Saturday, January 30, 2010

chitty-chitty bang bang--toot toot

Yesterday I woke up at 9 a.m. fully welcoming my day and ready for some fun. It was Friday and on Fridays I get to see my boyfriend for lunch. He travels around a lot for work but on Fridays he is close enough for me to get to.

We had a good lunch, went grocery shopping, then I decided that I needed to get my oil changed. I was on the main drag of shops on McKnight so I pulled over to the Jiffy Lube. It was my third oil change, I signed up for their free service coupon book, so this one was half off.

I pull up and get out of the car, welcomed into the store by, "Oh the girl who locked her keys in her car!"

My shining moment for everyone to hear. Some months earlier I had my oil changed and then when I went next door to Qdoba to get a burrito I accidentally locked my keys in the car. The guys at Jiffy Lube rescued me and now I have to hear them talk about how funny it was for them to see me running over asking them to jimmy my car door open (and yes, my keys were right on the seat, I felt like an ass and still do.)

I'm sitting there waiting, reading the paper, J.D. Salinger died the previous day. I was focused and concentrated on my newspaper reading when I heard, "Tinkle, Tinkle (of the door opening) Ma'am I need you to look at this." Fuck.

I get to go under my car and there I see it. My transmission fluid leaking all over the floor. The mechanic shows me (by almost sticking his finger through the pan) that this pan is rusted through and it needs to be replaced.

"You probably just hit something and busted it open."

I then spend THREE HOURS in a transmission shop that had no heat waiting for this to get fixed. I watched THREE HOURS of soap operas on T.V. THREE WHOLE HOURS. It was terrible and it cost me about $200.

If it rains apparently it just doesn't pour, it hurricanes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

to steal from fall out boy: it was a take over, cause the breaks over

I am writing unusually earlier than usual. My time stamp on my blog is a little off (I keep on trying to figure out how to change it, but can't) but I know that I never write this early. I had a bad day yesterday, terrible to be blatant.

I cried as soon as Chris came home. I cried for a good half an hour. Just because of nothing. Nothing at all. He came into the apartment and I burst into tears. For no good reason. He wanted me to call off of work because of how I was acting but with me only having ONE job now that is part-time, I can't do it. Why would I want to lose both jobs?

He was right. I should have just stayed home. I cried at my job too. I guess it has all come to the point that it is all to much for me to handle. I've been sick, I've been laid off, I have no direction. Yesterday when someone said something to me I broke. There I was head down on the desk crying. It was like something took over me and I couldn't stop. Embarrassing? Yes. Good for me, maybe.

I've had a job since middle school. I was a newspaper carrier (won carrier of the year) and helped out at my parents work (we had a home business). I worked all through high school, with weeks ranging from 37-40 hrs. I remember the amount of hours because my English teacher told me that it is illegal to work that many hours while going to school. Then in college I was a T.A., taught swim lessons, and modeled for the Art department. Even on my breaks when friends went to all kinds of vacations I worked back at home to make sure that I had money to live on.

I'm not saying that I haven't traveled. I had the good fortune to make time and travel all over the world. What I am saying is that when a person has been pushing their self for so long and now there is no really good reason to do it, what is there to do?

I lost a job that I hated. But I still lost a job. And now without a job I don't know what to do with my day or with my life. I am lost.

I went to four and a half years of college. I should have a career. Instead what I have is no direction or idea on where to go next or how to move forward. In college the classes you take don't matter. It only matters if the department takes the time to teach you where to apply, how to apply, and to prepare you for the future outside of college. I took the required classes, I got the grades to prove that I am capable. What I didn't get, like so many college graduates struggle with, is knowing what then to do with my degree. How to get the job, or even how to prepare for that job that you might enjoy.

How many of us are out there that graduated and now are working dead end jobs that they hate? I bet more than you think. A college degree is starting to turn into a high school diploma, a dime a dozen. It doesn't matter if you have the degree, only if you know how to use it.

It leads me to ask---Where was the college credit on that?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the unemployment office and website aka DOOM

Today I filed for unemployment (I also did keep up with my previous claim and watched a movie to pass my time) and it was hell. I know that this nation currently has a 12% unemployment rate, on the news they said that really means 17%, either way it is HIGH. You would think with this many people needing to file and check their unemployment claims it would be an easy process to get through. Wrong.

There I am googling on the web "unemployment office pittsburgh pa" and I get a list of agencies that are temp agencies. Does the PA Department of Labor and Industry (which I did later find out by making a call to a friend) come up in my search? The answer is no. With unemployment at this all time high I think that maybe they are just hiding the website so that it takes longer for people to actually file and to frustrate them into possibly not filing a claim. If someone can't find the website to file, then in the eyes of the government they still must be employed.

I get through the web forms. That part was really easy--oh except for it freezing twice on me and me having to restart it, twice. Then at the end of the form it says what days I have to call and all that. Problem, while I am no longer employed by the dreaded employer, I am still on the books until February. I need to figure this out and so I sent an email to the Department regarding my questions because it says

"We encourage our customers to send us feedback on how well these services are being provided and/or functions are being performed. If you want to make a general comment on UC services or if you have UC questions not covered by the information available on this Web site, please e-mail: uc-news@state.pa.us."

Please make note of the italicized bold line. If there are questions not covered by the information available email. I knew that getting on the phone would be a pain so emailing suited me, in my generation anything on the web works.

This is my email back, "This will respond to your e-mail.
This e-mail site is not a UC Service Center and is for general UC information.
You should call 1-888-313-7284 and speak with a UC representative. The UCSC hours of operation are M-F 7 am - 8:30 pm and Sunday 7 am - 2:30 pm. Monday and Tuesday are the busiest days. You should continue to try until you are successful."

UM... Did I read the it wrong? I thought for questions you could email that email address. Guess I was wrong. Another way for them to halt the process of the unemployment checks.


Back to the website I go to find the numbers. I go to call the information line listed on the website.

1.888.313.7284

The first number I tried calling 10:06 a.m. Busy and hung up on me

1.717.787.3547

The second number (I didn't know which one worked at the time of me calling, I kept trying both) 10:07 a.m. Busy hung up on me.

This pattern repeated until 12:38 p.m when I used the first number listed above and actually got through. You have to press #1 and then #5 when it answers. There I was so excited to get through and have this question answered. But I underestimated "the system".

"Your call will be answered by the next available representative. Estimated wait time (a pause for dramatic effect) 40 minutes."

Seriously.

I waited about seven until the prompt told me that if I put my number in the phone by pressing #1 that they will call me back. I did this not expecting anything because the prompt also added that it could be answered the next business day. My call came at 1:19 p.m. and when I answered the lady on the other end was wonderful.

Granted I think my salutation of, "Oh sweet Jesus it actually worked," put her in a laughing mood. She told me that the web filings won't be in the system until the next business day, and that I will have to call back on the 5th to tell them that I am off the books. Very efficient and very helpful. I wish I would have gotten her name to give her a praise or a shout out.

Now I know, just leave your number if you need to know anything, they will get back to you. I wait now til the 5th and see what problems that will eventually bring up.

Until then, keep me in mind for any jobs. I can handle waiting.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Laided off--out of work: Day 1

So, here I am in my bed, again for the second day in a row. What have I've been doing? Panicking? Crying? Pulling my hair out in frustration? Nope, none of the above. For the past two days (barring the night I spent hunched over the toilet--care of my sister Francesca) I've been watching movies. Yes the crisis of my life, i.e. no job//laid off, I have just spent the last two days watching movies and sleeping.

Until I possibly get over and figure out what I want to do -- go back to school, get a new job, move home, cry, eat McDonald's delicious fried food, I will review at least one movie a day because that will at least validate me being in bed without any direction in life.

1.) Bedtime Stories--

imdb.com says that this movie is a, "A family comedy about a hotel handyman whose life changes when the lavish bedtime stories he tells his niece and nephew start to magically come true."

I am going to admit wholeheartedly that yes, I did watch this without my two year old nephew sitting next to me as an excuse. I like Adam Sandler for some reason (maybe I was dropped on my head as a child) and its not like I don't have the time.

For a kid's movie it wasn't as jam packed with attention grabbing action as I thought it would be. the plot moves along but it isn't stunning. Adam Sandler (Skeeter the main character) plays the same Adam Sandler parts as usual. It was nothing new or exciting. The same people that freckle his other movies make their display in this one, just like usual. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.

I like one line in the movie when he states, " in real life there are no happy endings." This comes up twice in the movie. I was shocked that it actually was said. I rewound my Netflix just to make sure that I heard it right. I think for once this might be the saving grace of kids movies! Maybe it is that I am cynical, but I loved when this line (or as close as I can remember) came up twice. "Look around you Wendy (Courtney Cox) do you see any happy endings around here?" This is a great lesson for kids. Enough of the Disney movie endings with the fairy tale prince rescuing everyone. This is real life and in real life there are no happy endings. Good for you Adam Sandler make that stand!

Then he ruins it by saving the day--making his previous claim invalid. Either way the movie was cute in a little kid has their hero saving the day cute. The main character got the girl that he wanted, as well as the job he wanted, became closer to a family he had previously distanced himself from and now all is well in the world and we can sleep easy at night.

I don't think I would watch it again barring my nephew wanting to see it. But for a family movie it works out pretty well. And for even the most cynic of people it has the effect of bringing a smile to ones face.

The hamster is pretty cute too.