Kiss5Tigers

The 5 Tigers represent the big things in life. This blog is about facing them.


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So You Wanna Help

As we approach the end of Hurricane Florence, we are going to have to deal with the aftermath.  That means damaged houses, lost jobs, community clean up, and displaced individuals, among other issues.  People will want to help.  Here are a few thoughts about that.

Don’t give used stuff.  People don’t want your old clothes, and someone has to wash, bleach, iron, sort and transport that stuff.  It’s not free by the time it’s all done.  And it’s not uncommon for bugs to become an issue while it’s being stored.  Give money instead.  That way agencies can buy things that are needed based on demand.

Don’t donate canned goods.  They also have to be sorted, packed, shipped, unpacked and distributed.  I’m told a 69 cent can of beans can end up costing $3.00 by the time all that is done.  Plus it takes manpower that might be better spent on other tasks, like debris removal.  If you want to run a can drive, please give the bounty to a local food pantry where it can do the most good.

Do give money.  First of all it allows agencies to buy what they really need.  The American Red Cross might supply beds to displaced survivors but they need cots and blankets to do that, which wear out over time and need to be replaced.  Second, many agencies give out gift cards or pay utility bills, which are obviously much easier to do with cash.

Do give blood.  Not only is there likely to be an increased need, but blood drives in the affected areas have been cancelled so supplies may be down throughout the region.  If you can’t afford a cash donation, giving blood is a good move.

Now maybe you’ve decided to give up this morning’s latte to help disaster victims, but what can you do with that $5.00?  You’ve heard all the stories about charitable organizations where 90% of the money goes to internal expenses like executive salaries.  If you decided to help, no doubt you want the most of your money to go to the disaster.  A good site to check out agencies is National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster .  Their landing page is all about helping Florence victims.  Another good list of options is this one from Fast Company.  Notice the emphasis on giving money or time.

All of which is to say, please give but be smart about it.  Give what people need and choose responsible organizations.  Be wise and be kind.  Your heart will be happier.


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Ambivalent Job Search

Why ambivalent, you may ask?  Surely I am either looking for a job or not looking.  And well that’s the thing.

I’ve been a month with no income now and I am totally broke.  I didn’t think I’d have to wait this long to be deployed.  So I need some sort of paying gig for the next little while.  I will be checking out local food pantries for grocery assistance but I need to work for my mental health.  Days are starting to run together.  The other day I seriously asked my roommate if it was Saturday.  It was Tuesday.  Not good.

If I need to take a job, I’d like it to be something I’m interested in.  I think I would like to be a peer support specialist but I am not certified for it.  I believe I could do it, I just don’t meet the qualifications on paper.  I have completed the classwork but I don’t have hours as an intern and I can’t afford to work for free.  I also don’t have a degree yet.  I only owe 3 classes, but I also owe the school money and until that is handled, there will be no classes for me.  Unfortunately, nobody cares how far along the degree process you are.  If you haven’t finished, you might as well be in your first semester, years of work don’t count.

I get lists of jobs every day from Indeed and CareerBuilder.  CareerBuilder has lately been sending me engineering jobs.  I don’t understand that.  Nothing about my resume says engineer.  Indeed sends me everything containing the word “peer” and the word “specialist” so that’s a pretty wide variety of options, very few of them in mental health.

I like my job with the government and would like to be doing it, but this no income stuff is bull.  I need money, doesn’t matter what I like.  On the other hand, I can’t spend 8 hours a day hating what I do.  Either I need something I could be committed to and give up the government position or I need something I don’t hate that I could quit at a moment’s notice when I get deployed.  Since this is civil service, not military, there is no requirement for the employer to keep a job for me.  I hate to take a job knowing I would leave it, but . . .

So why am I ambivalent?  Because I don’t know what I want.  I look half-heartedly in case there is something really good out there.  I apply to jobs I’m probably not qualified for because of the pay or my interest.  I am required to make a certain number of applications per week while I’m collecting unemployment, if someone decides to pay me.  But I really want to just do the job I am already hired to do.

I don’t want bad things to happen to people, but I need a disaster to happen so I can work.  And I am ambivalent about that, too.

It’s hard to hold two separate and opposite ideas in mind, and yet here I am.

Something good will happen soon and this will be a non-issue, I just have to hold on until then.