17 04 2017

Last year I had to make a decision I’d been struggling with for a few years and walk away from a retail job, the job I’d sacrificed most of my 20s and 30s to, the job I had dreamed of excelling in since my graduation.

To say this was a difficult choice would be a massive understatement but it was what was right for me, or the situation or so I believed. I wanted a good life, a regular 9 to 5 with weekends off and a regular ‘worthy’ paycheque. For too long I had felt like someone who was tied to this retail industry, who was constantly overworked, overstressed but I’d lost track of who I was outside this industry. I have held several supervisory positions with little to no growth options, and it was my life for a long time. But it’s clearly not an industry that leaves me with an obvious place to transition.

Another factor was my age. If I was leaving this job behind then I also wanted to leave the industry behind, start afresh entirely and, at 40, I was aware that not only was I getting ancient in terms of entry-level positions but that if I was going to make a success of myself in my new field then I was better off getting started, yesterday. Unfortunately, it has now been over six months since I started in earnest to apply for jobs in different fields, seeking to be reborn on a new career path. With the exception of one interview, I haven’t made it past the checkpoint.

There are a lot of factors at play in this, and in some way, I even have sympathy with the countless employers who have rejected me without even meeting me; unemployment is high in Alberta, particularly in the southern region where I now live. I have no experience that counts, and that I was in retail for so long does negatively affect the quality of my references. But sympathizing with all the reasons that people don’t want to hire me doesn’t actually make the task of job hunting any easier. If anything it makes it worse. I can see why people don’t want to hire a now 40-year-old with no relevant experience, as time passes, I increasingly fail to see why they would.

I imagine this loss of faith in oneself and the growing belief that the ongoing rejections are never going to turn around is common among the unemployed. I just never thought I’d be one of them. Going into this, my biggest concern was that I would have to start at the bottom of the ladder and work my way up. It never occurred to me that I would be unable to get a leg on the first rung. I would now give almost anything for the opportunity to prove my worth in almost any position and at any level. This time last year I was still in the process of leaving the job. It was stressful but it was something I got through by reminding myself how much easier it would be when it was through. I knew, not with cockiness but simply because of the faith I had in myself, that I would find another arena in which to excel. The thought that I may be unemployed and on the cliff of giving up entirely never occurred to me. Among the things I knew about myself is that I am intelligent and hardworking, with many transferable skills that would make me an asset in any number of industries – but I no longer know these things…for sure.

When I think about my unemployed status today these are the things I know: that I may never find anyone willing to hire me; that with every passing day I get a little older and a little less employable and the majority of my intelligent, articulate and sometimes witty cover letters are not even being read. Or perhaps they’re not that witty after all.

I do not feel this every day but there are days where a previously unfamiliar feeling of uselessness and hopelessness do creep over me, and they are demons that I find myself increasingly unable to keep at bay. I never thought this would happen to me. I imagined having to take a job I didn’t necessarily want but no job at all wasn’t anywhere on my radar. I think it’s probably this way for a lot of unemployed individuals. And this is probably the greatest lesson that has come out of this experience: that the idea that people don’t want to work, that the unemployed are somehow lazy or unmotivated, is a ridiculous myth. And yet I still haven’t learned it completely.

I still lie to acquaintances and even family about my employment; make out that I’m doing some casual work to tide me over or make jokes about it because I’m ashamed. I judge myself every day and I’m determined not to let others judge me. There is a stigma attached to unemployment that can be dangerous because I don’t think it would take much for it to create a potentially irreversible self-hatred. I fill my days with routines that involve cooking, walking, cleaning, job applications and strictly try not to watch television during work hours; I’m trying…hard. I am not what the unemployed stereotype looks like but I am unquestionably unemployed and I’m struggling mentally, emotionally and financially every day. I often barely recognize myself.

This is not a story of self-pity, although it has elements of that I’m sure. I feel I’m sacrificing my pride in writing about this. But then very few read my blog :). It’s a lesson to think before you judge because unemployment is hard. If we could just come out and speak about our own struggles with unemployment freely and without shame and stigma, it may just get a little bit easier.


31 01 2017

Why am I always the bridesmaid
Never the blushing bride
Ding Dong Wedding bells,
always ring for other girls
but… some fine day
oh! let it be soon
I shall wake up in the morning
On my own honeymoon

– Anonymous

The Man of Double Deed

16 01 2017
There was a man of double deed,
Who sowed his garden full of seed;
When the seed began to grow,
‘Twas like a garden full of snow;
When the snow began to melt,
‘Twas like a ship without a belt;
When the ship began to sail,
‘Twas like a bird without a tail;
When the bird began to fly,
‘Twas like an eagle in the sky;
When the sky began to roar,
‘Twas like a lion at my door;
When my door began to crack,
‘Twas like a stick across my back;
When my back began to smart,
‘Twas like a penknife in my heart;
And when my heart began to bleed,
‘Twas death, and death, and death indeed.
                                                         By Anonymous


29 09 2016

Donald Trump has spent much of his U.S. presidential campaign whipping up racial fear. Regardless of whether he wins in November, he has empowered angry white voters.

Republicans have deliberately made identity politics and racial resentment their issue because that’s what appeals to older, poorly educated white male Americans, and that’s their base now. But by not even trying to expand that base, they may have found a sure way to take an election that was theirs to lose — and lose it.

It’s a big reason why Democrats, seeking a third consecutive term in the White House with a historically unpopular nominee, Hillary Clinton, have consistently polled better than Trump.

There will be a temptation to blame a defeat on Trump personally and to foresee a day when his message might be delivered by a more polished, less vulgar candidate who could, in fact, become president.

I think, Trump’s personal weaknesses are not the real problem for Republicans — it’s their reliance on an old formula that doesn’t work anymore.

Trump has lured Republicans in a trap they laid for themselves decades ago when they began appealing to white anxiety. Identity politics has gone from being a winner for Republicans since Richard Nixon and his “southern strategy” of exploiting racial resentment, and evolved into a winner for Democrats in today’s more diverse America.

Identity politics now works better for Democrats because it allows voters to ignore the flaws in the party and unite instead against what they reject about the Republicans.

When Trump launched his campaign with his speech about “Mexican rapists” he thrilled his strong believers and began sealing the presidential nomination.

Whether Trump has put Republicans on a losing track for November or will somehow beat the odds and economize a win is what the campaign will decide over the next several weeks. But his lasting impact will be what he would do and destroy all that was left of what we once knew as the Republican Party — The Party of Abraham Lincoln.


25 07 2014

Once a wise man drew a line on a board and told his student to make the line shorter without touching or erasing it. How would you do it? You have to shorten a line without touching it. The intelligent one (referring to the student) then drew a much longer line underneath that line. So, the line automatically became shorter.

The lesson here is that if your difficulties appear to be very big, lift your eyes because you are only focused on yourself. If you lift your eyes up and look at those who are in a worse condition than you, you will suddenly feel that your burden is not as bad as you thought it was. If you think you have some big problem, look at people who have a greater problem. Suddenly, you will be confident that my problem is much smaller, and I can manage it.

The moment your problems appear smaller, you will get the energy and confidence to deal with it or solve it. In the past, you had many problems. They have all come and gone. Know that even this will go and you do have the energy and power to overcome it. You will get self-confidence by understanding and looking at your own past.

iPhone? Droid? who cares !

17 06 2014

To me it’s NOT about iPhones being better than Android or Android being better than Apple. It’s all about what the person likes. And what features a person wants or needs. And it’s definitely NOT about the Galaxy S-5 having a 16 megapixel camera and the iPhone only having maybe an 8 or 10 megapixel. It’s the same with a regular camera. I had bought a Nikon D3100 with 12 megapixels while my friend had bought a Canon with 18 or more megapixels. But mine took better photos. It’s NOT always about how many megapixels a camera has whether it be an SLR or the camera on a cell phone. So the bottom line in this on-going battle between Apple and Android & which one is the BEST or the WORST is really childish. I know some people love arguing over it back & forth. But like I said earlier, both phone makers are always coming out with great cell phones. And I think it’s great that they compete with one another. Because as long as they are competing against one another as to who can make the BEST cell phone one thing is for sure. WE; THE CUSTOMERS WILL ALWAYS HAVE MANY NICE SMARTPHONES TO CHOOSE FROM 😉

The name ‘Gandhi’

27 01 2014

The oldest party of India has nothing to fall back but the ‘sacrifices’ of the family and the family name to nominate the second in command- Rahul Gandhi.

It is time that Rahul Gandhi stop using the ‘Gandhi’ coinage to climb up the ladder. But then it is a shame that Sonia Gandhi who stated that ‘performance and not patronage must be the ladder to advancement in the party’ did just the opposite. Similarly both mother and son talked of nepotism-of corruption and Mrs Sonia Gandhi raised the pitch when she called upon the Congress party to fight corruption and struggle against it as a movement. How could the corrupt fight corruption is the million dollar question. All they stated sounded good if it came from other quarters but coming from the Congress which is steeped in scams, wealth accumulation and immune to people’s issues and problems, sounded hypocritical.

“As a party we must lead the struggle to combat its effect”, this was what Mrs Sonia Gandhi said. I don’t think that a dirty hand can clean dirt. A corrupt Congress party calling to struggle against corruption sounded ridiculous. Look at the scams it is buried in and what was the reaction pointing at other scams of other parties. When one points one finger to the others four fingers point to oneself. She forgets that as a party which ruled the longest in India, the Congress, must own up to the aid of corruption on all sides. It has given refuge to scammers, given them high posts, protection and has delayed the process of justice. And why struggle to combat only its effect and why not corruption itself and the corrupt people?

Sonia Gandhi’s son Rahul Gandhi can celebrate his b’days abroad. Three layer security for them but no security for the common man. The best doctors are available in India but Mrs Sonia Gandhi had to go to the US for treating her undisclosed ailment and took up a service apartment. All this is at whose expense?

Rahul Gandhi wants internal party democracy. He has been saying this now for some time but will he be able to put it in action? He himself is a prisoner of dynasty and lacks performance. He climbed the ladder of advancement in the party just because he is the scion of the Gandhi family. When Nirbhaya’s brutal rape case triggered off a spontaneous protest by the youth he was conspicuous by his absence. He frequently disappears and is never in the thick of things. Others can attribute this and that to his genius but the nation has still to hear and experience this.

His father Rajiv Gandhi also ascended the throne in an emotional scenario. The whole nation looked up to him. But when it came to action he failed and the Congress party lost miserably. It was only in those States which went to the polls after his assassination that the Congress won. This again on an emotional upsurge.

Let us watch out because he cannot just peep into Kalavati’s hut and share rotis to amass votes. This time he has to remember that 30 percent of the population lives in cities and towns. Nearly 200 of the Lok Sabha seats are from the urban and semi urban and nearly 50 percent of the population is under 35 years. Which India is Rahul Gandhi going to project? It is a big joke if he says that he belongs to rural India which also means that he wants to project himself as being with the poor while all the time everyone knows that he belongs to the super rich.

Let the Congress party then not play with the destiny of the nation by just thinking that a name ‘Gandhi’ is all that requires to lead this vast and ancient land.