Prayers and Possibilities

It’s been almost exactly one year since I was unceremoniously ejected from my longtime job.   I suppose I went through all the normal stages of anger, denial…anger and anger.

The fact that the company’s severance package mandated I be paid for every year of my employment has made it a nice comfy year of unemployment, but I am ready to try to something new.    As I’ve groaned about previously, I haven’t had a great deal of success.

Today, however,  I’m feeling a small tinge of optimism.


Shortly before embarking on my usual exercise in futility of applying for jobs online, my phone rang.   It was a former boss whom I last spoke with a day or two after I was broomed from my previous job.   He wants to talk about a potential opportunity.

I don’t know what it would involve.   I don’t know if it’s  a full-time gig.   I don’t know much, but my phone rang and these days I score that as a win.

We’re meeting for coffee on Friday.

Let us pray.

prayer - Michael Main

Posted by Michael Main

If It’s Tuesday…

This must be…well, Tuesday.

We’ve been doing some shopping lately.   Christmas gifts, a big-ticket item for my future granddaughter, and some sorely needed furniture.    Isn’t this what all unemployed people do?

I’ve actually been saving money for the past months, so these purchases don’t sting too much.   I’ve still got a few others on the list which may fall victim to economic fears as the new year approaches with no job prospects in sight.

I have, however, cracked the code of the state’s job database which I whined about previously not allowing me to apply for various positions.   I’ve learned to run my work experience against the listed job requirements and then modify my experience, interest, skills in the database to match.

Okay, maybe it’s lying, but it, at least, allows me then to send a resume and let a human (hopefully) judge my potential instead of being ruled out by a mechanized mind.

In other news, the walking continues.    I’ve shed about 50 pounds in the past several months.   Abby is still on the prowl for deer.   The other morning, I noticed a deer with very unusual markings.

I was reminded of a favorite Far Side cartoon.



Posted by Michael Main

Boogers and trees

Abby and I completed our mission Saturday to walk the one section of the North Salado Creek Greenway that we hadn’t yet traveled.   It wasn’t too exciting.   We did see this tree.


I must have watched too many cartoons because all I could think is that it looks like it’s flicking a booger.

Yes, if you’re looking for profundity…well,  I ain’t no Thoreau.


Posted by Michael Main

Just another bitch about job hunting

I’m getting close to going all Unibomber when it comes to technology.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m a geek.  I’ve been a tech guy since the days of 300 baud modems, but I’ve about had it with the “labor-saving” ways of online job applications.

One website I use to look for work is  Work in Texas (clever huh?).  It’s the site the state requires  job seekers  to use if they’re collecting unemployment benefits, which I’m now opting to do.   It matches you to various jobs and allows you to search for all sorts of positions including those with state agencies.

I’ve been seriously trying to land a position with the state where I might work with child placement, child support,  foster parents and the like.   After 35+ years reporting on the seedier segments of society I thought I might try to find a job where I could possibly help people.

However, the algorithms that match me to jobs also disqualify me from applying for positions where I don’t have experience…even if no experience is required!    The digital diva decides  I don’t meet the requirements listed in the posting.  The problem is some of those requirements are things like, “at least 3 years of college” or “some high school.”   Well,  I have 5 years of college and a high school diploma, but the algorithms don’t  see an exact match to “3” or “some,” so it says, “You are  not qualified” and the website won’t let me apply.  It also rejects me from applying for jobs below my stated salary preference.   I’ve tried changing preferences, adding in numerous keywords and even falsifying a few skill sets, but so far I’ve yet to bust through the electronic guardian’s defenses.

The result is this artificially intelligent gatekeeping on the website designed to help job seekers is blocking me from seeking jobs.

I feel like I’m screaming at the sky.

screaming beach - michael main

Posted by Michael Main