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

Labels: ,

Monday, October 11, 2010

10 months of exercising...

For the 2nd time, I have discovered through the internet that a job I interviewed for has been filled. Both positions were on the university website, and I feel strongly that they should have something in place to notify applicants (at least the ones interviewed) that the position has been filled before posting it on their application status. I was not devastated the first time. I am devastated this time because I really like this job. For the first time in a long time, I was interviewed for a job that was not an administrative assistant position, was not filling out someone else's expense report, was not typing correspondence for someone else, was not about ordering supplies for a department. It was for a position that I could be proud of being creative and learning.

In the first situation, I waited 2 weeks before taking steps. And when I did, I sent an e-mail to the effect of "I saw by my status that the position for xyz was filled. Congratulations in finding the right person for the position." And I meant it. I wanted them to know that they did not have to bother notifying me. I already knew. The woman in charge called the next day, leaving a message on my phone, stumbling all over herself apologizing that I found out this way. She said, "I was so afraid this would happen since I was out on business." I call bull shit since the university would never authorize two weeks of business traveling. She wanted me to return her call so she could explain why I didn't make the 2nd round of interviews. I really don't care. I don't plan to return the call.

In this most recent case, I was going to make my follow-up call tomorrow (since they had not told me when they would make the decision) but looked up my status tonight before calling in the morning. I was devastated to say the least. The made the decision so quickly (one week) when they had told me they had just started interviewing with me. And obviously they made the decision a few days before that since HR imputed the info into the status. I probably will not e-mail the same message, but it will be interesting if I ever hear from them that I didn't make it the cut. When did they possibly have time to do 2nd interview before making that decision? It is obvious they had someone in mind and just went through the steps. This job involved creativity, something I haven't used i a long time. It involved learning some new material, definitely something I don't think I am capable of but was looking forward to the opportunity. This job was not working for someone as much as it was working with others.

I still have one interview out there dangling me along. I have written my follow-up thank you notes and called twice. I don't want to be a nuisance, but I have nothing else out there. It's been a month since that first interview. although people mean well, I am really tired of hearing people say, "I just know something is coming your way. Something better. Something more suited to your talents." I want to say, "How in the fuck do you know? You don't know. You're just saying that." This weekend I went to a 50th birthday party. I had to force myself to drive into St. Louis to attend since my first reaction to anything is to hide in my condo, in my bedroom. (Act well your part; there all the honor lies.) This dear friend was making small talk in her kitchen and cited a study that exercising for 10 months has a better outcome on depression than anti-depressants. Apparently, earlier studies said that exercising and anti-depressants had the same affect, but they stopped earlier than 10 months. She mentioned that if you could get the participants to continue exercising, it will eventually work, and work better than medication. And I added, "But how to you convince those people to get out of their rooms and exercise?"

Every night when I am thinking about my next day I think, "Tomorrow will be the day I wake up at a decent time. Tomorrow will be the day I will go for a walk no matter what. Tomorrow will be the day I return to the gym." And then I can't fall asleep. I toss and turn while conversations and scenarios of my wretched failed life go tumbling in my head. And I wake past noon, having overslept the alarm I keep setting to keep myself in the habit of waking in the morning. And I can feel the tears that have leaked down my face in the night. And I drag myself out of bed to put in my contacts and brush my teeth, and I pat myself on the back for making the bed and putting on clothes. Those are my 2 achievements. But exercise? Walking? Treadmill? You have got to be kidding me? How do I get out of the house? I continue to be immobilized day in and day out. 10 months? I can't imagine tomorrow, let alone what I will be doing in 10 months.

Tomorrow will mark 12 weeks of unemployment.

Labels: ,