When I was last between jobs, back when we were between decades (heck, between millennia!) in 2000, I remember people asking me, “What’s the hurry? Why don’t you take a break? Forget the paycheck issue. Forget the health insurance issue.”
All I know, all I’ve ever known, is that there are a lot of people who need help, the kind of help I know how to give, and time’s a-wastin’.
I started my new job right away, on the first work-day of the New Year. Fast forward another decade: The economy is picking up some, but not fast enough for all the people on extended unemployment benefits. The delays caused by Social Security’s backlogs are still coming down, even with an upsurge in applications: a steady stream of new judges at the new hearing office space in Cleveland (now in Skylight Office Tower, connected to Terminal Tower/Tower City). Additional hearing offices in Akron and Toledo, plus the National Hearing Center in St. Louis doing a booming business giving Ohioans videoteleconference hearings. (I just learned that I have five hearings on a day in mid-October!) But even a year is a long wait if you’re in between a paycheck and a disability check. Who has that many rent or mortgage payments saved up? So as you pack up for your vacation, or just unpack your mind for your stay-cation, that’s something to think about — one way to add meaning to your down-time. Be glad you’re not packing up to go live with a relative or at a shelter. Being grateful you have a job to take a vacation from. A job to come back to after being away. And if you don’t get any paid vacation days, or already used them up taking care of someone else, stay strong. Imagine not having a job at all, or worse, not being able to do your job anymore. So much for light, summer reading, I know. But I’ve never been much of a beach-bag paper-back person anyway. Funny, now that I think of it, the last book I read while on vacation (this was way before kids, in St. Thomas, probably 25 years ago now) was Studs Terkel’s Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. I still have it on my desk here, next to the Social Security Rules and Regulations. Figures.
– Posted by Mary McKee