~Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sometimes life just all around sucks, and this is one of those times

I've been so emo over the past month that I would even venture to admit that I am depressed. Circumstantially depressed.

Six weeks ago Scott decided to leave his job at the bike shop. He wanted a career, something that had the potential for growth, and he was right in that he wouldn't find it at the bike shop. He said he wanted to get back into the restaurant industry where he was a chef. It's crappy hours, but it's a lot more money.

So he called his old contacts and found a position at a local pizza joint. Excited, he took me there for dinner while he hashed out the details with the owner. I was stunned when I stepped foot in the place. It was a shit hole with three tables and a two-man staff. The owner would take the orders and the one pothead in the kitchen made the pizza. It was a Mickey Mouse operation; there was no room for promotion. He'd be leaving one dead-end job for another.

My woman's intuition was sounding off a giant alarm. Which was worse- the devil we knew at the bike shop, or the devil we didn't know at the pizza place? At least his position at the bike shop was stable.

I cut up a nasty, greasy bite with a fork and knife and frowned at it before easing it in my mouth. "You don't like the place," Scott guessed.

He's right, I hated it. I hated that I was sitting by the door and it was cold out and I was shivering from the draft. I hated the size of the place, I hated the location, and I hated that the food was terrible. I hated that my boyfriend would be no better than that pothead in the back.

But I hate telling people what to do because it makes me so blindingly enraged when people try to do it to me. Who am I to tell this person that's not my husband what he should do for a living? What right do I have a say in someone else's day job? Regardless of whatever I think, he should be happy with his work and I know he's not at the bike shop.

I chose my words carefully. "Where do you see yourself going with this job? I mean the only other person who works here is the owner and it's not like you're going to get promoted to that."

"No, I'd have to leave. This is just to get my foot in the door to the restaurant world. Get my name back out there."

I breathed a sigh of relief and let my fears go.

Scott lasted exactly four shifts.

It was totally his fault. He has no concept of pecking order in the workplace. He has issues with authority and doesn't know how to check his ego. And when he asked the owner how she was planning on succeeding at the restaurant with her current practices, he received a text message that expressly told him not to come back.

Gah, I was right about that place.

Now Scott was out of work and going back to the bike shop was not a solution. My paycheck was going to have to carry us both. And just so we're clear, I do not make enough to support two adults in the city. I make about 10 grand short of living comfortably by myself. Before Scott moved in I was on a strict budget of Ramen Noodles and eating spaghetti for four days straight.

Scott says it's stressful being out of work, but even when he doesn't contribute anything to the household, the lights still stay on. I mean, that has to be nice. I say it's much more stressful figuring out how to pay each bill on time and watching your bank account dwindle down to $150 by the sixth of the month while working a salaried job that doesn't pay overtime. I come home from work every day and ask him if he found work. When he says no, I sit on the edge of the bed and cry. "I'm just so stressed," I'd whimper.

"You're stressed? At least you have a job and money coming in!" he'd retort.

He doesn't get it.

This is all going on the same time as my health problems, which frankly might be related. I'm so stressed, I'm probably making myself sick.

And the car problems. I need a new car desperately as my SUV is becoming increasingly unreliable and not helping out the financial situation with its trendy 12 miles to the gallon and increasing gas prices. The check engine light comes on for a week and then goes off for a week, and I need to trade it in before that check light goes on permanently. I'm all ready by checking my credit and saving a down payment, but I can't incur another bill until I know Scott is going to be financially stable. I've lied to him about how much I have saved up for that car. I need that car, and I can't let his unemployment take that away from me.

I'm not going to be that girl who supports her loser boyfriend. When his phone gets shut off from not paying the bill, it's going to stay off. If his bikes go into collections, we're just going to have to pull them into the apartment to not get repo'ed. I'm paying my bills and the house bills. I can't afford to pay his debts as well.

I've become obsessed with keeping the apartment spotless. It's the one thing I feel I have control of in life right now. I typically opt for the "lived in" look, but for some reason I get so angry when I come home from work and see dishes in the sink. I huff and drop my bag and immediately clean while shooting Scott the stink eye.

"I was going to do them, but I only got home an hour ago," he'd offer.

"Well, you leave the house after I do and you get home before I do. It would be nice if you could do these things," I'd say.

"I just got home!"

"No, I just got home! You walked in the door and I still had to work for a half hour. You were on the couch while I battled traffic!"

This isn't me. The old me wouldn't even notice those dishes until Thursday. I changed the rules on Scott and then scolded him when he didn't magically know.

Thankfully, the only saving grace in all of this is that Scott and I aren't fighting when it seems like we have so many things to fight about. We're so close to rock bottom that we're leaning on each other and supporting each other. I certainly haven't painted him in an accurate light today. He isn't sitting at home watching TV and eating Cheetos while I slave away. He goes out every day and looks for work. We wrote his résumé together. He was there for me 1,000% when I had my biopsy, counting his quarters to scrape enough money together to buy me a box of Popsicles to soothe my throat. He called all of my family and gave them the updates when I didn't feel like talking. He rubs my back while I sob about the stress.

It's just a lot of stress right now.


Tilly said...

Whoa, Sarah. This is heavy. A heavy load. My thoughts are still with you. But I am so glad that you are leaning on each other to get through this tough time. Together.

la femme said...

I wish I had a magic wand for you. I would wave it and make it all go away.

Single Girl said...

So sorry to hear you're going through a rough time right now. Hopefully Scott will find a job soon and things will get better. Just keep your head up and remember that things can only go up. And I'm here if you ever need someone to talk to!

chickpea said...

Wow, I feel for you, I can only imagine the stress that you are under right now. Has Scott considered a temp position for the time being, so that he still has money coming in?

I don't think you're being unfair to expect the dishes to be clean when you get home from work. It seems that Scott didn't really think out this career change, and it sucks that as a result, you have to worry and stress.

Keep your head up, breathe, scream if need be! If things get really bad, set up a PayPal account. I know I would gladly send $20, which isn't much, but might be just enough to maintain sanity!

Raj said...

Sorry to read about the tough times you are going through. And I know from my own experience that words cannot cover it. All I want to say is 'this too shall pass'. take care and hang on!

Cara said...

Oh my good gosh hun, that is so sad. You are so strong to keep going, to keep paying the bills, keep going to work, keep looking after the health, when in addition to these desperate money worries, you have potentially serious health concerns on the horizons.

I salute your bravery and stoicism so far. I know you probably feel weak and weary but you are STRONG, remember that. You have gotten through tougher times and you will get through this.

I wish I had not blown my money recently, I could have sent you about $200. I know that wouldn't help much, but I am sure it could get some groceries.

I am so sad for you.

Do you have paypal? Please email me if you do. I wanna discuss something with you.



SuvvyGirl said...

It definately sounds stressful. I am one of those people that want to be sure footed about something before I dive in. And being around someone that would leave one job on hopes for another would just bug the hell out of me. Wanting a career is great, but the whole process could have used a bit more thinking/planning on his part. But I'm sure he will find something. It's a big city.

And we all have to vent sometimes. :)

Paige Jennifer said...

I don't think stress makes us sick but I do think it has the ability to trigger the bad shit lurking within us. My dad, the one who's had a rare neuro disease for 25 years, believes this too. So try to unload some of your burdens. Please. I'm begging.

And because I'm 1/2 Sicilian and 100% Jewish, I'm allowed to speak my mind. Therefore, tell Scott I would like to suggest he walk his ass over to Starbucks or Barnes & Noble or Old Navy and get a job of some sort until other things, better things, come through. It may be minimal but at least it contributes something to the dwindling pot.

Cara said...

Sarah, I was just thinking of you again. I know you dislike unsolicited advice, but hear me out please.

I read think Paige Jennifer has a point. He should take whatever job comes along now, screw the 'career' dreams.

And then once he's got a job, he can consider enrolling in an evening school for a chef apprenticeship class. This way he gets to work on his career and earn a living at the same time. I don't know much about such a course but I found this website:


Peach said...

that's a lot for anyone, you're doing great, even if you don't feel like you are, you really are

Anonymous said...

I think as long as Scott is in your life .. you will always be stressed.

Lpeg said...

Wow, Sarah, I'm sorry. I know how hard it is to make a living in our industry, as I am in the same boat, but I can't even begin to fathom trying to take on another adult to take care of besides myself. Add your health, and.. wow.

You're being strong, and at least he is looking for a job and supporting you mentally, even if he can't bring in any finances at the moment.

Dora said...

I too am sorry to hear about all this financial stress. I know exactly what its like! Please try your best to block it off and think that tomorrow something will come up!! Big hug!!!

kristin b said...

you're going to get through this.
and you'll be stronger because of this.
i just want to let you know that i'm thinking about you.

AmyD said...

Uh...no wonder you're sick!! :o( Something has to give, Sarah, and it shouldn't be you (AGAIN). I know you know this, but you are seriously going to end up in the hospital if something doesn't change. I definitely think Scott can find a subpar restaurant job to keep you afloat...I really hope he does soon, so this added stress doesn't do more damage to you. Hang in there and try to take some time for YOU and ONLY YOU when you get home from work. GOOD LUCK!! (((HUGS)))

Diane Mandy said...

I'm so sorry. I hope Scott will find a job and pull his weight soon. You've got enough stress in your life.

thenextfish said...

Wow that pizza place sounded like hell! I hope Scott finds work soon and the load eases a bit. Glad you're setting boundaries and not leeting 'your' dreams get eroded by his longer-term problems. Sending good vibes.

>*;* said...

Whoa just hearing what your going through makes me admire you. Your strong sweetie and I think your handling it wonderful.

I'm sending wishes of sucess to scott... I'm glad he's being very proactive at finding another job.

Anonymous said...

Big hugs, sweetie! Hang in there!

dont eat the token said...

I'm proud of you for sticking to your bills alone. It's tough to not lend when that person lives with you.

I hope that Scott can believe in himself enough to get a better food industry job, one that he can grow and learn in.

You are strong, you will heal.

treacle said...

Hang on in there babe. All of us are thinking, praying and keeping everything crossed for you. xxx

nicole said...

i'm so sorry about the rough time you've been going through. it feels like everyone i know is going through some tough times, especially financially. add medical problems/concerns on top of that, and i think you are holding things together better than i ever could. i hope things start to go up for you!

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you're going through a lot and trying to cope with it on your own. Is it worth trying to talk to him about how broke you guys are getting? Boys are usually terrible with working things like that out for themselves.

Regular Girl said...

Urgh - what a crappy situation! I'm sort of wondering why Scott isn't going to a temp agency, or to any and all retail stores to take any kind of work he can. Seriously. Doesn't he realize how stressed this is making you?

Anonymous said...

Regardings your SUV problems.....

If the Check Engine light is on, but the SUV is running fine it is most likely either a faulty gas tank cap or a gunked up injector.

Many of the bigger auto parts chains (Autozone, for sure) offer to check for free the exact code that caused the check engine light. They'll plug their sensor into the slot under the dash and it will tell them what is causing the problem.

A new gas cap can be bought for under $10; same goes for a bottle of fuel injector cleaner.

While you are at it, the cheapest thing you can do to make sure your SUV doesn't up and die is to check the oil and make sure to keep a spare quart or two on hand.

Hope this helps.

Sarah said...

Thank you... the light has officially been on for a week and there is no problem driving it. I'll take it to Autozone this weekend :)


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