Today, I met a co-worker who recommended me to a rich woman for a four-hour-per-week assignment at the woman’s McMansion adjacent to the local golf course. By the end of the meeting, we’d agreed that I’d take the assignment for a week to see if I was a good fit. I made sure not to promise anything long-term because obviously, I’m not going to turn down a job that offers more than four hours a week. Home health care companies have a 2 hour minimum, and charge about $35 an hour. She only wants an hour a day, for each of which she will pay $20 cash money. This is an example of how the wealthy are able to pay less for everything by bypassing administrative costs, which, in this case, is okay by me.
On my way home from the meeting at the McMansion, I stopped at Bi-Mart to pick up my Zoloft prescription. Even though it doesn’t seem to be making much difference, they say it can take a while to get into your system, so I’m trying not to give up on it too soon. Remember when I said that people with bipolar disorder were on my Lucky Bastards list of people to be jealous of? Well, I got a taste of what that might be like today. While I was at Bi-Mart, I saw a shiny brushed stainless steel two-slice toaster with a keep-warm function and a beeper that lets you know when your toast has popped up so you can butter it while it’s still hot. The cheap plastic toaster I bought at Walmart for $9.99 stopped working after four months, and I haven’t had toast since. This is an example of how the poor pay more for everything by having to re-buy things because they can only afford cheap crap. Regularly $29.99, this name-brand toaster it was on sale for $19.99 —and I bought it. See, this is exactly the kind of wild extravagance that somebody with bipolar disorder would engage in while they were in a manic state, right? It wasn’t as much fun as going to Vegas, but spending $19.99 on a toaster the day after you resign from your job and you only have $1,704.36 left after the rent that’s due tomorrow is still taking a big gamble. I might as well have been shooting dice at the crap table.
Poverty provides all kinds of adrenaline rushes like that. I’ve read that adrenaline can become addictive. That’s a scary thought because it would mean that my body has an ulterior motive for creating these panic attacks—to get the adrenaline it’s addicted to because I’m too poor to go skydiving and other exciting stuff like that. Maybe you, the reader, will be in suspense while you wait to see whether I’ll be able to find another job before my $1,704.36 runs out. If I can’t, I might have to continue this saga from the public library.
Having the internet at home is expensive, but it helps when you’re looking for a job. The year-long promotional offer for my internet service was due to end today. So I called yesterday to cancel because the price went up $20.00. Sometimes, they offer to extend the promotional price so they don’t lose your business, but no such luck. Instead, their customer service representative from West Africa whose name I don’t remember sold me an iPhone 7 and unlimited talk and text for $12.99 per month. He did the math for me and I had to admit that I would only be paying five more dollars a month than I am now for internet and phone instead of $20 more a month. I told him I hoped he got a good commission and he thanked me for helping to put food on his table. He apologized for his accent when I asked him to repeat something. I told him his English was very good, better than my Spanish even after studying it for decades. He said his French was better and I didn’t say anything to that because then I just felt inferior.