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 Honey Bunches of Sadness

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san1958
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PostSubject: Honey Bunches of Sadness   Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:04 pm

Honey Bunches of Sadness
By Sandy Buch
02/07/12


Seems like yesterday I was watching co-workers called off the production floor and escorted down the hallway out the parking lot door. Pink-Slipped. About 12 or 15 of us. Then human resources came to get me. Not me! Yes, me. It was my turn to collect my jacket and purse and be escorted off the assembly floor. In a cold conference room, there sat my boss. He reminded me of my past mistakes as he flipped through my training folder. I sat across looking at my boss thinking inside I never worked so hard for someone in my life and this is what I get . . . a handshake goodbye, and a lot of exit paperwork to sign. Then it’s my turn to walk down the long glass hallway to the back door past the time clock and returning the glances of co-workers . . . . with the door open, I shook hands with human resources and was assured I would be on a list of people to call back once business picked up and contracts were received. All smiles and good tidings . . . . It took everything I could muster to get the car key out of my purse to open the car and get out of that parking lot . . . I felt anger, surprise, let down, grief . . . I didn’t want to be let-go . . . I wanted a raise, a promotion, a long-term stable job . . . recognition for work well done, instead, on the passenger seat, I looked at a bunch of paperwork and an unemployment booklet. At the stop light I got out my cell phone and called my Mom. Guess what, I just got laid off. I’ll call you when I get home. Then the light turned green and that’s when the uncontrollable tears fell . . . all the rest of the way home. This was June 1, 2011.
So now jump ahead to February 7, 2012. I am wondering if the second unemployment extension will go through or not . . . $212.00 a week. My daughter loves my schedule, but she doesn’t pay the bills or the rent. She just knows she wakes up in a warm bed every morning, takes a hot bath, and eats a bowl of cereal while watching Sesame Street on TV. before I drop her off at school. She’s a big fourth grader now . . . 9 years old! She knows Mommy is looking for work, and she draws hearts with” Mommy don’t give up!” written inside of them. She is my inspiration to keep looking every day, and I do!
Someone told me I am handicapped because I am an unemployed single 53 year old with a 9 year old daughter to support. I don’t believe I am handicapped at all. I have a college degree from UCSB, and have over 36 years of job experience within diverse fields of employment. I do believe the jobs available are handicapping people by advertising temporary, part-time, weekend, holiday, and/or nightshift hours making it impossible to be able to be available at home with a child to neither raise nor provide any job stability or substantial income to pay rent and bills.



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Sure, there’s part time work, and how does $ 8.00 at 20 hours a week sound to you? Not do-able unless you are living in a shelter. How about must work weekends, holidays, and closing shifts . . . sure, if I am single with no dependents. How about, the shift starts at 6 am FIRM, sure, do-able if you allow me 15 minutes to drop off my daughter at before school care. . No? Oh, FIRM. Can’t change the rules for one then I would have to allow start times different for everyone. (I am still paying out- of- pocket the $70.00 a week fee for childcare to keep her in the 6 to 6 program so that I can secure a full-time job... and yes, I am on waiting lists for subsidized or sliding fee childcare).

I get plenty of calls on my phone to go back to school, and while I remind callers I have a college degree, that right now, I need a paying job. After all, doesn’t “Education Pays Off”, aren’t I supposed to be earning $52,671.00 with a Bachelor’s Degree?? At least that’s what all the pamphlets and material I read on-line says . . . . Well, most recently I was asked on a phone interview what have I been doing with all my time off from work, and when I replied with the S.D. county job tests, school district testing, EDD testing, typing tests, filling out on-line applications and assessment tests, volunteering at S.D. animal shelter, little league softball, church homeless outreach, and all the while taking care of my daughter, human resources said “then I guess you have put the job hunting aside for the time being . . .” at which point I became speechless that she entirely missed the point why I was even talking with her . . . I was trying to secure a job at that company and telling her I remain marketable! I have had to explain the gap in my unemployment on a lot of applications now. I have fallen into the 5.5 million long-term unemployed. I keep thinking all of this should never have happened, but here I am, another day slipping by before I have to go pick up my daughter, (and our bicycles stand ready) and no good news of a full-time job to tell her about. I just want a full-time job. I remain hopeful, although I do have my down days, and I hold onto my faith with my daughter that the situation has got to get better before it gets much worse. I hate to think of that. . . .

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PostSubject: Re: Honey Bunches of Sadness   Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:27 pm

you expressed very well the plight of many in the same situations, i don't have any critique to offer save to say i really felt this, you expressed it in such a way i could see from your point of view and i cared. i didn't have to and depending on how it was written i might not have, but you were able to put me in your place so to me that is reaching a successful objective in writing. but don't take my word for it, it is just my opinion and i have no formal background or expertise, suffice to say...in my eyes well done.

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PostSubject: Re: Honey Bunches of Sadness   Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:58 am

Love the one hyphenated word sentence in the beginning. It adds drama:
Pink-Slipped. Nice touch. I really think you have something here with this story. It is just what a lot of people are going through right now, and they will be able to relate to it.


In the following sentence, I would italicize or put in quotations the inner dialog. It will help it read a little more smoothly:
Then human resources came to get me. Not me! Yes, me.

You might consider flushing it out a bit more, by adding more minute details. For example, in this sentence:

It was my turn to collect my jacket and purse and be escorted off the assembly floor.

Perhaps describe the people that approached you. We're they intimidating looking? Were they security with night sticks? Maybe they were sympathetic looking? Try to approach the entirety of the story in this way. Give us the small details. Answer the questions: What did it, he, or she look like? Was it dull and unappealing, or, perhaps, crisp and bright? How did you feel inside? Did fear shake you to your core, or were you at peace with what was happening? What did others appear to be feeling? Did their brow furrow in concern, or give an apologetic smile? Was there a specific odor or aroma in a certain place? What were the sounds you remember hearing? Was there a booming announcement over the intercom, or was the place hushed with anticipation?

In places like this in your story, where people are talking:

In a cold conference room, there sat my boss. He reminded me of my
past mistakes as he flipped through my training folder. I sat across
looking at my boss thinking inside I never worked so hard for someone in
my life and this is what I get . . . a handshake goodbye, and a lot of
exit paperwork to sign.

Consider giving us the actual dialog of what happened in quotations. It can really spruce of a story.

Finally, give us some strong pointers on how you are making it through this emotionally. Have you found support through family, friends, church, and, of course, the Lord? Perhaps you're still struggling with that side of it, and that is completely natural, but there must be some inner strength that you may be relying on. This part could help give you an ending to wrap it up with.

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