Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sh*t or get off the pot (A cautionary tale)

     I am in a quandry. In August I quit my relatively well paying job because: a) I hated the damn place and b) I thought I might try to write a book. It was brilliant plan. I had enough money saved up that I could afford to spend to spend a couple of months on the couch and a story outline that I think has real promise. What's more, I knew that if properly managed I could handle any expenses. I don't have a lot of bills and my rent is dirt cheap.
     I had planned it to be a green vacation. I missed my youth where I had little to do but pay rent and enjoy myself. I used to love staying up late and sleeping until noon. I used to love not giving a damn about anything except lunch and basketball. There are few things better than that. I needed to untie the stress knots in my neck.
     It started well enough. I had a great drunken trip out of town. Then things went a little sideways. The basketball season was delayed because of a strike. Two trips to the dentist were unfortunate but not impossible to deal with. That took up about a month of my time to resolve. Didn't get a lot of writing done. Gobbled vicodin and laid on the couch. Then there was October. Got high and watched a lot of daytime television. I have never been so relaxed. I didn't get much accomplished.
     Novenber was supposed to be different but, I discovered too late that if you wake and bake it seriously limits whatever daily goals you may have set for yourself outside of: 1) brush teeth 2) eat bowl of cocoa puffs 3) play Bubble Town and Text Twist online until your hand cramps 4) nap often. Then I had to plan for Thanksgiving which one of the best eating/drinking holidays ever invented. There was no point in getting my shit together before then. November was a waste.
     By December 1, my back was against the wall. Not only had I only written about 40 good pages but I had done very little to curb my spending since August. My Amex bills had decreased from an average of $1500 a month to $850 but that is not a victory. I needed a job, fast. I flushed my stash and cut my hair. The hair didn't take long. There is so very little of it. I could easily secure the lead in the off broadway production of You're a Good "Old" Man, Charlie Brown. I put on my game face.
     I had not looked for work since 2003, when the internet was still a novelty, and had never in my life been out of work for more than a month. I assumed I'd print out a few copies of my resume, drive around town handing them out, and then wait for the phone to ring. No problem.
     People don't apply for jobs like they used to where you show up in tie and fill out an application on a clipboard that has a pen attached to it with a string. Everything is online. Everything is click and paste. It is easy to upload your resume. I'd do about ten a day. Of course, this meant every butthole with a computer could do the exact same thing. At least when you had to get in your car and drive to a place it weeded out the losers who were too lazy to wear pants. I knew every application I filled out was being dropped into a gaint bucket and that I had about as much luck of securing a job as winning the lottery.
     Then again, I have always been lucky. After one week I got an interview with an insurance company and landed the job. A week later I passed the state exam and got my license. It was not easy, the test is like the SAT's except you get 17 years to cram your brain full of stuff for the SAT's.
     So, crisis averted, you might assume. Not even close. I had to pay for the test and the license and the laptop I need for presentations and the supplies I need and upgrade my wardrobe from business casual to business proper, all the while bringing in no money because you get paid on commision. Also, there is training which, has been significantly hampered by Christmas week past and New Years week present that I still need to complete before I can actually sell policies. And, rent is due.
     If only I had started my job search earlier. I can't help but think if I had gotten off the pot in November I wouldn't be shitting now. I do miss Text Twist. I had gotten pretty good. At least basketball is back.

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