Finally

Well, I did it. I got a job. I start Friday. I’m going to be working on another research project, in a completely different department, doing similar work to that I did before at my old horrible job, with a different population. My new boss (who, oddly enough, shares a name with my former crazy psycho boss) is letting me take Monday off so I can go to Victoria, BC with my mom. Isn’t that nice? I’m looking forward to working with her very much.

I am happy about this, as you may imagine. I appreciate all the thoughts and prayers people have been sending my way for the past year. Happy, but not ecstatic, for a really dumb reason, and that is that the pay is horrible. Like just barely on the edge of decent. I feel really awful and guilty about this, because I know there are people out there who are making way less. It’s just that…oh, sigh, I went and got a Master’s degree, stupidly thinking that because I have MSW after my name that I would be making more money, and it’s been so hard to get work, and nothing is like I expected it would be. I won’t even really be using that old MSW-after-the-name in the traditional manner in this new gig, except when I’m in clinic, which, thankfully, I’ll be able to continue. And I am grateful. I really am. I don’t know why I’m not jumping up and down right now…especially since I haven’t even been paid yet, so I don’t really know what it’s going to look like. And it’s not like unemployment has been a treat. It’s all relative. Right? Right.

Oh, unemployment? Yeah. I’ve been getting it for a couple of weeks now. I was going to write an entry last week about this horrible workshop I had to go to, where a man named Clarence (who I am pretty sure was a junior high school vice-principal in a former life) lectured a bunch of awkward, embarassed white middle class folks about how to file claims and what did and didn’t count as “actively seeking employment.” I didn’t write it because, well, I was awkward and embarassed, and also the event did not, by any means, live up to my humor-providing hopes. I was hoping Clarence would have some entertaining tics or something. Instead he was all, whenever anyone asked a question: “Well, what you’re going to see, nine times out of ten, is a situation where you have a forty to forty-five percent chance of being audited. That’s when you want your activity logs to look real good.” See, that’s not even funny. It’s just very grating. My hopes for a good entry were dashed. The worst was towards the end, when people were OBVIOUSLY ready to get on up out of there, a couple of yutzes would get all philosophical: “Well, I have a question for the group. Does anyone know of any good job sites on the World Wide Web?” Um, first of all, it’s called the web or the internet. Second of all, imagine you are dead, and in your coffin. Hear how quiet it is? Yes, that’s how huge the silence was that greeted that remark. And then people would ask these very long and involved questions that pertained only to them, and Clarence would answer in an equally long and involved manner.

Yutz So, Clarence, let’s say on any one given day, you work for eight point three hours, which would be approximately ten and three thirds of a working week. Would the deduction from your payment be calculated in a top-down or bottom-up matter? If, for example, you were in the sales management field and had done a little freelance consulting for a firm with thirty-eight to forty-two employees, located in the Greater Puget Sound area?

Clarence Well, now, see, what you’re going to have here, in a situation where you’ve worked eight point three hours…I assume that doesn’t include a mandatory thirty-minute lunch break?..at a sales management company located in the Greater Puget Sound, which, as you say, only employs thirty-eight to forty-two employees, which, of course, would not include yourself if you were working merely in a freelance/consulting capacity, is that you’re looking at a sixty, sixty-five percent chance that your hours worked at said company will be calculated–and this is nine times out of ten–on a top-down, versus bottom-up type of fashion. When I was first doing this work…

Rest of Unemployed People [drawing a picture of a bridge and using dandruff as snow, spitting into air and catching expectoration in own mouth, watching drawstring of wrestling jersey go back and forth in neckholes, having unpure thoughts and picking nose with pen]

Chiara (silently) AAAAAUUUUUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH!

So that was that. I won’t be doing that again, thank heavens, because I have a job now. Not a prestigious job, not one that’s very well-paid, but a job nonetheless, after a long time trying to get one. I’m even going to have benefits, for the first time in three years! I’ll get a subsidized bus pass and everything! I don’t have to wear business casual and I get to keep my therapy gig. The folks there seem really nice, and as far as I can tell, the new boss seems really nice and laid-back. Next year, I will definitely get my bookstore refund. By the way, I didn’t turn in my book receipts this year because I lost them. How sad is that? But next year, oh next year, the patronage refund is MINE.

So I seem to have written myself out of feeling weird about this (for now). And really, I am very happy to be have got this. I know it will all work out. I did a bunch of housecleaning today, and I plan to do more. Mom is coming to visit, you see. Isn’t that cool? And, of course, several more wedding anniversaries have passed in the last month or so. June 21 was that of Dave and Joey, two friends from college. They got married in Minnesota last summer (aka my summer of Five Weddings and No Funerals, Thank Goodness, for me) and are a very cool couple. Both smart as whips, with a collective body fat index of, oh, I don’t know, 3 percent? I think Joey can actually bench press Dave. She wore this great sleeveless wedding dress that showed her bulging biceps off to perfection. It’s good that Joey is the nicest person in the world, because if she weren’t, and she got mad at you, and she hit you, you would die. But she is, so you’re okay.

On the 29th was Amy’s and Alan’s anniversary. Among my acquaintance, they are the Old Married People because they are celebrating their sixth anniversary! Isn’t that cool? Now, you all know how I know Amy, right? And you know I was her maid of honor and that her wedding was the beginning of my long and glorious career as a bridesmaid. Seriously, of you get married, you want me as your bridesmaid. I have years of experience and I get very mushy. Anyway, Amy was beautiful at their wedding, Alan sang a song that made everyone cry, and the minister got his name wrong when they were saying the vows. It was a great wedding, and they are also a great couple.

Coming soon on Ampersand: a guest entry from my mom (I hope); our trip to Victoria, BC, in which I will revisit my Canadian roots and stay at a very nice hotel; and, of course, my bellydance performance, all of which will happen in the next couple of weeks. Oh, and my first day of work, of course!

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