Week Two of Unemployment

Hello Readers!

Well last week was actually quite interesting. I live in Augusta, GA so last week was the famous Master’s Golf Tournament. So we had a large influx of tourists in our fair city from all over the world but that wasn’t what made last week interesting for me. Here’s last week’s story.

Monday: Woke up and checked my email to find…an invite to an interview! Yay, yippee, Yahoo!!!!!! There were two possible dates. I could either come in Wednesday @ 9 am or come in Thursday @ 3 pm. Trying to be strategic I chose Wednesday. My thought process was if I did exceptionally well that the people who came Thursday would have to live up to the example I set the day before. After Sending my reply I started doing some major planning. First of all, I needed to check over my clothes, shoes, hair, and my overall image. After evaluating everything I decided to do something about my hair.

If you can’t tell from my picture I’m of African-American descent. I also happen to have natural hair. Basic translation, I don’t put chemicals in my hair to straighten it. Now, Monday was rainy and I wasn’t sure what Tuesday or Wednesday would be like so I couldn’t flat-iron my hair and because I was interviewing for a position as the personal assistant to the CEO of the company I wanted to be as conservative as possible my only plausible option seemed to be to cut my large afro back to something much smaller. Which really wasn’t a problem. I actually like my hair that way but I was trying to grow it out during the colder months.

So after running and getting a haircut I then went to my WI-FI spot, Starbucks, and filled out more online paperwork for unemployment. While there I searched for more jobs to apply to, wrote a couple of blog posts, and people watched.

Tuesday: Was errand and laundry day. Everything I could think to get done before my interview I did. Including buying pantyhose, doing laundry (got to have clean underwear when going to an interview.), and printing out extra copies of my resume. I also did research on the company so I could have an idea of what they did as well as come prepared with a few possible ideas of things they may want to implement.

Wednesday: The Big day had arrived! I woke up super early. Showered and prepared for my big interview. Including putting on pantyhose. I know I’ve mentioned this twice and some of you are probably wondering why I keep harping on this. Here’s the deal. I detest pantyhose. I haven’t worn the things in 10 years!!!! They are uncomfortable and when your legs rub together they announce everywhere you go. I left super early and was at the location about 45 minutes before the interview. Because I was so early I decided to sit in my car for a while. Ten minutes before the start of the interview I walked into the building and inquired about who I needed to talk to for the interview.

That’s when I found out that this was going to be a group interview. I and another five of six candidates were being interviewed at the same time. That was a game changer for me. When I’m not completely comfortable in a situation I have a tendency to be much quieter than usual. In fact, I can totally disappear into the background and just observe others. This is not a good thing if you are trying to apply for a job. So now I’m trying to scramble mentally and figure out how to get myself to shine amongst all the other candidates and make a great impression.

After all the candidates arrived they took us into a small conference room and had us take a personality test. According to the test I’m dependable. (Always good to know.) Then they had us fill out an application. While we filled out the application they left the room. After, ten minutes or so they came back took our applications and told us that we would get a call later for a second interview.

So I went to Starbucks and applied for more jobs.

Later that night a couple of us decided to go to Bone Fish for dinner. That was interesting with all the tourists there, it was fun to people watch and see who all had come to our fair city.

Thursday: I stayed home! It was my recovery day from all the stress and preparation for my interview.

Friday: I got a call from Department of Labor telling me that I forgot to do something for certification so I had to go to Starbucks and go to their website. Since I’m a believer of always being prepared, I took my time and made sure I looked extra cute. 😉

Which turned out to be a good thing because there were a lot of cute guys that came through my closest Starbucks. None of them talked to me but it could have happened. You never know. I filled out the online form then decided to check on a few bills that I knew would be coming up soon. One of those bills was my car insurance. I saw there was a way of lowering my bill if I took an online defensive driver course. The course was $20 dollars and the discount was $30. I figured a net of $10 savings on my bill was worth it so I stayed in Starbucks and proceeded to take a 5 or 6 hour-long course on defensive driving. While I was there, one of my besties called and we made plans to hang out that night. After a few more hours of hanging out at Starbucks and taking the course I, and two other friends got together and had dinner at another friends house.

While there, we decided to go to the lake the next day and enjoy ourselves.

Saturday: Everyone met at my house and we took off towards Clark Hill Lake. We got a little lost on the way there but we made it there and had a glorious relaxing afternoon!

Lake entrance

Beach at the lake

gazebo at the lake

It was while we were soaking up this beautiful environment that we decided to look into other fun things for us to do and broaden our horizons. Amongst us we decided that we love our church and love how they do conferences and retreats for our married couples but we wanted to go to a singles conference. Something that was geared totally to us and a way for us to network and get to know singles who had similar views.  So we were searching a few large churches near Atlanta that usually have such conferences and found that they weren’t offering anything this year.  However, at one of the churches, Free Chapel in Gainesville, Ga, was having Israel Houghton lead their praise and worship service the next day!

Now I own a lot of his cd’s and whenever I’m going through some tough times, he is one of my go to worship leaders. Seeing as I love his work so much you’d think I would have seen him live at least once. The sad truth is I hadn’t.  If he was ever in the area in concert I was either at work or didn’t have the money for a concert ticket.

Here was an opportunity that I couldn’t let pass me by! Not only was the man 2 and a half hours away but this was a regular worship service which meant that there wouldn’t be a fee to get in.  So I grabbed one of my friends and told her we were getting on the road early Sunday morning so we could go to the 11 am service at Free Chapel.

Isreal close up

The service was AMAZING!!!!!! I’ve always loved his worship in a recording but in real life it was whole different experience.  The man is truly gifted! I think I may have regressed to the maturity of a star-struck teenager for a little bit. I’m almost certain I might have squealed when I saw him step out onto the stage. My poor friend may even have a sore leg as well because I’m almost certain I hit her leg several times in my excitement! (I’m sure she’ll forgive me…eventually)

On the way home, we came through Atlanta and stopped to visit with one of my brothers.  We had a lovely lunch at Wendy’s and just caught up on each other’s lives.

After that my friend and I hit the road and headed for home.

That was my week. Some triumphs, some fellowship, and a kiss from God. Palm Sunday being led into worship by one of my favorite worship leaders.

Smooches,

Shineka

Week one of Unemployment

Hola Readers!

So last week was my first full week of unemployment and I had my ups and downs emotionally speaking.

On Monday, I picked up my separation paperwork from my employer and went to the Department of Labor. I remember going there when I first moved into this area a little over fifteen years ago but at the time I was a high school graduate trying to find my first job to help pay for college tuition and books.

I was a tiny bit nervous because I had no idea what to expect. I think the nice woman at the welcome desk could tell I had no idea what I was doing so she quickly walked me through the process and sent me on to the next line.

Once my turn came around I was given a booklet that told me all about unemployment insurance (Still have to finish that stimulating read.), given some paperwork to fill out and sent to a room where I was to watch a seven minute video about filing for Unemployment and all the different things I was expected to do on a weekly basis.

After the video, I was sent to a computer to start the claim process. I actually finished in record time compared to most of the other people in the room.  I think that’s mostly because I’m used to using computers and their quirks and foibles.  It seems most of the people there with me had a few issues with their computers and I was asked a few times by my neighbors how to get around on the site.

Georgia Department of Labor
Georgia Department of Labor

 

Tuesday, I went to a prayer meeting at my church and then went to my local Starbucks to use their wi-fi and apply to some positions as well as work on a couple of volunteer projects.

Wednesday, I went to a meeting at my bank to plan on what to do with my 401K from my former employer then went back to Starbucks for a few hours. Later that evening, I went to church for mid-week services.

Thursday, I made the mistake of staying at home all day. That is when depression started to kick in.  I started berating myself for leaving my job and not applying for another position there. I got upset because I was starting to think I had to be a fool for letting myself get into this situation. I also couldn’t understand why God would be putting me through this. I mean didn’t He know I should’ve had a job before my last day at work!

Then I had to have a come to Jesus meeting that night. I had to remind myself of all the things God had done for me in the past and how he hasn’t failed me yet. He also sent one of my best friends along to make sure I got out of the house on Friday.

Friday, I spent the day helping one of my besties shop for a vacation she was about to go on in a few days.  We went to almost every Wal-Mart in the Augusta/Evans area, Target, Bath and Body Works, Brusters Ice Cream, and we also got some lovely pedicures!  Then that night, we met up with a few of my other besties and saw the glorious Chris Evans in Captain America 2: the Winter Soldier.

Love a great pedicure. Blue Toes!
Love a great pedicure. Blue Toes!

Saturday, I again stayed home but this time I just reveled in the fact that I wasn’t at work on a Saturday.

So that is a summation of my week. Like I said some ups and downs but I’m determined to keep my focus strong.  I maybe unemployed but my rent is paid, I have plenty of food, gas in my car, good friends, and a great God!

God Bless you my dear Readers!

Smooches,

Shineka