Friday, January 25, 2008

Oh, World...

Isn't life funny sometimes? And by *funny* I don't in any way mean humorous...

Half of the reason for all the darkness in my world right now I cannot talk about ... I'm not trying to be coy or cute, believe me. But the other half I can certainly bore you with!

Slight Backstory: In October I started training/working as an ABA Therapist for young children on the autism spectrum. I sort of fell into it while job searching and deciding to follow at least one of my joys -- playing with the Pre-K set. This led to this and that led to that, and although extremely challenging and exhausting, ABA Therapy was the most fascinating and rewarding thing I've done for money (exotic dancing notwithstanding).

I was down to only one child, a two-year-old boy that I'd grown quite attached to, and my new schedule with him began the first workday in January. He was being introduced to a secondary therapist (usual procedure) and my hours with him were now 16/week. I was definitely going to have to look for more sources of income (again, exotic dancing notwithstanding ... the knees ... not what they used to be, people) but it was a new year! I was optimistic and dare I say, hopeful against all reason on several levels. And that of course is what's so *funny*...

On the first workday of 2008, I was told, by the consultant, not the mother, that "they were going in a different direction" and would no longer be needing me. First, middle and last question that I asked the consultant was what did I do wrong and what could I have done differently? She assured and reassured me that it wasn't me or anything I'd done or could have done -- the parents, as we'd learned ... were "different" which is code for "assholes." Of course they have every single right to hire and fire whomever they please, but I'd been teaching and caring for their child for the past three months, not a houseplant. And that the mother didn't have the decency (or rather, the courage) to tell me to my face is what I found most stunning and hurtful. There were no other children on deck for this consultant and I tearfully bade the boy and my only source of income goodbye.

Yesterday the universe gave me a tiny, good-as-chocolate treat when I came face-to-face with the boy's mother, Lori* at SuperTarget. Oh, it was lovely -- she was facing me getting a shopping cart as I went to grab for one. Her beady little eyes flitted around furiously but when she realized speaking to me was inevitable she got this delightful deer-in-the-headlights look. I also experienced a nanosecond of Oh, god, is it too late to pretend this isn't happening? but realized that all deserved embarrassment and awkwardness were hers and hers alone. So. I smiled.

Lori: Dianne! ... How are you?
Me: How am I? How am I, Lori? Well, since you dismissed me -- excuse me, since you had someone else dismiss me because you didn't possess the decency or courage to talk to me yourself -- my life has spiraled downward into a steady and unending morass of pain, poverty and misery. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to pick up a box of wine and some Little Debbies. Good day, madam!

Of course, I said nothing like that ... just asked about her son and delighted in her squirming. She finally muttered "This is really awkward," and scurried away. The high road has never been so enjoyable...

That delight proved ephemeral because now I'm back to marinating in my own filth and desperately crafting cover letters and sending resumes that never get answered or responded to ... is it really so bloody difficult to get back to people? Just now I answered an ad that was already suspicious in its vagueness, but it promised a good hourly rate (stated) and benefits. A reverse lookup on the phone number yielded nothing. Sure enough, it was an employment agency ... fine ... but they wanted $150 of my dollars for the honor of getting me a job. When I queried why the prospective employee rather than employer is paying them, the operator (who talked so fast and incoherently that I had to frequently ask her to repeat herself -- and I lived in NYC for 15 years) she haughtily, and clearly following script, spit out "Well, you've been looking for a job since January and haven't found one yet, have you? And if not for the companies, you wouldn't have a place to apply to!" I couldn't argue with her logic because I couldn't understand it.

The conversation ended in a way that I don't think we'll be exchanging Christmas cards.
I may have told her that I would rather whore myself behind the local Cheese & Donut Shoppe than give her a bloody nickel. Time to find the pasties...

*her real name

2 comments:

Vikki said...

At least you got to use the witty response on your blog!

Sorry things are rough...

Dianne said...

Is there a term, yet, for simultaneous new post readings?

Thanks for the kind words.