Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Kid...we don't like your kind

A year and a half ago, I had a job. I made decent money and didn't despise what I did, though I always viewed it as a of weigh station until my book was published. Then I lost it. The job, that is. Or rather, I was fired. No warning signs, not an inkling of what was to happen on that lovely June afternoon. Just BAM! You're outta here, kid, and don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

I was crushed. I completely fell apart. Not because I loved the job so much, but because I knew what it meant for someone in my position to be suddenly out of work. Have I mentioned that I'm a felon? Yes sir, a middle aged woman with a felony drug conviction and, thanks to years of addiction and self-destruction, a rather shady resume. Don't get me wrong. I have what the hip kids would call mad skillz - I just look bad on paper.

My sudden change in employment status coincided nicely with the economic downturn, and jobs were scarce, as they still are. But I managed. The following day, I was offered a part time job driving for my son's van service. Perfect! So I turned down the air conditioner, made a few other minor adjustments, and found a way to survive on half of what we had previously. I concentrated on the book and wrote a not so good novel. Then I lost my job driving.

It seems Medicaid took over the transportation services and they don't want felons driving for them unless the felony is five years old. Rat bastiges. Fargin ice-holes. So I finished collecting what was left of my unemployment, which ran out in November last year.

I looked for a job. I interviewed. The felony issue always came up. (I don't remember job applications having so much focus on criminal history when I was younger.) So I started thinking, "This isn't fair. I can see people not wanting to hire child molesters or rapists, but me?? ME? This just isn't right. And I know there are others like me who need...no...deserve a break. I know what I'll do! Someday, I'll open a business and make it a point to hire people with felonies. People who are marginalized by the system. Damn it, I'll make a place for us! As God as my witness!"

I was feeling self-righteous. I was going to fight the good fight for myself and others like me. I'd be like MLK leading the way for people who just want the right to work like anyone else. I was energized. And then I thought,
"Yeah, but I don't want a bunch of criminals working for me."

Ah. Right. Okay, okay, so I get it. But that doesn't mean I have to like it.

So until the book sells, I've taken matters into my own hands. Have you seen this?

We do what we can with what we have. So far, so good.

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