I know you guys are probably a little tired of the update posts in place of reviews or actual bookish content and I’m so so sorry for that.
I really am, but I’m so stressed right now that I can barely function in real life, much less churn out review after review that my heart isn’t in. I haven’t even been reading much….Or rather I have, but I haven’t been reading the RIGHT thing. I’ve been re-reading the first three Mortal Instruments books and I just started Clockwork Angel. I’m loving that, by the way. It’s not what I’m supposed to be reading though. I’m supposed to be reading one of a dozen upcoming YA novels or finishing Rain by Amanda Sun. I can’t seem to bring myself to start the other books and I don’t understand why. I have some amazing things on Iko just waiting for me. I have Jennifer E Smith’s next book, I have Tellulah Darling’s next masterpiece, I have Resonance by Erica O’Rourke. I have books that I’m actually dying to read and yet I haven’t touched them. This is partly because I want to finish Rain and I don’t think I will if I let myself get too distracting. I’m listening to Clockwork Angel on audio, so that doesn’t really “count” in my mind. Don’t ask my why because I don’t think I could coherently explain it. I think part of my problem is that I’m not loving Rain the way I’d hoped. I adored it’s predecessor, Ink. It was fun and dark and completely immersive in Japanese culture. It brought back so many memories of the Japanese classes I took in high school and how much I enjoyed it. The heroine wasn’t my favorite person, but she was tolerable. Here, it’s not so much that she isn’t tolerable, it’s more of I can’t get behind her actions. She is doing stupid things that I know are going to come back and bite her in the ass and I’m just shaking my head at her. It’s also got this weird, almost-triangle thing going on that I hate. It’s playing up that whole “my boyfriend’s best friend is a chick who is secretly in love with him and therefore she must hate the heroine” angle and that is annoying also. I’m probably about a third of the way through and I don’t know when I’ll finish it.
Back to the point. I’m here, I swear, but I just don’t have the energy or time to write a new review. Hell this update post has been rolling around in my head for several days and I’m just now getting to writing it. Part of my stress is due to my husband getting laid off, which I mentioned in my last post. That sucks and it’s brought loads of stress into my life. I don’t really have anyone to discuss that with. Most of my real world friends don’t really understand. Though we are all adults, they aren’t at the point where the loss of income could be potentially devastating. The one who does understand is busy raising two kids and has better things to do than listen to me bitch. Not that she’d say so, but I just don’t want to bug her when I know there are other issues on her mind. I also don’t want to bitch to my husband because I know he feels bad enough about the situation as it is and I don’t want to antagonize him. I don’t want to overload this blog with it, because, let’s be honest, you are all here to read bookish (or bookish adjacent) things, not my ramblings about how the world sucks. But I need an outlet and this is the best I’ve got.
The money is a big thing. I mean, seriously, my income has been halved while my bills remain the same. I won’t give you specifics, but that’s the basic fact. I now have half the money to work with and none of the bills I have can go. Rent, electricity, and water are a necessity of life. The nice people at Wells Fargo aren’t going to just give me a few months car payment free because I’ve fallen on hardtimes and the insurance people definitely aren’t going to give me coverage if I don’t send them a check every month. I don’t have a home phone (who really does anymore?) so keeping my cell phone is a must. The internet can’t even go because HELLO! Half-assed blogger here! Also, my husband is addicted to youtube. On top of that, I am now health insurance-less. That wouldn’t have been a problem a few years back but Obamacare means I’ll be fined for that shit. I don’t even want to talk about the BS that is doing your taxes when you don’t have kids because it isn’t a pretty argument, but suffice to say I don’t need anymore added to that bill. I work for a small business (we’ll get to that in a minute) and they don’t offer health coverage. My insurance (and my husband’s) both came through his work. And he is bipolar and will soon have to be without his meds because they are crazy expensive. Seriously, the anti-manic ones are $80-$90 and the anti-depressant ones are $250. Seriously? I can barely afford to eat and feed my dogs and you want that much? And it’s not like I’ll have extra money to sign up for healthcare elsewhere and get the pills for him. What part of I HAS NO MONEYS is confusing? I has no moneys to the point that I stay at home to conserve gas and I’m going to reacquaint myself with the delicious taste of ramen…for every damn meal. I’m so broke that I actually pulled my blog from the giveaway hop I’d signed up to do because I can’t spare the $5 it would take to mail the damn book. Well, that is the wrong way to put it. I have money in the bank right now, a decent enough amount, but I’m holding onto every penny and keeping as much of it in the bank as possible. Trust me, it’ll all go to bills within the next few months. My yearly budget commands it. Holding onto it now is what will prevent starvation in October.
Wait, you say, won’t your husband get unemployment? You said he was laid off and that means he is entitled to unemployment. You would be entirely correct in that assessment. He will get unemployment, should get the first payment next week. The thing about that is that it doesn’t last and I’m putting every penny into my (pitiful) savings account and I’m not touching it. I’ve been through this before. The last time he was unemployed, he found a great job just before the unemployment ran out, but the time before that, he was unemployed for 2 years and I can tell you that don’t give you unemployment for 2 years. That unemployment will eventually run out and I want something to fall back on if I’m particularly desperate because I don’t think we can make it on my income alone without extreme measures. I mean, so extreme that my $8 a month Netflix subscription is cancelled, I’m internet-less, and my phone is condemned to basic talk and text capabilities. I’m talking about taking the insurance and tag off of one of the 2 vehicles we have to lower the bill. I’m talking about never driving said still insured vehicle unless absolutely necessary to conserve gas. I don’t think we’ll starve, but it won’t be easy.
That alone is a big enough stressor in my life, but then we also have work stress. As I said, I work for a small company. When I said small, I mean we have a grand total of 14 employees and only 5 of those (myself included) work in the office. Normally, I have great things to say about working for a small business. There are a lot of positives there. There is no stupid policies that make no sense to the people on the bottom level or the dreaded feeling that you have absolute no input on anything. I sit beside the owner of the company (let’s call him B) every single day, or it used to be every single day. The work issues has been on my mind lately anyway. The owner is an older man, he’s 75 and he has recently been hospitalized. He was in the hospital for almost a month and then in rehab for a week. It was touch-and-go there for a few weeks. He’s back now, but he is still weak and he has to go to dialysis three days a week. That means he is only at work for 3 days, for a few hours each day. So keep his health in mind for the rest of this. We are a trucking company. We sale and rent storage containers and we deliver said containers. My official job is receptionist/dispatcher. I handle a myriad of tasks, both pertaining to those titles and not. I answer the phone and assist customers where I can. I schedule the pickups and deliveries and manage our truck drivers. I mail out the invoices. I take care of the yard dogs (sometimes that is the best part of my day). I collect rent for the rental houses that are associated with the company. I also fill out leases and handle the tenants to an extent (sometimes the worst part of my job because people suck). I (half) jokingly tell people my official job is the owner’s gopher. I have a pretty decent amount of work on my plate. I’d have slow mornings where I could read a few pages of whatever book I’m on when the phone quiets down for a bit or brainstorm posts, letting reviews cogitate in my brain for a while. I always had things to do, but I wasn’t necessarily hard at work every second of the job. That, my friends, has changed. Our main salesman (let’s call him J) quit last week. I say main because B is also a salesman, but he doesn’t handle nearly as much as the one that quit. Remember when I said to remember that B has been sick and is only in 3 days a week? Yeah, that means I have to try to handle these people when I don’t know how to sale. I don’t have the people skills required to be a salesman. J also handled other tasks. I think most small business have their employees handle more than one area or that has been my experience. J also handle the office manager position…something I’m not equipped to handle. Regardless of my ability, all J’s workload has been dropped into my lap. Some of it I handle well enough, some of it I’m completely baffled by. Why has it mostly fallen to me? Didn’t I say I was one of 5 office employees? Well, B is obviously not well enough to take much of it, though he does help me when he can. His son is one of the office employees and, trust me when I say he is barely capable of handling his own job much less more work. B’s wife does the accounts receivable. She’s an 75 year old woman who already complains constantly about her currently workload, so she can’t take more. The 4th lady has helped me a great deal. We actually make a great team, but we can’t do EVERYTHING. I can’t do EVERYTHING. I am but one person…one person who doesn’t handle stress well. When I get overloaded, I get cranky and teary. Neither are very professional emotions. I’m handling things relatively well this week, but I seriously did not want to go to work at the beginning of this week. I spent the whole weekend dreading it, but I can’t not go. I can’t. Right now, the place would seriously fall apart without me there because I’m the only office staff member who actually stays on the premises. B’s only there a few days a week. His son is in and out as he pleases (more out than in). His wife works 10:30 to about 3. The other lady only works three or four days per week, depending on the week, 1 to 5:30. There is just me and I feel like I’m carrying the whole company. The driver’s obvious come in and do their work and the yard staff helps me when they can, but there isn’t much they can do. As I said, I’m handling moderately well. There are somethings I know and to do and I excel at that, but the salesman things terrifies me. My sales technique would be painfully blunt. This is what we have and this is the price. You either want it and have the money or you don’t. I’m not going to walk around the yard bullshitting with you for half an hour. You know the minute you hear the prices if you are going to fork it over or not. I’ve also been crazy busy all week. I don’t get a spare minute all day long. I’m busy doing something from the time I come in until the time I leave. There is no down-time period. Where I used to respond to email within half an hour, it now takes me HOURS to respond. My inbox is always up at work because that is the main form of communication with some customers, so I see the email pretty quickly when it comes through, but it takes me HOURS to get to a point where I can stop whatever else is more pressing before I can read the email and respond. That is the downside to small companies. When someone is out or quits, you are left with a void and the work must be done. Going forward, B has expressed zero interest in hiring someone new. He wants to continue as is, with me handling most of J’s workload and see how things pan out. I’m a little scared of this plan, but have to trust that he knows best…and that I won’t absolutely hate the salesman gig I’m getting pushed into.
Basically, I’m really fucking stressed right now. And to relieve some of that stress, I’m going to take all of $20 out of my checking account (which I can kinda afford since I didn’t have to put much gas into either vehicle this week) and go to the drive-in movies this weekend and see a damn movie. It might not be my smartest move ever, but I need stress relief or I’m going to explode and this is my best option. How are things in your life right now? Going well? Or falling apart like mine? Let me know in the comments!