Thursday, August 25, 2005

Life In Limbo

I feel like I may be on the verge of breaking through and living each day with some kind of purpose, even if the purpose is something as small as not overeating and attempting to turn one of my bad habits over. It's just a matter of me realizing that I am worth waking up every day with a purpose. I usually wake up cursing about how fucked up I am. But right now, I'm waking up in limbo, because I still have zero income; I still can't find an interview, much less a job; the tentative date for "Laurie" to come to Chicago and meet me (and hopefully pay me what she owes me, but she's claiming car problems now, so I'm not optimistic) isn't until the weekend of September 10; and I can't even go after financial aid to take more college classes until my high school transcript makes it from my high school to Harold Washington College, whenever that happens. They wanted to reject me outright for financial aid due to my relatively high salary last year, but since I'm unemployed now, if I can make a hardship claim gooey enough to persuade them to give me assistance, then I'm in. The problem is, I can't make a claim until my high school transcript is in their hands, and time is running out because fall classes start Monday. So, exactly like last year, I am against the wall trying to sneak in and register for classes before the opening bell. At least I'm not dealing with pain from gout arthritis while I'm running around this time.

I was actually offered a gig but I turned it down, and because they apparently were willing to give me the $15 an hour that I was making at the Chicago Board Options Exchange when they brought the guillotine down on me in January, a part of me is really regretting it. But the job was a bad situation all around. I applied online for a data processing gig at some scientific lab, but the description didn't say what shift the job was, where the job was, or what the compensation was. The people taking the application were actually a hiring firm, and somebody from that firm called me Tuesday afternoon, one day after I submitted my resume. He described the job to me--taking body parts(!), scanning a code on them, and entering assorted data into a computer, very boring and isolated but I actually prefer isolated rather than be around a lot of people trying to be social while I do my job--and then he asked me what shift I would consider. I said I didn't care. He said, "Even third?" I said that I didn't necessarily want third but I would take it. So of course he said that it was a third shift job. I wasn't thrilled about that, but then he asked what salary I wanted, and I said I was making over $15 an hour at my last job. He asked if that would be good for this job. I held my composure while saying sure. I was wildly happy about that because all of these other jobs I'm applying for are ranging between $9 and $12 an hour. I honestly don't expect to make more than about $10 in my next job because the market in Chicago just isn't very good. He brought my spirits back down by telling me that this gig was in some suburb out past O'Hare Airport. I don't have a car, so any job I get has to be accessible by public transportation, and because I did not know whether a Pace bus (Pace is the bus service for some of suburban Chicago, but not all) went to this place or if the bus even ran late enough for me to get to a third shift job, I started to worry. I realized that if a Pace bus didn't get there, then I'd have to take the train to O'Hare and then hail a taxi, which might destroy my take-home pay. Then this guy told me about the taskmaster boss, a woman who didn't tolerate tardiness or slacking off, and I realized that tardiness would be a big-time problem at least early on while I figured out the best way to get to this place. By the time this guy started to basically beg and plead me to hang in for the four-month duration of the contract for this job since it would come out of his ass if I didn't, I was souring on this gig big-time. Of course I didn't want to hang in for the four-month contract, no one takes a third shift job intending to turn down regular jobs that he may get later. It took all my restraint to resist telling him, "Hell yeah I'm leaving that place when I get another job! Are you fucking kidding?" I asked him how long I had to decide whether I wanted to do this. His response: "Orientation is tonight." Uh, sorry buddy. I thanked him for his honesty and begged him to keep me in mind for other jobs with his firm closer to the city. He said he would. He was probably lying.

I just couldn't up and run out somewhere I didn't know on several hours notice. It would be like having a day or two to decide whether to take a gig in another city. Different logistics for sure, but the same principle--a shit job, in an unfamiliar place, and you gotta decide in a very small amount of time. I couldn't do it. Eight months of unemployment I guess have not rendered me so desperate that I would drop everything and deprive myself of a semblance of a regular life for a decent salary. I still don't understand why I can't get a job during daylight hours. Ten years of work experience and performance in a pressurized environment doesn't mean shit to anyone unless you're white or a slut. To say I'm frustrated by this point is a gross understatement.

As I alluded to earlier, the excuses are starting to form as to why I'm not going to see the money that I loaned to these two women, Laurie and Cassandra. When I brought the subject up to Laurie during a conversation yesterday, she almost feigned a car accident up there in Detroit trying to show me how bad her brakes are. Okay honey, I'm not getting my money back, I get it, you don't have to kill yourself. Meanwhile back in the city limits, Cassandra chose last weekend, when she told me she would be giving me the first installment of what she owed me, to "lose" her cell phone, and she claims not to have a home phone line, so, you guessed it, there's absolutely no way I can get ahold of her. Imagine what went through my mind when I waited until Sunday to call her and find out where she was, only to hear a message that the owner of that phone number has requested that no incoming calls be accepted. Excuse me? I figured she was halfway to Acapulco by now. She called me Monday from her job and explained to me that she had that done once she knew her phone was missing so that messages wouldn't be backed up once she found it. So when I asked whether she would be able to spare any money for me now considering how much a new cell phone is going to cost, she laughed in my face and exclaimed, "No!" So I could actually call her at her job if I wanted to talk to her, but why? I already know what the deal is there. But hey, I bring all of this on myself, being so desperate for love. No, I'm not involved with either woman, but if they were men, chances are I wouldn't have loaned that kind of money.

So rent's due in a week, bills come in steadily as always, and I have nothing coming in as far as money. It's all dependent on my savings account right now, and that's dwindling. Over $8,000 in cash as a severance in January, and it's almost all gone. A lot of people like to criticize me and say that I need to toughen up, especially when I was whining about that fat whore "Karen." All I can say is, life might suck for everybody, but not everybody deals with it the same way. My way is to bitch and moan for a little while, maybe for a long while, but I always try to keep my eyes open for ways to improve the situation. And I just don't see a solution right now other than continuing to wait for one of these companies that has my resume to go ahead and give me at least an interview. Or rob a currency exchange or something.

I feel compelled to comment on a website called, which I came across the other day because a local newspaper did a story about it. is a singles site, and you can only join if you're hot enough. I'm not making this up. Your picture gets a 3-day judging period by the opposite sex members of the site, and if the majority think you're hot enough, only then are you allowed to join. In their own words, the site is "...reserved for people, who because of their attractive appearance and personal qualities, stand out from the majority." Well, I'll be damned. It's bad enough that no matter how fat, ugly, or slutty a woman is, she gets to have the highest standards for what kind of man can respond to her personal there's a site where guys like me are automatically eliminated before we even get a chance. Sure, the women on that site aren't fat or ugly, theoretically, but my point is, no matter how disgusting the woman is, she always has high standards for what kind of man she wants. Where the hell are fat, ugly guys that aren't rich supposed to go to find some companionship when the fat, ugly chicks who aren't rich won't even consider them?? So I guess is just a snapshot of society, where looks make all the difference. But it just made me shake my head, because in a world where all the ladies, from prime cut to Mickey D's grade Z beef, are joining hands and singing, "I don't want no scrubs," now the websites are excluding people if they don't look like a fucking movie star. And the websites, the internet, really is my only shot, you know. 350-lb. black dudes with size 7 3/4 hat sizes can't walk up to girls on the street and spit game without a wad of hundreds, not in this world anyway. I want to patent the rights on, where guys like me can hook up with women who don't think their pussies are made of gold and who want to go out with guys who don't look like The Rock or have million-dollar bankrolls and yet--gasp, shocking!!--might still have something to offer. I think this idea might make me a lot of money and allow me to have lipo and a facelift, so that I don't have to be in that category anymore and I can actually have a shot at getting married someday.

And I'm only half-joking.

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