J (nefertlrl) wrote,

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And so it continues...

These past few weeks have been a humbling and enormously validating.  Humbling because of the experience, validating because, well, they have just added further proof to the generally held theory that I am on some kind of terrible cosmic shit list. Seriously. It's a generally held theory now.  There are books and everything!*

So what, you may be asking yourself, now? Well, that is what I am preparing to tell you. 

One might say that things got ugly around the beginning of this year.  This ironically unpleasant year.  This year that, as I explained in my somewhat ignorant, quasi-bliss to my hair dresser while making the jump from blonde to auburn, was going to be "my year."  Ok, perhaps the declaration wasn't quite as cliché as all that, but I had done a decent amount of insisting that, at the very least, this year would have to be better than the last.

But now I am just getting ahead of myself.  You see, it's easy to point fingers at 2009.  But doing so is not quite fair, nor really all that accurate.  No.  Indeed, the proverbial shit has been hitting this fan long before popping the cork (or, in my experience, Jen Gale yanking it out unadvisedly with a wine-corker) on the bubbly this past New Year's.  And when I say long, I refer to the better portion of the past six months.  In the grand scheme of life, the universe, and everything, six months is really hardly what one would call a particularly long time.  But these past six months, the ones during which the soon to be divulged source of my current antipathy toward the general well-being of one to-remain-nameless accounting office has transpired, have been quite long enough for my liking.  Longer, really.

I should like to preface this only a little further by offering this brief selection from the theory on my life.*  You see, it has come to my attention over the past 24.8 years of my existence, that when things in Jessicaland seem too good to be true, it's really, quite seriously, because they are.  For every half step forward that I am somehow able to cajole from the 'powers that be', I am swiftly drop-kicked a good two steps back.  Case in point:  After four months of interning (and simultaneously taking it in the...well, 'taking it' while footing the bill, or perhaps more accurately, while others footed the bill...later to be deferred again to my footing of said bills, for restaurant reviews, miscellaneous expenditures, etc.), it was my good fortune to procure a position as Assistant Editor at a real, albeit small, magazine.  Awesome! Half-step forward: check!  Soon after working my first full pay period, however, I was introduced to

the experience of getting paid late.  About a week late.  Every pay period.  A few months later, this undesirable situation was compounded by another exciting new development: held paychecks.  You see, when bizSanDiego's accounting department was busy (or perhaps not so...) cutting my paychecks, they must have "forgotten" to make sure there was actually money in the depositing bank account.  Otherwise, the trusted financial institution with which I do my banking would have had no legitimate reason to hold my paychecks.  For 5-7 days.  At least.  So let's add that up...about a week late to begin with, plus another 5-7 days minimum...carry the one....That's a good, I dunno, 10-14 days late?  Lovely.  The manager at Chateau Vue thought so, too.  Except instead of "lovely," she said "$75 fee" and "money orders."  So much fun.  And if you think $75 is fun, you must imagine the grand time I had with bounced check and assorted late fees resulting from said held paychecks!  The constant guessing game of "when will I get my money" that ensued was entertainment me for days!  Days!


After the fun and excitement of all that, I naively figured the New Year would bring a fresh, resolved start.  While I was a good two steps down, there was still the beacon of financial aid on the somewhat misty horizon.  Soon there was money in the bank, school paid for, and a small surplus (after mapping out the next few month's rent and bills) left to make a much needed purchase: a new bed.  After spending about 8 or so months on a relic of a twin mattress, I was ready for, nay, in need of, a new bed; preferably one fitting of a woman of my age and stature (in regards to both my height and worldly influence).  And so, mere days after the dawning of 2009, I made this most happy purchase.  Frugal? Probably not.  Exciting? Indeed!  Timely?  As it turns out: no.  Not four days later, I was back at work, getting the old heave-ho.  You see, in the continuing decline of the great American economy, the magazine decided to cut its losses: namely myself and the two other hard-working inhabitants of Washington Mutual building, suite 1910.  To add just a hint of salt to the wound:  my co-worker knew about the lay-offs before we left for New Years break.  Under the candor of not wanting to ruin my holiday, he waited to tell me about being laid off until after I got back, which, of course, also happened to be after I had just spent a not too small sum on the aforementioned new bed.  Yep.  Awesome.  So very, very awesome.  And fitting.  It wasn't bad enough that I was now jobless; I was jobless only days after having just made the biggest up front purchase of my life. 

So nigh a week has passed since my last official day as a contributing member of society.  I have searched the job sites, posted my resume, and filed (just in case) for unemployment.  While filling out the paperwork today, I got my latest parting unpleasantry from my tenure at bizSanDiego in the form of a gross realization:  the entire time I was working there as a part-time employee (and I stress, employee), taxes were not once deducted from my paychecks.  No Medicare.  No social security.  Nothing.  Now, as an employee who filled out a W-4 long preceding a first paycheck, this makes very little sense.  And by 'very little', I mean no. Never once was it implied that I was to work for the magazine as an independent contractor.  Never. Once.  I signed nothing pursuant to any other agreement other than a W-4 stating that I would like to claim 0 for tax purposes.  How could that possibly have been misinterpreted? 

I have never been let go before.  I've never been fired, I've never left a job in any way (well, not in any physical way, at least) until I had another securely in place. Not for nine and a half years have I been without some type of employment.  And the one time, the one and only time ever that I am, it just so happens to coincide with the worst possible time during my generation to find a job.  That is what they call the icing on the cake.  The terribly stale, no good, unpalatable cake.

Honestly, I am not divulging this experience to induce pity.  Nor is any of this exaggerated writing; I mean, I'm good, but I'm not that good.  And I do know how often I have espoused the belief before that I seem to be stuck in some kind of cosmological rut of sorts.  But in lieu of any substantial evidence to the contrary, typing this all out is perhaps a cathartic experience.  Or perhaps more memoir for myself, so when I get old and senile and start airing my "crazy stories" to a generation of youths, there will at least be some kind of coherent history to back it all up.

In other, decidedly more uplifting news, Barack Obama is President!  And the new bed, despite all complaining, is exceedingly comfortable.  Which is good, I suppose, since sitting around on my bed and thinking about how awesome it is that we finally have someone who isn't Bush in the White House is about all I am going to be able to do for a while...

*Okay, so maybe I made up that part about there being books.

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