pretty much everyone remotely close to me is aware to some degree or another of the CRAP through which i've been dragged the past four months, as well as the INTENSE, but not bad, other things that went down during that time, all mixed up in the holidays, with friend and family birthdays numerous indeed to finish it all off.
i am on unemployment (along with nearly 5% of the able to work populace, the highest rate in my lifetime). yesterday i received three letters from the prestigious tennessee department of labor and workforce development. they are all form letters, but each is slightly different in a ridiculous-to-the-point-of-hilarity type of way. they all state that i was HIRED (not fired, mind you) on december 12th, 2007. but, each states that i was HIRED by someone Different, though they all share the same date. furthermore, two of them say that my former employer, the one who laid me off in the first place, mind you, hired me- but one is the real name associated with this person, and one is the "name" associated with this person. i assumed it was his "people's" mistake, since they f'ed me so hard through the lay off process, until i saw the last letter. the third, i believe, is from the acting school at which i subbed some classes for Emily in the fall, and for which i was paid by the hour as a temp, and was Never HIRED. they have changed ownership, and i've not even stepped foot in the school since october, and those earnings were reported, as necessary, to the labor department. the letters state that i'm being audited and that they believe i have gotten benefits i don't deserve, and that basically, this amounts to fraud. i am under investigation. also, i have seven days to respond to this letter, which was dated thursday. it arrived friday. then add saturday, sunday, and monday (a holiday for the government, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day [observed]). by tuesday, i'll have two days left. this is no good.
needless to say, this freaked me out quite a bit. granted, i have not been hired by anyone to the point of losing my unemployment, and especially not by the very person who put me in this position in the first place. there is contact information at the end of each letter, and i called the appropriate number several times and left a message. the day was growing short (all government buildings here close at 4.30pm sharp), so i decided to just go down to the office and see if i could find this lady to whom i've been assigned, or someone else who could help me, since she had not answered her phone or returned my call.
now it gets Really HILARIOUS.
i have been to the unemployment office before. Erin was kind enough to accompany me when i first got on unemployment, because, and i know this is shocking, the letters about signing up for unemployment were confusing, and i was unsure as to what i was supposed to do next. but it was a surprisingly easy trip- i expected long horrible lines of incompetence DMV style, but there was No One there. and i mean NO ONE. apparently, most people deal with unemployment over the phone or internet these days. we had, no joke, six people helping us lickety split. i hoped this trip would be similar. i double checked the address on ALL of the letters, and headed downtown to the Davy Crockett building (yes, it is). i arrive, to find out that the labor department has moved. in november, people. last time i checked, the proper order of things to do when one moves is 1- move. 2- have heat and lights turned on. 3- change one's bloody address, letterhead included! i showed the letter to the security guard who was trying to tell me i was in the wrong place, and who thought i was a total idiot, who gave me another address and a phone number. i called the number while on the way to the other building in metro center (oh, joy of joys!), and was greeted with, 'hi, you've reached Chrissy's voicemail, please leave a message." great. i get to the building, and am put through a series of security checks to even call up to the office to have someone come down and get me. eventually, and with me joking around with the Four cops in the lobby, this happens. a nice lady comes and gets me. i explain it to her, she sends me to another nice lady. i explain it to her, she sends me to another nice lady. i explain it to her, she sends me to a nice man. i explain it to him, he sends me to a another nice man. he takes me to another nice lady. they tell me i am in the wrong building- the audit department is in fountain square. and this point, i started to laugh hysterically. i tell them the whole story, explain about the two names same person thing, show them the letterhead, and tell them about my little excursion. by this time, i will not make it to the other building by 4.30, and can do nothing until tuesday. however- those last two people were more than helpful and gave me the correct place to which i should go, the correct numbers, and then gave me their own to call if i get nowhere on tuesday, with the promise that they will help me themselves. i also knew i'd done everything within my power that day, and had at least attempted to fix things within the seven day period as instructed (it does not say seven business days, for the record.)
i then went home and was very upset. it is a hard place to find oneself when you realize you can't take anymore and you don't care whether you can or not. that's bad. so i gave myself a tarot reading. my card for my birthday (everyone has one) is the tower, which fits me well. it indicates upheaval and major changes that are neither good nor bad, but affected by one's attitude and the way one chooses to respond- the tower will fall whether one is stubborn or accepting. it's usually a depiction of a tower being struck by lightning and starting to fall over. some people are falling out of it, while others watch from afar. it also means release and a chance for rebirth. here's a weird cat version i found online.
in my reading, the main cards i threw were the emperor, the four of swords, the hierophant, and the world, in uniform direction (meaning they faced the same way, when cards go the same way, they are connected, when one is upside down and another is not, it's called being ill dignified, and can change what the cards indicate. it's a little complicated, sorry.).
these images are not from my deck, except the first and last. the emperor, in this case, indicates needing to actively heal and counsel oneself as one heals and counsels others, as well as trusting the universe to take its course and care. the four of swords indicates withdrawing after strife to heal and order one's life. the hierophant is the seeker of knowledge and wisdom. the world is the manifestation of 'what goes around comes around' and is about purpose and fulfillment (in the good sense, and in the of-one's-destiny sense) and i came to the following conclusion...
i choose to be positive.
that will be the difference that sets this event apart from the other events of the past four months. granted, this incident is small in size when compared with the others which lead to it, but this is the turning point, because i am choosing to change the only thing over which i have power- my own attitude. i have long said that i know i am lucky in that i am not alone, starving, or cold (although, it feels like 17 degrees out right now) in the long-term-life-threatening sense. but i realized that that isn't really focusing on the positive in my own life- it's focusing on the bad parts of someone else's who has it worse than i do. that's not constructive and will get me nowhere. so i am focusing on loved ones, fat cats, and good times. i went to the gym and worked my butt off, and i'm going to watch 'uncle buck' and dream of pancakes so big you need a snowshovel to flip 'em. Erin is coming to visit, and we're going to have some fun.
i feel better already. thank you to everyone for your love and support.