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Crap shoot update

Back at the end of March, I mentioned that job seeking was really kicking my butt.  I’ve been targeting organizations that participate in the State Pension system, as I spent 26 years contributing (albeit unwillingly) and, all else being equal, my continued participation would appear to be in my best interest.  I’ve actually had an unbelievably high ratio of interviews to Corrections Applications (125% – 5 interviews for 4 positions, including a 2nd interview with the Warden of one of the Prisons in our area).  All considerations of actually getting a paycheck, having health insurance, and participation in the pension system aside, I was intrigued by all 4 of the positions and would have been happy to take any one of them on the merits of the jobs themselves.  I really wanted the Director’s job in northeast Kansas; the department was small enough I could have interacted with and gotten to know all of the staff personally, I liked the Advisory Board members who did the interview (and especially their attitude towards the process and the position), I really liked the town where the job was located (about the same size as my hometown), and I really, really liked the area (it reminded me of the land in Woodson and Coffey counties where my grandparents had their farms).  Unfortunately, all four of the jobs fell through.  At least 3 of the 4 went to internal promotions, which in principle, I support (it’s almost always better for morale to promote from within than to bring in someone from the outside, unless you’re the guy from the outside).

So, having applied for, interviewed for, and not gotten any of the currently available jobs in Corrections in the state for which I was most logically qualified, and having applied for and gotten exactly zero responses for any of the jobs in other fields that seemed to be reasonable opportunities to make use of (allegedly) transferable skills, I decided to pack it in.  I’m not comfortable drawing unemployment and rather than continue to do so, I decided to cash in my pension account, pay off my truck loan and some other debts (cutting the Ratlands minimum monthly outlay, excluding heath expenses, almost in half), and go back to school for the career change I’ve been contemplating.  I was getting ready to make the call to start the process this morning when I got a call for an interview for one of the “transferrable skills” jobs I applied for six weeks ago. I’ll be in Topeka next week, trying to convince the HR people of a State of Kansas department that I can successfully supervise the staff of several offices in the north half of the state and do it better than anyone they currently have in their organization.

I’m not sure where that leaves us.  This morning I had a clear plan of action.  Now, cashing in the pension is, at least temporarily, off the table, going back to school is on the back burner, and the possibility of moving the Ratlands homestead is back on the table.  Studying up on the Department is now my number one priority.  And, it will probably all get re-shuffled (again) in a couple of weeks.

When I take the time to contemplate the situation, two things strike me as incredibly bizarre.  The first is how little I miss Corrections.  I was never really able to imagine doing anything else, even when I was considering a career change.  After 32 years, I guess I thought working working in Corrections was so much a part of my identity that not doing so would leave a big hole.  It appears I thought wrong.

Second, although I have no job, no solid prospects of having a job in the immediate future, no medical insurance, finite, time-limited, and insufficient income relative to current obligations, and the very real possibility that 26 years of contributions to my pension fund are going to get burned up in the next two years while I pursue the education necessary for an overdue mid-life crisis a career change, my blood pressure continues to drop (to the extent that I’ve been taken off some of the blood pressure medication I’ve been on for years)  and I’ve had one full-blown migraine in 3 1/2 months (where I used to have them on an almost daily basis and had them bad enough that I couldn’t see through the pain and the spots in front of my eyes to the point that I couldn’t drive or work a couple of days a month.)

Makes no sense, but I’ll take it.

Well, this was probably too much information, but I’m feeling really unfocused about the whole situation, and a one-shot update is easier than calling or emailing all the people who have expressed an interest.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. LarryNo Gravatar | May 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I have always believed that some how..some way things end up working out. All you have to do is hang on…things can get pretty rough sometimes. I always remember my Mom telling me that she believed that the “Good Lord” would never put anymore on your plate than you can handle. At times in my 45 years I have questioned that thought…but so far I have managed to make it this far. I have no doubt that you will be back on your feet. Hang in there.

  2. cziltangNo Gravatar | May 11, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I, too, grew up around folks who had that mentality (which is not to say that I don’t). Although I do remember the church Youth Group leader once saying, “Sometimes I wish God didn’t have so much confidence in me.”

  3. Rat Jr.No Gravatar | May 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Or ‘trust me with so much’.
    You know what I think, I think you should pack up Mom, Kali, Grandma and Grandpa and just move up here. It’s pretty, there’s a big clear lake, plenty of forest to explore, and Seattle is about 5 hours away where you can visit landmarks, the international district, Sakura-con… Oh and that Shinto Shrine is not too far from there!

    And if you don’t move up here you should at least come visit me. I really want to take you and Mom to some places and none of them cost anything more than a couple of gallons of gas.

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