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Curses and Blessings or Running around in Purgatory since Training is one step above Hell and one step down from Heaven…

Wowza, what a can opener of a title!

But…

Titles ain’t nothing but a bunch of words struggling to rise to importance above the mediocre of other titles with a bunch of words struggling…

Okay. I stop.

In between days or rather in between jobs trying to figure out where to go from where I’ve been. Vet medicine is amazing when things go right, amazing when things go wrong, amazing.

Except…

When you work with people:

-who wear fur coats

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– who abusively use anti barking shock collars on their dogs

– who state you are “too nice with the animals” when restraining

– who laugh at you trying to comfort an animal coming out of anesthesia

-who only croon over the ‘cute ones’ while the ugly ones continue to stress from fear due to neglect not only from the previous owners but now the vet staff

-who come in to work with the alcohol from last night on the breath stench

-who sip Irish whiskey while rounding

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Okay. I stop.

Ruminating about the past, sours the moment of the present and surely delays the arrival of the future.

So…

I return to Curses and Blessings, which have nothing to do with the career I once loved, now loathe and in the process of giving up, but to running.

Yes, running.

The one thing keeping me sane right now and out of this place.

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Have you ever heard of a runner going postal on the supermarket line or better yet going postal waiting for the subway?  imgres

Running (interval running in my case) gives me endorphins which are free, and produced by my brain (your brain as well). Endorphins are pain reducers and create within the body a feeling akin to morphine.

Are Endorphins addictive?

Not sure.

Ask Eminem.

2017 is the year of the 10k and the ½ marathon races. A graduation from the 5k’s of 2016. I have yet to run a 10k, (April 9th is the first one) and the ½ marathon is not until October. Nevertheless, it is the year for transition and changes, literally and figuratively.

Now. Back to the title, the can opener which began this work of words.

While I run I listen to an eclectic bunch of music which I classify as Curses (sex, drugs, rnr, rehab and Led Zepplin (sigh) ) and blessings (chanting, Buddhism, Catholicism and Godspell-the musical) all within the scope of: opera, classical, disco, rap, rock (old school) new wave, county and so forth.

Take Led Zepplin. Curses or Blessings?

How about Buddhism chants? Curses or Blessings? (careful with your choice here)

I run.

Through transition and changes, figuratively and literally.

I run.

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Muchness

More words…

Soon to come.

For a bit of a spell,

 I lost my muchness.

But… 

IT’S BACK!!!!

 

Transitions

Transition-The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another

I am currently in the forever process of searching for a new job.

Forever, because it is going on two years now and I remain employed at a MICA (Mentally Ill Chemical Abusers) shelter run by a non-profit of the most horrific kind. Shelter culture is not a nice culture to be a part of for both residents and staff. The stress of emotional pain and anger encountered Monday through Friday, eight hours a day, mixed in with drug addiction is taxing on the body (residents) and grinds down the part of the heart, which once held compassion (staff). Needless to say, in response to my frayed nerves and too many glasses of wine after work, countless resumes flow through my email account on a daily basis to prospective employers.

Of course, I receive countless replies in the form of- NO RESPONSE.

Although, hopeful at first, I no longer anticipate an invite for an interview but, my finger continues to tap the ‘send’ button’ with resume attachment in tow.

But one day

A reply came in…

The position was for an administrative assistant at the Brooklyn museum. The museum of my childhood! Excellent location, near the library and Prospect Park and I could walk to work and run home for lunch. The duties entailed bookkeeping, basic office manager with a great starting salary.

The interview

The interview took place over the phone but headed towards the resume dumped in the trash bin direction, once I opened my mouth. The director of the department hiring began the interview with the generic asinine, “Why is the position of interest to you?”, question which I find insulting to any person with a functioning brain.

My response, “Because of the growth opportunities”.

What do you mean by growth? Are you using this position to get your foot in the door then transfer to another department?”

Um no”.

This is an administrative job with the same duties performed on a daily basis. There is no growth. Let me look at your resume.”

As I heard her flipping through pages, I thought, Didn’t the idiot read my resume before calling?

The director returned to the phone.

You’re over qualified for this position. You will be bored.”

Needless to say, the conversation went no further.

Thanks for the interview”, I said and quietly hung up the phone receiver.

Bored?

Did she just say bored?

This phrase ruminated throughout my brain for the next two days as well as every feminine curse word aimed at this faceless director who had allot of nerve assuming I’d be bored with a dumb administrative assistant position at an over caddy presumptuous Brooklyn museum.

She was right.

For the past fourteen years, I have worked as an administrative assistant, with a three year hiatus as a NYC public school special education teacher, and to be honest, found admin work, BORING- usually after a month on the job.

This interviewer, whom I perceived as harsh, was in fact insightful. The message delivered in a non-pleasing way delivered and thankfully, after the steam stopped seeping from my angry brain, I was able to see truth through the
vapours.

I am presently researching prospects and no longer send out resumes for administrative work. I am now in the midst of a transition.

Women on the verge…

For the past eight months, I have been fortunate to work at a part-time job with limited benefits. I say fortunate because of the lack of job availability or options. Thanks to a church member’s recommendation, I was able to secure the job.

Unemployment was an albatross for a long time. My earnings went from a high-five figured salary to zero, to another five-figure salary but this time way down the numeric line. Bookkeeper, Administrator, Special Ed teacher, are titles of the past garnered from a Master’s from a prestigious university and a Master of Science from a not so prestigious college. My current title is, “File Clerk”.

I now work as a file clerk in a homeless women’s’ shelter.

I now work as a file clerk in a mental health homeless women’s’ shelter.

I now work as a file clerk in a mental health homeless women’s’ shelter surrounded by housing projects in a not so desirable part of town.

The search for full-time work with a different title continues, as the part-time work brings in a steady source of income. Some money is definitely better than no money.

The shelter.

The women at the shelter are a mix of ages, races and multitudes of mental health diagnosis-from depression to psychotic. Clients (the women) have endured domestic violence, sexual abuse, incarceration, abandonment, etc., compounded by untreated mental illness. This combination has left many unable to function within society.

The shelter culture, as my director states, is reminiscent of high school cliques. Jocks, nerds, beauty queens, popular, class clowns, stoners are present in the cafeteria only on an adult female level. There are those with seniority (years at the shelter) who are matrons, sought of the welcome committee who console those newly admitted to the shelter.

Yes, a client is admitted, usually from a referring agency, no walk-ins. Once admitted, a bed and room are assigned. The shelter provides three full meals, shower facilities, laundry as well as toiletries. Free medical checkups, psychiatric services and counseling are also provided and a requirement towards securing housing. Check out from the rooms is 10:00am and check in/sign in begins at 5pm. Some clients spend the entire day sitting in the cafeteria, which, also functions as a recreation room. The clients engage in card games, music, conversations, socializing, fights, verbal and some physical, takes place on a daily basis.

The goal of the shelter is to place the clients in permanent shared or single dwelling housing within special housing facilities. The shelter is a stepping-stone for the clients. A place to pause, get back on track, take personal responsibility and gain understanding of their mental illness which leads to self-care.

I spend twenty-one hours a week in this shelter working amongst the clients who visit the clinic for medical, psychiatric and counseling appointments.  I listen to their plights, offer encouragement and direct them through proper channels to obtain services. Remaining distant and aloof is not an option. It is impossible not to care no matter how difficult a client is or can be.

The Past, Present and Future

I am unemployed but actively searching. Lack of job prospects but determined not to quit.  Sending resumes out by any means necessary but “email or fax your resume” rhetoric discourages. Interview clothes no longer fit due to weight gain but I took up jogging.

 My presence in the present is a continuous struggle towards the illusive light at the end of the tunnel but there is hope that this state of being, shall too pass, opening up another of life’s venues to travel and explore-with good juju everywhere!

The present is a state of limbo in between the past and future. The past led me to the present and the present will lead me to the future.  If I have learned something from the past and applied it to the present, then the future will hold the positive outcome since I would have learned from the past.

 The past protects, saves the memories, and establishes sorrows.  The present holds the past hostage with reflections on should haves, could haves and if only’s. Regrets of the past form foundations as mistakes build upon sedimentary layers.

 The future viewed through the present unveils the abundance of projections and uncertainties and guards the if’s and going to’s as well as aspirations and expectations.  

 Overall, the future holds hope.

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