The Sign of Things That Have Already Come (With update)
(Update: The Senate finally passed its version of the UI extension bill. Yet when they finally get around to passing the reconciled version and Obama signs it into law, it'll still take up to three weeks for the benefits to be implemented into the state system. I'll get them retroactively in one lump sum but probably not until the middle of August. Mrs. JP filed for UI benefits yesterday but, once again, it'll take about 2-3 weeks for her benefit claim to kick in. Until then, we'll have nothing coming in.)
It wasn't exactly heaven in the workplace: She was making minimum wage as a graphic designer, a job she's been excellently doing for almost two decades. She literally cried and begged to continue working. Her right wing bosses were completely unmoved.
I perfectly understand how she feels. I experienced it for the latest time last April 27th, exactly a month after getting the old heave-ho from my home of 15+ years.
There's the feeling of guilt, of shame, as if you did something wrong. Then you get angry with yourself for feeling guilt because your memory informs you that you did all the right things: Got up for work every morning, showed up on time every day, did a quality job, hardly missing a day, often going above and beyond the call of duty. You played by the rules and got kicked in the sack for it.
Then your anger at both yourself and your former employer is suffused with fear and you find yourself spending more and more time and energy trying to keep incipient panic at bay. It's a very draining, very demoralizing experience.
I've been running myself ragged looking for a job and burning up a lot of gasoline we really can't afford applying to as many as nine places a day (or three times the MA Department of Employment Training's weekly minimum for job search contacts). Hopefully, I should hear something by Wednesday, the same day Mrs. JP has to call her job to see what's going on. In the meantime, we have exactly zero chance of paying the rent August 1st, much less feeding ourselves and paying off our new auto insurance premiums. The prospect of eviction, at the exact same time our lease is up for renewal, is doubly terrifying when you realize you have no place to store your stuff and there are no homeless shelters in the area.
I know a lot of other people are hurting, a lot of news outlets like Truthout, Buzzflash, RSN, The Smirking Chimp and others are asking for donations at the same time. I feel bad for them and for individuals who are also hurting because I understand what it feels like to live with that panic that moves into your life like an unwelcome house guest. So anything you can do to help would be very, very greatly appreciated, as our backs are really up against the wall this time.