Trying to Stay Strong

I waited 5 months after getting laid off to file for unemployment. I suppose I thought that I could find a job right away (even in a recession?) and I suppose I was embarrassed to be in need of public assistance. But, thing is, we really needed the money.

So, now I’m going to the slew of meetings they make you attend, which I’m sure you’re familiar with if you’ve ever been on unemployment, at least in California.

This morning was a job-finding workshop. Aside from the woman complaining about her 11 hour days to a room full of people who don’t have jobs, the session was motivating and informative.

She mentioned at the end that with all the rejections and frustration, we should not allow ourselves to get depressed, because it was a road with no end. You end up curled up in bed, never finding work.

Well, that info would have been so helpful 6 months ago. As I said in an earlier post, I am there. I am what they call down in the dumps. Taking rejection after rejection and not having enough money to pay bills and facing the terrible realization that I did not network or update my resume enough while I was still employed, well it has a very deteriorating effect on your fighting spirit.


So, for three summers during college, I was a ride operator at an amusement park.

Ahem. No, not a carnie, those people travel. We were in the same, permanent spot. Haha.

So anyway, one of the rides I worked on was the diesel engine train, which was a blast to drive but also one of the more technical rides to operate in the park. And everything had to be timed just so. There were a ton of crossings that were operated by hand, so there was a lot of whistle signals and walkie talkies and the whole process was down to a science.

There was this one particular crossing near one of the entertainment stages, and at night it was tempting to go up and watch the show for a minute, to kill the boredom. But, you had to have your ears wide open for the whistle, so you could open the gate.

One night, a girl didn’t hear it, and the train crashed into the gate. Which was like a BIG deal. MAJOR deal. She didn’t lose her job, but it was not pretty for her record.

Anyway, she recently friended me on Facebook. And she’s all grown up now, just got married, is a graphic designer, sells handbags, lots of interesting stuff.

But, to me, she’s always “the girl who let the train crash into the gate”. I just cannot shake it.