Time does fly, and with it our little concerns and mores. When I entered a link to one of this site’s “pages” in yesterday’s post and then had some trouble persuading the software not to link to the old WordPress.com URL, I happened to read over the contents of “The Poison Poppy.” Time adds a great deal of perspective: getting your bowels in an uproar over a $220-a-month pay cut seems pretty silly, compared to a 100 percent cut in pay!
These days I feel a lot calmer about the money situation (among other things). As a matter of fact, where next year’s financial pickle is concerned, I no longer care. If I end up living under the Seventh Avenue overpass, tant pis. I’ll be in good company.
For about three years there, I was in a constant state of uproar; during one of those years, I was in a chronic rage.
The whole flap over the destruction of my swimming pool, which took place shortly after I moved in to my present home, created a great deal of angst and downright fear, particularly after a judge would not let me, SDXB, or my lawyer leave his courtroom until after Mr. B*** was seen driving away from the parking lot. Having two barracuda lawyers urge me to sell my house and flee—and describe in exquisite detail what they imagined Mr. B*** to be capable of—was pretty bloody terrifying.
None of that hysteria died down until M’hijito proved, by installing a phalanx of infrared cameras, that the ensuing pool pump “vandalism” incidents were happening because the equipment was defective, not because Son-in-Law was hopping the fence once a month to fool with it. But overlapping that was the Great Desert University’s ballyhooed partnership with PeopleSoft, which led to five months of incorrect paychecks, missed retirement contributions, an attempt to void 200 hours of accrued vacation time and declare me ineligible for vacation, insane abuses of my staff members, wrong information (surely not outright lies?) from HR, and a $220 de facto monthly pay cut. And this was superimposed over the slowly but steadily growing issues surrounding My Bartleby, the single most unholy personnel issue I have ever had to deal with—one that dragged out over four excruciating years.
Looking back on it, I realize how close to a breakdown I must have been. It’s no wonder I ended up in the hospital with stress. What is a wonder is that I survived at all.
Well, now that only two months remain in my tenure with the Great Desert University, I no longer feel an irrational hatred for the institution (it’s like hating rainfall or the moon in the sky). True, a trip to Tempe does evince a flinch reflex, and I do look forward to never having to enter that burg again.
In spite of the year of unemployment and enforced penury coming up, I feel comfortable about the future. Money happens, after all. Some things are better than a regular salary. Some things are worse than penury.