New Leaf New York: From Pharma to Farm


Unemployment ain’t nothin’ but a number
November 6, 2008, 1:41 pm
Filed under: From Pharma to Farm | Tags: , , ,

Today, the AP is reporting that the government will release a report tomorrow showing that over 200,000 Americans lost their jobs in October, with a record high total of current jobless claims: the highest in 25 years.  And: I’m one of them.

Yes, the job I thought might be the “dream job,” doing exactly, precisely what I wanted to do — working for a nonprofit on sustainable agriculture and local food issues, something I wasn’t sure I could actually discuss on this blog — is no longer mine.  Due to the economic crisis, specifically the giant market flops that occurred in September, two of the organization’s major donors pulled out.  The management had no choice but to let a third of its staff go; October 6th was my last day.

I was only there for two months, but I feel I learned a lot.  I really wanted to continue my work there, of course.  I was learning so much about sustainable ag and was so excited to dive in and get some important work done.  Alas, it was not to be.  But I did write my first grant, and work directly with farmers across the country, both of which were valuable experiences.

So, I’ve been looking for work for a month now, and still haven’t received any unemployment benefits.  I’m down to almost nothing.  Moths are flying out of my wallet.  I’m crossing my fingers that the gubmint cheddar will come in this week; I think I’ve finally gotten my Department of Labor representative connected with my former employer, and they should be able to iron out the remaining details quickly.  I hope.

In better news, however, I do have an interview today!  I’ve decided that, while nonprofits can be perfectly fine, they offer very little job security in the current economic environment, so I am by no means limiting myself to them.  And with Obama’s win on Tuesday, maybe, just maybe, the economy could be at least starting on a new (greener?) track within several months.  Obviously, I’m not pinning all my hopes on that, but we shall see.

If I don’t get any more leads in the next week or so, I think I may have to resort to waiting tables or working in a boutique.  It’s not ideal; I really don’t want to refocus my energies toward something that’s not on the path I’ve created for myself.  I’d prefer no detours, please.  I hate that it’s come to this, but when you need money, you need money.

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