Thursday, October 22, 2009

Cats, homeland security and a punk rock princess

Once upon a time, way back in 1998, a little Pookie was born. Pookie's mom worked in a hospital as a medical transcriptionist then, but shortly after her Pookiness was born, her mother decided to transition to working at home ... because she figured that, though there are many good day care agencies around, it was her job to screw her kid up, she didn't need any help from day care.

So, here we are, nearly 12 years later ... still working at home. There are so many people that, on finding out that I work at home, think that is must be the best thing since sliced bread, 'cause after all, I don't have to get up early to fix my hair or makeup or even get dressed.

The journey from the bedroom to the office usually isn't too bad either. Sometimes the hallway gets some congested traffic, what with the kid and her friends and the cats, but overall, it's a pretty pleasant commute.

However, when you have a people person, like me, stuck in a house ... by herself ... with no one to interact with except the cats .. it does create a bit of cabin fever. After a while, you tend to hermitize yourself. You have long conversations with the cats, or the various insects that find their way into your house. As my friends would tell you, I wasn't "quite right" to begin with, but when you combine that with being in the house by myself for a good chunk of time out of the last 12 years, and being too broke to really go out and do things very often .. around people .. you get the not-quite-rightness and sometimes downright-craziness that you witness in this blog (and that's just the stuff that I let people know!)

I have to say I would not suggest this job to anyone that is not part of a 2-income family. This is not by-the-hour work, it is piece work. You get paid only for what you get done. If there is no work to do (which happens more often than you'd think it would, even though I work for 3 (yes count them .. 1, 2, 3) rather large teaching hospitals and clinics, because the doctors seem to think they don't really have to dictate until they get the 6-month warning that they are about to lose their hospital privileges if they don't get their dictations done), you do not get paid. Most of these companies (and I have worked for several over the last 12 years) only hire independent contractors, which means .. no benefits, no vacation, no nothing. The ones that do hire on employee status are no walk in the park either. You get benefits, but .. if you have no work to do .. having to pay for those benefits takes a chunk of money that, if you're a single income family, you cannot afford to pay.

So, I was wading through the void that is my checkbook a few days ago because, once again, the work load had dwindled to nearly nothing and my paychecks don't have enough juice to light the darkness. There are cobwebs growing in my bank account. I think I found some mildew on the ceiling, but it's dark in there, so I didn't really go exploring much.

I threw the wallet down in disgust and made an announcement to the cats. "I have had enough!" and I shook my fist for emphasis. The cats were totally into it, hanging on my every word. "I'm going back to school so I can get out of this God-forsaken field of work!"

M.K. curled up in my lap and purred her blessing.

Sukai farted and exited the room.

So, we have some mixed feelings from the cats about this.

Anyway, I decided what I want to be when I grow up, now that I'm 30, with 8 years experience. My BFF, Paula, thought it was totally cool and that the classes sound like fun .. until I got to the Terrorism and Homeland Security course that I have to take, then she just started giggling really hard. I'm not sure why. It was something about me thinking that the best way to deal with terrorists is to "SHOOT THEM IN THE FACE!" or something like that, I think.

Our local university offers the degree I want completely online, so I'll be able to get a BS in Criminal Justice by the time Pookie is around 16, and then can complete whatever hours I'll need to get the Forensics degree by taking night classes, 'cause she'll be old enough to stay by herself for a couple hours without me worrying she'll burn the house down while I'm gone.

In the meantime, I've been checking out the school district job postings to see if I could find something part time to supplement my sucky work load. I found what I thought on first glance was an opening at Pookie's school (wouldn't she be thrilled??!) .. but on second look found that it was another school with a similar name that's in the worst part of town. The conversation with someone, who shall remain un-named, went something like this.

Me: Crap, that job's in the bad part of town. I won't even drive through there in broad daylight, there's no way I'm going to go and stay for a good chunk of the day.

Them: Well if you go into Criminal Justice you're going to have to go down there for work sometimes.

Me: Yeah, but they'll send me with a gun.

Them: Not if they're smart.

Pfft ...I'm a good shot, and have an even temper ...



And ya know, after I'd decided to go into this field, like, just yesterday or so, I realized that one of the greatest perks of the job field that this will open up for me is that .....

When I go to work, I will be surrounded by men in uniform.

Yay me!

On another note, my Pookie has decided to be a Punk Rock Princess for Halloween .... I'm making the costume ... and she'll be attending her first ever school dance on Halloween. I'll post pics when she's all dressed up ;)


Irish Gumbo said...

Ya know, I'd say you already have a BS in something...(snort)

Seriously, best wishes to you! Go, girl!

(And if you don't have agun, beat them with a shoe, i hear they don't like that)

Irish Gumbo said...

A rotating house? Yeah, I could do that. Captain Dumbass asked me if I could design him a house that looks like the Death Star, so rotation should be a snap :)

Janie at Sounding Forth said...

You go, girlfriend! You can SO do it!

BootSector said...

Those guys have enough problems in their hands without you distracting them with you... with your... with...

*after 5 minutes of staring*
*proudest PROUDEST smile*

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

You'll be great :)

Paula said...

You will be great.. I totally agree. However I think you are totally great now too... but then you will be certifiably great.. with a gun. *grins all helpful and stuff*

I do love the homeland security part still too... *falls over giggling*

Love you Sis!

Paula said...

Oh.. and the benefits of the guys in uniform thing.. just brilliant there.. totally! There just is no down side on this one so far.

*giggles some more*