Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tested...And Found Wanting

Just can't do it. Tried to suck it up and deal with the away time, but I just can't do it. I just called in and tendered my resignation. Probably a very bad idea, but I just can't freakin' do it. It ain't in me. I never wanted to go on the road (except on a whirlwind concert tour entertaining screaming fans) in the first place, but attempted to force myself for the sake of the check. Mark suggested a low paying alternative would resign me to home, but I've been doing that for the last 10+ months anyway. The risk I'm taking is great. Despite a report that another twenty weeks will be added to unemployment compensation, there's no guarantee that they'll re-open my claim. Yeah, jobs are scarce, but they're not non-existent. I'll find something and there are other people keeping a look out on my behalf as well, as I have been on behalf of others. JEEZ! what a pain!

Now the hard part is the change of stress the fetching Mrs. Marshall Art will now undergo. Where the long absence of her beloved (that would be me) burdened her loving heart, the continued absence of income will play on her fears (she's the worrier). This causes me no small amount of regret, to say the least, as well as a great deal of second guessing. Perri tells me he must leave home for a year in order to make some righteous bucks. If I had a sense that my situation was so determined, fixed to a specific period of time, perhaps I could weather the period knowing there was a goal line. But I have no such certainty. I don't even have certainty that I'll be home on a specific day regularly so planning anything resembling a normal life on my two days off is a crapshoot that can be further complicated by inclement weather. I'm 1.5 hrs from my operating center if I drive the limit. Imagine a screw-up getting me back from my trip late and then having my travel time doubled (and easily so) due to heavy snowfall. That drive-time home is MY time and counts against my reset time. If I already have an assignment, then my off time is further curtailed.

No. I just can't do it. I'll find something. And if we continue to get more conservative victories as elections come up, economic recovery will accelerate and more jobs will be available for those of us impacted so ruthlessly.


Perri Nelson said...

I hope that you find something better suited to your needs soon Marshall. Men and women of character were never meant to live on unemployment "insurance." It's far better for a man's peace of mind to be gainfully employed - and home with his family.

Dan Trabue said...

Good luck with the job search.

Mark said...

You have more self confidence than I.

If I get a job, no matter how bad it is, I will stick with it until something that looks better come along. I try never to leave a job before I have another one lined up.

Marshall Art said...


I totally agree. And that's not to mention that being gainfully employed generally also means more monetarily gainful. In the meantime, I tell myself that I'm at least getting a rebate on my taxes. But indeed, a real gig is paramount and my current "job". Unemployment compensation is my wages for that job.

Marshall Art said...


It's not as much confidence in myself as it is in my Lord. I've asked for His help in all this. Perhaps I erred in not trusting Him more to provide more spinal support, but that's likely more on me than Him.

But to your point, I would normally agree with that strategy were it not for the fact that while being away, it's hard to job hunt effectively. I've lost one opportunity right out of school for not taking a gig immediately and sight unseen, as it were. This indicates that my availability to meet with any prospective employers is an absolute must. That is, they ain't gonna wait around for me, especially with so many others from which to choose already nearby.

I am totally aware of the risk I've taken by not bucking up and carrying on, but there is also another consideration. Had I not taken the job in the first place, as my disdain for the concept of OTR driving initially compelled me, I would now be over three months removed from my last time behind the wheel. At the driving school, they said it's more common that an employer would reject an applicant only two months removed. So in a sense, my experience has at least given me "experience", such as it is, that is a bit more recent. And there's a clear distinction between quitting a job and quitting one that's OTR, so I don't think that would necessarily be held against me.

But no, normally I would not leave a job to seek another. Like you suggested, I would normally seek the new job, secure it, then give notice to the previous. I considered it here, but as suggested above, this is a somewhat unique situation.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Been there done that, reached same conclusion. It took me longer to realize it, but I sympathize and understand completely.

Marshall Art said...

I recalled you mentioning it often, Geoffrey. It was obvious from the start that it wasn't for me. Even those aspects I found appealing were inevitably trumped by the fact that the whole concept just doesn't fit with my personal life circumstances. Yet, the state of the economy might drive me back, so to speak, at some point and if so, I'll simply have to deal. Hope it won't come to that. I appreciate your sentiments.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

All the same, not everyone can even achieve the license, as you well know. Driving a truck isn't a job, it's a life, and it isn't for everyone. I enjoyed it, and had I started doing it when I was younger and single, who knows where my life would have gone. I am glad I did it, because I always wanted to do it, did it, and moved on.

Good luck with whatever comes next, and don't kick yourself over whether the decision was correct in our economy or not. If it didn't fit your life, man, it didn't fir your life. No need to worry about that aspect of it.

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey is right.

Even if it wasn't the right decision at the time -- and it isn't obvious that it wasn't worth a try -- it would be another bad decision to stick it out.

God is sovereign. Blessings to you and your search.

Marty said...

You either have a lot of money saved up, you are a successful day trader, or your wife works and earns a pretty decent salary. Otherwise you wouldn't have the luxury of just quitting your job after having been out of a job without having another. I agree with Mark.

I suppose it's a good thing for you unemployment benefits have been extended.

You're a whiner Marshall. A few weeks away from the spouse and you can't handle it. You couldn't handle being in the military either. A friend of mine has only seen her husband 10 months out of the last three years - 4 deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Being on the dole too long has turned you into a spoiled cry baby.

Marshall Art said...

I love you, too, Marty. Thanks for your input.

As you may not know, when one is collecting unemployment compensation, a program to which I've contributed for the last, oh, 35 years or so, one is not required to take the first job that comes along just to get off the plan. Yet in my case, I had to take the job just to insure that I was not making it tougher to get the type of job I was in training for to begin with. If one is out the cab for too long, it's as if one was never trained to begin with. As if that wasn't enough, it's isn't easy looking for the job you want when you're out of the freakin' state for two weeks at a pop and home on days when interviews are not likely to be set up.

Thirdly, I HAVE taken pains to provide for such circumstances. It's something I've endorsed AND done myself. So yes, I DO have a bit of flexibility to make this move.

Fourthly, you belittle the sacrifices of those in the military by daring to compare why they go away for extended periods compared to why I would have. There's a bit of a difference between driving a truck and serving one's country that makes them the definition of apples to oranges. And when YOU go away for ten months from YOUR family, then you can talk.

Fifthly, you have no idea what I AM willing to do to get off the unemployment plan. But not one of those possibilities in any way requires YOUR stamp of approval, but I do feel good that I've given you a chance to feel superior and condescending. You can towel off now.

Sixthly, as I said, I've been working non-stop until this layoff for the last 35 years or more. I've no doubt that I've contributed far more in taxes than I've gotten back since that time. Did you get that? I've contributed. That means what I'm getting isn't public money, but my own. I prefer to be earning. And as I'm looking and applying all the time, the returning of my own money paid in taxes is my wages for such work. Being "on the dole" is what we say about people who collect while kickin' back. That ain't me, doll, so bag that attitude.

Oh, and by the way, which will be seventhly, my "whine" was in regards to what was to come, not what has already been. That is, the uncertainty of how long I'd have to continue to leave my family and when I'd be able to get back. That "whine" is the same as most military personnel I'd wager. I'd also wager it's a commonly and rountinely expressed whine by a great number of them. I'd also wager that it would be as mine would be, that we whine and do it anyway. But I didn't have to do it anyway. At least not yet. If it comes to that I will. It hasn't yet.

"spoiled cry-baby" my ass.

Marshall Art said...

And another thing, Marty. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suppose that the reasons people join the military and willingly go overseas entails a totally different combination of values and priorities than any other job. It isn't likely that the average person enlists for the money. They may hope for training they can turn into a great paying job later, but if that's the case, then they are paying for that education with their sweat rather than with their money.

If they're enlisting to serve, then that priority thing comes more into play. Serving takes priority over self, including family. The loss of family feels the same, but it's viewed through an entirely different prism and justified thereby. It's duty, not money, that justifies the choice.

With a job, particularly the low paying entry level OTR job, the duty, which is to provide for the family only, and not also to protect a nation, needn't be done in any one particular manner. I don't have to leave my family to make so little, so why should I?

So with neither my wife nor me digging the sacrifice, what's the point of putting either of us through it if I don't absolutely have to? And since I'd leave for the first local job that becomes available, am I doing the employer any favors by taking the job? So I took a chance and felt it wasn't worth it. I'm not bound in any way but what is best for myself and family. Gotta problem with that?

Marty said...

Looks like I hit a nerve.

Marshall Art said...

Hit a nerve, Marty? No. You just said something damned silly, if not outright stupid.

Marty said...

Whatever Marshall. I was being honest in my observation.

Anyway you didn't pay for your unemployment benefits...your employer did through state (SUI) and Federal (FUTA) taxes.

Ultimately we all pay though, through loss of output to the economy, loss of tax revenue, loss of profits and government spending.

I do wish you God's speed on your job search, however.