takayla got a new job today! Well, she got it last week, but she doesn't start until today. To keep you up to date, up until June of last year, she was working for a shipping and travel company in Baltimore. She worked from home three days a week, and traveled to Baltimore twice a week. The company was really, really old. I mean, old for American standards; I realize my European pals know some businesses that have been operating since the 1600s. But this company was established in 1869 or so, and had been a family business in Baltimore. Survived the Great Depression, two world wars, and who know how many recessions. Sadly, a combination of a repressed world economy, Hurricane Katrina, terrorism, and rising fuel prices did them in. The owner sold what was left to another company who liquidated the assets. takayla was one of the last employees to close the doors. Then she was unemployed for about a year. It was bad, our family suffered a massive financial hit. On top of that, CR lost his job, but more on that in a bit. Even the former company president, a man who made six figures and got to travel all over the world, was last heard from trying to make ends meet by painting houses. This was an older man, kind and witty, who did not deserve this kind of fate. So he had it worse than we did.
takayla got this job like how most of us got most jobs we've ever had: we knew someone who knew someone. takayla was applying to an average of 2 jobs a week, and only managed to get half a dozen interviews in a year. All she was overqualified for because her last job she was HR, payroll, accounting, insurance, IT, and directly reported to the company president. Finally, we had a friend who knew of a position in her privately-owned company where someone had just left with those skills. takayla was a perfect fit. Right now, she works part time and makes a little less than she did with unemployment. BUT there is room for growth as the company expands. Just in the nick of time, too, as her unemployment ran out this month.
Now back to CR. As many of you know, for a little over a year, he worked as a Starbucks barista. He EXCELLED at his job. He got lots of tips, made friends, and was generally so cared about in our community, when he got hurt, everyone asked about him. They still ask us how he's doing. In fact, the Arabic, Indian, Afghani, Pakistani, and middle eastern community that frequented the shop loved him. You know how are it is to get those tightly-closed social groups to like someone? And when they like you, buddy, they like you forever. But CR's foot and ankle began to bother him. We thought it was his weight, and we had to wait for medical insurance to kick in for him (there was an issue where they gave him JUST under the amount of hours he needed to qualify). Eventually, he got promoted, and he went to the doctor and they said his foot was deformed. As in, he was born with a foot where the bones didn't connect properly (at age 5, he had been diagnosed with something else that was probably this all along). This, in turn, made him shift his weight to his opposite knee, and he wore down ALL the cartilage in his knee in the year. So now he can barely stand for more than 20 minutes, he has to use a cane, and he's generally in bad shape. Of course, he had to stop working. This ended his health insurance, so he can't afford therapy or pain medication (not that the pain meds worked, anyway). In the end, he's going to need an operation, some knee injections, and some intense bone repair. All of this is way out of anyone's price range.
So for the last few months, he's been at home, depressed, bored, and cut off from society. But he also persevered to try and get money, and finally got a job where he will be doing CAD work for a real estate company which a friend of ours owns. He can do it from home in a chair. There's no health insurance, but we have found out a recent legal change can allow him to get certain care under my health plan in the state of Virginia (thank you, Obama!). Thus, things are looking up for him as well.
Both of these are news as of last week. I hope to have even better news this week about something I can't talk about for legal reasons, but it could be the final of the trio of good news for our family if things get approved.