Archive for ‘The Audacity of Some People’

July 14, 2015

When you just need to blow off some steam, blog it

by Janie Jones

You know. Grr.

Some people just have no consideration for the emotional preferences of others.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

At least right now.

May 11, 2015

You know it is true what they say about the squeaky wheel…

by Janie Jones

So, Stickittoyou U upgraded their software in April.  Of course this creates all kinds of little problems.  The main one is that my summer class starts next Monday and they *still* don’t have the financial aid awards calculated.  This means I’m supposed to start class in a week but I have no real confirmation that there will be any loan money to pay for it.

The website said it would be available May 2nd.  On May 4th I skedaddled on down to the office to politely ask when I could expect to be told how much financial aid I could have.  They said hopefully by the end of the week.

Well the end of the week came and went and still no notification of whether or not I’ll be getting enough loan money to pay for my summer classes.  So this morning, after freaking out about this for the last week, I, the bundle of barely contained hysteria that I am, skedaddle a second time down to the financial aid office and try, with every frayed fiber of my being, to politely say I still hadn’t received any notice of my financial aid for summer.

Well, basically I was told they *might* *maybe* have that info by the end of *this* week.

But, I tried to say, I start class on Monday.  I need to know before then whether or not I’ll have financial aid to pay for it.

To which I’m told that I should just go to class on Monday and if it turns out that my financial aid awards aren’t ready yet, no biggie I don’t have to pay for tuition until June 22nd.

But, I tried to say, if there ends up not being enough financial aid, how will I pay for the class?

To which I’m told I can always withdraw.

But, I tried to say, you can only withdraw for 100% refund within the first few days of summer classes, and what happens if the withdrawal day comes and goes before you get your act together and tell me how much loan money I can have.

To which I’m told then I can petition for late withdrawal due to the late posting of insufficient financial aid.

But, I try to say, even if you approve my petition on these grounds, I don’t *want* to drop the class.  I *need* this class this summer if I want to graduate next spring.  Being forced to withdrawal due to not having enough financial aid will delay my graduation a whole year.

To which I’m told I should get a private student loan.

Okay, I say.  I’ve never had to do that, can you tell me anything about how that works?

To which I’m told I need to find a bank who will give me a loan.  I need to apply and be approved.  I should expect the process to take a week or two.

But, that’s not much help, still won’t know before I have to start class!

To which I’m told, it’s not their fault.

But I say, it sort of is, you are behind on your financial aid calculations you said you were going to have available over a week ago.  If you had told me then to make other arrangements, I would have had more time to look into private loans.  Now it’s too late, and I shouldn’t have to worry about this while I’m supposed to be studying for finals.

To which I’m told they understand but they really have no control over what’s happened and there’s nothing they can do.

I highly doubt that.  But I ask then who I can complain to because this situation is unacceptable.

It seems the main campus down south is responsible for the timing being delayed due to the system upgrade.  They chose to do the upgrade when they did, but no matter when it was upgraded there would always be some department or some system that would be inconvenienced.  I’m told I just have to be patient.

To which I said, I have been patient.  I’ve been a saint.  There is no excuse for this.  Students should have a right to have their financial aid information available more than the Friday before classes start.  And you can’t even guarantee I’ll have it by the end of this week.

Oh, yes.  I’ve been more than patient.  But I’m quite done being patient now.  And you’ll have to excuse me.  I need to leave before I become a screaming, raging mess.

But, once I finished screaming and crying (safely back in the empty lab), I called the science college office and complained.  I called the the Stickittoyou U Chancellor and complained.  I typed a very nasty letter to the editor I considered submitting to both the campus newspaper and the Big City newspapers.  A little later I complained to my boss when he showed up.  I complained to my coworker when she showed up.  By this time I was a little less Incredible Hulk and a little more Bruce Banner, so I went down to the campus bank to inquire about loans.

On my way I complained to my academic adviser.

I then discovered the campus bank doesn’t give student loans.

When I finally arrived back at the lab my coworker asked how it went, and I complained that the bank on the campus didn’t give student loans.

By now this was becoming so ludicrous we both began to laugh.  Me because it masked the steady loss of what little sanity I can lay claim to, my coworker probably because she was afraid not to laugh along with me.

Somehow in all this drama 5 hours had elapsed.  I decided I might as well go home and try to go through the charade of studying for my microbiology final tomorrow.  And, just as I was packing up my stuff, my cell phone rings.

Apparently someone instructed the financial aid office, and my money is on the Chacellor’s office, to call me and give me a verbal notice of what my financial aid would be when they finally finalized the award letters and sent them out at this unknown future date.

Amazing how suddenly they can release this information.  And, they can be very specific too.

So, it turns out that not only will I have loan money available but there will be plenty to go around.  Thank goodness.  You know, I hate having to take out loans for school and living expenses, but it’s the only way.  And, then when you don’t even know if you will have that, it really can put you in a spin.  With that one phone call to give me my information a huge weight lifted.

Now I can move on to panicking about my final.

March 18, 2015

Some people really just don’t get the concept of Spring Break

by Janie Jones

I can’t friggin believe it.

Physics teacher sent out an email notifying all us lucky students on spring break that he’s posted more homework.

Just when I thought I had cleared my to do list of physics for a few days.


March 9, 2015

Mental Health Monday: The Devil is in the details

by Janie Jones

It’s the little things.

And, yes, in general they don’t really make that big a difference, it’s the big picture that matters most.

I’ve been telling myself this for the last 36 hours, over and over again.  Yet, there is something that keeps the feedback loop in my brain playing these little things over and over and over.  I debated mentioning these details, at first I tried convincing myself I was being too nice, and that I should let it go.

But then this morning, half asleep, I get that feeling again.  And, though sometimes we are told that we get hung up too much on details, some details are critical.

Have no clue where this is going?

Perhaps I’ve finally fried that last sanity circuit.  But I just can’t shake the feeling that something is very different in my environment.  Something very tiny that has been altered and even though I can’t quite put my finger on it, most of Saturday night, all day yesterday and already this morning I walk out of my room to the bathroom or the kitchenette and there’s this overwhelming sensation that something is different or missing.  And it’s jarring.  I get this feeling and I have to stop and my brain desperately tries to figure out what it is, but for the life of me I can’t tell.

Now, lest those of you who care really think I’ve gone over the edge, Saturday the landlords were here.  Let’s call them Joseph and Mary.  I mentioned to Joseph that I didn’t know how sump pumps were supposed to work, but I thought it had been running constantly for a few days.  So, Joseph went to look into it and ended up spending almost the whole time he was here in the closet where the sump pump is.  Mary would come in and out of the basement, and while I had homework to do and stayed mostly in my room, occasionally I’d see her carrying things out of the basement.  At one point I came out of my room for lunch and she was wandering around the basement moving a stack of padded stool covers.  Two more times I came out and they were in different places.

Perhaps this doesn’t strike you as odd, but I am a creature of habit.  I’ve been called “Just So.”  I get that change is what drives life, gives it richness, offers opportunity for growth, etc.  But I also need a certain amount of consistency or I lose my marbles.  And, as you all know, I have been riding the Big Kahuna of change these last couple of years.  Please believe me, I have tried to embrace the it-will-be-what-it-will-be-so-keep-breathing-let-it-go-and-keep-calm mentality.  However, I’m not perfect and it is really, really hard to change your genetic programming.  So, try as I might to rise above it, still every little unexpected hiccup in my carefully built reality sets me on edge.

So, Joseph ended up replacing the sump pump and it took longer than I guess they expected to be here and eventually I had to leave to meet Peggy.  Joseph and Mary were gone when I got back, but their legacy lived on.  When I returned my world had changed.

A lamp was on.  A lamp I never use.  It immediately sent my change-o-meter to high alert.  A large bag of used books was propped up in front of the door to the utility room.  The mobile pile of cushions was completely gone.  Some toss pillows were gone.  A rug was on the floor now in front of the sump pump closet.  The big fan I use in place of an exhaust fan when I cook to keep the steam from setting off the fire alarm was gone.  And, my bag of aluminum cans for reselling for scrap aluminum was gone.

It was like a nightmare.  Every time I turned around something else stood out as moved, changed or totally gone.  It was like constantly taking a step and missing and that brief rush of shock.  It’s like the magnetic poles have shifted.  It felt like my home had been invaded, and drove home the horrible feeling that my home, my second skin, was not really mine to control.  I had no say in what happened right under my nose or after I was gone.  It feels totally creepy.

Now, nothing really big happened.  But my detail oriented and highly territorial nature has been affronted.  And the onslaught of finding my orientation shifted makes me feel off balance and slightly violated.  With the exception of the recycling cans, nothing altered was really mine.  But it was part of my mental map, and my static background.  Something primal within me has been spooked by the altered terrain.  Sunday morning when the dawn came in I couldn’t resist the urge to walk through the whole basement (not terribly large) and scrutinize everything.  I found some of the missing stuff.  And, I think I spotted every difference, comparing it like a “hidden picture” game (but not as fun) to my mental map.  But the sense that there’s still something off lingers.  It’s like I’m being haunted by the memory of where things used to be.

For the last 6 months I’ve been trying to get my sea legs back, to feel like this place is home.  To feel safe and content.  Then, just when I think I’m coming to terms with the idiosyncrasies of my new situation, the situation changes.  I had just talked with Joseph about having more privacy, that I would be willing to pay a little extra to ensure the roommates would not have overnight guests down here.  And I was trying to make peace with living here another year or so.  It’s not bad, its price is more affordable than many worse places, and let’s be honest, I love having a garage to park in.  But, I am who I am.  I’m a creature of habit.  I get thrown off by the details.  And, a somewhat less than private arrangement of rooming in a house with 5 other people does not exactly breed the type of calm, consistency the Janie brain craves and thrives on.

And, then there is the recycling which really pisses me off.  It might seem irrational, but it is a carefully considered irritation.  This is the second time they took my cans, it happened once before right after I moved in.  But then it was only a very small amount of cans, I was new, and maybe they thought I was too lazy to take them up to the recycle bin.  I tried not to let it bother me.  But when it happened again, well, really I can’t help but see it as stealing.  I buy the soda, the empty cans are mine.  They represent cash when I save up enough.  This time I had almost a whole garbage bag full.

And it’s not just the cash they represent.  Leif started the routine of having the spud crush them and he’d take her to a place that buys scrap aluminum and let her have the cash.  So, I’ve been saving cans to add to the pot of cans to resell for scrap.  So, while it is a bit of a stretch for most people to understand, to me it was like stealing loose change out of my pocket.  It wasn’t theirs to take.  And, it steals away all my effort through out the last few months thinking about that tradition and the stupid little joy it gave me to continue that process when all my other routines had been lost to twists of fate.

It’s not just about the money for some scrap aluminum, or them taking the things that actually are theirs and rearranging the space.  It’s one more slap in the face to remind me of how much I’ve fallen and how lost I really am with very little to call my own.  A reminder of how much the details can really matter when they aren’t yours to control.  The Devil is in those details.  Having a home, privacy and consistency in one’s life.  Not so inconsequential as details go.

And, now I have to go to campus early to spend two hours counting millions of nearly invisible critters.

February 27, 2015

So far, this is all Friday has going for it

by Janie Jones

So the universe apparently doesn’t want me to have clean clothes.  The washing machine at the farm broke down on me last Saturday, as you may recall.  Yesterday I went to do some laundry in the machines in the house I’m living in in town.  And, lo and behold, the washing machine here wouldn’t run at all.

So, I had some soup, and decided to call it a day early again, in hopes I could wake up this morning returned to my pre-cold vim and vigor.  Or at least be regularly worn out and not sick and worn out.

But the room mate who likes to have guests stay in the extra basement room decided again to have company last night without giving me any notice.  I won’t go into the details, but it interrupted my night and when I did finally fall back to sleep, I slept fitfully dreaming of people barging in on me in all sorts of ways and situations until my alarm went off.

So I am quite glad it’s Friday for Friday’s sake, as I have the weekend off and I can try to rest some more and catch up on the ever present mountain of homework.

But, if we are trying very hard to find silver linings, I can also be glad that today I finished the two boxes of nasty breakfast cereal I bought on sale and have been choking down every morning for the last couple weeks.

See, I don’t always have to complain.  I can find things to be happy about even with a headache, disrespectful roommates, and being broke.

Happy Friday to you, in what ever ways it turns out to be special.

December 22, 2014

When the GenPop can make themselves at home in your house and you have absolutely no say in it, you’ve sunk almost as low as you can go

by Janie Jones

So these people who were visiting the guy from upstairs, they used my bathroom.  Okay.   Just one more lovely thing I have no choice but to accept when you can’t afford your very own house.  Saturday morning the guy in the party was very contrite, apologetic and polite, so what could I do but be polite back?

However, I get home yesterday and there was powdery brownish stuff all over the sink.  I imagine it must have been some sort of make-up and, as really it was on everything, I suppose the lady in the party must have dropped it or it got shook up in her suitcase and it poofed when opened.  I get it.  Accidents happen, making yourself beautiful can be messy.  But, this isn’t a hotel.  I don’t think I should have to clean up after the upstairs guy’s guests.  There was a sponge and some dish soap right there on the counter.  Take a minute and wipe it up dammit, this isn’t your house, and you are imposing on my space.  I didn’t invite you, in fact someone else did without even consulting me and you ruined my night by trying to get in my room and talking at full decibel levels right outside my bedroom door in the small hours of the night.  I do not thank you very much.  So the very least you can do is leave the bathroom as clean as you found it, because I had just cleaned it before I went to work.

And, they threw away the end of a roll of toilet paper and put on a brand new roll.  Well, that was nice I guess, but then I noticed the roll in the trash.  There was still enough paper on it for several more uses.  I guess they don’t mind wasting my toilet paper any more than they mind making a mess in my bathroom and imposing in the space I live without so much as a by-your-leave.

The part that sucks the most is that there is no where else I can go on my budget and do better.  So I have to put up with it all.

December 20, 2014

A question, oh and some very long run on sentences

by Janie Jones

If I tell you that, in the middle of the night, you are sound asleep and are awakened by a thundering herd of footsteps down the stairs adjacent to your bedroom wall and you half sleepily try to block it out figuring it’s the ass who lives upstairs and always uses the kitchenette outside your door and leaves a huge freakin’ mess in it until you then hear the herd stop outside your door, and while talking loudly try to open your bedroom door, if then I tell you I feel awkward and violated and unable to go back to sleep would you blame me?

Certainly I am probably over reacting, but who likes to wake up to a herd of strangers who tried to get into your room and then camped outside it having a nice cozy chat and upon asking them to please not visit there because you are trying to sleep and have to work in the morning, and even though they apologized saying they thought I was gone for the holiday, they tell you that they are going to be sleeping the the landlords spare room right across from you and connecting to your bathroom, that you for some reason now feel like you are the interloper in your own home and can’t stop wondering why they were trying to get into your room especially if they thought you were gone?

Now, here I lie feeling vulnerable and inexplicably miserable, listening to the strangers settle in to sleep across the way and now I just can’t seem to fall back to sleep.  I don’t like surprises, and I don’t like people trying to get in my bedroom and I don’t like having strangers I don’t know sharing my space.  And in the dark of the night, being tired and jarred awake just amplify all the negative, uncomfortable, yucky feelings.