When you're in the jam I'm in, what to do?

Jack Briggs

Film Editor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 3, 1999
Messages
16,805
I'm no longer at the newspaper I was working for. Outta work. And the job pickings are alarmingly slim (I specialize in editorial positions, as well as writing promotional materials--I'm a, um, Jack of all trades when it comes to writing).
At any rate, I can pay the rent for this month and the next. And that's it. I may have a freelance assignment coming up, to write an annual report/brochure for a downtown L.A. law firm--but that project hasn't been approved yet. If it does go through, it should see me through December. If not ... well, that's scary to think about.
But think about it, I must.
I've been looking at the online job listings, and they're better than what I see in the classifieds in the Sunday morning Los Angeles Times. Yet, things are alarmingly dry.
A copywriter friend of mine is helping to grease my path at a temp agency that specializes in creative work--Paladin. And there are a couple of other temp agencies I plan to speak with in the next day or two.
However, say the worst happens, and I'm unable to find something by mid-November (and, believe me, I'm willing to consider anything). What then? Are there any regulations in place that protect renters? Rent is expensive here in Los Angeles, and I need to make a reasonable-enough salary in order to keep living in my present apartment (where I've been for more than seven years)?
Is there any sort of recourse in such a matter? Or would I be sunk, end of story?
Please advise. Thanks, all.
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Ted Lee

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 8, 2001
Messages
8,390
jack -
i don't know about rent stuff, but one thing that may help if you don't land a job right away is to talk to all the utility companies and ask for some sort of rate-reduction.
my girlfriend was out of work for a while and applied for all this financial aid stuff with the electric, phone, water, tv cable, etc. they all reduced her rates...in the case of the electric company, they gave her about $500.00 credit!. i think she pulled this off for all her bills.
hopefully you can also go that route if necessary...
good luck w/everything!

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You step in the stream,
But the water has moved on.
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EddieN

Agent
Joined
Sep 23, 2000
Messages
35
I know how you feel. I've been looking for work since April, I'm a developer. As soon as I got laid off I applied for unemployment, I'm not sure if that is an option for you, but I'm able to receive 1200 a month in unemployment benefits, which is more than enough to pay the bills and rent. I have about a month of benefits left and then I have to relocate to find a job :>(
Good Luck,
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- Eddie
 

Alex Spindler

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2000
Messages
3,971
You may want to apply for a loan while you are still gainfully employed. You might get lucky enough to survive till a more stable job becomes available.
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Bombardment Society - Member
 

Paul O

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jul 28, 2000
Messages
130
Eddie and Alex both have terrific ideas - Unemployment Benefit should tide you over for a while and is based on your last reported earnings (the more you earned, the more you'll get) - just dont do something stupid and QUIT otherwise you won't be eligible. Getting a short term loan while your working will also come in handy as its a lot harder when you dont have a job - i wouldnt hesitate to utilize your health/dental insurance while you still have it. Good Luck!
 

Tom-G

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 31, 2000
Messages
1,675
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Real Name
Thomas
Jack, I'm sorry to hear of your situation. I recently lost my job too, so I can empathize.
Your best bet is go the temporary route. I realize that temporary jobs have a stigma attached to them--sometimes rightfully so--but temporary jobs can lead to permanent positions and pay the bills in the process. You may just "get by" financially, but at least it's something.
Jack, I know that you are internet savvy, so be sure to search for employment on the net rather than relying on the help wanted ads. I've found applying online to be very effective in getting a response.
Are you eligible for unemployment compensation? It's not as much as you would make working, but it certainly helps.
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As for the bad rap about the characters--hey, I've seen space operas that put their emphasis on human personalities and relationships. They're called "Star Trek" movies. Give me transparent underwater cities and vast hollow senatorial spheres any day. --Roger Ebert on The Phantom Menace
AIM: Aureus91 / DVDs / ICQ: 58566493
 

Dennis Nicholls

Executive Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
10,604
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
File for unemployment as soon as possible because they drag out the application process for several weeks. You won't get your first UI check for close to a month.
Go to www.edd.ca.gov/fleclaim.htm and print out the form, fill it out, and fax it to them. They will set up a telephone interview to see if you are a cheat. Only after the interview will they start the checks flowing.
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Feline audience members Katie, Susie, and the one and only Fluffy Pumpkin
[Edited last by Dennis Nicholls on October 04, 2001 at 10:09 PM]
 

Peter Apruzzese

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 20, 1999
Messages
4,173
Real Name
Peter Apruzzese
Jeez, Jack, I hope it wasn't that "editor from Hell" that caused this to happen. As the others have said, if you qualify, apply immediately for the unemployment insurance. It's your money - get some of it back. I'm still trying to scrape up enough freelance work for myself (I'm glad my wife is a computer programmer, she makes more than I ever will) - DVD Advance is bimonthly and doesn't always assign me stuff. Maybe it's time I try to start that film & DVD magazine I've always wanted to publish; we'll pad it with writers from here at the HTF.
Seriously, good luck and I'll keep my ears open for anything on the East Coast that you could telecommute to.
 

Peter Kline

Effects Supervisor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 9, 1999
Messages
2,393
Jack, unemployment benefits are to be extended to 39 weeks... so it gives you a little more time. If the economy continues to be sluggish, I'd expect an additional 12 weeks will be added. In the meantime get online with your Resume (Monster.com, etc.) You have expertise that has lots of potential employment in Los Angeles. Keep the faith.
Peter
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Stacy Huff

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 13, 1999
Messages
378
And if you are no longer working because of that editor, perhaps a conversation with a lawyer might be in order. Who knows, maybe there is potential there.
Good luck with whatever you do.
 

Rain

Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2001
Messages
5,015
Real Name
Rain
Hey, Jack
Obviously I know nothing about California residential law, but have you thought about possibly getting a roommate until you are more financially sound. It won't solve all your problems, but it will reduce your rent. Of course, I don't know the size of your abode or if you are already living with anyone, so it may not be feasible.
On a more personal note, I think that anyone who does eventually hire you (and someone will!) should consider themselves fortunate to have you.

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"Imagine all the people, living life in peace..." - Imagine by John Lennon
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MOVING ON DOES NOT MEAN FORGETTING.
[Edited last by Rain on October 05, 2001 at 11:04 AM]
 

Deane Johnson

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 27, 1999
Messages
524
Jack:
I don't know anything about the California scene, but I might suggest beating a path to as many temp agencies as possible. Lots of companies go this route first and then keep the best on permenantly.
Also, don't let up on the effort just because you might be working on something that looks promising at any given time. Keep turning over new stones as if you had nothing going. I've found that the most promising things always seem to blow up and you want to have other things working since it take time for things to develop. In other words, keep rolling balls down the alley even though it looks like one already launched is going to be a strike.
Best of luck, and keep us informed.
Deane
 

Carlo Medina

Executive Producer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 31, 1997
Messages
11,944
Damn, Jack. I can't give any more advice than what has already been given (contacting utilities, getting a loan and getting a roommate sound like good options). But I have been looking around for a new job (luckily I work for the state and am secure, but just wanted to look around for something better) and you are right, the job market is very slim pickin's right now.
Best of luck to you, please keep us informed. I'll keep my eyes peeled for job opportunities and will privately email you if I come across some that look promising.
 

Dave Hahn

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 22, 1999
Messages
354
Real Name
Dave Hahn
Sorry to hear the bad news Jack, I'm sure things will come through for you soon! You've gotten some great advice. I'd check into the possibility for unemployment insurance, and follow through with the temp. agency. There's one other thing you might try.
Some credit cards, usually the "Gold" or "Platinum" variety, may offer a type of unemployment insurance as part of their "card-holder benefit package." This insurance will not only pay your credit card bill, but all other revolving accounts and installment payments while you are out of work. It's a long shot, but one worth checking out.
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"When you call me that, smile!"
My DVD Collection
 

Eric Scott

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 4, 2000
Messages
313
A friend of mine was a Sports/hockey writer for the NY Daily News, then became a PR writer for NHL. He told me that, "if you can write, you can always get a job."
So, it comes down to getting interviews, your current job needs to be going to interviews. Keep at it and you will find something.
Good Luck!
[Edited last by Eric Scott on October 05, 2001 at 07:32 PM]
 

Jason Merrick

Supporting Actor
Joined
Mar 2, 2000
Messages
696
Location
Simi Valley, CA (Los Angeles)
Real Name
Jason Merrick
Jack,
Sorry to hear about your situation. I was laid off 3 years ago today! It felt like the worst day of my life. However, I can honestly say now that I am glad it happened. It's hard to see the positives when bad things first happen, but there almost always are some.
As far as practical advice, I would highly recommend going down to the City Of Los Angeles Personnel Office on Temple Street (I think its 700 W Temple... about a block from Alameda) and see what's available that looks remotely interesting to you. I was working for Petersen Publishing when I got laid off, I had just promoted from Account Executive to an editorial position for 3 new titles they were starting up. About 2 weeks after my promotion & 10% raise, I was laid off... wonderful! I now work for the city of LA as a 911 Dispatcher. Job security is no longer a problem, that's for sure! Pay and benefits are excellent, there are thousands of jobs in the city that you can apply for, and/or transfer to after you are employed. So you are never stuck in a job you don't like, yet you keep your pension, benefits and pay (even if it's higher than the new position) when you go to another job in the city.
I know they have positions for writers, but I have no idea in which departments, etc... I would definitely check out the personnel office.
By the way, please don't wait!!! Get your application in immediately, because it sometimes takes quite awhile for the process, so you are better off getting the application in and then continuing with your other possible options until you get the call. (It took about 9 months from the time I turned in my application until the day I started...but don't let this deter you!)
Good luck Jack!
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Steve Enemark

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
482
Jack, you disappoint me. How can you be preoccupied with such irrevelent problems like money and rent when 2001 is being released to theaters today?

Seriously, as you know I'm in the same boat. I'm out of work and collecting unemployment for the time being. I can go for a while like this, so there's no immediate danger, but it's still a drag to not be able to afford any new DVD's or go to the movies. Keep looking, my friend, something will turn up. It always does.
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"Always make the audience suffer as much as possible" - Alfred Hitchcock
 

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