Where to begin . . .
Let's start with the phone call. It was 15:17. I have this talking watch. I push it when I do things. I know things like the exact time I called. It's a blind thing. I called the hotel asked for a ride. The desk manager started out with "We'll be right . . . " and was interrupted with "Wait, I wanna go . . ." abruptly cut off as by a hand over the mouthpiece. "We'll be there in 20 minutes," was the way we left it.
At 15:46 still no ride. This has been typical for the last two weeks. I think the driver changed shifts or something. I haven't been picked up but once earlier than 16:00. For the entire month of July, I never called at all, someone was always there at 15:30 to pick me up. Things have changed. Couldn't they just say "Because of the change in staff," or perhaps "Because of the shift change, we can't pick up until 16:00." I mean would that be hard? I could find things to do until then better than waiting in that frequently hot and generally stinking lobby for half an hour for a ride that just isn't going to come when promised.
At 15:46 I bolted up to the second floor, out the back door and took off for the hotel. I was expecting a 16:00 phone call that was actually important. It was from my boss's boss Merl. I needed to talk to him about my job.
I hurried to 29th street and made the crossing without dying. I think I did it safely. I didn't die. That's safe right? I crossed Main in the same fashion. I didn't die.
I am absolutely convinced that I will die crossing a street. This business of listening to traffic to figure out when it is safe to cross is just plain insane. It may be the accepted method. It may be used safely by thousands. I'm going to look up the statistics on the relative number of sighted to non-sighted incidents that involve being pancaked in intersections while jaywalking.
Travelling Main from 29th to the Residence Inn was interesting. Just South of the bus stop there is some construction. Piles of cement blocks or big bricks or something blocked the sidewalk. I barrelled along, encountered them and tried to go around. This involved going into the street. Some construction guy shouted "Get that guy!" as I stepped down. I expected a bell clanging and a bunch of Keystone Kops to come rushing up. I also expected an oncoming car any second. I bolted. Got back on the sidewalk between piles of bricks, and stared around.
There was no problem, he was just concerned.
Once past the blocks . . . I made it to the hotel at 15:59. Damned good time all things considered.
My phone call was on time. Merl called me. The call was quite genial and utterly devastating. Basically, there's no job for me in Systems. Systems means the programming portion of Medicaid. Merl proposed some alternatives in the other portions of the organization, things like answering the phones, working with customers, doing verifications of insurance liability, that sort of thing. Merl hadn't any details, but it is basically a clerical sort of job from the description. Clerical or maybe administrative. I'm not sure of the parlance. My salary would go to hourly, a re-classification very hard to undo. Probably around $8-10 per hour. That's a 70% pay cut give or take a few.
The promising part of the whole thing was that he was willing to help me find some position. I guess my salary is a sticking point. I'm highly paid for this neighborhood. Merl was open to helping me find something in Tampa. I would enjoy going back there but I don't think my family would do that. I am pretty sure my mother would not be able to make the move. She has few friends. I would be removing her from them all. I don't think my sister could move either. Would move.
I'm not sure I could make the move myself. Much as I hate Missouri I don't think I have enough of me left to change venues again. I've been disentigrating for a while. There's just not enough left to go through it all again.
It is pretty devastating information. I feel like I've got little value in the world anyway. About all I can contribute to my family and the world around me is my paycheck. That just took a 70% hit. That hurts. I don't know if that salary would pay my fundamental bills even if nothing changes. I was really in a spiral last night. I picked up a kitchen knife and checked out the blade. I put it away because it was serrated and looked messy. What kinda world is it where your continued existence is predicated on the fact that hotels supply cheap knives?
Time to get out and pound the pavement. Hot Jobs, Dice, Monster and alla y'all just you look out! I'm posting.
I've gotta talk to Sheila today. The day at Alphapointe is going to suck. I wonder if Katherine will say "I told you so" in some fashion? That, by the by, would amuse rather than bother me.