Monday, March 27, 2006

Can I start this week over, please?

Well, I think we can definitely write last week off. It sucked big time, baby!

Lee and I made the decision to swap roles. He'd stay at home and look after the kids while I returned to work.

A job was advertised with a temping agency. I applied, then realised that I was going to be underpaid by rather a lot, simply because they didn't cover sick leave or holiday pay. I could handle the holiday pay part, but not the sick leave. I'm not the healthiest person on the planet. I need my 8-10 days. So when offered the job, I refused.

They phoned me back and offered me another job. With an extra 80c per hour! Worried about our disappearing funds, I took it.

I hate it! I'm handling mortgage discharges. This means, the customer for whatever reason, decides they want their title deeds. Maybe they paid off their house or sold it or died or...

(yawn)...

ummm, where was I? Oh yeah, mortgage discharges. So they want their certificate of title, so I have to track it down and the mortgage and the contract ...

(snore...)

(snore...)

(snore...)

Ever wonder why the word mortgage has the word MORT in it. Cos talking about it will bore you to death!

So anyway. I start on Monday. And I hate it. The woman who's training me is flicking from screen to screen saying "and do this, and do this, and don't forget this. And you simply must do that. But you don't need to do that if the customer doesn't have..."

(1 sheep. 2 sheep. 3 sheep)

"Now, you sit at this computer and do it." Do what? Flick pointless screens around? I don't understand. What do they want from me?

I go back on Tuesday.

And I'm hating it. I'm still flicking screens around, trying to add useless bits of information in, trying to find that "must do" screen (which doesn't seem to exist in Lynland) and trying to find some sense in this dreary world I've stumbled into.

About lunchtime I decide enough's enough. I sit at my trainer's desk and say "I'm not moving until I understand what you're doing. Don't teach me. Just do your job and I'll follow along. I'll ask questions if I need to but other than that, ignore me."

And it works. An hour later I walk back to my desk and find the 'must do' screen.

And it's not so bad.

The rest of the week is still boring and I, unlike my colleagues, can't find it in me to be excited by this stuff, but on the positive side I am handling a new mortgage at an average of one per hour and this in turn reminds me why I'm doing this job.

Then Friday comes. Thank god. I do my tour of duty and leave. I'm on my way home, walking down City Arcade, when it happens. My weak ankle collapses. It just folds under me taking the rest of my body with it. The pain flowers from my ankle to my toes through to my knee. It's so bad I can barely breathe, let alone cry. One guy stops to help me. He offers me his arm. I, being the ultra-phobe I am, refuse. "Trust me," he says, trying to take my bag. I shake my head and point to Miss Maud's. "I'll sit here and wait for my husband."

He shrugs and walks off. Now I cry. I wait until he's out of sight then hobble to the train station. It takes 25 minutes, but finally I make it. Fortunately I'm able to get a seat, virtually unheard of at that time of day.

By the time I arrive home the ankle is the size of a football and my foot is tingling. Lee pushes SuperCodeine into me along with two glasses of wine. My body finally does the decent thing and I pass out.

The weekend is spent in a haze of drugs and pain but by Sunday afternoon I'm feeling somewhat better.

Sidebar.

Battboy and I celebrated our first anniversary on Sunday. One whole year as husband and wife. He bought me a beautiful ring. His present is waiting for my foot to recover so I can go and buy it.

Back at the story.

So this morning I decide I'm going to work. Remember, I'm paid by the hour. I don't get sick leave. I have to go into work.

I take the train.

I get off the train.

I walk maybe twenty metres when my foot, my left foot, my dickie foot, finds the only slippery patch in the entire station. Over I go, my foot folding and sliding away from me. The pain causes me to react in instinct and I shift all my weight to the other side of my body. And land heavily on my right hip.

I cried like a baby. A guard filled out an incident report while I called Lee. An hour later I was at the doctors and being x-rayed. It's not broken, but it looks like it should be. Chronically sprained, the left side of my foot is black and swollen and the doctor doesn't want me to walk on it for the rest of the week.

That's over $800 gone.

I am going to use this week productively, though. I'm going to a Border's Book Store career day on Thursday. I need a real job with real benefits.

Like sick leave.

And holidays.

And books.

And real people. Who talk to each other. About real stuff. Like books.

Wish me luck.

Pack up and go home.

I've just finished Chuck Palahniuk's "Lullaby" (he's the guy who wrote "Fight Club"). There are some authors you read and think "Why do I bother? He's said it all." The man is a jeen-yoos. I can't wait to read the next one. Chuckie P is brilliant!

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