I think I’ll lay the blame for my current state of mind on my stupid sucking-the-life-out-of-me-for-no-money job, my daughter, the ever-delightful Fangette, whose stress level, as a result of applying to four-year nursing programs, writing college essays, and her last-minute decision to continue to play field hockey beyond high school, is about an eleven on a scale of one-to-ten — forcing mine to hover somewhere around twelve, the foolish plantar fasciitis that I have been plagued with and which is making me crankier than usual (just try to imagine THAT!), and, last but not least, the screeching halt that the hovel purge has come to because I have neither the time nor the energy to get back to it in the midst of all this and other bullshit.
Just for shits and giggles, I’ll throw Project Graduation in there, too — add it to the list of the things that are making me crazy at the moment. I’ve got to book the venue, I’ve got to stay on top of the fundraising, I’ve got to figure out the activities — the list goes on and on and on. Luckily, I’ve at least got some folks to help me with this time-sucker. Otherwise, I swear, I’d be getting a DJ and holding it on the football field. I hope it doesn’t come to that.
One would think, though, that here in the 21st Century, in the shadow of one of the world’s largest cities, that I could just organize the Project Graduation stuff on line, wouldn’t one? But, no. I cannot do that. What I can do, what I have done, is I can write emails via websites and wait for a representative to contact me. Sure, why not? I’ve got all the time in the world for that nonsense. And, really, this is all so that they can sell you other things while they have you on the phone — upgrades and such. I don’t want upgrades. I just want to book the damn venue. I want to be able to choose a menu, check off a few boxes, and move the hell along. It’s so annoying, really. I swear I would pay extra to any place that would just make this crap easier. Really, I would.
They should have a “Don’t Bother Me!” package. Everyone should. I have been trying to schedule my daughter’s Senior portrait retakes — of course Fangette is unhappy with the first ones. Can I do that on the internet? No, I cannot. I must spend forty-five minutes on hold — listening, by the way, to John Mayer’s “Room for Squares” album in its entirety. I wasn’t that wild for it back in 2001 when I listened to it on purpose, I’m less inclined to like it as hold music. So, I spent forty-five minutes on hold only to be informed by the “main office” that they could not reschedule my daughter’s appointment.
What they could do, in addition to giving me the number for the local studio (the people who can supposedly help me)– where I was prompted to leave a message that they “guaranteed” would be answered within twenty-four hours (I am STILL waiting for them to return my call — clearly their idea of a “guarantee” and mine are somewhat different) — is that they could sell me a $300 picture package. This is something that the main office could do immediately. So, my choices were to leave a message with their satellite office and wait twenty-four hours (HA!) for them to get back to me or shell out several hundred dollars for pictures that I don’t want. Their response to “Why, in the name of God, is YOUR number on the flyer at school advertising retakes? Why?”, was, crickets. They may have said something after the thunderous silence that followed my query, but I’ll never know. I had by that point hung up and dialed their local studio — the people who are all about guaranteeing things that they have no intention of delivering. I don’t hold out a great deal of hope that I’ll even have the pictures prior to my daughter’s high school graduation.
Did I mention that I’m doing all of this — including working — practically one-footed? Well, I am. I’ve gone to the doctor regarding my foot. Following a cortisone injection, an ultrasound treatment, wrapping, icing, stretching, arch supports, anti-inflammatory medications, several $40 co-pays, and an enormous amount of frustration, this stellar medical professional advised me to “stay off of it”. That’s sound advice for your average office worker or for someone who, I don’t know, sleeps for a living, but it’s not a care plan that I can be compliant with — not without some help from him or from his worker bees.
I explained to him that I would have to be placed on temporary disability in order to follow his instructions as, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. We don’t have any paid sick days where I work. He countered by telling me that when I return in three weeks (THREE WEEKS!) if the pain is still unmanageable then we could visit the “disability thing” (his words). It is a testament to my good nature that I did not tell him to “go suck an egg”. Instead, I calmly explained that I have collected disability twice in my lifetime — once following the birth of my daughter, once following a surgical procedure that required me to keep my head stationary for almost six weeks. In other words, I’m not some gal who’s trying to “milk the system”. I don’t think being put out of work for two weeks and collecting money from a government fund that I have paid into for over thirty years is going to put undue strain on anybody. Working through this pain and inflammation, though, that’s certainly putting undue strain on me. (Not to mention those around me — I can’t speak for them, but I’m sure they’d agree that I’m something other than delightful these days!)
I’m not sure what, exactly, the problem is. It could be that this is what the State requires before they will qualify me for the short-term disability — he wouldn’t answer me when I asked him this very direct question — I suspect that he may not know. It could be that the person who fills out the forms in his office is backed up or out of the office with his or her own malady. He or she could be cruising the Caribbean. I simply do not know.
What I do know is this: I’m giving this exactly three more days. If it doesn’t feel significantly better, I’m going to find a doctor who will do what needs to be done — if that includes filling out a few forms so that I can have the necessary time out of work — while still being able to pay my bills — in order to facilitate the healing process, so be it. If there is another solution that will allow me to work pain-free, I’ll take that instead. You see, I’m not trying to take advantage of Uncle Sam here. Really, I’m not. I just want to feel better. Is that too much to ask?
I’d like nothing more than to crawl into bed now, but I can’t. I’ve got emails to write, essays to read, and messages to leave. And, it would seem, miles to go before I sleep.
photo credit: phone