun things got old after awhile. Despite daily checks of employment sites and newspapers a job was not forthcoming.

My husband has been very understanding, always assuring me that a job is right around the next corner. Ever the optimist, he has kept me upright when the world seems so off-kilter. My friends and the rest of the family seem to be split into groups all their own, those who are assuring me that this is only a temporary setback and offering to help to the best of their ability and those who seem to be avoiding me as if unemployment were contagious! They can’t seem to understand why I don’t have a job yet, despite my reputation in my field and some are actually hinting that I am not “really” looking very hard! Now that my benefits are exhausted , I will be applying for all of the jobs that require different skills and may not very well paying. Getting one of those will probably be difficult as well, since I have no experience in anything other than wholesale sales.

Adding to the urgency of things is the fact that my husband lost his job of 10 years a few weeks ago. The mortgage company and utility companies are not very understanding of all this and I fear for our future as well as the future of so many others facing the same situation. If I may say something to all of you reading this who are employed, please try to see the other side of things and remember “there but for fortune” and treat your friends and family without jobs the same as you always have. I am quite sure that no one asks for this to happen, but when it does your love and support can go a long way.

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