Impulse

I got a little weird earlier. Ok, not in a way that should be worried about, mind you. But just wait and hear the story, or read the story, rather, and then make the distinction of weirdness vs. good business choices.

As regular readers might have picked up on, I’m a little addicted to podcasts, especially as of recently. I mostly listen to philosophy and writing podcasts, but recently I’ve been trying to branch out, take recommendations of other people. And in doing this, I got the idea that my friend should do a podcast on tarot and that I would help her with it.

To help her design the podcast, i decided that I needed to research similar podcasts, which, of course, makes sense. I started listening to a few, but there’s on in particular that I’m fond of called “Rune Soup“, which a guy interviews authors and the like who are participants in the occult. The most recent one was interviewing a couple who started a publishing company in Northern England.

It was the weirdest thing: The more and more I listened to it, the more and more compelled I felt to get in touch with them. So I did. I just sent off the email, explaining to them exactly what I’ve explained here, and said that I was moving to Durham in less than a month, and that they should consider me for an internship. main-qimg-8fd7d9897448e44c84865aaa4dd64ee44

yep. that’s what I did. it is either weird or charming and bold. Either way, it’s an experimental first. I’ve never been so arrogant as to ask for an internship0–no, that’s not true. I asked for one when I was 14 at a local tea shop because I wanted to be an herbalist. They were rather rude about it.

Finding a Job Abroad

As I mentioned in previous entries, it’s getting to be crunch time. I’m getting down to my last few weeks in the US before school. So what are the things I need to line up?

  • Job
  • Classes
  • Housing
  • Job

Yeah, a job is on there twice because I really need to make sure I get one. I’ve bene looking half heartedly for a while, but now I’m getting myself registered with temp agencies and online job-finding sites. I spent three hours on Reed.co.uk just trying to fill out my CV and make it look impressive.

It’s interesting. I always think I have such great work experience and a strong resume until I actually start writing it out, then I realize it looks indecisive and like a 20-something’s resume (I wonder why that could be).

While I say that I’m done working this disposable jobs, which is why I started school to begin with, I am generally really proud of what I do, and work hard to show it. I love my goat cheese gig, and want to ensure that I can be as informative and professional as possible. I love being able to work with writers and help students in the ESLA program at the college–which directly relates to my career goals. I was proud to be a caregiver, even when everyone else I knew was a caregiver at one point and it wasn’t a particularly unique job. And while being at the coffee shop was not without it’s annoyances, I was still extremely proud that I was a manager there.

But when it gets to the dates, I get nervous. I just wish an employer would be interested in Skyping me to see who I am and how professional and hard working I can be. On paper, I just don’t think I look that good. I keep hearing all those positive affirmations that go go along with getting the career you want going through my head, and so I ask for a slightly higher than average wage, and I apply for jobs that might be slightly out of my know-how and comfort zone. But at the end of the day, I’m willing to say yes to most things that come my way, and make the effort.

Though none of that comes through on a CV. They just see the 14 jobs I’ve worked in my time and think that I can’t hold anything down. They don’t know that I prefer to work for smaller businesses since they contribute more to the economy and the greater good than corporations, and as a result, many times those small businesses lose to the coporations and close down. Potential employers don’t know that I was only at certain jobs becuase of this or becuase my employers knew they were only going to hire me for a couple of months because I was moving. None of that comes through on paper.

But we shall see. I’m hoping I can find ways to look better any way. We shall see.

Silly Nostaliga

It’s all happening I suppose.

Tomorrow my mom and I and a few others are having a garage sale. The idea is for me to be able to get rid of all of my stuff. That includes the desk on which the computer sits from which I write this entry.

I”m on my desk top, and I realized that this is probably going to be the last time I use it before I go to the UK. Probably not until I get back, and we’ll see if it still works at that point. I Really like this keyboard, and I really like this computer. I’m sad I didn’t put it to more use.

The things we leave behind to move forward.

Final Writing Center Days

Today is my last day in the Writing Center. I’m dutifully writing about it during my last shift (cuz I’m responsible like that).

I have had such an amazing experience here. I’ve really enjoyed my time as a writing tutor (ok, we call ourselves Readers, but tutor better describes it), and it’s definitely a job I’m going to miss. I asked if they had writing tutors at Durham that I could get a job with, but by the sounds of it, it’s a volunteer thing. Not that that’s a bad thing, but considering I need to somehow make money and I need to go to school, I don’t think that volunteering is going to be an option.

However, this has presented me with many opportunities to get to know writing styles, different formatting, interesting assignments, and I gained a lot of knowledge simply from reading essays. I’ve gone over poems, short stories, college personal essays, resumes, job applications, speeches, art pieces, movies, class room curriculums, and so on. But I’ve also gotten to know so many people from some many backgrounds. I’ve understand different learning styles, reading styles, and discovered different means of explaining concepts and ideas.

I’ve learned a ridiculous amount about the English language, though I’m barely touching the surface of the complexities of this damn mutt language.

This job has opened up so many opportunities for me: I was a part of developing a mentorship program, I got to speak and the National Conference of Peer Tutors in Writing, and I was nominated by my boss for the President’s Award.

None of this would have happened had I not put myself out there and gotten involved on campus. I cannot believe what a door-opener this was. I simply thought it was a local way of making some money, but it really turned out to be so much more.

I’m sad this is my last shift. I’m sad to see it go. Though I hope that the experience will continue to serve me, and other people as well.

Driving an Airport Shuttle

In an earlier post I mentioned that I’m not lazy–I hope that this goes to show I’m not. I just picked up a replacement third job. Granted, one of my jobs is about to end, so I suppose this will soon turn into my second job.

I just finished my first week, as you may have guessed from the title of this post, an airport shuttle driver. I work for Easy Airport Parking, which is where people can drop off their car before a trip, and then we shuttle them the whole mile and a half to the airport and drop them off, only to pick them back up when they return. It’s quite a nice job, actually. I wish there were more hours to it, as I seem to cap out at 12, but it’s nice. A different experience any way.

My day starts at 6 in the morning, which is fine by me (aside from the fact that I’ve automatically developed the habit of getting up at 3:30 every morning for some strange reason that my body isn’t communicating to my mind), and usually work no later than ten so far. But it’s nice. I get to hear about where people are traveling to, why they’re traveling, and sometimes I even make a tip.

However, I am swiftly approaching the last day at the Writing Center, which is a post for another time, and am valuing more and more my goat cheese gig (as if I ever thought it less than awesome). Sure I’m currently working three jobs that don’t add up to one full-time job, but they’ve all been such wonderful experiences. I’m worried about my ability to get work once I get to the UK.

I suppose I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it though. For now, I am a shuttle driver.

Why Readers Read Blogs

I’ve been wondering why I’m doing this, keeping to this blog. Any of my followers know that I’m not the most…scheduled of bloggers. I kind of write when I have time and motivation, and when those align is few and far between.

However, while I was working the Sunday market with the girl who is going to take over for me when I leave, she asked if she could follow my blog. I of course was flattered, but followed with, “It’s not very interesting. I’m not really sure why I have it.” Again, any of my followers know somewhere in them that this is the truth. I only started this thing becuase on my first day with an advisor at Whatocom Community College he told me I needed to start a blog if I wanted to be a writer.

So here I am.

Then our market neighbor, Denise (man I hope I’m spelling that right), piped up, and explained that the whole reason people follow blogs is becuase the blogger is doing something that the reader is not, and it’s an interesting peer into another person’s life, which Valarie, the girl I was working with, agreed with.

I was surprised. I’m so used to following blogs becuase they have information that I need. I completely forgot the personal touch, the sort of written TV show that these can be. I just don’t feel like my life is anything really worth writing about (which I’m sure is an awful thing for a writer to say, but then again, that’s why I write fiction). While I felt inspired in that moment to stick to my blog a bit more, try and get more enteries more often (how many times have you seen me say that?), I also felt guilty. I haven’t been doing that. I haven’t been letting the reader into my life. I’ve been keeping everyone at a several yards distance. I think that’s in part due to my ex, who was around when I started this blog, and said he hated it when I mentioned him or the video production company.

However, I suppose more personal things could be filled within these digital pages. More rants, more rages. Though, when I rant, I like to make sure that I’m making sense, I’m not just spouting steam, that I’m actually releasing a message rather than a temper. I should muse more in here, though I’m so protective of my musing lest they turn into….memories of musings? I donk’t know.

So perhaps I will write more, you will get more garbage out of me. But then again, as mentioned before, this isn’t the first time I’ve promised more writing. I’m sure I can do it. It’s just a matter of being able to schedule my tiem wisely.

But then again, things are now getting a little more heated up as far as my activites go. BUt perhaps more on that in a later entry.

A Small Example of the Importance of Universal Health Care

I’m pretty frustrated. There’s a lot to this frustration, so you’ll have to bear with me.

The Recap

As some of you may remember, in April of 2015, I was in a car wreck. I was fine, the person my car slid into on ice was fine, but after a week or so, my back was so sore I could barely move. I was talked into going to the ER to get myself checked out and make sure everything was alright since I already had/have back problems. I wasn’t worried about it because I was on the Washington Apple Health Care, which had just switched me to a new insurance provider at the beginning of February (who were great, and were sure to call me and let me know all the health care benefits I was able to get through them).

I waited in the waiting room for maybe half an hour to forty minutes before going in. I was met by an interning nurse and another nurse. The intern took my blood pressure while the other one poked and prodded at me, felt around to make sure I was ok, then said I was good to go. They left and appeared with a prescription for some Vicodin which I never fulfilled and that was that.

However, a day or two later I was informed that my insurance had expired at the end of February, and thus I didn’t have any insurence at all. It took me forever to have time to spend the countless minutes on hold to get to the billing department of the hospital, to talk to the people at Washington Apple Health, and then some other people who I had to re-register with–I don’t know, it was over a year ago. Any way, I was told that my insurence wouldn’t cover it, and that I was basically paying out-of-pocket.

It took me a couple of months, but finally I sucked it up and paid for the $400 some odd on my American Express. That was that.

American Express

As many people know, for a long time, American Express was the only credit card that Costco would take. When I got my first Costco membership, I signed up for an American Express card through them. Of course it was a mistake for many reasons, as getting any credit card is a mistake. However, I didn’t expect this to happen:

Costco and American Express went their separate ways.

I of course thought this was no big deal since my membership long since has expired and I was planning on chopping up the card once it was paid off. Except that it did matter. Citibank has now taken over American Express’s Costco accounts, and Citibank and I just don’t get along, and haven’t done since my introduction to their “services” with Best Buy years ago. Again, I tried not to let it bother me since I’m not using the card any more because I’m still trying to pay it off in full.

The Current Problem

Last month I got a bill in the mail from the hospital, stating that I owe them $379 and that I’m on the verge of being taken to collections. I got this on the 4th of July weekend, and was upset. I couldn’t call them, I just had to sit and wait. Instead, I emailed them. I never heard back.

In the mean time, I was wracking my brain, certain that I had paid them, then I wasn’t making it up. Of course, one should follow the trail of credit card statements to be sure. I went to log onto my American Express account, but it wouldn’t let me. I realized that I had to make a Citibank account over the phone so that I could access my statements. I called, got it set up, and requested that they look back through for a purchase of $379.

“Oh sure,” said the very friendly lady on the other end. “I can look that…oh that’s weird. For some reason it has me locked out.” She instructed me that I’d have to set up a request online to see my past statements. I did so, though never heard back .

This month I got another bill from them saying that this was my final notice and that I was going to be taken to collection after this. This was on Friday, another weekend where I had to sit and stress out about it, since I already know they don’t respond to their emails. Again, I tried to get online to find my statements. I was able to access some of my monthly statements of last month, but they only told me the total amount of money I spent each month, and how much interest I was paying as well. There was nothing itemized.

I really began to question myself. Had I actually paid this bill?

Finally, I called them today, waiting the obligatory eternity on hold. I finally got through to another really nice lady who explained that yes, I had in fact paid my hospital bill last summer, but this bill was for the physician.

……

………the physician.

When I asked why I was getting billed a year later, she said that it took a year for them to confirm with my Washington Apple Health Care provider that they wouldn’t cover the bill. Also, there was a glitch in the system which sent out the collections notice/threat along with the first notice. So where as yes, I am getting sent to collections, they sent this later than it should have been…or something to that effect. I stopped listening when I realized it was corporate bull…well, nonsense.

This is why we need universal health care. This is not for lazy people. I am but a small person suffering an extremely annoying hiccup. However, there are people whose lives are destroyed by the medical industry which costs so much for basic care to ensure survival. I am not irresponsible, I am not lazy. I work hard, often two-three jobs at a time. And yet I still cannot afford health care. I was responsible. I paid the bill that was given to me. And then I was billed something completely separate? No, no, good people. This is obscenity.

So here I am, about to MOVE TO THE UK TO GO TO UNIVERSITY in a month (that’s right, we are looking at 31 days), and neither my boyfriend nor I have sufficient funds for this move and now all of a sudden I have to cough up nearly another $400?

I have options. I know I do. But still, the Universe, while it’s been good to me in other areas, is really making me work to get to Durham.