Tag Archives: coffeehouse observations

Back at the job search all over again

I haven’t written here much in the past month or so because of a project that has kept me from the job search and from blogging, except for shorts burst on Coffeehouse Observer.

The project involved fact checking several chapters of a travel guide due out next year. The travel guide publisher has promised me more work and the editor just emailed me about two projects. I could use the money.

But now I’m back at full speed, at least on a limited basis. I’m still looking for work and trying to line up freelance gigs to get by.

What I really need, of course, is a real job, one with steady pay, some benefits, and some social contact.

Things are really rough out there. They just announced that the unemployment rate in California is back up to 12 percent, the second worst unemployment rate in the country behind Nevada. The unemployment rate in the county where I live usually has been about 5 percentage points to 8 percentage points higher than the state level, so I would not be surprised if the unemployment rate here is 17 percent or higher.

It is terribly frustrating and unnerving. And very, very scary. It is even more frustrating and more unnerving and scarier when recognizing that the unemployment rate really does not count all those who are out of work, people who have given up looking for work or otherwise are no longer counted by the government. Experts usually say that the unemployment rate is significantly higher when taking into account those people. I am among those people who are no longer counted.

But I keep looking.

Friends I’ve known for 20 years or longer voice amazement that I haven’t been offered work in the past two and a half years since being laid off

“You have tons of experience,” they say. “Why hasn’t someone hired you already?”

That experience is a double-edged sword – I have proven myself capable, which is good for an employer because quality work will be done within deadlines. But I’ve proven myself capable, which is bad for an employer because it will cost the employer more in salary, the employer immediately assumes.

“You’re good at what you do,” my friends argue. “Something has to come up for you soon.”

I suppose I was good at what I did, but it has been a while since I did what I did. And employers can see that and I fear now that they barely consider my resume.

Just last week I applied for a job on the East Coast and within two days I had received an email noticed that I would not be considered for the position. I was sooo happy that the company took the time to fully consider my qualifications. (Please read the sarcasm in the previous sentence.)

I’ve come to expect rejection, which does little for confidence or morale or feeling of self-worth.

I keep plugging away, though. I have no other choice. I ran out of unemployment benefits months ago and cashed in an IRA, the thing money experts – people with jobs not facing eviction or starvation – say never to do. I am living on the money that would have been a portion of my total retirement. Another portion is left in investment accounts that are dwindling with each dip of the Stocks Exchange.

I will never retire. Certainly, not in the conventional sense of “retire.” But then again, there is nothing conventional about what some of us are experiencing.

So I continue the job search. I continue to look in my field – journalism. So if you know of any openings in journalism – editing, writing, blogging – or freelance opportunities, you can get in touch with me via the email address under my contact info.

And I also look for jobs with nonprofits, green industry, colleges and universities, and occasionally government. I also look for delivery jobs and general labor jobs and retail jobs and … well, you get the point.

I suppose that’s it for now. I just wanted to let you know I’m still around, still kicking, and still very hungry to get back to work.

All rights reserved by Keith Michaud ©

 

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Peak coffee incoming: Climate change is killing our buzz | treehugger.com

Peak coffee incoming: Climate change is killing our buzz | treehugger.com

Coffeehouse observation No. 144

Just spotted a guy outside the coffeehouse take a yard-long stick, scrape up something gooey from the sidewalk, and stare at it for minutes with an expression of total pleasure and wonderment on his face.  Imagine, bliss found in discarded gum at the end of a stick.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 143

It’s bright and sunny out for the first time in years – or so it seems. I’m inside a nice cool, dim coffeehouse enjoying a Red Eye before continuing the job search. Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend everyone. … And don’t forget that this weekend is to remember those who have fallen in defense of this country. It’s not just about burgers and hot dogs.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 142

The words “free golf” may be the only two-word combo that is better than “free coffee.” But I had free coffee two days in a row. That may not beat free golf, but it’s not bad!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 141

The guy at the next table at the coffeehouse has an interesting collection of tattoos, including the word “HOPE” across the knuckles of his left hand and  “LOVE” across the knuckles of his right hand. I suppose that’s a bit of tough love and hope.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 140

I’m sitting at a booth table at Exotic Java and on the couches near the large front windows are two guys in their mid-30s to mid-40s – I’m guessing from their conversation that they work in construction or something similar – and every other word out one guy’s mouth is @#$% this and %$#@ that.

I used to curse like a stevedore when I thought it added something to the conversation. And even when I knew it didn’t. I now feel that in almost every case cursing isn’t really necessary. Except maybe in golf and when you stub your toe getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Then it’s OK.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 139

Ah, coffee. That aroma. That deep brown steamy liquid comfort. That flavor. That POW to the senses. Coffee, you are the perfect elixir.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 138

From my perch at empresso, the Miracle Mile coffeehouse I frequent, I can see several laptops open and Facebook on the screen, several other people texting on cellphones, some talking on cellphones, a professorly gentleman wearing suspenders and smoking a pipe, several people reading books – yes, books – a group chatting, and a fellow strumming a guitar. It’s a coffeehouse, all right.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 137

Surprising how busy the coffeehouse has been all day. Lines for beverages, hot and cold, and the weather is sunny and bright outside. Granted, it is a bit windy, but quite nice.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 136

I didn’t overhear this at the coffeehouse, but spotted it in a Facebook chain: “My blood type this morning is coffee positive.” I love that!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 135

The empresso proprietors let local artists hang art for sale in the coffeehouse. Some of it is not, um, Monet. But something new today. An artist hung six painted skateboards and I like them.

I’ve never been a skateboarder, but I’m guessing these boards are not intended for use as a mode of transportation and aerial stunts. I would hang one or two of them. I’ll try to post a photo of them if I get a chance.

From left to right, subject matter includes:

A woman in a bikini with some of the board cut away where her hair is flowing; a Kingpin; AC/DC; John “The Duke” Wayne; an Aztec or other similar image with the edge of the board cut out; and a red, white and black board with the coffeehouse’s name and logo on it.

Artists should be envied.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 134

I just spotted a woman crossing the street near empresso and she was wearing a sombrero. … A very large and very colorful sombrero. Go figure!

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Coffeehouse observation No. 133

There’s a guy sitting on the empresso patio and he’s rockin’ out. Big time. Except, there is no music. None. He’s either hyped way, way up on something or … yeah, he’s hyped up on somethin’. … Oh, Stockton, you never fail to entertain.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 132

Bold coffee and loud Rolling Stones – only way to start the day.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 131

Warmer weather means lovely coffeehouse patrons wearing short shorts and sundresses.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 130

There’s an attractive black woman at the next table in a study group with two nerdy guys. She’s fairly busty and apparently doesn’t mind showing her study buddies – and much of the coffeehouse – her deep cleavage. … Some days are more aesthetically pleasing than other days at the coffeehouse.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 129

A guy just asked one of the coffeehouse servers “is the Internet broken.” I’m struggling to decide if that annoys me or if I find it prophetic. … In reality, I believe he was having a problem pay-to-use computers at the coffeehouse.

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Coffeehouse observation No. 128

In an apparent salute to past technology, a guy on the empresso patio is playing Pacman on a laptop. What next? iPong?

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Coffeehouse observation No. 127

I am at the coffeehouse and am wearing a cap that has a moose on the front. The antlers spell out “Cool Moose.” And I am not at all embarrassed. … Well, perhaps a little.

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