Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

4 of 4
BACKNEXT
Jay Ridinger
Unemployed since: August 2008
Benefits expired: Multiple times
Full-time employment: No
Filed in: Tennessee
Age: 54

I used to be a road warrior. I worked for a contract management company, where I jumped from city to city on federal projects.

Contractor work always stops and starts, so when my last project ended in August, I wasn't too worried. I got the maximum $250 unemployment check per week, so I said, hey, all right. At the time, Tennessee's regular benefits lasted 13 weeks.

Eventually ... I don't know, you just start to realize something's different this time, you know? Then all the stuff with the banks happened. Everything was falling apart. Unemployment checks came, then they stopped. Then they came again. I don't even know how many weeks I've gotten in total. It's like a rollercoaster.

I ended up applying for food stamps, which was really difficult. I just sat in the office and cried and cried. I recently got another 13 weeks of unemployment, which is great. But it also means I can't get food stamps anymore.

I've now sent more than 1,000 job applications nationwide and even overseas. It seems with so many out of work, employers can choose from the cream of the crop. I just don't know where that leaves me.

More galleries

Last updated September 18 2009: 6:28 PM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
Five most expensive cars sold at Pebble Beach These classic cars went for seven figure sums at the world's premier classic car event. More
Seats that move! Rain! Movie-watching goes beyond 3D How can movie theaters compete when many prefer to watch streaming video from their own comfy couches? Some hope a new interactive technology will lure audiences with immersive effects. More
15 cool cars for sale at Pebble Beach While these events are best known for seven-figure classics, just about everything crosses the block at Pebble Beach. More

Special Offer