For you, the dress code is casual.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Reality Checks and Paychecks

I cancelled a second interview this morning when I realized that I would absolutely, without a doubt, undeniably hate working for the people I was to interview with.

The woman called me after an interview Monday, while I was cooking at the stove, never asked if I had a moment, told me I had to arrive earlier than I wanted to for the appointment, et cetera. That's not cool. Show people respect. Not even working there and they already felt they owned my time. What sort of demonstration of democracy is that?

There was another interview a week and a half ago where the people kept me waiting for 40 minutes because the woman "forgot" files at home. The thing is, I pulled up ten minutes early, and saw a woman getting into an SUV right in front of me. It was the interviewer, I would soon find out. That, too, is not cool. Let's show some respect. You see these things from a prospective employer? Just don't go there.


This morning, after cancelling that appointment, I decided that I needed to cover my ass and engage in a little self-preservation. I promptly rushed out to the Welfare offices to apply for emergency income assistance. You just can't wait for fate to decide your future, you know? Self-preservation provoked me, what can I say.

Holy motherfucking hell, Batman.

I've since realized an incontrovertible truth. There are four kinds of people, as far as I can discern, who go on welfare. They are:
  1. Like me, the kinds of people who just find themselves in a jam and really, honestly, do need just a temporary helping hand, who've just run out of options and have painted themselves into a corner.
  2. Then there are the types who don't really need a helping hand, but just have no motivation and like to take advantage of the system because they feel they're "entitled" to the money. "Hey, I pay taxes. Or did, once. It's my money."
  3. Then there are the types who have just lost their will, who are addicts or have no prospects (and want none) and, again, take advantage of whatever they can.
  4. Finally, there are the types who really, truly need the help. Life's fucked them over, they've nowhere to turn, and they could probably use even more help than the inconsequential amounts being provided to them through public assistance. (In my case, with $1250 minimum in bills per month, I would have been entitled to $510 only, for example.)
["Oh, HEY, wait a second," you're thinking. "Did she just use past tense?" Why, yes, Watson. Indeed I did. Your conclusion is probably elementary, but do let me continue. I have momentum. Don't fuck with it, eh? Stay tuned.]

I, unfortunately, was motivated to go in on what is infamously dubbed as "Welfare Wednesday" -- on a new moon, no less.

There, I saw an assortment of people, but the predominant kind of person there was belligerent to the staff, twitching like mad as they needed fixes of their favourite drugs, people who didn't care about how they looked, had the all-over body sores that come from hardcore heroin and meth addictions, and so forth. The odd person was, like me, from category one, but most were in category three, and some in two, and one or two people were the really, truly needy people that I have nothing but empathy for.

While doing the 40-minute wait for my chat with a worker, a lot of thoughts ran through my head. Mostly, it was "I do not belong here." Thoughts on my mother, and how proud she was -- too proud. How she did everything she could to never go in and get help like that, and how I suspect that that sped along her demise a little quicker than it might have come if she could have known she'd be paying her bills. Stress never helps cancer, you see.

I thought about the people I've known who were category-two and -three types, taking advantage of a system that really needs to be there for people like me who've been caught short-handed, and people who just need a fucking helping hand 'cos no other options are open to me. And I was angry at the abusers.

I was disgusted when I saw the elevator on the way down, too. Filled with spit, from people who just don't respect anyone or anything.

No, I thought. I don't belong here. I should never need to receive this money. God willing, I never will. I'm a different breed -- driven, motivated, talented, and skilled. A girl who got herself in trouble, that's all.


And a girl who got herself out of it.

I've been told I have a job. We'll see if it's the right fit. You never know, and it's a big commitment, these job things. There're enough options out there that I may be able to upgrade or whatnot, but for the time being, it's a good start. I've met my goal to find work for the first week of July. I'm proud of myself. Within three weeks, I've found a job. I'm in serious contention for five others. I've done well.

I fucking rock. I hope there's more to come. I want to know I've wowed people. I want to know this job's my choice, not my only option, you know?

Great timing. I'm proud, thrilled, satisfied, relieved, and everything else I could be right now.

There's nothing like getting tested with fire and learning you're capable of not getting burned. Fuckin' A, man. And now, a bikeride awaits.