Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hey! How About That Apocalypse!!

New Orleans seems to be drowning. Along with too many of it's residents - and let's not forget the Mississippi coast and part of the Alabama coast, too.

The worst scenario - doomsday has come, it appears. The levees have broken - not during the storm, but after everybody had already passed their hands over the foreheads and uttered, "phew, we MADE it." Certainly cruel, if you ask me.

The news footage is like watching some old newsreel from WWII - the devastation, the "oh, this is going to get worse," knowledge. And now the worst elements of New Orleans society - the prisoners and those who would take the opportunity not just to loot, but to shoot anyone who tries to stop them - are running wild throughout what's left of the city.

I've read it's like Sodom and Gomorrah, it's the apocalypse it seems, for a big part of America.

I've made a few donations, but I'd really like to pack up my car, and drive as close as I could get - and just offer myself......here - I want to help. Someone. Anyone. What can I do?

Why don't the cruise lines send some ships in there - and let the helicopters who are rescuing rooftop victims, drop them on the ships instead of the Superdome, which also must be evacuated.

It seems to me that the US government must get on the ball immediately. Get all the helicopters in the US down there ASAP, continue rescuing all they can - and get them all out of there on cruise ships.

Buh Bye Job

I guess I can write this here - I mean where else could I?

This past year since the old director left where I work - and the new one has come - has been hell.

I've worked at the same place for 12 years. I've built up a great reputation, people come to me because I "know everything".

And this has been blown to bits. Starting last year. The new guy in town decided he wanted to clean house. His evil secretary is the same. So between the two of them they have ruined the lives of a whole lot of people. Demote someone a few pay grades down? For no reason? Why not? Hey - it's fun to have unlimited power!! Make someone's working life hell by taking away any help they previously had, piling more work on them - and then when help is given, it is the village idiot. What fun!! What entertainment!

I have now arrived to the "next" position in the lifeboat. Before me, I watched other fellow workers get thrown to the sharks......and knew my time would come. And now it has. I've been set up wonderfully. In April, take away my assistant, who does Accounts Receivable for me. Tell me I have to make do on my own. I already have 1 1/2 jobs - so now I have 2 1/2. Oh - and this is because money must be saved. Yeah.

Then proceed to hire a couple dozen new assistants, but none for me.

I could go on and on.

The building is painted. My office is the only office not painted. After all, the new owner might want a different color than the one I picked.

I've been at this desk for 12 years. So what? What's loyalty, what's reward for hard work.

There are so many systems and procedures I've set in place - titles I've given to things (that didn't have titles before) that are now officially called by that title. I've contributed so very much - and it's been stolen, I've been job-raped, and they are asking me to bend over and ask for more.

Until June.

Then I can stand up and leave.

Which is what they've been dying for since they came.

For no reason. The director knows I have an excellent reputation - he's told me so himself. They haven't been able to get rid of me because of work - even though under the workload I have now, I am falling way behind - and making mistakes.

I've been told that my job title is being given to someone else, either a new hire - or, I suspect, the buddy of the directors' secretary. At that point, I can either leave - or accept a demotion - down 2 pay grades.

Because I've done what? Gotten a bad evaluation? Nope - this very director gave me an excellent evaluation. Because I've broken rules? I'm one of the best employees they've got. Maybe that's the problem.

So, at 50 years of age, in a system where my job level is scarce as hen's teeth, so switching to another part of the system to keep my pay is pretty much impossible - where do I go???

What do I do with my retirement? If I leave the system, I won't be able to continue to build on it.

I'm just so completely bummed. I should fight. But I haven't regrouped enough yet to do that.

I found out by accident about this plan to replace me. When I confronted the director, he point blank, and very nicely, I might add - told me he was "not prepared to offer me the position" - one which I already hold! WTF???? Oh - and by the way, I'm not REALLY the title that goes with my pay grade, that's just a convenient number - no - that IS my title, buddy.

It's a cold world out there folks. Let me tell you - no one else cares. They look at me as I'm pushed out of the boat and say, "gee, sorry" as they nervously try to back away from the edge themselves. If you even hint that something like this might be happening to you, suddenly you are anathema - no one wants to be near you in case the plague you've gotten might rub off on them.

Meanwhile. you work, because you need the paycheck. While you are now being left out of all loops. You are told nothing - you find out all changes by accident - especially the ones that impact what you do. Each time, it's like a slap in the face. Some helpful person comes to your office and says. "did you hear?" and of course, you haven't - even though it's part of your responsibilities.

I guess I just can't acclimate to the fact that I'm being slowly stripped of everything and propelled toward the door.

I know I need to get the resume together and look for another job. I know I need to talk to a union rep and find out what, if any, my options are.

But right now, I'm just rolled up in a fetal ball. I hurt. I've been betrayed. I'm a loyal and good worker who is being royally fucked over.


Friday, August 19, 2005

Another Dream

This one was bad. It won't sound bad, but the feeling it has left me with is decidedly unpleasant. I'm having some big problems at work - they are, in short, trying to overwork me until I cave in and quit, which I won't do - and sometimes it is so blatant. New boss wants all his own people. So, maybe it's the rejection that is causing me to let everything out in dreams:

I've remarried my ex-husband. That, if you only knew, is god-awful. It is evidently the symbol in my mind of misery and calamity. His whole family is at our house.

I just remembered. The previous scenes, I am playing with our pet male lion. He is beautiful, and loving - but in the back of my head I'm realizing I have to be careful - one mood change and I'm lunch.

Anyway - my ex's entire unpleasant entourage of a family come over. In my dream, some of them are recognizable and others are not - they are gypsy like, nasty and make themselves right at home. Open the fridge, take bottles of wine, drink themselves silly, etc. I hate them and their behavior. I want my ex to make his family go away, but he joins with them in condemning me for not accepting him and his whole pack. I finally let my ex know I don't love him. I love Joe, the man in my life now (my present beloved husband). My ex is shocked and hurt at my betrayal. The whole family REALLY hates me now - they did before, but now they're actively disapproving. I finally tell them all to "get out". I don't care anymore that I can't please them, that no matter what I do, I am not accepted by them. I tell them I'll call the police if they don't all leave. I'm holding my breath, looking forward to solitude, knowing that when they leave, I will be at peace. They do leave, but come back a few times - after all, the lock hasn't been changed yet.

Then, I try to call Joe. But the phone doesn't work right. I have to call weird numbers. I'm afraid I don't have his phone number right. I realize it's been a long time since I've seen him. Perhaps my remarriage of my ex will have made him find someone else. I run out into the parking lot to find my car - I'll just drive over there. But my ex's family took my car.

Finally, my husband's voice woke me up "It's time to get up" - to go to work. The feeling of utter relief when I heard his voice was unbelievable.

I guess all my anxiety and hurt about my work situation is being channelled into dreams at night about the most vulnerable time in my life - when I was unhappily married and then first divorced.


Friday, August 12, 2005


The past two nights I have had strange dreams, not that this is anything new. But sometimes I get the urge to write these suckers down. There are symbols in them that I want to remember.

Night before last:
I'm either going to cook or I've finished doing some dishes - in my parent's house (the one I grew up in). Next scene, I have a big frying pan in my hand, but I'm in a used book store with my mother and father. A cute young geeky guy strikes up a friendship with me and I explain about the frying pan, somewhat embarrassed to be carrying it around. However, when it comes to books, I really don't care if I'm looking stupid or not - I'm caught up in the books. Lots of old ones with great titles - books I know I want to buy. The young guy is like a waiter or something, serving coffee and food - like Starbucks. Final scene - he gives me four bagels, reaches out from his counter and puts them in the frying pan for me, as I hold it. You figure it out. The bookstore was old wood, books, coffee - it was FABULOUS - I only wish I would go there in reality.

Last night:
I'm in my parent's house again. I live there, but I'm grown up like now. I want to go up in the attic, because I just know there will be fabulous old stuff up there - letters, books, clothes - things that tell me about the past. When I get up there, my mother has cleaned it all out - it is neat as a pin, and there are no interesting things at all. No clutter, nothing hidden, no surprise finds. I'm very disappointed.
Next scene: my parents are going away and leaving me alone for Christmas. I will be totally alone, and I'm afraid of the dark when I sleep in that house alone. (my parents used to go on vacation and leave me by myself in our big split level home that gave me the heebies - I didn't sleep well until they came home) Plus, I have no Christmas lights up, no tree - nothing to show that it's Christmas. It's not even Christmas looking outside - and there are thunderstorms all the time (I live in Florida - we're having lots of thunderstorms now - and it never looks like Christmas here). I try to go to Walmart - it's Dec. 23 - surely they'll have lots of Christmas lights and decorations - maybe a little fake tree I can put on the table and decorate. They have no trees - just something that looks like a green potted plant - not evergreen at all. They are out of lights, and their ornaments come one to a package, are picked over so nothing is left - and they're expensive. I can't find anything. When trying to get to Walmart, I'm on route 211 - the main road that was a couple of blocks from our house when I was a child. It was a four lane thoroughfare by the time I left home. Lots of traffic and stores lined both sides of the road. I'm on this road, trying to get to Walmart, but the signs say, "Newburgh" or "Albany" - and they're all highway. I want to get on the highway and go to where the signs indicate, see some pretty sights, but I have to get to the store first. I finally make it to this super Walmart looking place and can't get inside.
There is a restaurant on one side - tacky looking - and then I spy the entrance doors and go in. It's a huge store - but I get to the Christmas section - and then find nothing.

I next try to go to Target, but never get there. I get stuck in this giant parking lot in the back of Target, and there are HUGE cranes lifting piles of garbage way up high and dumping them, all fluttering in the breeze, in a dumpster as tall as a skyscraper. I see some pretty material in one of the piles and pull it out. I notice it is in all the piles and wonder why. I'm now going to leave the area, but the cranes are getting closer and closer to me. They don't know I'm not a pile of garbage - one of them reaches down for me and presses me to the pavement. I can't get up - and the huge machine is going to crush me. I think maybe if I don't move - but then, garbage doesn't move - and it gets scooped up. So I'm doomed.

Meanwhile, throughout the dream, I am crying and so sad that I'll be alone for Christmas. I want my man (let's call him Joe) to save me, come and ask me to stay with him, but he really doesn't like company at his house all the time - he likes his time alone. I could ask him, and I know he'd let me come, but I want to be asked. I want him to want me there. Then I find out he already bought a Christmas tree on his own, without me - and decorated it. I'm devastated. I can't believe he went and bought a Christmas tree without me! So I'm doomed to spend Christmas alone, in a big scary empty house with no decorations, no tree. And it seems that Joe doesn't really feel about me the way I thought. I'm truly alone. So I cry my way through Walmart and then get smooshed in Target's back garbage place.

So - what's with the frying pan and the bagels? I love used bookstores - so that's easy.

I always dream about the house I grew up in, and my home town. I don't know why - but it's constant. I always dream about my ex-husband, too. Usually I'm either married to him or going to be married to him and I'm dreading it and hating it - and I'm trying to call my present husband, Joe - to come and get me, save me - I know how wonderful Joe is and I can't wait to see him - and I can't get hold of him, the phone doesn't work. Only once in a while does he come and get me in my dreams. Weird.

So - any dream analyzers out there? I think I'll post my dreams once in a while when I have one worth writing down.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Irresponsible Buying

Oh yeah. We found a charge card we could use. Yeah. We used to have a sofabed - had it for maybe 10 years. It was great while I had it. It was black vinyl, and it wore perfectly. It looked new until the dog pissed on it enough to make it permanently stink - and then we threw it out. We put it out front and hoped someone poorer and clever with cleaning products could make it usable. It looked good - it just smelled bad. Someone took it - the next day it was gone.

My poor little beagle got so old she couldn't control her bladder and she would wet where she lay. Finally, when she, blind and disoriented at night, seemed to forget who we were - my wonderful husband took her to be put down. I couldn't bear it. We both cried.

And got rid of the couch she slept on for years - even at the end when we lifted her onto it.

So - back to the credit card.
We're maxed here. I raised a child alone for years and came into our marriage with LOTS of nice hefty debt. My husband's ex took whatever they had and ran with it. But we are SO blessed - I love him SO much and he loves me. And yes - you know what - we DO live on love.

And paycheck to paycheck. So here we are. We are making regular payments on our debt, responsibly. We know we'll get out from under.

We have no couch, just various treasured chairs from garage sales. When friends visit, it's not so comfortable.

So we broke down. We went to a furniture store and bought - gasp - a NEW sofa and big fat, comfy chair with a big, fat comfy ottoman.

We're going to read together in the living room, with Christmas lights draped over our bookcases and candles lit. On our new sofa and chair that is SO beautiful.

AND I bought a new set of king size sheets - the same ones week after week were getting a little old.

AND we bought some other "stuff" my hubby wanted me to have - like an IPOD, so I can exercise with plenty of music pouring into my ears.

Then we put the card into mothballs.

Hey - we could be incinerated next week by the next Al Queda idiocy.....

But meanwhile, the Lord has given me, a person who has made so many mistakes in life it's pitiful, the grace of the best man on earth. One who loves Him and loves me. There is nothing better on the planet - I'm telling you, in case you don't know what I'm talking about.

Being Christian DOES have it's perks. I swear.

By the way - DON'T use credit if you aren't in debt. Don't get INTO debt in the first place. I am NOT advocating the irresponsible use of credit. The business bastards are just waiting to get you into their debt snare so they can have you by the balls for life. Be prudent. Save - don't be ruled by instant gratification - and you'll be the BEST for it.

As my husband says - PEACE OUT, PEOPLE!!!