I am not ignorant, nor lazy; I do not see it as collecting easy money off the government while I sit home and do nothing. Granted, because the number is so high now and the efforts it takes to find a job are so much more difficult, I don't think admitting unemployment tarnishes ones reputation like it once did. However, I still had to swallow a hefty dose of humble pie in admitting that I have fallen into the grasps of losing a job that has been impossible to replace. The humiliation is definitely not as strong as it once was, but, I don't think my pride or bloodline will totally allow me to shed myself of all the embarrassment I have felt over admitting that I am stuck in this awful situation.
I, ignorantly admit, that I thought my period of unemployment was going to be short. I had worked for 8 years in the construction industry building a name and reputation for myself. I had become a trusted office contact for many subcontractors, many coworkers had left and moved on to other companies that were still in operation, and I was sure someone would call with their condolences and offer me a job right away. The phone never rang....Not even once. I felt betrayed, even a little angry, that no one had offered to help me. In reality, it was and still is a dog eat dog world. People were lucky to still have the jobs they had and there were no extras to throw around. Ultimately, I had to be prepared to help myself and not depend on anyone else to get me out of this.
Hope for America? Well, I was not so sure, but, the platform he was selling sure sounded good.
I openly admit I did not vote for Obama. There, I said it! My decision had nothing to do with his political party or the color of his skin. I simply did not know enough about the man and did not feel like he had enough work experience to take on the task of leading AND fixing our nation.
So, we are almost two years into his presidency and where are we now?
I have seen the government bailout the banks but I am still waiting for my own personal bail out. (which I guess goes back to helping yourself!)
He signed a $787 billion stimulus package to "set our economy on a firmer foundation," yet, this American soil I am standing on still feels pretty unstable these days.
He did help me with getting my unemployment benefits extended...for a little while. However, I have reached the end of receiving benefits and have not found any other assistance or instruction beyond this point.
This is, in no way shape or form, meant to create or stir up a political debate, but, if there is real progress or aid as a result from the Obama administration taking over, it has not trickled down to me and many others I know. So, hope for America, I would love to see it, but, I haven't seen it yet.
However, I will say that the condition of our economy and the issues that led up to it, were not easy for anyone voted into office to overcome, and, it did not happen overnight. Therefore, it will not be solved quickly either. I just hope I still have a roof over my head by the time this is over.....
Image Credits: All images were found on http://www.bing.com/ Note: The Obama "Hope" poster was created by artist, Shepard Fairey.