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29 September 2015, 17:53

My life and times, lately, have been a whirlwind of action, whipping everything to and fro, up and down.

I’m tired and sitting down.

My tum is upset from eating chinese food.

A moment of reflection and catharsis is called for. Eventful episodes have tested me, and for the most part, I passed. Not close to passing with flying colors, but passed, nonetheless, proven by the fact that I’m sitting here and not just bawling and snotting up the sleeve of my shirt.

I think I can tell a limited amount of the story, although, I am in the midst of it and have no ending for it thus far.

Tum churning and making me feel icky.

About three weeks ago, Doug got hurt at his work. Doug got hurt bad. He hurt his back in a serious way and has been waylaid from employment since. Right now, he was/is the income of our household. I’ve been looking intensely for a job, taking gigs as far as 2 and a half hours a way, but nothing really stuck and nothing permanent came of all my trying. So, to say the least, this has been stressful.

I’ve been endeavoring to keep it together, trying to control things so as to keep us afloat, keep the wheels turning. I stagger bills, overdraw checking accounts, sell a few little trinkets to help with the upkeep, but its all been on Doug’s shoulders lately and this situation is an incubator for resentment and tension – but we get through it.

Well, his injury is quite serious and his employer has done about as much to help him as, say, the dog has, so other means of assistance has been sought out. Other official LEGAL means has been employed to assure Doug of the health care he needs (and hopefully lost wages, etc.) He might have nerve damage, he might have a permanent condition that will keep him from being marketable in the arena he has always been viable in, so I worry about his/our future. All this is being sorted out, and currently still is in kind of a ugly mess.

I’ve been trying to hook a gig, and at this point, ANY gig to try and help keep the boat afloat. I figure that I can be miserable with no income coming in, or I can be miserable at a survival job that allows me to keep the lights on. As well as sending resumes and feelers out for regular arty farty gigs, I’ve send the ole CV to just about anything I figured I could handle. The only other job I’ve ever had was inbound call center customer service – I was good at it because I’m geared to helping people, and it wasn’t all that soul killing so I started trying for those sorts of jobs. And I’m getting interviews for everything from insurance salesman to call center monkey.

Meanwhile, the insurance/income/injury fight goes on.

I had actually gotten a contract job in Charlotte, NC. The Queen city is 2.5 hours from here, but at this point, I’m game for it. My commute is 2 hours and 20 minutes ONE WAY, and I swallow my pride, steel up and accept the contract. It was SUPPOSE to be 4-6 months contract to permanent. It was a decent job, and I was trying to convince myself that it was a career move that I needed to take. I went to the gig and did well, except for my employer reported to the agency that they were concerned I had pictures of my dogs up on my computer, and mentioned that I was talking politics at work (I had said to someone who asked “Yeah, I basically have dogs and liberalism on my facebook…” and continued on talking about dogs). I found that odd and disconcerting but I made a pinky swear to my recruiter that I wouldn’t do it again. But, I had reported to him that the senior artist kept asking me if I was going to come back the next day – and she kept asking everyday. The recruiter said he’d check into it. Turns out, she thought the contract was for a week, day by day. She couldn’t tell me from day to day if I was needed the next day. YAY. So what I thought was a life preserver to keep us afloat, turned out to be a dingy with a giant hole in the ass end. This lasted three days. I thought about it for a while, and decided it wasn’t meant to be. If I cheesed them off because I said the word “liberalism”, it would have been inevitable that I would tick them off about something else. It would be hard to NOT be ME for eight hours a day, watching with intense paranoia every word I said, everything I did.

That, still, was pretty darn disappointing.

And the roller coaster takes a dive.

Well. About a day after that, I get a call from a recruiter from Augusta. This recruiter I had talked to about two weeks earlier for a position working for the Army as a contracted graphics editor. Working for the government, requiring a security clearance was something I’d never thought I qualify for so I really thought nothing of it when I talked to the recruiter. I had forgotten about it, for the most part. So in the midst of my bummer moment, sitting in the car, watching Doug trade a piece of music equipment for some other piece of music equipment (I don’t know the names of either – this happens quite frequently, so I just see large speaker-like boxes go in and out of my life all the time, not caring the brand or specs), I get a call from the aforementioned recruiter telling me she had a job offer for me. Interview? NO OFFER. So at this moment, I forget that I have to get a security clearance, I forget all the obstacles that are set before me in getting this job, I forget what hurdles that I will have to conquer, I stage a giant nutty in the car, beating the seat silently as I have a hissy. I watch Doug motion to me, trying to get me not to say “groovy” or “cool” over the phone to the recruiter. He is not successful, and I probably said both of those words a couple of times during the conversation.

She tells me about the year contract, the enormously generous benefits package, and the salary which is 15-15-15, I say, FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS MORE than what I made at Satan’s Noodles.

The roller coaster is climbing the hill.

So this is in front of me. And I immediately, and for good reason, start worrying about the security clearance I need to get. WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET ONE? AM I TOO STAINED AND COLORFUL TO GET ONE? I NEED A GOOD CREDIT RATING? I NEED A FAIRLY UPSTANDING CRIMINAL PAST? WHAT THE HELL?

This leads to about 3 days of high octane worry. I have asked everyone and their mother about clearances. Doug has googled, I have fretted until I became nauseated, and the consensus is that I will pass the clearance check. At the most, I will be questioned about a few things, and I need to be ready to answer to it. I need to fill out whatever form they are going to send me and be as honest and detailed as possible. yay. But noone really knows. The clearance check would take 2 to 5 weeks, and they are getting me an interim clearance in the meantime. I think.

I was scheduled to meet my team today. I HAD the job (barring the security clearance). Offer letter, 30+ pages of employment paperwork I had to fill out, etc. OMG. If I hadn’t had a nutty before, I was pretty much going to the zoo now. I was on full vomit mode and was worrying about the meeting, the clearance, the job, my clothes, hair, the car, and my abilities to even do the work they wanted me to do. I was totally and utterly scared out of my panties and panicked that big panic of a high school cheerleader trying to decipher if its a little pink plus on their pee stick or a little minus.

I went to buy new clothes. Well. ONE piece of new clothing. I didn’t like it, took it back. Didn’t like that, exchanged it. Then I had to buy matching pants. And some matching shoes. Doug said if I got my hair cut by a professional, he’d pay for it and shut up about my hair. So I did that too. I did the one thing that caused me to stop getting my hair cut by professionals 20 years ago – I sat there and let some hairdresser bitch at me about how horrible my hair was. Spiffy.

I got up early, got nervous, hyped myself up with a gallon of caffeine and got dressed to go to the meeting. The day started out with me finding out my new shoes are now dog chewies. I dug for shoes. ANY shoes. I finished getting dressed and headed out into the rain, which pooped up my nice new hair. Spiffy, part deux.

It turned out I shouldn’t have been worried or scared. The people were great and fun, and it all was relaxed and fine. They gave me advice on the paperwork, and said “Oh getting the clearance is easy…” RIGHT….. Still worried about that, but not so much now. The DoD check goes back 7 years, and that won’t look THAT bad. I have had only a sprinkling of crap in the past 7 years. I don’t know what they’ll think of the 8 times I’ve moved in the last 7 years, but I’m trying not to think of that. The really bad thing about this is how much now I want the job. If I don’t pass the clearance or don’t get the job for some other reason, I will be quite upset. And I don’t like being upset.

I’m not good with NOT worrying about things I CAN’T CONTROL. This ability is not encoded in my DNA, and just about impossible for me to put this out of my mind. I have been comforted with people telling me it is easy to get this clearance. I am willing to prostrate myself to whatever government official, splaying my life before him and his judgment and promising parts of my soul for a clean bill of health. But I made the mistake of now WANTING the job. I won’t be able to control being upset and disappointed if I don’t get it.

Even now, I am driven to try and get some other job or interview, as back up or supplemental or SOMETHING. I NEED to have SOMETHING ELSE. I guess its some vague and nebulous logic of not having all my eggs in one chicken or something to that effect.

And still everything is all up in the air, and it feels like we are one wrong move from total decimation.

Impending doom sucks. And makes me want a cookie.

The story isn’t done yet. There is no ending for it yet. And that, in itself, makes me crazy.

It ain’t easy being a control freak.