The new job is good. It's really nice people working for a nonprofit dedicated to a GREAT cause, and they're busy enough currently to need an administrative temp. I don't think it has long-term potential, which is too bad, but it should last at least a couple of weeks, and that's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick (which is a saying down here in The South, although I've actually been the recipient of such a poke and can say that just about anything up to and including a compound fracture is preferable, so I guess it's not really saying much--THE JOB IS NICE, THE END).
Typepad? Is GREAT. Those of you who follow me on the Twitter may already be aware, but yesterday I logged into WellsfuckingFargo's website to see if everything had cleared (yes, I still want to dump them--THEY SUCK and have HORRIBLE customer service, and they LIE right on their ATM machines where it says that cash deposits are credited instantly) and was horrified to see a $119 pending chunk out of my meagre balance. Of course I clicked to see what had unexpectedly eaten up 90% of my net worth, and it was my yearly Typepad subscription fee. Did I agree to that? Yes. Last year, however, they deducted it on May 20th, and so I had set a reminder for May 18th. This year apparently they deducted it a little earlier, which probably has something to do with leap years and business days and I DON'T KNOW, I'm sure it makes sense to SOMEone, but that someone is not writing this post.
I logged into Typepad and clicked around the back end of my account, thinking that maybe if I downgraded to month-to-month billing (the yearly rate is a better deal, although obviously not so much if it causes the next thing to hit your account to generate an overdraft fee) that would fix things. Obviously I was not the first person to panic and have that idea, however, because next to the option to do that was a disclaimer stating that doing so would not cause a refund to be issued, but rather a credit on the account that they would then deduct your monthly fee from until it ran out. CRAP! So I fired off a desperate support ticket explaining that I knew I'd agreed to this being automatically deducted, but thought I had another eight days, was unemployed, etc. and asking if there was ANY way to get the yearly fee refunded and go month-to-month until I was more financially secure again. Since I'd been live-tweeting my freakout, I let my followers know that I'd placed it in Typepad's hands and was just going to hope their customer service folks were as understaning as Amazon.com's are (yeah, Hotter signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime and forgot to cancel it, and a very nice Amazon.com employee unknowingly SAVED HIS LIFE on Friday by refunding THAT). Best case scenario, I thought I'd maybe get a refund of $119 minus the cost of one month's Typepad Pro service, but realistically I was expecting an admonition to re-read the Terms of Service. I went to bed last night worried as hell, but resigned to waking up to bad news. Instead, while I slept, Typepad was ON IT!
Figure One: Look how friendly!
I checked my e-mail on my first fifteen-minute break at work, and found an INCREDIBLY nice note from Melanie, a Typepad Community Manager. She explained the date discrepancy in a way that made sense, and that yes, the TOS gave them permission to deduct the money when they did, but went on to say that she understood that life happens, and in light of my longstanding relationship with Typepad they wanted to try and help take the pressure off, so she refunded THE ENTIRE AMOUNT and APPLIED AN EQUAL CREDIT TO MY ACCOUNT. I thanked them profusely, and they were very gracious:
You guys. I may have teared up a little in my cube. Of course what Typepad did helped me avoid (another) financial headache, and obviously I'm thrilled with the credit, especially since it's hard to justify paying that kind of money for something that is just for me and can't be eaten or worn to work, given our circumstances. But this was just...well. If you've never been really, really broke, you might not get how huge this was. You get used to hearing "no." To EVERYTHING. Things like sobbing on the phone to your bank, and never picking up a number you don't recognize become part of your daily existence. You come to expect smug annoyance from everyone you do business with, if not outright hostility. It's a relief to even be able to deal with a company via e-mail just so you don't have to hear it out loud, because you already hear it out of your own mouth on a daily basis. No, I can't pay for your eye surgery so you can see better. No, you can't go on that field trip, it costs too much. No, no, NO! The negativity can become overwhelming and start to color your entire outlook. When Typepad not only DIDN'T say no, but went the extra mile and did something nice that I hadn't even asked for, it meant a lot more to me than avoiding an overdraft fee or three and getting to blog for a year for free; it reminded me that there's more to say and hear than no, a lot more to life than relentless negativity. It lifted my entire mood, and helped me put my best foot forward today at the new job.
Am I going to stop bitching so much about my life? Probably not. It's not easy, and I'm only human. But I will never do it via any other blogging platform :)
I did not even PRETEND to like my step-son's last major girlfriend, Pedophyllis. They broke up shortly after announcing their engagement, and now he has a new one, who is at least his age. Hotter and I were poking around on the Facespace today trying to figure out when Lefty is due to get out of jail (yes, that's about the most reliable means of finding out such things at our disposal, since The Wrath threw him out of the house shortly before his incarceration and he doesn't have his own phone), and I saw where The New Girl had posted a picture of a Holocaust survivor on Lefty's timeline with the words "I want to make a lampshade out of your skin, because you light up my life" emblazoned across it.
So it's settled, I don't care for this one either.
This morning I took my last generic Synthroid tablet, and so after today's temp gig I stopped at Kroger prepared to fork over every penny I had to my name to refill that, because my thyroid is a lazy asshole and hypothyroidism is no fun. I've never really gone without medical insurance; I went straight from my parents' policy to a policy through my first "real job" to the XY's policy to an individual one, and from there to The Hotel California's employee plan. I was worried, because even though I know that Synthroid is a cheap drug to fill generically, I figured a doctor or pharmacist's idea of "cheap" and mine would probably be in two entirely different ballparks.
So you can imagine how relieved I was to find that paying out of pocket for generic Synthroid was entirely within our budget.
I went from relieved to pissed, however, when I realized that I'd been paying $11 MORE each month for the same medication WITH insurance.
Only in America.
Today I'm a brand ambassador again, and I would kind of rather have a boil implant than go and spend six hours at a Soulless Corporate Megalith store, but a) it's money and b) I said I would do this for Temp Agency #1, and they are what saves our ass any time I don't have a Real Job. So here I am at the MFA County Public Library printing out my timesheet and other essential documents, and off I'll go in a moment when the printing kiosk is free.
Yeah, some bloggers get to go to Mom 2.0 or BlogHer as a brand ambassador, and I get to go to a Soulless Corporate Megalith superstore. Any A-listers want to trade? Anyone? Bueller? No? Ah well.
I kind of think the old guy at the next computer over is looking at pr0n. At the library. Our tax dollars at work, kids!
Before I sign off and go (wo)man a product table for 600 years hours, I wanted to ask y'all for some advice. I haven't worked in an office setting in a while, and I'm a little afraid I'll be rusty on Monday. So what tips do you have for me (other than don't microwave leftover fish in the break room--HIIII M!) on how to ingratiate myself to my new employer and/or win at life?
Ooo! Printer! Later.
* I have a job!
* The job is through Temp Agency #1, non-physically demanding, full-time, pays pretty well, and starts Monday. No idea on duration yet, but at the very least this should help us get our feet back under us and let me secure individual health insurance once more. Yay!
* I have to cultivate a "professional appearance" over the weekend on a shoestring budget, which will involve doing my roots, spending some time at Goodwill shopping for business-y clothes that fit, and probably lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth.
* Happy Friday!
* How are all of YOU?
Enough about how we're all going to die if I don't find a job. Let's talk about something REALLY important. Marinka of Motherhood in NYC has a regular feature on her blog called "I'm right, you're wrong" that I'm totally hijacking borrowing today.
My recent unemployment has allowed for Hotter and me to spend lots and lots of time together. It's great when we're doing things like sleeping in with the dog and all four of her stiff, stabby-clawed legs between us and having sex, but not so much when we're talking about what to make for dinner, because one of us is fundamentally wrong here. You be the judge!
The Dilemma: What do you call those bread-things you put your hotdog inside?
The disagreers: MFA Mama, a.k.a. The Voice of Reason, and Hotter, a.k.a. Mr. I Went To Culinary School But Still Don't Know What Those Bread-things Are Called.
1. We are out of hot dog rolls, so we can't have hot dogs for dinner because the kids hate it when we use slices of bread.
2. We are out of hot dog buns, so we can't have hot dogs for dinner because the kids hate it when we use slices of bread.
What say you?
I think I've applied for every job within feasible travel radius that I am even remotely qualified for. Monster, Snagajob, Craigslist, and the local paper have run out of new ideas for me. I'm still working my ass off for Temp Agency #2, and spoke with Temp Agency #1 today (they found a part-time job I'm qualified for, although I ultimately decided to pass since I need something full-time, either through them or something I find on my own, and this gig would have run mid-May through October...that didn't seem fair to the client since I'd totally bail if I got a full-time offer during that time...I do however have another one-off gig I'm working for them this coming Saturday).
I'm a little worried about what to wear to job interviews. I've lost twenty-two pounds in the past couple of months so everything is baggy (including my bras--I may be reduced to stuffing for the interview next week), and my roots are pretty heinous but I don't want to spend the money on a box of hair color. Or should I? I don't even know if they'll notice that.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, I'm freaking out about the whole "no health insurance" thing. Hotter has Medicare, and the boys are covered by their father's insurance; it's just me with nothing. I've been able to stop taking Nexium without any ill effects as long as I avoid gluten, and I do miss Mirapex, but not enough to pay out of pocket. So it's just Pristiq and Synthroid I'm still on. I can't afford to sign up for an individual plan currently, so everyone cross their fingers that my lungs behave and I don't do any worse than break my stupid toe for the next...however long.
We have less than $100 to our names, and no end in sight. It's terrifying. A kind friend sent us a box of groceries from Amazon.com, but pretty soon we're going to start running out of things, and I have no idea what we'll do.
Please post funnies and pick-me-ups in the comments, if you've seen any good ones. I'm trying hard not to succumb to depression right about now and keep telling myself that we've always found a way to manage before, but I'm really worried.
Today I am looking on the bright side and saying that while I broke the SHIT out of my middle toe, and also sliced it open, at least the slice runs vertically up the SIDE of the nail and so I am not likely to lose the nail.
And eating a chocolate cupcake, a powdered donut, a chocolate-chip cookie, and two rugelach from my box of Katz Gluten-Free goodies has helped to dull the pain.