May 28, 2008

The Day I Got Fired

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I did pretty well with my collections, stayed pretty busy, looked pretty. Until around 5:30 pm. My dear manager asked me to come with her to speak with HR and there were the termination papers and here's a box with the contents of your desk and your insurance is still good until the end of the month and I was out before I even knew what was going on.

I went to go pick up the car (we bought a car a little bit ago, still getting everything insured and registered on it) from the shop where it was being worked on with my box of belongings and just cried for a good long time. I was so shocked. I had to wait for 20 minutes or so at the car place, so I turned on the TV and flipped through the numerous program options until I found the most depressing channel I could (CSpan2) and stuck with that. I don't remember anything that happened on the TV, but do remember that that one "life's like an hour glass glued to the table, no one can find the rewind button now, so cradle your head in your hands" song was playing on the radio where the mechanics were working.

Now most people have never been fired from a job (at least most people who read this blog) so let me explain how it feels. It's exactly like being dumped. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's still how it is. It hurts and you wonder what you could've done differently to fix things and you don't want to find someone/somewhere else and you think about all the future plans that now will never happen and you knew there were problems but thought they were work-out-able and you listen to sad songs and purchase a huge ol' bad of Berry Colossal Crunch and forget which exit is yours when driving because you're so preoccupied with thoughts of loss and loneliness and you read Tess of the D'Ubervilles in one sitting and it's horrible. Well, slightly relieving, but horrible.

I was too sad to go home right away and have to speak to my darling husband about it so after I left the auto shop, I went to the pet store and held a little brown tabby kitten until I calmed down.

So maybe I'll go back to school...ugh, but I hate school. Or maybe I'll get another job...except I hate job searching. Or maybe I'll just sit around and live off the government...but I'll hate been unoccupied.

I was fired for tardiness/attendance issues. And had been so excited because having a car would help that so much. It's easy to be late to work when taking the bus. You miss the bus by a few seconds and it means you have to wait another 15 minutes. I wanted to drive the car to work every day.

I just really loved my job and was planning on staying there for the next couple years and had very little idea this was coming. That's all. Thanks for letting me cry to you.

May 25, 2008

Someone's little princess is hungry...will you help?

At my place of employment, we are currently participating in a food drive because we of course need to give back to the community that has provided so many suckers who want cheap websites throughout the years. In order to encourage us to donate food to this drive, numerous posters have been posted around the building with sad looking people and messages about how we need to help feed them. I noticed yesterday that, as far as I could tell, every person featured in these posters is white. I'm not really a racial equality activist sort (not that I don't think racial equality is important, it's just not an issue I personally get worked up about often), but I felt for a moment outraged that there were no other races featured on these posters.

I later realized, however, that as noble as my outrage may sound, they reason I even noticed was this: In my subconscious, I was just surprised that the hungry people aren't mostly Hispanic and black. Those are the poor people aren't they?

So apparently I'm the racist here.

May 12, 2008

Defining Childhood Moment #18

In November 1996, I was a public elementary school student learning to be a good United States citizen by having a mock presidential election. We learned tidbits about Bill Clinton and Bob Dole and then went into the little booths and selected who we wanted to be president of our great nation.

I proudly came home and told my parents that I had voted for Clinton. They told me they had voted for Dole and gave a little speech that was essentially about Republicans being better than Democrats. My parents probably don't remember giving this speech, but it was important to me. It was the first time I recall seriously thinking about politics. I learned that there were people who live solely off the government ("So paying taxes is kind of like fast offerings, that isn't bad is it?"); I learned that there are people who kill their babies before they are born ("There's no way that's legal; it's too sad."); I learned that there are people given jobs or college entrance because they were a race that was needed to meet quotas ("I didn't know anyone was racist anymore..."); I learned that there were males who wanted to marry males and females who wanted to marry females ("I don't know anyone like that, are you sure?"); I learned that some people want drug laws to be more lax ("But everyone knows drugs are bad, right?"). All sorts of things that I had never thought about before.

As my parents are fair people and rarely speak ill of anyone, I don't think this speech was as harsh as I remember it, but it seemed to me at the time that people who vote Democrat are bad people. I was ashamed. I also wondered about the prospects for eternal salvation for the next door neighbors who had an anti-Dole poster on their house. My parents had assured me that they were good people even though the mother was Jewish and the father was Unitarian or something and they didn't go to church much, so I knew they must have something going for them, but perhaps being Democrats would push them over the edge into the category of bad people.

Years down the road, the feelings of shame turned to feelings of pride. I had chosen on my own and gone against my own upbringing to choose who I personally thought was the best candidate. I was in elementary school and already establishing myself as a liberal thinker. Hooray for me!

But when I think about it seriously, I'm not kidding anyone. The reasons I remember picking Clinton over Dole are as follows:

1) He was the incumbent. I had seen President Clinton on TV several times while Dole was just some guy that I hadn't heard of until a few days before the election. I knew life was good at the time, and assumed that Clinton had something to do with that, so I didn't mind keeping him around.

2) I couldn't disassociate Bob Dole from Dole pineapples and one of the girls in our ballet carpool had once spilled Dole pineapple juice on the way to class and it was sticky and the back seat of the station wagon smelled really gross for a long time afterward. (I still can't drink pineapple juice, even though I have returned to my love of pineapple in general.) I could never vote for the horrible-smelling back seat of the station wagon.