Jobless and Stressed but Holding Out Hope08/19/10
THURSDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News)-- There were no smiles on the
faces at the WorkSource Center office in Salem, Ore.
The people waiting on line for help from the Oregon Employment
Department were drawn and tense. One person who jumped the line
received a lecture from a middle-aged woman, who leaned in close
and whispered angrily. "You have to be careful," the woman said.
"There are a lot of unhappy, stressed people here."
At rows of computers, grim-faced people worked on their resumes
or scrolled through job listings. Others sat at tables, waiting
their turn for a state worker to help them.
Lyn Graybeal, 47, waited for one of the computers. Her last job
was in 2007, a temporary position with the Oregon Department of
Motor Vehicles. She said the anxiety has gotten bad, which only
makes things worse.
"It makes it hard when you do get an interview because your desperation and anxiety and lack of confidence show," Graybeal said. "I can't pay my bills. I might end up on the street."
When asked what she had been applying for, Graybeal's frown
deepened. "I'm looking for office work," she said. After a pause,
she added, "Really, I'm looking for anything these days."
Pamela Austin, 25, said she had been out of work for a little
more than a year. She was doing office work for a metal roofing and
siding company, but, when orders dropped, much of the company's
workforce was let go. She was at the office to have someone go over
"I've been working ever since I was 14," Austin said. "It's never been this hard to get a job."
Austin, who's single and has no children, said she worries a lot
about paying bills. And she has trouble sleeping. "Your mind, all
night you're constantly stressing over what's going to happen," she
said. "How am I going to get a job? If I get one, will they have to
lay me off next?"
She recently came close to getting a job. There were 90
applicants for basic $10-an-hour office work for a local heating
and air-conditioning company. She made it to the top 10 and got an
interview, but someone else was hired.
"I was devastated," she said. "I thought for sure I'd get that one. It was everything I had experience with. It was definitely a blow to my ego. It took me a while to get motivated again.
"But you have to keep hope," she said. "There's so much competition, you have to stand out and be the best they have seen."
That's why she was in the office, waiting with her resume in
hand. She wanted to go over her game plan with a consultant, to see
if there was anything she'd missed.
"I'm coming so close to getting these jobs," Austin said. "There has to be something more I can do."
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