Monday, May 3, 2010

New Beginnings


Hope. A small glimmer of hope. It appeared today amidst gathering darkness. The streets were beckoning for me. The homeless of PB began looking at me differently. It was as if they recognized a new member. Instead of asking for change, they simply asked me how I was doing (and then quickly followed with a request for money). But this disaster has been averted for a small period of time. I have an extension to my budget. This hope came from the acquisition of a job...

Don't worry fair readers! This doesn't mean that I've escaped from the unemployment line. Far from it. I may be employed, but it is temporary. I may be receiving a paycheck, but for little more than what a Subway employee makes. I may be able to pay my rent next month, but it will come at the most extreme of costs...crippling boredom.

As I've discussed, I am currently using the services of several job placement companies. For months now, I've patiently called them, asking about any possibilities. When I manage to get a hold of them, which happens quite infrequently, the answer I usually receive is that they are still looking for the "right fit" for me. I told them that I would be willing to scrap gum off desks, using only my mouth, but I still couldn't get their attention.

And then last week happened. Out of nowhere, when nearly all possibilities were extinguished, I received a call about a position The job pays $12/hour, and is only supposed to last about a month. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. There was no job description given, no discussion of an increase in pay. I needed employment.

I arrived at an office building today and was escorted to a conference room with approximately 20 other drones. Every one of us had the gaunt appearance of unemployment and the stank of desperation hung over us. We eagerly awaited our laptops like it was a bowl of gruel.

Once we were all set up, we were given excel documents with line after line of home addresses. The company is purchasing tax liens from Florida. These liens are on distressed property in four different Floridian counties. Once the company purchases the liens, they are entitled to the tax payments from the homeowners. If the homeowners go into default, this company is then entitled to first rite of ownership on the property.

As the worker bees, we looked up each address in google maps. Using the satellite function, we determined whether or not the property existed and what kind of condition it was in (either "good" or "bad"). I did this for eight hours. Here is a breakdown of my mental state during the day:

8:30 - 10:30: Excited. I wanted to do a good job and prove that I was the best of the faceless masses.
10:30 - 12:00: Hungry. I've grown unaccustomed to the working world's eating schedule. Also, I started getting very tired.
12:00 - 1:00: Content, but restless. They brought in sandwiches for us, but we had to work through lunch. I slowly ate my meal, while staring at properties in Port Saint Francis.
1:00 - 2:00: More restless. My butt started hurting. I readjusted myself about once every thirty seconds.
2:00 - 3:00: More tired than I've ever been in my life. I couldn't click on the search button without falling asleep. I injected caffeine directly into my bloodstream with little effect.
3:00 - 3:30: Angry. Google maps was taking too long to load, and I considered punching my screen.
3:30 - 3:45: Defeated. The reality of the job started to sink in at this point. While I was earning money, the thought of returning tomorrow made me consider selling body parts as an alternative.
3:45 - 4:00: Excited. The day was coming to a close. I walked to the bathroom and managed to see the beautiful day outside. I could taste the sweet air of freedom.
4:00 - 4:15: Thoroughly annoyed. Every minute lasted an hour. The girl sitting next to me had a weird whistle to her nose-breathing. I couldn't focus on anything else.
4:15 - 4:30: Murderous. In the time it took to get from 4:17 to 4:18, I aged five years. The whistling wouldn't stop and I could hear the regular employees laughing and having a great time. I was looking up vacant lots in Lee County at this point and wanted to tear my eyeballs out.
4:30 - Now: Sooooo happy!!! I'm free for the evening!!! I will eventually receive money for my actions today, and can't wait to spend it. My spending will be restricted to paying my credit card bill, but still, it's something to spend money on.

I haven't started thinking about tomorrow quite yet. I'm sure that if I had waited to write this blog, the tone might have been significantly altered from its current state. While I'm not out of the woods yet, at least there is a tiny amount of that oh-so-important item...hope.

More to come...