Friday, March 27, 2009

Do You Know Where You're Going To?

Again with Wednesdays. I have been without unemployment for three weeks and we are suffering financially. I decided to call the UE people again and see what I could do to clear this shit up so I can actually get the money in my UE account.

I was determined to stay calm. This was the first time in a long while that I got a black lady on the phone. She told me the longest part of the review program was over, so that's good. I asked who I could talk to to finally take care of this, and here's how it went:

UE black lady: No one. I'm sorry, but there's a whole process to this and there were people ahead of you. But the longest part of the review is over, so someone should call you any day now and that'll be it.

citygirl: Ok, so, you're sure I can't just talk to somebody and end this right now? I mean, I have no money and I can't find a job and we can't pay our bills. (crying now) I worked for 10 years at one place and I applied at Target and Best Buy but they won't hire me. No one will. I don't know what to do.

UE black lady: Oh honey, I understand, I like to be proactive too and take care of things any way possible as soon as possible, but there's just no way.

citygirl: (crying harder now) See, this started because when I applied for my new extension I answered one stupid question wrong and instead of listing my last full time job I listed my stupid freelance job because they were the last people to pay me. There wasn't a place for me to explain my situation. They wanted all these blanket answers...

UE black lady: Oh, yeah. That'll do it. Anytime there's different information it flags the system and then they have to go through all the reviews and it just takes as long as it takes.

citygirl: (sobbing) So, I have to wait? And, by the time they get everything cleared up I could be out of my house and on the streets. That's how this works?

UE black lady: I am so sorry, but you really can't do anything. I know it seems like we don't care, but we have a process for everything and we have to follow it. Listen, just live your life. Enjoy your family and your friends and live your life. You will be alright. Ok? I'm going to pray for you. You'll be alright.

citygirl: (sobbing and dissolving simultaneously, it's really fun - you should try it) Um (deep breath so I can keep speaking), ok. Ok. Thanks for (more deep breathing) talking to me. Bye.

UE black lady: No problem, sweetheart. Bye, now.

See? This is what I'm talking about. Even though I was crying and hurting and angry she managed to somehow make it a little bit better. This black lady should train all the other UE phone people on how to talk to the distressed unemployed, and she should get a ton of money to do it, too. She may not actually care, but she was able to make it sound like she did. Her voice was calm and clear and she never sounded irritated, rushed or frustrated with me. I love you, UE black lady.


After our conversation I got proactive. I looked around for paid online survey companies and signed up. I made a list of places I haven't applied to that I need to look into. I called Citibank and asked for help with our currently $400+ monthly bill and they're scheduled to call me back today with a new payment plan. I vacuumed every room and the baseboards and even got up all the random cat fluff along the walls that the vacuum doesn't usually get.

I was on a roll. And then I did something stupid. Without any idea that it was going to be stupid.

More on that later.

editor's note: Why is it that when I type "black angel" into a google image search I get all the demonic, scary pictures? Why was it necessary for me to type in "african american angel"? I swear, white people kill me...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Since I Need To Chill

I've made a decision about this here ol' blog o' mine. I'm going to try not to bitch every day. Considering the crap that's going on around here with my no-job-having-no-unemployment-getting-fucked-up-credit-card self, the (I hope) understandable temptation is to blog-bitch day in and day the fuck out. But...

I need some way to relax a bit. A way to push the world away and laugh again. And so do you, fair reader. So, I'll get back to bitching tomorrow (do I ever have a story to tell about today), but until then, enjoy this:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wednesday Was Bad

This is how my mind feels. See those bright spots? That's my anger.

I have now gone two weeks without getting my unemployment benefits. HUBS and I have no money, he got paid on the 13th and after bills (which hit within a few days) we had $50 left in our account. I reluctantly moved most of the money I've been scraping to save ($10 a week since last August, which amounted to almost $300)into our account to take care of the mountain of additional bills that we'll need to pay before he gets paid again.

Why am I not getting my UE money, even though I have a balance in there, you ask? The short answer is that when I filed to get this new extension I fucked up ONE GODDAMN QUESTION. The UE people freaked out, called me twice (in conversations that totalled almost an hour) with bullshit questions I'd already answered and now my case has to go to committee before I can get anymore money.

The first UE conversation was Monday. I talked to that heifer for half an hour. Then Wednesday another chick called me with even more questions. She was trying to explain something to me, but it made no fucking sense so I told her that. Then I began to cry, curse and screamed something to her like "I've been unemployed for 14 months so give me my fucking money so I can pay my fucking bills!" and hung up the phone.

HUBS had been sleeping in (he took a sick day), but he came out to try to comfort me. After he kissed me on the head I threw my mug filled with ice water across the room and smashed a ceramic coaster against a bookcase when I threw that too.

I then went into the bedroom where HUBS had retreated to protect himself from flying objects and screamed. Louder than I've screamed since I had my nervous breakdown in college.

"Do you know I applied at Target," I asked HUBS in the scariest voice ever. "And they sent me an email turning me down? I worked at the same company for almost 10 years and I can't get a fucking job at Target. But every fucking 15 year old in the fucking country can walk into the store and get a job. What the fuck did I do wrong? This feels personal. Like the universe is really, specifically fucking with ME."

I'm starting to wonder if I'm supposed to be doing something special with this time, and that's why I can't get a job yet. It's as if the powers that be have given me this time, but I can't get over, you know, not having enough money for food and bills and stuff to get out of my head and figure out what I'm supposed to be fucking doing.

I seem to have a knack for doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. And not being able to make the best of it. At. All.

No Contest!

How I hope to look soon. Minus the white, male, stupid pants part.

In these dark times I've found I need something to make me happy. Something that makes me feel like I'm working and doing and having a positive impact on my own life. What did I rediscover recently? Contests.

Back when I was a miserably employed receptionist who got things done quickly (or had nothing to do and was bored) and needed to look like I was busy, I discovered online contests. Coworkers and employers would see me typing away and believe I was working my ass off. In reality I was entering my name, address and email so I could win a set of Buffy the Vampire Slayer dvds, Trivial Pursuit games and makeup.

I did, in fact, win those things and more. Merchandise from tv shows, several dvds, body products, on and on. Everyday, without fail, I spent at least an hour with my contests. Then I (I thought) moved up in the company. I was a full fledged administrative assistant with little free time behind my desk, so I abandoned my efforts.

Then, a couple weeks ago, I decided to revisit one of my old sweeps haunts that still resides in my home favorites menu. Holy crap, they had some good stuff. So I entered. And now, I'm addicted again. I concentrate on sweeps where I can win money (we need it so bad) or products that I can easily sell or reasonably use.

It's amazing how much entering makes me feel proactive. More so than applying for jobs, or reworking my resume even.

Wish me luck.


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