This has been a crazy week…
Things started to escalate on Tuesday, when I had an appointment with the diabetes nurse at my HMO. She seems kinda impressed that I’m managing the diabetes without medication and without even testing my blood sugars, which means that this interaction was much better than our previous meetings.
I mentioned to her that I think I’m addicted to sugar, as I can’t stop eating it (cookies, donuts, cheesecake, cannoli…) even though I KNOW it’s bad for me. She said that many people are addicted to sugar, and she suggested that I do a sugar detox to change my taste buds so I don’t want the sugars any more. She gave me an article to read that detailed a sugar detox; “Go cold turkey (protein & non-starchy veg only) for three days. Then you can add a dairy and a fruit back in…”
My response to the article was “Three days is nothing. I’d need to be cold turkey for like, three weeks.”
And then I started making a plan for this sugar detox, which will likely happen at some point, but I’d like to run the plan past both my nutritionist and my primary care first, just so everyone’s on the same page.
The emotional part of this is that I enjoy sugary things, and I will have to deprive myself of things I like to better my health. And that’s hard to wrap my head around, because there have been times where there was so few things that brought me any happiness at all, and now I’m reluctant to give up anything that increases my happiness quotient. (This is, of course, the addiction talking, and logically I know that kicking it will be better for me… and this is apparently a cyclical explanation. You get the idea.)
On Wednesday, I was supposed to have a one-on-one meeting with my supervisor; the bosses like to have these every two weeks to check in with you on progress, etc. (Personally I think that once a month would be enough, but I’m not the boss.). Only mine wasn’t a one-on-one, it was two-on-one, as the boss-man (my supervisor’s boss’s boss, who oversees a few different teams) was sitting in. When the person who hired you sits in on a random private meeting, it tends to not bode well…
My supervisor started by recapping what we’d talked about last time, how one of my personal goals is to pay down my student loans, because I know that having them hanging over me is going to prevent me from doing a lot of things that I want to do (such as traveling). She then asked me to fill in the boss-man on my plan & progress.
A bit of background info here: I’ve done 8 years of undergrad, yielding a BA in Math and an AS in Engineering, and I was working on a BS in Engineering/Environmental Science when I withdrew for health reasons. So I have a private loan (at 9.66%) and lots of Federal loans (between 3.4% and 6.8%); they sum to about $53,000. At the rate that I’ve been paying my private loan ($150/month, even when I was unemployed) it’ll take me about 13 years to pay that sucker off. My Federal loans are on an income based repayment plan, and because I’ve been consistently so poor my required payments are currently $0, though some of them are accruing interest. … MATH.
So I explain to the boss-man what the deal is. He asks what my take-home pay is like per month (about $1200), and then asks me what my bills are that I’ve been spending it on. THEN, he spends at least half an hour lecturing me about what he thinks I should do to pay off my loans. His plan included:
- NOT getting an apartment (continuing to live with my dad, despite being almost 30)
- Draining most of the savings I’ve built up since starting my job in March: leaving $600 “for emergencies” and using the rest to pay down some of my private loan
- Getting a second job on the weekends and putting that income straight to the loans
- Somehow living on only $200/month, and putting the other $1000 take-home straight to the private loan and it’d be paid off in a year
- Maybe considering putting my cat down, because her healthcare is expensive
So I have to sit through this gods-awful lecture, trying my best to not cry in front of my bosses. Then they bring up my work performance.
A bit more background: I schedule trucks to deliver product from vendors (Hershey, Kraft, Hormel, etc.) to my company’s warehouses. The trucking companies request the appointment online, and it pops into the queue to be scheduled, sorted by which facility it’s going to. (We call those “webs,” for web-requests.) We have a 2-hour turnaround time for webs, and every two hours my supervisor runs a report that lists how many webs are pending, how many are over 2 hours old, and which facilities they’re for. Apparently my facilities always have the most webs pending, which says to my bosses that I’m not pulling my weight with the team. (Personally, I think their data is skewed. Like, what are the web flow rates (how many webs come into each building)? Because I’m pretty sure half the problem is that I have the busiest facilities.)
Anyway, the boss-man thought I was over-thinking the scheduling of each web. I had to correct him, “No, I’m easily distracted.” Which is true; between the noise in the office and my body being uncomfortable sitting for so long, it is hard to focus. (Another problem is that in the web browser of my mind, there’s always at least 5 tabs open at all times, and it’s easy to distract myself when I’m bored… Which is pretty often at work….)
The meeting culminated in talk that sounded to me like, “We really like you & we like having you on the team, but you need to start doing better with your webs or we’ll fire you.”
And then I had to go back to work for another 2 hours after this meeting ended.
After work I rushed home, gave my cat her medication, and made dinner. At the end of dinner I was literally almost done cleaning up when my stepmother came home and Dad said, “You need to do that somewhere else,” essentially kicking me out of the kitchen. Gods forbid I spend 30 seconds in the kitchen finishing my dinner while you guys are starting yours.
Naturally I cried when I got back to my room, but I couldn’t indulge long because I had to get to the dance hall before 7 because I had the cash box for taking money at the door. And then, I was stuck at the hall on clean up afterward and didn’t get home until 11:30 pm. And then I passed out for six hours and woke up on Thursday to go back to work…
Thursday was emotionally / spiritually hard. I listened to my iPod all day, and I think I did alright on my webs, but no one acknowledged that I was doing better or trying harder or anything. I felt like I was suffocating, turning into a drone. I left work, picked up the farm share, went to the bank to make the deposit for the dance, and went home. I might have cried a bit, I don’t remember.
Anyway, what I’m trying to get at here is that it was kinda a crap week. Any one of these things would have been enough to deal with on its own, but all of them at once is excessive. Also, despite me working here since March, my boss clearly has no idea who I am yet.
- I have to get an apartment & move out. Not only is it LONG past time I do so, but 1) my dad is selling the house in the next year, 2) my stepbrother is getting out of prison soon & I don’t want him knowing where I live, and 3) my abusive ex-boyfriend still knows where I live, as I haven’t moved since we were dating.
- $600 is not emergencies. An emergency is my cat spending three days in the hospital and I suddenly have $2500 in vet bills. $600 is not NEARLY enough to cover anything.
- Getting a second job is plausible, I suppose. My excuses for not doing so are that I need time for things like exercising, snuggling my cat (gotta take advantage of the time we still have together), and house chores.
- Living on $200/month is absurd. (I know some people do it, and I’m not putting them down. I’m explaining why I can’t do it.). I’m diabetic and I cannot live on meals of rice & beans. My other bills add up (phone $50, car insurance $35, YMCA membership $15), and that’s not including gas for my car. I’ve been poor. I honestly still consider myself poor. Why would I voluntarily make myself miserable?
- Do not even think about suggesting I put my cat down. You would never suggest that a parent of a human child put their baby down just because their medical care wasn’t cheap. I have no intentions of parenting a human child; my cats are my children. This, was not acceptable.