Mollyisms and whatever else is bouncing around the room...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Take a number

So I picked up my unemployment check today. It's kind of a pain dealing with unemployment, but I guess it probably should be. It's not like any of us have a job we need to schedule around, right?

Today I was supposed to receive 2 checks because they denied my benefits when I didn't report any income. See, it's a long story, but because I filed for "reduced-hours" unemployment, I am able to work part-time and make as much as half of my weekly stipend. If I make more than that, my check is deducted dollar-for-dollar.

Therefore, each week I call a number and spend about 10 minutes touch-toning my previous week's earnings. It takes about 10 minutes and 2 days later, I usually receive a check, but they get backed up and things are spordic sometimes.
On Tuesday, I made my sixth (6th!) trip to the Department of Labor since I opened this claim. I am happy to say they have made some improvements to their customer service systerm, but I have definately spent DAYS in that office now.

Sometimes I see people I worked with at the Rudder while I am there. That has happened at least 3 times. No one I knew was there on my first visit , but by my second visit, I ran into Art, the old man who carves beef on the buffet.

My first year at the Rudder, I got to know Art because I worked there year-round and there isn't much to do in Dewey Beach during the winter besides get to know everybody else who is there. Art is barely 5 ft. and has white hair and when I started there, he was hard to understand because a lifetime in Sussex County poverty level did a number on his teeth, but he is still a really nice little old man but oh yeah, he's a little crazy too, definately crazy.
There was one summer when Art hooked up with little white-haired his tall black crackhead, we'll call her "Chickenhead." He used to drive her all around everywhere and she stayed at his house and they both worked the buffet. Come to think of it, I think I saw "Chickenhead" there too. Unemployment is crazy.

Well, this one Sunday that first winter, so there was the brunch buffet in the morning and a slow dinner shift to follow. Another young waitress and I were sitting in the smoke area, waiting to be cut. Back then, we used to have a smoke area inside. As soon as you went through the swinging kitchen door, you were there. Take 2 more steps and you are in the kitchen. The smoke area was right by the service bar, which was housed inside a larger"back of the house" complex including the kitchen.
Anyway, we were sitting there smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee and waiting to be cut and Art stepped out of the dish pit and grabbed a bulky steak knife and started sawing on his fingernail.
The other waitress and I were puzzled, but I had already seen so much crazy shit at that place, it was just par for the course, but my friend spoke up.

"Oh Art, what on Earth are you doin?" she asked with a little Sussex County twang,
"See here, I got myself this hangnail," he replied.
"Well why don't you just bite it off," she said, putting her hand up to mimic the action.
"I aint got no teeth. "
Only at the Rudder.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Plants? Really?

I'm still toiling with the turbo tax I'm going back through the deductions it is checking for.
I'm writing this so I will remember the next time I want to buy some nice potted plants I will save the receipt and deduct them because obviously they will be for my home office.

*Plants for home office
*Paint, repairs, maintenence, theft in home office
*Interest from student loans
*Interest from almost anything
*Cell phone bills
*Donations to charity
*Moving expenses

I'll keep my eye out.

Doing Business

I started tackling my taxes today. I only had 3 W2 forms and 1 form about my unemployment. I hadn't even opened some of the envelopes yet but I spent the whole day today figuring out where I made money and how I did it.

In 2007, I had seven, yes SEVEN (7) jobs! Two of those jobs were in Alaska. I also graduated college and there was a lot of stuff to report with that. I didn't get my return until August because I messed up writing on of the taxpayer IDs and I just barely got the taxes in on time to begin with, so it was a while before I could finally think about them again but the money took a big bite out of my credit card debt so that was cool.

Not surprisingly, this year was still my highest-earning year since the year before my car accident, but I still didn't make shit. I think I made slightly under $26000 on the books and everything else has been freelance work or bullshit you don't have to report.

The more I think about it, the more I am becoming increasingly agitated about my poverty. My baby sister has out-earned me pretty much every year since my accident, but she's still not raking it in either. (but I guess in comparison she sort of is...)
I also downloaded some business program so I can organize my freelancing thing. Basically I am an independent contractor now, but fortunately I didn't even make enough to report it last year. I'm glad I'm taking the time to organize myself now before I have piles of hell to sort through at tax time next year.
So anyway, back to the poverty level thing. This is bullshit. Absolute bullshit.

I can live modestly, that's for sure, but I am really sick of HAVING to do it. I went to college in good faith, believing this endeavor would provide me a comfortable living.
It got me health insurance and with a degree in journalism and a job at a newspaper, that was about it. I guess people also begin to know your name, some people learn your office number too, and your email address.
Ugh, the best part about freelancing is NOT having to publish my contact information with my stories.

So, back to this poor house situation. I'm busting out. I have the freedom to really hustle and now that it is nearly springtime, I'm getting ready to make some moves.

In my quest to do some serious traveling and hard work and money-making this year, I will need to remember how important discipline will be. I'd be really pissed if I got wasted and broke myself in Alaska and it de-railed my aspirations.
So, I might just observe some limits for a change.