The Key is Practicing Your Craft Everyday…Even If It’s For Just Yourself.


I think it was Stephen King who once said that in order to be a writer you have to write something everyday. I think this holds true for almost everything we do.

It’s how people can sometimes turn hobbies into actual careers. It’s practicing their craft…EVERY DAY.

I know there are plenty of people out there who do the 9-5 and are happy to do it; and we need those people. Because let’s face it; we need customer service reps, and managers. I’ve grumbled enough myself about not reaching a real live person on the other end of the phone line to ever truly embrace full automation of our society. I think that’s why I favour table top gaming over video gaming…that human interaction.

Still the 9-5 aside; there are those who while doing that 9-5 also have a side gig. Building Soap Box Racers (I still wish my dad would have let me have one); Gazebos; Backyard Play Sets, Etc. Their hobbies, if you will, that they have parlayed into some extra cash for a date night with the SO; or paying for hockey for their munchkins; or as is the case here in my hometown…money to see you through because you or your SO have lost your main source of income.

So keep practicing your craft whatever it may be…

For as it’s also been said…

Practice does make perfect…



The longer it goes on…the harder it is to deal with…


November 4, 2017 marked the one year anniversary of my unemployment.

I have been without a job for over a year.

In the early days it wasn’t too bad, I had been fired before, it wasn’t like I was in uncharted territory there.

I had been unemployed for a long stretch of time in the past, so this also was nothing new…and yet…it feels different…very different from before. It wasn’t until last night that realization hit me…

The last time I had been unemployed for an extended period of time, I was going to school. My unemployment didn’t weigh on me for I something else on the go, something that required energy, with deadlines and such. So my having no job allowed for me to do better in my studies than I normally might have. It was only toward the end of my schooling – 4 months to be precise – that I found a job, and a job no less that allowed me to persuade my course of study while still paying the bills.

This time however, I have no schooling to fill my days. You can only spend so long at the computer sending applications. The days of the walk in and drop off your resume is sadly in the past with perhaps the few exceptions still out there. So what else do you fill your time with? Networking? Absolutely because it’s not what you know it’s who you know…as it really always has been. Learning something new? Yes…do that too, you never know how it may help, but it very well could…even basket weaving could be an in somewhere.

Hobbies…if nothing else to occupy your mind…and feed your soul.

Therapy if you need it…


The longer you are unemployed…the more shitty you start to feel. And no one enjoys feeling like shit.

It’s not easy trying to keep your joy…it’s damn hard.

Sometimes you’ve got to do piece work


And I’m not talking flat rate people.

In this economy with so many people looking for work, sometimes you need to bite the proverbially bullet and take the one day or three day jobs just to keep the money rolling in. For those on EI, you can do this and still get EI assistance, they just calculate the difference. So if out of the two weeks, you work one of those weeks, you still get paid for the week you didn’t. Just don’t lie about it, because they will find out, they always do. 

For those crying about people on EI, and how you’ve never claimed EI and want your money back, well you pay car and house/renters insurance, how often have you made a claim against those? Do you ever ask for your money back from them? Didn’t think so…

It’s hard times for people right now…

And some days you need to take it one ladder rung at a time to get out of that pit. 

Right…back to the unemployment line…one more time…


So on Friday, November 4th my supervisor asks me to stay after a meeting. Let’s me know that it’s not working out and that I should take the next two weeks to find another job. Needless to say I was taken aback and did not respond as expected (I never do).

I spent the weekend calming down (and saying…Well Shit)…and resumed normal life on the Monday including going to work. At that point I was told that they are giving me two weeks notice but that my supervisor would have to talk to the service manager for details; as well as the supervisor kinda sucking up to me because he knows this is a bum deal he’s handing me right before Christmas. Monday passed without further ado. Tuesday is much the same…until just before I go home where I am advised they are not giving me two weeks and then laying me off – because if they lay me off they have to hire me back first before hiring someone else if they want to add to the team – they are in fact firing me…with severance of course; or I could just quit (and not get paid severance) – you can imagine which I took; I said, “Fire me, and pay me the week severance, since this is not my idea so there is no way I am going to quit.”

The next day I turned in my uniforms (hated those suckers; ill-fitting) and my keys. My supervisor commented that I seemed happier now that I know what is happening…

Well no shit…everyone is happier when they know what the hell is going on.

I got to say my good-byes and then left…only to be called back because my supervisor failed to do all the exit stuff in front of a manager…I obliged because I was trying to be classy about my exit as upset as I was about it.

This morning I had a mild panic attack because I had thought it had been weeks since my termination, but it actually hasn’t it has only be in essence 1 week. It’s amazing how the days can blend into one another.

I have had some interest in my resume, some I have applied for and some unsolicited (which makes a person feel rather good).

In this downtime (while unplanned is not unfortunate) I am regrouping and re-evaluating what it is I want to be doing. It also allows me to catch up on things and refocus the energy.

I am telling all this because I know there are others who are in the same boat as me…the exact same boat…and others who are in even leakier boats…and still others who are at the point where they are channeling Captain Jack Sparrow and merely standing on the cross-mast under the crows nest because their ship is pretty much sunk. But if you still have your footing on that cross-mast then you’ll be ok. It’s a scary place to be mind you, incredibly scary. But where we find ourselves on the Good Ship Unemployment can sometimes bring incredible change in who we are and what we can endure and what we can accomplish. Sometimes what seems the end can in fact be the beginning…

Embrace the beginnings…

Let go of the ends…

Let’s take that scary first step into the next great adventure.













The End…



Regardless of the circumstances it was under; or even if it was justified. There is only one word that comes to mind at a time like this…


(For those who don’t like the F-Bomb…substitute your preferred 4 Letter friend getter in lieu of the F-Bomb; my personal favourite is Well…Shit…).

I have been here my friends…and regardless of how often it happens; it’s never really a picnic.

Some people feel embarrassed about being fired; others are angry (I fell into this category); while others still are sad. All are valid feelings. So is the sense of fear; the fear of what now…what next…what do I do?

You are not alone.

I went to work for a large Telephone Company when I was 21. After about a year of working in a couple of different departments; I found my niche in the dispatch area; and it became my career; and I was very good at it. Fast Forward 10+ years and I had moved into the Call-Out Desk in the Dispatch area working Graveyards – and where I ran a foul of a manager who I should never have been working for (we had a long personal history that was tenuous at best; acrimonious at worst) and after just over a decade of busting my ass at the age of 32 I was shown the door. (Epilogue –  the guy who fired me was also shown the door just under a year later…)

Needless to say I was furious!

But I also had some good people in my corner who kept my spirits up! And that is the basis of what I will talk about. Keeping your sanity…when your world has been turned upside down…and all around by the people who you spend more time with then you do your wife or your children (some people anyway).

I was told by a good friend of mine to spend two weeks chilling out…and then get back on the horse as it were.He also said ‘Ya, Ya…easy for me to say…’ and it is easy to say…when you have a job. Not so easy to say when you don’t. Getting back on the horse isn’t so easy to do these days. Even with people saying it’s a healthy job market out there; it all depends on where you are and what your skill sets are…and in the case of some of the smaller communities; WHO you know is as important if not more important than WHAT you know; the rare exception being Health Care. And not everyone can move to greener pastures for work either.

So what do you do when you are faced with a job loss, and you are not snatched up by a company immediately?

1) Don’t Panic

2) Don’t Panic

3) Breathe Deep…and release…

4) Don’t Panic

If you have employer benefits; find out how long they are good for…and book all needed appointments in the span of that time if possible. Seriously…I no longer have dental…and you’d cry if you knew how much it cost to have my teeth fixed.

You no longer have an income coming in…so you are going to need to trim the fat as it were. So that means the kids will just have to play the video games they have…and you will have to consider saying good-bye to the sports channels and online movie streaming. Or keep the online streaming and drop your Cable TV (either way…you’ll lose the sports channels).  Depending on how long you are unemployed you may also have to sell your stuff. Trust me..I pawned most of my gold jewellery to buy food…pay rent…get supplies. So the above mentioned video games and consul might have to go up on Kijiji if it means paying for your car insurance.

Learn how to cook…because unless someone else is footing the bill; your days of eating out are over. Dollar stores have groceries now; so you can get away with your pasta and canned stuff coming from there; as well as cleaning supplies. Be prepared to be eating the same things over and over again. My best friend and I lived on rice and lentils with a side of rice and lentils for 2.5 months; sometimes we had an egg as well;  when the rice and lentils ran out…we went to the food bank; was a little better than the rice and lentils…but not by much. It did however keep us going; so while we worried about possibly being homeless, at least we weren’t hungry.

If you are in walking distance to anything…and by walking distance I mean within a 5 km radius…and you are able to walk…then walk to your destination and save yourself the gas…and the bus fare. It’s tough at first but you do get use to it. I have walked between 8 and 15 km on any given day depending on where I needed to go. This will also prevent you from going out and needlessly buying something. You’d be surprised how much you will do without if it means hiking 10 km round trip to get it.

Don’t use your credit cards unless you absolutely have too. Credit Card companies don’t give a rat’s ass if you’ve lost your job; you’ll still be required to pay; and it’s so easy to rack those puppies up.

Looking for a new job is daunting especially if you find that you get no responses from your resumes. I know all about the no responses; I’m still getting no responses. It’s depressing, upsetting…and stressful. You find yourself wondering what is wrong with you…why doesn’t anyone want to hire you. Good question…I ask myself that everyday. I wish I could tell you why that is; but I don’t have the answer; I have been given theories left, right & centre. I have tried all the methods people have told me to do…and still I get…nil…nothing…nada…zip…zero…ziltch. The important thing here is to KEEP LOOKING.

Resume workshops – if it’s been eons since you have done up a resume…hit these resume workshops; they are helpful in at least helping you dust off the resume; however be aware that they won’t guarantee you a job.

Temp Agencies – these are an option to keep money rolling in; but you will not get permanent work through these people. I don’t care if your mother’s brother’s sister’s cousin’s ex-wife got one…she’s the exception…not the rule. If an employer wants to hire you; they will have to pay a fee to the temp agency before you even sit at a desk. Not only that they treat you like an independent contractor (usually without telling you) so it really goofs you up at tax time. Most importantly; if they don’t book you out to a job…you don’t get paid…period.

Remember that while you look for work…keep yourself busy. It’s very easy to fall into a depression should your life revolve around just looking for work. Like in my last post…self-care during this time is essential. Take time to do (inexpensive) things to keep your joy up.

Something to always remember at this time…DON’T BREAK THE LAW! And I am even talking about speeding tickets and shit…nothing will burn through what’s left of any money you have like a fine.

There are loads of people who are great mentors out there. Get connected with them; listen to what they have to say. Keep people in the loop about what is going on with you mentally; emotionally and physically.

As tough as it is…you can and will get through it…even if it takes longer than you’d like (Hello…? Right Here…it’s taking longer than I would like…lol)