I remember clearly 10 years ago. I was still in the military, having a very tough time adjusting to everyone being aggressive and passive aggressive towards me. I couldn't sleep well, I didn't eat healthy, I couldn't do my job and that was mostly because i didn't know what my job what. I still remember the words that broke me "the ball is in your court. It's all up to you on how you get out of here." I remember clearly, as if from a third person perspective, how I was laughing and crying manically as I reached out for that knife to end my life then. It never happened. I was stopped, thrown in the brig, had even more lies told about how I was faking it all just to get a free pass like how I'd always been doing, then discharged Other Than Honorable due to misconduct against the military that caused me to loose my mind.
Skip forward a few years to where I loose my job for Circuit City because they are going bankrupt and purging everything they can. I'm fed up with the daily routine of BS of people thinking they know better and talking down to me on how I'm supposed to do something that they won't help me with. So I go into college, I apply and get student aid, I get unemployment after my job ends, I survive for two years like that going to a general college trying to figure out if I want to become an artist or something else.
Then I come across it, programming. It's like art but with a more mathematical approach to it. it has a finite answer to any question but can be done in any number of ways. I pursue that, I get a couple of classes in on C, C++, Java and really like it. As my two years comes around at the junior college I look for my main college. I ask my self if I should just go state because it's cheaper, find a University that has teachers wanting to teach you and help you learn, or something else. I should of gone for something else and just learned more programming stuff on my own.
I search around and come across DeVry, offering better courses on programming and teaching more than just data structures in numerous classes. They offered AI, Simulation, even 3D programming classes to help me understand more to game programming. The dean was a very talkative and great guy who really knew his stuff. the teachers were just as awesome as well, tough yet fair. So I went with it only after hearing that they could help me get my classes paid for through interest free loans. I had high hopes then and I went for it. I still didn't have a job then though and all the places I kept applying for finally stopped looking at my applications as I stopped even getting emails from people from the places I applied to and instead got the cold shoulder. I kept searching but I also paid a lot of attention to my schooling. After all, showing how much passion you have for doing work, even school, would pay off in showing companies how much passion I have for wanting to work anywhere. I was woefully mistaken to how the world worked then.
As the years passes the money grew tighter and the job situation more dire. I even couldn't land a job at the college I was going to since they wanted someone with more experience in my degree field (ie more classes) for the position. But I didn't pay too much mind to it. I had some family members helping me with money where I needed it. I had friends helping me out as well. At one point near the end of my college years I even got pulled in to a house together with them. I felt like my life was finally turning around then as I was moving to a new area so i could apply to different places and even get a change at applying to more game companies. It felt good, like a fresh start just before I graduate and then I would be able to get a job programming, I'd pursue my dream of programming for a company, even if it was QA for a few years. If only those were more than just intangible dreams, if only that became real.
The day comes, I graduate, I felt good. I get my diploma along with awards for being the best senior project game of the three teams. I had high hopes even if I saw my financial situation was bad. But I wasn't worried about it too much. The job fair from school netted me an interview with a government job doing Java and server backend stuff. The interview went fine too, I felt like I aced it other than the final questions. The "why don't you have a car?" and "why can't you take public transportation?" I didn't have the money for the car and public transportation was bad where I lived and it would take an hour and half instead of 30 minutes on my motorcycle. turns out they didn't like that, or something else. I got ignored from any emails i sent there after and so did DeVry. I didn't give up though. I apply every where. Bittorrent, EA, Cryptic, Adobe, ect, ect. anywhere in the bay area that the bart train can take me and even places in San Jose where I'd have to use my motorcycle to get there, I apply everywhere and even apply at many places at last years GDC booths (2013). a month passes and nothing. Another month, I reapply to every place from before and start broadening my search a bit more. still nothing as 5 months past my graduation has netted me only automated replies from companies saying the same thing "We are looking for people with more professional experience." December comes and I get nothing but the cold shoulder from the job search. many places don't even reply now and I've turned to applying to bevmo, McDonalds, any minimum wage an hour job just to have a job and now I run into another situation there. Of the places that do reply I get told I'm over qualified for the position. December I didn't even get any presents, only a few friends wishing me merry christmas. I feel like shit by then but I keep applying.
Then FC rolls around. I feel it's a time to relax and take my mind off things and so I do. I staff for the con, I relax and hang out with friends, I enjoy myself. Then I get sick with whatever the con gave off for nearly a month and then I start my search up again. Feb, I apply to hole in the wall places and places that don't have an online application spot. Come early March I get nothing. I'm hating myself and my life at this point, I haven't felt this miserable about my life since my time in the military where everyone kept telling me how all these bad things happening to me is all my fault. Back then I scoffed at that idea knowing that it wasn't me filing the paperwork to dock my pay to myself by 50% because "reasons." I scoffed at life now, even though i'm hating myself, as I hear some so called friends say I need to apply myself to get a job, knowing that it's not my fault I have no professional experience when no company will hire me anyways to help me get that professional mark. By this point, 8 months out of college, I begin to wonder why I'm even trying anymore.
I've been practicing my programming since getting out of college so I don't get rusty, I try to learn new concepts but it's slow when that concept i was learning would of been used for a job I just got denied for. It's hard for me to even do 'Indie' game programming because that voice is now louder than ever of "why do you even bother, no one cares about you."
Then I get something, an actual call back. EA wants to interview me over the phone. okay okay, this is good right? They call me, I answer and talk to the person for the phone interview. I'm nervous but I seem to hit on something as they email me afterwards that they want to interview me in person. Last week I go in and interview in person. What was supposed to take a half hour became an hour interview. I liked it, I had energy, they were interested in me. I get home and tell my friends what happen. I have high hopes at this point. It'll still take a few weeks for them to go through everyone in the interview process but they said it could take a week up to two. I hope beyond hope that i can get this job.
then today happens. One of the other house mates, who I thought was a friend, has been working as a programmer at another company nearby. While I've asked her multiple times if she could help me get a job there she's always skirted the question saying the small startup is full up on people. Well sometime last week the main person sells the company off for a large chunk sum and all the people working there get split up, either paid off for their time or pulled into the new company. Well this housemate is on contract for a long time and is still on the job but it's moving to the south bay now. Well this is where it's hitting up on something else. The lease for this house is coming up next month and because this other house mate doesn't want to commute to work from Union City she wants to move closer to that work. So since she's wanting to leave and since i've still not been able to get a stable job, the rest of my so called friends are evicting me from the house. This feels like a double stab to me. A stab to my already shitty mindset as I've been working my ass off to try and get a job but nothing comes from it while I see the rest of the house smoking pot and doing drugs and are able to get by on the loads of money they've thrown into quick and bot assisted investments on the stock and money exchange markets. When I've asked them for help on getting a job I'm told I just need to do things another way (which doesn't work even when I try it) or worse, go to craigs list to get a job because that's how it's done now a days. It's also another stab in the back as I now realize that they've not had me stay around this long at the house not because they were helping me with a steady house to try and get a job but instead because they couldn't 'legally' kick me out when I couldn't pay for rent, and lately for food. So why should I go on living?
Even if I get that call or email back from EA now, even if I get that job i'm shit out of luck because these other, better off people who get money from seemingly nothing except for the programmer, don't want me here. Well fuck, i'm sorry I don't smoke pot every day to make you like me. I'm sorry I don't do drugs and freak out with you so that I have something to share with you. I'm sorry that my family, my grandma who died many years ago, my great grandma who died a few years later, my close friend who died before I graduated and helped me get through college, I'm sorry that their deaths didn't have a huge chunk of money associated with them that would come to me for free. I'm sorry I don't have the supposed skills you think I need before you'll think about asking for getting me a job at your company. I'm sorry I didn't have a rich family, or a real family at that, which could give me all the money i'd need to help pay for rent. I'm sorry I grew up living only on food stamps till I exited from high school. I'm sorry I didn't have the friends that you had growing up, worse is I had no friends at all being the minority white child in a strong mexican area. I'm sorry I wasn't given anything other than hope growing up while you were given money, electronics, even books where I had none. I'm sorry that I couldn't save any money while working since half of it was being taken each month to pay off other military debts. I'm sorry for even trying. I'm sorry for even living.
Fuck this life.