So. First, I've lost my job. Second, I've lost my car. Third... well, there isn't really a third to that, but the first two are enough. I suppose getting the flu could be the third, but it only makes me feel like diving head-first off of an overpass above the Schuylkill, or however the hell that river's name is spelled. Spelt. Whatever. It really isn't a life-changing event. That's okay, though, because between my means of getting from point A to point B vanishing and my means of acquiring a new means of getting from point A to point B vanishing, I've had it pretty rough.
Actually, there are a few other points, call them 3A, 3B and so on. They're not really "life-changing" but they're pretty nasty. I think I've come down with cubital tunnel syndrome. The ring and pinky fingers on my right paw have been tingling non-stop for the last five days now, and they refuse to relax. About a week ago, I picked up Arcanum, which is this older game for which I finally got a fast enough computer to run, and I treated myself to a few marathon sessions of this new addiction. Only, I hadn't really accounted for the fact that my trackball had died, and I had just gone back to a mouse, and I have this really old wooden-armed chair that my father
made that cuts off the circulation in my hands when I rest my elbows against it for too long. Well, sure enough, after three days of non-stop steampunk action à la Castle Falkenstein, two of my fingers went numb,
and every time I pick up the mouse in that paw, they start to tingle more fiercely, like a dowsing rod for bad ideas. I've tried to keep my arm locked straight as all of the self-help guides have suggested, but that doesn't
seem to do much more than cut off the blood-flow to the other fingers on that paw, so I've kind of given up caring.
There is a medical solution, of course. Cortisone shots, and outpatient surgery if those don't work. However, point 3B is that my medical insurance is gone. You see, this goes back to the fact that my last company is the
entrepreneurial equivalent of an old man dottering about in his garage. The president is a woman to take advantage of the tax break. The owner is the Vice President of Emerging Business, which is a fancy title that seems to mean "is a personal friend to two-thirds of the customer base." The kicker, of course, is that the company never has more than fifteen people in it, because then they'd have to follow all the rules that apply
to small businesses but aren't aimed at two-guys-in-a-garage. So, no COBRA. My manager was magnanimous enough to offer to let me cover the premiums out of pocket and just not list me as no longer employed for health purposes, but I can't afford USD676 for two months of health insurance when my total monthly income comes to USD1700 right now, ten percent of which is taxed because it qualifies as income. Thank whatever deities may exist that I already budgeted for the full cost of hormones, because if I hadn't someone would've needed an ambulance when my drugs ran out. I just hope that person would've been insured, or we'd all be in trouble.
Finally, 3C, I have two new boarders living under my roof. Now, in a perverse sort of fashion, this is a good thing, because Kelly and Shay are paying a portion of the rent, which means my unemployment checks are going further than they would otherwise. However, living in a two-bedroom apartment was cozy with two people, and with three it was crowded. Now there're four of us, and it's packed. If I had a job, I could offer to co-sign on a place, but I don't. If Shay didn't have an eviction on her record, she could co-sign, but she can't. If Kelly were working two jobs, she'd make enough by herself to pay for a place in the eyes of the complexes around here, but she's already getting stretched at the seams working the one she's got. Right now, none of us really
know how to get out of this mess, but in the meantime, hey, cheap livin'.
It's this amazing clusterfuck of a situation. I'm looking for work, but right now the tech market is TEH FU><0R, and half of my friends are either unable to get tech jobs or are massively underpaid and overworked. I'm trying to avoid the mindset of "I'll ride out my unemployment, then go be a truck driver," but it's a pretty tempting proposition. I've always hated the tech sector; I got into it because I knew I was good at it, not because I liked it. I can't afford to go back to school unless I want to plan on a bankruptcy in my future, which one of my other long-term friends is doing. I've got too much experience and education to be a fresh-out-of-college entry level trainee, but not enough to be the God Of Computing that every place now seems to want because they all know the tech market is TEH FU><0R and they can demand godhood and get it if they wait long enough.
On the other note, the car that Tanya brought me to replace the one I exploded failed its state safety inspection, which is going to make life really fun for a lot of people. I don't have the money to make the repairs it needs. If I'd had the money to repair it, I'd have gone to a dealer and bought a real used car that was already inspected. Instead, I cashed out Tanya's debt on the promise that she'd bring me a car to replace the one I destroyed. The car she brought me isn't street-legal, so now I'm even more screwed than I was before. If push really comes down to shove, I can put the repairs for the car on one of my credit cards and just plan on adding four or five months to the time it takes me to pay off my bills, but that's really not how I wanted to have to handle the situation; see above for why.
I hate living in a holding pattern.