Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hmmm...improvement?

Wow...It's been far too long since my last post and so much has happened.

Right now, I'm temping at TAMU CC. What a great campus! So beautiful! But since my last post, so much has happened.

I've moved. I was living off of McArdle and Kostoryz. Now, I live in lovely, glamorous North Beath!

I was earning $7 per hour working for Awesomenet. Those people just don't know how to value their employees and consider everyone expendable. At that wage, I guess they're right. I mean, who can survive on those wages of poverty. It was a horrible place to work.
From rubberband shooting managers who loudly ask a co-worker if she's on her period, to hovering management, to rough-housing managers who loudly laugh as they play and then have the balls to "ride" the employees who are actually working, to Nazi attitudes of punctuality..well, it just plain sucked. They have NONONO people skills. They would not allow us EVER to work more than 40 hours. If we got close to even approaching 40 hours, they sent us home. All this in an attempt to let NO ONE be considered full-time. That way, they would not have to provide benefits. Even tho their manual stated after 90 days we'd become permanenet, this NEVER happened. There were temps that were still temp after a year. There is NO future at Awesomenet. And management hovered. Boy did they hover. Gawd forbid we actually took 5 minutes to catch our breath. Management that gossiped with the employees about the inner workings of the temp agency they used. This is a company flirting with many lawsuits. We got all that for $7 per hour. At that wage it was either pay the rent or pay the car and I chose the car. You see, I could live in my car if I absolutely had to. But, finding a job and getting around without a car is impossible in this little town of Corpus Christi.

My landlady was understandably not very prone to kindness with my late rent. And in March, I just couldn't make rent at all. So, she sent me some little notarized note asking me to move. I couldn've dragged it out and made her evict me, but, I was never out to rip her off and moved out March 16, 2006. She came down from Austin to clean the place and prepare it for the next renter. She was awful. I moved everything into the garage so that she could more easily clean. Between my trips to my "new" place in North Beach, she was going thru my stuff and stealing what appealed to her. This, even when I gave her a small carpet shampoo-er, an electric drill, AND my good china. She was putting my stuff in the trash. People in the neighborhood were swooping down and taking things before I noticed she'd trashed my stuff. I have to believe she'll get hers. While I was not out to rip her off, she thought nothing of stealing from me. I was just an unfortunate soul who had just the worst luck finding employment in this burg. She was just a thief.

This move took place while I was on my first assignment at TAMU CC. It was so stressful. I was running out of insulin so cut my dosage in half to make it last. That caused my BG to rise. I just felt awful. All the stress was causing insomnia even tho I was bone tired from packing and the stress I was feeling from my landlady's harassment. There was stress from having only about $15 to buy food for me, my 4 dogs, and 2 cats per week. I survived on tuna, chicken wings, eggs, tortillas, coffee, cheap Hill Country sodas, rice, and peanut butter! I survived on HEBs Hill Country brand foods. Let me tell you, the tuna just sucks. I think they just grind up tuna gills and can it. The dog food was causing skin problems in my chihuahuas. Gasoline was hit and miss. I ran out of gas THREE TIMES and Mr. Rescue from Verizon's Roadside Assistance had to help me out. My car was always on empty. Still, I survived. If it wasn't for my gigs at Joe's Crab Shack, I think I would've lost my mind.

That last Sunday before I moved, I rode around Corpus Christi looking for a cheap place to live that could accomodate me and my dogs. I drove on Leopard. That sucked. Very run down places too close together. I kept thinking of drunk refinery workers on weekends barbequing and playing their Tejano music loudly and everybody all too aware of my comings and goings.
That wouldn't do.

I had always wondered about North Beach so I made my way over the Harbor Bridge. I cruised the small 2 lane streets near Corpus Christi Beach and fell in love with it's quirkiness. There is nothing fancy about North Beach except some expensive condos and some hotels. Otherwise, there's the run-down little houses that have survived hurricanes. Most are wood framed. There are sidewalks that come from and lead to nowhere. More survivors of the big storms. A coupla RV parks. There's concrete foundations of the buildings that didn't make it. There's a few State Historical marker placques. The Lexington Aircraft Carrier. The Texas State Aquarium. The Harbor Bridge. The Sea Lab. A minerals company. Some business by the Harbor. And the beach.

I found a very run down little complex 1 block from the sea. I called the realtor's number and she gave me the owner's number and I called. This place was rented. It was a 2 bedroom and the rent was way more than I ever intended to pay for something so rundown. Apparently, it was all bills paid, but still.... I asked if he had another place. He did. I went and saw the little house and deemed it acceptable. It was very reasonably priced. It was a one bedroom with a teeny back yard. Perfect. We made arrangements to meet and it was mine. I pay rent weekly for now. Dan the landlord met me at Knuckleheads (a biker bar), we exchanged money and receipts and I was off. I've been there 2 months now! It, too, is run-down, but my dogs are happy and so am I. I don't need anything fancy to be happy. It's 2 blocks from the beach and I can look out my window at traffic on the Harbor Bridge. When I go to get in my car, I can see the Lexington 2 blocks away. It's helping me to get back on my feet. It's helping me to regain my sanity.

My neighbors are a family that's down on their luck. A family of 5. The Dad works as a waiter at Pier 99. The mom stays at home and cares for 2 babies. They have a 13 year old girl whose school bus comes by every day at 6:50am. They have 2 labs that bark all through the night and scare the mailman. Sometimes, I give them a ride to Walmart to buy groceries. They get visits from CPS and I just know there's more to their story than they're saying, but I really don't want or need to know more. They have no AC and I wonder how they sleep at night in this heat. I had to break down and buy a $100 AC from Walmart so I could sleep at night. That's all I need.

I'm temping again at TAMU. I'm in their Temporary Employee Pool. I really love working here on campus but seem to be having a time getting them to hire me permanently. I've been to a few interviews, but had no luck in getting hired. It's okay now because I'm drawing unemployment benefits.

Generally speaking, the Latinas in power I have met here are defensive, vicious, and territorial. They will not risk hiring me. They easily feel threatened. It's too energy consuming for me to deal with, frankly. As hard as good jobs are to come by here, I guess it's understandable. That doesn't however, help me any.

I am hoping to find a good job or will be forced to save up these benefits and move back to Dallas. I may have to anyway. The going wage is half of what I was making in Dallas. It would take me twice as long to replace my retirement if I stay here in CC. Oy.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'll think of more to post soon.

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