And now the waiting…

by Janie Jones

I have filed all my paper work for school. Now I wait to be “accepted.”

I have filed all my paper work for “displaced worker training assistance.” Now I wait to see a financial aid counselor, complete a FAFSA and then find out if I get Pell Grants, University Grants, and the displaced worker training aid.

I have applied for “state” health insurance. It takes 30-45 days to process. Don’t worry, if I get in a car wreck or contract some deathly illness between now and then, when, and if, the insurance is approved, and I pay all my premiums, if I can afford them, the insurance may back date for 3 months prior and cover my previously incurred medical bills. Yeah, and NObama wants us to have gov’ment health care. The endorsement from the (barely) functioning gov’ment programs already in place sure sells me on that concept.

I have applied for unemployment insurance, but I have to wait 3-4 weeks for the gov’ment to actually accept the fact that even though I worked for an educational institution, I wasn’t actually a teacher or seasonal worker before I get my unemployment money.

And, brilliantly enough, because I’m divorced and have a kid, if I apply for food stamps they review my ex’s income to make sure he’s paying me enough child support and no matter what we have already arranged they want to automatically seize what “they” feel is appropriate child support funds from his paycheck and put it into a special bank account which I can only access by a debit card, and if I don’t access it at least 1 time every 121 days I get charged a $2 inactivity fee. You should see the list of fees for using the card for anything but cash at the issuing bank and for store purchases. They can even charge you an overdraft fee if you don’t keep close enough track of your balance and over spend your child support. What ever happened to good old fashioned check payments? I said, um, I don’t need food stamps that badly to f@%k up the perfectly amicable and more practical arrangement I have with my ex. Thank you gov’ment for sticking your nose in a place it don’t belong.

I have long had schizoid-esque internal arguments about opening my life to government aid. It’s a two edged sword. On one hand, I have to debase myself and allow the insensitive asshole robot droids that pass for “civil” service personnel to probe the most intimate details of my life and pass judgment on whether or not I deserve aid and now much– and don’t you believe for a minute that there are actually black and white rules about who qualifies. I have first hand knowledge that if your “civil” service personnel doesn’t like you, you’ll have everything denied, delayed, and lost regardless of the “rules.” And there is no recourse to expose the negligence and no consequences for fraudulent behavior on behalf of a civil servant. But I also thought, hey, I have been a hard working tax paying citizen all my life, and I deserve to reap those benefits just as much as a crack whore with 7 kids by different dads who’s never worked a day in her life to earn a penny to support herself unless you include the “wages” she earned on her back so she could score some meth. So, if I was eligible, why not. Then I wouldn’t have to feel quite so raped spending $4 a gallon on milk and $4.99 a pound for the good bacon.

Leif asked me if I felt over dressed going into the county aid building in clean professional clothing. I suppose the standard dress code is stained flannel pajama pants, plaid or cartoon print, or torn baggy jeans, grease stained pilly sweatshirt two sizes to big with a peeling, faded sport team logo, or a skin tight tee shirt exposing one’s muffin top. Multiple piercings or tattoos optional, a horde of dirty obnoxious children in tow, mandatory. Angry, whiny, demanding, loud, and uncouth conversation by both the employees and the patrons is a staple. And, don’t overlook the ubiquitous 20 something skinny dude in ghetto attire leaning against the wall of the waiting room with eyes averted trying to look “cool” and “nonchalant” (assuming they even know what nonchalant means), but which is really hard to do when you are just there because the mother of your baby has drug you along and you are totally embarrassed by her shrill annoying voice and skanky attire as she harasses the employees, threatens her hoard of crotch squeezings by the losers she shacked up with before you and berates you for every imagined slight and probably a few you actually deserve in a public place.

No I don’t feel over dressed. I feel human. And, if that makes me sound better than the unwashed masses of public aid society, well, I’m totally okay with that. I’m just here to reclaim some of those tax dollars I’ve paid over the years until I can get my Bachelor’s degree and land a good paying job and go back to paying taxes again so the welfare moms will continue to have a place to hang out with their nasty children and their nonchalant horizontal boogie partner de jour. I absolutely refuse to blend in. And, no matter how hard up I’ve been in the past or may be in the future, I refuse to be seen as, or treated as, one of the unwashed masses. When did having pride become a dirty word?

Seriously, though, it is just me bitching. I knew my lay off was coming and I got my rent and all my obligations for November but my utility bill (which doesn’t come due until the end of the month) paid off in Oct and I have a little put back, in cash of course. And, this is a good time to go to school and get that Bachelor’s Degree I’ve known I should have gotten for a long time. I have quite a few contacts from my old job that will give me an edge, and I’d be 7 kinds of stupid not to take advantage of that now.

Besides, I’m thinking of all the opportunity to bear witness to the stupidity of college life. What blog fodder! should I actually have time to blog.

Waiting sucks.


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