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My poor introduction to the USA

User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2009 3:55AM
Thought I'd start a rant about how life can suck at times.

My wife just been turned down for another job, the 5th time in two weeks. Four of those for the university she went to, worked at (before she moved to the UK in 2000), and her father was one of the leading academics there since the 1960s. She's gutted, especially as she's well qualified for the jobs.

I've applied for quite a few, but been turned down.

This is 8 months since we moved to the US. Up until 2 months ago, savings have kept us going. But our finances are dangerously low now.

We've no jobs & no income at all, & my wife is not entitled to US unemployment even though up until she left the US she had worked constantly since leaving university back in the ealry1980s!!

We moved to the US in December 2008 to care for her mother who is severely disabled after my wife's father's death in March 2008. (My mother in law is helping us out a little but is getting awkward for her now.) Just to point out my wife had a job to go to when we moved but that was terminated soon after she started due to financial constraints at the university.

Even though we've contacted the State Governor's office, there is very little help we can get. We do however, or rather my wife, get $50 food stamps per week (I'm not entitled obviously).

We are at the end of our tether now, so not a brilliant start to my introduction to the US.

Thanks for looking.

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StrayCat 14 19.1k 3 Canada
28 Jul 2009 5:29AM
Sounds like you have to stay there also, because of her Mother. I'm in Alberta, and this province and Saskatchewan, next door, are probably the best off, but jobs have been lost here also. The latest news in Canada is that we have come out of the recession and are in recovery mode, and I might add, well ahead of the US. I'm retired, and was working in a photolab part time till 8 months ago. Last week they called and I started back today. It's OK wth my pensions, but I do it for something to do, and my wife wants a little more spending money.

Sounds like you wouldn't be too particular; the City of Calgary wants Transit drivers, buses and C trains, all training provided and paid during training. They were starting them at the top rate of a little over $25.00/hour plus an excellent benefits plan, Dental, Eye, Medical. That,s close to $50,000.00 per year +; and the lowest income tax rate in Canada, with the sales tax at 7% total, not a bad deal really. There's always room for qualified people like your wife also; we have several Universities and Colleges, and the SAIT tech college, which is huge.

Have a look at some Canadian sites, in particular Alberta, and Calgary Transit. I entered an application with Calgary Transit last spring, but the positions were full time, and I didn't want that; always wanted to drive a train. They called me within 3 days of my application, on a Friday, and wanted me to start orientation and training the following Monday.

Good Luck,
ripleysalien Plus
11 1.2k 11 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2009 7:55AM
Im sorry to hear your troubles, it should have been a great start to a new life.
I hope it turns round for ya, I was very upset not to emigrate to Canada after being let down by an employer, but keep yer chin up mate, luck has a strange way of working.

Regards and best wishes,

strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2009 9:16AM
Would it not be easier to move your wife's mother?

From my experience the US is great when the going is good and terrible when it is not (lack of social welfare/medical begin a major drop off).
chasney 14 139 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2009 9:27AM
sorry to hear your predicament - hope life looks up soon.
Given that you are there for your wife's mother, can she return the favour by supporting you with any of her savings until you are back on your feet?
SuziBlue 15 16.2k 10 Scotland
28 Jul 2009 9:37AM
So sorry - especially since it doesn't look as though you have had an easy time either.

Forgive me if you've tried this already but what are the opportunities for you to go self employed? Both of you? Doesn't matter if it's not what you're already qualified for and it doesn't have to be photography. Just something to get you out there and feeling positive, rather than having to cope with being turned down for work in a recession.

You can have three, four, five part time self employed jobs going, and see it as a period of fun and diversity whilst you're going through this difficult financial patch. I don't mean to make light of your situation because I do know how bad luck can bring you down, but if you can turn it around, see where the gaps are in your local area and plug them, it may well boost your spirits and give you that oomph to ride the storm. Doesn't matter what it is - gardening, freelance secretarial work, accounts - you name it. Anything. It gets you seeing people - and people know people and it's amazing what happens when you plant seeds if you're looking for work.

Best of luck. Smile
ripleysalien Plus
11 1.2k 11 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2009 10:16AM
I was thinking the same as Suziblue, but dont know if you live in the sticks or the city, if you live in an area with gardens, I would canvas the area to see if a gardeneing service could be used, buy a mower and start cutting grass, thats how I started 20 odd years ago cos I didnt want to go on the dole, now im senior gardener of my local uni.
User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2009 3:22PM
Hi all, thanks for your kind & uplifting replies. I feel a bit better this morning after a good sleep.

@Strawman, The original idea was that she move over to Scotland to be with us, but my mother in law is too fragile & ill to move anywhere.

@chasney, My wife's mother is helping us out, financially, to some degree but she's only got so much that she can spare.

Self employment is an option that we're looking at but we're scanning our minds etc to see what we could do. As far as things like gardening, etc are concerned, we live in a rural area in Virginia, and every Tom, **** & Harry is gardening, there seem to be few opportunities on that front. Plus, I get hayfever & asthma so that ain't good. Wink

Ah well we'll get there, I know we're not the only ones that this is happening to.

On a lighter note, my wife remarks to people that we'll be in a cardboard box soon, I say as long as it has a porch. I love the porches over here, & if nothing else keeping a sense of humour is the best remedy.

strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2009 3:35PM
Good luck, sadly it sounds like no easy option, but the self employed idea may well work. Do you need to register for special work permit?

Are there any carer schemes you can register with that may give you some help?

Regardless good luck.
User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2009 4:03PM
I have my Green Card & Social Security Number (had them a month after I came over) so am eligible to work.

My background is in nursing (15 years as an acute hospital care assistant), but I have to be registered with the state for any care work. The problem is, to be registered I have to complete a 2 year full time course at my expense to the tune of $3000!!! And even then I cannot get into that course till September 2010.
strawman 14 22.1k 16 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2009 4:30PM
Ah sorry I thought it might help :-(
User_Removed 14 271 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2009 4:46PM
@Strawman. Hey, no worries. Life can be an a*** at times, but we'll get through it. Thanks for your input though.

As I said humour is the best medicine.
Sus 13 3.2k 9 England
28 Jul 2009 8:58PM
Very sorry to hear about your troubles. Although I'm now at the stage where my friends and are are beginning to think about future considerations for older parents, it makes life a lot easier being in the same country. I know of someone for whom visa restrictions on her elderly mother moving here to be cared for, means the whole family must move back to India, mid-career, schooling for the children... makes my troubles look miniscule.
chasney 14 139 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2009 10:00AM
Well, with humour being the best medicine, how about some off the wall ideas?

Assuming you've held on to your British accent ok, why not use that to promote yourself - complete with business cards (see recent thread for the latter)?

Perhaps you could market yourself as a butler, toastmaster or chauffeur - I don't think every Tom, **** or Harry would be trying that! Just an innovative thought (had trouble sleeping last night) Smile

Of course, if you prefer something on the photography line, why not do some social reportage covering birthday parties, anniversaries and celebrations? Happy occasions and much less stress than weddings..
Hugeknot 13 1.2k 2 Iceland
29 Jul 2009 10:36AM
As you have lots of skills and experience in nursing, I am wondering if you would be able to teach your skills without being registered?? There must be colleges that offer vocational training, you would be an asset. Failing that, have you thought about working in the mental health sector as a carer? It wouldn't satisfy your potential, but would keep you going longer financially.

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