I feel like I should be writing

There’s that evil word again: should. I should be doing this or that, I shouldn’t have done something else… it goes on and on. What does the word should get me other than guilt? Someone should take the word ‘should’ out of the English language. OK, that time it was a pun. 😉

I am constantly full of regret. I am scared as our savings is getting quite low. Neither DH nor I have full time jobs and COBRA is eating away our savings like you wouldn’t believe ($800+ /mo). I don’t know how much longer I can afford it. I would hate to go without insurance but what else can I do? If I had known about this state insurance program while I was still on unemployment then I could have gotten that but I didn’t so oh well. How do people live in this country???

There are lots of things I ‘should’ have done… like look for private insurance (it’s cheaper than I thought) and I didn’t know I could qualify for a deferment on my student loans. (I think my deferment time is spent though, so it would be forbearance time.) I waited on my student loan because you need to pay interest on it or the principle goes up and I didn’t want to do that while I could still afford it. (Afford being a relative term, of course.) But our money is dwindling fast and I’ve got to start with the desperate measures. Some programs are only available while you are collecting unemployment so I should have applied for them last year. (There’s that ‘should’ word again. Really, it ought to be banned.)

Anyway, I feel like I should be writing on here more but there still isn’t anything to talk about. I am working on insurance options and stuff like that today, wishing I had done it a long time ago. But I can’t change the past and I so I need to work towards the future. That’s all I can do.

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Retail Therapy

I’m feeling a bit down today and yesterday.  Went out and performed some ‘retail therapy’ with a friend yesterday, but that only went so far.  It’s also difficult to get into retail therapy when you don’t have spare cash to spend.  Fortunately, I only spent about $30 (vitamins excluded).  The other thing about retail therapy is that the high only lasts a little while unless you’re manic.  Then it’s the reality of spending money you don’t really have on things you don’t really need.  Even when I brought home a large paycheck, it didn’t change the guilt I would feel afterwards.  Of course, I would be spending $100-$200 instead of $30 too so it’s all about perspective.  I’ve spent so much at Eddie Bauer over the past few years, DH & I nicknamed it the ‘evil store’.

We even stopped into the jewelry store.  I was working on collecting jewelry from all the major gemstones.  I have a ring, earrings, and necklace of garnets, amethyst and sapphire.  I was planning to go on with rubies and some of the others.  (I think ruby was next on the list.)  I saw this beautiful heart shaped ruby ring.  It’s too expensive (and too impractical) for my Christmas list this year but maybe next year.  Anyway, I don’t know why I stopped in the store in the first place.  Perhaps just to torture myself.

I feel like I should be saying something more profound about retail therapy, since I titled the post with the phrase.  But I guess I have to realize that not everything I write has to be profound.  Sometimes it’s important just to write something – anything. 

Here’s an aside though, that I want to throw out to all of my readers: my therapist wants me to bring in my journal so we can use it as talking points for therapy.  I am reluctant to do this.  It reminds me of how my mother used to read my journal when I was young.  I know she isn’t my mother but it still feels like someone is checking up on me to make sure I did what I was supposed to – like homework.  Do you think she has the right to look at my journal?

 

High school may be out of the question

Well, I was reading up on the requirements to teach high school, once I found them buried in the state board of education website, (don’t you love broken links?) and discovered there is another whole application process that I have to do before I can take the tests. This process can take up to 6 weeks, so if that happens then there is a very slim chance I can take the tests (with results) in time to teach this year. Since the schools aren’t even willing to entertain the notion of hiring me before certification, this leaves me in quite a bind.

So where do I go from here?

Even if I get through all that process, they do a FBI and criminal record background check. Would I even pass that with bipolar disorder?

There are so many fees involved too… each test has a fee. There are enrollment fees, application fees… it would be about a $400 job application to teach high school, and I’m not sure I have the self-confidence to do it in the long run. I’m not sure I have the self-confidence for anything.

I dreamed about the university position last night. I dreamed that I was doing the interview all over again, only not screwing it up. I really want that job, I just wish I had answered that one question right: which upper division classes would you be comfortable teaching? Well, hell, I can teach all of them (if I have the self-confidence). That’s what it all comes down to in the end: self-confidence. If only I had been hypo-manic instead of stable for this interview, I would have nailed it.

This waiting is killing me. If I had done that right, I might have an offer by now. I really hope I get the university job. My self-confidence tells me I can’t do it, but another part of me says I can. It’s all pointless now until I hear back from them.


© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Can I teach high school?

I went to the job fair yesterday for the school system. I know they desperately need math and science teachers at all levels. I gave my resume and talked with the high school for a bit. I think they are very excited about me because after I left the table, I was tracked down by one of the teachers and he gave me his card. Before I made it to the next school (middle school) I was also tracked down by one of the assistant principles. He was trying to lure me into teaching their program for students needing special help in graduating. Not slow learners or disciplinary students, but students who need extra help because life has not been kind to them. (They may have children already or a non-supportive home life.) He gave me his number and asked me to call him next week if I would like a tour or to sit in on a class.

The downside is that all of the certification tests are expensive! They have a general test and a professional teacher test (why they have two is beyond me) and then there are the subject tests. At $100-$150 each, that adds up quick, plus there are fees. To qualify for just one subject, I would be spending about $400 all total. Is it worth it for essentially a job application? Granted, I would have my certification for 5 years. I wouldn’t make very much money, but I would be “in high demand” as they put it. Teaching school here would be a nice, easy commute but teaching high school is hard. Very hard.

However, I like the idea of touching lives. Of making a difference. I have no children and I’ll never win a Nobel Prize, so basically I have no legacy. Once my life is over, who will remember me? I will have left no footprint on society or this planet. Only a lot of empty pill bottles.

I am getting maudlin. I need to keep an open mind. High school might be the place for me after all. Or is it only my lack of self-confidence telling me that I can’t teach at a level higher than that? I don’t know.

Also, how will my mental illness figure into all of this? I have to take a drug test – how will I pass it with my Klonopin?

Anyway… do you think I should hand over the money and go for my certification?

Not Quite Forgotten Yet

I got a call on Friday from R&D’s HR rep.  They want their stuff back.  (Big surprise, eh?)  So I am to come in tomorrow morning to “exchange” things: company property for personal property.  The only joy I take in this is that our group manager is the one who has to sift through all my boxes and try to identify what is mine.  Ha!  That should take him a while.  I took most of my stuff when I left.  Since I am notorious for leaving piles of paper all over my desk, he ought to be having fun right about now.   Of course, I wonder if this means I will get back my 15 bottles of half-drunk water.  Ha! Ha! Ha!

They still can’t answer my questions about unemployment.  A dozen people in HR and not a one of them has a clue.  “Just go ahead and apply for it,” is what they said.  OK, fine.  I will.  If I get it, yea!  If I don’t, oh well.  This job sucked anyway.  The best part of it was the paycheck.  Damn, I’m going to miss that paycheck.  😦

My existence is slowly being erased by the company and soon all I will be to anyone is a memory.  Except for the few friends I have that I will still keep in touch with.  I wrote down some numbers and email addresses while I still had access.  Sifted through my files to see what was worth keeping, and most of it isn’t.  That will be erased too.  My computer will be recycled and so will my laptop.  Such is the way of things.

I am sad and relieved at the same time.  I’m depressed about having lost another job, and I’m scared about our lack of income.  But I won’t miss working with the nutcases.  I will miss working with the customers.  So many of them depended on me to make sure that their samples were run and analyzed correctly.  I had so much customer interaction – and that’s the stuff I am good at.  Yes, I’m a scientist, but I’m a people-oriented scientist.  That’s rare.  Now how to market that?

Right now, my feelings are so mixed up that I don’t know how to feel.  At least I have a therapy appointment today.  I get to work with the new girl, but I don’t have to pay.  So that much is good.  I felt bad about that until DH explained to me that if she fresh out of school, then she has to take on a certain number of free clients as part of her professional training.  That makes me feel a little better.  I hope she is better than my interm therapist.  I really miss my original one though.  *sigh*

I guess I’ll wrap up for now.  I hope everyone has a great Monday. 😉

PS: I changed my WordPress name from Manic Monday to just Monday.  You may have to approve my comments for a while.  I’ll probably change it again once I come up with something clever. 🙂

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Ranked and Reviewed yet Forgotten

My emotions have been all over the place.  My friend Lulu wrote a wonderful piece on ultradian cycling.  Perhaps I am ultradian cycling? I don’t know.  My mind is everywhere and no where.  I am excitable one minute, sad and sedate the next.  Usually cloaked in fear.  What am I afraid of?  Everything. Nothing. The inevitable.  The unknown.  The known.

My last paycheck is Friday.  No one has called me about returning the company laptop or for an exit interview of any kind.  Maybe they are just going to forget about me?  My name will be quietly removed from the organization chart, my email address frozen, my badge rendered useless.  Forgotten, forgotten… I’ve been forgotten and ignored for the past 10 months.  You would think that if they are so anxious to be rid of me, then they would want to schedule an exit interview and get all their stuff back.

Why did I take the company laptop home with me?  Well, we all do when we expect to be working from home.  I expected myself to work from home.  I wanted to keep in touch with what was going on at work.  I was angry and didn’t want to take leave.  I like working.  I didn’t like who I had to work with, and half of my job sucked, but the other half was awesome.  Amazingly cool things to discover and be a part of.  Customers I will miss. People I will miss.

When I left, I didn’t realize the extent of the damage done to my wrist.  I didn’t know that I wasn’t going to be able to work from home.  I honestly and truly thought I would call in for conference calls.  Until I found out that I shouldn’t be doing that.  I had planned to check emails.  But my supervisor put out the word that I was not to be emailed.  Silence falls.

I stopped checking my email.  I stopped caring as I slid into depression, spiraling downward along my own path to darkness.  Meanwhile, work went on.  Emails, company announcements, reorganization.  FMLA (3 months) ran out.  I was replaced.  Now they no longer have a position for me.  I’m dismissed.

Now that I’ve been fixed – physically and mentally – I’m dismissed.  Oh, and they chopped my bonus by 20% too indicating that I was ranked in the bottom 10% of the pool on my performance review.  How could they even rate me?  I was in the office for only 5 months, only two of those did I have a performance agreement for.  How can you accomplish any long-term goal in two months?  The last conversation with my supervisor was positive – about how things were getting better.  And then…

Forgotten except for the paperwork.  Called a liar for sticking up for myself.  Filing for Worker’s Comp.  All the things you should never ever do in the corporate world.  Big companies are very different than small companies.  Both suck in their own way.

Maybe I should have told them I am bipolar.  Maybe I could have fought for discrimination.  No, those things never work.  Big companies with big lawyers win.  Little companies with palms to grease, win.  People like us, lose.

I don’t know when they will call me in to return the laptop, to return the library books, to return the SecureID.  It’s kind of like a divorce. You know it’s coming, it’s just a matter of when will the paperwork filed and it becomes final?

Just waiting in limbo…

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Estimate

Note:  I started this post yesterday but got too tired to finish it, so I’ll separate the days.

Yesterday:

First things first, I met with my pdoc today.  She seemed very concerned about my depression, so she is increasing the Paxil gradually up to 40mg.  I asked if that was a good idea, but she said we would watch closely for switching.  Apparently, the more depressed you are, the more likely you are to switch when when things start getting better.  She commented, “We’ve got to get you out of this depression.”  Which makes me think that maybe I look worse than I thought. I meet with her again next week because she wants to watch me closely for any sign of mania.  If I didn’t have 6 months worth of Geodon sitting in my pantry, I’d throw up my hands and say: let’s try lithium.  Why I would rather take three meds than one is probably beyond any rationalization, but I have my reasons.

On to the title… the husband of a good friend of mine is a general contractor.  We had him come over to our house and give us an estimate on updating our kitchen.  The estimate was a little disappointing, but pretty much right where I expected it to be – just under $5k.  One of the biggest expenses will be the tiles I want, so I went to Lowe’s this afternoon to look around at options.  (I watch too much HGTV and I wanted those little glass ones, which run about $12/ sq. ft. whereas regular tile costs $3-$4/ sq. ft.)  I found some stone tile that I’ve fallen in love with that will probably knock the price of tile in half, more if I don’t add the decorative ones.  Which would bring the total under $4.5k.  It doesn’t sound like you get a lot for that money, when you consider all that I get is new counters, backsplash, sink and faucets.  However, this would completely change the look of the kitchen and really modernize it.  Yes, it would be cheaper for us to do the work ourselves, but we would never do it if left to our own devices.  We are terrible homeowners.

Today:

Well, to pick up where I left off… yes, we are terrible homeowners.  I HATE home ownership.  If I could, I would live in a townhouse, except for one thing: privacy.  I like my privacy.  I like being able to sit on my back patio and read and not have the world watching me.  Maybe it’s a little paranoia, but I always feel like I am being watched.  I know I am at work because everyone watches everyone else so that they can draw false conclusions and develop gossip. Maybe our jobs just aren’t interesting enough so everyone feels the need to indulge in gossip.  This is the most gossipy place I’ve ever worked.

Back to home ownership… I found this wonderful tile, so I bought one of the decorative ones to take home and see how it would match up with what we currently have in the house and it goes wonderfully with everything!  I think it will go well with the stainless steel sink and the new counter tops (which will be jade green concrete), it also works with the tile we already have and the white cabinets that will stay white until we can afford to have them painted and glazed.

The decorative tile I want

Retail therapy works really well for me.  I’d been planning on spending $3-5k on the kitchen anyway.  DH and I are not handy with tools and such.  I love my drill and electric screwdriver, but I have a saw I bought 4 years ago that still sits in its box.  (I was going to make bookshelves.  Yeah, right.)  I even have a small saw bench for safety. Never been used. (Obviously.)  We barely hang up pictures.

I slept for 12 hours last night.  This depression is really kicking my ass. I know I’m worried about money, but I think putting a little bit into the house is worthwhile.  This is not the only thing that needs fixing… we might have termites too around the front door.  I wonder how much that is going to cost to fix.  At least a new kitchen will look pretty.

Argh! It’s always something…. 😦

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123). Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.