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firefighter
wednesday, october 22, 2008

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lately it seems like all i do is put out fires, and it's getting frustrating. don't get me wrong, in some ways i'd rather be putting out the fires than watching them rage, but it gets tiresome, especially when i shouldn't be dealing with some of the fires i'm dealing with.

the financial fires i'm pretty much used to dealing with. they get frustrating, yes, but at least i have something to fight with now days. granted, not as much as we hoped, but i'm still hoping i can get us back on our feet eventually. the big frustrations here are the jobs. mine still won't pay for some time, if at all at this rate (more on that below).

saxy's job is turning into a nightmare. he can't quite -- there's nothing else on the horizon, but the company's been misrepresented, the pay scale was misrepresented, and saxy's working incredibly long hours for next to nothing. he was told he'd be paid a salary plus miles, now it's salary or miles depending on which is higher. he's not paid for mileage between client pick ups, just from client pick up to drop off. wait time isn't paid in atlanta, just for the places outside of it, and even then not all all of them. if he hasn't made enough to cover the salary and he's the one they have rotated in for the weekend, he works for no pay those two days. as a result of all this crap, his $2200 check was slashed to about $1400, and that's before taxes. our cable's off again, i have an electric bill i must pay by the 27th, two phone bills over my head, and i'm still trying to pay off this month's rent. $2200 would have gone a long way to starting to get us out of this mess. it'll all be managed eventually, i'm sure, but his job situation isn't helping as much as we'd hoped, and target has become a lost cause as far as we can tell. whatever the manager's problem is, she's not going to fill out the paperwork that shows that saxy did what he was supposed to and she made the changes to make it work because of a screw up at the lab. my guess is she's saving her own ass. and in this economy i can understand that, but my husband doesn't deserve the bad hand he's being dealt.

as for my job, my boss is suddenly not doing his end of the work, and it's pissing me off. i'm hearing from authors who are still waiting for contracts from august, for crying out loud, and having having to try to diffuse the situation. of course, i contact him and still nothing is done. his excuse so far has been the post, but i've gotten things from canada just fine. he hired an assistant, but hasn't given her the tools she needs to assist. he's not answering emails, he's refusing to pick up the phone. and this is just for contracts and related things. how the hell can i expect to get paid when i can't even get a response to an email? i've told him i can't and won't do his job or be his mother to no effect. and i am so ready to just hand in my resignation...only i can't. i made a commitment and need to see it through. don't get me wrong, i love what i do, but i'm expecting the press to tank within the next year or so. i could be wrong. he might surprise me and stop this avoidant, passive-aggressive bullshit, but i'm not holding my breath. the one thing i do know is if this press fails, it won't be because of me. i'm doing my job; it's the boss who needs to get is ass in gear.

and if this press goes down, i'm done. as much as i love being an editor, the small press world is about the only place i'd get hired, and i don't want to go through another job where i do all this work and never see a dime. there's only one other press i'd want to work for, and they are never hiring. nope, lilley goes down, i'm just going to focus on family and my own writing. hell, maybe that's what i should be doing anyway.

(and, yes, sasha, i know this will worry you, but i can't say much except to hope he gets off his ass and does his job...soon. if he'd just be responsible instead of ignoring everything right now, we'd be fine. really. i know life's thrown him a few curves, but we all know business doesn't care. *shrug* as i said, i'm hanging on because i made a commitment, but i'm just not holding my breath any more. all we can do is wait and see.)

and then i have a mystery fire. oh, i'm sure some of it has to do with the above aggravations, but this fire started before any of this started to get on my nerves. there's a...rage building inside me recently. i'm more easily frustrated, more easily irritated. my whole "roll with it" seems to have rolled away...without me. my first thought was my mother and her problems, but this is nothing like what she went through as far as i can tell. she had/has delusions, paranoia, not rage. she panicked over things, but i never saw her explode in any way. then i thought maybe it's the hormones. i've been on megestrol to combat my body's apparent tendency to overproduce estrogen, but i've been on it for months. it seems rather late to be developing rage feelings from it.

i know as a kid, i was rather volatile emotionally, but even then my "excited" reactions were in response to specific events. and that was usually excitement, not anger. i can't say it's 100% controlled, but i'm definitely in more control than i was as a kid. as an adult i've had some problems with temper, but, again, always to specific events, and usually all i needed was to get it out then i was done with it (always freaked the husband out like nothing else too). this is different. it's rage with no inciting event, nothing to react to and let it out and let it go over. it's a fire i feel like i have no tools to fight: nothing that seems to have started it, nothing to react to, no way to stop it or fix it. it started before saxy's job, but i know the issues with the two jobs are not helping -- they make it impossible to find a way to calm down for awhile because the issues are day to day things.

wherever this came from, i definitely need to figure out a way to fight it. not that i'd hurt my kids or anything, but it's also not healthy for me. and i've lashed out at a few others who do not deserve being treated that way -- and a few that have to be honest. still, it's a fire i need to successfully put out, and it's the one fire i feel least equipped to do anything about. how sad is that? it's me, and i can't figure out how to deal with it.

things like this make me wonder how good a firefighter i really am.


actually, now that i think about it (after originally posting this entry and sending out the email to readers), this mystery rage may be writing related. let me explain...

in the past, i have noticed a real...downward spiral in emotional state and attitude when i don't write. and by that i mean fresh material. i've never had a rage reaction before, but that doesn't mean it's not possible if i've ignored it long enough. in the past, i've gotten...easily irritated. ignore irritation long enough and what happens? anger would seem to be the most sensible next step, right?

right now i am focusing on revising my first novel -- a monster that has taken me almost 20 years to sort out. over the last few months, i've worked on almost nothing new. i do have a new novel in process, but i've pretty much ignored it except for every now and again. i want to get novel #1 done and out to beta readers, i had a deadline (long since blown) for myself, and i've been pushing myself to get that sucker done at the expense of every other writing i do.

maybe what this firefighter needs to do is put novel #1 aside for a day or two and work on something fresh. it certainly can't hurt to try, can it.


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word of the moment: virgate

having the form of a straight rod; wand-shaped; straight and slender; a yardland, or measure of land varying from fifteen to forty acres
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