Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Claim is Exhausted and So Am I


I last time I blogged here I wrote about worry.  I was worried (whining) about work and my unemployment benefits ending around December 31 of this year, and all sorts of other stuff.  Imagine my surprise when I found out this morning that my unemployment claim was exhausted, as in no money left … at all.

There was some weirdness going on with my most recent unemployment payment, and because I was worried about October, I had to talk to someone in the unemployment office.  I’d made a number of financial promises, and we had plans in anticipation of having a third check when usually there are only two.  October just turned out that way, giving us a chance to catch up with a few things. So, I spent the last two days dialing 1-800-300-5616 (dial 1 for English, dial 2 for Spanish, dial 3 to toss your cell phone in the garbage disposal and watch with glee as it’s torn to shreds).  I finally got through to someone this morning at about 8:50 a.m. 

After explaining my problem, I was advised that I had zero dollars left to my claim.  I even have something in writing from the EDD indicating I was good to go until the end of December, but no.  0 + 0 = 0 … you could drive a truck between the vague loopholes in communication from the EDD.  I’m a smart woman, and still I missed the difference between having an open claim and having a fully funded claim.  I was advised of this by a completely apathetic woman, and even as I began to tear up in frustration and feel a little hysterical (no act there), I thought why hadn’t anyone mentioned this?  I’d talked with someone about my problem two times previously with two separate people over the last couple of days and NO ONE bothered to mention “Hey, are you aware that you are down to your last $450?” 

My head exploded.  I mean, really.  It flew apart into a million pieces.  How would I pay the mortgage? Never mind all the other bills. Screw all that. How will we pay the mortgage was all I could think of.  Hearing all this from where she was in the living room, I could hear Leslie’s heartbeat start racing like a runaway train.  She had no chest pain, of course, but I knew the stress would be hard to bear.  How many times had we talked about how lucky we were that we had enough money to cover the mortgage even though I wasn't working?  A day ago, I thought my benefits would expire the end of December, and having a few irons in the fire, I was prepared to do so temp work if necessary.  Now, temp work is urgent.   My next thought was how do we tell Elizabeth? She’s already so good about all this, but now she has to worry about losing her home?  There is no family to call for help. It’s just the three of us and has been for years.  So, it’s up to us to make it work. She knows this.

After the initial shock, and after cleaning my exploded grey matter off the walls, I started writing, networking, to everyone I could think of who might have a tip on a job, and every temp agency I’ve ever done business with.  The opportunity at Redwood Shores ironically gained some traction today becoming a job I am uniquely qualified for. I have a phone interview in the morning. And I’ve got an appointment in the afternoon with a temp agency so I can get some income happening.  Then, we had to go to an eye doctor's appointment that took forever to get and Leslie really needed to take.  I waited for her in the lobby for over an hour, and it was the longest hour of my life.  You know how it feels when you need to be doing something, anything, and all you can do is sit?

When Elizabeth got home, we explained what happened, and she asked questions like “Do I have to worry about being homeless?” and “Do I have to be afraid?”  I explained the difference between sending in resumes over the internet for a permanent job and hearing nothing, versus getting temp work with an agency when you need it.  She understood I would get something soon. She teared up a little, but recovered quickly.  As I exclaimed about what a stressful day it was, she said, “But you’re not being mean.”  That sort of stopped me in my tracks.  She explained that when dealing with the stress of the last job, I was mean at home.  Her words really opened my eyes.  I realized how stressed out that place, my last place of permanent employment, had really made me; how difficult the enduring uncertainty and tension there, the nastiness of people’s behavior, had worn me down. It was so bad that I was angry and upset virtually all the time.  My fifteen year old opened my eyes to this in a way that hadn't occurred previously.  I told her I wouldn’t let that happen again. I'd had plenty of time to rest and bounce back from all that stress, and I told her I was sorry.  She answered, "It's okay, Nana. Can we study my French now?"  Kids.

They say it’ll be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.  Well, it’s about 10:30 p.m., and I feel like I’ve been whacked about the head hard with a reality stick.  And when the cosmic joker was done with me, he started whacking Leslie.  We were both feeling stunned, but we stuck together like glue.  Now we’re just tired.

I need to work. I don’t care what it is. If I’m capable of doing it and it’s enough to cover the bills, I’ll do it.  I have current secretarial skills, I’m a good manager, and I’m a good leader with a strong facilities background.  My resume is strong, and I have years of experience.

I’m sending out my need and desire into the ether like it’s a palpable thing. Right now it is.  I send it on Raven’s wings and dragon’s flight, and I know my intent will find its destination … and soon.

It as to.


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