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I need your help - Peter Hentges

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February 27th, 2009


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12:03 pm - I need your help
Yes, you my friend.

It's so hard for me to write this, you have no idea.

I was let go from my job in July of 2008. I've had no work outside the home since then. I say "outside the home" because I am getting some money coming in from acting as a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) for Ericka, my partner of 20+ years. This has been enough to pay the utilities and phone, put food in the refrigerator, keep gas in the van and like that. It hasn't been enough, sadly, to pay the mortgage on top of that.

I received a letter from my mortgage company saying that they're referring my mortgage to their lawyers to begin foreclosure proceedings. Like so many others out there, I'm without a job and in danger of losing my home. I'm lucky that I'm able to keep the lights on, but it is looking grim all the same.

Ericka has multiple, chronic, life-altering diseases and I am her primary caregiver. Her Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) makes it impossible to breathe without taking steroids every day. Her MS keeps her muscles weak and plagues her with nerve pain frequently. The steroids have caused diabetes that requires her to have an insulin pump. She is basically bed-ridden.

Despite her challenges, Ericka leads a full life and anyone who takes the time to get to know her can't help but love her. We have modified our home over the years we have lived here to make it as comfortable as possible for her to continue to live here.

You can see why losing this home would be a devastating blow for both of us. That's why I need your help.

I am confident that if I could begin paying my mortgage again, the bank would not want to continue with foreclosure proceedings. Not only do they normally lose money on foreclosing, but the housing market has depressed values even further. In addition, the modifications made to our home to accommodate Ericka make it undesirable for, and thus harder to sell to, anyone that doesn't have her needs.

So first and foremost, I need some work. At this point, I'm growing desperate and am willing to take nearly anything. My only requirement is that I need to bring home an additional $1,500 a month so that I can pay my mortgage. I'll add a link to my resume so you can get an idea of what I have experience doing, but I'm more than willing to look outside my field of expertise. (I used paycheck calculator to figure out that $16/hour for 30 hours a week will meet my needs.)

I'm particularly interested in work that I can do from home because that would allow me to contribute to Ericka's care while still paying the mortgage. As I said, however, I'm desperate and will consider any sort of work at this point.

So what can you do? Well, if you have a job opening, you can hire me. If you know of an opening in your company, you can recommend me. You can plead my case to your friends to see if they have or know of any openings. If none of that suits your fancy and you have the means, you can send me cash. (I don't expect you to do the latter, everyone I know is stretching things tight right now.) If nothing else, just link to this note. If the word is spread far enough I'm sure I'll have more than enough offers to choose from.

Thank you, friends. If there's something I can do for you, please let me know.

My resume (as MS Word document).

ETA: Since people asked, you can send PayPal to jbru@mac.com if you so desire.

(46 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:kashma
Date:February 27th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
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I will, as I have been, keep my eyes open for you.

Bravo on posting this. I'm very proud of you right now.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:February 27th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Thanks. Appreciate your thoughts.
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From:kaffyr
Date:February 27th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
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My friend, I will try to think of something - anything - that's of help to you. My thoughts are with you, and Ericka.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:February 27th, 2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! The thinking itself is helpful.
[User Picture]
From:skylarker
Date:February 27th, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
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I wish I could be of help. I'm renting and soon to be two months behind on that rent, having been either unemployed or under-employed for over a year now.

One thought: I'm currently running this ad on Craigslist. You could run an ad there, too, offering your services, and possibly we could work together if I get called on a project requiring more development skills than I have.
(Deleted comment)
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From:jbru
Date:February 27th, 2009 10:57 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!
From:markiv1111
Date:February 27th, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)

Work hours

(Link)
The employer my wife (Louie) works for sometimes hires new PCAs. However, the pay is rock bottom and they do not provide insurance or other benefits. This would be the only lead I have for work. Meanwhile, the more people you keep up lines of communication with, the better your chances get. Good luck (which sounds so lame, from somebody who has so few practical ideas). Note that I had only very sporadic gigs as a musician for 15 months, and then all of a sudden I got calls from three bandleader (and a fourth just in the last couple of days). The world does have some history of making things better at the last possible minute.

Nate
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:February 27th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)

Re: Work hours

(Link)
Thanks, Nate. I know things have a way of working themselves out. I just figure (like the man who prayed to God that he win the lottery) that I'd do my best to meet them half-way.
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From:bethzebra
Date:February 27th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
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I will pass your resume along.

Have you thought about contacting local news? Your story sounds like it might be the kind of thing they'd cover, and perhaps the extra publicity would help find you a job.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:February 28th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC)
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Thanks! I hadn't thought of contacting the media, but I suppose it couldn't hurt. Appreciate the suggestion.
[User Picture]
From:paaaaants
Date:February 27th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
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Serving or hosting. It's lame, it's mind-numbing sometimes, but it brings $$ inside the door. Anything food service, too. They are usually high turnover jobs, so they won't mind (well, it's not that they don't mind, more that it's not terribly surprising) if you stop working after a few weeks and just don't show up any more. Yeah, it's a shitty view to take on a job, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:February 27th, 2009 11:00 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Thanks! I'll have to look around as I haven't done anything food service before. I probably have some reasonable enough skills for it, though.
(Deleted comment)
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From:jbru
Date:February 27th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the reminder! I have a contact in Robert Half, so I sent them my updated resume and let them know that I'm open to opportunities below my usual pay grade.
[User Picture]
From:lydy
Date:February 27th, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC)
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I don't know what to say. I am currently unemployed, but DDB is paying most of my bills. What little money I have goes towards health insurance, and when the loan money runs out, David will have to cover it. Have you applied for General Assistance? I don't know if they money you make as a PCA would disqualify you or not. Good luck. Wish I had something more helpful to offer.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:February 27th, 2009 11:01 pm (UTC)
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I haven't applied for GA yet, but I suppose it's time to look at it. Thanks for your thoughts.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 27th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC)

Resume

(Link)
I took a look at your resume and it is very detailed and extensive. I don't have a lot for you right now, many of my friends in IS and Web Development are out of work. They have been having a very rough time finding work, or even interviews, presumably because there are so many people looking.

All that said I think after looking at your resume that it might be holding you back. I would suggest that you create a much more brief resume that lists your skills, much like you did at the start of this one. Briefly list your work history with dates and position last held. When you get an interview they will ask about details of positions they want to hear about. I wish that I had money to send you but I don't. I will pass on your info and mention your situation. I hope that you can find work soon and stave off the looming foreclosure. I miss you man I never see you around and given the economic drought you are experiencing I understand.

Brett Johnson
(Deleted comment)
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From:jbru
Date:February 27th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the advice and kind words! I'll look at bankruptcy.
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From:yvonnenavarro
Date:February 28th, 2009 12:59 am (UTC)
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Perhaps you should post a PayPal address (in the body of the message itself, rather than buried in the comments). Sometimes when folks have a few dollars just sitting in an online account from old auctions or whatever, they can spare a couple of bucks.
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From:jbru
Date:February 28th, 2009 03:27 am (UTC)
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Will do! Good advice. I didn't suspect people would actually send money, but I suppose I should make it easier for them if they want to.
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From:phoenixrune
Date:February 28th, 2009 02:03 am (UTC)

Emergency Foreclosure Stall Tactic

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I heard a lot of people are having luck with filing a "Produce the Note" paperwork of some sort, in which the bank has to prove they own your home before they can foreclose... which really goes right to the heart of the problem, most banks cannot provide that paperwork, or it takes them quite a bit of time to track it down. Won't stop it forever, but maybe long enough to let you find some more solutions.
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:February 28th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)

Re: Emergency Foreclosure Stall Tactic

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I read this in the paper and saw the ABC new bit on it as well. It may not be as fruitful for me as my original lender still has my loan. But, it can't hurt! Thanks for pointing it out.
[User Picture]
From:alisgray
Date:February 28th, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
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Did you see my update on FaceBook about the US Census coming up?
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From:jbru
Date:February 28th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
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I did! And I went looking and had a devil of a time trying to figure out what they pay. I'll go have another look, though. Thanks for the reminder.
[User Picture]
From:idancewithlife
Date:February 28th, 2009 02:57 am (UTC)
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I would like to know your paypal address as well. Also, just as a data point, are you willing to design websites for individuals?
[User Picture]
From:jbru
Date:February 28th, 2009 03:31 am (UTC)
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I'll add it to the original post as well, but it's jbru@mac.com. And yes, I am willing to do web sites for individuals. Just so you know, I consider myself basically average on the actual design part. My expertise is in the organization and navigation portions of putting together sites.

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