Monday, March 29, 2010

The Unemployment Chronicles: Week 14

Well, this is the end of "carefree" weeks. Next week when I can't pay my bills I will start getting phone calls and my credit will go downhill. Thus is life. What is credit anyway? Do people or institutions have credit? Such as when you work for a company or go to a school should they help you progress to your next stage of life? I would give more credit and respect to those that did. Maybe that would be integrity.

I don't mean to point the finger at everybody. I have had a lot of help from several people at many different places. Unfortunately, "help" is becoming a pretty worthless word in my vocabulary. I don't think it counts as help unless it actually contributes to accomplishing anything, and I have not accomplished anything recently.

I applied for jobs this week. I applied to be a barista at a local coffee shop. I sent a friend an article about running that he sent to several business associates with Runner's World. I applied for half a dozen jobs at Sikorsky in Connecticut. I just get the feeling that Colorado doesn't want me.

I also put together everything I have about Janzen Gear in one document. I need to smooth it out before I send it out, but it will be another incarnation of my business plan. Now for those of you that aren't in business, business plans are generally 10-20 pages long. They describe everything about the company from the management team to the advertising strategy to the production. I think they are ridiculous. I mean I think that for someone like me creating a 12 page paper about what I plan to do is unrealistic. Oh I have 14 pages right now, but a lot of that is repeated and a little is not included. The point is it's all fluff. Numbers and statistics about companies that don't really do what I do. I shouldn't compare myself to The North Face. They have hundreds of employees and I am just me. The other super frustrating thing is the value system around business plans. To have a business plan created for you it can cost upwards of $20,000. If I had $20,000 I would have a product available this fall.

There are basically three types of investors in the world. First, including most people is the group that has a few thousand that could be invested in something but they are not rich. Second, is accredited investors, people who make over $500k per year or have over 2 million. These are usually known as angel investors because they can give out tens of thousands or a few hundred thousand without a problem. Third is the group at the top. Decamillionaires and billionaires, who have so much money that they actually can't spend it all on having fun. There is always more land to buy and companies to invest in so they can spend it but seriously, what is the difference between owning 40,000 acres and 800,000 acres? Anyway, traditional angel investors are looking for high tech start up companies where they will make a lot of money when they sell the company in five years. That is not my goal. I just want to make stuff and license or sell it. My desires are so basic. I would like to get a new computer so that I do not have to use my six year old laptop with a broken battery. One of the biggest expenses would be getting an investment casting mold for about $6,000. That number is so big to me right now I just can not handle it. However, I know that out there this past week people bought Porches and Corvettes. I am sure that someone in Manhattan spent more on room and board this week than $6,000.

It's tough because most of the people I know really do not have any money to give me. Those that have a little I don't really want to take because I know that it is just that, a little and they could easily lose their income or other investments. Yet creating a 12 page business plan to show to multimillionaires while asking for less money than they spend on a single car seems ridiculous. They buy a car based on two pages of specs and a test drive. They know it will depreciate yet spend tens or hundreds of thousands on it. I just can not relate. I drive a van with over 260,000 miles and it works fine, I have no intention of getting rid of it anytime soon.

Aside from that frustration I ran this week. I ran like 63 miles. It is the first time I have been below 70 since September. Why so low? Was I doing really hard quality workouts? No. My right side decided to shut down. From the bottom of my ribs to my neck on my right side is in pain. I can't sleep unless I take all sorts of drugs. I can't lay down. Running is basically terrible. Isn't this exciting? No income and I get sick or hurt or something. I went to the doctor and they don't know what it is. Maybe pneumonia, but probably not, maybe kidney stones, that's the one my personal research is leaning towards. They took four blood samples, blood oxygen measurements, a chest x-ray, and listened to me breathe. My most recent thought, maybe it's stress. I have this way of getting depressed. Try being unemployed for more than three months sometime. What am I supposed to think that is happy? I don't have a job and I can't run as well as I want.

So I have not sent a bunch of emails that I was planning on sending this past week because honestly I didn't feel like it. If you haven't noticed, my attitude right now is not an attitude I want to pass on to people while I am asking for money, a job, or whatever.

I feel like a total failure. I have no money. Nobody wants to hire me. My running is terrible. My health is failing. It's not bad enough that I want to die. I went through that stage when I was much younger and came out of it so that I will never really want to die or commit suicide again. However, I don't really want to live either. I'm in a hole so deep that I just don't think my problems will be solved easily. I think there will be a lot more pain in my near future.

Most interesting feeling of the week: I was driving up one of the roads from Denver to Evergreen after taking my 800th milligram of ibuprofen and as I was going around the corner I thought, "This is strange the van is turning. I know I am holding the steering wheel but the van is turning and I can't really feel it."

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