Thursday, September 18, 2008

Get around, get around, I get around...

Right now, I am without both license and car. Since I'm also without employment, acquiring my license and a vehicle is a challenge, but I'm working on it. What this means is that for now I am dependent on friends and family for transportation. (Even the tires on my bicycle are flat, so I can't two wheel around for my errands.)

Today, a friend took me out with her to job hunt.We picked up applications and dropped off resumes, and I found that this chore is much more pleasant when doing it with a friend. Former recruiters who worked together for over a decade, we have found literally thousands of jobs for other people. However, we've both had a difficult time finding jobs for ourselves lately. We know it's in part the economy. We both fear our age works against us, though we actually look comparatively youthful. I fear my size works against me. I may be down 120+ pounds from a few years ago, but I'm still fat. Odds are against me ever not being fat, but I'll just have to see about that. The scary thing is that we really may not be paranoid, but these are some of the other challenges we face. What helped us both today was the objectivity we've provided to so many clients over the years. We helped each other find better ways to showcase what we have done and can do. It helped not only in the actual work of job hunting but in boosting my flagging self esteem.

We also went looking for a car. My budget is going to be very, very tight. R. died without life insurance and losing my job six weeks after he died put finances on my list of current challenges to be overcome. I know that I'm going to be looking at older or high mileage cars. That's okay. Here's the catch. I've never actually shopped for a car before. How does one get to be nearly fifty years old without having done this? My parents bought me a car for college graduation, and I drove it for ten years. When it died, a neighbor had a great car for sale, and my problem was solved. It got totalled about eight years later, and my dad was ready to trade in his car, so I bought his. When that car needed to retire, my father was no longer able to drive, and I was driving him everywhere, so my sister and I agreed that I would get his car. Now, it's gone, and I have to shop for a used car. I've got to do a crash course in car buying now. This is the newest item on that aforementioned list.

One thing that scared me a little today was that the vehicle that best met my hastily assembled list of criteria was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Me in a SUV? with gas prices where they are? and the need to lessen petroleum dependence? I don't need that much space. I have no idea what to do with that extra four wheel drive thingy next to the automatic gear shift. I've always driven either a compact or a smallish mid-sized car. Fuel economy took second place only to reliability on my priority list. However, the price was very right, the steering felt good, and everything seems to be in good working order. My mechanic has to weigh in on that, but for now, it looks fine. The scary part was how good I felt in the driver's seat. It wasn't the height of the vehicle, nor the size. I intentionally drove into a tight space on the parking lot so I could see just how maneuverable it would be, and it passed that test. It just felt right, and this may be an ethical dilemma. We'll see how the rest of the car shopping goes.

Tomorrow, we head out again for more jobs and more cars. My eyeliner is sharpened, and my shoes are polished. We'll see what other goodies lurk on other car lots. I can't help wishing my husband or my father could go with me, and that makes me feel childish. "So much for being an independent woman who's been the strength of her family," scoffs my internal critic, "You're afraid of used car salesmen, and your little family has basically fallen apart since your husband died."

Shutting up that voice may be the top item on that list of challenges to be overcome.

job hunting, car shopping, self esteem, challenges

7 Comments:

Blogger Gannet Girl said...

Oh Cyn, my heart is with you. It's hard enough to look for cars and jobs when life has some semblance of order to it. Your task seems monumental, but I know that, one foot in front of another, you can do it.

My major accomplishment so far today is to open the door in my pjs and t-shirt to tell the Jehovah's Witnesses to GO AWAY.

September 18, 2008 9:58 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

I've sent you an email...

September 18, 2008 10:05 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

You'll face this, overcome this, and learn from this with your usual grace and style, Cynthia.

September 18, 2008 8:26 PM  
Blogger emmapeelDallas said...

You might find this helpful:

http://emmapeeldallas.blogspot.com/2008/06/adventures-in-car-buying.html#links

Judi

September 19, 2008 12:27 AM  
Blogger Theresa Williams said...

I've had those trends when everything was falling apart and there was too much to do. I hear you, Cyn.

September 19, 2008 2:24 AM  
Blogger EmJayDee said...

That little voice sure needs a challenger! I so admire your positive eyeliner-wearing attitude and your strong bonds with family and friends. I've just got a new job after months of seemingly getting nowhere. Discovered the other day that I am being talked about (positively) around the town. I can only assume this is as a result of wearing out all that shoe leather going from place to place and applying for positions and attending 'unsuccessful' interviews. Sp keep on keeping on and if you can - count each day as closer to finding a sustainable income (mind you I couldn't have mustered up an attitude like that two weeks ago - so maybe just try to believe me when I say you are a day closer to a position that suits you and your giftedness and passions really well. You may be surprised where it comes from.

September 19, 2008 10:51 PM  
Blogger Nelle said...

I began my job hunt online, Monster.com I got emails about jobs in my field. With your background customer service would be good and the pay is usually pretty good, especially in a call center if there is one near you.
As for the car: my ex taught me a lot about that. I only buy Toyotas because I have bought them used and never had a problem. CarFax a must to make sure it hasn't been in a major accident. They are good on gas too. I usually have them about ten years and can still sell them if I want to at that time. Usually my son takes them over. I can hear some people saying "Buy American" but when you simply cannot afford car repairs Toyotas and Nissans can help you out a lot. I am heavy and fiftyish and by the time I went for final interviews I had already passed tests on computers and I just made sure I was well groomed and gave a good first impression. Good luck. You remain in my thoughts and prayers. C is also and I pray that she will realize what she has in you. Most people go through this with their children at some time or another. Right now is just not a good time for you to have to deal with this too.
Hugs,
Nelle

September 20, 2008 10:03 PM  

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