Yep. A bit tough to admit but this is my current reality. I think though that the most surprising thing for me is that I’ve made it this far before this happened. Since I was laid off from my last job in April ’04, I have gone through the six months of unemployment (do not let anyone tell you the economy only went south in ’07/’08 as that is a crock.) I cashed in and spent my 401K and IRA. The positive side of that is that even after paying the early cash-in penalties, I still got to spend more of the money on myself and Dan’l instead of watching the balances swirl down the toilet when the market crashed in ’07/’08. I maxed out my credit cards. I have received a few “loans” and “gifts” from friends and family. I have juggled things and kept those plates in the air as long as I could but they are all crashing down on my head right now.
I’m not actually on the street. Yet. The past couple of weeks, I have been staying at a motel in Lexington, KY (Free Breakfast! Free WiFi!) but this is going to end shortly. I’m on the waiting list for subsidized housing in my hometown but have no idea how long the wait may be. I’ve been trying to hold on and stretch things until I reach 62 next June and can start collecting early Social Security. (And missed it by that much.)
Unless I manage a miracle of some sort in the next couple of days, I will be on the street. I’m sure I will be a sight trying to handle a cat carrier, litter box, laptop over my shoulder, and pulling a small wheeled suitcase. When I was in the USAF in Hawai’i, I had a couple of week period where I did not have a place to live and slept in my car or in chairs in friends’ rooms in the barracks but now, I don’t even have a car that I can camp out in as I sold my old car (1992 Ford Escort) for scrap last month before I left Florida.
I’m not sure what the worst part of all this is. I worry about how I will care for Dan’l as I made a commitment to him when I adopted him in Albany, NY ten years ago. I do have a part-time job but it is online on weekends so if I don’t have a net connection, I don’t earn even the small amount each month. And as has been the case for most of the last nine years, I do still have an outstanding job possibility in my chosen career field of Software Quality Assurance and Testing.
One of the unfortunate realities of today’s world is the knowledge that the vast majority of people in the “99%” are only a couple of missed paychecks from this life. I started this sucky little blog a bit over three years ago in an attempt to draw attention to the life of the long term un and underemployed so I guess this is a semi-logical progression. I always try to remember that no matter how bad things are for me, there are millions more in the same or worse situations. I am in reasonably good health. Dan’l helps me reduce the stress when he comes to sit in my lap.
And because I can:
Cross posted from Just A Small Town Country Boy by Richard Taylor