roller coaster

Now that I’m thinking hard about this, I’m glad I’m moving home.

I can save some money, while I look for jobs and wait for people to get back to me. I’m so incredibly frightened by my future that it can be overwhelming.

While I remain generally optimistic about finding a job, I can’t help but think “what if.”

I’m scared. I am scared that while newspaper are failing and there is all this talk about revamping the way we do news, there are few jobs out there. I feel like I’m fighting tooth and nail for them, but I know that’s not unlike any other industry in the US today.

The recession.

I am scared that while I am planning to move to San Diego with my brother, I’m really hoping that I will find a job in the next month and I can move somewhere else.

At the same time, I’m pretty sure I’m a little depressed. I’ve sat in front on my computer for 6 hours today, but I’ve gotten little blogging done. I packed a bit.

I canceled my satellite.

I worried.

When I’m at home, I worry. I’m not really surrounded by a support system here. I love my friends in SLO dearly, but they have their own jobs and lives to worry about, no one needs to be spending time occupying my brain so I don’t panic.

It’s times like this when I miss The Boy the most. He’s been my constant for the past three years and he’s the only person I can really spill it all to. When I’m lying on my closet floor, freaking out, crying, it’s him that is trying to soothe me. And when I’m upbeat, he’s encouraging me.

I feel terrible about it, because we spend so much time nurturing my life that we rarely have time to talk out his problems.

I don’t want anyone to worry about my mental health or anything. I’ve been worse. I feel like I’m going through something important and I think I need to be totally out there about what’s going on.

Is it going to get me a job? Not really, but it’s cathartic and there needs to be at least one honest journalist writing about it.

a little bit about diversity

This past week I took off for Chicago for UNITY 2008, a quadrennial conference put on by the major minority journalist orgs.

I always get little sleep and have lots of fun — seeing old colleagues, meeting new people and remembering why I love this business.

This year I felt odd. I am one of the few laid-off young journalists I’ve heard of. I was still able to come (thanks to the folks at McClatchy, most of whom I do not hold a grudge), so I could look at all the gloom and doom statements with a little bit of experience.

On top of that, I was cruising the career fair for jobs, this time as a web producer.

Before leaving for the conference, I scheduled a couple of interviews with non-journalism companies looking for editors or marketing people. I was running low on faith that the industry had anything for me anymore. I had been beat up and turned out by journalism and I wasn’t sure I could go back in.

After returning, I’m not so sure. I realize I do have a perspective that isn’t out there.

I am an Asian American woman, who happens to love being a journalist and happens to love the web. That is rare.

There are other journalists who are doing it. There are other web folk that are pushing the envelope and I had several really positive discussions on the future of the web. I also had some bad discussions with recruiters and editors who did not really like the web.

I may have regained my faith. There are not many of us, but we are there. We can change the way journalism works and we can do it while maintaining and hopefully gaining diversity in newsrooms. I realize that I am rare and that if I leave, there will be one less minority view in the media, something desperately needed.

As budget have shrank, no one thinks about minorities. There are few internships anymore and the larger fellowship programs have mostly been cut. My company made the mistake of laying off a young, fresh, talented minority journalist and I had more than one person totally agree that it was a poor decision.

I want to try to make a difference and I don’t need a byline to make it. I can do it by helping newspapers figure out the web.

I hope this feeling lasts.

do not buy a cell phone from amazon.com

Or at least don’t try to exchange it.

The Boy and I decided to get on the same plan to save money, since we spend a pretty penny talking to each other. Long distance relationships are a drag.

So we find that we can both get Blackberries on AT&T for super cheap. It’s about a penny a phone to buy a new contract at amazon.com. That’s awesome.

I order the phones and I’m 90% sure that I buy a black and a red pearl.

I do not check the order properly.

I get a Curve and a Pearl. I call, to see if they’ll exchange it. Apparently, you get routed to India first and then re-routed to somewhere in the south. All my CS agents have has southern accents. Maybe Virginia or something. They say they’ll submit my info the the cell phone department and they’ll get back to me.

I say OK, then call back later, asking if i can just talk to them. They say that this mythical cell phone department doesn’t have a phone number. The second CS also get a bunch of things wrong. Says I did indeed order two pearls, then later recants that. Also says that I’ll probably have to return my whole order, cancel my new contract with AT&T and then re-order. Oh yeah, I’ll have to pay the early termination fee.

So I’m pissed off, but I wait. I don’t hear from this mythical department today, so I call.

This third CS says that it might take another day because they’re a small department. I cannot talk to them by phone, but they ARE reachable after 5 p.m. Hm. This sounds pretty contradictory, as yesterday they said that they weren’t reachable after 5 p.m. I say I’d really like to take care of it today, I’m going out of town and e-mail access isn’t for sure. She says, “you can check your e-mail from any computer.”

Way to insult my intelligence.

We’ll see what happens tomorrow. But do NOT buy a phone from amazon.com Their customer service is terrible.

salad?

I ate a salad for dinner. With tuna, hard boiled eggs, walnuts and some fontina.

I hate salad, but it was yummy.

Be proud of my increasing culinary love for salad.

moving

It looks like I’m moving in with my brother in a month or so.

I didn’t get a job I applied to here in town and there is little likelihood that I’ll find something else, so it’s off to San Diego to save some money and continue to look for work.

If I’m lucky I’ll find something great in the next couple of weeks, but things are starting to look grim. I’m generally under or over-qualified for jobs. I would be a great web producer for another newspaper, except no one is hiring for that right now. No one is hiring for anything right now.

Thank goodness for unemployment.

you may have guessed by now

that I am not going to write about my former company too much.

Honestly, I think I’m over it. They screwed me over, but I’m working on righting it. I am not angry at most people. I am angry at the CEO who took a gigantic bonus this year, but still laid off 1,400 people.

I am not angry at my former paper, although I express dismay that I will probably not work in journalism again. It makes me sad to think that all the enthusiasm and hope I had leaving college for the field never really had a chance to be realized.

Anyway, unlike some company-sactioned bloggers, I did not have a financial advisor sit down with me when I heard the news. I do not have any savings. I have a significant amount of debt, from my car, credit cards and otherwise.

So. the job hunt has proved….sad. I haven’t heard back from anywhere that I applied and I seem vastly underqualified or overqualified for many things. I have a potential interview, which does not really excite me, but it will be a challenge to learn to write differently.

I’m looking for freelance work where I can get it, so I can add to my meager blogging income. But a full-time telecommute job is ideal right now. Or at least in the Bay Area.

I’m headed to UNITY next week to meet up with journalist friends. Hopefully I can get some job leads there and network my ass off.

If anyone is headed there as well, let me know and we can lunch or dinner or something.

I plan on taking my resume, nicely printed and shoving it in the face of every news organization on the West Coast.

Here’s hoping it works.