Friday, May 15, 2009

The Black Stuff

I nearly didn’t write this post. Three times I opened up Word only to close it down again immediately. You see, I don’t want this blog to become a teeth-gnashing mire of whinges about not having enough money or moans about having fallen onto the rib smashing rocks of hard times.

It gets boring.

Boring to write about. Boring, I’m sure, to read about plus...

I feel uneasy that all I’m doing is cynically provoking the sympathy of people who are also going through their own hard times right now.

Plus, unusually for me, I was feeling uncharacteristically reticent about committing any of what I felt to electronic “paper” this morning. The inspiration was nowhere to be found. It hadn’t so much stuck its head in the sand as flushed its head down the toilet.

But hey-ho. Here we are. It’s resurfaced again and the Word document stayed open this time. It must like life in the sewer.

What can I say? Times are getting desperate.

I continue to look for a second job but the pickings are slim. My web business likewise has hit lean times so I’m thinking of putting some of the kind suggestions people made last time I moaned about all this into action.

I'm applying for a new full-time job with the local authority I already work for - Building Surveyor - but I don't think I stand much of a chance. I'd need to be trained and sent on an appropriate degree course to become properly qualified but stranger things have happened...

Karen and I are going to see what we can do about debt consolidation to try and give ourselves some more breathing space.

I’m considering asking my granddad for a loan until the money from my aunt’s estate finally gets paid out (it’s all still tied up at the solicitors who, no doubt, are going to The Ritz every week on the interest). He’d be absolutely delighted to help out but morally I’d feel a real heel for asking.

So there are rescue packages of various sizes around if we need them. Rubber rings to cling onto. The sounds of oars in the water as a lifeboat somewhere is rowed towards to us... I can blow the whistle to alert rescuers to my presence anytime I want to.

But it’s hateful having to rely on it.

I’d much rather be piloting my ship off the rocks under my own steam...


28 comments:

EmmaK said...

Darling darling, whinge all you like. It is sad when someone as lovely and decent as you hits hard times. But I send you a hug and hope you sort this out. Solicitors are the bane of existance I know.

Steve said...

Cheers, chuck.

French Fancy said...

Oh Steve (and Karen). If your grandad would be happy to help please don't let anything stand in the way of asking him. To be old and cash rich and not be able to help his family that need it - well, if he knew he would probably be very upset.

And we're here for the moans as well as the light-hearted banter. Goodness, if you can't let it out on your blog, then what is the point of having one.

We're just thanking our good sense that we cancelled the holiday and stayed put (currently just begin the week's At Home Hol) - times are getting hard here as well and what would have been the point racking up the plastic with a swish holiday.

go on - get visiting you know who

Owen said...

Steve, I at least want to throw my two cents of support your way... these times are harder than any in recent history for many folks... people where I work are terrified that redundancy plans could be coming in the near future. In the past I've worked at various points in my life as "truck oil changer", "ice shoveler for a stadium", "forklift driver", "house painter", "caddy at a golf course", "delivery driver"... although I have a university degree, sometimes I found myself needing to take whatever I could find to pay the rent. I sincerely hope you will be able to muddle through these tough times one way or another...

A Write Blog said...

I opened this earlier and immediately wondered how to answer it.

I could try to empathise as I'm in a similar position; wrong. I draw a pension and my wife has a good job plus we don't have dependents any more; thank god.

You express some kind of reticence! I can understand that. When I first started blogging I was quite harsh in slagging off those who I thought were seeking sympathy.

I have to say I don't think that applies to you. Take this post; in isolation yes! But Steve; the sum of your posts is not like this; this is something apart from what you normally do. So those of us who read you will take that on board.

This isolated plea, for that is what it is, does not constitute the kind of post you seem to be fearful about; it is a plea.........that's all.

And my answer! Look to the positives. Easy I know.

But Steve; you are young (by my standards); you have a skill; you have access to the web and are skilled in its use; you are evidently well educated. You appear to be flexible. And the rest. If you came to me for a job I would be curious. What more can I say!

Never, ever feel embarrassed about those times when you feel vulnerable. That is what blogging is about.

Post your doubts; your worries.

…..and then get your fighting head on.

Come back for more.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I have just spent the best part of yesterday signing up to a temping agency. All the IT package tests were particularly harrowing and made me feel like being back at school again with the sweaty palms impeding my data entry speed and other computer tests! They seemed so enthusiastic about helping me though that my depression turned to positivity by the end of the afternoon and they may indeed have a temporary assignment for me shortly.

The other thing that has been helping in the last few days is listening to Mr McKenna's Instant Confidence self-hypnosis CD (free with his £10.99 book of the same subject). I was doing a lot of stuff out of the box even before listening to it, but am doing even more cheeky things now to find gainful and interesting employment utilising my ability to come up with ideas (and I have certainly been besieged by plenty of those lately).

I think it's perfectly ok to accept a loan from your grandad without qualms as you will of course be paying it back when times get easier/your inheritance allows. A friend has insisted on lending me a bit, which I was just as reluctant to accept, but which I realise I can't afford to be proud about (literally!) and of course will absolutely pay back asap.

Yes you must pursue all the viable suggestions from your last posting. It is on my To Do list to set up an e-Bay sellers account this weekend to discard some unwanted odds and ends for a few quid if possible too, so I don't know if that is also an option for you...?

Keep your chins up & accept ALL help is my advice.

Lx

Will let you know how I get on.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

PS: Funnily enough I have been finding it hard to blog lately too - so many uncomfortable subjects at the mo', aside from being preoccupied with unemployment and employment issues. Then there's one particular issue which I'd love to be able to write about, but don't dare to for now as it would be most unwise and have negative impacts on other aspects of my life.

Steve said...

Am overwhelmed. Thank you one and all.

skatey katie said...

hey steve -
i think what peeps are saying about your grandad are true - if you were him and he were you, i'm sure you'd slip him a few bob.
do you blighties still call it "bob"?
i mean pinds. a thisand pinds. or whatever.
we are having a few weird happenings in NZ politics at the mo. the rich keep getting richer. X

Steve said...

Kate, we do indeed still call it bob. Or quid! ;-)

Owen said...

And what about a "Joey"? Does anyone have any "joey's" anymore... I think it was a "thruppence"? Have you read Orwell's "Keep the Aspidistra Flying" ; if not, I would recommend it... don't know if Orwell is required reading (beyond 1984) in English schools... anyway, chin up, back straight, there's a good lad ! ;-D

Steve said...

I must admit, Owen, when I think of a Joey I automatically think of Joey Deacon and his memorable appearance on Blue Peter in the early eighties...!

Old Cheeser said...

So sorry to hear about all the financial problems Steve - I can appreciate it must be hard for you. Of course having nippers to look after adds to the financial burden I'm sure (and sorry to sound like I'm rubbing it in, but that's what makes me kind of glad I'll never have kids). As the others have said here, I don't think you should turn down your granddad's offer of help - it's all swings and roundabouts and I'm sure you can pay him back in your own time - better than having no-one atall that you can turn to. You have to take what you can in these desperate times - for instance I've just been made permanent in my current job which is great news in many ways and a big relief - yet in other respects I've had some qualms about staying on (probably not a good idea to detail here!) Ultimately though what I'm trying to say is that in these credit crunch-infested times we have to hold onto what we can find! So once again hope it all works out for you and yours...

Suburbia said...

Happy to listen to you whinge! After all, that's what a lot of us do here, me especially!

However I don't think that constituted a whinge. You have some positive things in the pipeline, and a loan from a willing relative is nothing to be ashamed of. I should imagine it will give him pleasure to be of use and help out in hard times.

These are blogs about our day to day lives, things are hard and that's what we write about, keep writing, hopefully the hard times will pass.

Sx

missbehaving said...

I admire you blogging on this painful and sensitive topic. I'm on Team Granddad, if you have a good relationship and he has the cash why wouldn't he want to help?
It's not like you're loafing around expecting handouts, you are doing everything in your power to keep your family afloat in these hard times.
It'll help ease your anxiety about finances and free your mind up to concentrate better on what next to do.

The Sagittarian said...

Hi Steve, it's tough all over and I think yu're one brave fella for putting it out there. Something good will happen and I agree re your Grand-dad, I'm sure he would be pleased you went to him for help. Take care, mate.

Steve said...

Well, thank you all for the vote of confidence but I feel oddly ashamed of this post and have been very tempted to remove it. However, it's an honest post and so maybe that is merit enough for it to remain here?

Thanks for the well wishes. They are very much appreciated.

Old Cheeser said...

Nothing to feel ashamed of, matey. Life throws all kind of rubbish at you and we all need to get things off our chests sometimes! We're all here to support you...

Owen said...

Left you a bit of an answer over at my place concerning Pennywise, although I think it would be wise not to mention him too often...

Andrew Glazebrook said...

Hope things sort them selves out soon Steve !!!

Inchy said...

Feel free to write about whatever takes your fancy, mate. It's all peaks and troughs anyway, so if you're at the bottom of one then write about it. I'm sure there's a peak not a million miles away.

A Write Blog said...

Don't feel ashamed of the post. A good blog contains a little of everything about the blogger.

That includes the negatives too sometimes.

A blog is the sum of its parts; sometimes showing a side of ourselves that feels uncomfortable allows the reader to gain a better insight into the blog as a whole and the blogger to reflect on what has caused the bad feelings.

Sometimes it's easier, too, to write about things rather than talk to somebody about it.

Steve said...

Again, thank you all for your positive and supportive comments - I've been really very overwhelmed. We've more or less decided to ask my granddad for a short term loan (I spoke to my mother about the idea yesterday and she was very supportive) which will ensure our childcare costs at least are covered for the next 12 months - the solicitors should have got their act together way before then (I hope) which will set us back on the straight and narrow. It's going to be very frugal times from then on but that's no bad thing at all... Feel a mite less under pressure today. :-)

Gina said...

Hi there Steve,
I am not meant to be here but I couldn't read this and not say anything.

I'm glad you are feeling better and have reached a decision. I can't see that you have any choice but to ask your grandad and like others have said he will probably love to help. So you'll probably actually make his day by asking.

So sorry things are so difficult.

Gina x

Steve said...

Aw, thank you for stopping by, Gina - above and beyond the call of blogging duty that is. Thank you! :-)

Suburbia said...

You shouldn't remove it! It's your personal diary of how things are for you now. It's important to be honest and one day you'll look back and read it all again and things will be better!

French Fancy said...

back again...I am so glad you've decided to approach your grandad. And that you've let this post stand. We've all been there at some point in our lives, Steve.

chin up - chest out, oh sorry - that's for women.

Steve said...

Surburbia: how right you are. In fact I came to the same conclusion myself - it would have been somehow dishonest and cowardly to remove the post.

FF: it seems to work for me too! ;-)