My Exciting Life.

I very much forget that I need to unburden myself. I live so much inside of my head that I forget what it’s like to actually speak with other people about what I feel and what I think. Too often, whatever I say ends up coming back to bite me later. I may be able to think conscientiously and write in same form, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that my mouth works in the same way. I’m a fast-talking jerk a lot of times. What makes it worse is that I’ve found when I’ve been discussing things of a personal nature – ideas and thoughts, beliefs, and emotions – I’ve had this, also, thrown back in my face. That, at the core, is why I stopped writing here. Too often, I found that what I was saying was being used against me in personal battles and I realized that by publicizing what I was thinking or feeling, instead of people asking for clarification, they used it later to their own advantage.

I don’t really have anyone to talk to now. This has happened often enough to me – the personal battles being waged – that I’ve felt the need to keep a lid on everything going on at home and in my life. This is probably unhealthy. Well, there is no probably about that, really; it’s really fucking unhealthy. But even though I may have learned the lesson to keep my big fat trap shut and to keep my fingers away from my keyboard when it comes to personal items, I know that I’m going to end up exploding if I don’t actually say something. I have so much going on that I need an outlet somewhere and I can’t, in my honest opinion, trust actual people to be the receptacles of all of that.

So, I need to dust this bad boy off and go.

Considering the high amount of stress in my life, and there is a large amount, I am actually doing okay, which is kind of amazing. I really didn’t expect to be able to say that, or write it, in any context. As much as I feel like I am going to explode because of work or home, I am not depressed, I am not having suicidal ideation, and I am not at the point where I make a REALLY BAD DECISION (which is my MO). I don’t feel like I need to seek out a professional and discuss going back on Welbutrin like I did before I was fired from Greed, INC. And that is kind of amazing in and of itself because I am pretty sure that I am under more stress than I was back then. I believe most people call that a “win” and I fully categorize it as such.

I recognize, however, that the background of where I work and the type of work that I do is high stress and is not healthy. The work environment is, well, to be honest, a real fucking nadir. There is no other description there. The woman that I work for is one of those very conservative Christian Tea Party people who think that people should be grateful she willingly gave them a job at $13/hr. Considering the company is based out of one of the states with the highest cost of living, there is, in my humble opinion, nothing to be truly “grateful” for. She has used the phrases “pull yourself up from your boot straps” to discuss people on welfare and has made it her mission to, primarily, hire single mothers with children, recognizing that this category of employees means hard workers who desperately need the paycheck. She doesn’t offer health benefits (she found out it is actually cheaper for her to pay the fines since Obamacare went into effect) and has only decided to offer other benefits, such as 401K and bonuses, in the last six months. Almost like she senses that I am deeply dissatisfied and the tables are turned (she needs me; she needs me bad), I was given a bigger raise than I was expecting and a 401K… six months after my yearly review should have happened.

My largest client is a task master and their desires are completely outside what we actually do. There are a lot of high level projects, which are mostly coming to a close. This means that I may finally be able to actually work within a supervisory role, as I should have been, and be able to actually onboard with other clients instead of spending 98% of my time for a client with only 50 sites under its portfolio. (This is versus the other person who was hired around the same time as me who works with a portfolio with over 600 sites across the country who are not even nearly as needy as my one fucking “all important” client.) Since the owner of the company has recognized my dissatisfaction, she has re-written our scope of work with my largest client and I honestly hope it works to my advantage.

I strongly suspect my largest client will be back within six months, needier than ever. (They are making large mistakes and we are all waiting for the explosion.) Whatever the case may be, I know that I need to find another job.

The problem is that the things I feel that I deserve are not required in this current economy and I recognize that. I feel that I should be paid more than $30K a year, especially considering the work loads that I am willing to take on. I also feel that I should be given to paid time off that I can use to my own desire, where as my current boss feels that sick time should be used for doctor’s appointments and vacation time should be used for vacations only (pretty sure it’s illegal for her to mandate that), and have access to benefits such as health insurance, retirement packages of my own choosing, and more than 6 paid holidays a year. I guess I’m greedy. What [probably] makes me greedier is that I want to feel like the person that I work for honestly cares about my situation, honestly believes that I am a human being and not someone who greedily demands a paycheck. I want to feel as though I, me, this person that I am, is recognized based on my worth and not on what it says on my resume or what it says in my cover letter or what it says on my application.

I fully realize that what I’m asking for is probably next to impossible.

While I have been job hunting, I have had absolutely no bites. Most of the jobs that my background qualifies me for, I am unqualified for as based on what their little “qualifications” section states. More often than not, they would prefer a college degree. This irritates me since most of my jobs have been in fields that a degree is suggested but not particularly required. And just because I’m not interested in bogging myself down in massive debt to get a degree that probably really isn’t going to give me too much of a leg above others in my field seems to be my undoing here. It’s possible that I’m a little morose that out of all of the jobs I have applied for in the last three weeks, I have heard not a damn thing back.

Stress is high in our household, too. We live in a very small place and it seems to only get smaller as the years go by. My son is growing like a weed and we need to buy him a new bed – he’s rapidly outgrown the bed he’s been using since he was a baby. (It was one of those convertible things with like four settings to it.) He’s also broken the hell out of it and his legs are to the point where they dangle over the mattress. I have the money, technically, to buy him a new one but it’s the space in his room that holds me back. His room is probably best described as “half a room.” There is no closet and we’ve managed to squeeze a few things in that room, such as toys, a bed, and a destroyed dresser. If I get him a new bed, I have to also buy him a smaller bookcase, find a better way to store his toys, and get a smaller dresser as well.

And to make matters worse, I have nowhere to store things. We have a basement that is infested with rats that the landlord does nothing about. Technically, we have access to the attic that we share with whomever is living in the apartment above us (it’s vacant right now). But because of lack of storage, we’ve had to block off our attic access to make room for things. I’ve seriously considered getting a storage unit for things like Christmas decorations and Easter decorations, but I can’t even afford that [added] monthly expense.

I think, maybe, things would be less “OMFG WHAT DO” if TH had a job. He was working for his uncle’s company and then made a really bad decision about a month later. I managed to not fly off the handle because of his bad decision making skills, but what was promising to be a benefit to us – new job, new car, money – is no longer available. There are, as usual, talks about him working with his father (again), which of course will put added strain on our relationship since most of the jobs will be out Boston way and he’ll spend most of his time at his father’s.

Rock. Hard place.

Where are my choices?

I can remember that I had plans for my life. I remember when I found out that I was pregnant with my son and after the shock had warn off, I had so many beliefs about what life would be like. I never took into consideration the amount of toil that would go into what I thought life would look like. As I sit back now, six years after my son’s birth, I have to admit that what I had envisioned for myself and what is actually happening are two entirely different experiences. I haven’t quite accepted that, yet. I don’t want to end up one of those mindless drones who just toils through until I hit retirement age. But I have to admit that, with the way things are money-wise and personal-wise, it looks like that may be the case.

Maybe, though, I can toil at a job that I like for more money, though.

That still remains to be seen, though.

Interpersonal Work Relationships.

I will, quite often, remark that the reason I must have lost my job from Greed, Inc was probably due to my being a bad manager. Whether or not this is true, I’ve decided that this is the best way to look at the situation. This allots for whatever mistakes I may or may not have made (that were never pointed out to me, after the fact or prior to the fact) that could be lumped into the “why” category. But this also gives me the ability to at least assume that I really did have some responsibility for what ended up happening. I’ve since learned that this is probably not the case and chances are, I’m a decent manager. Until such a time where I can test that ability out again, I have to assume that I screwed the pooch in some arena or another and I just haven’t quite figured out where that particular “arena” is.

The reason I mention this is because it’s possible that I don’t know what quite makes a “good boss” because I, myself, was not what would be considered a “good boss.” Let’s keep that in mind as we continue…

I have a fairly decent relationship with my direct supervisor. She’s not actually a supervisor in the traditional capacity. She’s the lead on two of the largest portfolios that our consulting firm handles. She’s fairly busy a lot of the time because one portfolio has nearly 600 properties associated with it and the other, while only at 46 properties, needs a lot of hand holding. I support her on both of these portfolios, extensively, as well as have lead over my own sets of portfolios. (None of which require as much time and effort as the two she is lead over.) We talk regularly. We joke regularly. We complain about the same items on both portfolios regularly. All in all, I wouldn’t say that we were friends, per se, but I would say that we have a decent communication line between us. I have no problem telling her that my plate is too full for more items to add to it – since she turns to me first for delegating tasks – and she respects the boundaries that I set. I will admit that I don’t set as many boundaries as I probably should but, honestly, she doesn’t have many people to choose from. There are two other leads, of other portfolios, in the office and three support roles. I’m the quickest to respond when she needs something and, aside from one other person in the office, am probably the most capable for some of the stranger items that she needs me to work on.

All in all, I’m awesome.

But in all seriousness, I know what my job entails, I know how to do it, and I can do efficiently.

However, in the last week, she’s had some personal issues popping up. Frankly, I’m not going to discuss what the items are because they are numerous and convoluted. I know about her personal life because she feels like sharing, though I do not reciprocate because I’m a private person. (Not to mention, being a pagan in an Evangelical Christian’s office setting leaves me feeling that I need to keep most items private in case I misstep or misspeak and end up without a job.) I feel her pain and I commiserate with her over the issues she’s face. They are large. They are very important. And they are mentally and emotionally consuming. As I’ve mentioned to her before, she needs to get better about her spoon management when it comes to both work and personal life items. However, we are all different and how we go about working things out are entirely different from one person to another. As these personal issues have cropped up, I’ve noticed a marked difference in her personality, her habits, and her remarks concerning work.

Honestly, the job isn’t the best one to have. It pays the bills, but it takes a lot out of you most days. On days like that, you’re lucky if you can clock out ten minutes after the close of business. On days like that, you’re often day-dreaming about the really horrible things you can do to your customers and their needs because they are stupid, foolish, or a mix therein. On days like that, you are staring moodily at the clock, hoping for it to move faster so that the end of the day comes quicker. On days like that, you’re probably surfing Facebook or Tumblr to keep your mind off of how bad your day is going.

The rest of the time, you’re patting yourself on the back for a job well done.

Whatever is going on inside of her head, she’s been taking it out on everyone directly beneath her lately and it’s starting to grate on my damn nerves. At first, I was exempt from these peevish remarks. She made them in regards, mostly, to the new girl. “What does she do all day,” she’d snap at me. I’d have to explain that she was either doing side work for me or any of the other leads in the office. The girl has been there for not quite a month and is still learning. I hate to break it to my supervisor but she was pretty babied when it came to me. I came to her previously trained by someone else and I am a fast study. The two new hires haven’t been as quick studies as I was and so, it’s taking the full three months of training to get them up to snuff. Not only that, but they are all being inundated with requests from every lead in the office (of which there are four) for assistance with minor items like getting contract information, getting pricing information, and things of that nature. We all forget how time consuming that can be, but it really can take a while to get any of the carriers to give us the information we want. Sometimes, it means we have to call back 6 times before we get a rep that isn’t going to ask us stupid questions.

I think I really started getting snotty when she asked me, “Do you think she’ll ever grow up?”

The girl is young. She is very, very immature in the ways of the world. She is also very, very blonde. And I mean that in the nicest way possible, but she can be incredibly ditzy. It happens, though. We all make mistakes; that’s how you learn what you need to do. What makes all these snarky remarks about the new girl that much worse is the fact that (A) I don’t have to monitor her every movement or E-mail like I did with the other new person and (B) my supervisor is the person who made me like the new girl! When I found out how old she was and how little telecommunications experience she had, I immediately wasn’t to black ball her. But, now I have to defend her youth and inexperience to the very person who did this to me? I understand that my supervisor’s previous remarks were before she was tried and tested, but frankly, if you don’t watch her, help her, or even remotely look over her shoulder in regards to what projects she’s working on, you really shouldn’t bitch about it. And considering that the owner of the company has point-blank said to all of us that mistakes are healthy because they teach us lessons, I don’t really think getting pissy over the fact that she forgot to attach a document to an E-mail is really necessary.

Maybe I’m just feeling a little weird because I don’t see it from my supervisor’s perspective? I saw the very same things as she did when it came to the guy who entered our office. He’s really just not worth it and they should have removed him before now. However, with all of us working on HUGE PROJECTS, we need someone to do the little things like get pricing, create documents, and call for contract information. But we were both in total agreement about how he is not cut out for this job and any work besides the basics. All of a sudden, we’re at odds over a new person because she’s doing her job but making mistakes (as I did and do) during the learning process. It just smacks as… well, it sounds like a pretty shitty way to go about being a boss.

And if there are legitimate worries and issues she has with the girl, then she should probably have those discussions with the person in question instead of making snarky comments to me about it.

Today, however, I got kind of slammed into the “snark zone” with her commentary. And now, I’m kind of angry.

As a quick remark: I only work 30 hours a week instead of the 40 like everyone else. And in those 30 hours, I have to do the same amount of work as everyone else in the office. Since I am as quick and efficient as I am, I can do this. However, if you start inundating me with requests to do things before I even walk in, then things are going to slide.

I walked in this morning to an E-mail request to reach out to a site that was having computer issues. We don’t actually treat any computer related issues, but we do deal with Internet items. So, I was tasked to reach out to this site. Then, it was asked that I very carefully and personally handle a billing discrepancy for a site that has been having issues since they went from standard phone lines to a hosted phone system (voice over Internet). It took me an hour and a half, amid meeting with various people in the office to discuss the issues at hand that were a little out of my relatively new-to-hosted viewpoint, creating the documents that the site would need to understand my investigative findings, as well as working on my own projects. I had repairs to complete and check the status on today. I had my own portfolios to follow-up with, ongoing projects to work on, and billing disputes to file. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to drop my stuff to come running to fix an issue that wasn’t caused by me and I’m sorry if I don’t give a shit if some guy needs computer help.

“Have you called them yet?” She asked me about 2PM.

“I’ve been working on the billing issue you needed me to work on,” I explained. “It’s taken me a while to figure everything out to report back to the site.”

“Ugh.” And if that response wasn’t bad enough, the stomping out of the office to take her lunch, the angrily punching out, and the slamming of the door behind her was kind of an indicator that she was in a pissy mood.

Well, you know, I’m sorry that things don’t move as quickly as you want them to, but if you really wanted that dealt with before the sensitive billing issue, then you probably should have said something.

What really aggravates me about this is that she knows, clearly, how busy I am. I know she goes into my task tracking document and sees how many projects I’ve been working on. Many of the open tickets in our repair/project ticket program are mine. I update each one of those tickets at least once a day. It’s not like I’m sitting around with my fingers up my butt and singing the National Anthem off-key to myself. I am legitimately busy. I am legitimately doing things. I am legitimately stopping those things and teaching the new girl when she has a new question or needs assistance. I am legitimately doing my fucking job and if it was that fucking important then maybe speaking up was in your best interest.

And what makes this all worse is that I know this is because of her personal issues. She was fine up until last Monday when she told me about her myriad of personal issues. I know that the change in behavior is specifically related to her personal life and that drives me insane. As much as your life, at home or with your family, may absolutely suck, you still have to go to work. There is no one else who is going to pay your bills if you get suspended for bad behavior or fired because of bad behavior. You need to keep your personal things at home where they belong. It’s one thing to joke around about how you got a sunburn on a cloudy while at a craft fair and entirely another to take out shitty fucking personal things on your employees because your personal life is really shitty.

So, while it’s possible I don’t know how to be a lead and direct underlings, I have to say that not taking out your personal life on your underlings is probably top of the fucking list.

The Interesting World of Insurance Claims.

After feeling like the largest failure for having been on unemployment long enough to actually stop receiving it, I got a phone call from the temp agency that I’ve been “employed with” for the last few months. Every time they would call me, I would be unable to do what they requested. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to because, you know, bringing in an income is really fantastic. However, they always seemed to forget that I’m a single parent and that I can’t just drop everything to run to work. I have to make provision for my son and set up things like that. And I know how competitive it is to be working for a temp agency, so I had no illusions about them “holding a spot open” while I settled my son into an unfamiliar new environment. Since TH is now out of work, I can drop everything now.

The job is… well, it’s very taxing.

I work at a claims outsourcing group call center. In effect, if you have an accident or something happens to your home, then you call me and I end up boring you with a hundred questions about where you live, your number, and the incident in question. Then, I give you a temporary claim number until a real adjuster can call you back and make everything wonderful again. The reason I’m working for is because of Hurricane Sandy. So, while I would normally just be sitting around all day and listening to people talk about car accidents or bitching about their neighbors’ children throwing a rock through their window, I now get to hear every possible scenario of horror story out of Staten Island, Long Island, the Jersey Shore, and various other hard hit areas. Most of our calls are out of New Jersey and New York.

Everyone else in the country gets to watch the news and read the newspapers to click their tongues at and feel absolute sympathy for these people. I get to do it while speaking with these people. To say that I come home completely drained is an understatement. There is no diminishing of my well of empathy or sympathy for these people and that’s why. As a friend of mine said a while back, some people are cut out for this kind of job and some people aren’t. And I am woefully not. I’m sure, over time, I’d begin to develop a clinical type of detachment to the stories. But, in reality, I just don’t see myself as that kind of person. I spent a lot of my childhood filled with clinical detachment. For whatever reason, I finally actually have some kind of sympathy for others – I’d like to keep it.

I Was Fine Until I Had That Dream…

For the most part, I’m pretty much over how badly my ex place of employment shat all over me. After having watched so many other employees get tossed out on their ear for little to no offense, I’m at the point where it is what it is. I knew how things could end and didn’t do anything about it. However, there is a small area that I tend to still get caught up in that I don’t know how to handle. The one part is that one of my employees still works there and I loved this woman. She was like a mom and she was one of my best employees in the history of ever. I never had to worry when she was working. I don’t go into the stores of the company that I used to work for because, well, why would I want to do that? But, there are nights when I know she’s working and I want to visit. I don’t know how to handle that.

The other part that still bothers me is the part that my Ex-Corpified Boss played in when I was fired. I’ll reiterate what happened.

First, this man hired me. He was the guy who gave me a break after I had been stuck working in a laundry facility for six months. He was a good boss. He was the kind of guy that you could talk to if the need arose. We used to joke around and say he was the father of the store and the employee I spoke about above was the mom. It was a joke, but some of us took it more than others. When he quit, we were all thrown for a tailspin. He had a good replacement – she knew she couldn’t actually replace our boss so didn’t try – but we still missed him. He’d come in to check on us. We all were friends on Facebook. We had a farewell party for one of our mutual coworkers when she moved to another store and became a manager in her own right. He was… well, he was a good replcement father-figure for me.

In the weeks leading up to me getting fired, I would call or stop by his office to talk to him. (He had been re-hired as the training manager about six to nine months after he had quit.) I was having issues managing the crew I had been set to manage. I had plans for what I wanted to see happen – get rid of some of the worst employees and get a good crew going, mostly – but I didn’t quite know how to implement it. I was also having troubles with certain strong-willed employees who thought that they could run the store more effectively, even though they had stepped down as a manager of another store months before. So, I needed his help with handling the multiple personalities. I was stupid, however, because I still trusted him implicitly to help me.

And considering the environment we were both employed in, this was my big, huge mistake. Part of the thing that people would do to keep their jobs was to throw someone under the bus. I saw it happen all the time in different instances. I watched as one manager would toss another under the bus. I would watch as people in the office did it to one another, over and over and over again until someone was finally fired for some imagined offense or some lie that someone else made up to keep the heat off of them. And while I’m sure the amount of money I got paid was part of it, and I’m sure my less than reverent attitude to the Stiff-Necked Jerk that ran the company was a part of it, and I’m sure my refusal to bow to the pressures of the President of the company over an illegal tobacco sale, and I’m sure that the new VP wanted to get rid of me because she wasn’t helping me as she said she would… I’m sure all of those were contributing factors. But after months of thinking about it, I am beginning to think that my ex-manager had thrown me under the bus.

You see, he was there the day I was fired.

The security officer came in to do their job and he got sent to my store to take it over since they were firing me in the middle of the day. He didn’t look at me. He didn’t speak to me. He didn’t so much as say a single word to me and he worked very hard not to meet my eye. And that hurt. I don’t think I’ve been able to convey how much his lack of acknowledgment hurt me. I went home and unfriended him on Facebook and blocked his number from my phone – that’s how much his lack of caring hurt me.

So, the reason I bring this up is because on Saturday, I went grave-tending in the very city he lives in. And I saw him driving his car. I saw him immediately because whenever I see a blue Saturn, I always look, just in case. And there he was wearing the blue shirt that the company mandates all employees wear. And I turned my head as I drove by, hoping he wouldn’t look at me.

That night, I had a dream about that boss. He was the head of a shell company, akin to Bain Capital’s various companies that bought out others and destroyed them. The shell company had an intent of taking over Greed, Inc or something. He apologized to me for throwing me under the bus and he said he always felt awful about not so much as looking at me that day. He said he was hiring me to make amends but that he was also doing it because he knew that all of the shit that they said I “did” was a complete lie and I deserved a chance. And I woke up in tears.

Interview.

So, I have an interview today. In all honesty, I’m rather ambiguous in how I feel about getting this job. (A) I need money coming in that is not unemployment. (B) I worry that I will lose out on the important stuff with my son, as I feel I did when I was working at my last job. (C) I worry I will lose all my forward progress with my religion.

It seems really pathetic that my pro is about making money.

So, I shall put on a power suit, practice my best hire-me smile, and wear makeup as my armor.

Squee!

Since I need to “squee” in as many venues as possible…

So, last year, I had a job with a company with questionable ethical practices. The company liked to fire people for no reason, keep the people who stole from the company, and was just generally a soul-sucking void of ethical dilemmas. They had no problem throwing money at a problem to make it go away as long as that problem wasn’t keeping the good employees that were necessary to run the company. Then, they’d just fire them, try to deny them unemployment on their trumped up charge, and hire someone at a lower pay grade who did twice as much work as the last employee.

I know this for a fact since, you know, I was one of those sorry employees who was fired on trumped up charges.

So, for the last year, I’ve been job hunting. I’ve been spending a lot of my time combing through as many job listings as I can in a day. Last week, I saw something on CL that I thought sounded okay. I applied for it, but didn’t hear back. Since I’m pretty much used to the no response, I assumed I was off the list… until this morning when I was called by the Union Station Manager at a local college. He apologized for the short notice interview, but for once, I have a babysitter to hand. So, I went in.

The guy called me because he remembered me from that soul-sucking hellhole I used to work for that I whimsically refer to as “Greed Incorporated.”

He, too, was also one of those employees who had been fired on trumped up charges. And if I’m not mistaken, it was around the same time as I was fired, actually. He landed on his feet and managed to get a job in a similar sector – we worked in various convenience store chains although he has longer experiences with it than I do – with the local college. I could possibly be landing on my feet if I can pull in enough familial and friend marks to get a babysitter because some, if not all, shifts will be at night.

And that part kind of sucks, but…

A JOB. AND WITH SOMEONE WHO KNOWS THAT WHY I WAS FIRED WAS A COMPLETE LIE.

So, the moral of the story is that networking does, in fact, work.

Letting Go; Moving On.

One of the things I’ve been up to since I got fired is working on myself. This has been exceedingly difficult since it always feels like I have one [mundane] crisis after another to contend with. I had the months of having to fight for unemployment. The trying to sustain a life on said unemployment. I’ve been, kind of, waiting for an even keel to get into the work I need to do: forgiveness, letting go, working on my soul. But while I was so busy waiting for that even keel, I was getting hammered with more and more until it spewed out in blog-vomit. This was the turning point; the moment I got smacked upside the head and realized, the even keel is never coming.

So, I forged the path. I’ve been forging the work anyway. And one of these particular issues is, of course, what happened to me at the hands of Greed, Inc.

It’s been almost a year and I still don’t have any reasonable answers. One of the things I’ve wanted more than anything is to know why this happened to me. I’ve known the reasons the company has given me, which have been proven fallacies. (As evidenced by the fact that I received unemployment.) But the fallacies have all I ever received by way of an answer. With the working on myself, I realized that getting a legitimate answer from Greed, Inc will never happen. As much as I say that’s all I want to know, I would also like to know what the point in all of this was…

And after some card readings and working on myself, I know.

For months and months, I felt trapped and unable to move on. I was working a job that was slowly, but surely overtaking my life. It was difficult. While I consciously knew that finding a new job was in my best interest, I was too scared of uncertainty to do more than a few cursory looks in the newspaper. The money, I felt, outweighed the horror story that was the company that I worked for. I was so focused on the lifestyle I could pay for that the fear of job-hunting wasn’t worth it. What if no one called me back? What if I couldn’t find a job that paid as much? I was exceedingly materialistic.

And what was happening was that the company was destroying my soul, my spirituality. Me.

The other day, BFMA said that I was very rich in faith. I believe I laughed in her face when she said this. But it did sink in after a while. Spiritually speaking, I guess I am pretty rich. I never thought of myself this way, but as I got to thinking about it, I could see it. This… richness… is what I was trying to work towards before I lost my job. What I discovered was that my job was getting in the way of that wealth of faith. In fact, it was killing it a day, an hour, a second at a time. And I wasn’t seeing that, at the time. I was so busy seeing the things that I could give myself and my family that I didn’t care about what sort of side effects the job was doing to me. Greed, Inc is not an ethical company – as the circumstances behind my firing is evidence of – and that ethical ambiguity was destroying me.

But, I wouldn’t do anything about it.

Sometimes, if you are unable or unwilling to make the changes yourself, the universe steps in and fucks shit up. The thing is that, no matter what steps I had taken or could have taken, it wouldn’t have mattered. I would have lost that particular job anyway. It was fated. No matter what I wanted, could have tried, or magicked out of my butt, I would have lost the job. It was destroying me and either I would have broken or the job would have. In the end, the job broke first and I’m grateful. I don’t think I would have liked myself if I was a soulless automaton.

The More Alternatives, the More Difficult the Choice.

The above title is taken as a quote from Abbe’ D’Allanival.

Yesterday, I wrote about going insane because I really just am and decided that I had to decide what to do. I’ve been so busy, jumping on every possible idea that anyone throws at me or that comes meandering into my head that I’ve been making absolutely no decisions. I’ve been sitting idly by while I tried not to think too much about what I could possibly do with my life. But, yesterday, instead of deciding to clear my head, I thought about asking some Tarot questions for advice because, you know, sometimes, I just can’t get a handle on what I’m actually thinking. So, I went to a forum that I frequent and one of the women who I highly respect in the realm of Tarot offered to “temporarily come out of retirement” and do a reading for me. Both readings are reproduced here.

So, I opened a new thread on said forum and merely asked two questions. I wanted to ask more in-depth questions, but considering that nothing further could come to mind, I figured the two were ample enough to get my point across. Is it really a good idea to be going back into the type of work I was fired from? And if I do look into that area, will I even be hired?

“The answer to the question is no, you shouldn’t, with the reason that you would be perceived as having the potential to abuse power. You would not be given power because of this, but you are used to and good at using power. You would be frustrated and so would your employers, who would see how you could be best used but be unable to give you those positions. (Emperor reversed in centre position) Supporting a no decision – The stress of such a situation would (and in the past has) damage your home life and emotional state. (Hanged Man reversed, 4 of Rods) To ignore the answer – your best bet would be to go in with an incomplete resume (probably means leaving off or lying about the reason you left your last job) and presenting yourself as completely new to any kind of authority. They would then let you rise to your own level, as long as they didn’t find out. (Knight of Pentacles reversed, Fool reversed) Feelings regarding this answer – bitterness and urge to fight it out. A need to reclaim a certain pride of position. (Queen of Swords reversed, Page of Swords) Probable response after thinking about it – relief on a certain level and willingness to engage with something new. (Two of Cups, Six of Cups).”

This leads me to believe that if I do get hired, it would be at a lower wage and at a lower position. In effect, it would appear that I would have to “start all over” yet again. And in so doing, I get to go through the horrors of that experience all over again. It wasn’t fun the first time at Greed, Inc and it wasn’t all that great when I had to do that down south, either. Of course, the company I worked for down south is infinitely preferable to Greed, Inc. Still, the idea of having to do all that long ass-kissing all over again… And then for what gain? I end up in the same stress-ridden position that I was from the get go.

In effect, I feel that in going back into the job queue in this particular position would just be my act of trying to prove myself. It would be me going back to say, “I’m not a horrible boss. I was never a bad boss.” My end goal would just be trying to say that I can do this and I’m not as shit as they said I was. But, you know, maybe I really was shit. I have a way about me and I know what to say to the right people and just how to say it to get what I want. Obviously, this didn’t work so well at the end of my reign at Greed, Inc but you know, I was never actually given the chance to comment on the “charges” against me in the first place. The chances are that I would have been able to back pedal enough, if I had been given the chance, to either still be there and hating myself/my life/my job or having found a better position somewhere else. (More likely, the first one as opposed to the second.)

Even though I didn’t ask for a second reason, she happily gave me one anyway. And this one is pretty fucking interesting. Chances are, I would have been able to come to the conclusion that the first reading gave me on my own. Sure, it may have been after I had already applied or gotten the job. And it may have been years down the road, too, but chances are, I would have realized that all I was doing was trying to prove the point that I didn’t suck so badly. And maybe, in so doing, I would have ended up sucking so badly.

“I just realized that what I’m offering isn’t exactly what you asked. I think the yes/no may have answered all of it (it’s why I use a 9-card spread) but just in case I will do the options spread for the outcomes – if you look for work in your old field, or if you try something new.

“For personal satisfaction, if you move to a new field you will have control of yourself and a long term purpose. Chariot One real-world (as opposed to inner) result of going to a new field is that you will have a chance to fulfill or complete something you started (studied, trained for) but never went after. Eight of Rods. To succeed, a new field will require study and care. You will need to protect yourself and your energy right from the beginning. Nine of Rods.

“If you stay in the old, you will have a challenge that you will probably succeed at if you are willing to fight. Knight of Swords. One real-world result of staying in the old is that you will become ill in some way – stomach problems and migraines are my usual associations for this card. Ten of Swords. To succeed, your old field will require a certain amount of deceit and play-acting. Queen of Rods reversed.

“I don’t know if the directional card applies to your old field or a new one, but it is involved with teaching or passing on information. Admittedly, that could cover things from training new workers, looking after students, writing manuals or news stories, running a daycare, etc. etc. etc. Probably the least specific card in this set of spreads., Page of Rods. I hope this helps. My cards have been in a drawer in my altar for months and seemed kind of determined when I shuffled them. I could have softened some of the interpretations but I had a strong desire not to.”

I always enjoy these spreads. It’s like you get multiple choices, as seen on essays and tests in school, but without having to do much more than see what’s out there as opposed to picking the right answer. I’m not so good at them; I’m better at seeing things in a single aspect as opposed to multiples. One day, I’ll perfect this way of readings! One day! *shakes fist in air* (Also, just as a note. The way the reading was initially written down was that the cards went from new choice to old choice, instead of being new choice in one section and old choice in another. In a way to make it easier to flip through these responses, I put all the new stuff together and all of the old stuff together.)

So. If I decided to ignore the initial reading and go back to my old type of job, I would have a lot of false smiles, false cheer, and the usual shit that comes from a retail-type of job. I’m not saying that I couldn’t do this but after doing this type of stuff, off and on, for as long as I have… I’ve come to see it as harder and harder to blow smoke up the ass of the customers than it used to be. Also, you know, blowing smoke up the ass of my bosses has lost as much appeal as it sounds since, even though I did do that repeatedly at Greed, Inc… we all know that end result of that fiasco. But, it comes down to the whole thing again: I can do this job and if I fight for it enough, I can easily succeed. And in so doing, I get all the joys that my old position came with… I’d get sick, I’d get headaches, I’d get stomach upset… These were all so thrilling the first time around; how could I possibly say no? (If you didn’t get slashed with the sarcasm blade on that one… then I’m obviously losing my touch.) And in the end, the same old, same old. Acting. Pretending.

The other choice has the feeling of a tantalizing meat morsel that I’ve been eyeballing or a fat hunk of decadent chocolate-by-chocolate-by-chocolate cake while I’m in the midst of a diet. I got the very distinct impression that the choice there is going back to achieve the very goal of my history degree. (With a possibility of anthropology in the mix, but I DON’T KNOW.) If I go back now, I believe that my transcripts from STCC will still be valid and so, therefore, I wouldn’t have to do any of that basic gen-eds crap again. I also think it would place me so that I wouldn’t have to take those stupid placement tests they force on you. It stands to reason, with all of the comments of “finally achieving” and “study,” that the whole degree thing is what the second possibility is for.

And yum. That sounds just yum.

And the directional card, I think, has to do with a multi-arc goal that begins with the need to help others out and ends with the thought of writing a 101 book somewhere.

So. So. There’s that. What does this mean?

I’m going to look up UMASS.

In a Mad World, Only the Mad Are Sane.

The quote as the title of this post is from Akira Kurosawa.

I think I’ve just about lost my mind. In the last week, I’ve had some serious thinking going on, which has left me up until late at night… It gets to the point where I sit bolt upright to pull myself out of that twilight sleep phase that happens just before you really fall asleep. I sit upright and stare around my room, trying my best to pull my thoughts away from the things that make me feel useless, uncertain, and low. I mean, there’s always something that I can think about just before falling asleep, which will lead me to staying up even later just because I can’t get my mind out of my ass and keep harping on shit. It’s so fucking annoying. Lately, it’s been a toss up between where to send TS to school this year (UGH) and how the fuck I am going to continue to live on such shit money, or when unemployment will run out. It’s driving me fucking insane. And it’s not like I need any help in that area, either! I’m already pretty damn close to bat-shit!

So, last week, I took BFMA to a local gas station to pick up an application. She’s been having house guests who don’t pay for shit, so she needs to get another job ASAP. (Her last one petered out because her boss was big on sweaty ball sucking.) She mentioned that Greed, INC was hiring in her area. I pretty much told her to get a life because there was no way I was ever going to let her turn in an application to that place. Then, I got serious and explained that, even if she were given an interview and hired, there was no way she could handle the training program. It’s about a week long and expects you to pick up everything in that week time. I’ve always said that it’s not long enough for people who haven’t worked in a gas station setting previously, but what do I know? Anyway, I also reminded her that Greed, INC likes to hire people for a “specific store” even knowing that the person in question needs that store because of lack of a ride (such as BFMA) but has a tendency of shoving them out to other stores because they’re retarded and think they can do whatever they want. BFMA nodded sagely and said that I had a point since she could only work at that particular store, probably couldn’t make it to the training classes at the office, and would freak out in the middle of training since they expect the world of you in the first day. So, I took her to the gas station across the street, which was hiring for a part-time position.

And this has been in my head ever since. Pretty much, it’s because of this that this happened. And you know, I decided I was going to be fucking retarded and go to the head-hunter site that one of my ex-bosses gave me. (This particular ex-boss, actually, worked for the company in question for many years.) And I looked up the company name and they were hiring for a manager-in-training at the store in Ludlow that BFMA filled out for. And wouldn’t you know it? The manager-in-training notice went up on the day that I wrote that entry about being retardedly insane. Yep, yep.

I’m at a crossroads again and I don’t really know which way to turn.

On the one hand, I need to go back to work. I’ve long since realized that my hopes and dreams of not running the household and being the bread winner are me just whining about just desserts. I’ve always wanted to be that retarded idiot who stays at home with a “cool job” (in other words, writing) and not have to actually go out and make the bacon, so to speak. I loved my mother and I loved that she worked a job that afforded us the ability to do a lot of things (even with her as a single parent), but I remember how cranky she was after working all day. And I remember how much she hated to spend her weekends doing all of the cleaning that never got done during the week because of school and work and eating and having two kids who are slobs. I never wanted to be like that, but unfortunately, I have TH who is in the construction business. And whether we like it or not, no one wants to hire a decent painting crew when they can get shitty service at half the price. So, I have that going at me.

As well as the basic feeling that, you know, the house buying and the ability to buy another car so that we have two vehicles again. This both bothers me and excites me: the whole materialistic thing. I can buy books without having to pinch pennies in other areas and I could take TS wherever I want, whenever I want. I wouldn’t have to scrimp and save to take him to the Lupa Zoo again (he’s been asking to go). And if I made enough money, I could slowly but surely integrate him into that fancy-pantsy school in South Hadley that I’ve been whining about for years now. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. All of these things are all double bonus points when it comes to the whole getting another job thing.

But, then I have to sit around and wonder about what exactly I’m getting myself into.

I have a complex about the manager thing. I think I was a good one and the few ex-employees that I still speak with claim that I was pretty good at the managing thing. But, even though I have these people tell me that I was a decent boss can’t possible completely destroy the feeling that I failed miserably when I tried it out the last time. I keep thinking that it was my failure that ended me in that place. Sure, I know that the company is shit to work for and I know that ELD was the reason behind it with her bullshit and her lies (speaking of, I’m pretty sure she no longer works there). However, I still have the whole complex thing going on for me. I have it in the back of my head that I “sucked” at the whole manager thing. And so, this fear really kind of gets to me when I start contemplating going back to work, especially in a similar environment.

And really, that complex more than anything is the reason why I am currently hemming and hawing… per usual.

The More Alternatives, the More Difficult the Choice.

I appear to be at the crossroads again (thus all the liminal deities having gathered about) and it’s just as much a pain in the ass now as it has been in the past. The problem, of course, being that I tend to hem and haw at each possible decision like a fucking dumbass. I’ll stare at the possibilities and think, Okay, I’ll do this. And, then I change my mind because maybe that’s not the right decision. I ask opinions of everyone that I can because it’s not like I couldn’t possibly make a decision on my own. Sometimes, I’ll ask my Tarot cards in twenty different ways and get a bunch of answers that are designed to say, “STOP FUCKING ASKING.” So, really, I end up not making a decision while I bite my nails and worry about shit.

The thing is that this decision is a big one. I can’t just sit on it.

I’ve been offered a job at a Home Depot in my area. The job is via family. TH’s FF has three kids from a previous marriage who we see about three or four times a year, unless someone dies. (So, we’ve seen them more than normal in the last few months, actually.) Also, the eldest is getting married soon so that’s brought both him and his fiance into the family for more gatherings than they normally have in the past. Actually, to be honest, I think his fiance has been pushing for him to have a better relationship with his father because she seems very conscientious about family and family values. (Not to mention, when you get together with TH’s family, you instantly feel like you’re a part of the family and you’re never going to escape. So, you know, she probably felt pretty similar to me when I first joined the family. And to be honest, it’s not so bad. They’re a riot.) So, anyway.

His fiance works as an assistant manager at the local Home Depot. When she found out that I was fired, she mentioned that the spring time was the usual for when people start rehiring. Since TH’s mom loves to talk me up (I’m her daughter without having come from her body), she’s gone on and on about how good I am at the whole customer service thing to the fiance. This has made her mention on numerous occasions that she wants me to join her team. I was kind of put off because I know that Home Depot hires at a fairly lower rate than, say, Lowe’s. (F’ex: HLB got a job at Lowe’s at the same time their mom had a job at Home Depot. HLB was getting paid over a dollar more than his mom, who has a degree in horticulture.) Also, I would be starting off at the bottom again and that’s seriously soured me on the whole thing.

I mean, yeah, sometimes you have to get shit on to make it somewhere. And sometimes, you have to just take what you can get. However, I would be going from having made $38,000/year to who knows how much with Home Depot? The thought wasn’t appealing. Obviously, since I’m on unemployment, I’ve taken a massive pay cut as it stands. But, the thought of starting off in a similar environment, for a different company, at such a low pay rate doesn’t exactly sound like something I’d want to do. It didn’t take me that long to move up the ladder at Greed, Inc but they also fire everybody humanly possible or lose good employees to competitors all of the time. Whether they wanted to or not, they would have had to elevate me to a higher level and pay rate than I was when I first started.

Anyway.

The newest job offer is that I would be, in effect, a leader of some sort. I’m not quite sure what the whole gist of the job is but that I wouldn’t be starting off with as a simple cashier; I would be running the whole of the cashier stations. There’s no telling what the job pay is because I haven’t actually spoken with the fiance about it as of yet. I do know that she, as an assistant manager, brings home six figures. I also know that her quarterly bonus for this last quarter was ten grand (the store manager brought home something like seventy-grand). So, with me having held out for this long with my usual “I DON’T FUCKING KNOW” brain pattern, I’ve managed to at least get a little higher than your average Joe.

The thing is that I’m not really sure I want to do this.

It’s a good job and it seems stable. MIL said that it only took the fiance to work her way up to assistant manager in less than three years. Considering that there are more positions in Home Depot than there were at Greed, Inc that stands to reason. She also said that the company is pretty family oriented and if I needed my hours changed for whatever reason that they would do what they could to work with me. That, right there, is a pretty interesting factoid. Greed, Inc was more likely to fire you because your home situation changed than work with your schedule. So, there is that in there.

The thing is that I’m just… I don’t know what I want to do. Last night when TH, MIL, and I were discussing this whole thing, TH was pushing for it. He’s currently out of work because no one wants to accept PP’s bids at the moment since he’s not willing to shoot himself in the foot. (There was a guy on their last job, TH said, who underbid by a whole lot and did a shitty job as the result.) So, the two of us are filing for unemployment and we both have dreams of buying a house sooner as opposed to later. When TH commented that it was a good idea, I yelled, “I don’t want to work to support you!” What I really meant was that I’m so tired of living a life that’s entirely revolved around work and work-related things. Yes, as a cashier-helper-person-thing, I wouldn’t have as many responsibilities but even as an ass-manager at Greed, Inc, I remember coming home in a flat rage because of something or having panic attacks at work because shit sucked.

I don’t want to do that again. I don’t want sixty hour weeks of bullshit.

Another thing that I’m worried about: I’ve just started writing again. I haven’t started working on TEHNOVEL™ because I’ve been working up to it. But, it was because of work that I lost my muse in the first place. There’s also the fact that I have a child to raise and a house to run. With working who knows how much that means that things like writing and hobbies get tossed out the window to make room for things like family and a home.

What really bothers me about all of this is that I’m thinking about just taking the job so that I can buy a house.

But again, I can’t help but think that maybe it’s not a good idea. Working to live instead of living to work…

I should have been born independently wealthy.