That's not what the Death card means

If belief in Satan is predicated on belief in God
written 2013-09-11 17:41:57

Work has gotten scarce in my line of work - the temporary attorney biz, the doc reviewer line, the coding schtick - and as a result I've gotten grim and surly enough to want to write in this space again.

I cannot remember any HTML tags. Please do not be offended at how plain-- heh, it's a white screen with text. If you wanted formatting, you'd be... well, anywhere else, right now.

So two weeks ago, they write to me and say "Heslin, you want some work?" and I say "Heck yeah, I can work," and they say "Cool, don't call us, we'll call you." And then about a week later they call again, and say "Can you come in tomorrow morning?" And I say, "Well, I would, but I'll be on a place to Alabama tomorrow morning. Thanks for being so timely about inquiring if I wanted work."

That's the nature of the business, though. It might be hours from now, it might be three weeks from now, and it might go from "Definitely happening" to "The clients settled, there won't be a project after all" in the course of days, if not hours. "I'm available" means what the tense implies: I'm currently available. You didn't ask about later this week, or next month, or the weekend in November when I'll be Quebec City. You asked about now. Don't bitch when I happen to be in Alabama when you decide to get off your ass and offer me a gig.

And so but then last week I got a short-notice call for work. Thursday night inquiry for Friday noon training (italics to indicate contempt), with the laughable "Can you work this weekend?" No, doc review guy, I can't work this weekend, because I have friends coming over, and football is starting, and why the REDACTED would I want to work on the weekend? Yes, I'm technically unemployed and yes, the WASP work ethic drives me to flagellate myself whenever I'm not working, but you know what? You need more than just shitty, unfulfilling, no-options hourly wage-paying crap in order to live. Dum vivimus, vivamus!

Okay, I'm getting a little crazy with the HTML tags. I reverse apologize.

So they told us we'd get 50 hours of work. I did 5 on Friday, so I'm planning on four ten-hour shifts this week and a short Friday (which would pay OT time-and-a-half, yes, please). Important contextual note about doc review: Project managers lie. They lie like rugs. Like snakes. Like people with pathological truth issues. Liars, every one. Yesterday (25 hours in) we were told we'd finish the work today, Wednesday. Note, this total is not 50 hours, and certainly has not reached the overtime mark. FOUL PROJECT MANAGERS. Curse their names.

So today my plan was to work nice and slow, spend some time working up a business card for my new professional service, "A White Guy Listens To Your Problems," and then clock out. Make a little extra bank despite their efforts to keep me down, like the sheriff in that Bob Marley song. Guess how that worked out? The only other person on this project -- literally, there were two of us -- burned through all of his work too fast, and the project manager told him to take half of my work away from me.


So, yeah. Home early, middle of the week. Waiting to hear on some other project that is currently started but not happening, or something? Disqualified from unemployment by 5 hours last week and 25 hours this week. Bank account real, real low. A check that I was supposed to get some weeks ago still regretfully undelivered.

Is... is this the part where I whine? Yeah, I'm still not in a great position for self-pity. I'm lying around in the air conditioning, running errands for Ingrid, getting hassled by Abby. I got a copy of Red Mars, so I can start rereading the trilogy again, and I'm getting close to finishing my reread of Infinite Jest, which is on my phone. For those of you who don't know, Infinite Jest is one of those huge self-indulgent books that book nerds haul around so everyone can see what a huge book nerd they are -- and it fits on my phone.

Living in the future is so great. This future particularly.

--5:37 PM EDT, 9/11/13, Philadelphia, PA, "It's about to get real / I'm kind of a big deal", Tribe One

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