Checking in

A good friend let me know recently that it had been about a month since I made the post that my hibernation was over, but I hadn’t made any posts since that one. I’d like to argue the point, because I like to argue, but the fact is that she is right.
I’m not sure why, but I just haven’t been in the mood to write. It’s not the lethargy and act of interest I had during my period of hibernation, just lack of interest in this particular blog. I use this place when I’m feeling good, feeling inspired, feeling creative, and for the last month I’ve been rather scared about my situation at work, and I’ve not felt the urge to write about that. In this economy just about everyone I know is worried about their work situation, so why spend time thinking about it even more?
Since I have mentioned the subject though,I guess I should give some details. As most of you that read this know, I work in the collections industry. Specifically, I collect defaulted student loans. Now, I like the job, as I mentioned earlier, I like to debate with people, and this job allows me to do so.
Now the people I’m trying to collect from were not paying their student loan debt before the economy started to tank. Once it did start to go bad late last summer the amount of money we were collecting went down dramatically. This is primarily because the Guaranteed Student Loan Agencies my division collects for stopped paying off on the rehabilitation programs they had been directing us to guide debtors into for the last six years. This has not been good. Our company has not been bringing in anything near the amount of money our management wants us too, and the management has not been happy.
To make a long story short, I’ve not made a monthly bonus check in about the last six months. This has, obviously, rather severely affected my personal income, and that has been stressful. Late in February there was a round of layoffs, and about 10% of our workforce was laid off. I survived that; I’m not collecting enough to make a bonus check (nor, for that matter, is over half of my department), but I’m collecting the minimum necessary to keep my job. This is good.
This past week, the management announced that they were cutting our hours. We are now required to work a minimum of 34 hours and may work up to 35 hours a week. That doesn’t really bother me, but they did announce that at least four of those hours must be worked on either Saturday or Sunday. So, instead of having to work only one weekend a month, we now have to work every weekend. I doubt seriously that part of the new plan will last very long, but it is going to be annoying as hell while it does last.
Oh, and the same week they told us that they were cutting our hours, the management also informed us that the cost of our insurance was basically doubling. Oh joy.
Because of the reduction in my income, and due to another obligation that I can’t reschedule, I will not be able to attend Gulf Wars this year, and that bugs me more than I can possibly describe. I’ve not missed Gulf Wars in six years, but I will be missing it this year. I blame George Bush for that; just another item on the long list of things he has to answer for.
Now, having said all that, I have to admit there is some good news.Candlemas was February 14, and it was a truly pleasant, if somewhat rushed event. It was well attended, and we have started developing a relationship with a new site. The event also made a profit.
There is more good news, when I make myself remember it. The fact is, unlike a lot of folks, I do still have my job,my health, home, and family. Yes, the economy is bad, and will get worse before it gets better, but it will get better. Oh, and George Bush is no longer president.

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