Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bills bills bills

I just thought I'd do a general sort of update... I plan to do these semi-frequently if I can (amidst other, probably more interesting, posts). Just about things going on in my life. I never record these sorts of things, and as such I never have a record to look back on, and I forget a lot of stuff that happened on some sort of normal day-to-day basis. I spent a very long time (years) thinking that things about my life just weren't worthy enough to write about. Well, I'm going to try to change that. It's time to get writing again -- no matter how boring I perceive the content to be in my head.

So, let's talk about... the most significant in-the-real-world event of my day today, which was having an interview for a job! I have not had a full-time job in at least a year and a month, and I'm incredibly sick of never having the money to do things I want to do. Plus there are things I want to save up for, such as sending care packages to T in Rwanda, saving up for the actual plane tickets for a round trip to Rwanda... you know, all that good stuff. So I decided last night, with the prompting of a good friend of mine who has been battling depression herself, that I would apply for a bunch of jobs online.

I probably finished applying for places around 1 AM. I got a phone call somewhere around 8:30 or 8:45 AM from Manager (I think -- she might have been a supervisor) X, asking me if I'd like to come in for an interview that day at *fast food establishment*. Hell, yeah, I would! It ended up being at exactly the same time as I was supposed to meet with my worker B from the organization that is also my landlord, but I sent B a text and she was okay with it, as I knew she would be, and booked another time for us to meet. So... I went. In pouring rain and crazy-ass wind, but I was glad to go, despite being cold and/or damp for probably about three hours straight.

The interview... well, it seemed to go well. I hope I didn't come off as too cocky, or too certain of myself about getting the job. One thing I said was, "To be frank, I don't anticipate a problem with the references. They should all be pretty good." Was that a cocky-esque thing to say? I don't really know. I've never had the confidence to say things like that before. I've always been told, though, that you should play up your assets. I had thought I'd left my phone at home, so when she asked me if I'd brought my references I said, "No, and I don't even have my phone with me, otherwise I could give them to you now!" But the interview was over after about ten minutes, and right after I finished I sat at another table and was fishing around in my purse for a pen to go with my booklet, so I could at least write to occupy my time, when... boom. Phone. Right at the bottom of the purse underneath all the other junk in there.

So right away I wrote down all the names and numbers and gave them to X. She then asked me if I had checked the bus schedule (to know how late I could stay each night) which I hadn't, so in a rather embarrassed manner I ran off, but in a short amount of time had found the last bus home (route 3, anyway) and told her all the times. She was hiring for evening shifts, which there are usually 3-11 (sometimes they could be 2-10), and very luckily for me, the bus should still get me back home if I leave at 11 sharp Monday through Saturday. I didn't check the route 2 for Saturday, so I'm just hoping it doesn't end a couple hours early, because that would mean I wouldn't be able to transfer to go home and would end up paying at least an $8-9 cab fee to get back to my apartment. I don't see why it would, since it IS a Saturday, but you never know with the bus system here...

Anyway, I really do think my references should be good. My old assistant manager K was very happy to give me her number as a reference when I was looking for jobs before, and I know she thought well of me, so I don't see why she'd give a bad reference. My old supervisor M told me point-blank that he would give me a really really good reference. My third reference was S, the owner and manager at my job previous to the one where I worked with K and M, and he really really liked me, not to mention that I helped him get 100% on a secret shopper score once. (It was really me AND the guy working in the back at the time, J, but I got all the credit because I was the cashier... which was stupid, but anyway.) S is really big on how he's perceived by everyone, common people and business people alike, so stuff like perfect scores on secret shoppers means a LOT to him. Plus the one time I actually did chute (made sure all the orders were bagged right both for drive-thru and front during lunch rush) I made really good service time, and he was working in the kitchen watching the whole thing. So I really think my reference from him will also be top-notch. He still remembers who I am, which is a great sign, since it was about 4.5 years ago that I left his employment.

So... I don't know. Maybe I'm being really insecure. X had the paper with the numbers in her hand by 1:50, and the bus schedules shortly thereafter, and I knew X was working till 2:30 and a(nother?) manager C was working till 3 PM, but they may not have been able to get hold of my references, or may not have had time as it was near the end of shift. But I keep thinking maybe they did get hold of one or two of them and decided not to hire me... or maybe X decided not to during the interview... I just don't know, and uncertainly obviously really really bothers me. I guess the fact that she asked for my references and discussed uniforms and things with me could be construed as good signs, but I'm just not fully convinced. It wasn't like my interview with K1 (where I worked for S), which was more like a chat where it was already assumed I was hired, or K2 (assistant manager reference), where I basically knew before I left that I was likely hired. X didn't give me that sort of indication today. And the interviews I've had where I've been treated distantly have never led anywhere good (I'm remembering a woman at Dominion who looked more displeased as we continued through the interview, and gave me a dead-fish-hand shake before I left), but X didn't really seem to freeze me out. I guess I just couldn't read her. Uncertain uncertain uncertain.

She did say I would be working with mostly teenagers on the night shift, and that a lot of them just don't care. She told me that she deals with this by basically ignoring them and letting them do their own thing while she gets what she needs to do done, like cleaning, serving people, etc. That kind of made me frown internally, though I didn't say anything. If you were like that at my last job, the assistant manager would just ask you to leave. Period. We didn't have room for dead weights in our store. And we went through several when I was there, so I knew what they were like. People who would sweep dirt underneath the counter instead of taking half a minute extra to put it in a dust pan and toss the dirt in the trash. People who tried to deal drugs over the counter. People who stole. Etc etc etc.

Am I going to have to deal with idiots like that? If so, eventually, I know I'm going to end up talking to some of them (as nicely as I can). If I get hired I'll be the new trainee for awhile, and I do look rather young, which hopefully will help them warm up to me better. Which, if push comes to shove later down the line, would be an asset if they did something that really pissed me off. Ignoring their shit is probably good to do if it's just little stuff -- but if they, say, won't serve customers and spend time gabbing instead, or won't clean and spend time slacking off when they have work to do, that will make me angry. I don't mind if people talk and have fun on the job... hell, I like to do that myself. But at my last job, we always got the work done as WELL as having fun. You can do both. And it feels pretty damn good when you do both.

Anyway... I still really REALLY want this job. I'm desperate to make my own money again, which means I will have way more in hand than I do on fucking social assistance. The way America gets on about how people are lazy and choose not to work, then get social assistance so they can sit on their asses and still have an income, makes me wonder if these people have any fucking CLUE what it's like to live poor. Of course, most of the politicians don't. They'll say things like, "But I was a poor student!" Yes, but being a poor student has a foreseeable end in sight. Living in poverty, or being forced into poverty because you can't afford school, have a mental or physical illness that prevents you from working, etc, does not have an end that anybody can see. It's way, WAY different to live poor as an adult than it is to live poor as a student. Trust me when I say that nobody wants to live poor, because it fucking blows chunks. You can never afford anything, and you're always on the verge of running out of essentials (or you do run out). Why the fuck anybody would CHOOSE social assistance is beyond me.

But the point is... I want more money. I want to be able to send the care packages. I want to save for the plane trip. I want to be able to pay my bills in full AND afford a full load of groceries, AND be able to resupply perishables if necessary. Even though I would have to pay rent, it would be a fixed percentage of my income (it's either 30 or 35%), so I would literally have hundreds of more dollars per month to spend (or save... more likely save). I'll have to spend some of the extra in order to get the groceries and send care packages, but a lot of it will be going into my Savings account and staying there. And considering I've never been able to put more than $25 into my Savings account at once the whole time I've been on assistance... that's saying a LOT. When you've always had a safety net and then suddenly find yourself forced to live paycheque to paycheque, completely unable to have a safety net because you need to spend all the money you get on ordinary things, you realize just how valuable that was. And you want it back, desperately.

So I hope I do get the job (my phone will be on when I go to sleep, so if they call I'll hear it!!), and I hope that my slowly-growing, very newfound increase in mental health will allow me to be able to handle the stressors the job may/will throw at me, so I don't have to quit a few weeks in, or something like that. Keeping up with my therapy and pdoc appointments are going to be crucial to this, I think. It's when I don't see my pros that I fall apart the most. Sometimes this is because I'm not willing to be treated at the time -- but nonetheless, that is the pattern, so I will make sure I have my appointments consistently. I don't want to lose all that I've gained even in this short space of time I've been trying to be healthier. I NEED to keep feeling better. I don't want to feel so profoundly hopeless that my desire to commit suicide is greater than my desire for literally everything else in the world. These goals for Rwanda, these things to work for -- these are the things that are keeping me out of hopelessness for now. And there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to work for and do these things, as long as I keep eating and taking my medicine (therapeutically as well as literally).

PS: Yes, I did purposely use a Destiny's Child song title as my blog title. I was SO THRILLED when I heard they performed at the Superbowl! I really miss Destiny's Child. They totally need to make a comeback. (Can you tell I'm a complete 90s child?)

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