Day 147 — Dysfunction as Function

LifeIf you’re like most unemployed people, you look forward to the weekend even more than you did when you had a job.

Come Friday at 5 o’clock, you are officially normal, and will continue to be normal until Monday morning at 9.

Sure, you had a grueling week filling out online job applications, but should you take the weekend off or keep plugging away?

When you were working, you gave up your weekends for special projects and deadlines, right?  Isn’t this a crisis, too?

I started out feeling ashamed to be unemployed. It’s been more than half a year since I was laid-off, and I still feel ashamed, though less so because my dysfunctional life has become my functional life, and my small temp job keeps me from going bonkers.

I know that unemployment is a society-wide phenomenon, and I’m mortified that I no longer have a place in the world other than to bang out online job applications.

In the beginning, I had been very careful about who I shared my shameful secret with. My parents know, as do a handful of my best friends. But I don’t want any of the parents at my kids schools to know I don’t fit into the work world because I’m afraid they’ll think I no longer fit into the school community, either.

But being ashamed seems to be the least of my problems. I tread water every month when the bills come due. I’m never quite sure I’m going to make it, and I’ve had to put off major hip replacement surgery because my former employer axed me right as I was contemplating my surgical options.

These days I’m mentally and physically exhausted, and I feel a wave of change about to wash over me as Labor Day draws near. My children will return to school. While one can walk, the other needs to be driven, and I’m still without a car.I don’t know if the people we carpooled with last year want to continue since they had to let us use their second car, and I’m sure they’re getting tired of that.

I also have school forms to fill out and can’t get the attention of Georgetown University Hospital to send them to me. Yesterday, I finally called patient advocacy to let them know that I couldn’t get pediatric records to fill out my kids’ health certificates. I have been trying to get the hospital’s attention on and off since July. They also need dental appointments.

To top it off, my kids were scheduled to fly home from Las Vegas yesterday, but Delta Airlines wouldn’t let them board because their connecting flight back to Washington, D.C., was the last flight of the day.

The airlines has a rule that if the connecting flight is the last flight out, unaccompanied minors can’t fly on the theory that they’d be stuck in an unfamiliar city if something prevented the plane from taking off. Delta doesn’t want to take responsibility for your kids in a situation like that.

I pleaded with Delta to route them another way, even into another airport in the area but to no avail. Then, a gate agent threatened to call “the authorities” to take my 10 and 12-year-old away if their aunt didn’t come pick them up to take them back to her house. They finally got the kids on a red eye, arriving this morning at the airport in Baltimore.

My older son sent my ex a text message: “This sucks.”

Yes, this does suck. I guess that’s a lesson that you no longer learn as an adult.

We’ll all keep moving forward because we have to, but I look forward to the day when I can wake up with the sun shining on my balcony rather than through the hydrangea bush outside my basement apartment window.

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One Response to “Day 147 — Dysfunction as Function”

  1. Carmie says:

    I so feel for you! Don’t be ashamed about being unemployed. I have been there and it is not fun. However, take the time to pursue what it is that you want out of life. If it helps, a good dose of yoga in the morning may help your hip.

    Never use Delta again and just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

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