Monday, December 17, 2007

A Gemini's Mind

I usually have a ton of things I'm thinking about all at once during the day. I try to keep my thoughts organized into lists. Things I like, things I don't like, thinks I want to do, things I need to do, things I'd like to do, things I rather be doing when I'm doing things that I have to do... etc. So today, my mind is really in about 6 different places at once.

1)Due to my recent lack of employment because I was laid-off, needless to say I've been looking for a new job. I sent my resume to an unlikely place for me to be employed at and I did a telephone interview with the owner, but he was too busy to interview me in person during the week last week, so he said maybe Saturday. We'll, when I say 'maybe' that means to be "I'll work you into my schedule or I'll call". Neither did of these actions happened over my wasted Saturday waiting for the interview. I'm not sure if I now want to pursue this job any further because if the owner is not considerate and I have to depend on him for my pay, maybe that's not such a good place to work after all.

2)I need to finish those pillows for my mom. I'm going to visit on Wednesday and that would be nice for her to get those items back in a finished state as well as relieve my closet of the space these projects are taking up.

3) I think I may need to rework my resume because although prospective employers are reviewing it, they are not compelled to respond. I'm a seasoned, honest, hard-working professional and I am good damn it; reply-reply-reply! already. And if the revamping of my resume fails to get anymore attention than it already has, then I am also considering retraining because of my lay-off situation, but that is a scary proposition because I'm not sure if I can survive on less than half of my regular income during the training period. On the other hand, it's exciting to know that the opportunity to acquire new skills exists and maybe I can somehow get back to drafting, drawing or computer aided drafting, which I think would make me a happier person in the long run than just doing office work.

5)Circular saw acquired. What to do: I do not want the recycling to take over my patio area again, so I have to build a containment/collection unit to satisfy this need. I have a bathroom door that I intend on trimming to put up in my bathroom. I could cut wood for shelving in the main bathroom, too, but I think I'm going to use surplus shelving left over from my Ikea Husar collection.

6)I never realized how much Christmas sucks when you're an adult out of work. I want to give gifts, but with no serious money to buy anything, what the hell do you do? Banana bread. I think that's my answer for 2007. If you get a loaf from me, consider yourself 'special' because I don't make this stuff for just anyone.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Riding the orange spiral slide down

O.K., so I was laid off on November 6th and my company is going out of business on March 30th. Generally speaking, greed and fraud killed subprime lending. Wall Street investment banks put the brakes on all of their loan purchases because they wanted value from their investment and the ensuing credit squeeze is making everyone that's still sitting on an adjustable rate mortgage quite nervous. I am also one of those in that group of people, too.

Now, I read today in the OC Register that not only is greed and fraud prevalent in mortgage lending, but also in corporate real estate. O.C. Billionaire Igor Olenicoff, ironically the owner of the building I worked in for over four and a half years pleaded guilty to tax felony, has been convinced of lying on his taxes and paid 52 million in back taxes. He could face up to three years in prison when he's sentenced on April
14th. Link to the news article

I've been in the position before where I made a career decision in an economic stressful time. Actually, it's what lead me to move to Orange County in 1992. My step-sister(at the time) needed help with the rent, so I moved to Fullerton and rented a room from her for a little over a year. At that time, I was a bank teller and I moved right after Bank of America bought out Security Pacific National Bank, so many branches were consolidated and closed. There were banking professionals laid off all over the place. I chose to quit my Merchant Teller job in Rialto because I did not feel safe in that branch. I thought if I could work somewhere, anywhere but there, I'd feel better about being a Teller and working with money on a daily basis.

After being unemployed for almost two months, I was running out of money and getting nervous about Christmas which was about four weeks away when landed a temp to perm job the day after Thanksgiving thanks to BankForce. They called me up and asked if I could file, not realizing that I used to manually pay checks, and I replied, "Alpha or numeric?" Ninety days later, I was employed at my first real job with a salary and not just an hourly wage, decent benefits and... taadaa... chickenpox! My son brought them home from kindergarten while attending school in Fullerton.

That job turned into a ten year career and my last title there was "Custody Account Manager". That job forced me to gain a big picture view of and terminology related to investment banking, something I never even thought about before I got that job. After ten years and a change in ownership, I felt I hit a ceiling and the working environment was more about the numbers than the people, so I looked for my next job. I found it in a clients account and networked to get a position as the "Collateral Control Manager" of the mortgage company that I am laid off from.

I kind of had to laugh that the National Mortgage News reported a decline in mortgage job losses. Welp, if your industry killed off over 400,000 jobs, are there that many left to even take away? Just this week, Option One, Washington Mutual and Lending Tree announced job losses if not right out closures.

How low can we go?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I hate winter.

I was born and raised in Southern California. I have lived here all my life, so anytime the temperature drops below 70 degrees, I'm cold. Don't laugh. A lot of other native Californians I know feel the same way.

Today was a day to dress like a psycho. As I left the house this moring to take my son to work, I was wearing Levi's, a shirt, a sweater, and my wool coat and gloves with sneakers. If the cold wind stopped blowing for a minute, you would have thought it was a warm spring day. I could feel the sun on my face warming my cheeks. The moment the wind started up again, I was chilled. I threw my hood up over my head and hustled over to the carport.

I decided I needed a drive down the coast to help clear my head after I dropped off my son. Down meaning south of where I live. I drove west to Jamboree and then south on PCH until Crown Valley Parkway. Along the way I saw that there were people in shorts, there were people in sweats. There were people bundled up like me in wool pea coats and sneakers and then some just walking around in a t-shirt and running shorts like it was any other day for them regardless of the drop in temperature. I saw shorts and sweat tops, I saw typical beach attire at newpoert for those playing volley ball at 10AM in the morning. As I made the left turn onto Crown Valley and climbed up the hill, I could clearly see the remnants of last nights storm deposited in white all over the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains. Just looking at it made me cold. I would say at this time, the snow is at about the 6000 ft level after the first good rain we've had maybe since August.

The sad thing is that it's only December 9th and it isn't truly winter until December 21st.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mere Mortals 12/04/07

I went to the Silver Lake Lounge last night in support of my friend Mimi who plays bass for the Los Angeles-based indie band Mere Mortals. I got to catch-up with my friend about work, Thanksgiving, met the new guitarist and comment on the christmas lights they like to use for set decoration. Mimi said the new guys were probably nervous because this was their first show after joining. There were rehearshing almost everyday for six weeks to get up to speed.

I must say the new band members were sounding impressive. We treated to the old staples such as Reverberation (they always open theie shows with this one), 13th Floor, and Dr. South and new songs, too. I even saw Axel pick up an acoustic guitar once for this set - nice.

I sold one CD. You see, Mimi usually does this when she's not on stage, but since I'm there and want to sit down during the performance, working the merch table allows me to do that and allows her to perform and then help load out including her amp which is almost bigger than she is.