Rush

I’m feeling the rush of the season, but I haven’t bothered to set up my tiny fake tree or the Nativity scene yet. There’s a push to meet productivity numbers, always, but more so during the holidays. Every week I aim to bill the state 26 hours regardless of my case load which can be as light as 10 or as high as 21. As an employee, I rely on my supervisor to keep my case load up; she’s to “court” the referral sources. This year with Christmas and New Year’s being on Thursfay, I’m working most of next week. It’ll be the first time in 4 years that I haven’t taken a day off for the winter holidays.

Yet I’m dragging. I’m chilling (literally) on a client’s front stoop, waiting for him/her to arrive. The appointment was at 4pm, it’s now 4:13pm. I need to get this case cleared up, too many loose ends, too many missed appointments. I’m the one waiting on them; I thought they needed therapy. I know one of the reasons our low SES clients are our clients is because they have difficulty functioning in society; their dis-ease impairs their ability to take perspective, to empathize, to realize others effort and know the way to respond to it.  Everyone else has made them wait hours for medical visits, weeks for funds/checks, and years for the American dream.

That said, it’s hard to wake up in the mornings because it’s a damp cold, and the last 4.5 months on a starvation budget have hit their mark. Thankfully, I received a 10% raise, considering the fact I was already functioning 6% below COLA, it’s the extra 4% which makes the difference. I continue to look for work at other agencies though.

I need to hit the hay. I have a client at school at 8am, another at 11am, 1pm and ~4pm. I suppose it sounds nice, but each client is accompanied with at least 30 minutes of street traffic, dealing with school personnel, looking for kids who are tardy/truant/absent. At least tomorrow is Friday. My plans for Saturday: sleep. Because I’m dragging. I want to put things on pause, slow things down a bit.

<rant>I saw a meme on Fb this morning that showed some people guffawing at the idea of single people being tired, compared to people with kids. You could say I don’t have kids. But I work with your kids when your family system has messed them up, when society has messed them up. You might deal with the bedwetting, but I’m the one who listens to the incest, rape, abuse, bullying, loneliness, panic attacks, flashbacks, the bingeing and purging. </rant>
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It’s not flowing

As a therapist who works for a nonprofit which contracts with various school districts, I invariably drive a lot. It can be assumed I listen to an unfair share of talk radio. I listen to the gamut from cocky Rush Limbaugh to Hannity to Mark Levin. Larry Elder has in on-again, off-again. Of course there are the “fillers” like financial gurus Dave Ramsey and Clark Howard. This is just the secular stations, I’ve got at least one Catholic station saved on the AM dial as well.

In August I usually take a good, long hard look at my budget. The bills that increased in July, are starting to come in; I’m waiting to hear from my property manager about whether rent will increase when my lease terminates at the end of August. Things aren’t computing. I’m not spinning this, I’m not at all related to Bill O’Reily. I promise! On paper I look excellent, earing $47,500 prior to taxes. After my wages are manhandled by greedy, bloated government, I have a ghastly $30,264 left.

Out of 30,264

  • Rent (900 x 12) = 10,800
  • Internet (34.99 x 12) = 419.88
  • LADWP (87.39 X 12) = 1,048.68
  • SoCalGas (8 x 12)= 96
  • Gasoline (304.10  x 12) = 3649.20
  • Car Insurance (336.37 x 12) = 4,036.44
  • Car Loan (276.91 x 12) = 3,222.92
  • Student Loans 1 & 2 (242.28 x 6) = 1453.68
  • Student Loan 3 (88.46 x 6) = 530.76
  • Groceries (min. 100 x 12) = 1,200
  • therapy (100 x 52) = 5,200

What I am left with: $-2,255.64 annually

2015 budget reality

What I didn’t include in this is the annual fees for CA DMV registration (upwards of $170), registration with BBS ($75), AAA auto club (IDK), &c. With these included in the deduction, I’m left with nothing. I live in the red.

Routine oil changes on the car cost about $180 annually. What about brakes? Hey, my coolant tank and/or hoses have been leaking. What if I go beyond the $20 grocery budget? Need new shoes/clothing? The water or electricity bill goes up, as it will? How about this year I’m trying to get licensed and just registering for the exam is $200; not to mention testing fees and study materials? How about having to pay off my credit card bill?

In actuality, I don’t have $160 left at the end of the month. Through my account on mint.com I’ve been able to see where each dollar goes ( I pay with my debit card, I don’t carry cash). I have, on average, $40-60, via credit card. Don’t get me started on my parents asking, “Why don’t you have any savings?” Like, really?!? Are you kidding me? Even better, “Are you planning on going somewhere for vacation?” It’s a hoot when I’m asked if I’ll get a raise. I get a 2% raise, which is 20cents added to the hourly wage which is the base for my salary. I’m trying so hard right now to keep myself together. Let’s not consider the likely increase in rent, and my financial inability to afford the cost of moving.

If you could say a prayer for me, I’d really appreciate it.