Monday, December 31, 2007

Unemployed or retired?

It certainly appears that setting up a blog is considerably easier than actual blogging. Perhaps we would all be better off were we to only say or write something when we have something to communicate. Of course, this is ameliorated by the fact that only two people know of the existence of this blog.
In any case, this day has some significance for me. As of tomorrow, I am unemployed for the first time since August 25, 1969, which was my first day of teaching, at Elwood, Nebraska High School. I worked there five years before moving to San Francisco. Now, it did take me about seven weeks to find my next job, but I was still receiving my summer teaching paychecks. Actually, after I got my job in July, I took my July teaching check and spent the entire amount on a wonderful 17 inch Sony color tv. I seem to remember the Giants were playing a three game series in LA, all of which were going to be televised and we needed a better tv to view the games.
The job I had obtained in San Francisco was fascinating, right up my alley, and one I had never heard of before: I was Office Manager of a press clipping bureau, whose business was reading thousands of newspapers, finding clippings, cutting them out of the papers, and eventually mailing the stories to the clients who had requested them. We processed clippings in the millions at the bureau, which has been in business over 115 years. It was referenced, although not by specific name, in Martin Eden, my favorite novel by Jack London.
After almost exactly seven years there, we moved back to Nebraska, landing in Friend, where I was counselor, coach, math and English teacher for twenty-three years.
Upon my retirement in 2004, I became a corrections educator. As we joked, I went to prison every morning, but got out in the evening. I did this part-time for four months, full-time for three years and a couple months. My employer was Metropolitan Community College who had the contract to do corrections education in Nebraska up until today. While reserving the right to write more later, I will just say that prison isn't at all like you think it is, or like any prison movie. I am certainly not unhappy about not going back, but there were times, just like other educational settings, where you felt really good about helping students make positive improvements in their lives.
Which brings me up to today. Although I have been on sick leave since November 26, and while I am not sure when it will sink in, I am unemployed, at least I will be tomorrow.
Am I looking for work? I suppose, as I start to move around somewhat better, I will attempt to find something to occupy my time. I will not take a job that I don't enjoy, I won't work unusual shifts, and even though I would be a great WalMart greeter, I won't work for a company I don't respect. Having said that, I probably will not be able to avoid some sort of gainful employment for the fifteen months until I am eligible to collect Social Security so I guess I can't really say I'm retired, although I did retire from public school education almost three and a half years ago.
My first assignment for tomorrow is to begin, online, my application for unemployment. I have no idea how this system works, but now that I am eligible, I am going to find out.


kevinandjoe said...

Introspective. I thought about making a few comments last night, but I was blinded by sleep. I will follow up soon with my top 2007 things.

Pam said...

I think I had to create a google account in order to comment. This blog doesn't accept anonymous.

kevinandjoe said...

Sorry. I changed it to accept anonymous comments. Not sure how I messed it up the first time.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pam.
Come to think of it guys, I WAS once an 'honorary' member of the family. Not that it would stop me from running off at the keyboard if I wasn't.
Just wondered if y'all would like me to post MY employment history?
Once I printed out just the radio stuff in a real BIG FONT and hung it on my office wall when I thought I wasn't getting enough R E S P ect. Didn't help. It was 14feet long.

Happy New Year all

gary@ Hill on the Hill Farm

Anonymous said...

Hill on the hill might be better?

gary@ Fool blahblahblah