Thursday, July 24, 2008


I will be alone in my office today
And as of today—am working for 5 cents more than minimum wage.
Bleeding brilliant.
Why am I paid so little? I work for a public school, doing public good, serving the community and whatnot in what is arguably—a cush job. And compared to all my other jobs, it is—truly.
Still, I’m held to a professional standard that can’t be bought on minimum wage, working a limited number of hours with an endless amount of tasks.
It is not my supervisors that I take issue with here—it is the company itself. The college district.
Systems office would see us paid by the minuet. Wonderful, except that we’re capped at 19.5 hours and if you go over that 19.5 by even .01—it ticks off one less time you can do that, one time closer to termination.
You see, if an employee works more than 20 hours a week, they qualify for benefits from the district like dental, health care, sick leave, and so on.
Their choice is, however, to raise the number of employees at reduced rates rather than have a smaller number of more qualified, harder working, more available people.
Rather than a team of 50% of people working at 100% capacity they will take 100% of people at whatever capacity they can manage to muster up.
That is not to say the people I work with are inept—hardly. They are quite able, however they are /not allowed/ to work at their full capacity because of time constraints, because of that cap.
We volunteer to work more hours, to do more jobs, to be here more and we get punished.
So what does this lead to?
No, I won’t stay this extra hour to get the work done because, to be frank—it’ll put me over my hours.
Yes—I’ll stay but only if I can make it worth my while and stay x amount of hours later tomorrow also.
No, we can’t really give you that project because it takes y amount of hours and you are only here for z.
The result is delays in projects, in tasks, in paperwork being done. The result is frustration.
I wouldn’t mind working for 6.60 an hour if I could work more than 19.5 hours without fear of losing my job for—of all things—working too much.
But, to be frank—I do. Honestly, I’d mind that if I was working for 8.40 as I will be in September—oh no the rest of the staff assistants will still be at 6.60, I’m my title will change, giving me 8.40 an hour but still capped at 19.5
Minimum wage is perhaps, one of the worst things that can be done in an economy, second probably only to turning the mint presses on 24/7 or installing a price ceiling.
If we ever combine all three, well…You know in Indiana Jones Temple of Doom when he and Short Round are in the room where the floor and the ceiling are closing in? Yeah.
/end econ rant

So why am I alone in the office today?
Well technically, I'm not. See, I'm in the C building--the full time Art and Preforming Arts professor's offices.
The F building has 3 staff assistants over there at any given time, our Dom, whatever faculty are in today (including the Dean), whatever adjuncts are in and today one supervisor (usually two)

My building though has no one today. All professors are on vacation, my supervisor is on vacation, and most of the rest of the floor is empty.

You know what that means?
Wall charts!! yeah you have no idea what those are, but i am very very good friends with them. Oh yes.

So to work I go.

Monday, July 21, 2008

This past week

I've been sick as a dog.
No, dogs are generally pretty healthy. I've never understood that expression.
Sick as a hospital.
That's more like it.
That latent and then low level lethargy, followed by acute stomach stabs, punctuated by retching.
Sounds about right.

Needless to say, it seems the climax was yesterday when I was literally, once again, unable to stay upright for longer than an hour.
I’m so glad our couch is comfortable.
Still the mix of stabbing, heart burn, and nausea persists. It happens. It will happen again.
Until then I stay away from difficult to digest foods such as dairy, and suspicious ones such as wheat—it’s torture. I love wheat and everything wheat related.
I blame my mother for knowing how to cook and raising me with the beauty of whole grain.
Shit, I forgot to buy an avocado.
Excuse the non sequitur.

But today I felt well enough to weed eat. Yeah. We got an electric cordless weed eater. It weighs about five pounds but is quite powerful. No line jams, no cord pulling, gas guzzling, annoying engine sounds. Just the buzz of trimming. I came back in, took a shower, passed out for a couple of hours. Now I’m awake again and trying to catch up on a bit of work before going back to work.
Still—not very sociable today.
With any luck, I’ll be able to concentrate long enough to do some writing. I’ve been working on my as yet unnamed project and fiddling with TGTD. I’d really like to finish it. Really really really really would. I’m close. I can feel it. So. Freaking. Close.
The question is where and how to end it. Honestly, I’d like to end it at the far point in my mind, but that’s another 20k words easy.
Worth it? Perhaps. Just prepare to hear me whine and moan about it not being done until then.
moan moan moan.

Listening to: Chevelle - Forfeit
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow will be missed

Tony Snow, political commentator, noted journalist, and former White House press secretary was a fixture in my life. As many of you know politics and political science has been a part of my life, and a passion, since I was a child and remains so.
He was a man of integrity, candor, and dignity, and despite your politics you have to recognize that he was passionate and devoted to his work.

He will be missed.

This year is shaping up to be a year of loss, and yes--it is hard to deal with no matter how well you knew or knew of the person.

Listening to: Led Zeppelin - Ten Years Gone
via FoxyTunes

Friday, July 4, 2008

Furgal Fruit

Windfalls are beautiful. I'm no longer worried about my text books! That's all I have to say. <3

I found out yesterday evening that Nathan's GI Bill will expire at the start of September. FUN! What does that mean? $1,200 less a month in our pockets.

Why does this suck?
--Nathan is still in school until November.

--I'm still in school until forever.

--We have a $750 dollar a month rent on top of our other bills and expenses.

--Gas is $4.00 a gallon

-- My text books will total over $300 this semester

--and we still have to do this pesky thing called eating. Have you heard of it? It's a pain in the ass.

The good news:
--Sept 1st I got to $8.40 an hour (though right now my hours are set for me to break even with my current rate...that will hopefully change). If I get to max out my hours I'll be making $100 more a month than I am now. This would be helpful to say the least

--We're supposedly starting a commuter shuttle from Montgomery College (where I work) to SHSU (where I go to school) that would save me an hour and a half of driving on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 160ish miles a week.
Which translates to $25ish bucks a week I'm not spending in gas.
Now--the question is how much will the shuttle cost? AND will it run at times that are doable for me? Tough questions, ones I can't find answers to, which is irksom.

--There is a Subway across the street from my house that should be opening soon, so they're currently hiring. Also, Mr. G would take me back in a heartbeat, I know, but that would mean back to the very stressful and exhausting restaurant setting. I really don't want a second job (let's face it, with dA it would be a third) because I'm taking 16 hours in Junior and Senior classes, but if I have to get one to make ends then I will.

--If we adhere to our strict budget right now then we'll have enough saved to take us through November when Nathan gets out of school and is able to work at a better paying and full time place. Get his career going and all of that.
This budget currently allocates $6 dollars a day for us to eat.

--If I get rid of my storage (ie haul it all home finally) I will save $60 a month, if I put my gym membership on a freeze then I'll save $30 a month. Total: $90 a month saved.

--That 6 bucks a day could lead to some healthy weight loss for the both of us. Not eating is green right?

--If we get my stuff out of storage I can sell some of my books at half price books and get a little extra cash. This would be hard for me...but I have a lot of books that I know I could part with (mostly ones I've scavenged from garage sales and the lot--and i have a /lot/ of those).

--I've got a kidney I'm not really using...

I'm sure that in the end, it will be okay. I'm crazy about budgeting and all of that stuff and so the challenge for me is keeping Nathan at least close to on track. I know it will be hard, but we don't really have much choice.
To say I'm stressed over it, though, would be a huge understatement, especially because my health still kind of sucks, I need a crown, a root canal, and another crown (grand total of $600 smackers. I know! I know!), OH and still haven't gotten an updated Rx for my eyes, let alone new lenses, since highschool! like...SOPHOMORE YEAR.
Also known as 5.5 years ago.

I have a doctor's appointment Monday:
Co-Pay: $30
Rxs: 75, 5, 5, 5...
Gas: $30 (yes, it takes half a tank to get there and back)
Total: $150

/end bitching

/start whining:
Still stuck on the same spot of TGTD. Though I have been revising things at my dA account . Which I hear is healthy.
Honestly, it's one of the last things on my mind currently.
I know, I'm probably over thinking, over stressing, all of that. I know.
I did get through a scene that was tugging at me. I would share it, and I have with a couple of people to get some prelim feedback but I don't think I will tonight as it currently doesn't stand on it's own, it's part of a larger work that I do not think wants to be written chronologically.

I might yet talk it into it...