Picking up from last time –
I honestly felt like from practically the moment I walked in the room, this woman was not on my side.
I am not one to usually blast people on the blog – especially when they can’t really defend themselves due to HIPAA laws… I won’t use her name or anything. But I’m telling this story, baby!
I like to be nice and tell the nice part of things. But sometimes things have to be told, and this is one of them.
So, within the first five minutes, I could tell she wasn’t going to recommend me to give a kidney. Yet, we still talked for another hour! I don’t know why.
I can’t pinpoint what happened in the first five minutes that made me know she wasn’t on my team. Maybe I was reading something that wasn’t there? (Kind of doubt it.) But I knew.
Now let’s get to the specifics of one of the worst conversations I’ve ever had.
She asks me what my big life stressors are. I say, “I know this is totally cheesy. And I’m sorry to answer this way, but everything is really wonderful in my life right now.”
I was feeling thankful and happy! After all, I live in the dopest apartment in all of Los Angeles. Every day that I walk in the lobby, I think about how lucky I am to live in such a nice place.
I’d recently finished my 52 half marathons. My dad was there supporting me. Even one of my role models Cory Booker congratulated me!
I had just finished a pretty sweet job.
I was riding high Price is Right. I even have this post from around that time where you can see. I was just wildly, grossly happy.
But when I said that, oh did she furrow her brow so deep. Please just, every time I say anything in this conversation, imagine the deepest furrowed brow possible on her part, because that is how she reacted to every single thing that I said.
Then, in a goading way, she was all, “Oh come on. Something’s stressful for you. How’s the money situation?”
I was all, “Money’s good. I mean, I’m not rich or anything. But I work a lot at nice jobs. I have all my basic needs met. I’m not worried. I’m good.”
Then, stupidly, because she was staring me down, and practically challenging me to be stressed (and she seemed to be pushing me to be stressed about money specifically) – grasping at straws trying to give the “right” answer, I said something like, ‘Well, I guess it sometimes stresses me out how horribly the California unemployment office operates. It’s hard to talk to a real person. I’m only just now getting paid for the Christmastime weeks. [This was happening in March.] So, I guess that can be really annoying just dealing with that.’
I didn’t realize that mentioning unemployment was going to be such a freaking huge thing. She acted as though just mentioning that word, I must constantly on the edge of a financial meltdown.
Hey lady, I freelance. It’s part of my life. I don’t personally know a single person in my industry who hasn’t filed unemployment at one point or another in the last few years. (I’m sure there are many wealthy people who probably don’t. But every person I’ve met on my level, and really a little above mine, totally does.)
This seemed to be a freaking huge point of contention with her. “You know you don’t get unemployment while you’re in the hospital, right?”
I do know that. There are a lot of restrictions on unemployment.
You know that unemployment doesn’t pay that much money, right?
I don’t want to sound ungrateful. Every bit of money always helps. But I’m not going to implode from a couple of planned weeks without any money. Of course it’s ideal to have no money coming in, but it’s a handle-able for a but of time. It’s part of my life as a freelancer. That’s why I make at least somewhat good-ish money when I do work – to survive when I don’t.
She didn’t seem to mind me paying for this medical trip to Ohio – which happened to require a plane ticket that would be equivalent to a week of unemployment. Just saying.
Even though I did try to explain that in the nicest way I could, she wasn’t having it. Once she heard the word “unemployment,” You could see in her eyes, I was a bum to her.
This is where I’ll pick up next time.