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February 10, 2010

Letter to Payroll

My colleague and I decided to motivate for an early payment. Clearly we got nowhere but it was fun while it lasted. Read it and weep. Oh, and if you take this seriously, please get a reality check somewhere - hehe.

Dear Payroll

May I share a quote with you as follows:

"We the willing have been doing so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing."

Rob (aka Retard) and I have sat here for 2 weeks now working our fingers to the bone for very little or no reward. We have been whipped, moaned at and not acknowledged.

In addition to which WHILE I AM WRITING this letter, I keep getting annoying interruptions from FTA* with actual work requests (not to be confused with WR’s**) – requests for us to do actual work – WHAT is that about!?

My daughter and I have not had a proper meal now for approximately 1 week. We are relying on the kindness of strangers, knocking on doors asking to borrow a plate of spaghetti. Luckily we are cute and gorgeous so our hit rate is fairly high. The upside of this is that we now resemble Kate Moss. I am planning on taking pics to send to top model agencies.

I have had to subject myself to lunches (on the book) from the Tuck Shop and (shock and horror!) there are NO chips so I am now gaining weight from too many chocolates and licorice all sorts. Rob insists he is on Herbal Life but I am sure I’ve smelled LIQUOR on his breath. I also don’t see a marked change in his weight. He recently transferred funds into his wife’s account. I am sure these were pilfered otherwise he clearly earns more than me which is unfair as he does next to nothing besides moan about all and sundry. It’s very dull and is leading me to a very bad mental state. This leads me to my next point. I need to claim workmen’s compensation for colleague abuse. Rob constantly drones on and on and ooooon about all his work woes. I have learnt to block this out and render it to white background noise.

Our humble request right now is that we get paid early in February. We realize that this will probably render us broke in March but we don’t really care.

Lastly we’d like to end with another quote: "Lieeeefliiing, ons kan nie sonder jooooou kan bestaaaan niiiieee…. Laaalaaalalalalalalalalalalalaaaaaaaaaaaalaaaa." ***

And we love you (very much)

Fond regards
The very poor
Retard and Bee

* FTA - Friendly (in house) Travel Agent aka lovely colleague who lives to annoy me (Hi Heidi)
** WR - A template used within our work environment - gotta love acronyms
*** An in joke based on a song by Afrikaans singer Ge Korsten - translation: "Darling, I cannot exist without you!"

February 04, 2010

Only way out is through

A few things attacked me at once. I came out of hospital after having a hysterectomy for cervical cancer, my boyfriend of 2 years told me he was in love with someone else and I was given notice on the house I’ve lived in and loved for the last 4 years. Notice was given to ‘vacate the premises’ on 31 December – New Year’s Eve. Lovely. All these things I dealt with as they happened. Like slaying dragons, I dealt with each problem head on doing what had to be done, remaining calm and carrying on. A friend even commented that I ‘sailed through all of this with such grace’. Hah. All the while I remained calm and collected on the surface, I was dying inside. Many a night I spent crying into my pillow at the unfairness of life and the hopelessness of it all. The only thing that kept me going is the absolute belief that I have to be there for my daughter. If cancer is not going to take me away from her, nothing else will either.

Now it’s a couple of months later and I think I’ve only now relaxed enough to be able to grieve. I find myself overwhelmed with inexplicable bouts of sadness where all I want to do is curl up in a ball and cry. I don’t think I gave myself time to process at the time it was happening. I don’t think I had time to process. There were things that had to be done and I did them. Now they’re done and I feel completely spent. Wiped out sometimes, washed ashore.

My work is empty and meaningless and I dislike my boss intensely. I don’t have enough money to pay all my bills and find myself broke before the middle of the month. I am not usually a moaner or a whiner but it just feels like I need a break. I need something to go right. I know I’ve been given a second chance at life and I want to grab it and shake it but still I feel sad. I need to get over this and move on. I need to get over the grieving process. I need to shake myself and meet life head on. I know I need to do this. I just don’t know how.

Well meaning friends and family are supporting me through this. They are providing practical solutions and solid things that I can do to get myself out of this. I am just so tired of doing this all on my own. My daughter’s dad has not paid me maintenance for a total of three years of her life and when he did it was minimal. I am tired of being the bread winner, sole provider, cheerleader, mother, father, worker, saint etc. etc. etc. I am bone tired of it. So at times I need to wallow – I need to feel the sadness and I need to move on from it. Only by feeling it can I get rid of it. The only way out is through.

High and Dry in Sunny South Africa

So here we are again. No money. No hope. No prospects. No, this is not a TV reality show or the life of a homeless person in South Africa. It’s MY life and I’ll weep if I want to. On the 2nd of February I merrily went to the ATM and tried to draw R1000. The message on the screen said: “Withdrawal not possible”. The nasty little slip that came out of the machine said “Balance: R44, available: R0”. Lovely. The 2nd of February people. I got paid on the 26th of January. This means that my salary lasted all of 6 days. I get paid (a small fortune) enough to comfortably survive on but after paying my rent, some bills and buying some food – that’s it – game over! WTF!? Has the recession hit SO badly that we’re all feeling the pinch now? And by all I mean ME of course – duh.

So I did what any upstanding citizen would do. I called for help. My sister suggested I have an honest look at my bank statements and see exactly where my money is going. Bank statements? I never look at those. OH you mean those things with numbers on them and a lot of minuses. I am the kind of person who draws money and NEVER EVER looks at the slip as the balance is too depressing. I draw all the money until the machine says I can’t anymore. Head in the sand? Yes. Stupid? Probably. Anway. So I followed her advice, went online and did the exercise with the bank statements. Shock and horror! I discover the bank (who will remain unnamed) has eaten a sizeable portion of my salary in charges. My debit order total is too horrific to even contemplate and there’s little wonder I have no money left. But this feels good, it feels like I am taking charge. So I made a decision. I am going to change banks, move only the debit orders that are necessary and keep a close eye on what gets spent and paid. In other words, budget and manage my money. Two things I have not been quite capable of up to this point.

In addition to this I am going to take on some extra work after hours to earn extra money. Lovely new boyfriend already has some work lined up for me so that’s good. For today, however, I have to figure out how to make dinner for my kid and her friend who will be coming over. Sigh. Is it just me or is everyone in this boat?