Things are not going so great over here. And by “not great” I mean abysmal. Things are hitting the fan that should not hit it. Ever.
Back in February, I thought I was going to have a job that paid double what Jason makes in a week as a part time meat porter at a grocery store. I was then informed that, no, I would not have that job. Which led to the inevitable situation of running out of money. We’ve been forced to turn to the state for help. Enter food stamps, government rent assistance, and general hopelessness.
My real issue is not with receiving a leg up from the state (my mom, a single high school teacher with a toddler, was on WIC for a time), it’s the process. Jason, having been in this situation for his entire childhood, knows the ropes, so that helps. It’s a bit lengthy, a bit degrading (lots of office employees talking to you like you’re a child picking your nose), and a bit stressful. Like today, when the process spat in my face and called me “honey”.
I dabble as a phone actress, PSO, chatline operator, whatever you want to call it. We needed money, this was the fastest/easiest way to do it. It doesn’t so much eat away at your soul as get to be really boring. I mean, I can only describe a blow job so many times a night before I get sick of my own voice.
Now, because the assistance office needs to know how much I make and who is giving me the money, I have to get an employment verification form filled out by an employer. This is a problem since I’m technically an independent contractor. Technically, I work for myself.
The following is a composite of a total of six phone calls, three to each place.
When I called the assistance office they said, “Get us a fax number, we’ll send it to them to fill out. Even if you are ‘self employed’ we need them to deny us the information. Or we can’t move forward on your case.”
Okay. So I call the help number I have for the chatline.
Effeminate voiced man: “We can’t verify anything. You’re self employed. Figure it out with a lawyer.”
“I just need a fax number, even if you tell them what you just told me”
“(sighs) You’re an independent contractor, HONEY. We don’t take taxes out, we don’t employ you.”
“Can I speak to a supervisor?”
“There isn’t one. You can email.”
“What will that do?”
“They’ll tell you the same thing. Because you don’t work for us, HONEY. We’re a dispatch center.”
“There’s no need to be snippy. I hear what you’re saying.”
Cue the tears.
Cue Jason. He called the dispatch center next.
“My girlfriend is trying to get employment verification…..Do you have a fax number….DO YOU have a FAX number?….We’ll I’m here to tell you that you’re completely wrong….. He hung up.”
Cue more tears. Mine, not Jason’s. Because if a person needs help, a no is the least helpful thing next to a ridiculous suggestions (a LAWYER? I have $25 dollars in my account and just saved a whole month in order to see The Hangover 2. And pro bono would take time I don’t have.)
Luckily, I’m very shrewd. Because what was hiding in my info packet saved to my desk top? A fucking FAX NUMBER! I hope you’ll be excited to see that form show up at your office, HONEY!