Posts Tagged ‘“credit crunch”’

quietly losing my mind

Or, as it turns out, not so quietly.

It is going on 9 weeks since I worked last – the longest stretch in my adult life.

I am guessing the number of jobs I’ve applied for is nearing 100. Most don’t give any acknowledgement and none have called me back.

The only mail I get are credit card bills and rejection letters.

S has been working a lot of overtime so I have been alone a lot. Time alone is not good – I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss my pick-up truck.

I think about all the things I could do with 9 weeks off work if I wasn’t totally consumed by panic or if I had the money to fly to the States. (Visit Natalie, for one.)

I think about how much longer we can last on one income before we have to consider drastic alternatives. Which is not a good thing, because it’s not as long as you would think.

So, what am I doing to keep from losing my mind? I am trying to stay positive, which is a full-time job. I am applying for jobs, which is a full-time job. In my spare time I am watching crime dramas on TV, movies I know well enough to quote the whole way through, and playing a lot of Peggle.

Hopefully I get a job before I lose my mind, or at least before I drive my husband to lose his.

Fingers crossed, please, and all the good wishes you can spare. We need them.


Read Full Post »

Once you’ve quit your job, that is.

So far I’ve watched 4 films (An Affair To Remember, Minority Report, Pretty In Pink & Almost Famous), 4 episodes of Criminal Intent, 4 episodes of Without A Trace, and 8 episodes of Friends.  Not to mention some daytime television, Tennis and UK TV Food. 

I’ve also finished reading To Kill A Mockingbird and have assembled notes on the text for our “book club”, and I’ve started reading Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. 

I’ve taken three baths and two showers.

I have read the entire back catalogue of 9 Chickweed Lane comics on Comics.com (3,040 strips).

I have had lunch with a former Temp who worked at Land Engineering. It was an interesting conversation.

I have eaten an entire “giant” watermelon. 

Oh, and I also revised my C.V., spoke to the temp agency twice and wrote 4 cover letters to send out on Monday.

If any of you have any desire to wish me well, I am waiting to hear whether I’ve got an interview for a perfect job next week sometime, so cross your fingers!!

In the next few days I plan to watch more TV, more films, read more books (I got 4 out from the library) and eat more watermelon.  Summertime is a great time to have no job.

If only I had a job!!!



Read Full Post »

chasing cars

So far in the UK I haven’t had that much luck with cars.  Back in Ohio I had the best of luck.  My mother was nice enough to buy me my dream car (1996 Ford Ranger splash in YELLOW!!!!!) and that car served me very, very well.  Here?  Not so much.

For the first two years I was without car.  I lived in Glasgow, though, so didn’t have a need for one.  When I moved in with S, though, a car was a must.  So I gathered all my savings and splashed out £1,200 on a 1998 Ford Fiesta in crimson.  Now, the first problem with the Fiesta was that it was made entirely out of rust.  No joke.  The second problem was that it was a manual transmission car desperately trying to be automatic.  It stalled all the time, which is odd for an automatic. Sometimes when you tried to accelerate the brakes went instead – not that useful when trying to pull out at a junction.  Any time I switched from Drive to Reverse or vice versa the call would stall and then take its time coming back to life.  I lived in fear that it would breakdown. 

I only had that car for a year when, after spending £300 to get it to pas its MOT I sold it for £800.  Not bad for a terrifying car, if I do say so myself.

Then I had great luck, actually.  We found a car for £1,200 which was two years younger than the Fiesta and not completely made of rust.  This purchase was a 2000 Renault Megane in dark blue.  I really liked this car.  It was nothing to look at, but it was reliable.  It could have done with new tires and new brake pads, but there was nothing drastic that needed to be done.  Until three weeks ago when the water pump failed and threw the timing belt causing all 16 valves to basically explode.  It would have cost between £800 and £1,200 pounds for the first fix (not counting the second fix to repair any still-leaking  hoses, etc) and the car was probably only worth about £600.  So it went to the car graveyard. They gave me £60 pounds for it which was nice, except it cost me £40 for the guys to see what had gone wrong.  So I handed them the keys to my car and I got £20 out of it, all told.

So then I had no car.  I’ve been relying on my husband and  kind people from my work to ferry me to and from. The days when S is at work and I can use his car are few and far between but they are lovely.

I was faced with a dilemma.  What kind of car to buy?  We’ve always wanted to get my truck imported but after some lengthy research we figured out it would not be economical.  We thought about getting a terribly affordable piece of junk.  A car under £500 that I could run into the ground and not be sad about it; but I have had as much as I can handle of not being sure whether the car will make the journey or not.  So we decided to go all in and buy me a new car.

A brand new car.

As of Saturday I am the proud owner of a 2009 Toyota Aygo plus in metallic carbon quartz (grey).  I’m leasing it for three years with the option to buy it at the end of the contract for a lot less then you would be able to buy any other 3 year old car.  S and I were very strict.  We made them throw in everything possible for free.  We got the metallic paint for free, the iPodconnector thingy for free, the floor mats for free and a full tank of petrol thrown in.  Plus we made them lower their monthly payments by £17 a month.

All in all I think we did really well.  Now I just need to get my car.  I am very excited.  It isn’t the flashiest car – it only has a top speed of 95mph, but it gets 62 miles to the gallon in the city, apparently, and it’s very, very cute.

Plus, if my job here doesn’t work out I can always volunteer to drive my Aygo in a football match on Top Gear.

Pictures when I get it.



Read Full Post »

Hello.  Welcome back after your long and unexplained absence.  How have you been?  We’ve missed you.


Oh, wait.  Strike that and reverse it.


I am sorry I have been away so long, and on such a cliff hanger.


S and I went to Egypt on our honeymoon (more on that later) and when I came back I lost my job.  So then I spent the next week frantically searching for a new job, then I started my new job.  All this while still having no reliable source of Internet at the house.  Unless piggy-backing off of someone’s unsecured wireless network counts, which I don’t think it does.


Anyway.  FM Construction went into administration which means it has gone bust. Bankrupt. Belly-up.  Whatever.  So not only do I no longer have a job there, I don’t get the benefit of a notice period with pay, or any redundancy pay at all (mostly because I am an American and don’t qualify for “government assistance”).


So I had a week off after our week in Egypt during which I registered for a temp agency and was assigned to a job.  Not a bad turnaround in this market!  So I am working as a temp at Land Engineering in Fenwick, waiting to be taken on permanently.  It’s 4 miles from my house and I would get a raise.  Not a bad situation in this market!!


Other than that there is no news, really. 


Oh, wait, yes there is.  I’m going to Paris!  Actually, I am not going on my own, I am going with friends, so it should read We’re going to Paris, but I didn’t want you to assume the “we” would be S and I, because it’s not.  It’s Kate and Julie and I. 


We’re going to Paris for the day on Saturday March 7th.  We’ll leave Glasgow at 7am and get into the centre of Paris by 10:45.  In order to catch our plane we need to leave the centre of Paris at 8pm and we’ll arrive back in Glasgow at half past 11.


Including all taxes and airport fees it comes to £16.20 per person. 


Isn’t that awesome?  Yeah, I thought so.  So we’re going to Paris for lunch!!!


I’ll keep you posted, I hope, more frequently now that things have settled down some.




Read Full Post »


When you call our the office where I work you now get immediately to our voice mail message (that I recoreded) which says:

“Thank you for calling FM Construction. We have re-located to our head office in Edinburgh.  Please now contact 0131-226-xxxx for all enquiries.”

But no one has come to speak to me about our office getting shut down.

It’s very interesting.

Read Full Post »

ah, space…

I would like to take this moment to thank the massive downturn in the construction and development market. 

I now have room to park my car at work.


There’s a silver lining to every cloud, people!


Read Full Post »