I reported yesterday about the potential layoff at work. Well, it happened today. My employer laid off 15 people, approximately 25% of our employees. The other technical writer and I were both among those laid off.

Since I've been mentally (if not financially) prepared for this for some months now, I had everything with me to endure just under three hours at the unemployment office (about one hour of which was for three different waiting periods). Except for the verifications by phone or the Web twice this week, then once each week thereafter, I don't have to return to the unemployment office unless I want to attend one of their workshops or for some unknown reason. BTW, there were close to 300 clients in the office while I was there. They just kept pouring into the building. This is a serious recession/depression. Unemployment rate in Atlanta is around 7% the last I heard.

Over the next few weeks, I will get four weeks of severance pay from my former employer, so my unemployment payments will not kick in until the end of that period. I'm also eligible for COBRA benefits for up to 18 months, which will start February. Of course, they are fairly expensive, but at my age, I don't need to be without health insurance. Why can't we have a Medicare health care system like Canada, damn it all?!

Since I've been home, I called my fortnightly house cleaner to cancel her service. I hated to do that. She is a very nice older lady, who I am sure needs the money. I don't use a cleaning service. I also canceled a routine medical doctor's appointment.

To my delight, I got a call from a former employee at my former company (sounds odd to me still) who now works for a staffing company in the Atlanta Perimeter area. I have an appointment with one of her colleagues for an interview Wednesday at 10:30 AM. This is just a preliminary interview...no immediate job I'm pretty sure, but it is a start.

Now, I need just a few minor edits to my résumé, and I'll be ready for tomorrow. I knew enough to have electronic samples of my work ready on my USB drive.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers (if you are religious). And if you hear of any technical writing jobs, write or call me ASAP.

My LinkedIn profile is at http://www.linkedin.com/in/rbell.
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