Monday morning pages


There is a tendency in this country to be so upbeat, to lie about your situation, heaven forbid anyone really know you go down to skid row to eat because a few years ago you obliterated your life-as-you-know-it (and that anyone you know can comprehend, those people with iPhones, car leases, living on credit cards and marrying well) which only continues to haunt you (yes, me, as fiction, as cover) — through tax liens: this year I have paid more in taxes and liens than I have brought home.

If you were to ‘post’ the truth on the frat party site called facebook or the marketing maven of twitter, no one would even look. People don’t want to hear it. They are so The Secret-bound, so in love with the idea that we create our own reality (as long as it’s good, that is–then I take responsibility for creating my good fortune; when yours is bad, well, who are you anyway? Do I know you?)

“No one knows you when you’re down and out” is about the truest sentiment I know. And, so be it. It’s the way it is.

If you’re looking for a job, the only ones out there are in engineering, energy and health services–and transferable skills? Forget it. You’re shit out of luck.

No one’s gonna read this anyway so I can say what I want. And what I want to say is that we should be re-training people, that could be an industry in and of itself. But we won’t. Our president is too busy trying to get the Olympics here than really understanding what needs to happen. And business ‘leaders’ are useless as well, hoarding their fortunes like Midas. We truly are in the fall of the Roman Empire.

“The nation has lost a net 7.6 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007.” Where did they go? Many went oversees, outsourcing is still quite lucrative for many Americans who consider themselves quite patriotic in their gated communities. And many, simply, were sucked up into the ether. Gone for good. Car industry, poof, gone. Wall Street, poof, disappeared.

But many of these people can live for a little while on savings or severance or some other kind of safety net. I actually have none. I chose to work freelance in a brutal industry, and I foolishly thought talent, hard work, a good attitude, competence and work ethic mattered. Alas, they do not. Ass-kissing is king. It has seemed that, in many cases, actually being good at your job is a threat to those who hire you. So someone who is a moron gets the job instead and even gets promoted (I have many cases in point that I can’t print, in case someone does read this some day. Right now I am thinking of someone who failed up quite brilliantly.)

So, I should have been an engineer, or memorized building codes in Oregon (because apparently it takes a year to get up to speed according to those who have jobs to dole out) — and, as things go, when the economy is good, people are quicker to hire; now that people are desperate, they dangle the few available jobs in front of our noses like a rotten carrot in front of a starving horse.

People are really despicable the more you get to know them, as a race. They punish and judge more than they give mercy and love. They begrudge those who are worse off than they are — I’m not sure why, but I see it all the time. Kicking the dog syndrome. And, if you’ve ever been the dog, people can smell it on your breath, and so the kicking tends to continue.

What do I really want? I lay in bed thinking about this — it causes me insomnia. Just when I think I am ready to fall asleep, the anxiety hits. In the morning, I wake up and just want to die. Not good. Not healthy. Never felt this way until the ghosts of childhood came calling a few years back and the perpetrator actually demonized me. Amazing that someone can do that, but the pain still haunts me, and I can’t seem to shake it.

What I wanted a little while ago was just to work. Now I just want out. I want some meager sense of security, some ability to support myself. Some feeling of not being useless, not regretting every move ever made that has brought me here to an industry that is imploding, where the talent pool is ‘flooded,’ where there is work to be done but no one wants to help those who can do the work actually get to a place of relative security. No, our system feeds off this insecurity and pain, I suppose. Charles Dickens all over again.

No one will read this anyway, but that is the truth of the matter. I would like to work on something meaningful, I want to cover social issues, I want to implement change, I want to apply my skills and intelligence instead of struggling just to survive, partially thanks to the rigid state franchise board who refused my data earlier this year and continued to tax more than half of my income, on two jobs that I have held this year. It doesn’t matter that I am making less than half of what they are penalizing me for (not filing; taxes have been paid already once, and now must be paid again — no excuses; you can’t tell them the truth, they don’t care–that I support someone; that I got very, very ill; that I lost everything — they are determined to kill you, I think. The tax boards and ‘systems’ — not run by humans. It’s just like the serfs in Russia, now that I think about it. Oh, now I am getting super duper depressed.)

I don’t want to give up; nobody likes a ‘quitter,’ as we all know. But I am just very tired of the way things have been for the past few years — spiraling out of control thanks to unresolved abuse which repeated itself and wore me out (I should have known better; or as that Neighborhood Association demon told me, “your family is tired of your excuses” — huh? I just told them what happened less than a year ago — at the time — in an effort to be understood, forgive me for finally telling the secret — oh yes, the familiar, punish the ‘victim’ and I do hate that word, because I am not one, can’t be, don’t have the stomach for it), ground me down to the point where I was sleeping on a sidewalk. No one cared. People turned their backs on me. People I had helped. That was the amazing part. People who claimed to be friends. Gone. I was not allowed to fall apart. I had always been so strong.

Again, I just want to be able to support myself and this career is too abusive for me, right now. Not being able to work, no loyalty, people shitting on you. It’s just ridiculous. I am over it. But it’s going to take a year, apparently, for me to do anything else — I have to be ‘retrained’ and the economic indicators are NOT in my favor. The HR departments have their pick of ”unqualified” applicants already. What kills me is this–the idiots who hire people say, “We have no qualified applicants” (uh, well, yeah, and if you aren’t seeing them now in a recession, dumb fuck, they probably don’t exist) — so instead of coming up with something innovative, something to HELP this country instead of running it into the ground, like testing people for aptitude and skills that might be TRANSFERABLE, then fast-tracking on-the-job training programs (I’m sure the guy who worked at the car plant inspecting for safety for 25 years could learn a new industry, but the company men and HR imbeciles take one look at the resume and shred) for people who have intelligence and willingness to work. But no, they will probably outsource to India.

There are 23 out of 1000 people working in Los Angeles. Some job statistic I read. It’s like that everywhere; I think Baltimore is in 2nd place with 50-something jobs per 1000 people. And no one sees this as a problem? And all our president can say is we’re going to continue to suffer; that there is no end in sight. Wow.

These are my thoughts for the day. I am tired of looking for work. I know that the world is in flux. I just want a job so I can pay to live. I don’t want to be a statistic. But I am.

1 Comment

  1. More than a statistic you are mind that thinks, a heart that feels and a
    woman shouldering this life with courage. I do regret that my words cannot cause a material difference in the all too real circumstances you now face.

    However, I do want you to know that your words resonate in the fissures of my life wherein I believed my days offered little options and even less succor.

    To the degree that the events that make up my life may be different from those that make up yours, I believe that we share the same capacity to be enraged, heartbroken, confounded, inspired and awed not only by the vocation we have chosen, but also the world we live in.

    Thank you for sharing thr world you are currently living in with me. I regard it as a privilege to be allowed to read about it.

    Like

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