Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Consolation Prize

                So, today royally sucked ass. I woke up late to take Elijah to his babysitter which meant that Elijah had to be woken from a sound sleep.  See, if I wake up late, I just get really focused and do what ever I need to do to make up the lost minutes. Elijah does not operate that way; he’s a toddler. So, if he wakes up too quickly and is prodded too soon, he whines, then cries, then lets out a full blown temper tantrum complete with kicking and throwing. This was one of those mornings. I carried him out of the house like a linebacker clutching a football and he screamed all the way to the car.
                After dropping him off, I started making those all important phone calls. After a week of trying, I finally got a hold of the team leader in Cincinnati to work out the details of my transfer. I guess, however, that in the course of that week, the guy that I was supposed to be replacing decided to stay so my job suddenly went up in smoke. I can call back a couple weeks before I move to see if anything has surfaced but there’s no guarantee.
                Now, as I’m talking to my would-have-been team leader, I searching the web for income guidelines for child care vouchers in Cincinnati (because I can multitask like that, yo, and my next phonecall was supposed to be to gather information on getting help ASAP). In Olympia, I qualified easily so, I guess I just assumed it would be the same in Ohio. My entire budget had been worked out with my Whole Foods job at my current pay and only a nominal, if any, childcare expense. Nope. I make $100 too much a month to qualify.
Yes, as I’m being told I have, basically, no job in a month, I’m learning that even if I pull off getting a job, I won’t be able to afford childcare for my son or get vouchers to cover the added cost.
But I forge on. There are more calls to make. The child support I’ve been anxiously awaiting is late and I need to figure out what’s going on. I call my case worker. He says that they got a payment and it should be in my account by the weekend (never mind my car is sucking fumes right now, my cell phone is shut off, and my credit card is overdue- all things that should have been easily covered by this payment). He mentions the amount and I say “Excuse me??” It’s half of what it is supposed to be. Half!!! And if that weren’t enough, the payment I was expecting was only half of the month’s. That’s right! I’m now basically expecting a quarter of a month’s child support, which I guess I should be happy about because up until now I wasn’t getting squat. My kid’s birthday is in a month, I can hardly pay my bills, and I can’t even use one fucking red cent of the piddly ass child support to buy Elijah a present because it’s a quarter of a month’s! All of Elijah’s birthday presents from his first birthday are still in WA because I can’t afford to have them shipped and now for his second birthday, I can’t afford to buy him anything. His birthday went from La Rosa’s pizza and Graeter’s ice cream at the Cincinnati zoo with all the family to “Well, I can probably take him to Gigi’s as long as I don’t buy cupcakes for everyone.”
As this is all sinking in, I start to realize another wretched thing. I’d turned in an application for a lovely small cottage about two miles away from Whole Foods in Cincinnati. It has the sunroom I’ve dreamed of, the fireplace, the backyard with the garden spot. It’s on a dead-end street in a quiet neighborhood. It has a basement and a storage shed. It was right in my budget as long as I sell my car which would be totally cool since it was only two miles from work. I’d gotten the guy to consider me by offering to pay for all of July despite not moving in until the 26th. I can’t rent a place if I don’t have a job and this guy isn’t going to rent to me because he has other people equally excited about the house that are able to pay rent. Bye-bye dream house.
I head out of the office and sit at the table. I tell my mom the bad news. She sighs and sits with me and lets me cry. She tells me these things happen for a reason and I snap at her because I’m sick of all “these things” happening without a real, defined reason. I don’t say it aloud but I think of the damage done to my relationship with my dad by moving in with them. I think of Paul’s year and a half of cancer. I think of my miscarriage and subsequent heart problems. The divorce. My depression. Leaving all my friends. Leaving my home. When do I get the great big fucking pay off from all this???
Time ticks away until I realize that I need to go to work. I change quickly, burn a new CD to listen to that will fit my mood (it’s a quick compilation of all my favorite angst filled Tool songs because nothing sounds better when I’m upset than the same crap I was listening to when I was a teenager). I head into work and one of my friends asks what’s wrong. I tell her and she suggests staying in Raleigh (not gonna happen) or moving to Pittsburg (why?). We talk for a few minutes and then go over my work for the day. It’s all mind numbingly easy crap which, on the one hand, suits me just fine because I don’t feel like thinking, but on the other, frustrates me because, well, it’s mind numbingly boring shit and why did I take this job if not to learn? And it’s not bad enough to be bored but to be regulated here because my baking background has instilled in me a need for exact measurements and a consistent product.  Anyway, my only question concerns stars next to one of the dishes (the only new one to me. Do the stars mean to get a recipe? Go over one of our notoriously wrong recipes? Or something else entirely?) so we track down one of our sous chefs to get clarification. He says they need it right away and it’s just like another recipe we do. I point out that the last time I followed that recipe, it was all messed up to which he responds that this will be just like all my other dishes then. What the fuck????
Okay, I get that I have a ton of questions and I know that unlike the guys that have been doing these recipes for fifteen years, I am not sure exactly of everything. And, yes, I screw up. And, yes, we have a notoriously antagonistic relationship, but, seriously? Is he really so mind bogglingly dense as to not know that sarcastic quips are best reserved for people who are not already visibly upset. And, seriously, did it have to be one so close to home? Honestly, I almost broke down in tears yet again. My friend abolished him swiftly which did make me feel a little better for the moment but, in retrospect, the douchebag really needs to be brought down a peg or two and since I don’t have a job in a month anyway, a temptation to be the one that does it is certainly on the rise.
By my break, I wasn’t feeling any better so I snuck out to my car and blared my angry teenage music and had a good cry; something I had to repeat before driving home. And just as I got ready to drive out of the parking lot, I opened my glove compartment, pulled out my glasses, and my glove compartment will not shut now for some reason.
So, let’s recap:
1.       No job.
2.       No home.
3.       No childcare.
4.       Rude, biting comment from douchebag sous chef.
5.       Broken car.

But, on the plus side, I scored some sweet baking pans that work was throwing away. It’s like a shitty consolation prize. I’d have preferred the trip to St. Lucia, Pat.

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