Tag Archives: jobs

COVID-19 Chronicles: Days 47-56

I’ve spent the last week with Ormsby (or, well, he’s spent the last week with me), trying to get him situated.  We filed for unemployment for him (status is still pending… that could last a while) and applied for some things.  It was important to me that he not be on his own for the first week, so that he didn’t constantly have to look outside his window and see the place he used to work.  I don’t know if that helped, or if it prolonged the inevitable, because I did have to take him back yesterday.

Sometimes I wonder if he’d have been better off if I’d just left him in Louisville.  Possibly for the short term…at least he wouldn’t have had to have struggled for the first 2.5 years in a job hunt that he always seemed destined to lose.  But in the long term? I mean, this happened in Louisville too.  He’d have been in the same boat there as he now is here… there’s that.  I just wouldn’t feel so… responsible.

Even though I am not responsible.  I have to learn to stop taking all of this on myself. It’s going to kill me when it’s all said and done.  I have to keep telling myself I’ve done all that I can do.  And I have.  And then some.  More than many ever would.  That has to be enough… even when I don’t feel like it’s enough.  I cannot save the world.  I cannot, really, save him either.

The only person that can save Ormsby, is Ormsby.  That’s it.  I can help.  I can prolong what is, perhaps, the inevitable.  But I cannot be the only thing that keeps it at bay.

That is, after all, why we are living separately – so that I could stop being that wall.

It’s Mothers Day… I sent my mom and gift and then followed up with a card that I’d apparently had in my house for a really long time and had forgotten to send (or probably just found another one I liked better).  At any rate the gift arrived on time (because I ordered it 2 weeks ahead).  The card did not – but I also dropped it in the box on Wednesday afternoon.  So she’ll have that to look forward to.

I don’t usually go back up to Kentucky on Mothers Day, but that’s usually because I have plans to go up there at a later time – when I can stay longer.  There are no such plans this time, because I have no idea when I will be able to go back up there.  That makes this one harder.  I did talk to her (and to my dad) for a very long time.  It was nice.

They’re doing well… still social distancing.  I think their church is going to try to open soon, but I don’t think they will go in person for a while.  I don’t begrudge them going (even if I don’t) when it’s safe, but I don’t want them to take the chance that someone they know has it but doesn’t show symptoms and then one of them catches it that way.  That would be awful.

P.S. – This stupid disease is also why the ringer on my phone stays on at all times.

Florida has started opening back up.  I am not partaking yet.  I want to see what the case counts look like 2-4 weeks from now.  We did go to the beach one late afternoon down in Bradenton and we ate at Tibby’s on Friday (but it was empty).  But I am staying the hell away from everyone… like if there’s a human there, I walk the other way.

(This isn’t really that unusual… I do that even when there is no COVID.)

Good Stuff:

  • My mom LOVED her gift.  It was a wind chime that had a birds nest on top with a mother bird feeding her baby birds.  What’s funny is that I ordered it for her about a day before she called to tell me there was a nest of robins near their house that they were watching.  I smiled about that, because it was appropriate.
  • They started furloughing people at my office last Friday.  I was not furloughed.  I consider that a win.  For now.  I’m still not cracking into that stimulus money until either this pandemic has passed us, or until I absolutely have to for a personal emergency.
  • My sister and brother-in-law brought my nieces over to see my parents (from six feet away and with masks).  That was the first time they’d seen them in almost two months.  You couldn’t see anyone’s expressions, but you could seem my parents glowing in the photos.  I am glad that got to happen at least.
  • Aaaaand… finally… Ormsby and I turned my apartment into a photo studio while he was here and got some shots in.  I got back in heels for the first time in two years (paid for it a little later, but not too bad), and we got a few good shots.  I’m posting them below.

© IMJZ Photo

© IMJZ Photo

Scared Shitless

It’s exactly one week until the madness of school and work (simultaneously) begins.  With the release of one of my class schedules a full week early, I’m happily confident that the classes themselves won’t be a problem.  In fact, I think I knew that from the beginning… since my last experience with college was graduate school, and I’m going back for an undergraduate degree (so the work load will be significantly easier).  And, of course, there’s the fact that I’m majoring in something completely different this time (Communication vs the History degree I have already) that requires a lot less reading than before (one book per class vs. seven or eight in the History department).  And at any rate, I have always been good at school, having the ability to hear or read something once or twice and remember it, and the writing quotient… which is nothing.

No… school doesn’t scare me.

Work scares me.

It has been eight months since I left my full time job in Tampa and moved up here.  I’ve dabbled with Ormsby’s business, of course, played a whole fuck load of World of Warcraft, and have focused on my relationship – a needed change in my  life that required that attention toward the beginning.  I’ve had a lot of interviews, I’ve retooled my resume several times, and am happy to say that the last major overhaul had a fairly significant role to play in getting this new job that I start on the 24th.  I interview pretty well, too, as I’m well-spoken and am very good at giving clear, concise answers when asked a direct question (Dad used to say I had an answer to everything – he was right about that).

But you know what… now that I have a job, now that I’m starting said job, that I earned by the qualities of my resume and not because I was in the right place at the right time, I’m scared shitless.  But let’s begin at the beginning.

My tenure in Tampa began with a document management company.  I started as their receptionist and had aspirations of moving into Accounting, because I’d dabbled in that before during Louisville Part I and liked it.  I liked the self-reliant aspect of it, the fact that with those numbers in front of me, I could get lost in them and not have to answer phones or talk to anyone.  It’s a good profession for an introvert (as long as I made my math-phobias get out of my way).  Receptionist was not so much, but they didn’t get many direct calls to the line, and I spent my very short, ten day tenure, as a receptionist there making tea for the owner and running personal errands.  My only beef was that they would not let me drive my own car and, as I have serious anxiety about driving any car but my own, that wasn’t a good fit, but I needed a job.  It wasn’t a great paying job, but I needed it.  And it was enough to squeak by for awhile.

Ten days into the Receptionist tenure, the Trainer quit.  Rather than hire a new one of those, and I guess recognizing that I was more intelligent than what was required for a Receptionist at that company, I was offered the job and a raise.  I took it because, I mean, hell… more money.  It’s a no-brainer.  I was scared shitless of training people, especially since I didn’t really know my way around a computer (and still don’t for the most part, but I’m better now than I was in 2010).  But I took my test account home one night and learned that program backward and forward.  And then I blundered through the first few trainings with live clients.  In a month or two, I was relatively comfortable with it.  And by six months, I was training in my sleep.  Because it was the same program every day… three times a day… I repeated myself so much that I didn’t even have to look at my computer anymore.

The company I worked for was pretty lax.  And by lax I mean that they served alcohol pretty much all day, YouTube and Wii were highly encouraged during working hours, and the pranks that we played on each other during vacation times were over the top (and funded by the owners).  Work didn’t feel like work because of this, and also because I could dress casually every day.  Like jeans and a T-Shirt casually.  And barefoot.  Or flip-flops if I really needed shoes.

Two years later, one of the systems that the Document Management company had developed was sold to a larger insurance company and thirteen of us, myself included, went with the acquisition.  I got a fifty percent raise and more vacation time than I could ever use (at least that’s what I thought then), simply for taking the job offer and continuing to do the same job I’d done every day for the last two years.  The culture didn’t change (though maybe it should have… because the sexual harassment at work started with that transfer) in that we were still able to wear what we wanted, but we couldn’t drink anymore and the pranking fell by the wayside.  There was no onsite HR and management was overloaded and understaffed, so people still pretty much got away with anything and everything.  I didn’t really take the time to consider whether I was doing things that made me worth the 40-50 thousand a year I was making.  Because that was just what it was, and I was lucky to have a job like that.

I moved back to Louisville, though, eight months ago, feeling entitled to something that was the same as what I’d had before.  I mean I’d done it for four years, I had (presumably) been worth that salary (and had gotten used to having extra money in my pocket every month).  I wanted my life back.  And finally, after a lot of interviews, and a lot of hoping, and a lot of wondering why the fuck that wasn’t happening as easily as I thought it would, I found it.  And I start it on Monday.

But now that I have it?  I realize just how lucky I was to find what I found in Tampa.  Luck is not a translatable skill, but you know what, Luck is how I got that job there, and Luck is how I got that transfer.  It had absolutely NOTHING to do with SKILL, and that’s the point.  All of my other jobs I’ve gotten either because they were brainless and needed to be done and I applied for them and got them for no particular reason other than the fact that I played World of Warcraft (seriously, this got me the job at the document management company, as well as the job at the plumbing company in Louisville in 2009) or because I happened to be in the right place at the right time (in other words, Luck).  I got this new job based on merit… merit that I’m not really sure I deserve, despite what my resume says (because let’s face it… Word will be still and let me type ANYTHING on it).

I’m scared shitless that I’m going to walk in there a week from today and I’m going to find that I really have absolutely no idea what the fuck I’m doing, that I was being overpaid in my last position, and that I would be better off settling for a $12 an hour receptionist position because I suddenly find that there is no way in hell that I can do this on a bigger scale (webinars vs. in person training; one technical manual vs. ten very specialized ones).

I am terrified.  And I’ve never wished for time to slow down more in my life… because I feel like I could use a few more weeks to find my (figurative) balls, pull the badass out of retirement, and prepare for the inevitable… whatever the inevitable will be.