Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I'm sitting here listening to Edgar Allen Poe readings, currently I just got done with Iggy Pop doing The Tell Tale Heart, and now it's Eartha Kitt doing 'The Black Cat'. Still at work and not minding so much.

I realized something this past weekend as I was feverishly finishing my latest work of fixshun. I believe that one bad employer sort of ruined me for any future ones.

A few years ago I worked for a phone sex company. I worked in the office doing billing and other various office work. I worked graveyard as I do now. At first it was a pretty kick ass job. Granted I was making monkey shit for money but it was good. The owner seemed like such a wonderful lady. She'd pulled herself up out of drug use and a terribly abusive past.

She did a lot of things for others and herself that at the time I respected quite a bit. She was the sort of employer who while working you like a mule could make you feel like, 'hey this is a good place to be.'

Atmosphere wise it was a good place to be. I worked with a bunch of chicks. There were always snacks, tampons, nail polish, movies anything you could want someone probably had and most likely didn't mind you borrowing. It was nice. I also met my favorite roommate who I lived with in Tacoma. We had a cute little 2 bedroom with her two kids.

For the time I was there (almost 2 years or so) I enjoyed my job greatly. I made good friends, monkey shit money but it was nice. And then Xmas of (oh good lord I can't quite remember now.) Let's say 2000 for arguments sake. That Xmas I was house/cat sitting for a lady I worked with.

The actual house/cat sitting was so bad. I not only had a terrible cold, this woman had seriously, twelve indoor cats. There may have been more there were a couple I never saw. So we have 12 cats, 1 litterbox, filthy nasty smelly house, fleas, and the coup de gras a hot water heater that was only capable of about 4 gallons of lukewarm water.

Seriously.

So I was struggling through this when on 12/23 I get a phone call from my boss. She tells me how much she loves me and starts crying. I figure maybe something bad happened to my roommmate or something like that. Oooohhhh no. She laid me off.

Now getting laid off isn't such a big deal it happens. But that day? And she told me the reasons why she couldn't lay off any of the other girls that worked there. Including a drug addict who owed her money and had a habit of spending weekends til Monday night in jail.

I was absolutely devastated. I had been socking away money for my roommate and I to put down together on a mobile home. I had serious BIG plans. Now really as close as we were supposed to have been I would have felt much better if she had at least given me some warning. I'd worked my wee arse off at that place for my 7.50 an hour pittance.

Really that's not the part that ruined me. It was the few months afterwards that did it.

So I get laid off. Am depressed and had to move back in with my parents for awhile. Then my old roomy calls me in tears because she'd gone to go to work and the company was gone.

Yep you heard me gone.

Not only had the company folded up but, the owners had taken off for parts unknown. Then come tax time I find out that my employer lied to me. She had told me (and all the other girls who worked in the office) that we were in fact regular employees. And she'd take the taxes out of our checks.

So there I was happy as a lark working away not realizing that my employer was skimming money off of my check. A good chunk considering I'd claimed 0 so I wouldn't owe money at the end of the year. And then my roomy and I had decided to try and get domestic partner status so we could pay together and be better off getting our house even tho she's not gay.

And then BADA BOOM! I got a friendly letter from the IRS saying that I owed upwards of 700$$ in taxes. Now that doesn't seem like a whole lot of money but when you're only making $7.50 an hour that is a fucking ass load of money.

At the time I was under the impression that if I didn't pay that money immediately I'd go to jail or face some other terrible fate so I put it on a credit card. Bad idea I know but it was the IRS and I was fucking freaked. So yeah.

So since then I've been what you might call leery at best of my employers. I've had several since then. Including the one I've had now for the last four years (as of last month) I can't help but be a little non trusting.

Perhaps it's a failing but, after the experience I just related and a few others I think it's been well earned. Promises of things that never ever happened.

So where does that leave me?

I think it leaves me in a place I'm none too fond of. I tend to be overly suspicious when it comes to employment. I take a lot of what I get told with a grain of salt. Mainly out of caution. Don't get your hopes up they don't get let down.

But at this point I'd say I'm getting a bit softer that way. Despite how it might seem sometimes I do like where I work. I do enjoy my job most of the time. Yes I'd like more but really, if it's not writing it's going to be just a way to pay the bills to me.

I've been feeling that to be unrealistic but as hard as I've tried I can't shake that feeling. That desire I have. Everything that isn't me sitting in front of my computer wrestling with recalcitrant Muses is just...paying the bills for now.

And well that's it for now. I'm rambling and I don't really know if I have any other point. But that's been something that's been on my mind. And it percolated enough for me to get it down and make it make sense. Bye bye now.
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