If you have been following my blog, I am telling a story about myself and my marriage to my husband, the father of my son J.O. If you want to start from the beginning please read my post called Another story begins . . . or to catch up about some info about my son read And then it begins . . .
It turns out that he (my to be husband) was the guy at the soccer games who always had this, big smile on his face. After meeting him, I hate to say this but I loved him right from our first meeting. He was provocative, handsome and very kind. After that day we continued to date throughout the summer. Then I had to move to another city because I was going to grad school. We continued our long distance relationship. After two years I moved back to his area and was working at any job that I could get.
Getting a job was not easy. This was Reagan years and at that time the country was in a severe recession. The unemployment rate for the nation exceeded 10% and at the state level was 10.3%. I was looking for a job to teach English in college, but this was also the time when there were huge cut-backs at schools and it was impossible to get a job at a college without a doctorate degree.
So I took any job I could get. I worked in a calling center for an insurance company that sold medicare supplement policies, which was an awful job. They took advantage of elderly people. I also worked as a cashier at a gas station. Since I had typing skills I also worked for a historian and helped her document the historic architecture of the city. I had another job typing at a metal graphics company. They laid me off a few days before Christmas. I sold insurance, which was another terrible job. The company sold add-on disability and cancer policies. Once again a company taking advantage of people and using their fears to their advantage. I hated the job. In the last months of working for them, each day I drove 30 miles to a town that had a Ms. Pac-Man arcade game unit (which was located in the entranceway of a grocery store), and if the game went well I went out and sold insurance, if not I went back home.
As you can see these circumstance were very depressing. I can’t tell you how many times I was laid off and it was always within 3 months of working for the company, which made me ineligible for unemployment money. Plus, I was not laid of due to my performance on the job. Most companies that I worked for were very pleased with my work and my work ethics. During this time I think this layoff process was a strategy for businesses to keep their unemployment tax rate from increasing. It was a rough four years and very demoralizing.
Consider this. Here I was having a master’s degree, which was not easy to obtain. In fact I almost didn’t get it, but that is another story for another time. It got to the point that on employment applications I did not disclose that I had a master’s degree. Can you imagine this? The very thing that was supposed to help propel you forward in life, had to be hidden like some clandestine secret. Talk about a self-esteem deflater.
During this time, my husband and I lived with each other on and off, depending on where I could get work. Finally my husband graduated from college. I was once again unemployed at the time. It also was the summer when my sister was getting married. So my to be husband and I decided that after the wedding we were moving to an area that had more job opportunities. We had three choices. We knew people in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles. We picked Dallas, which is where we had someone to stay with until we got on our feet. At that time the unemployment rate in Texas was 6.7%, which was a big difference from 10.3% in our state. Dallas was in a unique situation during this time. Construction was booming. In fact everywhere you looked in Dallas there were the giant tower cranes. Big buildings were going up everywhere. The tower cranes were so common, they jokingly referred to them as the state bird.
I told my family that I was moving so I could get a job. One of my aunts suggested to me some that I should go where I can get work, and then I could help my family. Life of a dairy farmer was hard. My family needed all the help they could get. I don’t think my parents really believed I was going. So, one week after the wedding my car was packed up and I told my parents good-bye. My dad cried. The only other times I had seen him cry was at the funeral of his dad and mom.