I would say between April and August I probably had 45 to 50 different meetings that I would just initiate on my own, asking someone, “Can we just go have coffee, or just go to lunch?” So they’d get to know me and hopefully, if they remembered, they’d say, “Hey, Dominick, I met with him. He may be someone you want to talk to…”
I spent a lot of money doing that. The majority of people where I would say, “Can we just go to coffee?” I didn’t get a lot of response. If I’d say, “Hey, let’s go to lunch; I’ll buy lunch,” I got more takers. And that was O.K., if I thought it was going to work to my benefit. Sometimes I would say, “You pick the place.” I did that a few times, and after a $40 lunch I realized this isn’t going to happen anymore.
I would say, from an Internet standpoint, I have filled out and put in resumes for about 380 to 390 positions. Of that, I would say I have heard back from maybe 20 people, which again, that’s why they tell you in outplacement, “Don’t waste your time on the boards.” But after a while, you feel like that’s the only thing you have left to do. You kind of run out of people that you could keep asking to go to lunch or go to coffee.
Interview-wise, I would say I’ve gone on maybe 40 interviews over the last 17 months. A lot of the times that I’m aware of I’ve gotten close and gotten in the top three candidates, but for whatever reason, have lost out.
I learned, obviously, now, after 17 months, that it has not necessarily [been] easy to secure another position.… We’re having a new Trader Joe’s coming in, and when I found out that you have benefits even if you’re a part-time employee, I thought, “Okay. Let me try this.” Of course, I did. I called, and they said, “Well, you’re at the bottom of 800, so we’ll call you as soon as we go through the other 799 above you.” I thought, “Wow.” I don’t know what those next steps are going to be, and like I say, for someone who has always been in control and educated and so forth, you never imagine that these times are happening. But they are.
For the last two months, I’ve… I don’t want to say I’ve given up, but I’ve just kind of taken a break from all the stuff that I’ve done before, thinking I need to regroup. I need to get my head straight. I need to clear everything out. And so that’s what I’ve done for the last two months, but yet everyday you feel guilty: I should be doing this. I should be calling. But then you get to the point where you run out of people to call. That’s kind of where I’m at right now.
If there is anything the Federal Reserve could be doing that it’s not doing — and there is — then they are to blame for this. For this multiplied by 14 million. For Ben Bernanke and his cohorts to be giving a single flying fig about the remote possibility of inflation right now really is obscene.
The same for Congress. There is much, much more that they could be doing and they are not doing it. And the same goes for the president, and for state and local governments, for churches, for the rest of civil society.
This should be a national emergency on the order of an incoming asteroid.