Three Years Ago Today

Pic of the day:  Man at the Press, by Constantin Meunier.  Printing, before the copier made it a truly shitty job.



Some men worship rank, some worship heroes, some worship power, some worship God, & over these ideals they dispute & cannot unite — but they all worship money.

Mark Twain


Three years.  It was three years ago today.  It was three years ago today, on March 9th 2009 that I lost my job, that has turned my life upside down.  I am in a better place in some very important ways.  My career has a better trajectory then it did back then.  Back in 2009 I had been working in copy centers for the better part of 22 years, and had moved up in rank once.  Once.  And that move put me on the weekend shift, where I no longer had weekends free to be with my wife, family and friends.

And then they took overtime away. And then they started getting rid of people.  And then it was my turn to get cut.

It took me a year to find my way back to a real job, even though it was a temp job.  In a line of work I had not even imagined existed.  Completely at random I decided to send in a resume to Sotheby’s in late February 2010, for a job I had no experience in whatsoever.  Surprisingly, they responded and they liked me, enough to bring me on and give me a try.

Best thing that ever happened to me work-wise.  They were a truly great bunch of people who looked out for each other, who really cared about the job and about how it got done.  I hadn’t seen that in… frankly I’m not sure I had ever seen it.  It was life changing.  After working  for people whose work no one ever cared about on any level for money that most would not ever accept, it was great to see people work as hard and as much, and want to be there, and see people make a decent living doing it, around me, showing me that I could be in that boat too.  It was amazing.

But the amount of crap, pain and suffering caused by my termination on this day 3 years ago I will not soon forgive or forget.   I had some money, but not much.  I could not save the way money was coming in at that point, so when the job disappeared, so did my capacity to stand on my own two feet.  I had unemployment, but as anyone who has been on unemployment knows, it isn’t enough.  It just isn’t enough to live, not in the real world.

I watched my bank account dwindle to nothing.  I had to file for bankruptcy, with repercussions that has negatively affected my wife’s credit as well as my own.  I have bounced around jobs trying to land somewhere permanently.  I worked five jobs in 2011, three the year before that.  My wife and I have not had health insurance of any kind since October 2010.  And she has been sick a few times.  She can’t go to the local hospital anymore because she has no insurance and owes them too much money. We had no cash to pay even the small amount they wanted.  They won’t accept her at all.

I get no medical coverage with my current job, so still no luck on that front.

A short aside, I call it medical coverage and not benefits for a reason.  For the amount they cost, it is more an insurance scam than benefits, even if it helps defray some costs.  How can you call dental insurance a benefit if you pay $50 a month into a plan that pays for 40% of a procedure that costs only a few hundred dollars?  How can you call medical coverage a benefit if you still end up paying thousands of dollars in bills even though you pay several thousand dollars a year?  It isn’t a benefit, it’s a charade that masks a pyramid scheme with you at the bottom.

The job I am at now, while it is great, is not perfect.  I am a freelancer, meaning if they need me I make money, and if they don’t need me, I get nothing.  I worked two days this week.  I worked two days last week. That is not enough, that will never be enough.  I need this job to go permanent, and soon.  If it doesn’t I will have to start looking for full time work.




That’s it from here, America.  G’night.


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