Sunday, November 8, 2009


So it's been a couple weeks since you last heard from me—and boy, what a difference a couple weeks makes!

Some things you don't know about me, as background: In 2005 I was laid off of a job that I loved and through which I felt that I was doing a wonderful service to the public. I was dealing with information of a somewhat medical nature, which appealed to me because I have always been fascinated by medicine and the workings of the body. When the unemployment payments ended, I took the first job that offered itself, doing telephone interviews for surveys. The work was not steady and paid me considerably less than I was making on the previous job. When I was assigned to a survey for which I would work two months and be out of work one month, I decided to apply for Social Security Disability based on my congenital legal blindness and put some time to good use studying to be a medical transcriptionist.

In theory this was a sound plan. I wouldn't have to worry about where the money was coming from while I was studying, and when I was finished, I would apply for a job making good enough money not to need the disability payments. There was only one problem about which no one warned me and which I didn't discover until I graduated from the medical transcription program I'd chosen and passed with flying colors and began looking for work: You have to be very, very careful which MT program you choose. If the one you choose doesn't offer internships or isn't part of a company that will hire its own graduates to give them experience, and you live in an area where most of the local medical facilities have already switched over to digital dictation or dictation via speech-recognition software, then you are going to have a most hellacious time getting hired. Medical transcription companies abound, and they are fighting over experienced transcriptionists, who are leaving the business in droves. However, those same companies will not hire anyone who doesn't have at least one year of on-the-job experience—meaning they will not hire me. Since I cannot get hired, I cannot gain experience. So, reluctantly, I began looking for other work than medical transcription.

Then, three months ago, my finances took a hit when my disability payments were cut by nearly $500! I'd been getting just enough to pay all my bills, buy groceries, give money in church, and have some left to play with if I only played a little bit. Suddenly I didn't have enough to pay the bills, or I wouldn't have had if I hadn't agreed to help out a friend by playing piano at his church one Sunday every month. Suddenly, I not only needed a job, I also needed to cut expenses.

The biggest bill I have is my rent, so it stood to reason that I must look for a cheaper place to live. I needed to find it by the end of this year, because my lease is up, and I must either sign another lease or go somewhere else. One of my uncles having died two months ago, my grandmother lost in him a son, a roommate, and an on-site caretaker, and her house seemed the obvious alternative if I couldn't find housing and a job by the end of this year. I set the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as my deadline to make a decision and determined that by then I would do the best I could about at least finding subsidized housing by then. I prayed to Father God and began looking.

I hadn't been looking very long by the third week in October when a tip from the office manager of one low-income housing community directed me to the number of the office manager of another such community in a different part of town. When I called, in the middle of the one day that the office manager was available, to inquire about available units, I was briskly informed that one was available, but I needed to come fill out an application for it, as availability was based on first-come, first-served. After ascertaining that she would be there until evening, I immediately went over and filled out the papers right there in the office. Just this past week, I went back with the application fee and the additional paperwork she requested. Pending approval of the paperwork and a couple other minor bits of the process, I now have a new address, just in time for Thanksgiving!

So what about work? Well, two days after I completed the application for the apartment, I e-mailed a cover letter and resume to a local employment agency, just on a whim. The company e-mailed me back the following week to invite me to a job fair, to which I was to bring a copy of my resume and at which I was to be prepared to be interviewed. On the appointed day, I showed up, properly prepared, and I ended up interviewing for two different jobs! I ended up with the lower-paying one, because I wanted to be sure I would still be able to get home after my shift was over, I do not drive, and I live in a city where the buses do not run all night. With my lower stress tolerance due to hypothyroidism (learn about it by searching my archives for the post I did about it), I think that it will be the better job for me. I begin training in the morning!

That's a lot of change in a very short period of time. And of course it will affect my sleep challenge. From now on, to be at optimal performance, I have to make sure I establish and maintain a routine that gets me in bed at a decent time every night so that I can get up in the morning ready to begin each day. Up till now, I've continued to be inconsistent about it, but that all ends tonight. Just as soon as I finish this post.

But I'll let you know how things go with all these changes in my life. Wish me success in handling all this!

A new place to live, a new job, and all by the deadline I set! Thank You, Lord :-).

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