Peculiar Institution Indeed

I’ve recently found myself back in the peculiar institution of employment.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the idea of 11:00PM bedtimes (that are still too late) and 6:30 AM wake up calls (that always leave me deprived of the extra hours of beauty sleep unemployment graced me with).

While not my photo, this is indeed my train station.

While not my photo, this is the station.

Although my morning struggle to avoid crowded trains is never won, it does provide relief from career panhandlers.  Apparently, they don’t get to work begging for whole dollars (they oftentimes will decline coins and food if it doesn’t meet their dietary preferences) until much later in the morning.

Upon arriving to work, I find myself going through a multitude of checkpoints and ID clearances before I make it to my floor, next my department and finally my desk.  Once seated, I take the time to drink my coffee, sit in my chair for a bit and think, talk to a girlfriend, and catch up on text messages.

Throughout a myriad of tasks, my day moves relatively quickly.  After quite a bit of filing, scanning and uploading documents, then signing off, sealing and shipping out others, the lunch hour arrives.  Upon returning, I repeat the aforementioned, and just as soon as my day began, it is done.

My evening commute home is crowded although this go round I am able to snag a cozy seat, hamper down, and dive into my latest literary obsession.  This week is Delores Phillips’ The Darkest Child.  The panhandlers are now out, running things on the trains, and I’m grateful for the distraction my book provides.

When I’m finally home I realize I have approximately three hours before it’s time for bed.  I can spend this time straightening up my apartment, catching up on some writing, calling back family and friends and attempting to cook a decent, well-structured dinner, or I can go out to an event and run around in the NYC streets.

Last night I ran the streets.  Consequently, today I almost fell asleep at work.  Tonight, right now, I am in bed.

Goodnight.

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Labor Day 2013: A Day In the Life of the Unemployed*

I’m here today to talk about my experience thus far as a member of the undercaste of America’s labor force.  This undercaste doesn’t have the liberty to complain about their unpaid, 30-minute lunch break that never seems to be long enough.  They also don’t have the option to attend protests about the country’s minimum-wage laws for America’s fast food workers either.  You want to know why?

I had to pay them a visit last month and we were given the option to watch an unemployment video or read the script.  This gentleman who was trying to date me exclaimed, "I aint tryin to read $h!t!  Where the video at?!"  Fail.

I had to pay them a visit last month and we were given the option to watch an unemployment video or read the script. This gentleman who I’d met only moments earlier and was trying to date me (it wasn’t happening) exclaimed, “I aint tryin to read $h!t! Where the video at?!” Fail.

This is because this undercaste is America’s unemployed.

Overall, when I’m honest with myself unemployment actually hasn’t been the worst thing in the world.  A perk of being registered with the unemployment office is that I’m able to collect my weekly unemployment checks.  Now granted, they are a mere fraction of what I was earning before, but something is better than nothing.  My rent’s paid every month!  (There is a yin to this yang however; perhaps I will share that another day.)

Since many know I’m unemployed, I’ve been questioned how I spend my time.  While my days do have their share of job-hunting and eating home-cooked meals, all while chatting with my girlfriends about our upcoming free plans for that week(end), a major part of my unemployment experience has been my rededication to my life’s first love, reading.

I read a lot.  When I was employed, it might have been four hours or so a day.  Now, at the very least it’s double.  With my increased reading, I’ve noticed my vocabulary has shifted a tad…I have more words to choose from, new ways to use old words and I have a bunch of new stuff to talk about.  Below, is an average day in my life as an unemployed reader lol.

  1. Wake up/read social networks for news that I missed while I was sleeping.  CNN is especially clutch for this.
  2. Shower/dress/breakfast (yes I get dressed even though I probably have nowhere to go except the store).
  3. Read social networking for more news I missed, and to get details/full articles I briefly learned of when I first woke up.
  4. It’s inevitable that one of the sites leads me to popular culture-now I’m reading celebrity news.
  5. I begin to feel guilty so I begin reading health/diet/wellness related news.
  6. I then feel guilty I’ve wasted my entire morning reading tons of nonsense so now I head over to Craigslist and start sending out resumes.
  7. I then head over to Indeed.com and other more professional sites and apply to jobs.
  8. It’s inevitable that I need to research one of the companies I’m about to send a cover letter/resume too, so I begin reading recent news articles about them.
  9. I now find myself reading current, updated business stories.
  10. It’s now late afternoon/evening and I recognize I’m getting hungry.  I head off for a store run and cook a nice dinner.
  11. Now I’ve realized I’ve spent all day bullcrapping and settle down to try to write something of substance for my blog and other sites.  Sometimes I’m successful, many times I’m not.
  12. I now am sick and tired of reading AND writing, so I turn on Netflix and watch a few hours of whatever show I’ve recently become obsessed with (Weeds has been my current obsession until Orange is the New Black comes back on).
  13. I now need to wind down so I pick up one of the actual books I’m trying to finish reading (right now I’m in the middle of both The New Jim Crow and The Four Agreements).
  14. I then hop back on social networking to catch up on any news I’ve missed throughout the day and read until I fall asleep.
  15. If I wake up in the middle of the night, *surprise surprise* I hop on social networking and read about some more news.

My life isn’t always the most exciting, but for right now, this chapter of my life, I’m managing to deal with it okay.  Many of my closest friends are in places of transition so we are able to offer each other uplifting words of encouragement, entertainment and good cheer.

So what about you?  What does Labor Day mean to you this year?

*This post was inspired by Shelby Stone-Steel

Springtime Is Coming!!!

I want to dip my toes in this stream...maybe go for a little walk/hike...heavenly!

            You can’t help but to smile and be a bit optimistic about life with the bright sun that stays out longer, warm wind that blows through your open car window and the sudden burst of energy that the springtime seems to give us all.  For the first time in awhile (maybe last fall right before the sun left?  lol) I’m feeling optimistic and bright-eyed when I look ahead to my near future! 

            And being honest, I do have a lot to look forward to!  Within the next few weeks, Spring 2011 will be bringing me…

1) An ACTIVE surety bail bond license! 

  • While I passed all my tests and paid all my fees in October 2010 and February 2011, by law I’m not able to practice until 180 days have passed starting from the date Ohio’s Department of Insurance recognizes my passing test scores.  Come April 23, 2011 I will be active, bailing people out of jail and (most importantly) getting cashed out!  Woohoo!!!

2) Trips, trips, trips!

  • My eldest brother, Anthony Yancey, better known as (little) Tony, is getting married next month!  His long-term fiancee Kara is absolutely ADORED by the family and we’re all just relieved that this day is finally here.  We’ve been impatiently waiting for several years now and can’t wait to head to Michigan to celebrate this joyous occasion!!!  (you should already know if the name “Yancey” is attached patience is nowhere near lol)
  • After Tony’s extravaganza only a mere week or two later (I’m bad with dates, don’t judge me) the entire family will be headed to NYC to celebrate my cousin Mia’s preganancy!  Remember when I traveled to NYC in January and visited that vegan restuarant that my cousin manages?  Yes, it is she who is pregnant  🙂  I’m excited because the family will be in high spirits, drinks will be flowing and a celebration will ensue.  My family LOVES to kick it together I tell ya!
  • Next up will be my big couso Mike Steel’s graduation from Howard University with his MBA!!!  He has already secured employment working with American Express in NYC so it will be a celebration indeed!!! And yes, you’ve guessed it-the entire Yancey family will be making a trip to DC to help Mike celebrate…man…I love my family SO SO SO much!  We’re going to be doing ALLLLL of this kicking it before the actual Yancey Family Reunion in August 2011 lol.
  • Lastly, a prospective trip to Atlanta with some of my sorors has been proposed…the logistics are currently being sorted through.  I’ve never been and am ANXIOUS to see what all of the hype is about. 

3) New job opportunities perhaps?

  • I’m keeping my knees bent, head bowed and heart pointed to the sky…He knows what’s best.

4) A closer relationship with God

  • I notice that when the weather gets warmer, so does my relationship with Christ.  I see so many examples of his blessings all around me (weather, growing things, prosperity that results as a result of income tax refunds) that I can’ t help but be thankful and praise Him for all He’s done, has done and will continue to do.  Thank you Lord!!!

5) My impending 25th anniversary of life on Earth!

  • I was recently having a conversation with Joy, a sorority sister of mine, and as we were driving through the BEAUTIFUL campus that is Miami University we remarked on how much we would give to be transported to that time in our lives when we had access to the campus on a daily basis.  In that moment I realized how important it is to appreciate my here and now-to live in the present, because 10 years, 20 years from now I will reflect and wish for these days.  I will despise how instead of being celebratory in these moments I opted to dread each impending day as it brought me closer to 25 years.  I’m done doing that.  I’ve chosen to adopt a new attitude that celebrates where I am and where I hope to be.  I will enjoy today for I have never seen it before and will never see it again. 

What about you?  When you look ahead to what Spring has in store for you, are you optimistic?  If not, what can YOU do to change that?  Surely you are the only one that can control your own happiness.  Remember that 🙂