a message from parma

No not Parma Ohio, Parma Italia stupid.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

the hole in my heart...

So here I am happily working at my new temp job with hopes of going perm. I am trying to fight my ambivilent feelings for committing to a new type of job after working in IT for so long. But the reality of not working permanently for over a year and with the new addition to my life I guess this is better than nothing.

The new position is great! The work is easy, people are nice and friendly, the office has that cutting edge dot com design and the commute is not that bad. I make my own hours and do actually receive overtime. However, I am literally back at ground zero.

Although I am at a lower floor, I can see the big hole every morning on my way to work. It a constant reminder of my former life. Others remember it too. I am comforted by my new company's emergency evacuation procedures and emergency kit availability. "Z" asked me if they gave out cyanide pills. Interestingly, they don't.

Its all about fate, as I contemplate "am I any safer at the crack house I call home?"

Friday, April 22, 2005

"I smell burned toast"

This is the dump I call home.

This is the un-hip part of Williamsburg Brooklyn. My apartment is the one with the lovely bars on the windows. That is to keep me "safe."

This is my 250 year old roomate Tucker.

So Tues, early in the morning as I was getting dressed for the drudgery of the day I looked out my window and saw three fire trucks pulling up in front of my building. I thought, "Wow, where's the fire?" Little did I know the drama was about to begin in my building!

One of my sane but worried neighbors had called 911 because she smelled a rancid burning odor for over an hour. NY's bravest filled the hallways of my building knocking on doors looking for the source of contention. Everyone except the culprit came out to clear up the confusion with the uniformed men of the local fire dept. The one resident who did not open the door was the crackwhore who lives next door to me. The smell was obviously coming from her apartment-- but not until the firemen were ready to break down her door with axes did the nasty animal who happens to be my neighbor open the door. She claimed she was not cooking anything. But according to experts, the smell was definately "cooking rock."

This animal who happens to live in the same building as me and the other normal tenants of the building is a known drug addict, dealer, theif, prostitute and all-around undesirable. She has been a constant source of pain and misery for everyone in the building and has targeted her anger specifically at me. Over the past few years I have caught her stealing: my mail, any packages delivered to me and anything that is not tied down in the neighborhood. She has somehow survived all these years by living off the system and stealing from others while going in and out of methedone treatment. Apparently, her genetic bloodline has a distinguished trend of addicts and theives originating from the old country.

All the tenants who remain in the building, (many have fled) are steadfast and strong and must endure the bullshit from the crack whore (is that one word or two?) as well as the stupidity of our dead landlord's son and psychotic daughter. At some point, we will get together as a cohesive entity and fight for our right to live in peace.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

No hablo español.....

I don't understand why there are so few low-income white people who seek help at city hospitals. What do these people do? Suffer and just let themselves get sick , wait until it becomes an emergency matter and its too late? Are they too afraid to seek help without health insurance or that they just cannot be bothered with the red tape? This is a clear argument for government funded health insurance. Hillary Clinton where are you when we need you?

One of the things I am extremely grateful for in my life is my current health insurance situation. As a result of being a casualty of 9/11 I was issued emergency health benefits from NY state and because I have joined the forces of the working poor I have stayed eligible for these benefits. Incredibly, the system worked in my favor. How else can I pay for all the therapy and medication it takes for me just to function at a somewhat normal level. Now that I am a pregnant old lady, I am even more greatful because I am considered "high risk" and need every test possible to make sure everything remains fine.

I started visiting a local women's health clinic in my glorious neighborhood of East Williamsburg after my arrival in 2001, and being the only white person who was over 30 and not pregnant made me somewhat exotic. Once a year I would show up for my check-up, greeted with "hola Mees Sapiro, siedite" I would then remind the staff that I did not speak spanish and was capable of understanding English. The nurses usually just laughed and continued to speak to me in spanish. This really was not a problem but one of those NY moments that my mother from Boston would not understand and makes Z smile.

Today was my monthly check up at the high risk clinic at the super cool Brooklyn Hospital located in the lovely Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. This is never a speedy process but I have learned to get there as early as possible and hope for the best. The routine as told to me by a warm West Indian nurse in the form of a prodigious oratory in español is as follows: pee in a cup, give sample to the nurse, wait for weight and blood pressure check then see the doctor. Although I knew the routine, I looked at her and politely reminded her that "No hablo español." She laughed loudly and thanked the lord jesus because she finally found someone who understood her.

Being the total freak in this situation here is what I have noticed:
  • I am the only English-speaking white person who is over 35 who shows up at this clinic monthly or actually tri-weekly prepared for the worst and therefore is always pleasantly surprised when the news is good
  • I am the only English-speaking white person who is over 35 who's pregnancy is her first and is not ecstatic over my condition and does not enjoy comparing sonogram pictures, food craving fun, and loves being fatter than ever * more on this later....
  • I am the only English-speaking white person who is over 35 with her first and maybe only pregnancy without boyfriend or significant other and screaming toddlers in tow who remains calm during the entire visit and offers a smile to the hard-working staff at the High Risk clinic at the Women's Health Center at Brooklyn Hospital

Everything checked out fine today. I only gained one pound this month, my blood pressure, urine and the baby's heartbeat are all normal and fine. I even got checked out by a pulmonary specialist and remarkably my lungs are fine even after breathing in who knows what from ground zero. Physically things are fine and uneventful. My mental condition is another story.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

what happened...?

Well, I did post a few days ago but I guess that entry got sucked into the Internet vacuum. I have been laying low for the past few weeks trying to divert a major crisis. There has been little or no work from my #1 temp agency so I applied for unemployment went to another temp agency and took the usual tests and went home to worry and sulk at the same time.

Oh and I forgot to mention I did work for four hours at a dream job that I thought I had but then I didn't. That was a weird experience. On a whim, the woman I interviewed with in the Interactive department of a big magazine publisher decided she wanted to try me out while the person she originally chose for the position called in sick. She was upfront with me when I arrived saying that I was a great candidate but since there were so many great candidates it was hard to pick just one. Well she picked someone else who she thought "was a great temp but not permanent material." So I took my usual hardworking bag of sunshine self and dove in to the task at hand. I researched a proposal and given an established template developed a "bid" for online advertising and marketing. I worked with the sales guy and kept on my toes so of course at the end of the day, my boss decided to let the temp originally working for her to come back to the position and let me go. Once again I was employed and then unemployed. I was not devastated because recently diagnosed as a "Letting-be Jungian personality type" I just smiled thanked everybody and walked away unchanged by the event.

Here I am again looking for work until I can no longer move due to my pregnancy. But frustrated after numerous interviews, submitting project proposals, going to other agencies, sending out hundreds of resumes, enrolling in unemployment I succumbed to another long-term temp to perm position at a very well-known consultancy. Of course the opportunity came the one day I was working at my "dream job" and caused a slight panic at the temp agency when I did not call them back right away. I briefly thought well this is it, I did it found the job I was meant to have and will do my best and once I settle in I will tell them of my "condition." But I avoided the inevitable, as my agency called my home and cell about four or five times leaving desperate messages. Isn't life on the edge exciting?

I finally called them back at 5 pm when I realized I would not be returning to my dj. My recruiter told me of this "great opportunity" with a company I originally interviewed with back last September of 2004. I was reminded that this was exactly what I was looking for and that there was huge potential for me careerwise. I said fine and would speak with them later after, I needed time to process my whirlwind job of four hours. (what I was really thinking was Oh No I will never reach my goal whatever that may be)

When I spoke with my recruiter the next day, she told me that this company had requested me and was this not what I had been looking for? Me, not being able to say no I just went along with it. The next step was the start date. First it was April 12th, then April 6th. I needed to go to IT training before I started so I could be mainstreamed into their systems.

I struggled with the idea of another never ending temp job. Was this the end of my web producer dreams? Should I just be practical, and take what I can get in the short term while I still have to take some time off when my bundle of joy comes? Can't I give birth and return to work the next day? Isn't that what all superwomen do?

I thought, god, I have been on over 30 interviews over the past four months. I am really tired, maybe I am just being too unrealistic, I have been out of the Internet game for over three years and I never really pushed the networking, freelance, industry schmooze thing. Could I have done more and be employed permanently by now? I don't know, you tell me. I pursue every slimmer of a job or project. I keep myself open to any new opportunity that comes along via word of mouth or Internet. Advisors tell me I need to work on my self esteem issues. I am also slow to commit. That is why I have been enjoying the benefits of temping for so long. I know I can split at any moment.

So what did I decide to do? Take the long-term temp job. I hate having no or little income and I guess I have no choice at the moment. I also have to suffer the consequence of saying yes immediately and then dealing with the problems or snags due to my decision. (like not telling the agency of my "condition") So after the same conversation I have heard from the hundreds of temp agencies I am registered with, I once again heard "I should take the position, there is room for growth, once they see how great you are they will want to hire you, they have a huge IT department, maybe there is something else for you there, etc.... " As I stated before, I reluctantly and defeatedly said fine, I will do it. By the end of the week my start date moved three times with no current assignments.

Who would hire me now? I am ambivalent about admin temp work, 5 months pregnant, struggle with depression and dread, endure my fleeting hopes of entrepreneurship and filmmaking, etc etc etc. What the fuck, here I was, suppose to be the superwoman project manager of the Internet formally confident, talented and enthusiastic now a complete withdrawn heap of nothingness.

As usual, I withdrew. I went to my room, crawled into bed, turned off the phone, stayed online, checked my email, read my favorite blogs, and prayed for enlightenment. Aside from thanking the spirits for what I actually have now and allowing new things to come I consulted my shrink and career counselor. Both warned me that I must tell the agency about being pregnant and take the risk of losing the temp job. There are never any guarantees with temping but I am getting tired of the roller coaster of employment uncertainty.

So here I am on a one day assignment at my old company trying to fit in all my prenatal doctor's appointments and waiting for the new long term temp job to begin next week.

more to come.....