Thursday, August 19, 2010

Episode V: Cinema Styles Strikes Back

On July 15, 2009, I worked my last day at my old job. That day I officially joined the millions of Americans that, when asked about their gainful employment, could reply, "I've been laid off." From July 16, 2009 through July 14th, 2010, I went to craigslist, looked for openings, sent in resumes, put in applications and waited. Nothing happened. In one year's time I had exactly two interviews. Two.

My severance had run its course months before, my unemployment had gone into extensions and even those extensions had stopped, pending a Congressional vote. If not for my wife's income, we would have lost everything. Even so, we needed the unemployment to cover the bills my wife's income couldn't cover alone, which left precious little for groceries for the household, a household with six people. Our oldest son helped out too with money from his job, bless him. Things were desperate when, finally, on July 15, 2010, exactly one year to the day that I had left my last job, I got a call from my most recent job interview, only the second I'd had. They offered me a job. It was a job in retail, tough work moving things and stocking and being on my feet all day long. It was a rough adjustment to make and the pay was the same as the unemployment but, and this is important, it was pay from a job, which meant it wouldn't stop unless I stopped working, so I took it.

The rest, as they say, is history. After work I was exhausted and in no mood to write or even watch a movie. The schedule was erratic, never getting two days off in a row, with changing hours daily. Posting here at Cinema Styles plummeted. From three or four posts a week last year to two, then one, then, maybe, one every couple of weeks. The Invisible Edge stopped completely (and will, most likely, remain closed for business) and my postings at The Gunslinger slowed to a damn-near standstill. Unexplained Cinema suffered the same fate as the other three.

But that was then, this is now.

Two weeks into my new job I got another call. It was a call from the National Archives where I had interviewed for a position that I wasn't really qualified for but went after anyway (that was the other interview I had). I didn't get that one but now, months later, another job had opened up, one that I was eminently qualified for with my administrative and managerial background. They asked me to come in and talk, which I did on my day off and, the very next day at work, I got the call that they wanted me for the job. After one year of being unemployed with no prospects in sight I was now forced to go to the manager of my new job and apologize for having to give my notice a mere fourteen days into the venture because of another job. It was made all the more difficult by the fact that I had repeatedly assured her that despite being overqualified I wouldn't let her down. But as hard as that news was to break there really wasn't any choice (and she completely understood and thought it ridiculous that I would even fret over it). The new job puts me back on a Monday through Friday, nine to five schedule in a nice office environment (although it's an office for working so I'll still be offline during the day). And for a history and archival buff like me it's quite something to know that the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights are just a few seconds walk from my office.

As for Cinema Styles I already feel refreshed and am eager to write again. I'm looking forward to another exciting October and a refreshing fall season of new posts. I also started writing a series of deconstructions in the last few months because of something indefinable that made me want to and since I've now written several, sitting in draft form on my edit page, I figure I might as well post one a week or so and call it a new series. There's a definite format to each one and I'll put the first one up on Sunday but until then, I'll say no more, except that, having been written whilst unemployed, they do reflect a certain mood, a certain... state of mind.

Until then, I'm just happy to get back to posting (at The Gunslinger too, where I'm back to my usual posting quota this week) and Unexplained Cinema will start back up next week as well. I also look forward to visiting all my usual blogs again. It's been too long and I miss reading all the great posts out there and commenting on them. And thanks to everyone for sticking around during the lean months here at Cinema Styles. Hopefully, it won't happen again, or, at least, not too often. For now, it's time to start watching movies again.