Personal Testimony

Jane in Tacoma, WA

Jan 10 2013

Jane in Tacoma, WA writes to us:

I have been experiencing longer periods of unemployment ever since autumn 2006. I've been trying to build a career from freelance and contract work and haven't been gaining any traction. In the last three years I've worked only nine months. In a field like web content management, that is certain death, because if you are not using, let alone adding to your skill level you are actively losing it. This in effect now renders me unemployable in my field.


Brittany in Puyallup, WA

Aug 14 2012

Brittany Thovsen in Puyallup, WA writes to us:

I will be without a full time job, for 2 years, on August 1st. I am frustrated, depressed, mad at myself and politicians, and completely at a loss any more about what to do. I listened to the hearing on the 23rd, from the capitol and it made me more sad and depressed. It made me realize though that I wasn't the only one. I did take one thing to heart, I realized I had stopped fighting. I have stopped being pissed about not finding a full time job and have just become desperate to find a part time job. This isn't right!


Cynthia in Snohomish, WA

May 8 2012

Cynthia in Snohomish, WA writes to us: 

I lost my job last year on March 22, 2011. I still dont have a full-time job. I am trying and have had no success in getting a job. I am in the healthcare industry, but I am also 55 and I believe that is my issue. I do medical reception, patient registration and can do most any job in the financial counseling department.

Personal Testimony: Marty in Redmond, WA

Apr 18 2012

Marty in Redmond, WA writes to us:

I was an administrative assistant with over 20 years work experience. I was also a long distance operator for nine years prior to that. I was able to transfer skills and re-invent myself into secretarial work after I quit the phone company, then took computer classes, and learned Microsoft Office.

I have been unemployed since 2001, around the time Bush took office. Since I was collecting unemployment I had to look for work and I wanted badly to find a job, but at 49 I just couldn't seem to find someone interested in hiring me. I lost count of all the places where I applied, but do recall I had a handful of interviews at the most.

Personal Testimony: Linda in Rainier, WA

Apr 12 2012

Linda in Rainier, WA writes to us:

Being unemployed has been particularily difficult. I've been unemployed since July 25, 2011. My husband planned to retire six months ago. He has continued working, so I can have health insurance.

Finding a job is difficult. I continue to look for work. This is a very tough time for many people. I don't know what we're going to do.

We invite others to write us or submit videos with their stories. Together we will amplify the voice of the Unemployed Nation.

Personal Testimony: Piper in Seattle, WA

Apr 12 2012

Piper in Seattle, WA writes to us:

I have been unemployed since June 2009. I collected two years of unemployment benefits, which helped because my husband was also unemployed for a large portion of 2009. We are both licensed attorneys. My husband is employed, thankfully, but we are living paycheck to paycheck. We have a small child.

During unemployment I sent hundreds of resumes and applied for hundreds of jobs - I rarely got a response. One organization was helpful and gave me feedback as to why I was not selected for a position: I was overqualified. The woman told me that when an attorney applies for a non-legal position people are skeptical and think the applicant is going to leave the position as soon as something "better" or better paying comes along. After that I tailored my cover letters assuring potential employers that I was not looking for legal work and that pay was not an issue (yes, I would have worked for $15 an hour); still, no replies.

Personal Testimony: Eric in Seattle, WA

Apr 12 2012

Eric in Seattle, WA writes to us:

When you are unemployed, your  whole life is put on hold: no entertainment, no socializing, no travel, if it costs money, you don't do it because you never know if you will ever get another job.

For me, the pain of this is something I don't talk to anyone about; if they have a job they don't understand, if they are retired they don't understand.

Finally, what makes me angriest is that the criminals on Wall St. still have their jobs, and are still getting bonuses! They should be put in jail for the crimes they have committed. Where's the justice?

Personal Testimony: Sue in Redmond, WA

Apr 12 2012

Sue in Redmond, WA writes to us:

I was laid off in January 2010. I was out on a Leave of Absence from work because I had pneumonia and I was sent a WARN notice from my place of employment.  It was like a kick in the teeth while I was already down.

I looked for work in the Information Technology field for 20 + years. I believe that my age has been a factor in my layoff notice as well.  They had gotten rid of everyone in the organization that was over 50. I was one of three that were left.

I had laryngeal cancer in 2001 and I continued to work since I had cancer and never have had a problem with communication.  I have been looking for full time employment but have not been able to get past the interviews with the contracting companies.  I do not come across on the telephone very well because my voice cannot be heard over the telephone always.

Personal Testimony: Jill in Seattle, WA

Apr 12 2012

Jill in Seattle, WA writes to us:

It is very difficult for me to attend the Unemployed Nation Hearings. To get to the UW by bus from my house takes at least two buses and more than an hour each way. To drive there means pretty high parking costs. This is part of being unemployed.

I worked as an contract grant writer for four years until June of 2010 for one non-profit. I have extensive experience in environmental and water projects. When I lost the work in 2010 I panicked and immediately took a temporary position as an Executive Assistant at a local university -- not UW. The seating arrangement was so poor at the desk I worked at that I quickly developed tendonitis. The university, not the temp agency, suggested I apply to L & I which is something that would never have occurred to me.

Personal Testimony: Larry in Seattle, WA

Apr 12 2012

Seattle resident Larry Neilson testified March 30, 2012 at the Unemployed Nation Hearings. What follows is his testimony.

Thank you for having me here at Unemployment Nation. And greetings from the underwater position of 3 years and counting of almost complete unemployment. My last extension of UI ran out 15 months ago.

Living with no income is a minor art, including maximizing one’s eligibility for available benefits, concealing one’s assets, begging, and when needed, by outright fraud.  Not that I condone fraud; as a one-time taxpayer, I frown on it in general; but in desparate circumstances, one does what one has to in order to survive and protect one's remaining dignity.

I have all but given up looking for a full-time job because with age discrimination in hiring, it is a complete waste of time applying.  I once was a mid-level bureaucrat in the County government, and before that a buyer in the Ad business. These are now considered the province of the younger and more energetic members of the workforce, and people of my years and experience are considered old, dried-up wrecks unworthy of consideration. Let them starve! As for medical benefits, you heard the Republican debate audience:  Let them die!

I advertise my services free-lance.  After many moons of little or no interest, as the economy improves, I am getting some nibbles. So far this has generated less than $100 a month. This has left me dependent on my 86-yo mother for more than half my rent. While she has made no complaint, it is not fair for her to fork over so much of her retirement income to support me.  In effect, our family is "eating its seed corn," for when these savings are exhausted, there is nothing to replace them except selling our home. But if it weren't for my Mom, I would be back sleeping in my car, as I did the previous winter (2011-12).  I am, I hope, appropriately grateful.  Even a home infested with bedbugs is preferable to sleeping in an unheated vehicle.