A year ago today I got into a car accident. It would not be a big deal especially since I did not get hurt. I was on my way to my first official day of my new job and I wanted to make a good first impression. It was not a good year and I was trying to work my way out of my mess. I did not need this accident.
You see, I was in a dire financial situation. I had moved back to New Jersey from Seattle to be with a woman I loved. I felt she was worth the risk. I would be with her, near my family and reconnect with old friends who would get me a decent paying job. It would be great.
I was hoping to get some graphic design sort of job. After all, New York is the best market to get a job in the field. Well, a friend I was planning on begging a job from, had moved away to the Midwest two days after I returned. My other friends who worked there would soon be laid off. One of them, along with another friend had made it clear I needed to improve my portfolio. Admittedly, I allowed my work to suffer when I was going through some stress after a devastating breakup a few years before. I was not up to date with graphic programs and needed to show some skill and ability.
While I was working on my artwork, I continued to search for new work. I was unsuccessful enough to take on temporary jobs that help keep me in a work mode. The jobs sucked. One was temporary, paid well, but did not have many hours. Eventually I fell back into restaurant work as a cook. I didn't mind doing the work in Seattle. It paid enough to get by and then some.
It was always easy to get work. Especially in New Jersey. I found out why. It's a shady deal here. Most of the owners are low paying, illegals hiring, corrupt tax dodgers.
There was no pride in food quality. We cooks were there merely as an excuse to sell booze. It was hard to be treated like shit, especially the illegals. Unlike in Seattle, I wasn't able to leave my work behind when I went home. I tried to hide it from my girlfriend but hearing her complain about her easier, better paying job usually got my blood boiling. Who is she to complain after all?
So I continued to work on my portfolio, look for better work on the web and get inspired by what was out there. I was getting flack from my girlfriend and my family for my inability to get a good job. I was never good at lying about my skills and selling myself. Even intervies that went well wasn't enough to get me the job. Heck, a guy who looked to hire me got fired himself!
When my girlfriend went on her fourth vacation without me AND without telling me (I know). I knew that soon I HAD to get a better paying job. New Jersey got too expensive and the job I had paid too little. I had applied to the job I have now, A government job in Homeland Security. Starting pay was good enough to give it a shot. I also applied to UPS because everyone I cared about thought it was a good idea. Both these jobs took longer to get back to me than any other job I have ever had. While waiting for these jobs and shortly after my girlfriend got back from Vegas, she left me for parts unknown, with four months left on the lease.
Now, I had spent a lot of money moving back from Seattle, spent a lot of my own money to move into our apartment in the first place, got screwed by my old bank Wells Fargo when I looked to transfer my funds to my new bank, I lost most of my savings to start my life with this ungrateful woman. I did not invite nor did I need this to happen.
While I was waiting for UPS and the government to get back at me for the jobs I applied to. Meanwhile I kept applying to graphic design jobs, getting interviews and getting quicker responses on letting me know I didn't get the job. One really liked my stuff but felt my commute was too long. (This was later, after I moved,If the job came up two months before I coulda moved to Brooklyn!) My luck was shit.
Soon, the stress of everything got to me so much I got into an argument with my boss on how he was treating us on a busy Saturday night. Since I'm an American citizen I didn't have to worry about getting deported or arrested, I just had to worry about getting fired.
So I did.
That was okay. The place is a mess. It's really a night club bar that pretends it's a restaurant. The managers were mostly idiots. The owner, shady. I left, applied for unemployment and got my call from UPS. Unfortunately UPS pulled a "bait-n-switch" on me on the job I applied to. I didn't get the full time driver job I applied to and was offered a part time loading job. Well, I had to take it in order to continue to get unemployment which I needed to stay alive, barely.
Meanwhile I had to move out of the apartment. My lease was up, they don't do month to month and it was too expensive for one person and too small for non lovers to be roommates. I was having a hard time finding one that was within my price range. I got rejected no less from an apartment I could afford because according to them I didn't make enough money. I was getting desperate when I got wind of two apartments. They were both cheaper but of lesser quality than the one I got rejected from. One was teeny tiny but in a nice area of Atlantic Highlands. The other was bigger but in a not so good section of Asbury Park. Since the landlord in Atlantic Highlands only asked me where I worked instead of insisting on seeing every aspect of my work and money history, I moved to Atlantic Highlands.
I didn't do much in the first two months I lived there, I was STILL waiting for my government job. Meanwhile I explored my immediate area by bicycle and kinda like the area.
So, finally I got the job, got trained and got into my car accident.
It wasn't my fault, but my car was totalled and I had to wait two weeks plus before I found out the other driver took responsibility. Meanwhile I was fortunate that my dad came through to help me with his car and keep my sanity intact by looking at the big picture. I thought it was the end of the world for me. I don't believe in God but I do believe in karma and it was telling me something. Karma musta been mumblin' because I had no idea what it was.
Anyway, I got a new car, worked both jobs until I went full time for the government and am doing much better now, thank you very much. I am probably one of the few people in this country who is doing much better in the last year.
For that I am thankful.