Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's Our Birthday Post!

(This entry may seem to have little direction - we've been feeling a bot out of sorts the last 18 hours or so)
Yep, it’s our birthday.
We’re pretty sure at least half of us thought by the time we got to this age we’d have accomplished a lot more, somehow. Of course there is also those among us who thought we’d never see this age, or maybe it was more of a hope than it was a thought.
Last year for our birthday we went to Vegas for the weekend, worked a couple of days, then went to the lake with friends for the next weekend. It was probably one of the most enjoyable birthdays we had ever had that we can remember (we don't really remember any more than the last two or three, other than visits to the zoo for some of them). Towards the end of the week-long celebration last year the relationships with everyone (us and our inner working, friends, that with Significant Other) got strained and it wasn’t long before all of the connections began to unravel. But it was a fantastic birthday week.
Guess the icing on our birthday cake THIS year is losing our job (two weeks ago tomorrow) for seemingly bullshit reasons (mental illness, and some other stuff that they have no real validation for); and now being in a position where we are feeling like we are not qualified to do much and feeling very vulnerable, it’s proving difficult to find work in the city where we live.
“It’s gonna suck and be hard having to step back in skill level to find a job” we told The Father on the phone with morning when he called to wish us a Happy Birthday.
“Well, a lot of people are having to that now, honey” he replied.
“Yes, but we have just gotten to the skill level one up from being a cashier…” we said. (though we might make more money as a cashier, our end wage at the previous job was $11.85 an hour, as a manager, and we'd only been making that for about a month or so - it was a required wage increase after a year of employment)
It’s true, we do have a lot of skills, some of us are just not good at using them sometimes, which really makes us as a whole feel inadequate these days.
We have had awards for customer service in jobs we have had in the past; but then we got fired for our lack of them at this one (allegedly).

We’ve been commended on our ability to multitask and complete things- we’ve organized catering jobs and owned our own business for two year whose only downfall was its lack of funding for adequate advertising and a stable kitchen rental - but then in this last job, the one we got fired from, they stated our performance was poor. (There is no proof of this, or the performance stadards we apparently did not comply with, however)
When we brought this up with The Father, feeling like we lack people skills now, among other skills, sobbing into the phone the day we got canned, he defended us by saying that of course we did/do, that’s it’s just that this year has been a lot of stress, and confusion and difficulty for us, and that it’s made it hard.
He’s right, we know he is. Despite the fact we have disliked most people our whole life, we were better at covering it up like all the people who have to do it on a day to day basis (and we know they exist, they are among a huge percentage of our Twitter followers). This year without the skilled mask of The Other Girl it became hard for us to find the balance.
Like we told James the other night, The Other Girl was much better at stress management and many other things. I recognize she had a lifetime of dealing with everything, of learning skills to manage our situation, and I have just become fully in charge the last 6-7 months. He agreed and said that it’s not surprising that there is a learning curve.
The unfortunate side is that we were starting to hit our stride at work, have gotten so much better at overcoming the learning curve; even Important Boss agreed we had been improving, right before we got shit-canned. Too little too late…that’s the story of our life most of the time.
So, The Father offered us a place in his house today, when he called to wish us a happy birthday (and met James on Skype!), for a couple of months at least, while we try to sort things out, as an alternative to going to live with The Mother…and option we are still considering, at least for a couple of months, or through the winter, depending on how long it takes us to find a job in a nearby big Metropolitan city.
Living with The Father has its disadvantages, as much as living with The Mother. There are too many to state here, but James is helping us formulate a plan, a couple of directions we can take, as alternatives and if we indeed decide to live with one of our parents again.
It’s not New York (where we’d really love to move), but some day it could be - so this next week James and us are talking about taking a trip to the city where Baby Brother lives, so that we can check out the area, see if they have a neighbourhoods where we would feel comfortable, and check out job prospects.
It would be easier to write in more detail about where we plan to go, if we could talk about where we are located geographically, but for obvious reasons (especially given the recent unemployment) we still have to keep our real life name/ location/face secret, because despite what people who follow us think, and despite what people who know us think, it’s still scary to a potential employer to hire a person with mental illness, and it’s also harder to find a job if you’ve been as public as we are with our life and illness.
We really don’t blame them, employers and people, because it’s the lack of knowledge and understanding of mental illness in general that causes the fear, and one of the things we are attempting here with our writing in this blog is to help people understand that mental illness does not mean you are unemployable, it only means that to an employer. Mental illness does not mean you are scary, it only means that to people who refuse to understand. Mental illness doesn’t have to be hidden, it shouldn’t be.
It would probably be easy for us, in this next move, to be put on disability. Who are we kidding, it would be super easy. We’re just not willing to take that route, at least not in a permanent capacity, because we ARE capable of working, we’re even capable of management (which is what we used to do) – we DO have skills…it just takes an employer who is willing to be understanding.
It’s just a shitty time to be unemployed, no matter what country you live in, we know that. We only wish we could be eligible for unemployment/benefits of some sort so the stress of finding a job was just a little more decreased, because we want to work…we’re going mad over here with all this extra time that has to be devoted to tapping a dry job market.
Alright, enough about that…

On a note about us and our day with James yesterday at the museum, we didn’t mention it to him, even though he knows our Bethany has been missing (we have discussed, and others have agreed that he missing presence among us has probably been due to high levels of drinking) but she did make an appearance yesterday, twice…so she’s around again. We know he knows when she was here, he videoed her colouring at a table in the hands on science portion of the museum we went to.
It’s probably the curiosity over this new person in our life that made her finally show herself again. She was mostly uncomfortable and quiet during the time she decided to make an appearance, and then we were a bit uncomfortable when she left if…maybe she was here because usually we take her to the zoo on the birthday, and so she’s waiting to find out if we get to go this year.

Yes, we know the zoo is a sad place, she loves it though…

We’ll talk more about this and other things in a blog post, it’s our birthday and we are hungry and have things to do…like paint, watch a movie, play on Twitter, have James make us brunch and enjoy the day, and try to plan a trip to a secret location in the states for later next week….first order of business though is trying to figure out our mobile Tweeting options for when we leave the city we are in!

Our 5th Birthday?

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