Friday, October 15, 2010

Life Doesn't Necessarily Get Better

I dropped my phone and started sobbing.

My daughter (Dorothy) ran in and started to console me, patting my arms as my tears fell on her arms that wrapped around me. I had been on hold with the Unemployment Office for 15 minutes and a human had just picked up. As I bent over to look for a piece of paper on the floor, my cell phone fell and I lost the call. It was the lowest of the low. I couldn't stop sobbing while my daughter said, "You are the strongest woman I know." Ironic, huh? All I could say is "I'm a horrible roommate and role model." Dorothy just said, "No you're not. I'm just lazy." Made me laugh on the inside cuz on the outside I was still crying.

Stupidly, I discovered today that I should have been checking into the Unemployment Office (on-line) once a week in order to receive benefits. When I noticed on my bank account that there had been no deposits since my lay-off, I got into the claims website today, and my file was inactive. (I had noticed this before, but I thought it took a few weeks to kick in.) Well, duh! It was inactive because I had never checked in, that thing I'm supposed to do once a week. In my defense I got a letter 2 weeks after I filed that asked me to call in. The woman on the other end just wanted to check that I wasn't a faculty member laid off from the university in the summer and rehired come the school year. I am not. My lay-off is permanent. She ended the call with "Everything is in order. You should start receiving your unemployment checks." She never said, "... after you file every Sunday." So since everything goes through direct deposit, I just thought everything was going along fine until today when I noticed that my deposit column on my internet banking site is long empty. This whole time I thought I was getting unemployment, silently.

I am such an idiot. Of course, you have to check in once a week. I have the form in front of me where you keep track of the jobs you apply for. (Luckily, I have been keeping good notes on my application status.) Why would I think that the unemployment office was telepathic???? Once Dorothy fixed my phone (now it wouldn't even let me dial), I recalled the Unemployment Office, put it on speaker phone and prepared for another 15 minutes. This time the wait was shorter and Priscilla answered. She was wonderful and thoughtful. She will make my file active (it went inactive since there had been no action in 28 days... DUH!) and then I can start making claims this Sunday. But in the meantime she will send me forms from the prior weeks to see if I can make past claims from July. If not, I can file an appeal. I tried not to cry during our call, but I felt like such an idiot trying to explain why someone (who normally has her wits about her) was so stupid not to know that you have to file a claim once a week.

As I was on the phone, daughter Dorothy was packing up to go back to St. Louis for the weekend. She threw a stack of Werther's Originals at me and made the sign for "I love you" as she left for the weekend. She promised she would vacuum when she gets back on Sunday. I am not holding my breath. I cleaned her bathroom for her this morning after begging her to clean it for a month.

I am walking that fine line between being her mother and her roommate. She has never had good roommates who lay down the law for shared chores. I am not at the top of my game. I am neither a decent mother nor a good roommate. I am not good for anyone right now, not even myself. I got out twice this week for a walk. Walked to the mall and all over but was so depressed on my walk home because I may need to work retail if I don't find a job soon. I'm not cutting down retail. I was just depressed because I realized that in my life I have never worked a cash register, never been a waitress, and have no marketable skills like fast food or store clerk. I don't even make coffee. No one wants to train a 50something-yr-old lady to work a cash register at Macy's or Wal-Mart. I guess I could be the greeter. That takes no skills. So I won't be walking to the mall again. Too depressing.

I love all the videos out there, spurred on by Dan Savage, that tells young gays that "It Gets Better." What an uplifting message for young people who have been bullied or teased for being gay. And while I was teased for other things (since I am straight) such as being a redhead or coming from a divorced mother), no one wants to see my video because it would be entitled, "It Doesn't Necessarily Get Better, no matter how hard you've worked." I thought life was supposed to get better. Mine continues to get worse year after year.

Fuck my life. FML

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At 7:12 PM, Blogger chez bez said...

I wish like anything that I could help you in some way. Just know that I'm thinking of you and wishing you well.

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Sailor said...

Ditto what chez bez said, and sending hugs


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