Housing News

Finally He Gets a Job!

But can he pay his mortgage?

One man dared to put a sandwich board on his body, calling for help to find a job. It took Paul Nawrocki all the publicity from getting his own website (one guy bought a domain for him), getting all the hype from CNN and the New York Times, and hugging the spotlight every now and then. A former director of Operations in Sababa Group, Nawrocki decided to take the unconventional route of job hunting in New York in 2008. The Daily Mail writes what’s on his sideboard, “Almost Homeless. Looking for employment. Very experienced operations and administration manager.  Desperately seeking full-time employment with insurance benefits. For self and family. Disabled wife on 15 medications. Request a copy of my resume. Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated.”

Here’s the Associated Press feature of Nawrocki:

But the 59-year old job hunter didn’t have an easy way out of his situation. It took him 99 weeks before finding a job. The Associated Press writes, “In the end, his path back to work wasn’t through his television appearances, but through old-fashioned networking. He went to a toy-industry fair, and a friend introduced him to the man who would become his boss. Nawrocki believes the tales of his sandwich-board days helped him land an interview. His paycheck is nearly half the size; he had made almost $100,000 a year. And his title is a little less grand. But the job still seems a wondrous, unlikely rescue — as though a hand had descended from the sky at the last possible moment.”

And here’s what’s funny: “Nawrocki and his wife declared bankruptcy last year. They got food stamps. They went to food banks. They took gifts from family. For months, he’s been waiting fearfully for his mortgage company to call — waiting for a foreclosure notice, for something. But so far, nothing has happened.”

Nawrocki admits to being six months late of his mortgage payments and it surprises him that up until his interview, his lender hasn’t contacted him yet. It also surprises me too. It’s either the lender was afraid the firm would get a big dose of backlash from the public for being too inconsiderate or it’s just that they’re too busy to spot Nawrocki’s delinquencies.

But I would never consider the man’s entry into the labor pool as a welcome sign that things are going to get easier. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states in its March report that the unemployment rate held at 9.7 percent. It adds, “The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) in-creased by 414,000 over the month to 6.5 million. In March, 44.1 percent of unemployed persons were jobless for 27 weeks or more.”

The news is disappointing but Nawrocki’s story has something to tell to homeowners currently underwater: If you’re on the verge of giving up your keys because you were laid off, there’s always an unconventional path to take. All it needs are your guts and a clever imagination on how to nail your point. If your house is all worth it, never give it up.

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