So it was about this time where things at work started to get weird. I was now fully engulfed in the training department. My local manager was no longer my boss and we were now part of a large corporation. Our fearless CEO was now part of managing what was his own company. Corporate America seemed to be unsettling for him. He did not seem to fit in all that well. His employees were still employed, but as a founder of a startup, his hands were largely tied.
I received an email from one of my former managers who worked out of the Oklahoma City office. He was warning me of things He had heard being in management. The day was a complete blur, but at the end of it, I found myself without a job. The company was quickly running out of money and was laying off departments which were nonessential to business. Since I was now part of training, I was considered one of the nonessential employees. This is the point where my newly found position made me more vulnerable.
I’ll save you the unemployment stories for now, but I found myself at a bit of a loss. I was unemployed and unable to find work. Jobs as a web developer were few and far between in Oklahoma City so I was left wondering what to do with my career.
Here I was left to figure out how to provide for my family. I was still somewhat new to the idea of being one of the two providers in our family. Kristi, my wife, had been employed full-time for just a short while. Short enough where it barely registered in my memory. I found out I would receive something called unemployment benefits, but how long would that last?
After reviewing my options, I decided to work towards completing my bachelor’s degree as I was looking for work. This would help to occupy my time as I was applying at various positions hoping to get a call or email back. I would call into the unemployment office each week reporting on my job search. Eventually, the unemployment office thought I needed a bit of help, so I was required to participate in an all day seminar at the local unemployment office.
My search for employment lead me to feeling more depressed and hopeless about my future. I was completing my college courses, but it did not seem to move fast enough. I began an internship as a part of my coursework which lead me to work at an employment agency named Kelly Services. It was during my time there, I learned that my business degree was way too general to lead anywhere on its own. It certainly would not lead me to a job, so I was feeling a bit more hopeless.
My internship was almost up and I was headed toward graduation. I was still unemployed and lacking hope when the internship ended. I got a call from Kelly Services about an opportunity at a Sprint call center in the HR department. I would be screening employees for call center positions. Excited for any type of work, I took it! It was one of the most sterile, corporate jobs I can remember. It was close to a year when my temp position was almost up and I awaited a permanent offer from Sprint. I was beginning to feel like part of the team when my assignment at Sprint ended. They were not going to offer anything permanent. My job was being outsourced.
It was not long after being let go when Kelly Services called me wanting me to come back into their office. They thought they could get to know me and help me find a position. After the usual employment tests, they didn’t have any opportunities for me. I found out I was close to being eligible for unemployment when they called me offering me a temporary position in their office. I worked there as a temp for a while hiring for an AT&T call center. I was getting pretty good at hiring, but I was being lead on about possible permanent employment with Kelly. Lots of empty promises from my boss lead me to give my notice. It was time to move on.
So with the support of my wife, Kristi, I left in search for something better. It felt good to stand up for myself. I was severely frustrated at looking for work. I was not interested in hanging on with little hope for future permanent employment. It took a big leap of faith to leave without any opportunities in mind, but I made it. I received a few calls over the next several months from Kelly about possible opportunities. I received one which I thought would be beneficial. I went on an interview and was offered the position. I would be interviewing candidates for warehouse work. This along with some other Human Resources work, but it looked hopeful.
My time in Human Resources at AWG proved to be a pretty good fit. My boss was wonderful and the people were nice. Finally, I found solid work! Everything was great except the actual work. I found myself doing very little interviews and a lot of repetitive data entry. Slowly I found it more and more difficult to go into work.
Everything was right there in front of me, I should have seen the signs. But I did not. I found myself counting minutes. In the morning I would count how long until lunch. After lunch, I would count the hours until it was time to leave. The days I was not able to go out to lunch with others, I would stay at the office and try to escape somehow. It became more and more challenging to go into work. I would sit in front of the office in my car in the morning. One morning my boss called sounding concerned. I explained my feelings to her and kept going.
One day I was supposed to go to lunch with someone when it happened. My lunch plans fell through and I found myself without an escape. I went to an Arby’s across the street and tried to escape some more. Instead of escaping, I found it incredibly hard to eat my sandwich. I remember reaching out to someone for help, but I was unable to eat. I drug my feet in getting back to the office. I went directly into a private office to work and closed the door.