I never thought I would have such a hard time finding a job. I have a college degree. I have a work ethic. I have transportation. I bought books on interviewing and resumes. I posted with all the internet job sites. I diligently searched for over a year now. It's hard to commute on days when my back ails me, and gasoline has gone up in price. The car is one year older than when I started my great job hunt, and I am still looking one year later. Every time I get poor service at a restaurant or accosted at the mall by an annoying salesperson, I wonder, why do they have jobs? I feel a little sorry for myself, yet I can't indulge in feeling too bad because there's no one but me to help me and I won't get a job if I smell too desperate at the interview, or appear too eager to start.

I have received the advice to not seem to smart. If I look like I'll take over the business or create competition I won't get hired. I have been told not to look too low. If I can't afford to take the job, it's better to pass. After all I live so far from Bakersfield and Los Angeles, it's hardly worth the wear and tear on the car if the job doesn't pay well, not to mention to the danger in commuting every day. I also received the advice to research the company, to know what they are about so I can behave like a good fit. I try and try, the same fifty competitors following me to each job. I still haven't been the one picked.

I'm getting frightened and demoralized. What if I never find a job? It's not a good plan for a woman my age to have no health insurance and no pension plan and few savings. Like a lot of women, my divorces were financially devastating to me. If I had stayed more than ten years though, it would have been worse. I would be paying alimony to my drug addict husband, which he would surely shot into his veins. I wonder often why isn't he dead, what with all he does to himself. It's scary. His own father passed away at 45 from a heart condition brought on by stress. One would think that Howard's heart would be stressed by all the Norco, and Perkadan and Vicodin he takes, and yet he marches on.

I would do a good job for whoever hired me. I'm clever and I can learn fast. What I don't know in math I use my HP reverse Polish calculator to figure out. Once upon a time I made wonderful spreadsheets and comparisons with the office software of the day. I can use the internet, I can spell and type. Employers don't seem that concerned anymore, what with spell check and all. I am sure though, that it must be faster to type having the skill, than to type hunt and peck style. Over and over again I come across how employers value "lame." They want a cheap uneducated labor force that will work for less than minimum wage. How do you get around minimum wage? Commission only positions, payment under the table, payment by project in lieu of by the hour, there is no end of possibilities.

Recently I was offered ten dollars an hour to list things on Ebay, but only at the expectation of 30 to 40 items listed an hour. If you can list unique items, with photographs, error free at a rate of faster than one every two minutes, you really ought be paid more than $10 an hour. I'm thinking a person with that skill must have a error free typing speed of 85 wpm or above. One wonders where the pictures would come from. I supposed you could get 40 items to upload in an hour on turbo lister, but only by spending an unpaid hour or two making the individual listings. The prospective employer pointed out, that represented $1.67 per listing, cutting into his profit. Ebay, with its listing fee, final value fee, and paypal fees does have a slim profit margin. Nonetheless, it was an offer he was sure to end up unhappy about. I pride myself on being able to list an item every three minutes for non-unique items, barely twenty things an hour. A rate he would not have appreciated.

So I scout around more, wondering if one day income will kick in from the infobarrel articles I write, or if I will end up an itinerate house sitter, a dog walker, a 55 year old babysitter? It seems such a shame that I haven't found work. Today the jobs that arrived in my inbox from Monster.com included insurance agent (must be bi-lingual), physician, and truck driver, class C license required. I find myself completely unsuited for all of those jobs. Being an insurance agent would be amusing, selling a non-product, which is required by law, on a commission only basis. My roommate said he did it for awhile, ignoring the suits at corporate who pushed him to sell items that were not appropriate for the big bucks. I am not bi-lingual. Physician doesn't pay as well as it used to, lots of doctors report a burnt out feeling. They are annoyed at insurance companies setting prices for services, the cascade of paperwork required, and the rush to see more patients in a day.

One used to think a post office job was recession proof. It is apparently not. The post office wants to cut Saturday delivery. My customers gleefully remind me of this painful fact on Saturdays. I think some people enjoy the status of having been born at the right moment, retiring to a fixed income before the trouble hit. They little care about the stress of being a middle aged divorced woman in today's economy. I am certain more than a few of them feel I earned my current state.