Monday, September 8, 2014

Single

:)
 
 
There is nothing wrong with being single.
No, I really mean it.
Nothing wrong at all.
Not just "in the mean time" or "in lieu of"
It's not "Just okay".
It's pretty freakin' awesome to be single actually.
But I find myself always having to justify it, to explain it. "Why?"
Even to myself.
I find myself, actually found myself just now, always apologizing for it
so that people understand,
there's nothing WRONG WITH ME for being single.
There's nothing that I'm missing, I'm not diseased or cursed or psychotic or
challenged in any particularly unattractive way.
I'm not unattractive at all.
Actually, and not to brag, I've been told the opposite.
I'm very attractive. I'm a pleasure to be around, funny as hell, and I'm a great friend.
So what's wrong with me that I'm "still single"?
THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH ME!!!
I'm totally awesome! And my awesomeness doesn't hinge on having another person
attach themselves monogamously to me.
I wouldn't be MORE awesome or better off if I do find someone to share myself with.
And the more I grow and get to know myself the more I realize the answer to the
"Why are you still single?" question is simple:
Because I want to be.
Or more specifically I want to be who I am right now and if part of that is "single" then,
heck,
Okay. I'm not "wanting to be" anything else.
I haven't admitted that to myself before. I've been disconnected from myself in many ways, not realizing the full extent of my awesomeness I guess. But when it comes right down to it,
down to "brass tax" as my grandmother would say, I didn't ever choose to focus any serious amount of energy on "finding a man"
"hitching a man"
"catching a man"
"trapping a man"
Instead, my time is spent raising a man, who is particularly awesome himself and I feel
that's the best investment for my time.
But there are other single mom's that date plenty; that have steady boyfriends, or multiple boyfriends or have even remarried and have husbands. And it's not that I'm raising a young man that I don't have any of those.
It's because of me.
Just me.
The way I am and where my attention goes to.
I chose to go back to school.
Not to get a man
to get an education.
And I'm interested in ideas and thoughts and thinking them and discussing them more then I've
ever been interested in people and what they're into or what they're doing or who they're doing it with.  Not that I'm antisocial:
I'm usually the life of a party.
So that's not why I'm single.
And I'm not single because "I just haven't found the right one yet".
I'm single because deep down inside, I want to be.
I want to be single.
I enjoy my own company.
And I enjoy the company of my close friends and I'm fulfilled by the relationships I have RIGHT NOW and don't think a relationship with a boyfriend would be better then those. It might be a great addition to an already great lot, but that's it. It wouldn't have improved me or completed me or somehow fulfilled me in a way that all the love I have in my life right now is somehow not doing.
Because it is doing it.
I'm actually happy!
I adore my son and my dog and I'm not missing out on anything by not being in a relationship.
My life isn't lacking in anyway.
And THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH ME!
I'm good.
All good.
Not just "alright" or "alright for now".
I'm ALL right , RIGHT NOW, not missing anything or missing out on anything. I'm whole,
complete, satisfied and HAPPY as I am.
Loved.
and there's really,

no REALLY,

nothing wrong with that.
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The "PROFESSIONAL"


What is inherently  unprofessional about breasts?
And legs? What's unprofessional about legs?
What about asses?
Hmmmm?
What is INHERENTLY- intrinsically- unprofessional about any of those things?
Think about it.
They're all parts of the body, parts both males and females have, but are particularly admired on the
female sex because, after physical maturation, those are the parts of the female body that typically become exaggerated.
They're outstanding female features. They're the parts of our human bodies that often get shapely and
attractive when you're FEMALE.
And so, they're ... "unprofessional" ?
So inadvertently we've uncovered the real standard behind "professional".
MALE.
Because this is a "man's world" and a man's body is the only kind that is "respectable" and to be
taken "seriously". Woman's bodies are for play and therefore to belong in a "respectable" and "serious" atmosphere their "playful" and typically female features MUST be covered, hidden or down played.
Riiight.
In addition to this bigoted view, a bonus for us girls (yeah right), we're also supposed to believe that it's for our own good. You know, like the concept behind Hijabs and burqa, to protect us from men-
men who have no responsibility to control themselves. A way of hiding ourselves in their world because when it comes right down to it, if we're not willing to fuck them, play with them or serve them it's a world we have no place in.
FUCK YOU.
I have breasts. They're beautiful. And they're not unprofessional. To suggest that they're unprofessional,
or that my cleavage being exposed is "unprofessional" is to agree with the above bigotry.
A subconscious part of our upbringing as females is to view our bodies as dirty things, as things that have to be "covered" and down played. It's perversely untrue.
Now, I'm sure there are many of you out there wondering, well would she just walk into work with her tits hanging out?
No.
But if I want to wear clothing that accentuates that particularly lovely part of my body, then I will.
And there's no one that has any right to tell me it's "unprofessional".
Because this is NOT a man's world.
It's not even a HUMAN'S world.
Our earth would continue to revolve without any one of us, male or female.
But the communities we've created here, our way of life, has been grossly skewed toward male dominance and convenience and it's been done by the constant shaming and dismissing of it's female citizens which MUST stop.
Our bodies are beautiful. There is nothing "unprofessional" about them.
Professional dress is, in it's purest form, being well-dressed. Dressing your absolute best in clean,
well-groomed clothing to demonstrate that everything about you and your ideas is composed and eloquent. That has nothing to do with not showing a cleavage (or legs or shapely bottoms). We've been told it does because we've been conditioned to believe that these parts are "play" things and therefore not to be taken out in the office.
My cleavage is not a play thing.
It's my thing.
It's a beautiful part of me and if I choose to show it there is nothing "unprofessional" about it.
Such is the same for legs and hips, for all parts that are inherently female. And as females we really have to stop believing this male biased brainwashing. We have to stop raising our daughters to believe it's THEIR responsibility to control male impulses towards them.
It's not.
We have NO OBLIGATION to cover our bodies to spare them the unwelcome discomfort that comes along with controlling their impulses.
Suck it up boys.
BE A MAN!
In others words, self controlled and individually responsible for your person and your actions.
Your hard-on: Your problem.
Your distraction: Your problem.
Not ours.
We have breasts. Maybe you should get used to that. And as much pleasure as they may give you,
they're not there for you, they are there for us, which means that the ways in which they please us supersede the ways in which they please you. If we think they look particularly pretty in a certain blouse then that is WORLDS more important then the fact that you may be distracted by them in that blouse. Deal with yourselves. And stop telling us it's our job to do it for you. Stop telling us that those of us that embrace the beauty of our bodies and show it off are "sluts" or "whores" or "dirty" or "unprofessional". It doesn't mean a damn thing other then we like the way we look! That's a huge feat for any woman who is bombarded with insecurities and negative judgments from all sides, everyday, from both men and women.
And say we see a girl at a bar. And her skirt is short and shirt low cut. Maybe we stop judging her moral character based on what she's wearing and simply stick to criticizing what she's wearing.
Does it match?
Is the outfit working for her?
What could she do to improve it?
IS HER BODY ROCKIN'!?
But none of us have any right to go there with the moral judgments and personal slurs "slut", "whore", etc.
And maybe she IS wearing those clothes because she wants to get laid that night.
What the hell is wrong with that?
As long as she respects the boundaries of others, like a man that is most obviously with someone else, or individuals who are too wasted to make coherent decisions (which, by the way, is an accepted and encouraged MALE strategy for picking up booty for the night).
And say, just say, we wear that shirt we like to work, the one that shows off our beautiful cleavage, and we happen to glance that guy across the conference table glimpsing at it.
Is he a pig for it? Is he out of control and misogynistic and oppressing our rights as individuals?
No.
He's just admiring our cleavage much the way we did when we were smiling at our reflection in the mirror that morning. If he turns creepy and starts to GAULK at you, and then starts to hit on you when he should be focused on working, well then, there's a problem. But a little glimpse? Just an unspoken compliment.
We're all just people after all. People will be people. And as long as we can respect each other and control ourselves, we may just do well by this world.

 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

ALL-AMERICAN

Very rarely do audition opportunities make me angry; this one did. The service that Actors Access provides is not only needed but much appreciated so I hope this commentary doesn't come off as ungrateful or even critical of them in any way. The fault is born in the casting "professionals", movie makers and such that post casting  notifications on this site. In a business where "type" casting is common I'm used to casting criteria that reads "Asian", "African American", "Caucasian". I'm even used to descriptions such as "Model type", "pretty-but not model type"... etc. as if anyone of us, especially women, are really good at deciding if we're "pretty,  or pretty but not model type" at all, but hey, that's the business. And certainly you know if you're "model type" because there are very specific physical parameters defining it: over 5'7", maxed out at 125 lbs., long legs, high cheek bones... we see their faces all over. They aren't necessarily the most attractive people but they are the people that the current fashion industry wants to put its clothing on- therefore they are "model types".
This is the industry I'm in. My skin has grown thick to shallow and blunt descriptions of people that relegate them to little more then colors and shapes. Literally. But colors and shapes are colors and shapes. It's a physical reality. We're curvy or straight. We're a certain amount of feet and a certain amount of inches. We weigh what we way. That doesn't get me angry. What does get me angry, what infuriates me because it's so common, are the certain casting notifications that use descriptions such as "girl next door" and, the one that inspired this commentary, "All-American" that make my blood mother fucking BOIL.
Know why?
Because who they HELL are they, is anyone, to define what "next door" and most especially "ALL-AMERICAN" is?
Here's the casting notice that sent me into a rage today; please read it:
 
 
 
 
 

Certainly not the only, really one of MANY, that use this description "ALL-American" but really mean what the link they include in their posting shows. I've posted it here:




Do these women look "ALL-AMERICAN" to you? Sure. If you define "ALL-AMERICAN" as White Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP) people with their common features of small nose, thin and tall body and, oh yeah, sparkling WHITE skin. If you want a woman who looks like this for your ad, fine. That's your prerogative. It's your ad, put who you want in it. But don't you dare perpetuate this ignorant and ANTIQUATED way of thinking by defining her as "ALL-AMERICAN". What she is is a CAUCASIAN MODEL TYPE. There you are. Clearly defined and perfectly described. THAT'S what you want? Then THAT'S what you should ask for! But don't you dare, don't even fucking THINK of defining those features as ALL-AMERICAN, because you know what?- they're not.
Most Americans look NOTHING like this. These features are demonstrated by a VERY SMALL group of people who are no more American then any of the rest of us. You are perpetuating ignorance, discrimination and demonstrating stupidity by calling her, or her male counter part, "ALL-AMERICAN", or, it's sister phrase "GIRL NEXT DOOR". Whose next door? Not mine.
Nobody that I grew up around looked like that, whether they were white  or not. A very select MINORITY of kids I grew up around looked like that, but how the hell could their features define what "ALL-AMERICAN" is when they were most certainly
the minority?
Hmmm?
Prejudice.
And discrimination.
And entitlement.
The entitlement of a specific group of people to force their assumed superiority onto the rest of us by telling us that "Americans" look like they do and then there's the rest of us who are...uhhh... I don't know... just being allowed to live here?
"African-Americans"
"Latino-Americans"
"Asian-Americans"
"Italian-Americans"
"Native-Americans"
but not ALL-AMERICAN.
That's reserved for a very specific MINORITY group. The rest of us, no matter where we were born, how long we've lived here, or how much we've done for our communities and country, are just borrowing space.
Including our PRESIDENT?!!

Fuck you.

I'm an American- ALL AMERICAN!
I was born here, raised here and wear the WWII jacket of my father who fought to protect our way of life here.
You know, the way of life that only some people think they have the right to benefit from?
Yeah.
But my father wouldn't have fit into this "ALL-AMERICAN" look either. He had a big Italian nose that doesn't seem to fit in anywhere in Hollywood except for the villain/mobster category. But he sure enough fit into a uniform to fight when he was needed didn't he? Yeah. THEN he was "ALL-AMERICAN" enough.
Can this country stop using it's citizens the way spoiled little brats use their Barbie Dolls?
Please.
It's ridiculous.
So from now on, casting directors world wide, don't perpetuate ignorance and bigotry by calling those features, those very specific and MINORITY features, "ALL-AMERICAN".
They're not.
Most Americans look nothing like that.
Like it or not the hair and skin and eyes of MOST AMERICANS is darker.
We're not as tall or thin.
It's just that simple.
MOST Americans don't look like that. Some Americans most certainly do, but to define that
as the "ALL-AMERICAN" type is simply WRONG.
Can we stop this please, casting professionals world wide?
No matter who you are, if you want a person with the physical features indicated in THESE example photos then please, please define those features for what they are:
NOT "ALL-AMERICAN" but Caucasian, Model-Type Americans.
Pretty and photogenic but
No more "AMERICAN" then the rest of us.


Tuesday, December 31, 2013

In Full Effect


I almost apologized today.
Yeah.
About four hours ago.
I almost just apologized for having an opinion.
For doing something I enjoy.
For doing something that was right for me.
My NEW neighbor complained to me about my "exercise" routine in the morning.
It pounds right above his and his girlfriend's heads at 5 a.m.
Every morning.
And you know what?
That's how it's gonna stay.
I almost apologized for it.
Almost.
But I didn't.
'cause it's a New Year.
And I'm here in full effect.
And I've been doing my routine in my little apartment for the last two years now.
Actually I've been exercising in my living room of any apartment I've rented for the past 11 years now!
*!At home exercise! it's cheap, fun and IT WORKS.
But today, my new neighbor decided he wanted to "discuss" some options with me.
And you know what I told him?
There weren't any.
We just have to learn to adjust to each other.
My routine is TIGHT.
I sacrifice and work hard, waking up at 4:30 a.m. M-F to exercise, wash dishes, prepare breakfast for Doug and I, Shower, get Doug out of bed and moving, and get out of the house in time to catch a train at 6:08 a.m.
I simply made it clear that there was no other time for me to exercise.
When I get home, I'm all about making dinner and doing Homework with Doug.
And then, I get my ass to bed at 10:30 p.m.
That's my M-F.
And it works for me.
And I almost changed it.
And apologized.
To two people who make noise and have cars driving up until 2 a.m.
Fuck That.
I'm changed.
And I LOVE it.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

On Being Alone

A word keeps bouncing around my brain:
Co-dependent.
I keep thinking it about most every woman I fucking see.
Co-dependent.
Angelina Jolie, for some reason, poor lady, came into my mind. ( I watched an interview w/ her yesterday- that's probably why).
Have I ever seen this woman w/out a man?
Ever?
No.
Never.
Why?
So many women are like that.
Never by themselves.
One man to another man.
Maybe not night after night but relationship after relationship.
WTF?
It's been stewing and brewing and really fucking messing me up.
I've been getting angry about it...
Why do all these women, even ones I'm supposed to look up to,
ALWAYS have to be in some kind of relationship? Aren't they EVER alone.
By themselves.
Happy to just be?
Jesus!
And then came today.
And today always comes.
And, in the process, new conversations, news things to here about and see and discuss.
So when the discussion about Pink,
 (THE Pink,
Pink my rock star idol and absolute Goddess role model because she's so kick-ass and in-charge and fierce,
and
oh yeah,
she writes amazing music that could speak for me it's so accurate and heart felt and angst-ridden)
in concert,
which my co-worker got to go to last night,
came up
and I went from super charged to angry and all twisted within a second of my co-worker saying
"She wrote this song for her ex-boyfriend"
and almost knocked the wind out of myself.
And that's when I stopped,
and took an internal look around.
And asked myself a strong and unbending:
What The Fuck Michelle?
A.) This is PINK we're talking about. You don't get angry at PINK!
B.) Where the hell is all this anger coming from anyway?
Is Pink co-dependent? She has been w/ Carey for quite sometime.
And before him,
there was another,
that she wrote a song for!
Is she codependent too?
And just what are your criteria for co-dependent Michelle?
And is that what you're really angry about?
Do they, women you admire, or other women, women you don't even know,
all have to live a life exactly like yours or you'll rip and tear at them until they look
as ugly as you'd like to make them out to be?
Whoa!
Now that's some self-hate!
So I tried to just take a fucking minute and relax just bit and think about this whole off-putting situation objectively, if only for the duration of this blog.
And I started to think,
It could be that I'm jealous of these women.
Even the ones I don't know.
Not because they have men, or women for that matter:
No. Coveting is not the sin that's causing my soul sickness.
But I am jealous of something about them,
something they have in their character that I don't.
They have the ability to share themselves with somebody else;
to know they're worthy of another person's devotion.
Of a man's devotion.
I'm not trying to isolate my lesbian sisters but, you should know, that I've often wished I'd been
born a homosexual because I feel like I'd fit in a lot better in a situation where I could fall in love
with another women. Because I trust women.
I just can't seem to trust men.
I can't trust that they'll do anything more then see the fuck through me.
It's real. This feeling I have of being absolutely worthless as a mate for a man.
And yet that's how I was designed. I was born a heterosexual woman. I was made to want to
BE with a man.
But I can't be.
And this shit just got really deep.
And I don't know what to do with it.
I get angry at people that I don't even know for being with men more so because I can't be
then because they shouldn't have to be.
Though a rational part of me stands by our need as women to stand on our own and find wholeness
in our own company and NOT NEED constant companionship from somebody else (INCLUDING our children, and friends and family) when does independence become isolationism? And when does feminism become a front for bitterness?
I feel I'm toeing that fine line. I can actually see it. And honestly, I'm sad that I got here in the first place and a little scared because I'm not sure how to turn back. Or to proceed. Or what to do at all.
I've always been happy being alone. Since I was a child I could loose myself in my fantasies and play world and not realize I was missing anything. But after having my son and realizing the necessity of joining the world at large I realize now that I was completely unprepared for how the rest of the human race behaves.
I don't need people the way that they seem to.
I don't feel alone when I'm alone the way they seem to.
I feel awkward in a crowd, even though I feel wonderful in front of one.
Crazy right?
No. Not for me. It's just me, it's the way I am and I actually like myself that way.
But I don't like being angry.
And I don't like being hateful or scornful or damning toward people I don't even know primarily because the way they are makes me feel like an outcast.
And I'm not supposed to mind being an outcast in the first place.
Once again, I'm stuck in a paradox and the only way I can think to get out of it is
to write about it. Maybe if I give it it's own life, here, on this page, it will take off on it's own,
and leave me alone.
To start all over?
I've got to deal with this eventually. Eventually I'm going to have to embrace the part of me that really would appreciate being appreciated by somebody else. The part of me that still looks adoringly at bridal gowns, in part for the sheer beauty and artistic integrity of them but also, silently, two people being in love moves me to tears.
How hard is too Hard-ass,
and when does the Iron Cast I've shelled myself up in start collapsing in on itself, myself?
I've reached that point. And I don't like it. I wish things didn't come to this,
that I'd never come to this,
but I'm here. I've traveled here on this new day that, on this day, has brought me to a line that's formed a mirror that's made me see some things that I don't like seeing.
(Hmph).


 

Monday, June 3, 2013

The elected double mastectomy

A lot has been buzzing around about Angelina Jolie and her double mastectomy.
I will not download pictures of her or quotes from her recent interviews. I have no wish
to use her image to sell my blog. My blogs are my opinions, nothing more. But such a
strong opinion has developed in me over Angelina's recent activity that I couldn't stay
away from this page. I had to get my thoughts out.
First let me say that my grandmother had a double mastectomy. She was a breast cancer
survivor. I've a very close friend who has had regularly scheduled mammograms from early in
her life because of the frequency with which her family has encountered the cancer. I take
breast cancer and all cancer very seriously.
But not as seriously as I take life.
Life is more important then cancer.
It always will be.
But when thinking about cancer,
preparing for it, and preventing it, becomes a priority in life my skin begins to crawl.
It was because of the discovery of a faulty gene, one that makes breast cancer far
more likely for the carrier, that Ms. Jolie decided to undergo a preemptive, preventative
double mastectomy. She is a mother of six. She wants to live.
I can understand that,
more then understand that. My son is my reason for living. He is "my best thing".
I'd take out anyone who may take something away from his life,
I'd even take on death itself.
But is that what Ms. Jolie did?
Because I don't think so.
She decided to play into the odds that, because of this gene, she had a 60% chance of developing
breast cancer. She decided to decide that cancer was inevitable because of this specific
gene that may or may not decide to show itself.
It is her right. Had she decided to take off her breasts simply for aesthetic preferences,
it is her right. That is her body, she can do what she likes with it. And she's never been a particularly
conventional girl so it wouldn't have shocked me. But my concern is not for her actions,
but in the reactions of the press and public.
Ms. Jolie is a hero.
She is being hailed as "brave" and "strong".
I do not agree.
I do not believe that bravery and strength is reactionary to "maybe" and "what if".
Nor do I believe that either can live where one is so willing to surrender to a "possibility".
My possibilities for success, based on my birth place and life experiences thus far, is slim to
none. Should I play the odds and stop trying?
Athletes throw themselves into harms way daily, making their bodies 95% more likely then mine to
be injured, possibly irrevocably.
Should they stop playing?
But Beyond the playing of probabilies,
what of all this making God out of science?
Now science not only creates life, but is the sole provider of it's sanctity as well?
Genetics is now predicting our future and it is brave, strong and, yes,
(at least this is what the press implies)
MORAL to concede to it's predictions!
Are we living in the world of The Minority Report?
We can now predict and are being encouraged to react to what MIGHT happen as
what inevitable WILL happen and so here comes our higher evolution.
But I think it's de-evolution.
Because once upon a time people were brave enough to not have to predict the future to get
through each day.
They used a thing called faith and it worked very well.
And yes, sickness would come
and so would death.
But that didn't scare people either.
Not only because of the belief in an after life, because not everyone with faith believes in an after-life,
but because of their belief in the sanctity of life, and it's right to run out of us as surely as it
ran into us.
Fighting for our lives is at the core of who we are as a species. Every species is programed to
do what it must to survive.
But is this what we're doing?
Are we attempting to survive, or refusing survival by attempting to take out any and all obstacles?
To me, survival is not so simple as preserving our lives or extending our life span. It's about facing
down obstacles and persevering through them.
This is not what we do when we decide to react to what MIGHT happen as if it were what WILL happen.
When we do this we are actually cowering out of a potential challenge, a chance to show
how well we can survive.
Life is not merely a chance to preserve ourselves for as long as we can.
In fact I do not believe that is what life is at all.
Life is a series of experiences to be learned from and to grow from,
NOT to run from. Especially when what you're running from is a mist or a shadow
from some kind of fortune teller-
even when they call themselves "Doctor".
My heart goes out to Ms. Jolie. Because to me it looks as if she has deduced a sickness in her chest
and wrongfully focused on her breasts. The way I see it, her ailment is in her heart. She has never dealt with
the death of her beloved mother and her sadness has grown into fear and that fear into a convoluted logic that somehow what she's done can prevent her children from ever experiencing the same pain.
I get that.
None of us want our children to suffer, physically or emotionally.
But when we treat illness it's nonsense not medicine to treat the wrong organ,
to misfire and direct our 'treatment' toward something easy to ascertain instead of what is more
difficult to understand.
This will not relieve her fear.
It will be back again. And no, I can't predict the future.
But I know that fear grows when it is unhampered. It's not like a dormant gene.
It shows itself in many ways from the moment it creeps into our souls.
And it festers.
What frightens me over this situation is that fear has been dressed up as courage, wisdom
and yes, morality.
It's taken on that guise before and never lead us in good directions.
For all those women, and men, who have been touched by breast cancer,
my heart goes out to you. And I admire your struggle. I admire your courage in the face
of an obstacle that you choose to confront and fight everyday.
Understand that even for those of you who will loose the battle, you have not lost even
one moment of your life.
Because life means living. And death can happen even before you stop breathing.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Little Pub

Things happen that make us question our self worth. Right now
that's what I'm going through, but instead of wanting to fight,
this time, I wanted to stay down and give up.
Perhaps it's the result of impact shock.
I fell hard, far and fast. So fast I'm still not convinced it happened
and certainly don't understand why it would have happened.
I got a new job a month and a half ago and it, in just a month's time,
had changed my life back to the way I remembered it years ago. Then,
I was able to pay my rent on the first of each month. I was able to walk
into a grocery store without worrying about how much I spent. And best
of all, I was able to take my son out to dinner, to a movie, maybe even on
a day trip to Mystic Seaport, without being concerned about time off and how
much pay I'd loose.
We were happy then. Douglas never worried about where he'd live or if
he'd have food.
But times changed. After a bout with homelessness and being wrung inside out
by the social services system my son developed anxiety and a deep rooted disappointment
in me.
That was the hardest part. Knowing that my son blamed all this instability on me.
Who else could he blame it on?
No matter what I did I couldn't find gainful employment. I always worked, full time, but
what ever I did I couldn't find work that paid enough to bring us back to that old situation,
where we were safe and comfortable.
But then, about a month and a half ago, after once again falling dangerously behind on rent,
requiring town financial assistance to appease my landlord and food stamps as well as trips to the
town food bank to insure we could eat, I got a job at Little Pub Wilton.
I'd tried numerous times to get a position at their location in Ridgefield, CT but they were never hiring.
They didn't need to. Every day and night their parking lot was packed. Their employees
rarely turned over. So, as soon as I saw the "Hiring" sign outside of their construction site in Wilton,
I ran in and got myself an interview.
It went very well and I was soon offered an opportunity to train. I was hired in April and had been working up until this Monday.
All was going well. Very well. And for the first time in years I felt proud of myself again. Proud because I was actually providing for my family again, providing the comfort and security they deserved. My bills were paid on time and my son got new summer clothes without us busting our monthly budget (he grows about two inches every month I swear!).
All seemed so perfect.
And then...
I'd worked this past Sunday and thought it odd that my manager didn't ask me for my availability for the coming week. I brushed it off as paranoia and his being generally exhausted and I waited. But come Monday I began to wonder why I hadn't received a copy of our schedule for this week. I was surprised by a text from a co-worker asking me if I wanted to work for her this Friday night. My first response was "Did you get a schedule?"
"Yes" she responded. I asked her to wait just a little while for my decision while I found out what was going on.
I called my manager and left a message.
He called back.
Turns out I'm no longer on the schedule.
Without warning, without discussion, he no longer has shifts for me.
I begged him to tell me what went wrong, why I'd been fired?! He insisted that I wasn't fired.
I wasn't fired???
He just didn't have any shifts for me.
What? (What was the difference? Was it then more like being laid-off?)
He had to give preferential treatment to those employees that
had committed themselves to full-time work with the company and so had no more room for me.
When I reminded him that I had been hired as part time, that they'd known my schedule limitations, he assured me he understood but that he still had to give any available shifts to others who had more flexible schedules.
So, after a Sunday that seemed like all others I had no more shifts at a restaurant I'd come to look forward to working in four times a week.
No more shifts,
but I wasn't fired?
I asked him to be straight with me, to tell me what the real issues were.
He insisted there were no reasons other then the one he'd told me. It wasn't my performance he insisted, yet for some reason I was still expendable.
Worse yet I had to go home and tell my son what had happened. The first thing out of his mouth was "So what do we do now?"
I had no answer.
I understand that some people rely on that job as their only means of income. But what my manager
didn't seem to understand was, so did I. I have a full time job working for the Stamford Public Schools as a Substitute (usually permanent substitute) teacher. But the pay is horrible ($90, no paid time off, vacations or sick days). Trying to live off that income only was what lead Douglas and I into homelessness to begin with.
I rely on my restaurant income for almost 85% of my monthly income.
Doesn't that count at all?
And why is full time availability the only consideration that seems to matter?
How about considering the fact that most of those employees are young adults who have very little responsibilities beyond the rent they split with their roommates or significant others? Would one shift less really hurt them?
I have a child.
I'm the only earner in my house hold.
Why doesn't that matter at all?
Beyond that, how could they not warn me?
I had no idea but it seems that my first month was little more then an audition.
They intentionally hired too many people to see who would work out best for them.
But they hired us.
They employed me and thus reserved my time for a month, a month in which I turned down
two other positions because I believed I'd already found a stable job at the Little Pub.
Now, in late May, all other restaurants have already hired their summer wait staff.
Even the school system has collected all of it's applications for summer employment.
I would have had to begin applying around the time I believed I'd been hired by Little Pub.
Now, not only am I without shifts,
I am without any summer employment.
And this seemed perfectly natural to my manager and by reflection I can only assume
perfectly natural to my bosses.
To treat people as tools without any further consideration.
Disappointment hasn't set in yet.
I'm still in shock.
And to be honest, really just sad. I miss being in the place.
And I'm scared as hell. I don't really want to get up from this one.
This time, I've lost so much wind, I just want to stay down and have everything
else go away.
June rent is due in a couple of weeks. Maybe I've made enough over the past month to be okay.
But then, there is car insurance to pay. And once again this is my life. Always worrying, and wondering if or when things will be okay,
if ever.
I've lost a lot of energy on this one. I have already started putting feelers out for new jobs.
But I'm tired. And discouraged. And disheartened.
Once again, I've been treated like trash. And somehow I have to find a way to digest that.