19 April 2009

Idle Hands

I’m a day early here, but I’m trying to keep to a schedule of an update every 5 days or so despite having nothing useful to say, and no ideas beyond how best to build certain animals out of Legos (which doesn't help my blog much).

A day early for what? you might ask. Which would be too bad, because I can’t hear you. But let’s pretend I can. A day early for my mother’s birthday, certainly. Monday the 20th is her 52nd birthday. Happy birthday, Mum!

Isn’t my mommy pretty?

But that wasn’t what I was referring to. In addition to April 20th being the birthday of my mother, Adolf Hitler and Luther Vandross, and the ten-year anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High School, and the 107th anniversary of the isolation of Radium by the Curies, it marks eight months since I was fired.

It was a Wednesday night, that August 20th. My manager – let’s call her “Bonia” – accused me of about fifty things I never did and then told me I was fired. The paperwork I had to sign was dated more than two weeks earlier, which says to me that one of the reasons she had for firing me – an incident about five days earlier – was just a smokescreen.

It’s just as well they fired me. They were real arses about me missing work while my father was having brain surgery. After he died they’d probably have told me, hey, it’s not like you can see him anymore, so get your duff into work. They weren’t very understanding about his having brain cancer. They seemed to feel that my concern over his illness should take a backseat to things such as sanitizing combs and sweeping floors. I guess my priorities were messed up. Clean floors are important, after all.

I’d never been fired before. I was rather proud of that fact. When I get a job, I keep it. I work hard, I do my job, and when it’s time to move on, I write a neat little letter of resignation and two weeks later I’m gone. But my employer – let’s call the salon “Bool Cuts 4 Kids” – decided, to hell with hard-working, honest people. Let’s fire the most reliable employee we have because she refuses to turn into a bootlicking kiss-arse.

Do I sound bitter? Oh, I’m bitter. I’m beyond bitter. The very thought of Sonia – er, Bonia – makes my blood pressure rise and my fists clench. She said (after accusing me of a lot of bad things, mind you) that I shouldn’t hesitate to list her as a reference, that she’d put in a good word for me. Well, I don’t know if she’s a liar or simply won’t talk on the phone, but I haven’t been able to get a job since then. Anywhere.

So, I’ve been unemployed for eight months. I’ve been a busy girl since I was thirteen years old, when I started washing dishes and clearing tables at my aunt’s restaurant. This is the longest I’ve gone aimless in twelve years. If I wasn’t working, I was going to school full-time, and there were many semesters that I did both. I’ve never enjoyed work. I like slacking off, watching TV, reading. I always thought that unemployment would suit me.

Ladies and gentlemen, let me state now emphatically just how wrong I was. Unemployment does NOT suit me. Unemployment is a rotten thing.

It worked well for me at first. Nine days after I was fired, my dad fell asleep on the couch and he never woke up. Eleven days later he died – a combination of a blood clot, an infection, and massive brain damage from a stroke (caused by the clot). Having a job would have been a complication I didn’t need at that time. I never thought that, at the age of 25, I’d have to plan my father’s funeral and write his obituary. I relished the time I had to grieve and … well, grieve, mostly.

But long about January, I started to get restless again. Bored. The quiet time I used to enjoy had become a burden. I’d wake up in the morning (afternoon, if I’m honest), have sugared cereal for breakfast, spend three hours playing video games, eat dinner, and watch TV and mess around on-line until I couldn’t stay awake any more. If the TV shows didn’t change, I’d never know what day it was. It was excruciating.

Desperate for a change and tired of 24-hour celebrity gossip, I started working on little projects to occupy my time. I started sewing again. I made five dresses and a hat, as well as curtains for my mother’s office. Sewing was fun because it meant I could go shopping (never mind the fact that I had to dip into my pathetic savings to do so). It was something to do, and it was easy to find progress. At the end of the day, I could hold up a dress and say, hey, I made this.

But I somehow lost the manual for my HuskyStar and the buttonholer wasn’t working, so, crabby and bored, I turned to cross-stitching. Again, I could easily see my progress. I went through one, two, three projects. I did more shopping. And again I tired of it. My embroidery floss kept getting tangled up. I lost count of stitches. I couldn’t find patterns I liked.

So I switched to scrapbooking. More shopping. But now the scrapbook I started is, essentially, finished, and I’m bored again. I’m even getting tired of my video games. I find myself longing for the repetitive days of up-at-eight, work-at-nine, off-at-six. While I don’t miss being covered in other people’s hair, I do miss being gainfully employed and feeling like I was contributing something to society. And the boredom is taking its toll on me.

I can’t focus on books – I haven’t read anything in months. I can’t write any more – it feels forced, and the snark that used to come so easily to me is an effort. I can’t focus on TV – only “Lost” and “24” hold my attention. I have no attention span and nothing to do – a deadly combination. I’d go back to school, but who the heck can afford ASU these days? Especially with no job and no income in the foreseeable future.

On the upside, I’ve got plenty of time to learn fascinating things about history. For instance, Tuesday is the 1,256th anniversary of the founding of Rome. People always say that Rome wasn’t built in a day. I think I could do it. It would give me something to do. Maybe I’ll start with Legos.


jgirl said...

As much as I complain about my crappy job and having to go to it 5 days a week, I would be going insane if I didn't have it to go to...best of luck to you in finding another, you are in my thoughts=0)

patrice stanford said...

HEy...just list me as a job reference and let me know when and how long you worked for me...I'm a great B.S.er and will give you a glowing recomendation....Really!! The boys always use William Tracy (their dad) as a reference...I swear it works. Hang in there my dear niece...