Recession Mama

{September 29, 2009}   Broke Girl Frame of Mind

By Heather

I was digging through some papers this week and found a poem that I wrote back in 1996. It’s on a torn piece of notebook paper. Just something I scribbled down one night following a frustrating day of looking for a job.  I’ve kept it tucked inside my green folder with some of my other “thoughts” and stories. I’m not sure why I still have it. I  just don’t throw that kinda stuff away. (not a pack rat, just sentimental)

The “thought” or poem really gives one a sense of my “broke girl” frame of mind. I was just moving along in slow motion, trying to keep a positive attitude. But it was hard. I was failing miserably at being a “success” and accomplishing simple tasks. Even brushing my teeth felt like a major chore.

I was just tired of searching for a job. Tired of having all of the wrong qualifications. Tired of being jerked around.

I’m pretty sure this was around the time I answered an ad for a “public relations” position. I was excited to get an interview. I went into the office and discovered over 50 other people in the room.

Great! A group interview. I hate these. But I’ve been through them before. Better shine!

No such luck. Turned out they wanted me to sell vitamins, water filters and other health crap that nobody wants.

Whoa! Pyramid scheme. I gotta get out of here.

I rushed to the door and was stopped by a very tall guy who refused to let me out. The conversation, to the best of my recollection, went down like this.

“You can’t leave in the middle of the presentation”

“I’m not doing a pyramid scheme. I thought this was a PR job.”

“No but it’s a great opportunity. Really you should sit back down. You’re really not allowed to leave.”

“Either you let me out of here or I’m calling the police and telling them that you are holding me hostage.”

He got out of my way and I went home and sobbed.

So why share this now? Especially when it was so long ago.  It just feels right. I GET IT! It’s not easy searching for a job or learning a new skill in a crap economy. Once you’ve been in this position, you can never forget.

I don’t have any great “Dear Abby” advice or pearls of wisdom here. All I know is that when you’re on the bottom there’s no place to go but up. That’s what always kept me going when the going got tough. You’ll be reminiscing about the “bad times” soon enough. Now I’m going to torture you with one of mine.




Shoestring remedies and dime store anecdotes

A handful of full of change and a hole in your pocket.


Telephone rings and you wish you hadn’t answered

One more letter and it won’t ring at all.


Looking at the want ads cuddled up in a blanket

Turned on the heat, but it only blows cold.


One more day and you’re back where you started

Two more days and your start is long gone.


Deep dark thoughts, scratch it down on some paper

A whole idea once was great now it’s gone.


Brush in time with your voice a humming

Head down lights out you’re dreaming perfect songs.




Katy says:

I can’t believe you kept a poem from 1996, but maybe your old self knew you’d be writing for a blog called Recession Mama more than 10 years later! I fell for one of those jobs too! It was selling knives! I was home for the summer between Freshman and Sophomore year of college, and I needed a job. They made me buy the set of knives I was supposed to be selling. No one bought any knives from me because I’m a terrible knife sales person. A psychic bought my original set though! I owe her big time. She told me I was going to become famous one day. Maybe she’ll come and find me when I do. 🙂

recessionmama says:

That’s so funny Katy! I can’t believe a psychic bought the knives. That story belongs in a sitcom. I love it! Let’s hope when you do become famous, and that psychic comes to find you, that she doesn’t bring along the knives. ha!

Katy says:

Seriously!! 🙂

Carla says:

That is awesome. I’m with Katy…it’s really cool that you kept that poem for so long. And good for you for telling that guy off. What a turd. Wonder what HE’s doing these days…

jennifer says:

Love the story. Those tough times in our lives really shape the person we are today. I think it is important to hang on to those scraps of paper so that when we need it most we can remind ourselves of the struggles we have come through in our life and it gives us the knowledge we can go on. You have come along way baby!!

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