from my soc sec. statement

what i earned over the table since age 15

1985: $1331
1986: $766 (not counting all the money I embezzled from that dry cle@ners)
1987: $1497
1988: $2531
1989: $4055
1990: $5544 (steady rise of more and better library jobs throughout college)
1991: $1616 (when my health went to crap, chronic bronchitis)
1992: $17,318 (temp jobs out the ass. was crushed under weight of paltry $5000 debt of student loan and med. bills put on credit cards. finally bailed out by parents in 1994 or so.)
1993: $12,241 (brief disastrous stint for “friends” in The Realassholes Group who all became millionaires)
1994: 0 (health really went to crap for real. thanks, unemployment, disability, and rent help of S.K.)
1995: $8,317 (tutoring, temping, desperate attempt to get back into working world)
1996: $17,006 (countless miserable temp jobs)
1997: $27,872 (thank you, UC L@b School guy who let me claw my way into a decent job doing tech support)
1998: $24,523 (no job for… 2-3 months when moved to Irv1ne)
1999: $36,710 (decent paying job for 1 whole year! “programmer analyst” fakitude! plus tech support.)
2000: $20,847 (no job june thru november: had baby. went crazy with loneliness.)
2001: $48,383 (3/4 of a year of best-paying job of my entire life. Over half went to Moomin’s nanny)
2002: $2,084 (crap typing jobs)
2003: Not recorded on statement but in my taxes I think it’s like $4000 from old Eggcite paycheck finally coming, and crap typing jobs, and working for McCoot.

Thanks, O boyfriends and girlfriends and husbands who hauled my ass back into the middle class time and time again and kept bailing me out. thanks parents. Thanks, government, you fuckers, for the tiny amount of money you pissed on and sent my way when i was desperately crippled.

Right now I assess my earning capacity if I worked full time at around $40,000. I think Stanffford offered me $43K for that dept. secretary job. but I would have had to be there at 8:30am sharp and leave at 5:00 and work late during unspecified “crunch times”. Moomin would have had to be in day care from 9-6 and I would have loathed life itself to be the classssics “assistant dept. secretary” to the dragon lady from hell and a bazillion profs with horrid stuck up attitudes. I turned it down.

After I lost my job when Eggcite went bankrupt I thought that I would maybe get another search engine job or at least something working on the back end of some big nasty database as part of R and D of New Things. I was not bad at it and survived 3 rounds of layoffs at Eggcite. They hired me at 72K only because of dot com boom; really I was probably worth more like 55K as a kinda junior programmer. Though I got better at it and in fact, automated the whole process of the spidering rather neatly JUST before they laid off everyone “not essential to operations” and kept the 2 complete monkeys who just typed in a unix command every few hours and then played videogames or ripped music while the spider ran. The other R and D guy was their friend from high school and “telecommuted” so he was only there one day a week. He didn’t want me to automate his 2 buddies out of their jobs so he kept raising objections and obstacles to my project. Since all it took was one master script and peppering the existing code with some halfway decent and informative die statements that pinged our cell phones, I was more than capable of doing this “complex automation” that Other R and D guy kept claiming in meetings would take careful planning and Architecting and maybe we would all really have to learn Java and make it all object oriented. He was so full of crap. In retrospect I hate him more and more and consider him a Truly Evil Person. What does evil look like, if not like this? Evil is not all about violence.

After the bankruptcy Rook warned me I should focus on keeping up my perl skills but it seemed hopeless after a couple of months. We talked about doing various projects for this purpose but I flaked on them all and honestly, never understood them or what to do next.

4 months later I started applying for tech support jobs. Oh sorry your skills are 2 years out of date and it sounds like you are really a programmer now so you’d obviously leave once a better job comes along. A year later my programming skills were all out of date and still no jobs. I applied for all the secretary jobs and got a million interviews and some job offers, all more horrible than I could face full time. I figured part time secretary would be tolerable. Typing jobs began. I burned through all our cash reserves in 2002 by keeping Moomin’s nanny till August so I could write poetry and fuck off. Though it helped my writing enormously and i was happier than i have ever been in my life, it was selfish and horrid of me. Then I stuck Moomin in the Montessori that would change diapers and went back to school Jan. 2003.

I wonder what the rest of my life will look like on this statement. Next 5-6 years after I graduate crappy part time community college jobs, if I’m LUCKY. Probably continued crap secretarying or typing. Rook trapped in Baby Trap especially if we have another one. I will just be scrambling to support some level of daycare so that I won’t go crazy. In my mind, magically after this 6 year mark, hypothetical kid number 2 is in public school which saves us most of the cost of daycare.

Oh rook I feel horrible. it is like your only hope is some magic job offer where you get a couple of months off. I am so sorry. what can I do. if I had kept up with my perl… would it have changed things… when will you get your time off to write? will it happen?

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2 Responses to “from my soc sec. statement”

  1. J



    Well, my friend JL managed to get six novels published (under deadlines, no less) while writing in his spare time in almost exactly rook’s Baby Trap situation. So while it would be nice if someday he could take time off while you supported the family, if rook really wants to write, he’ll write anyway–early in the morning before everyone is up, late at night after moomin is down, on the weekends, if it’s important to him somehow he’ll make the time.

  2. Frances



    Well, J, that’s all very well for the tiny minority of people who don’t happen to need any sleep, food, or downtime.
    It just makes normal humans feel bad.

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