Where’s my security?

My bid for the call center job at FacilitySource fell through. Bummer. But there are some interesting developments I need to tell you about.

Breckenridge Apartments has been having some dispute with Network Multifamily, the company that monitors the burglar alarms here on the complex. Breckenridge has decided to end their contract with Network Multifamily and give refunds to all the residents of the $35 they spent licensing their burglar alarms with the state of Ohio. The refund will come in the form of a credit to next month’s rent payment.

Lately, I’ve been paying really close attention to how I pray, or to what goes through my mind in the mornings.

“Father, I think it’s really great how You’re keeping me from overdrawing at the bank and giving me this extra credit on my rent for $35, but it’s not enough. I need more.”

Whoa! Big red flag being raised here. Why am I asking for more money? Could it be that I’m still trusting it for my security?

If Jesus is my source of security, then it shouldn’t matter at all to me how much of my money is taken away, or how many of the tools I use for Jesus are taken away. I’ll just keep right on functioning for Jesus. No problem. I’ll keep right on functioning even if all He gives me is a room at Faith Mission and a pen and a clipboard full of notebook paper. It makes no sense why He’d reduce me to that, though. After all, the rule goes that if you’re found faithful in smaller responsibilities, He’ll give you larger ones.

With my Pontiac GrandAm, I am a blessing to some seven, maybe eight people who don’t have cars of their own. Why would God put my car in danger of being repossessed? With this blog and what I do on Second Life, I can be a blessing to potentially thousands. Why would God put those things in danger as well?

My guess is it’s my faith He’s working on. It’s that underused, underestimated commodity in me that could turn out to be my greatest asset. I wonder what that could be like if He were to burn all the impurities out of it, all the trusting in the wrong things out of it.

My God! I just can’t fathom how wonderful that would be.

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Held payments

I’m about to go to The Labor Company, that labor hall that I told you about in yesterday’s post. I appear headed to working at a packaging plant (they need over 200 people each for morning and evening shifts), but I cannot at present say for sure. Keep the prayer wheels turning.

In the meantime, I must sadly report that for some reason they are presently keeping to themselves, the Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Services is holding back my unemployment benefits for the weeks ending Feb. 13 and Feb. 20.

This really irks me. I play the game according to Hoyle the first week of the month, telling them about the four days I worked for the Ohio Educational Technology Conference. They denied payment for that week, which is what is supposed to happen. I can’t figure out why they are holding the two payments after that.

I took a screen grab of the web page that says so, just in case they try to say they don’t know what I’m talking about, and I fired them a feedback demanding to know why they are doing this. I have come to the end of my patience with these people.

Blame me

I wake up each morning taking some hard shelling from the opposition inside my brain.

Call it the Inner Critic, call it the Devil, call it coming out of denial, call it what you like, but whatever it is, it likes to blame me for the economic danger that I’m in. It says I brought it on myself because spent too much money on something or other. Take a listen at what went through my brain just moments before I got up.

You know that $7.50 dinner you ate at China Way eight days ago? That’s the fatal mistake that’s going to do you in. It’s $7.50 you’re going to wish to God you can have back before the week is out.

How about that $14.62 you spent at Big Lots for a 4GB memory card for a digital camera on February 11? That’s something you didn’t exactly need, either. More money you’ll wish you had back.

Doesn’t look good for you, genius.

I tell you, this part of my mind is ripping me open a new one.

Oh, sure, you’re going to tell your baldfaced lies about this. You’re going to say the money is from your income tax refund, and you’re entitled to splurge it a little. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

You’re also going to say the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services dropped the ball, docking you twice for only one week of work. Makes no difference what they do, puke-for-brains. Your job is to adapt to anything thrown at you and adapt successfully. Adapt or die. Been that way since the first amoeba breathed.

But you can’t mean this! The world is throwing all this trouble at me and no help to deal with it? It’s impossible to come up with all the money everybody wants. And now you’re flaying me alive because I can’t do the impossible? This is unfair.

Another of your accursed baldfaced lies! Fairness is purely an invention of man, and it’s just like man to expect the world to be fair. The world is not obligated to be fair. What it is obligated to do is destroy the weak so only the strong can go on to have babies and keep the species strong. Sayonara, weakling.

I wish I could train my heart not to believe this guy.

Educational tech conference

I am doing a very risky thing right now. I have Ooo Shinee parked at Goodale Park, where one of my supervisors said I could park for free.

Free? Naww! Prime piece of parking real estate this close to the Greater Columbus Convention Center that by some miracle didn’t turn into office buildings or condos? Free?

If it is, it has probably had legions of idiots abusing the privilege of parking there and making it necessary for tow trucks to patrol it. I will have to check on my car come lunchtime, maybe move it to a different space.

I wanted to take the bus downtown today, but paying the rent for February, a month so short it ought not to be called a proper month, left me not much in my combined bank accounts. (Sorry, talking amounts violates this blog’s Security Policy.) I meticulously tried to provide for my food for the coming few days, only to find myself kicking myself in the buttocks for failure to provide for two begging neighbors from the next building over as well.

Unemployment be damned. I am still the rich man, and I’m still responsible for Lazarus.

Oh, excuse me, did I say “supervisors”? It turns out that I am working at the on-site registration desk at the 2010 Ohio Education Technology Conference. The early morning hours were mad with long lines of people coming up to get registered. It’s that way for any kind of convention. But in the afternoon hours the people are gone and time drags, just like it did for me in the late hours at the Ohio Department of Health. During break I took a walk around the exhibition hall and saw all kinds of mouth-watering technological toys there. I saw dry-erase boards that sense where your body is for a computer that projects graphics onto it. I saw a kind of table with a touch-sensitive screen built into it that ran programs that teach kids to count money and other objects.

What a good time to be a pupil. And I’ve never been so in love with technology as I am now. Tomorrow I must wear a bib. You’d drool too if you saw all those teaching gadgets.

Alternative life dreams

Man, I hate those alternative life dreams, where I’m driving a different car, living in a different house, and have no idea how I got there.

But then maybe that raises the question, “Do I have any idea how I got here? Do I have any idea where I’m going? Do I?”

Kind of reminds me of that song by Diana Ross called “Do You Know”.

Maybe I’m holding myself accountable for stuff only God can do. I read an interesting series of blogs over the past days about how life in Christ is like life aboard Noah’s Ark. The Ark was basically a big floating box, without sails or a rudder. No way to propel it, no way to steer it. It goes only where God would have it go. It does just enough in keeping me out of the drowning waves of God’s judgment. I’m out of line to ask more from it.

Pretty much gone are my dreams of being a semi-famous comic on Second Life. Not that I wouldn’t have done well at that sort of thing, it’s just that the audience for such a thing just dried up and perhaps wants to be entertained in some new way. Where are they going?

Base of operations

My job and the fact that I commute to and from it using a bus to downtown has pretty much shifted my base of operations to the Northern Lights Shopping Center. The groceries come from the Kroger down there, what little I need in stationery can be found in the Family Dollar a few doors up.

I eat out a lot more, which is probably to my detriment. Mostly at Subway.

Subway is showing up a lot anymore in my checkbook. Subway is the only fast food place that dares to openly show its face in the stretch of North High Street between Nationwide Boulevard and Broad Street. There might still be a Wendy’s down south of State Street, but I’ve yet to actually go down there. A couple of weeks back, I walked down to the Statehouse grounds, and I was disheartened at all the empty storefronts down that way. The recession has taken a lot of scalps along that road.

School ads

During my lunchtime grocery shopping trip at Meijer on Sawmill Road—at 3:00 AM—I picked up a copy of the Employment Guide on the way out and perused it at my cubicle at work.

What a waste! Fully four pages, half of the entire issue, was devoted to running Career Education ads. Why did I even pick it up?

Must be a slow day at the office for these people.

New job hunt

Last Thursday, I failed the second interview that would have given me one of those new openings my had for, um, that other fiber-optic kind of Internet provider. (I can’t name it by name. It’s a fireable offense.) Hate to have to admit it, but I seem destined to be laid off at the end of the month.

I immediately finalized my present employer’s paragraph in my résumé and uploaded it up to Monster.com, Yahoo! Hotjobs, and ColumbusHelpWanted.com. Already the new résumé is yielding results, though not all of it is good. I immediately got recruitment letters from several insurance companies who think that no matter what else you may have done with your life for the past 30 to 40 years, they have an insurance sales position in their company with your name on it.

I haven’t the slightest idea what makes these Mensa candidates think they can teach Internet tech supporters how to sell life insurance.

“Okay, Ms. Johnson, now that we’ve deleted your temporary Internet files and your cookies, restored your security defaults, and rebooted your browser, I’d like you to go to the address field at the top of the browser and type in, ‘MutualOfOmaha.com’. That’s right, Ms. Johnson. Now look down the left hand side of the page and click on the link that says ‘Why You Need Life Insurance.'”

With my luck, I’ll probably still get the angry bastards that get misrouted over from Cable TV.

“I wanna know right now why I’m not getting my Movies On Demand!!”

“You expect to find this out from calling an insurance office?”

“Your head’s gonna roll for that, meathead! I wanna talk to your boss right now!! And don’t give me that dreck about the cost of funerals!”

“Very well then, sir. I can arrange for you to find out firsthand.”