I used to write for an alternative newspaper in Charleston, WV. This article began as an email to Michael Lipton asking for a job writing for Graffiti. I got the gig, I just wasn’t paid for it, but boy did I have fun. And then he sold the paper out from under me and the new folks weren’t interested in my free labor. It’s pretty rough when you can’t even give it away! Circa 2003.
by Cee Kay
Unemployment is very strange. It’s especially strange if one has been, more or less, continually. employed since one was 15. West Virginia is a microcosm of everything that is wrong or going wrong in the nation, economically. (We’re also a microcosm for lots of good things, but that’s different.) If things are bad elsewhere, they’re rotten here. If it’s rotten elsewhere, we’re throwing ourselves from skyscrapers. (Well … if we had any).
In order to both find gainful employment and keep the Bureau of Unemployment happy, I am now sending resumes in response to any job posting even remotely suited to my abilities and experience. I am baffled by the organizations that choose to interview me and astounded by those who don’t.
I’ve noticed certain trends in the interview process that did not exist the last time I was actively seeking work back in 1985. Some of these are disturbing.
I woke at 3:30 a.m. Excited? Not really. Perhaps a bit anxious.
I’m returning to the office today. Of my own free will. Working at home is not really working well for me. I have been completely discombobulated. So on this dreary and rainy morning, I shall adorn myself in clothes, jewelry and heels to go to my office and restore something of a normal work schedule.
Since I am street legal which is to say that I’ve had both vaccines plus the two week period to insure immunity, I should be okay. I am, though, a bit anxious and having second thoughts.
Working from here didn’t work for me, but oh how I loved the commute and dress code. The earlier workday with the commensurate earlier quitting time. The late afternoon naps. But the lack of boundaries has me deeply unsettled. I’ve said it before: my need for routine and normalcy surprises me, but it is very much a need.
I just wish it weren’t raining. I had plans to pack up the computer and printer, the office files and roledex: the accoutrements of working from home. But I’m not about to slog that stuff around in the rain. So that will have to wait until the forecast is less wet.
Today is Day 87 of my social isolation. I broke quarantine and went into the office. I had to. I’m up to my ass in alligators and it’s time to clean out the swamp.
It was nice to sit at my desk. I had Mexican take-out for lunch. I riffled through email and an email technology problem. I shuffled some paper around. I made a few phone calls. It was all so normal. Nice, splendid normal.
Tomorrow I will go in for what will probably be a full day. We have a big technology project underway and I don’t even know what continent my ducks are on — forget having them in a row.
Normal. It’s a nice respite, but I think it’s just that. I don’t think the pandemic is even close to over. But I’ll take a day like this now and again. Oh, yes, I will.
Enter Creator: Photographer: Nickolay Khoroshkov Copyright: Copyright:Nickolay Khoroshkov Information extracted from IPTC Photo Metadata.a caption Wikipedia Creative Commons
My sleep pattern is really off — even for me. It’s stress and tension and worry and current affairs. It’s not quite 5 a.m., and I’ve been up for well over an hour.
For most of my adult life, I was a night owl. Then I entered the halcyon days of going to bed at 10 p.m. with a book and waking at 6 or 7 a.m. Then the Evil Menopause occurred, and sleep became elusive. I’m either past that or have made peace with it, but now I’m stuck on the to-bed-by-8 and up at 4 a.m. pattern. This is a problem.
It’s even more of a problem now because between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. I’m up multiple times. For water, to pee, to stare at the screen, to stare at the wall. My mind churns, and my spirit is disturbed.
With current affairs being what they are (mayhem), I am sleep deprived. I punctuate my late afternoon with a long nap, but I don’t think I’m getting enough hours in a row. My dreams are vivid and, often, disturbing. Working, writing, and tending to life’s daily chores are hard.
I need some peace, but that seems unlikely. So. I need to learn how to navigate this turmoil. These are momentous times — I need to be sharp.